Thursday, December 18, 2008

Xmas Presents's how many days before Christmas and how many hand-made items are there?

well, there's one. The Icequeen.
icequeen ms h

I used Crystal Palace Merino in a light blue and blue seed beads. Easy pattern, I might have to make another one for another one of my friends...

Started December 14 2008
Completed December 15 2008
Needle US 5 / 3.75 mm & US 7 / 4.5 mm
Yarn Crystal Palace Yarns Kid Merino
0.9 skeins = 216.0 yards (197.5m)
Colorway 4681
beads #6 seed beads (I didn't count)

oh, the recipient is Z's kindergarten teacher. She's getting a gift card for Borders and this. I hope she likes it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My first Fair Isle

Have I mentioned my son is totally into Star Wars? Yeah, I must have. Anyway, I made him this:

star wars hat

On the bottom, it says " MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU" and since I had to do many calculations since I changed from DK to worsted weight, and then I have a 5 year old w/ a big head (remember emergency c-section), I put a little Ty fighter after that. And on top are AT-AT and AT-ST. On the top he wanted a Death Star.

star wars hat top Cast on 105 stitches.

Started November 20 2008
Completed November 24 2008
size 2 needles (to get gauge)
yarn: woolease since that's one of the only ones I found that carried 2 colors of grey.

Now I've got to make one for myself. I don't think I'll do the Star Wars version. There's a very nice filigree pattern I saw on Ravelry that I'll do...yeah, when I have time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


small doily

Whew, 45 rounds, mostly hex mesh and crossed stitches (yes, the crossed stitches are almost all the stitches NOT hex mesh). That's pretty much the doily. And a row full of errors (okay, 2 errors). I had to change up the binding off so that it would like like the original picture.

Started November 21 2008
Completed November 22 2008
thread: Cebelia #20 in ecru
needles: US0 dpns and US1 circs

Mods: corrected what I thought were errors. there's a move marker row that I thought I moved the wrong way. It just didn't look symmetrical. But it blocked out, so I guess I did it correctly.

The other thing I had to do was to rework the chain togethers. What a pain. But it looks pretty nice, don'tcha think?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Estonian Lace and skimpy nupps

Last weekend, I got together with 2 friends in my part of town and had some tea, and to do some knitting. I was asked to bring my yarn winding stuff and so I did.

What a trial that was, the winding I mean. My friend D had a ginormous hank of laceweight yarn. It didn't fit on my GOKO, since that's the only drawback to this amazing swift--it doesn't expand past 56inches. Anyway, good thing I also brought my squirrel cage swift (that's where my ball winder was on). Anyway, it literally took 3 people 2 plus hours to wind that hank. Maybe we were using the squirrel cage incorrectly, but one person had to wind, one person had to push the yarn along, and the 3rd person had to guide the yarn...

But the Estonian Lace. I'd flipped through it briefly when I was at Lacis. But W brought her copy over and I got to spend more time reading it. What a great book. Such lovely patterns. Such unusual stitches...

Anyhow, I knit the Peacock Tail and Leaf scarf:
peacock n leaf
Started November 15 2008
Completed November 19 2008
yarn: Colourmart 100% alpaca 1/16nm doubled (55g used = 490yds)
color: pistachio
needles: US4
size: 14.5in X 52in
pattern mods: I added a few more repeats because I lost track.

About this pattern: I love, adore, will definitely use again, the cast on for this project. It never occurred to me to double the yarn for cast-on. It looks very spiffy. And see all those nupps? Yep, did them all, using non-stretchy alpaca. Altho' you'll see that my nupps aren't plump. I'll have to investigate that further.

peacock n leaf close up

What to knit next? I think Triinu is next. Oh, that alpaca is soft. It's divine.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Dark Side

A bit ago, we (that would be the 'royal we' since it was I) purchased for our son the Lego Star Wars Wii game, and he plays it nonstop. When not playing, he likes to talk about the game...and many of his conversations start with "You know, when Luke (Skywalker)...", at which point, I've been interjecting with "Luke...I'm your father..."

Which he doesn't really get since we haven't let him watch all the Star Wars movies yet (he's 5.75). Yeah, I know, we let him play the game, where the Lego heads go bouncing off, but no, we draw the line at him seeing Carrie Fisher dressed up as a slave girl...

Anyway...what does this have to do with knitting? Well, I have been led back to the dark side...(insert heavy breathing through apparatus). I have been knitting socks. I've knit socks, and I didn't like it one bit. Why would I knit socks when I can purchase them by the pack since I only wear 2 colors of socks anyways--white for the gym and general sneaker wearing and black when I need black socks w/ my Doc Martins.

