Monthly Archives: November 2010

Autumn Leaves, finished

“Autumn Leaves” being my name for my version of the lovely “22 Leaves Shawlette“. (Ravelry link)

Though the leaves here are also about finished for the autumn.

Yesterday’s Saturday Sky sunset.

I did indeed block the “Autumn Leaves” shawl last Tuesday. Then took the shawl off the blocking pads Wednesday. It took a bit longer to photograph the shawl on its own, given Thanksgiving preparations, and even longer to track my shawl model down at the same time that the sun was shining.

But here, for your knit-viewing pleasure, the finished shawl at long last.

It was pretty nippy out. I appreciate my model! (Note, she does work for chocolate.)

A detail of one of the 22 leaves, plus the edging I adapted.

The shawl was delivered to its recipient tonight. She seemed to like it!  I am pleased enough with how it turned out, and with knitting it, that I am considering knitting it again: for myself. And I rarely knit lace projects more than once, Girasole being the only other exception I can think of, right off the bat.  So that is very much a compliment and testimonial to the pattern.

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Oh, and thanks to Judith who was kind enough to wish me a happy birthday yesterday — which was indeed my birthday! I spent it largely knitting and relaxing at home during the day, which was amazing (and rarely happens), and then dinner with my daughters and husband. Today, much of the day was also spent knitting, relaxing, eating brunch with my extended family, and visiting friends (for fun and to deliver presents) — so the birthday celebration went on! Such a deal!

From tonight’s walk on the wild side in the wetlands:

I took a walk expecting to see some November-ish scenes, like this

or this. (As I obviously did.)

Even though the sun wasn’t warm any more, I felt lucky to see some sunset gold, here

and here

and fading pinks here over the bluff.

Moments after that last picture, though, I turned around to see something amazing. But…I’m going to save it for next Eye Candy Friday. This post is quite long enough, and stunning pictures are few and far between in late November!

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November Walk Eye Candy Friday

A sunny though brisk November day, after a mild fall. The dusting of snow we got yesterday has melted. But winter is looming. The sun no longer gets high in the sky, at our Northern latitudes.

(the above picture was not long after noon)

Still, the birds were busy in the short day’s sunshine. I saw a number: wrens, finches, these black flocking birds that I have never identified, and a chilly robin.

Not color-enhanced, the sky really is that blue today.

The garden is mostly shades of grey and brown, but there’s still a little color in it.

It is November, though. Soon, all will be asleep, under a comforter of snow, and dreaming of next spring.

Ever the Optimist

Blocking this weekend?

I am so optimistic. Remind me how knitted-on edgings mean, even for a small edging like this, say, 12 to 18 stitches knit for each one of the original shawl to bind off.

I am actually on the last few rows, but knowing full well that blocking is not the work of a moment… I don’t think I’ll be blocking tonight. Work does comes quite early in the morning.

By the way, I like Lanafactrix’s suggestion: Bold Edging for the edging! You’ll see the shawl — with its edging — in its fully blocked glory soon; I think I’ll be blocking Tuesday.

Last Roses of November

I took this picture almost two weeks ago, but the miniature roses next to the (heated) garage are still hanging in there, to my surprise.

I think next week’s 20-degree highs and 10-degree lows will put them to bed, however.

The Way Less Knitted

Your votes were pretty decisive. And, fortunately for me, were in favor of what I rather wanted to do anyway. Always a good thing!

The 22 Leaves Shawlette, seen here tonight with 5 rows to go

22 leaves, 5 rows left

will have a knitted border. However, not the plain garter stitch border as shown in the pattern. It just has too little pizzazz, and I have doubts about it blocking out the way that I want it to.

Thus, I am going to add this small lace border from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

lace edging

except without the faggoting (the part at the top). It’s called “Bold-Faggoted Edging”. So without the Bold Faggoting….I guess it’s “Edging”?

Depending on knitting time, this should be blocking this weekend if not before!

One Million Ravelers!

Early this morning, the one millionth account was created at Ravelry.

I know I am largely preaching to the choir here, as many of you are already aware of the wonders of Ravelry.  But truly, this website is astounding.  An ever-growing database of patterns for knitting and crocheting, yes, with all pertinent info, reviews, links, notations of errata, even the availability for designers to store patterns for purchase or free download on Ravelry itself (and thus the instant availability for me).  But also a database of yarn and designers.  And, for me just as important,  a community of crocheters and knitters and spinners from all over the world who share a passion for their craft.  I have met some of you who read my blog, with the help of Ravelry.  I have met others entirely through Ravelry, such as this lovely group from San Antonio, meeting me in the Houston airport with my Ravelry username on display

Here-to-meet-CathyCake!

(Excuse the blurry picture, I was laughing)

The website itself has amazing design, with a clean look and ease of use that other sites and forums can only yearn after.  (Ravelry is up against Facebook and Twitter for “Community Site of the Year” in .net magazine’s annual “Best of the Web” .net awards, to be announced November 19.)

The only beef I have with Ravelry?  Now my queue (list of things I want to knit) is ginormous, and ever-lengthening!  And every day, I see more lovely things….

A chance glance is how I found one of my latest projects, the 22 leaves shawlette (Ravelry link — of course!) that I showed you last weekend.

22 leaves shawlette, half done

It’s further along than this: I have only about 10 rows to go, though the rows are getting long, in the way of triangle shawls.  And I have another knitting project this weekend, so may not make much progress on this.

And, speaking of choices, I have one to make shortly on this project, and am very indecisive.  The shawlette pattern gives two choices for the edge: a crocheted cast off or a knitted cast-off.

