The Knitting Never Stops

Wow, where did May go? This month just flew by…

Thank you Anita and Rhonda (and all others) for your comments (and compliments – blush)! It’s really great to know that I’m not just talking to myself here :1).

Rhonda, I totally agree that my Mystery Lace photo looks like a “nether region cover”. In fact, on the group’s message board, one lady was scanning the finished Clue 1 pictures and her daughter walked by and asked her why she was looking at g-strings on the internet! Too funny. As to knitted lace g-strings, I do have a pattern for one from one of last year’s Interweave Knits issues. BadgerDan thanks you for your suggestion and consideration, but thinks that although very pretty, it isn’t really worth my effort to knit as it would probably get damaged beyond repair and spend most of it’s time on the floor (wink).

As for sleep – let’s just say that I’m a bit of a night owl and leave it at that. :1)

I promised you some finished objects this post, so with no further ado…

Mystic Light Shawl - complete

Mystic Light is DONE! (Bet you didn’t expect that, did you?)

Pattern: Mystic Light by Anna Dalvi
Yarn: Austermann Step, Colour 01
Needles: 3.75mm Addi Turbos/4mm Addi Turbos (Clue 3 onward)
Beads: #6 Miyuki Glass Beads, 6-142S (Silver-lined Berry colour) 2 vials [applied with 1mm crochet hook]

Baby Surprise Jacket - complete

My first BSJ too!!!

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (1968 Original Pattern as reprinted in The Opinionated Knitter)
Needles: 3.5mm Brittany Straights
Yarn: Sirdar Baby Bamboo (Taupe, Olive, Cream)
Buttons: Glazed Terra-Cotta from Sweaterkits

I have to re-knit the collar as the i-cord is way too tight (my bad). I’m just going to pick up and do a few rows of garter stitch instead to match the button band.

Note: The original recipient of the jacket will have outgrown it by the time it would get to him. So this one is going into the “hope chest” and he’ll be receiving a nice crocheted hemp sunhat instead. What do I know about growing babies? Apparently not sizing.

Sunny Scalloped Dishcloth

Sunny Scalloped Dishcloth

Pattern: Scallop Pattern Dishcloth #009 by Love 2 Knit Dishcloths
Needles: 3.25mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Creamsicle/Hot Orange

This is the Weekly Cloth from last week. Had a little fun framing out the centre pattern with the solid using intarsia. Just a little note – the pattern doesn’t include the border stitches, so remember to add them.

Naturally Purled Eyelets Cloth

Naturally Purled Eyelets Dishcloth

Pattern: 2008 May Mid-Month Dishcloth (Monthly Dishcloth KAL) by Sue Schaefer for Harvest Moon Designs
Needles: 3.25mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Natural Ombre

I made this cloth quite a bit smaller (by 12 sts in fact) than the original and using smaller needles. My finished cloth is about 6″ square. No pattern link for this one unfortunately.

Simple S'mores Sock #1 Simple S'mores Socks - Sock 1 Done

Finished the first Simple S’mores Sock yesterday. I used a caramel-coloured stash 3-ply for the heel and 3″ 2×2 cuff (doubled for heel, single for cuff). Stopped at 6″ for the leg as I thought that was plenty (plus I was really bored with the stockingette). Fits very well, but the heel IS a little squared off.

Secret of Bad Nauheim - Clue 5

This green alpaca blob is what a 6′ long stole looks like with 852 border stitches picked up around it on a 32″ circular needle. Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole is well on its way to completion with only 38 border rows to go. I may just make my self-imposed June deadline!

I received my Irish yarn swap package from CelticMemory the other day – Squee!!!

Stash Swap Swag

From the top:

50/50 Silk/Cashmere, Natural Heathered Tweed (280m) [I totally have to make a summer top with this]
90/10 Merino/Nylon “Mousse” laceweight , in Teal and Olive (200m each) [I would call this a baby boucle]

And OMG!