Well, folks. This is the reason I have ventured to the dark side again.


Are these not the most absolutely cutest clogs ever?! Okay, maybe I'm behind the times as far as clogs go, but these are so sweet. And so comfy. When I saw these, I had to get them. Actually, there was a red pair I really liked, but they didn't have my size. Sadness...

These shoes really do need hand knit socks, so there you go, Bob's your uncle...

Which socks to start with? Well, I got this Regia solid green yarn and was set to knit Biological Clock socks (with DNA up the side). As I started the magic-loop-toe-up-two-at-a-time-figure-8-cast-on, I realized that this is just too dark, and if I'm going to take time to knit wee cables on the sides of my socks, you'd better see them, darn it!

What to do? Toe up socks...did an extensive search and found toe up lace socks in the Fall Knitty. Better yet, it's a free pattern (yay). And it's lace that's interesting (note to self: incorporate that pattern into a scarf).

interlocking leaves socks

So, that's what I've been working on. Oh, these were 2-at-a-time until the heel, then went to dpns and once I got to the leg portion, went back to circs. Since this is a lace pattern, I didn't have to count (which is the main reason I do 2-at-a-time) so I did them as singles. Once I was doing the ribbing, I moved them back together on the same needles so that I don't have to count.

Pattern: Interlocking Leaves from Knitty Fall 2008
Yarn: Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Uni / Solid 4-ply / 4-f├Ądig
Started November 6 2008
Completed November 12 2008

Mods: well, I started knitting Biological clock socks, didn't feel like ripping back, and decreased 1 stitch before starting lace pattern. I didn't make it as long as the pattern specified.

Why no pics of socks in actual shoe? Well, battery died.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

New Anna magazine and Lily of the Valley

While at the Lacis lace knitting group this weekend, I got to check out their wonderful books (including the Estonia book). On my way out, I spied w/ my eyes the new North American Anna Burda magazine. hmmm...

Yep, I came home w/ it. I also decided that this little doily needed to be knit with 100/2 linen thread. (I did mention that there's a gap in my small needles collection and I don't have 0000 circs). So, I pulled out my 000, and got started.

Anna Lily o Valley in progress
The start is on 16 stitches, and I just couldn't do it w/ dpns. So I modified the start by casting on 8 stitches, and the next round, increasing to 16. Pretty easy knit but I did curse the k5tog...okay, not so much except last night, when I was on row 81, only to realize that I missed one of those k5tog back in row 77! From row 77 to 81, it's just stockinette, but there was no way I could drop down and knit that 5 stitches together (oh shoot). I ended up tinking back to row 78 -- yes, that is over 1800 stitches (thank goodness it was all stockinette). Then as I was crochet casting off, I managed to yank ~50 stitches off the needle...yikes. Anyhow, here's the finished blocked item.

Anna Lily o Valley complete

Anna Lily o Valley closeup
As for the 100/2 linen? It has a little wee bit of slub, but that was it (definitely not like thicker linens I've used). I don't think I'll be knitting our kitchen curtains with the 100/2...the thought of 000 needles for curtains (sigh). I think I'll stick w/ the huge thing of 40/2 linen. One thing of note is that the linen thread is much more unforgiving than Cordonnet. You see all that unevenness of the stockinette? Some of that came about in the blocking.

Right after I knit myself a pair of socks (shh...I'm going to knit these. They have DNA on the side).

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My new favorite sweater

Yes. I finally finished my sweater. I've wanted to knit another cardigan for myself for awhile now...But in looking at the finished cardi, well, maybe I should try to knit something a bit different. Yep, all my 3 cardigans I've knit so far pretty much all have the exact same shape! How'd that happen?!

3/4 sleeves....check
scoop neck...check
uhmmm... pretty much the exact same sweater. Oh, well. Did I ever mention that I had 15 black skirts at one time in my closet? So at least the colors...oh, wait, I've knit one green, one haystack, and now one taupe...argh!

Anyway, here' the sweater. (color is much darker than actual)
hey teach finished
pattern: Hey Teach from Knitty
Started August 21 2008
Completed November 1 2008
yarn: Cotton-Ease in taupe
amt used: almost all of 4 balls
needles: US6 Options

Since I've knitted a sweater (leaf) with this yarn, I pretty much knew how to get gauge, and made a size medium (probably should have made it smaller, but I'll get some elastic and put it in the middle band).
Anyway, mods...I opted for the 3/4 sleeves and changed the number of stitches for the button band. I also knit the sweater 1 inch longer than specified.

