Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July, and then some

As promised, I am back with more finished objects!

In preparation for the August class at the shop, I worked up an entrelac scarf:

the design is called "Upstairs and Down" from the newest issue of Knitter's magazine.  My sample was knit from three balls of Noro Chirimen and 5.5mm needles.  Not a big fan of so much ribbing, but because it is entrelac you are only working in rows of 9 stitches.  The worst and hardest thing about this scarf is making certain that you have reached the end of the tier before starting back the other way.  I can't tell you how many times I turned too early!

I also finished up the sample shawl from Sublime Extra Fine Merino Lace, modelled here by my friend Barb. 
I used Lala's Simple Shawl and the wool held double.  I love it, as does Barb.  We might have to venture into the mud wrestling room to determine ownership.  (Perhaps I should enlist my siblings in a training exercise to warm up?).  In any event, this was 3 balls of wool and a 4.5mm needle.  I love it, and a large part of me wishes I had sprung for the fourth ball and made it a bit larger.  As it is, though, it is a perfect summer cover-up.

I also finished up a pair of socks!  these are "Flambeau" designed by Terry Ross.
I used one full ball of SRK On Your Toes Bamboo, but ran short at the cuff.  Being ever thrifty, I simply did the cuff in a contrasting colour--coral.  Both these yarns were in my stash, so it's all good.  I did modify the pattern a wee bit--the short row reel was written in garter stitch, which made me crazy for reasons I will explain further.  So I simply switched to stocking stitch and carried on.  Holy moly--are these comfortable socks!  I just might switch over to short row heels in the future!  Do other folks have a preference for short row vs heel flap heels?  Why?

And the craziness over the garter stitch short row heel, as well as the purple shawl?  I have been procrastinating getting a new prescription for my glasses.  It was the lace-weight shawl that did me in.  Frustrated that I couldn't see clearly, I finally caved.  turns out that my frames were too old (heh, who knew wire frames had a life expectancy?) so I ordered new frames as well.  Behold:

These are executive bifocals, so the reading area is larger than usual.  I also went without the transitioning between the distance and reading portion.  I can see!  the downside is that I also see the line between the two prescriptions and my brain translates that to be the top of my frames.  I find I am regularly tipping my head back, when I don't or shouldn't.  It is a learning experience, but this "old dog" is determined to learn the new trick.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Shhh.  Listen.  Do you hear that?  Yep.  Crickets.  And the rustling of calendar pages as June and most of July whizzed right past my ears.  I HAVE been busy, just not busy blogging. 

So what have I been doing?  Aside from NOT biking, camping and canoeing?  Well, there has been a fair bit of knitting.  I will now show off some of the finished items:

This is Audrey modelling the shawl I knit for her.  The yarn was a mystery yarn from her stash.  I believe it was a rayon slub yarn.   In any event, Audrey found this yarn and had a vision of how she wanted it to look, but feared her skills were not up to the task.  She asked me ... Told me to select a pattern, and gave me a price.  I went home and pulled out my favourite shawl book ...

I showed Audrey the two possibilities, both of which she approved.  I started knitting.  The Victoria Shawl, found on page 154.   I thoroughly enjoyed the knitting of this little beauty.  The centre panel design is regular, easily memorized, and calming.  and when I had completed all five and a half feet of it, the knitted on border commenced.  It, too, was enjoyable and relaxing.  I was, and still am, totally enchanted. 

Look at how beautifully the border turns the corner!  You would never know that the centre panel had a 90-degree corner right there.   In the interest of truth in blogging, I will say that I used a 4.5mm Addi lace needle but I cannot tell for certain how much yarn.  The shawl has been delivered to its recipient, and I neglected to weigh the yarn when I received it.  I can say that I spent many week nights and mornings in June working on it though.

It is not often that I enjoy a project enough to knit it twice, especially a very large project like this one.  However, the Victoria Shawl just might be the exception.  What is holding me back?  The abundance of beautiful lace projects in the book.   I want to knit one of each of them.  The charts are well done, the explanations are clear and concise.   And the finished objects?  Even better than the pictures on the book!

I have more finished objects to show ... Now to decide which one to discuss next.  

How about this little gem?
This pattern is the Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down, knit in Estelle Super Alpaca Handpaint and bordered with Hayfield Chunky With Wool.  The buttons?  Yes, they do have a treble clef on them.  This sweater is intended for my grandson, and his papa is a musician.  I used three skeins of the alpaca and I skein of the Hayfield, with enough leftovers to make a hat.  Possibly even some mittens if the kids desire them.  They kind of live in the South, though, so perhaps mittens are overkill.  In any event I used a 5.0mm needle, since the pattern is written for a worsted weight yarn.  

I can't say enough good about this pattern.  It is knit from the top down so minimal sewing in the finishing department.  The shawl collar and button bands are worked in one piece by picking up stitches along the fronts and back neck.   Did I mention all in one piece?  Minimal sewing?  I thought so.  The pattern comes in larger sizes as well, and worth the price of the pattern.

OK.  Four pictures is enough.  I will save some finished projects for next week.

And what am I working on right now?  In order of their length in the WIP:

The Building Blocks Afghan by Michele Hinter.  I am sewing the squares together, so expect this puppy to be done soon, soon, soon!

The Edwardian Cardigan.  I am working the second front shoulder, leaving the sleeves and button bands.  There are, I kid you not, a million ends to be sewn in.  I am contemplating working a doubled button band just to allow me to run the ends into the ensuing pocket.   I am afraid I will go blind running them under.    And the sleeves.  Yeah.  Nine colours in two row stripes.  I CAN carry the yarns up the side, just to prevent there being so many ends.  Nine active balls of yarn though.  I expect you can see the dilemma here.

Malabrigo Socks.  These little beauties were supposed to be for the 2015 N.E.W. Calendar, but have fought me valiantly every step of the way.  I am not so sure just where these guys are headed, to be honest.

Chunky-weight Vest in hand-dyed wool.  As feared, I ran short of wool for the big cowl collar.  I have a similarly-coloured ball of Patons Classic, which will be used for the seaming.  I think I will use it for the balance of the cowl as well, but have yet to decide if it will be the bottom  (attached to the vest neck edge) which would be visible at the front, or the top edge, which would fold down and be visible in the back, but not the front.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 

And now it is time to head off to work at the shop.  Ta-ta.