Celtic Memory Merino Tencel

A skein of her OWN HANDDYED MERINO TENCEL!!!! She calls this colourway “Deep Sea” and it is sooooo pretty! This is actually my first merino/tencel sock yarn. Way too nice for socks though – destined for a lace scarf, maybe some beads…

Thank you so very much Jo. Now we need the Irish postal system to hurry it up so everyone can see what I’ve sent YOU!

A little more stash enhancement has been going on:

Araucania Ranco Multi

Araucania Ranco Multi Sock Yarn – “Peacock” and “Kaleidoscope”

As you can plainly see, I have been spending so much time at the shop lately that the yarn fumes have been getting to me again. (You do NOT want to see how much I have put aside in the back…my poor paycheque!)

The local Value Village had a half-price sale on Monday, so naturally I had to check it out. No Lopi for my blanket, but I did find this:

The Knitting Machine

The Knitting Machine from Mattel Canada (circa 1970s) for the whopping price of $2.50.

How could I resist that?

It’s a plastic circular knitting machine complete with instruction manual. Unfortunately too small for doing socks (only 32 pins), the patterns are mostly for little puffs that you sew together to make things. Typically tacky. I don’t DO puffs. I’m going to experiment a little and maybe see what comes of it – thinking wine bags might work.

On a different note, ya’ll might remember that Worldwide Knit in Public Day is coming up on June 14th. Also, quite coincidently it falls on our beloved Yarn Harlot‘s birthday this year – her 40th (by her own admission). Let’s make it one for her to remember and really help out those in need around the world by making a donation to Knitters without Borders. Every little bit helps, especially with current world events being what they are.

For the locals, she and Rachel H. have cooked up a big event at Lettuce Knit and are flying Franklin Habit up from Chicago to take shots for his 1000 Knitters Project. (PS – check out his forthcoming first book.)

Guys, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a little camera shy. I just have those reflective eyes that look possessed in every dang picture and it bugs me to no end, not to mention my hair has a mind of it’s own.

However, for my beloved Franklin I will make the exception. Yep – I am going to be one of the 1000 Knitters!!!!! So if you want to see my mug, it’ll be there for all posterity. :1)

I’m totally chuffed (and BadgerDan is so proud, he’s telling everyone I’m going to take part in an international art project).

For now, though, I have to get back to the border on the blob.

When Everything Seems to Click

Happy Victoria Day everyone! (or May “2-4” to all my fellow Canucks) Raise a glass to Spring!

BadgerDan and I have been having a wonderful holiday (even if we both had to work a yesterday). We went out for a very nice dinner last night followed by tea/coffee at the local Chapters/Starbucks. Normally a pretty expensive trip as we are both foodies and bibliophiles ;1). It was great and I was a good girl and only picked up a couple of books:

The Oracle by William Broad

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author describes how a team of scientists, working from subtle clues scattered throughout the ancient literature, as well as from the latest findings in geology, uncovered scientific evidence to explain the Oracle of Delphi”s powers.

Looks like a fabulous summer read. And another one for the knitting library:

2 at a time socks

Preparation for next year’s Sock Madness competition. By the end of the “Summer of Socks”, I should have this little technique down to a science!

(Talking of science, BadgerDan didn’t leave unscathed either, a brand new biography of Albert Einstein now lays beside his computer.)

Woke up to him in the kitchen making breakfast for the both of us. Weird, it’s almost feels like real life around here! I’ll pinch myself a little later.

I’ve been pretty busy trying to catch up on things and progress certainly has been made.

On the crochet front:

Flower Burst Square

Pattern: Flower Burst Square by Chris Simon
Hook: 5mm
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 023 Amethyst/005 Raven

This is the May Square for my Sampler Afghan as part of the 2008 12″ Crochet Block-a-Month CAL.

