Category Archives: lace

Limited Time Only

I’m really bummed out right now. Have you ever seen The Princess Shawl over at Heirloom Knitting? It’s amazing. It’s complex, and beautiful, and challenging. And it (the pattern, I should clarify) is also only available once every five years.

I have been eyeing this pattern for about three years now, before I even really could knit lace. I have been anticipating it’s release, have even set little reminders in my electronic calendar about this pattern.

It’s out now (a few days before I thought it would be even), and probably will be sold out quickly. Unfortunately for me, it’s price is set at twenty pounds (about $40 Cdn), and considering all my financial state, that’s about forty Canadian dollars more than I have to spend on a pattern alone.

I know I probably shouldn’t rant about money woes on a blog, but I have been wanting this pattern literally for years (and you have probably noticed I don’t plan my projects, or pay for patterns very often). So there it is — I’m sad because of a pattern I can’t have.

Well, misery loves company, so they say. So how about anyone who can sympathize with me here leave a comment with the story of your unattainable knits, or send me a link to the pattern/book/kit of your unfulfillable dreams. We’ll commiserate, and maybe if I get enough tales of knitting woe I’ll send someone chocolate.

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Filed under knitting, lace, rambling, ranting

Belatedly Blocked and Blogged

Remember that Shetland Diamond shawl?

I finally blocked it. (Last week, sorry!) And what a difference!

SD shawl - centre
Centre square

SD shawl - edging
Edging

SD shawl - corner
Corner

SD shawl - blocked
The shawl, fully blocked, hung up on my bookcase for scale. I love how airy and see-through it is!

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Filed under FOs, knitting, lace

This? A knitblog?

What with all the self-examination and socialization and fleece-prep and spinning lately, my blog’s title is beginning to run the risk of losing it’s irony. So, just to prove that I do, in fact, still knit, here are some WIPS:

1)The Socks from Fluff(my first pair of handknit socks form handspun wool) are progressing nicely, with one down and another well begun. The first skein ran out, but the second has been spun, plied, and washed. All I need to do now is wind the yarn into a ball, and finish sock #2, and I will have the happiest husband EVER. Yep, this is the stuff of his dreams. Yep, more than anything else I could do (*ahem*) the man yearns for socks. That and for me to learn to make his mom’s apple pie (seriously, she’s some sort of pastry goddess!), but my stubbornness prevails (at least until the day when my desire to have that amazing pie-crust at my whim overcomes my desire to not get involved in the in-laws Traditional Family Christmas Pie-a-thon).

Socks from Fluff - 1 complete
One down…
Socks from Fluff WIP
…one to go!

2) Bayerische sock #1 has miraculously (and somewhat literally) turned a corner: the leg is done (!), the heel has been turned (!!), and the gusset-picking-uping is in progress. Otherwise,this is still a very long-term WIP. Maybe I should join the Slogalong?

Bayerische WIP

3) The unfortunately-named “Magical Earth” shawl (from A Gathering of Lace) is another slogalong candidate. It’s a Shetland-style square shawl, but knit edging-first with the stitches picked up. That’s how it’s written, anyway. Even though I’ve completed 3 pattern reps already, with 44 more to go (!) I’m still tempted to just cast-on the # of sts. instructed to pick up, so as to avoid picking up that many sts. later! I persevere, however, telling myself that after the million or so stitches are picked up it will be smooth sailing as each row decreases towards the shawl’s center. We’ll see. Will I have the thing finished in time for the recipient’s wedding, well, that’s another question altogether… For now, it’s a chance for me to knit lace with Sea Silk that I didn’t have to buy.
Shawl WIP

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Filed under knitting, lace, yarn

Muggle-freaking in the T-dot, and some Spinning

Yarh Harlot Announces Date for Toronto Book Launch!

