Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 R.I.P.

2007 R.I.P.
Buh-bye

1. Secret of the Stole, 2. Mystery Stole 3, 3. Tangled Yoke Cardi

2007 Spinning FO’s

I had my first spinning lesson in March 2007. Here are some skeins since then. Some of the most fun knitting this year has been with my own handspun yarn!

2007 Spinning FO's

1. My First Tiny Skein, 2. Spinning Progress March 12, 3. Spinning March18,
4. Spinning March 19, 5. Spinning April 7, 6. Spinning April 26-1,
7. Spin April 26-2, 8. Kid Hollow mohair, 9. Spinning April 26-3,
10. Spinning April 26-4, 11. BFL Willow, 12. Inspiration,
13. Merino/Silk/Angora, 14. Corriedale Class skein, 15. Rambouillet,
16. Merino-Tencel, 17. Falkland Thundercloud, 18. Antigua BFL,
19. Cormo DK, 20. Chocalpaca, 21. Goblin Eyes

2007 Knitting FO’s

For my first year-end as a blogger, here's a quick look back at some finished projects. There were a few items at the very beginning of the year that didn't get their picture taken. And knitting production was hampered by my falling down the spinning rabbit hole.

2007 FO's

1. Annemor #4, 2. Husband Mitts, 3. Forest Canopy Shawl
4. Cleite Shawl, 5. Cherry Garcia and wristies, 6. Scarf with Weldons Border
7. Argosy Scarf, 8. Charade Socks, 9. Springgrass Socks
10. Amble Socks, 11. One Skein Shawl, 12. Wisteria Scarf
13. Jaywalkers, 14. Monkey Socks, 15. Mad Cow Socks
16. Forever Husband Socks, 17. LacyLeaves Pi, 18. Swallowtail Shawl

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bird in Hand

Bird in Hand - Back started
Back of hand and thumb gusset

I have jumped on the mitten bandwagon! No sooner had I finished my Black Dog mitts, than with Margene as my inspiration, I cast on for the very popular Bird in Hand mittens designed by Kate Gilbert.

Bird in Hand - Palm started
With a little flower on the palm

Just a couple of quick pics for you today. More on how they are different to knit than the Selbuvotter soon.

Bird in Hand - Xmas lites

Merry Mittens Everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Selbuvotter - Annemor #4

Terri Shea’s Selbuvotter is a wonderful resource. After detailing the history of a particular style of Norwegian mitten, which is unique in having an origin with one woman’s work (Marit Guldseth Emstad), Terri has produced modern patterns using the traditional motifs and style which evolved during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The book contains patterns for mittens and gloves in various yarn weights and in sizes for a child, woman, and man. The motifs range from a stunning array of starkly geometric or gracefully curved snowflakes, to Art Deco lilies. And don’t forget the moose, reindeer, ravens, and dogs!

Inspired by my sister’s very large black dog Grindley, who will have to be an honorary Norwegian elkhound this winter, this is Annemor #4.

Annemor #4 - Done

The mittens are knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, on Addi US2/3mm circs. I like to knit with the main color (MC) in my right hand and contrast color (CC) in the left, throwing and picking to follow the charts. There’s a good discussion of color dominance related to which color to hold in which hand in stranded knitting at nonaKnits.

Annemor #4 - Palms

Ultra Alpaca is very versatile and I’ve knit it at 6+ to the inch, all the way up to typical worsted gauge. At 50/50 wool/alpaca, it has a lot of resilience, more like its wool half than its alpaca half. I have found that the gauge relaxes just a bit with a soak, so if you are using it, wash your swatch!

The yarn knits up nice and soft, but with good stitch definition. Given that the entire hand is stranded, and so, double thick with stitches and carried yarn, the mittens are nice and warm. I would consider knitting these a little looser and fulling slightly for more wind resistance, and might experiment with that on a future pair. With use, the fabric develops some halo, but not enough to obscure the colorwork.

Annemor #4 - Thumbs

I used a strand of waste yarn rather than setting the thumb stitches aside, casting on new stitches, and picking up later for the inside of the thumb. I also made the effort to match the stitch pattern on the inside to the rest of the palm.

Details:

Pattern: Selbuvotter, Annemor #4. There are errata for several patterns, HERE.

Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, 1 skein each Black and Light Green Heather, worsted wt. I used about 140yds of green (MC) and less than 100yds of black (CC).

Needles: US2/3.0mm, Addi Turbo circulars

Gauge: 6.5 stitches/inch

Started: December 9, 2007

Completed: December 19, 2007

Finished Size: 8.5” hand x 12” long

Annemor #4

Friday, December 14, 2007

Arf !

Dog Mitt One - Back

Back

Dog Mitt One - Palm
Palm

Dog Mitt One - Thumb
Thumb

Dog Mitt One - Inside Thumb
Inside Thumb

Selbuvotter, Annemor #4. Details later. Mitten #2 is on the needles. Time’s running out.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Forest Canopy Shawl FO and a new WIP already

The Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl in handspun BFL is done!

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl Done

Susan Lawrence’s pattern would be an ideal beginner lace project. The pattern is clearly written, gives complete instructions along with explanations of why things are done, includes both charts and written directions, has a small easily memorized repeat, and introduces several lace techniques. Best of all for new lace knitters, the pattern is written for sport weight yarn. For many who are new to lacy knitting, one of the most difficult things is to get used to very thin yarn on what seem like way too big needles. Knit in finer or heavier yarn, one would simply adjust needle size and number of repeats for as small or large a shawl as you wish, or have yarn for. So, another pattern good for skeins of handspun.