If I were to knit this again, I'd knit it in the round. And I'd probably knit the whole thing as lace (I may do that anyway). As for problems with the knit, as I mentioned, I picked up and knit the button band, only to look at it after it was cast off that it flared and rippled like crazy (it was also difficult to pick up that many stitches). So I ripped and went back and picked up 63 stitches and it looks much better. I also had to re-cast off the neck region since I was paranoid about it being too tight so instead, it was floppy and again, very ripply (sigh). The pattern? easy to follow, it was just me not checking the row gauge (shhh).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fun Fur?!

I've got a new project commissioned by the Creature. She wants mommy to knit her a Grumpy Old Troll. Here's a pic.

Okay, it looks like this will be a pretty easy knit. But I'm now in search of fun fur. Yep, yellow, and TWO shades of orange fun fur! If you think it can be knit w/ something else, please let me know**. I've got all sorts of yarns, but nothing in these colors (apparently, I don't work in this color palette).

**I really don't want to spend $50 on 'fancy' yarns for this project.

Anyway, I'm going to find the camera and take some pics of projects today.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Bad Me

Is it already November? Bad me. I'll take pics of what I've been working on and will post soon.

Hope all had a great Halloween!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Camel's Back and the straw

I've been plodding away on a rectangular shawl, based on a curtain design from an old Anna magazine.

I received the single ply lace weight camel yarn called gazelle (yes, it's camelhair named gazelle). The color is a little deceiving because it looks redder than it actually is. It turned out to be lovely dark brown yarn. Single ply. I was a little worried about, but I knit a swatch and blocked it and it looked lovely. Absolutely lovely.

I didn't want to do a flowery motif with this chocolaty goodness. I opted for a geometric (PITA) pattern that took me several repeats to finally understand (a 70 row repeat, seriously?!). AND I ended up knitting one end, then picking up and knitting the other end and feared that I knit the world's longest shawl...but it did block out nicely.

After blocking, I noticed that it does look a tad feather and fan, but it's not. And the end bits, man, that makes up for the boring middle part.

The pattern wasn't fraught with errors, but there is one line that did have errors and I pretty much reinvented that line (81) to get the others to work.

zigzag camel shawl

Started September 14 2008
Completed October 8 2008
Yarn: 1/15 laceweight camelhair yarn from Colourmart in gazelle
amt: 990 yds.
needles: Addi lace turbos US3

Cast on- 2 edges, 4 center repeats with 3 stitches on each side for edge (127 stitches total) and the pattern repeat? Well, that would seriously be a 70 stitch repeat. I did 3 on each side and then the edge. Modified row 81 because there were issues (extra stitches that didn't get used up in the edging) -- k,ssk,k9,kf&b,k9,k2tog,YO,k,YO,ssk,k9...

zigzag camel shawl closeup

Friday, September 12, 2008

Erbstullgrund and Lacis lace meeting

This month's meeting at Lacis was without our fearless leader, Mary Frances. But as usual, it was interesting and fun. I got to show off my Lyra and a friend of mine is doing her Lyra with Habu merino -- nice!

I started Estullgrund there and worked on it off and on this week. What fun! I've seriously got to say this is one of the funnest Niebling's I've done--ever. There aren't endless rounds of hex mesh, just enough...a few knit 5 togethers...and yes, even ONE crossed stitch per section.

It would have been done earlier, but I stalled out on the edging region. I could not make heads or tails from the instructions. I figured you needed to do some make1's and that your final stitch count should be 101 stitches, but neither Babelfish nor Google translate was very helpful. I did end up googling this pattern and emailing a knitter that also knit this. I received her notes and voila, edging.

But then tragedy. I realized there's no way I'd have enough to finish the edging. I used a partial ball of thread figuring I'd have enough. No problem. Shortened it and bound off.

Started August 6 2008
Completed August 10 2008
thread: Manuela No. 10 thread
amt: .9 balls
pattern: Burda 908/42 Erbstullgrund
mods: changed the edging by making it smaller

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I actually finished Lyra a couple of days ago. But when I went to look at it preblocking, I realized there were stains on the white cotton. Drats. Double Drats. Anyway, it spent a day in time out, and then another night in oxyclean. As I pinned it out, I realized there are additional stains. I'm not sure how that came to be (am sure it had nothing to do w/ the fact that this was toted EVERYWHERE).