Here’s an example of the first:

2010.09.20. 22-leaves shawlette, finished 031

and of the second:

22leaves_5

(Best picture I could find: more people have done the crocheted bind-off, and of those who have done the knitted bind-off, most don’t have Flickr pics I could show you.)

I am leaning towards the crocheted cast-off for its lacier look: but the downside is that I don’t really crochet (though I would get better at it! and I can do a chain stitch, which is the majority of the cast-off, interspersed with single crochet).  It also would take less yarn, because the knitted cast-off calls for 8 additional rows of knitting (two of lace, six of garter stitch), compared to the crochet chains; and less yarn is getting to be a consideration.  I don’t think I’m going to run out, but I’m watching it.  (I do have a second skein, but being hand-dyed, it may be a bit different in color, so I would like not to have to use it.)

Normally, though, given a choice between crochet and knit: well, I’m a knitter!

Just to confuse the issue, other knitters with my same orientation have done what I have done other times and come up with their own knitted cast-off here and here.  (More Ravelry links. Again. Of course.) I like them both, though I’m deciding if I really truly like the look of the first balanced against the entire shawl.  And the second would definitely take more yarn and a lot more time.

What’s a knitter to do? Advice?

Four Shawls and Two Socks

It’s a gorgeous weekend here, at least for early November (we could have had snow by now), and I may need to go out for a walk in a bit.  Today looks like yesterday did

maybe a little cloudier, though warmer.

But I thought I’d first show you that I have been knitting, during my blog quietness (this being due mostly to work, and a bit of travel).

This isn’t everything by any means, of course!

But: currently I am on a shawl kick, having begun the lovely 22 Leaves Shawlette (Ravelry link) for an acquaintance who recently lost her mother:

(who said prayer shawls have to be boring knitting? By the way, the yarn is Sanguine Gryphon’s Skinny Bugga! in Cowkiller colorway (it’s an insect…).)

and also a shawl of my own design with my usual addiction, Twisted yarn.

The yarn is Arial yarn base (a fine superwash merino 2-ply) in Angst Evolution colorway, with coordinating yarns Drama (blue) and Mope (brown) (the original colorway was named by a preteen….).  I will continue the 2-row stripes for a while more until I run out of the slow color-change yarn  — seen better here:

and then I will add a knitted-on edging in blue.

Finished shawls since I last showed you knitting, are two shawls that went off to new owners:

The first, a special birthday present for a friend celebrating a special birthday: someone who likes warm colors but also wears a lot of black.

(this is me, not Kathe, but I did see her wearing it, and looking stunning!)

This is a modified version of the Annis shawl from knitty.  I modified for the yarn weight and yardage I had, and also left out the nupps (not because of anti-nupp prejudice, but because the nupps would have changed the rate of color change on those rows, which I did not want).  The yarn is Twisted Kabam! in the Ember colorway, one of my favorites.

Overall view:

Lastly, a shawl for a friend going through even more of a life-changing and stressful time than a ‘special’ birthday: yes, more of my Twisted yarn (it is my special yarn for special people.  Including myself, I guess.)  For Lisa, the Tsarina of Tsocks:

A soft hug shawl in merino-silk Muse, in Lagoon colorway: also one of my very favorites.

Here in close-up, and here on the recipient, who graciously took modeled pictures (since I had none) and let me use them.

This is modified slightly from the very cool Bermuda Scarf pattern by Ilga Leja.  It is suitable for any yarn weight; for my vision of this yarn (hills rather than waves), I took out the scalloped edges of the original and free-formed a bit.  (But you should see it in a self-striping or faster color-change yarn, too, in the original form; follow the link to check it out.)

I got to see both Lisa and Kathe, plus another knitting friend, Nancy, during a recent trip to New York City!

Here, my photo from the plane on approach, showing you the gorgeous pre-hurricane weather we had.

Would you believe that I’d never been?  At least, I’d never gotten to stay there: I’d only been through the city on my way elsewhere (and stopped at Kathe’s place for a couple hours once en route).  I had a big meeting there in early September, and delightfully enough, my husband could join me for a couple days around his birthday, and Kathe and her husband put us up the day after my meeting ended.

Before that, I got to walk around Manhattan with Kathe, and eat sushi with my knitterly friends.

(I didn’t ask K about putting her on the blog, so I shall restrain myself from posting her picture…especially the post-sake pictures.  Which I instigated, truth be told.)

Lisa gave me some gorgeous handspun to play with, and I promptly started….a shawl.

(Ooops, the title should be five shawls, I guess!  I barely started this one, though, which is Anjou, and then goofed up on the plane so put it aside.  It’s beauteous, though: the fiber is Spunky Eclectic merino/silk, in the Rhubarb colorway.  (But as dyed on the silk and spun up by Lisa, it reminds me of apple blossoms.)

I could tell you oh, so much more about my wonderful trip to New York, but that would be several posts in itself, so I will stop and finish up with one more FO.

I knit on this in New York, as I have been off and on since this spring….and finally subsequently finished socks for my mother, in another Twisted colorway, Vintage (also in Kabam!, a great sock yarn, being a superwash merino/bamboo/nylon blend).

Pattern is Circle Socks (Ravelry link), a free pattern by Anne Campbell.  These are very fun, and a great pattern for self-striping yarn!

Proof of two socks.  No Second Sock Syndrome this time.

(Not entirely coincidentally, Anne is a talented knitter closely related to the talented dyer of the sock yarn!  As in, her mother.  The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree!)

Whew!  I am sure that’s not all I’ve knit since I last posted knitting, but it’s what comes to mind.  Enough for one post, anyway!