Sunday, April 23, 2017

Salvia Sample Knit

I was contacted this past week to see if I would be interested in knitting a sample for the Unique Sheep using a new yarn.  The pattern looked like an easy and quick knit, so I said yes.  The yarn arrived on this past Thursday and I caked it all up yesterday morning and got the pattern all set up in knitCompanion.  I started out knitting on US 6 needles, but decided after looking at the pictures and checking my yarn usage to go up to US 7 (the pattern suggests either size - it also has a garter stitch swatch, ugh).  The pictures indicated that the shawl was more loosely knit and more drapey than I was getting with US 6.



Pattern:  Salvia by Heidi Alander
Yarn:  Not really sure, the label says The Unique Sheep Rare Breed, it's a silk wool blend with 4 plies
Needle:  US 7 (4.5 mm)

Falling Leaves Shrug - Skein 3 Side 1

I finished up skein 3 on the first side this week and have just started skein 4.  I'm getting some interesting pooling instead of the more typical striping that occurs when knitting a narrower piece.  It is a real challenge getting a good picture, the knitting tends to scrunch and I can't stretch it out too much for fear of the stitches coming off the needles.  This was the best that I could do today.

Pattern:  Falling Leaves Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Verve in Verdandi
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Falling Leaves Shrug - Skein 2 Side 1

After finishing the central panel I continued on with the remains of skein 1, joining skein 2.  I worked the initial pick up and then my increase row, did some counting, did some math, and started working the Falling Leaves lace pattern.  I am not quite half way through the second repeat of the chart and am about to join the third skein.  I think I have figured out what I want to do to enable folks to make their own adjustments.  It will most likely mean that I will have several charts to choose from, depending upon how many stitches are picked up and how that works out with the pattern repeat.  I thought the rows would go pretty slow - after all, I am working across 235 stitches, but the lace pattern is simple and easy to memorize and it goes pretty fast.

Pattern:  Falling Leaves Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Verve in Verdandi
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Falling Leaves Shrug - Central Panel Done

I finished up the central panel tonight.  Not the best picture, but I had to use flash.  I did 26 repeats of the Lattice Lace chart, which equates to 313 rows.  When I did the first pick-up in the side loops I picked up 157 stitches.  I still have a few feet of skein 1 left.  I'll join the second skein and work the increase row, and then figure out the numbers for the Falling Leaves chart.  I'm going to have to modify the chart to be adaptable depending upon the number of stitches picked up.

Pattern:  Falling Leaves Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Verve in Verdandi
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Virginia's Charivari Shrug - One Side Done

I finished up the white stripe on the first side, so the shrug is basically half done.  I have figured out an easy set of modifications to enable folks to utilize as much of their yarn as possible while minimizing the risk of running short.  Basically there are three variations of the garter and stockinette stitch combo that can be worked:

20 rows:  6 rows of garter, 8 rows of stockinette, 6 rows of garter
16 rows:  4 rows of garter, 8 rows of stockinette, 4 rows of garter
14 rows:  4 rows of garter, 6 rows of stockinette, 4 rows of garter.

On the second side I will be keeping a row by row record of my yarn usage so I can determine a stitches per gram for both the garter and stockinette sections so that folks can figure out their approximate yarn usage depending upon how many rows they knit on the central panel.

I also have to provide a formula for determining how many stitches you need to keep for the opening to make sure that the shrug fits properly.  I'm thinking that it should be based upon the width of the shoulders plus the distance from the nape of the neck to the natural waist.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra by Louise Robert
Yarn:  Bis-sock by Biscotte & Cie
Needle:  US 2.5 (3 mm) & US 4 (3.5 mm)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Virginia's Charivari Shrug - Three Stripes Done

Third stripe done.  These actually go pretty fast, despite those long ruffled rows.  I worked the two extra rows of garter before the ruffled section again.  I've got some ideas on easy modifications to use more or less yarn depending upon how long the central panel is that I'll put into the shrug pattern write up.  It'll mean folks will need to weight their skeins and keep track of their yarn usage, but it is pretty straightforward and should prevent any awkward surprises.


Pattern:  Traveling Zebra by Louise Robert
Yarn:  Bis-sock by Biscotte & Cie
Needle:  US 2.5 (3 mm) & US 4 (3.5 mm)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Virginia's Charivari Shrug - Two Stripes Done

My brain wasn't up to working on lace on Sunday so instead I worked on Virginia's Charivari shrug and finished up the second stripe.  I did a slight modification of the pattern on this one.  It had always bothered me that the garter ridges on either side of the ruffle were not the same - 4 rows below the ruffle, 6 rows above, so I took a little gamble and did 2 extra rows before I started the ruffle.  I really like how it came out - I am a bit of a symmetry nut.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra by Louise Robert
Yarn:  Bis-sock by Biscotte & Cie
Needle:  US 2.5 (3 mm) & US 4 (3.5 mm)

Falling Leaves Shrug - Central Panel Started

After swatching on Friday I cast on the central panel on Saturday.  The lace pattern is from a stitch library, but it was only given as written directions, so the first thing I had to do was chart it.  This wasn't quite as simple as it sounds as the stitch count varies.  When I charted it just based upon the written instructions the chart didn't really look like what was coming out in the knitting.  After working the pattern for a few repeats I realized what was going on and was able to add in the non-knit stitches in the appropriate places to make the chart look like the knitting.  I was pretty well chuffed with myself for figuring it out.  My plan is to basically use up the entire skein for the center panel, but in the pattern I'm including directions for adjusting the size and figuring out what you can do with the yarn that you have.

Pattern:  Falling Leaves Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Verve in Verdandi
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Falling Leaves Shrug - Swatching Lace

The really exciting development is that I'm working on a design.  The basic construction is inspired by the Traveling Shawl pattern, but I wanted to do it in lace, and a Unique Sheep Gradiance.  I've been looking for suitable lace motifs for a little while now, and finally found them this week.  Interestingly enough, I found them in the very first knitting book that I bought How to Knit by Debbie Bliss.  I pulled my copy out to give to a friend that wants to learn, and ordered another copy for myself after leafing through it and reminding myself what a nice book it is.  Last night I pulled out my bag of leftover balls of Verve yarn and knit up a sample.

There were a couple of things I was figuring out - the biggest was how to work the pick for the lace panels that come off the sides of the central panel.  The bottom panel was knit after picking up a stitch for every other row (one stitch per slipped stitch side loop).  That was obviously too tight.  When I started the top panel I initially picked up two stitches in each side loop - knit-front-back - but after working a couple of rows it was obvious that there would be too many stitches to block out properly so I frogged and redid the start.  This time I did an initial pick up of one stitch per side loop, then on the return wrong side row I increased every other stitch, but using the knit-front-slip-back.  I also played around with my double decreases.  I like the central-double-decrease as it gives a more distinct line.  I'm not sure if I'm going to include any beads.

The yarn I'm going to use is the first shipment for The Unique Sheep's Mythical Shawls Club.  I had done the test knit and didn't feel like knitting the shawl again, but I love the colorway, and it was, in fact, part of the inspiration for this design.

Pattern:  Falling Leaves Shrug by Carolyn Blakelock
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Verve in Verdandi
Needle:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Dreamy Adalia - Progress Check

I have also been making progress on my Dreamy Adalia.  The pattern is pretty straight forward at this point.  I will admit that I didn't think the pattern was written as clearly, or charted as clearly, as it could have been, but fortunately there is a great picture of the back in the pattern PDF that I could zoom in on to make sure I understood what was really going on. 


Pattern:  Adalia by Jennifer Wood
Yarn:  Spirit Trail Fiberworks Verdande in Daydream
Needles:  US 6 (4 mm)

Virginia's Charivari Shrug - One Stripe Done

I finished up the first ruffled stripe this week.  Wonderful mindless knitting.  I tried a variation on the knit-front-back that is going around, instead of knitting into the back of the stitch you put your needle like you're going to knit into the back of the stitch but just slip the stitch onto the needle instead.  It is called knit-front-slip-back.  It gives a cleaner increase, you don't get that little bar.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra by Louise Robert
Yarn:  Bis-sock by Biscotte & Cie
Needle:  US 2.5 (3 mm) & US 4 (3.5 mm)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Virginia's Charivari Shrug - Center Panel Done

I stayed home from work today.  There is a bug going around and I think it was trying to get me, so I decided to stay home and rest and hopefully kick it before it sets in.  My mind was pretty fuzzy so it wasn't up for working on the Dreamy Adalia (all those cables) instead I worked on this and read and watched some TCM.

I didn't make it to 480 rows though, only 456.  That gives me 228 stitches to pick along the side.  I'll still keep 120 stitches for the central opening, so that will mean I will graft 54 stitches for the sleeves.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra by Louise Robert
Yarn:  Bis-sock by Biscotte & Cie
Needle:  US 2.5 (3 mm) & US 4 (3.5 mm)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Dreamy Adalia - Sleeves separated out

I've also been working on my Dreamy Adalia now that my deadline projects are done.  It had been so long since I had worked on it I had to do some reviewing of the pattern.  I was a bit thrown at first by the back increases and the green stitches, but I did eventually figure it out.  I cast on 5 stitches instead of 3 for the underarms.  Three stitches just didn't seem like enough.  Thanks to a demonstration by Merike at The Unique Sheep Retreat I am knitting cables without a cable needle!
Buying the KC pattern set up was definitely worth it for this pattern.


Pattern:  Adalia by Jennifer Wood
Yarn:  Spirit Trail Fiberworks Verdande in Daydream
Needles:  US 6 (4 mm)

Virginia's Charivari Shrug

Now that I've finished up a couple of my deadline projects I started another shrug.  I need to write up the pattern so I figure I'll knit a couple in the process.  I bought two more Charivari Paintbox sets, one for my sister and one for myself.
I'm not using a row counter as I go, because when I've tried that in the past I found myself forgetting to click the counter between rows.  Instead I periodically count the number of slipped-stitch loops and when I have ten I put in a locking stitch marker.  The picture above shows the stitch markers.  When I pick up stitches I'll go through both loops, as the markers do.

Pattern:  Traveling Zebra by Louise Robert
Yarn:  Bis-sock by Biscotte & Cie
Needle:  US 2.5 (3 mm) & US 4 (3.5 mm)

Morphology - Done!

I took this project along with me to The Unique Sheep retreat, figuring it would be easy car knitting.  I finished it up while we were in Harriman, Tennessee.
It's a good thing, too, as the next shipment of the Rockin' Sock Club has shipped and I'm way behind on knitting them.  Here are a couple more photos.
I'm not quite sure how to wear these.  I just wore it around my neck this past Friday.  This photo shows the colors and stitches the best.

Pattern:  Morphology by A. Karen Alfke
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight in Sprinkles and Shannanogins
Needle:  US 6 (4 mm)