From the closeup, you can see where the binding occurs. Remember, I did not change needles, fuss or muss with the pattern at all. It is knitted as originally written. I didn't even bother changing the needle size at row 113 as per Anna Burda version.

I've got to agree w/ many folks that have knitted this beauty, it's not the most difficult Niebling, but it's quite a fun little knit (altho' I found the leaf edging a pita-- so up to the leaf edging very fun). I opted to knit the square version, but had a heck of a time trying to block it out to the square shape.

Anyway, here's the pic and specs:

lyra square
Patern: Lyra by Herbert Niebling (Anna Burda magazine)
Started August 12 2008
Completed August 31 2008
thread: Cordonnet #100 2.1 balls
needles: 0000dpns 000circs (32in)
mods: none. no needle change, no additional stitch, nada. See, you can see where there's binding. Yes. There is binding when you knit Lyra with thread.

eta: this is much smaller than other folks Lyra since I used #100 thread with 000 needles.

Monday, August 25, 2008

While I was knitting...

Here's the whole excuse story as to why I didn't finish Lyra in time...

Reason 1: I didn't pick up the thread from Lacis because I didn't know how much I needed. Then they didn't have any, and then I had to go to pick it up from their warehouse.

Reason 2: I had to wait for W to open to buy a Wii system for z and a's dad's birthday coming up (okay, it's a present for the whole family). I was told to go at 6 am for them to open at 7am...I did too plop down on the ground and work on Lyra sort of uninterrupted for an hour. ...the nice thing is that I was the only one there, the bad thing was that the electronic dept. manager didn't realize that they were offering it in the flyer for sale, so she sold all her Wii consoles the day before. I did make her call another store who actually knew about the sale, so at 7:15, I raced down there and am now a proud owner of Wii...

Reason 2A: Well, I had to play Wii, didn't I? And it's not like you can knit and, Wii won.

Reason 3: We've got too much junk. So I had a yard sale. See, here's my Lyra on a stack of clothes...the sale was okay.

We unloaded a few baby items, but we've still got tons of stuff left...ack! I've got to have another sale?!

hmmm...what else? well. Life. Kids. all that stuff. Anyway, I'll post again when I'm finished.

Jaunt in the City

hmmm...maybe this is why I didn't finish Lyra in time for closing ceremonies...running around doing all the other stuff.

Anyway, a couple of friends from the Lacis lace knitting group and I met in The City (that's San Francisco for the non-Bay Area folks) for a lovely afternoon on Sunday. We met up at the 16th BART station and took #33 bus to the wonderful knitting store, Imagiknit. What a nice place. You gotta love a place that separates animal fibers from non-animal fibers...

I opted for a cone of deep purple merino lace from Habu. It'll make a lovely shawl.
Then we were off to Samovar, where we were treated (by my friend) with lovely tea and salads. A little knitting got done, but it was just fun hanging with the girls and doing a field trip.
A bit ago, we went to my other friend's home where she made us a lovely lunch and amazing dessert-- we did do a bit of knitting then.
I guess I'm next. Since I have two creatures, I think I'll host at Julie's Tea in Alameda.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ravelympics part II--sadness

No bronze medals were thrown, no refs kicked in the head...nope. I tried really hard, but only managed to round 135 of Lyra. (at least I finished one project). Will post pics/story later.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Knitting Olympics part I

As my Knitting Olympics project, I originally chose Lyra (finally). But when I went to Lacis to pick up the thread, I couldn't figure out how much I needed (since I decided to do it with 100 thread).
hyrna closeup
Anyway, I have been meaning to do Hyrna Herborgar, so that's what I did. I did a little head scratching with one part (not the part that everyone else had), but other than that, it was a easy knit. I now understand why folks knit several of these. Easy and it looks amazing--kinda like swallowtail. I can totally see knitting 1 or 3 more of these...

And fast.

hyrna complete
Started August 8 2008
Completed August 13 2008
yarn: laceweight cashmere in dark red (purchased from a knitter who was destashing from Knitters Review)
needles: US4 KP options
pattern: Hyrna Herborgar

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

Heck, very little knitting got done. But what a fun place for little kids. I grew up in SoCal and went to Disneyland a lot. As we got older, my parents would send us off with $20 bill and that would get us in the park, rides, including the coveted 'E ticket' rides, and even a souvenir if we didn't blow the cash on candy...oh, how times have changed. Wow! Sticker shock. Oh, well, the kids were charmed.

We promised Z that when he learned how to read, we'd take him to Disneyland. Well, he learned last year and is actually quite a proficient reader now (we're doomed) at age 5.5...

His least favorite ride was Space Mountain. Mean parents that we are, we talked him into that ride. We forgot how fast it goes. Both quite liked the Dumbo ride. And little Creature was enthralled by everything, the characters, the rides, and yep, she loved the pirates.

Oh, while down there, it was the start of the Olympics, so I did manage to cast on a shawl. I'll post in the next post.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Weekend wrap up

I forgot, I attended the Lacis lace group this Saturday. There were only 4 of us there that day, but it was fun.

I spent time weaving the ends in for the gift I knit (then promptly forgot to bring it on Saturday night). And I tried to figure out what the heck I did to Trollblume (an extra stitch). Tinked back two rows and then had to decide if I really wanted to tink back one more row -- this would be the round with 2 knit 7 togethers in one section. Oh double drats.

Oh, and Mary Frances showed us her beautiful doily made from the center motif of Lyra. It's done with their tussah silk and it's gorgeous.

Anyway, Jules came by to show their 'new' pattern. Mary Frances has cleaned up Alpenrose! She translated the directions to English. And that missing row? She fixed it. Is she awesome or what?!

AND it's going to be included in the next group of Niebling patterns put out by Lacis...get's supposed to arrive this Wednesday!

So, if you read my blog, walk in an orderly fashion and go place your order.

The party Saturday night? It was a blast. No, literally a blast from the past. My friend had a 80's dance party. It was so much fun. I found a jacket with enourmous shoulder-ma-pads in my closet (from the 80's) to wear. Of course, you know that in order to have this jacket in my closet meant it got moved from my parents home to college (3 residences) to my brothers to grad school (3 residences) back to Cali (2 residences). Oh, my gawd! In my closet. Not in a box, not from the rags pile. From my closet! And I almost wore my short leather jacket with fringe (also in my closet). I think it's time to clean out my closet and do a donation run.

btw, I really like the music of the 80's. I think that decade was the last one where I actually knew the lyrics of the songs. My favorite song? I have so many...too many. What's your favorite 80's song?

Niebling Leaf shawl complete

lena 080208

Here's the finished shawl from a Lena magazine. It's official name is "Rosa romantic", and there's variants in Lavori VIII and it's suggested it's related to Phoenix Palme. A couple of notes on this knit is that it's ginormous. And it would have been even larger had I not modified the last rows of leaves and the edging. The original is 211 rounds and I dropped it down to 198 by shortening the leaves and changing the edging.

Knit-wise, this was pretty simple, but as I mentioned before, you need to twist the twists and purl the purls on the 'rest row', which means no resting row. The yarn is pretty nice. It's Colourmart 100% cashmere. I'm off on vacation tomorrow, but when I get back, I might toss it in a bag and put it in the washer...or not.

Oh, there was binding between leaf set 2 and 3, so I added a hex mesh/section and then took it out toward the end.

Would I recommend this pattern? Well, yes, but I would have something a tad more challenging at the same time. I didn't bother recharting, so I ended up coloring in the leaf motifs. That helped me alot to see the general leaf pattern. And since it's kinda boring, it was a nice little break too.

btw--I originally used a white shirt for modeling this shawl, but it was so large that it looked silly. So I had to go and pull out a lab coat (shh, yes, I own my own lab coats) and use that for showcasing the shawl
lena finished
start: July 13, 2008
finish: August 1, 2008
yarn: US3 and then US4 (when I needed longer needles--should have probably just started w/ US4, but whatever).
pattern: Lena March 2006 Rosa Romantic
mods: to release binding and to make it a tad smaller than given. And changed edging. Also changed crochet loops too.

all I can say is that if it weren't so not an exciting knit, I'd do it again as a tablecloth. Maybe I'll switch it up and do the Lavori VIII one...

My next project was going to be the WRS from Sharon Miller, but with Ravelympics and season of lace and vacation, I might wait--or not.

I might do Hyrna Herborgar with some lovely red cashmere that I've had and knit and ripped twice for two other projects.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thinking about Wedding Ring Shawl

I have been thinking about Sharon Miller's Wedding Ring Shawl. Okay, it started with Princess, but I don't know about the whole triangle thing, and I'm not crazy enough to knit the square version. Then I started thinking about Unst, and isn't that a beauty? And then I was thinking about Wedding Ring Shawl...

Anyway, I'm only on round 170 of the Lena Niebling, so, there's not much to show, except for a sea of green. I do think I'm going to end it sooner than later, since I'm not a huge fan of the edging they used anyway.

Back to the 'next-big-project'. I'm torn. I've now got 3 different cobwebby yarns to be used for the Sharon Miller projects.

What do you all think?
for princess mint sangria dk natural the Mint is actually more green and much less yellow...these are all colourmart yarns.

left to right:

3/84NM 45:55 Cashmere/Silk Cobweb Weight in Mint

1/36NM 55:45 Cashmere/Silk Cobweb Weight in Sangria

1/36NM 55:45 Cashmere/Silk Cobweb Weight in dark natural

Which one to use?

ETA: I guess Sangria is it! Thanks everyone. By the way, Colourmart has more of this color (don't let his color scare you off, it's a deep red, not bright)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I knit this for my young friend who has a 15th birthday coming up this weekend. I never can figure out what to get for her each year, but recently, she's let it be known that she likes panda bears. And you know, it's not like she can have too many pandas. So I looked through my patterns and found the perfect one. It's from Noah's Ark by Alan Dart.

panda 1
I knit him in worsted yarn instead of DK because I didn't want him to be teeny tiny. The pattern can be found in the simply Knitting magazine or his book, Irresistible Toys to Knit.

Date started finished: a week because I was thinking about modifications.

It's actually a very fast knit, it took me a bit because I had to think about how to redo his legs and body so that he's more sitting, and less standing on all fours (like a cow). I wanted him to not be on 4s because well, I normally see sitting pandas.

yarn: acrylics
needle size: US2
mods: Many.

Here's my modifications:
Body: Done in the round because well, I try to do all of Alan Dart's patterns in the round when ever possible.
Head: Done also in the round after the neck part.
Arms: Done in the round. Went with casting on 10 stitches, knit a tube for a bit and then decreasing by k2tog and then thread through and pull. Stuffed and sewed on.
Legs: Done in the round. Cast on 14 stitches, knit 2 rows, increased 2 stitches at stitch 1 and 7, knit a few, decrease again, k row, decrease, knit.

Here's some more shots because he turned out so nicely. btw, that's a lucky bamboo that my mother gave me in the 90's (maybe 1996?).
panda 2 panda 3

panda side

Friday, July 18, 2008

No rest...

I'm knitting Rosa Romantic (aka phoenix Palme) from Lena. I've been meaning to knit it for awhile, and when I was last yarn diving (in my stash), I realized I had this lovely teal cashmere. So, I cast on on July 13. Of course, I haven't finished my other project, trollblume, but I'm at the point of moving my stitches off needles to only knit back and forth,'s sitting idle while I work on this beauty.

This will by my first (and maybe only) circular shawl. I like knitting circles, but I don't like wearing them (kinda like my love/dislike relationship w/ triangles). I guess I'm a rectangular type of gal. But here's the thing about this pattern, there's no rest row. You know, Nieblings have that every other row is a straight knitting row (which I really enjoy as the rounds get longer). However, with this pattern, you have to twist the twist stitches and purl the purl stitches. ouch.

Anyway, here's a progress shot. I'm too lazy to pin it out, so I stuck a book underneath it instead.

Rosa romantic 081808

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Due to a soon-to-expire free ticket, we had a minivacation in Portland this weekend.

Of course, what is my main thought? What knitting to bring? Since we didn't want to check anything, I had to bring a project that would work w/ my Harmonies. So, it would be a doily (0-2needle size) or something that goes with size 4.

I chose to bring my Malabrigo green laceweight that I purchased from Nine Rubies a bit ago. And since one of my friends is turning 40 this next month, I thought I'd knit her something. I went back and forth between Ice Queen and Swallowtail, and then decided that the Malabrigo would be much better as a swallowtail.

Anyway, I cast on the tabby bit and that was it. Printed out the pattern, and put it in the bag.

We dropped the kids off and make it to the airport with plenty of time. Only to find that our flight had been delayed. Not a little bit delayed, but 4 HOURS delayed! Good thing I brought my knitting. 4 hours normally wouldn't be that painful, except for the fact that we boarded our plane at 1:05 AM. Ouch!

Anyway, I was able to get lots of knitting in during that time, and surprisingly, I finished the shawl in 3 days (and vacation too).

Given the amount of time I KIPed, only one person asked me about's my knitting at the Portland Rose Garden.
swallowtail at rose garden

Here's some gorgeous roses.
rose garden

Did I mention this was going to be a short vacation (couldn't leave the kids too long). We were in the city of Portland for a total of 65 hours. And in the time I knit the whole shawl, got to check out Yarnia, where I picked up a cone of purple cotton yarn, and got to check out the Yarn Garden, where I picked up the latest Piecework for the shawl pattern.
Photo0038 This is my yarn being wound off at Yarnia.