The Manly Square

Pattern: The Manly Square by Donna Audirsch
Hook: 5mm
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 004 Charcoal/005 Raven

I thought that using “Charcoal” for the “Manly” square was pretty appropriate as we head into BBQ season :1). Also pretty typical – the pattern ate quite a bit (of yarn), hence the double border of black. This is my 5th filler square for the afghan.

Last week’s dishcloth:

Vortex 5 dishcloth

Pattern: Vortex (5) by Rebecca Hudson
Needles: 4mm DPNs, 5.5mm for cast-on, 6mm for bind off
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Landscape/Natural

Neat pattern. BadgerDan, being the technogeek that he is, said “hey, it’s a fractal!” Think I’ll use up some scraps in bright colours paired with a black background next time. I’m also thinking “felted bag” with this one. It’s not like there’s a lack of felting wool around here :1).

Lace-wise, we have:

Secret of Bad Nauheim

Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole - 2 pattern rpts

Two full pattern repeats done – only 1 more to go to the edging.

Mystic Light

Mystic Light Shawl - Clue 1 Redo Complete Mystic Light Shawl - Clue 1 redo closeup

Clue 1 completely re-knitted with the new beads and looking great.

Mystery Lace

Mystery Lace - Clue 1 redo

After much anticipation (and controversy which I won’t get into here), Clue 1 for the Mystery Lace Stole was re-issued and I took the opportunity to switch to the 2-colour (green/white) option as I had the yarn in my stash and smaller (2.75mm) needles. This is the same “Cilantro Melange” Misti Alpaca Lace that I used on my Bayou Sunset Socks .

Slow Bee Mystery I

Slow Bee Mystery Shawl I - Row 22 Complete

The first clue was released for SBM1 and since I was on a roll, decided to dive right in. This one is a fully beaded Faerose-style shawl (read “huge”) like my Halloween Mystery Shawl. The instructions said to use an “icy” yarn, so I’m using Misti Alpaca Handpainted Lace in “A Thousand Lakes” and silver (sterling?) beads, which is about as cool as I get. The photo is 22 rows into Clue 1.

Keeping up with all these CALs/KALs is a bit of work, but it IS fun and entertaining to see what comes next!

TTFN.

Published in: on May 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm  Comments (2)  
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Movers, Spinners, Sparklies and Swag

Okay guys, here’s the scoop: we’re moving to BC!!!!! BadgerDan has scored himself a position with a company just outside of Vancouver and needless to say were totally excited!

I’ve been packing like a fiend in anticipation, even though we don’t have a date yet – it’ll be within the next couple of months. Hence, the lack of blogging, for which I apologize.

On the project front:

Cosmic Ripples Socks - Complete Cosmic Ripples Socks - Sock #2

The Cosmic Ripples socks are done and are incredibly cute with the beads. The second sock came out much better than the first one, even if it took a little longer to do.

I finished the first sock of the Sock Madness Round 6 pattern:

Pele's Party Socks - Sock 1 Complete Pele's Party Socks - Cuff Detail

“Pele’s Party Socks”
Pattern: Godmother’s Socks By Deborah Swift of MountainMom Designs
Yarn: Koigu KPM Handdyed Semi-Solids, Colour 1110 (50g skein – 160m); Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock, Origin Colourway (32g)
Needles: 2.25mm KnitPicks Circs, 2.75mm DPNs for cuff

I beaded the cuff on this pair as well, using #6 glass beads in various coordinating colours and a 1mm crochet hook. I’m just beading everything these days…

The true colours just aren’t coming through in the picture – much richer lava reds on the foot and royal purple in the cuff. I was going for an erupting volcano look. Took a little more of the cuff yarn than expected and I’ll have to cheat a little on the leg of sock #2. Not a big deal – it’s a foldover cuff and won’t show too much.

I’m holding off on knitting socks until next month with the start up of the 52 Pair Plunge II (June 1st) and the Summer of Socks 2008 (June 30th).

I’ve signed up for both and a couple of new sock KAL groups (Six Sox KAL, Townsend Socks KAL) in preparation, not that I’ll be running out of patterns any time soon.

In the meantime, I’m trying to finish off a couple of neglected lace projects before the new wave of Mystery Shawl KAL clues come my way. After a bit of thought, I decided it would be sheer lunacy on my part to start my Secret of Bad Nauheim stole over again since I was so far into it. It has 1.25 pattern repeats done now, with another 1.75 to go before picking up for the edging. Hoping to have it finished before next week so that I can tackle the rest of the Mystic Light shawl.

Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole

Here’s last week’s dishcloth:

Diagonal Ripple Dishcloth

Pattern: Diagonal Ripple Dishcloth by Leanne Cooper
Needles: 4mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Prints, Summer Print

Yet again, another one I should have made in a solid colour. When will I learn?

I may skip most of the 1st pattern releases of the month for the Monthly Dishcloth KAL because I’m just not too much into the pictoral dishcloth thing. The 2nd patterns are a textural pattern which are more to my personal taste. There are always exceptions though :1)

And look what I finally brought home:

My Wee Spinning Wheel

YEEE!!! My first wheel!!!! We’re pretty sure it’s a circa 1970s Kromski – ain’t it cute?

And remember I mentioned an additional item that I picked up on my trip to Gemini Fibres? Well here it is:

Forrester Orifice Hook

A handmade orifice hook by Thomas C. Forrester (in Imbuya wood)! It was the only thing I was missing for the wheel (which even came with 4 extra bobbins!) and matches it almost exactly. This I could afford to splurge on. :1)

Oh, and the worsted weight undyed silk? My friend Ruth pounced on it for her weaving and traded me a brand new Schacht Hi-Lo drop spindle which can be used either as a top whorl or bottom whorl. I love versatility and since I’m a bit of a beginner this will be ideal. (Psst!!! She also has Ladybug Wheels – pass it on!!)

A little bit of stash enhancement has been going on:

Swag from The Loopy Ewe

I was a very bad girl over on The Loopy Ewe‘s website – I blame Sheri and all of her virtual sock yarn fumes.

They are –
Top: Schafer Anne – Morrison (OMG!!! I can’t stop petting this one)
L-R: Duet Skinny Sock Yarn – Afton Manor; Zen String Lotus Toes (Sport) – Mount Monadnock; Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock – Edgewater; Louet Gems – Fern Green

Yep – sock yarn fumes, definitely.

I have a new friend Celtic Memory over in County Cork, Ireland who’s traded me this gorgeous aubergine fingering weight alpaca for some Addi Turbos and Blue Sky Patterns that are tough to get over there.

Aubergine Fingering Wt Alpaca

She had a whole CONE of it – can you imagine? This is what I’m going to use for my forthcoming Mystic Meadows shawl – it’s going to be fabulous!

I’ve also sent her out a Canadian care package which I’ll share with you once I know she’s received it – I want it to be a little bit of a surprise.

[She just got back from her vacation to Crete with some great photos (go take a gander at the local shepherd). Just don’t cross her dog Muffy the Yarnslayer – adorable, but what she does to cashmere will make you weep.]

Last, but not least, look what I picked up today at the local antique market:

Antique Needlework Magazines

These are antique “Needlecraft” magazines/newsletters (they’re each the size of a newspaper) from 1917-1919. A lot of really nice patterns for crocheted and knitted lace. A steal at $5 a piece on sale. They have come to a very appreciative home.

Okay, I think I’ve got ya’ll up to date now. With any luck, I’ll have a few more completed items to show you pretty soon.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fighting with Footwear

Hi guys! Gosh, where has the time gone? Okay, let me get you up to speed.

Sock Madness Round 5 kicked my butt. As expected, my division (Tennessee Twisted Knitters) filled up first and when I saw that there was only 1 spot left and I had the better part of a whole sock left to do, I called it and went to bed (this was at around 4am on Monday, April 28th, less than 24 hrs into the round). I am very proud to say that I made it to the final 24. (BadgerDan told me that I was still #1 in his eyes and when I woke up later, he had left me some yarn money on the coffee table – hands off, ladies, he’s mine and I’m keeping him!)