Indigo at Bay & Bloor (That’s the Manulife Centre)
Friday May 25th
7:00pm

I am so there. Any other Torontonians (or friends from out of town, perhaps?) want to join me? I will definitely be keeping an eye on her blog (& others) for more knitfun to be had that day as well.

* * *

In other news, I’ve been doing some test-spinning.

First up we have the absolutely gorgeous, supersoft and slightly fuzzy mystery pencil roving (from KTE):

lacewight yarn- white

swatch -- laceweight white

I spun it fine on the wheel (only about 1′ of roving) and plied it with the new small spindle, then knit a swatch with 2.75mm bamboo straights. I love it so very much! I contemplated dying the roving before spinning, but am inclined to go with Dru’s suggestion to not touch it since I’d have no clue what I’m doing.

Next there is some troublesome grey/brown merino roving:

grey merino single

grey merino spun single

I do not like how it is spinning at all. There are loads of fuzzy-bits (nepps? noils?) throughout the 1/2lb of roving, which makes it very difficult to draft: it goes too thick with lumps or pulls apart into too-fine lengths. I’ve tried both strips of roving and drafting from the fold, as well. Bizzarely, using the new little spindle supported (i.e. not dropping, just spinning on the floor like a top) I can spin a superfine single, and the fuzz-pills just seem to “fall out” of the thread, but I don’t really want to spin all this stuff that finely.

I did knit a swatch from this above single, though, and it knits up much nicer than I’d thought. It defintily displays a slant (being a single), but is cozy and soft. Should I just spin an ugly yarn and knit it, or does anyone have any advice?

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Filed under drop-spindle, knitting, lace, rambling, spinning, spinning-wheel

FO: Shetland Diamonds Shawl

I’m feeling quite productive these days! There’s been lots of ‘movement’ in the spinning department, but it’s most “nervous knitting”, as I had a job interview today (eep!). Here’s a bit of knitting that’s been “flying under the blogdar,” my Shetland Diamonds Shawl:

Sheltand Diamonds  - on a chair

Not blocked, yet, but all corners grafted and threads woven-in, so that’s “done” in my books!

This shawl was not knit to a pattern, but rather to a shetland-shawl formula garnered from here and there. In essence, all you do is:
1) knit a square, flat (2 needles), using a provisional cast-on. Don’t cast off when your square is done.
2) switching to a circular needle, pick up the stitches from your needle, then an equal # down the one side, then your stiches from the provisional cast-on, then back up the final side; leave stitch markers at each corner. Then you knit a border, increasing every other round with a yarn-over on each side of the corner markers (inc. 2 sts. per corner = inc. 8 sts. total every other round), which keeps making it a square. Again, once you’ve increased the border to as large a square as you like, don’t bind off.
3) knit an edging on to the shawl, going all the way around from one corner back to the beginning. You just cast on the edging provisionally again, then knit one of the body shawl stitches together with one of the edging stitches, every other row, and when you get back to the beginnign you graft the ends together. That’s it — a shawl with no cast-on or bound-off edges, and barely any sewing!

The body/centre square in my shawl is one repeat of the “Faux Russian Stole” pattern in A Gathering of Lace, the border a diamond pattern I charted out myself, and the edging is some diamond pattern I found somewhere (maybe the book? or the internet?) Now I see why people (other people, more organized people than I!) keep knitting project journals & scrapbooks. This shawl was originally planned as a runner-up wedding shawl, but what with moveing in the same week as the wedding and all, it just didn’t happen in the summer, and when I picked it back up again, I ran out of yarn (right at the last corner)! Lucky for me Mel finally got some extra yarn to me, and I was able to quickly knit the final edge.

Shetland Diamonds - close-up

Details
Pattern: a mish-mash Shetland Shawl (see above)
Yarn: jagger Spun Zepher Laceweight, 50% merino/50% tussah silk, white
Needles: 3.75 straights, circulars, and one dpn
Project Timeline: June/July 2006 to April 30, 2007.

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Filed under FOs, knitting, lace