Didn't have that much time at the Yarn Garden because we only found it 15 minutes before they closed. And lovely husband was so nice about it since we needed to be at the airport to catch our flight. (Of course the flight was late too, so whatever). I think had I known it was in the same block as my favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Portland, we would have gotten there earlier. By the way, that restaurant would be Jarra's. I went there when I lived in Oregon and we'd make a special trip up there. Of course, that's the restaurant where one of my closest friends said 'Even the vegetables are hot (spicy)'. Man was it fabulous! Then they moved to their present location, and we've been there once (that would be once in the last 12 years?)

To all: I must say I've got a most fabulous husband. He hung out as I checked out my version of heaven at Yarnia -- just imagine wall to wall And he suggested and helped find the Yarn Garden as a stop before leaving Oregon.

The most fabulous killer spicy wings can be found at the Widmere brewery/pub.
best wings ever widmere

As for the project, it's the swallowtail shawl:
finished swallowtail
swallowtail closeup

pattern: Swallowtail Shawl from IK
start: July 9, 2008
finish: July 12, 2008
modifications: I did an extra 2 rows at the end (because I wanted to)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Creature verses Peacock

Several of us from the Lacis lace knitting group decided to knit the Fiddlestick's Peacock Feathers Shawl as a KAL. I got the pattern when I first got into lace knitting and really liked it, but the question was: 'did I really need another triangular shawl?'
peacock join
On Ravelry much later, I found that someone had converted the triangular pattern to a rectangular stole. In fact, 2 knitters had. And it was lovely. So, while my KAL cohorts were off knitting their triangle, I started researching and knitting the stole.

Wow. What a great pattern. I was worried that the repetitiveness of the stole pattern would make my brain numb and make me very frustrated, but it was nice. I'm still not a big fan of pattern #1, but that's just me. But the rest of it just flew off my needles.

I cast on a couple of times because I didn't like the needle size. Casted on a total of 128 stitches provisionally (4 on each edge in garter). I decided to go up to US4 even though previously I'd been using US3 because the peacock's I've seen looked dense, and I'm all about airy. (And after working with #100 thread, Jagger Spun Zephyr feels like worsted).

Flies off the needle, I say, easy pattern to remember (sort of). I opted to add an additional pattern of pattern 5 and then added #6 glass beads to the knit row before crochet cast off (every other stitch). 9 stitches crochet and every 3 stitches (4 on the edge).

Picked up the other side and knit going the other way. Then disaster strikes this weekend. I'm on pattern 6 of the 2nd side when the Creature struck.

I set it down and told her as usual, please don't play with mom's knitting. I went to discuss dinner plans and hear the older child going 'mom. mom.' Not a screaming 'MOM', nope, a 'mom, can you come in here please'

I come back to find this:
wreck peacock 070508

The good news was that Creature did not yank the needles off the stole. The bad news is (and this is all from the 5 year old) that Creature took the ball of yarn and bit it like an apple...several times.

This is probably what my poor ball of yarn saw right before the tragedy.

Anyway, instead of finishing the stole as I planned, I spent about 5 hours trying to untangle, and rewind this mess. And to add to this, I read that the stole took a little more than 4 oz, and I only had 4 oz, so I'm all about trying to salvage this tangled mess. I also found to my horror, that the yarn was broken at the stitch I was working on, and several other places in that tangled mess.

After rewinding, I tinked back and reattached the yarn and finished the stole.

finished peacock 070608


pattern: Fiddlesticks Peacock Feathers shawl

start/finish date: June 24-July 6, 2008

mods: many. Changed from triangle to rectangle, added beads, increased length

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gone to the Fair

Today was a totally fun day. The boy and I dropped the girl off at school and we went to run errands, including a trip the the Farmers Market, where we got some incredible strawberries from my favorite vendor and even some peaches. Then we hung out and picked up A after she's had her nap (the reason she went to school was so that she'd get a nap) to go to the County Fair.

We got there and A and Z each made one of these:
sheep at fair z
sheep at fair Very cool. They had set out some sheered wool and paper and glue and crayons.

We looked at a calf that was born yesterday...we looked at hobbies...and then we went in search of ...

yep. I entered several pieces in the knitting category.

I can honestly say in all the years I've gone to the fair, I've never stepped into this building. It was a little frustrating running around looking at every single display to see if it's one of mine. I had Z looking too. But he was trying to look for my name, and that's difficult in that huge place.

