Saturday, March 27, 2010

FO: My Wedding Shawl

All done blocking! On to the finished photos:

Pattern: Peacock Feathers Shawl by Dorothy Siemens
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18
Yarn Supplier: Lakeside Fibers in Madison, WI
Needles: US 4 / 3.5 mm

Can I just say how much I love this yarn? Well as I mentioned previously, this yarn is amazing to the touch. And the color is pretty fabulous as well. As beautiful as the shawl I knit for my sister's wedding is in white, the green is way more "me".

Normally I tend to need to go up a needle size or three, since I am a fairly tight knitter. Given the fact that I about 5'3" (160 cm), though, I really did not need a shawl with an 84" (214 cm) wingspan! So I actually (gasp!) went down a needle size. Seriously people, this is unheard of for me. Yet, this shawl is still quite generously sized.

I am really impressed by this pattern. It was really well written and easy to follow, especially given the complexity of the pattern. After only a short time I could see if the row I was working on was lining up correctly or not, which prevented the need to rip out long rows to fix mistakes. By the end, there was just under five hundred stitches per row, so that was greatly appreciated!

I guess now, I just need to figure out all of the other wedding details...

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peacock Shawl - Preblocking

The shawl has been done since last week, before I packed up for NYC for the weekend. Here it is unblocked, but you can still see a lot of the patterning thanks to a little bit of flash.

Finding a good time to block it however has been harder than it sounds. It is finishing drying now, and hopefully I will have final pictures soon.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Manly Grey Socks - Fixed

Back in January 2007 I finished a pair of manly grey socks for Salvbard out of some Trekking XXL. This was my earlier attempts at socks, which were mostly focused on making them toe-up to make them as long as possible. This led to a problem though once Salvbard finally developed a hole on them this fall, however.

So the repair job on this pair was less than perfect. I found some other grey yarn in my spare sock yarn bag that was good enough for something that was just going to be hidden in a boot anyways.

Due to the location of the replacement I ended up ripping out the whole toe and then knitting it in the reverse direction than it had been done in originally, as a wedge toe.

Still, these socks took an amazing 20 months of use before developing a hole! And this is a pair that he loves and wears all the time. They have some felting along the bottom, but they look in great shape other than the toe that needed replacing. Trekking XXL gets two thumbs up for both pleasure of knitting and for excellent wear.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Handspun

Happy Evacuation day! Well ok, if you are not in the Boston area, you are probably celebrating St. Patrick's day. And in the spirit of the latter it seems a good time to share my latest handspun, actually finished up during the Olympics, but now soaked and twisted into finished hanks.

I started with this lovely 4 oz braid of superwash roving from Mind's Eye Yarns, which I am pretty sure I bought 2 years ago at a Gore Place Sheapshearing Festival.

I spun most of the singles during the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. They are a bit finer than I usually do and could have possibly used a higher twist. It gave a nice lofty final product though.

The three final skeins add up to 299 yards of a DK weight yarn. This yarn is lovely and soft. I would like to think I will make something for myself out of it. (Perhaps the yoke of a sweater?) I seem to have a poor record for actually knitting most of my handspun though. Got any great recommendations of patterns to inspire me to get this on the needles?


Monday, March 15, 2010

Shawl Body - Done!

When last we heard from out shawl-knitting heroine, she had just passed the 1/3 mark of her shawl. Well as of late last night, the body of the shawl is finished, which means there is just the edging and the bind-off left to do. Huzzah!

Yup, lace knitting still does not look like anything special.

Since this takes me through row 224 of 250, a little basic geometry tells us that I have finished 80.28% of the shawl. Yes that means a fifth of all the knitting in the shawl is just in the edging. I guess there is nothing for it though, except to get back to work.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day, everyone! (Get it? It is 3.14, today.)

Here at Casa de Omly we celebrated with a tasty pumpkin pie. Hope your Pi Day was great too if you celebrated. (Also happy birthday Albert Einstein!)

Monday, March 08, 2010

*shrug* It's Vintage

Many moons ago I decided to make a shrug for my housemate for when she was in the office. Having finished it is one of the few things that could make me smile about standing outside while it snowed on me without a coat.

And the back:

Pattern: Beacon Hill Shawl (free vintage pattern)
Yarn: Lion Brand Microspun
Needles: US 2 / 2.75 mm & US 4 / 3.5 mm

Modifications: I lengthened the sleeves to be wrist length, and omitted the crocheted edging. Lengthening the sleeves meant I seemed a little more than the recommended 6" above the ribbing.

Also I am not terribly clever and for the first few inches missed the fact that there was supposed to be in garter stitch at the edges of the lace section. So instead I did it in stockinette, which I actually really liked. Especially in the Microspun it gave a lovely soft rolled edge (which also meant omitting sewing down the edge as a collar as suggested) and beautiful seam on the inside of the arm (can be seen in the first photo). Given the generosity of the width of the lace panel, you do not miss the stitches "lost" to the curled edge.

I was a little nervous about doing the lace in a non-animal fiber yarn (eek, no blocking), but it was a must given a wool allergy. This yarn makes an amazing fabric, though, with good drape, and the pattern, which is rib-like, makes a fabric with surprising memory even in something so drapey. My only complaint is that the yarn is just twisted together rather than plied, which occasionally made it annoying to work with.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Easter Egg Sweater

When the Knitting Room was closing I had picked up 2 single skeins of Cotton Fleece in the colors CW-840 Lime Light and CW-240 Pink-a-boo to make my niece a sweater. Well these days she is almost to the point where together that was just enough yarn to do so, before she got any bigger. Besides green and pink will make a great sweater for Easter, right?

Pattern: Children's Hooded Tunic #232 by Diane Soucy
Size: 2-4
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
Yarn Supplier: the Knitting Room in Arlington (now closed)
Needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm & US 8 / 5.0 mm

This is a Knitting Pure & Simple pattern, which I have been very pleased with in the past in terms of simple and clear instructions. I had a slight advantage on this pattern though anyways, as I have knit it once before in a different size.

I knit it using similar modifications as last time to knit the sleeves after the yoke by using a crocheted provisional cast on. Also, as I was running low on yarn, I omitted the hood in favor of a free-form collar in garter stitch.


Monday, March 01, 2010

A Third of a Shawl

It got quiet around here with the end of February kicking my butt, but there is still stuff going on. Yesterday I finished the first third of my shawl. Like all unblocked lace, it doesn't look like much.

Despite all the stitch markers making this look fairly complicated, it is moving along well now that I have another copy of the pattern.

Oh wait, did I mention that? Seems not. Well after Arisia, my copy of the pattern went missing. I waited over a month before deciding I had to replace it, which meant ordering another hardcopy from Canada (the only source). It eventually arrived, despite the pokey-ness of the Canadian post. Of course then over this weekend a friend announced that she had had it at her house since then and just hadn't thought to mention it. Gah!

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