Saturday, August 23, 2008
Laminaria by Elizabeth Freeman
Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino Wool (470 yards / 50 g per skein), 1.67 skeins of the color "Vaa"
US 3 (3.25 mm) Knitpicks circular needles
WARNING: This post doesn't contain very many words. My husband and I are packing for an impending move across the country, so I'm a little pressed for time, but thought I should try not to get too far behind in blogging my knitting projects.
In quick summary, this is a beautiful pattern and luscious yarn, and I'm quite happy with the results :)
However, I went a little overboard with my decision to aim for a fairly dense fabric. I chose a US 3 needle, based on my tendency to knit rather loosely, and didn't swatch. Before blocking, the shawl looked tiny, and the lace looked way too dense, but luckily, it grew to a nice shoulder shawl size - I'll try to get photos of it on at some point, so you can see - with a firm blocking.
With the somewhat variegated yarn, I do wish the lace was a little more open in general, though I love the density of the border:
Close-ups of the other stitch patterns:
...And here's some Bug cuteness for you (with the shawl pre-blocking, as you may notice):
Also, I was very fortunate to win Angie's recent blog contest prize: 2 skeins of beautiful alpaca/merino sock yarn from the Natural Dye Studio. Isn't it lovely?
Bye for now!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl by Sarah Bradberry
My handspun yarn made from roving dyed by Kristin of All Spun Up
Merino Wool (733 yards / 122 g per skein), 0.98 skeins
US 4 (3.5 mm) bamboo circular needles
US 4 (3.5 mm) Knitpicks Options Harmony circular needles (when it got too big for my 24" bamboo circs)
US G (4.0 mm) aluminum crochet hook for stabilizing upper edge
It's been a while since I last posted, and while I've done hardly any blog-reading in that time period (grrr...must remedy that!!!), I have been knitting off and on. I'm still working on Laminaria - which looks like it's turning out to be a miniature shawl (though containing lots and lots of lovely little stitches) - a headscarf, perhaps? No, I didn't swatch for it... why do you ask? ...
However, four weeks ago I flew to the west coast for my brother's wedding and decided to start a simpler pattern on non-threatening looking bamboo circular needles to work on during my flights (and during my multiple layovers). I wanted to knit with some of my rather busy looking, multi-colored handspun yarn, so I picked a nice, straightforward feather-and-fan-based pattern.
I love how it turned out!
Here's a visual recap of the shawl, from roving to finished product:
After I bound off and tried it on, I was hoping the shawl would grow a bit during blocking, and I'm glad to report that it did. It's also much drapier.
As usual, the cats had their fun with the shawl.
While it was still a work in progress, Moana analyzed it to determine its Toepad Squoosh Rating (TSR - she gives it a 9.5 out of 10):
...and tried it on:
...as did Bug. He found it to be quite suitable for napping under when people are shining lights in your eyes and trying to photograph their knitting:
Note: You may notice in these photos that Bug has shaved "wrists" - he has been having some health problems and had IV's for a few days. He's doing quite well now, though :)
Bug carried out additional testing after the shawl had undergone the blocking process (he thought it needed a bit more cat hair integrated into the surface to make it just right).
Here you can see him examining the crochet edging for imperfections:
Clearly, the cats take their jobs as quality control specialists very seriously :)
I do love the way the colors progress in the pattern. It's a great choice for any hand-dyed yarn, and looks wonderful worked in stripes of several solid colors, too (as shown on the pattern page).
More photos for your viewing pleasure:
I also finished the swatches (I was able to make 7 of them with the yarn and beads supplied) for Schaefer Yarn Company. Each one is the width of the scarf and 3 chart repeats long.
Heather Undulating Waves Scarf by Laura Nelkin
Schaefer Heather, 55% Merino Wool, 30% Silk, 15% Nylon (400 yards / 113 g per skein), 0.91 skeins "Indira Ghandi" colorway
US 4 (3.5 mm) Knitpicks Options Harmony circular needles
1386 size 6 beads
This is a great pattern (which looks fantastic without the beads, too, in case you were wondering) and lovely yarn to work with.
I'm constantly learning new things while knitting, and this project was no exception - I discovered that I have been making yarnovers on the purl side incorrectly (doh!). Previously, I'd simply been bringing the yarn to the opposite side between the needles for both knit and purl sides. I always thought the resulting purl side YO's looked a little funny... heh. This pattern requires you to do your purl side YO's correctly (bringing the yarn to the back of the work over your right-hand needle, then returning it to the front under the right-needle before purling the next stitch), otherwise you get a tangled-looking mess with beads scattered around willy nilly instead of the neatly beaded ladder rungs you want.
In payment for the swatches, I got Schaefer Susan in the Subtly Solid Botanicals colorway "Sedum" to make something I've had in my queue since the first month or so I started knitting - the Phildar Zip Cardigan (the link is to a beautiful one made by Girl Who Knits). Here's the yarn: