April 06, 2008

Completed :: Leaf Lace Scarf

Leaf Lace Scarf.jpg

I love scarves. I love living in a place where our winters require lightweight accessories and no bulky outerwear. And most of you already know that I adore green. So when I saw this color of Malabrigo merino laceweight on Spritely Goods, I had to have it. Although several knits distracted me from finishing this scarf as quickly as I would have liked, I devoted myself to it completely in the last week and finished it the day of my root canal.

In the past, I've started several other BIG lace projects only to make mistakes and get frustrated. This leaf pattern was something I could manage while watching television or when sneaking in some early morning knitting time.

And then there's dreamy red laceweight yarn:

Alpaca with a Twist - Fino - Ruby Slippers
Alpaca with a Twist, Fino: "Ruby Slippers"

While it seems this soft red yarn could easily distract me (once again), I've instead rescued another lace project from hibernation. So to satisfy some tactile desires, I did nothing more than wind the red yarn and swatch with it. Now it will sit for a while until I find the perfect pattern.

Before I close, I also wanted to share this cute little accessory bag from Splityarn:

Splityarn Toadstools

It's adorable and functional. I'm using it to carry stitch markers:

blue and green stitch markers from Funessa
Stitch Markers from Funessa

February 04, 2007

Kimono Shawl Notes & Progress

I've gone from swatching to actually starting the Kimono Shawl. I'm having better results with straight needles and I'm much happier with how the lace pattern knits up on smaller needles:


Here's the earlier swatch -- knit on Size 5 circular needles:


I used a cable cast-on for the shawl and I like it much better than the long-tail cast on for this. I'm learning how incredibly different it is to knit with 100% silk both in how the silk has no 'stretch' (i.e. "memory") and the fact that it probably can't be bossed around like wool (and wool blends) can. I've also learned that I shouldn't wet-block 100% silk. Therefore, unless my logic is wrong, I should be considering as I knit this shawl that the lace will end up looking much like it does on the needles. If it's looking too loose and open, it's just going to get MORE loose and open with steam-blocking and wear.

This won't be a "fast" knit for me. I'm already facing having to re-knit a row where I dropped a YO. (Yes, Lauri, I'll start using lifelines!)

For an excellent tutorial on chart-reading and getting comfortable knitting charted lace patterns, look no further than Sara's "Beginning Lace" handout (.pdf). I know now I should have gotten a bit more comfortable with some good lace-knitting habits before casting on for this shawl and I'm going to stop and work on my skills a bit. It's just an area of deficiency for me and knitting lace is not something I should be doing to challenge my inherent "winging it" nature.

January 31, 2007

Kimono Shawl Swatch

I've been working on finishing some small surprises, and while I am in the process of finishing (felting) them, I've started a swatch for my Kimono Shawl


I started the swatch with Size 5 Clover Bamboo Circulars and halfway through, I switched to Crystal Palace Size 5 straight needles (borrowed from my daughter! HA)

I think I prefer knitting lace patterns on straight needles. However, after knitting the swatch and measuring, I'm trying a smaller needle; I purchased extra-long Size 4 Clover bamboo needles to try. It's been a bit odd adjusting to knitting silk after knitting a lot of wool. It's different . . . but I love it so far.

I've also finished the first of my Donyale socks.


Some people can knit a sock a day; I consider one sock in a week my personal best. It's a great pattern - textural and simple and fits my foot beautifully. I also found my new favorite toe-grafting instructions here.

And thanks to either being in my 40's or knitting a lot of socks (or perhaps both), I had to get these last week.

December 18, 2006

Future Knits - Cheryl Oberle Kimono Shawl

I've been intending to post this for over a month now and haven't had a chance, but blogging the phantom project list reminded me that I needed to do an entry for this future project. Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls book is one of the first knitting books I purchased because I loved the Kimono Shawl pattern so much. I was a much less experienced knitter then and although I know that I don't yet have the skill (or patience) to knit even half of the shawls in this book, I might be able to do this one:

Kimono Shawl - Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls

Henry's Attic Cascade 100% Silk

Since I really wanted to use the hard-to-locate yarn specified in her pattern, I wasn't pushing this to the top of my "To Knit" list. However, I noticed that Spritely Goods carried other Henry's Attic products and Stephanie, the wonderful proprietor of Spritely Goods, notes on her site that she is sometimes willing to accomodate special requests. And, in my case, she did. (Thank you, Stephanie). The 100% yarn is amazing. I love the way the shawl in the photo drapes and seems to have movement, so there was no question I wanted a natural color 100% silk, although I fully intend to try other yarns with the same pattern (since I'm not one to knit only one of something anyway).

Check out some Kimono Shawls on Flickr

I'm recovering from a cold and feeling a little "off," and yet I'm oddly motivated to tackle a lot of unfinished business. I'm sure that my blogging over the next several days will reflect that.