Friday, August 14, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two At A Time

I have two shawls on the needles. This is probably a good idea since one of them is Shipwreck and I'm on the mesh section. Each round takes about 10 yards of yarn. I'm randomly placing the 5,000 (!!) beads across these 56 rounds. That's about 85 beads per round. Currently I have about 2,000 beads strung, so every so often I have to stretch out at least 10 yards and slide the beads down. Needless to say, it's not going very quickly. I'm using Knit Picks bare and will dye the shawl when it's finished. Quite an adventure, this one.
The Flower Basket is moving along quickly. I don't always get a repeat finished every day, but it's still growing at a good pace.
Vogue Knitting now has a preview, called VK 360 that has video of all the patterns in the current issue. It's fantastic! I'm hoping that the other magazines, especially IK and Rowan, will follow this trend. There are so many times I've wanted to see the garment move, see it from another angle, or check out the drape of the fabric. They could lose the music though! Maybe audio of the designer describing the design? I'd love that!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Yarn Shopping

We had a fabulous time in Martha's Vineyard when we went for a sunny (amazing!!!) July weekend. One of the many highlights was visiting the Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm booth at the farmer's market. I bought some beautiful sock yarn, it was hard to choose. Can't wait to get some of it on my needles. I also bought some worsted from Mermaid Farm. Gorgeous brown, lots of lanolin to keep my hands soft. I'm thinking that it will make a nice pair of mittens and hat for me. Over the 4th we were in NYC and I slipped into Knitty City for a fiber break. Love that store. The people are so nice and the yarn selection is fabulous. I picked up some Shibui sock yarn which I love. It was such a pleasure to knit with when I made a pair of Cloverleaf Lace mitts as a gift that I wanted some for myself. I also got a skein of Malabrigo sock, which I haven't tried yet, and an absolutely gorgeous skein of madelinetosh pure silk lace. It feels like water in your hands. My skein (1,000 yds.) is in the sequoia colorway, red. Haven't decided on a pattern yet, it's going to be amazing.
Currently I'm fighting off a bad case of startitis. Almost finished with the Boyfriend socks and I won't start another pair of socks until they are off the needles. Two shawls are in progress, Shipwreck (I'm at the bead stage and it's brutal) and a Flower Basket that I'm making as a gift. My friend Barb put us up last weekend for our 35th(!!) high school reunion. She has a beautiful garden, so I thought the FB would be appropriate. Thinking of adding colored beads to the "baskets" of the final row. Beads in every basket would be too much but I think a few at the bottom of the shawl will add some interest and just a little weight. And, I'm using some yarn from my stash!! I bought the yarn (Misti Alpaca Lace) for Hanami! The Yarn Basket had it on sale. $11.50 for a shawl is okay by me. Can't wait to cast on.
Another rainy day here in Maine, time to knit.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blocking Mats!

I finally broke down and bought some blocking mats. Knit Picks came out with their own brand and I love them. I ordered two sets, there are nine 12" squares to a set. They were easy to use and I think it will speed up the drying time. And I didn't even have to drag out the vacuum cleaner! My Bee Fields shawl had seemed to have shrunk a bit so I reblocked it today. I'll be sure that it is thoroughly dry before taking it off the wires this time. Unfortunately, both Gracie and Charlie love the mats and think they make a great scratching surface! The only problem is where to keep them when I'm not using them because they are very bulky. I don't use them that often so they are going to have to be stored in the attic. Since Knitty came out with two fabulous shawl patterns, Shipwreck and Aeolian, I'll be needing a third set!

...Later the same day:
I just discovered another fabulous feature of the blocking mats. I was tripping over the mats and tempted to take to shawl off, probably too early, when I realized that I could tip the hole thing up and lean it against the wall and window! Vertical blocking! I love these things!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Channeling Penelope

Penelope was the daughter of Icarus and the wife of Odysseus. She tricked her suitors by unraveling her father-in-law's shroud each night, after promising to choose one of them when the shroud was finished. So, yesterday I frogged the Clapotis and started the Bird's Nest. After knitting a little less than a skein I came to the realization that I was not going to have enough yarn. Tried to buy more, but Spinning Yarns didn't have the same dye lot. After frogging the Bird's Nest, I browsed through many projects on Ravelry, but didn't find anything that fit what I was looking for and used four skeins. The Clap started looking a lot better. Hey, 276 knitters have used Malabrigo so it can't be that wrong for the pattern. I cast on again. This time I'm feeling very happy with my decision and trying not to think about how I would be halfway through if I hadn't started doubting myself.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

To Frog or Not to Frog, That is the Question

I bought 4 skeins of Malabrigo in Bobby Blue. I cast on for a Clapotis on December 31. I'm now having serious thoughts about the match of yarn and pattern. I was in a rush to cast on before the start of the new year. I know tons of people have done Claps with Malabrigo, but I'm not so sure about how those bars left by the dropped stitch are going to hold up. After reading some Rav posts about this on the Malabrigo Junkies group, I'm even more uncertain. I've just started the second skein, so I'm not even half way through. As an alternative, I'm thinking about the Entrelac Stole from Scarf Style, or the Bird's Nest Shawl from Folk Shawls.
As I research, I'm leaning toward the Bird's Nest. I'd love to learn entrelac, but I don't think I'd like the solidness of the completed fabric. The Bird's Nest will give me some lightness. 346 stitches in a row is a bit daunting, however! Okay, heading off to the frog pond.
On a more positive note, I'm knitting a pair of Pomatomus socks in J. Knits Superwash Me sock, Pueblo colorway. I absolutely love these socks! Can't wait to finish and wear them.
Also started a pair of rpm socks, also from Knitty. I'm using a skein of silk/merino that I dyed with many seacoast knitter friends in September.