After much running around, I found all my items, and guess what?! I ribboned.

2nd place at county fair 2008

My goldlack shawl won 2nd place. woo hoo.


1st place at county fair 2008

Blue ribbon for Hanalore.

Double woo hoo.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Blood Sweat and Tears for Birch Catkins

I finished my first #100 thread 0000/000 needle project. The knitting wasn't that difficult once I got into it. The trick? Don't switch back and forth between projects. My fingers got used to the thin thread pretty quickly, and it's not like cobweb yarn, that snaps when you look at it. This stuff is pretty tough stuff. But ultra thin thread with similar needles work your hands pretty hard.

catkins finished

So, the trials and tribulations of the Birch doily:

Snippet I:

I had set down the project right after I had first switched over from dpns to circs, and my lovely two year old darling little A (aka Creature), came running over saying 'momma, momma, yarn...' while pointing at her legs. Well, there was nothing there, so I shrugged and she sang me a song.

Anyway, I go back to pick up the knitting, and it's not there. I looked around and found it on the floor with the thread in a jumble. Aha. She had been playing w/ my knitting and the thread got tangled around her legs. (Yes, she had dragged it almost into another room).

Anywhoo. the point to this story? Severalfold.

One. I would switch over to circs as soon as possible. Had I left my 0000 metal dpns on there, the blog entry would be vastly different, and shorter.

Two. Listen to your child, really listen. They're not talking silliness. I promise to be a better mom and listen.

Three. That Cordonnet thread is amazing. That stuff is tough. I'm impressed.

Snippet II:

This form of charting greatly annoys me. Mostly because they use the same symbol for k2tog as Burda does for k2 into 1. That is a pain. And this pattern isn't bundled so you have to read all the way across the chart. Priscilla graciously recharted the pattern and it was awesome. But since the official start date wasn't until this weekend -- it being the 'summer' kal and all, I forged ahead. Anyway, I found a couple of errors/ommissions and since everyone isn't as far ahead as myself, well...anyway, there's a couple of move markers that aren't documented and there's a head scratcher (for me) that I had to knit by pure blind faith -- and given the chart errors, I still did that. There's a bit that might look wonky, but oh well.

Snippet III:

Oh my goodness was it hot this weekend. Whew. It was so hot we all hung out in our basement (it's a high basement Vickie) and I knitted on this doily while the kids played. The only thing is I have got to go find my little string holder because my ball of thread kept rolling around. Good thing it's thread, I'm sure it's going to get a tad less dingy when I actually wash it before blocking.

Snippet IV:

Total rookie manuver (or how I had to rewash and soak the doily). I pinned out the doily with the initial 16 pins, then was going through and pinning the other loops when I realized that mine's not circular. So, made a makeshift compass and drew some circles, then was pinning again. After half of it is done, I'm realizing that the doily is drying out --it's been warm here. I can get it done. Hurry Hurry. Sure.

Well, I went and poked myself w/ a straight pin, but still, plodded ahead. Yep, got a drop of blood on the edge. Shoot. Off came all the pins and back in cold water it goes. (See that little discoloration? yep, blood).
blood on catkins

I've invested in the stainless steel pins, but sometimes, they bend. And I'm finding that I don't have that many left. I started pinning them 2 together to save pins -- man, I'm lazy. Note to self: go check out th pins that Lacis carries.

edited to add:

Snippet V :

As I was posting this doily to my projects page on Ravelry, I noticed that others listed the pattern as personal, and not Herbert Niebling...I did what a good volunteer editor does, I added the pattern and posted a quick message to the board asking folks to link to this pattern instead of 'personal'.

Well, I get back from picking up the kids only to find much badness. I am no longer a member of the Yahoo group. The group got Ravelry-ized, and I think my putting up this doily was the last straw. It is very sad. They have the right to decide who's in and who's out. I did really appreciate all the information and the lovely folks on that board and how helpful everyone was. I do wish everyone there the best.

In the following picture, in the middle, you see that wonky arch, yep that one, right in the middle. Yes. That's row 91.

catkins closeup

Started: June 10, 2008
Finished: June 23, 2008
thread: Cordonnet #100 in white
needles: 0000 dpns, 000 32" circs
modifications: I added 2 extra rows to the edging. Oh, I changed how the doily started too. Using #100 thread, I thought it was too much of a PITA to do the 1->5->10 in 7 rounds.
It blocked out at 23 inches in diameter.