I put them down for a bit, but I should finish them in the next day or so:

Cosmic Ripples Socks - 55% Cosmic Ripples Sock - Close up

“Cosmic Ripples” Socks
Pattern: Hippy Ripply Retro Socks by Helen Darmara
Needles: 2.25mm KnitPicks Classic Circular 32″ (Magic loop)
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino Sock, Cosmic Dawn

Goofed up a bit on the heel (japanese short-row) and since I was out of the main competition anyway, decided to re-do the cuff – this time with beads!

Cosmic Ripples Sock - Beaded Cuff (down) Cosmic Ripples Sock - Beaded Cuff (up)

With the competition and pulling a lot more than my usual hours at the shop, needless to say I’ve been a bit on the tuckered out side. Tuesday, it was all I could do to work on my Simple S’mores Socks:

Simple S'mores Socks - 25%

I had planned on doing a “forethought” heel, then went ahead with an “peasant/afterthought” heel. I pulled it out WAY too early, so finally put the stitches on waste yarn until I get further into the leg.

The dishcloth assignment for last week kind of threw me for a loop:

Argosy Dishtowel

Pattern: Argosy Dishcloth by Vyvyan Neel
Needles: 4mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Summer Twist

It’s huge! 14″ x 11″! Dude, that’s not a dishcloth – that’s a towel! I will give allowances, because it is based on a scarf pattern. Fair warning – only 13″ of yarn left when I finished. I’m going to add a crocheted tab and button to make it a hanging towel.

Wednesday, in a fit of pique, I decided to remove the amber beads from my Mystic Light Shawl as they were imperceptible on the yarn. In the process, a glass shard accidentally cut the yarn, forcing another re-knit. I took this as an opportunity to change out the beads to a silver lined lavender and to bead every SK2PO and it’s looking great! Haven’t gotten too far back in, but as I have all the clues now, the shawl should move pretty fast.

Mystic Light Shawl - Take 3

After seeing some of the other Secret of Bad Nauheim shawls on Ravelry, I’m going to re-start that one too and make it to Moni’s original specs.

Hopefully, I can get these two and Mystic Waters done before the summer lace KALs really ramp up in June.

THE CARNIVALE DU PRINTEMPS SOCKS ARE FINALLY DONE!!!!!!

Carnivale Du Printemps Socks - Complete Carnivale Du Printemps Socks - Complete (Side view)

Pattern: Gentleman’s Sock with Lozenge Pattern from “Knitting Vintage Socks” by Nancy Bush
(highly modified by me)
Needles: 2mm DPNs
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock – Watercolours, some stash sock yarn in Heathered Purple colour

Carnivale du Printemps Socks - top detail

After 2 whole months of frogging and do-overs, I can’t tell you how happy I am that these are off of my needles and onto my feet!

Sock Madness released the Optional Round on Thursday. This one we are allowed to play with a little, just as long as there is at least one pattern repeat on the leg. Cool. We all know how I cannot leave well enough alone. I began it as a toe-up Cat Bordhi version in JaWoll, but ripped it back as I (yet again) somehow messed up the heel. Went stash diving and will begin again, this time as a top-down and will do a neat technique on the instep. I want to finish my Cosmic Ripples first.

After this pair, it’s Round 6 being released on Friday. These are the lace cuff pair that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I’m breaking my own rule of green for this round and am going purple with some leftover Fleece Artist Merino Sock in “Origin” (from my Lughnasadh shawl) and the contrast wool from the Carnivale socks, this time doubled for strength.

I have a few other wonderful things to share, but I’ll wait until my next post as this one is getting a little long and I have (an incredibly huge amount of) knitting to catch up on.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 6, 2008 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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