Forest Canopy Shawl Scallops
Beech trees make great shawl models

The shawl is knit from the center neck down, using a simple cast on, and four YO increases every right side row to create the triangle shape. The leaf lace pattern is composed simply of Knit, YO, and SSK, and the WS rows are plain purl. I like to use stitch markers on complex lace patterns, but Susan’s instructions were correct. This lace is so easy to read, markers really aren’t needed, and I think this would be a good pattern to help beginners learn to “read their knitting”.

Forest Canopy Shawl Texture

More experienced lace knitters will find this pattern is practically like taking a vacation. And I mean that in a good way. It’s very relaxing and knits up quickly. For this project, I wanted to knit something in a simple, regular pattern so it wouldn’t compete with the striping I knew was going to occur with this handspun, and I think it worked out well

Forest Canopy Shawl Edge Detail

Knit as written, the shawl looked like it would be about the size stated in the pattern. But I knit a couple of extra repeats of the main chart for just a few extra inches in width and length. Since I’m planning to give this to a friend who is very tall, it’s still going to be a nice shoulder size. I made no other modifications. Though if I were to knit this again, in a solid color yarn, I would like to put some beads at the points of the scalloped edge.

The BFL has knit up very soft and warm, with just the teeniest bit of a halo. The fiber from Sakina Needles was great fun to spin, and has made a nice cozy shawl. I’m hoping my friend will see this a bright fun everyday scarf rather than some delicate dressy piece that languishes in a closet somewhere. Fortunately I have enough of the handspun left over to make myself some wristies. I’ve also got another 4oz of the fiber, but I’d like to spin that into a Navajo-plied 3-ply to maintain the long bands of color from roving to finished yarn.

Forest Canopy Shawl Blocking

Because of the small size, I blocked the shawl with blocking wires along the top edge, down the center “spine”, and through the points. The finished size is just right to sit comfortably and stay on the shoulders without a lot of fiddling.

Forest Canopy Shawl Blocking detail
Blocking Detail


Details:

Pattern: Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, by Susan Pierce Lawrence
Yarn: Handspun BFL, Antigua colorway, fingering wt, approx 375 yds
Needles: US5/3.75mm, KnitPicks Options circs
Gauge: n/a
Started: Late-September 2007
Completed: 12/9/2007, and it only took that long because I set this aside for about six weeks
Finished Size: 56”w x 26”

All in all, another quick fun knit! Now, I’m embracing my inner hummingbird, and making the most of my sort attention span with some very entertaining small projects. The sweaters are languishing, unloved right now. But, Oh yes, I’ve already started something else.

I received my copy of Terri Shea’s Selbuvotter last week, and it’s wonderful! I’m going to have to start wearing mittens, I tell you, since I want to knit so many of these. Flipping through the patterns, I found one that immediately made me think of this guy

Grindley
My Sister's dog Grindley on the ferry in Everglades City, FL

With Plenty of Ultra Alpaca in the stash, I started this last night

Dog Mittens RH started
Selbuvotter, Annemor #4

My sister is getting mittens for Xmas.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cleite Shawl Done!

Cleite Shawl Done

I started spinning last Friday night and finished knitting this Friday night. A new land speed record!

The Yarn

Spun from the November fiber in Wooly Wonka’s Exotic Fiber club, a lovely soft chocolate alpaca, a 2-ply ranging from heavy laceweight to fingering weight. Yes, I could have spun more evenly, but I don’t regret it for a second, I wanted to spin something and I wanted to finish it Now!

Cleite Shawl - running out of yarn
After the third time through Chart 2, I started to worry

I did come up a little bit short on yardage compared to the pattern specs which were for a much thinner laceweight. As a loose knitter though, on the same US3’s called for, I ended up with a nice size shoulder shawl, just a bit larger than Mim’s.

The Pattern

The Cleite Shawl pattern is currently only released to the fiber club. Keep an eye on MimKnits as she posted that she’s working on a full size version for her pattern shop.

Cleite - Texture

The shawl is a triangular shape, worked from the center-neck down. The lace patterns form what look like feathers or spear-heads – appropriate I suppose for the Amazon Cleite’s journey to the Trojan War. Though it looks fairly complex, the lace was quite straightforward, with an easy repeat across each row that had a nice regular quality. So, it knit up fast. Don’t let my knitting friends tell you otherwise, I am really not a fast knitter. I have to take lots of breaks for my hand and arm, but I do have stubborn determination.

Cleite - Blocking
Wet blocked, using blocking wires on snap-together foam flooring blocks

Help with blocking the Cleite Shawl
As soon as the pins came out, Ivy offered to help

As Miriam says in the pattern instructions, the scalloped edge is formed by the decreases and YO’s in the last rows so that a knitted on edging is not required. She also notes it is perfect for handspun as you can bind off when you run out of yarn. Which I did. I was only six rows short of finishing the last repeat of the second chart, so I had made it past the last decreases for the spear tips, with enough rows of eyelets after to get a nice pointy finished edge. Knit again in a finer yarn, I would love to place some beads at each of the points before binding off.

Cleite - scalloped edge detail

The Shawl

Sturdy yet soft. Lacy yet warm. Scarf size for a little coziness at the neck and shoulders.

Cleite - Edge detail

Details

Yarn: Handspun alpaca from Wooly Wonka, 2-ply lace to fingering weight, 286+ yards, spun on the Lendrum DT, fast flyer
Needles: Addi Lace, US3/3.25mm
Pattern: Cleite Shawl, MimKnits
Started: November 23, 2007
Completed: November 30, 2007
Finished Size: 46” across, 22” deep


Thank You Anne and Miriam!