Friday, July 24, 2009

It's Official

I'm on vacation for two weeks.

Posted from the back porch of my favorite pub. Pint of porter close to hand, order of Fish & Chips on the way.

Bliss.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Next Big Thing

... is actually several small things.

Artificially Mythic asked “So, what’s next?”

The second Year of Lace shipment arrived at the end of June, right on schedule. Also due to arrive, more or less on schedule, are four babies I want to knit for. So, I’m using the lace project as an incentive to get through the baby knitting in a timely manner.

First up is a pair of nearly identical hats knit from these yarns:

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IncaAlpacaRed-01

Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, in grey and red. With the baby due in August, when temperatures will be at their hottest for this part of the world, I’m knitting these on the big side, so that they’ll be ready and waiting for cooler months.

Also currently on the needles is a Peach Blossom Baby Jacket, using Berroco Comfort DK and Plymouth Yarns Happy Feet.

ComfortDKBlue

HappyFeetRed-01

This one’s coming right along, just half of a sleeve and the bands to go.

After that will come the Pembroke Vest from Petite Purls. For what I think is only the second time in my knitting career, I’m using the yarn called for in the pattern, although the colorway is different.

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Dream in Color Classy in Sea Fog. Kind of a greenie blue, with some lovely tones.

Last of the baby knits (for now, I swear there’s something in the water around here) is a Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater, which was part of a free seven-pattern e-book from Knitting Daily, out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

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This has a smaller gauge than the pattern calls for, so I may end up knitting the medium pattern to get a small sweater. Only swatching will tell.

Then, and only then, will I allow myself to wind this into a cake.

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Zen Garden Sea Lace
, 70% Superwash Merino and 30% SeaCel... oh the wonder of it!

ZGTyrian-02

Then I’ll cast on for this.

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The Wisteria Garden Shawl, designed by Amy Swenson, one of the founders of the Year of Lace. It’s a lovely triangular shawl with a knitted on border, and I can hardly wait!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Is There A Photographer In The House?

My Ancient Woodlands shawl looks lovely on me, but for now you’re going to have to take my word for it.

I tried to get my husband to take some modeling shots last night, but not a single one of them is good enough to edit, let alone post on the internet for public viewing. I’m going to see if my mom or step-dad can get some decent ones this afternoon.

But, just to tide you over, I do have some obligatory blocking shots.

Mom, I have to thank you once again, from the bottom of my lace-knitting soul, for the blocking wires you gave me. They made the process so much faster than just using pins, and they produced amazing results.

After I soaked the shawl for about half an hour, I rolled it up in a towel and had Joey stand on it. Then we repaired to the spare room, took an end apiece and threaded them onto wires. Pretty soon, we had it stretched out.

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Border

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Center

The cables… oh goodness, I’m in awe of the way Miriam Felton incorporated them into the design. They pull the center of the shawl in and they pop right up off of the fabric.

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And behind them is a series of yarn-overs and decreases, which help keep the rest of the fabric from bunching up around them. Genius, truly genius.

AWBlock-04

Now then, there simply must be someone in this city who can get some decent picture of this shawl! Excuse me, won’t you?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Very Scary Question

The Ancient Woodlands Shawl is off the needles and ready to block. I bound off this morning while drinking coffee and watching the Tour de France. Even unblocked, I must say it’s a rather impressive piece of work, and I’m so excited to get it on the blocking wires this evening I can barely sit still.

My husband asked me a very scary question the other night while I was working on it.

“How many stitches are in that?”

I explained that the shawl is 114 stitches wide, that it was the cables in the middle portions that pulled it in, not any increase in the counts.

“No, I want to know how many stitches are in the whole thing!”

I boggled at him. The whole thing? He wants to do the math and come up with the number of stitches in the whole thing?!? Do I really need to know that?

Quite frankly, I don’t think I do. It's one of those numbers that might haunt my thoughts and keep me up at night.

Although now he’s got me curious…

Friday, July 3, 2009

They Followed Me Home

Time for Show and Tell!

The first thing I found at Black Sheep on Friday was a copy of Heirloom Lace by Sharon Miller. It’s one of those books people mention all the time, full of charts and techniques. It’s a good reference book to go into my library.

Heirloom

That same day I found a skein of Lightweight Mill Ends from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. It’s mostly blues and greens, with some purple thrown in for good measure.

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On Saturday I spent an incredible amount of time dithering at the Tactile Fiber Arts booth. All of their yarns are dyed with natural materials, and the colors are just amazing. I settled on a skein of their merino laceweight called Pomegranate, which is quite a departure for me, as I’ve never worn much red.

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On Sunday, I took my mother to the show with me. I told her the same thing I did last year, “Pick a sock yarn, I’ll knit you the socks.” Then it was her turn for dithering, and she finally decided on a merino/bamboo blend from Wolf Creek Wools.

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Oh look, more lace yarn! ('cause I might not have enough...)

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This is a 2-ply alpaca from Rolly Thompson of Fox Hollow Farm & Fiber. It’s so black you can see blue highlights in it, and it has the most incredible shine to it.

Next was a skein of Cashmara sock yarn, a blend of superwash wool and cashmere. This is even now on its way to a friend as part of a swap package, and I hope she likes it!

Cashmara-02

Finally, the last purchase, the one I agonized over the most and the one I’m most excited about.

TootsLace-01

Four skeins of 60/40 Merino/Angora laceweight from Toots Le Blanc & Co. No dye in this, just blended colors from different animals to get this beautiful grey color. I was fingering a skein of it when the vendor pointed me to a beautiful scarf knitted out of the same yarn. It halos in the most amazing way, and the piece was light as... as... it’s amazing stuff.

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This is destined to become an Orenburg shawl of one type or another, as I think the garter-stitch the style is based on would suit this yarn right down to the ground.

All this, and I stayed within my budget! Granted, I’d been squirreling money away for a year, but still...