Tag Archives: lace

Leafy Eye Candy Friday

With the recent weather (though we missed the worst of it up here, it’s still frigid now), it’s a good time to stay inside.  And knit.

And look at the sun shining on the plants I’m plant-sitting, and pretend spring is almost here.

And Thus Endeth Another Oktoberfest Week

Last Saturday, near the beginning of Oktoberfest here, the day of the big (BIG!) Maple Leaf Parade:

Cool and cloudy, as you can see, with a north wind.

Luckily, the threatened rain held off for the parade (both girl-children were accompanying friends actually in the parade, and multiple kids I know were in the marching bands), and the sun broke through later.

I was working (so had a good excuse for not going to one of the (seemingly) world’s longest parades with the highest proportion of drunk spectators at 10 am….)  The RockStar’s boyfriend (yes, I’m afraid it’s all too true) told us that they put grilles in the bells of the tubas for parades because people throw things in them; but the school doesn’t have enough money for each tuba to have a grille, so they put them just in the outside tubas (hoping for bad aim or people taking the easy shots, I guess).  Isn’t that sad?

Really busy week at work, and what with extra kid stuff going on (as in the Gothlet taking extra tap lessons from Ted Levy (YouTube link, because what else, for tap?) who is in town, working with the artistic director of  our dance studio), RockStar volleyball

, my father’s birthday, the usual dance/church/etc.,

I have not much as far as current events to show you.   And I have yet to catch up with some just-past events.  Soon!  Knitting is slowed down by my left thumb issues, but immobilization in a rigid brace seems to be helping the pain, so there is hope.

However, I guess this is as good a time as any to show you the garter stitch project I started and finished while in Chicago, though, so I can show you at least something in between Saturday Skies.  Here I am working on it:

This is the Victorian Shoulderette by Sivia Harding, a garter lace small shawl with shoulder shaping.  It’s an elegantly simple pattern: just enough nice detail, shaping in the right spots, and not too fussy. (And no purling, what’s more!)

This gorgeous yarn, Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter in colorway 137, (careful, drool does bad things to keyboards, I find)

transforms it into simply elegant, I think!

Hey, here’s the Chicago Saturday Sky over the McCormick Place (convention center), which I was looking at while knitting at that table.

And the end result.

Below, before blocking:

and after….

Things I learned from this project (and random other notes):

I achieved stitch gauge perfectly, but believe the yarn I used was rather heavier than the yarn called for.  The pattern row gauge was given after blocking, so I didn’t pay so much attention to it.

Usually, with lace, you use a disproportionately larger needle than the yarn calls for.  I liked the look before blocking fine; the eyelet holes were fairly open, etc.  BUT the drape wasn’t there, and the shoulder shaping, as you can perhaps (or not) see (well, compare it to the picture at the pattern link) had nothing to do with where my shoulders were — which was the fault of my row gauge.  So I blocked it out to achieve a lovely drape:  but now I don’t like the edging as well (it’s fine, but I really loved the original edging as it was) and the transition at the neckline got a bit funky.  Fortunately, blocking lace is not a permanent commitment!  I can easily reblock and will (when I get around to it….), by pinning out at the transition between the body of the shawl and the edging rather than at the very edge, then just coaxing the edging into shape so it looks more like it originally did.  Next time:  I hope I would pay more attention to the fabric drape that I wanted, and size up the needle even if the project ended up slightly bigger (since it’s a small shawl in any case).  The project shouldn’t have needed heavy blocking, being garter lace.

Also due to the (over)blocking: now that I have it on and see how it fits, I would smooth out the transition from front edging to neck rather than pinning it out.  Oops!

The pattern had several small typos and one “huh?” which I put up on my Ravelry page when I uploaded the project.  (The “huh?”, at least for me, was that the main lace pattern was charted in the common way, with right side rows being read right to left in the direction you knit them [and the chart looks like the knitting looks]; but the edging pattern was written with the right side rows reading left to right, opposite the direction of knitting, and opposite the first chart, so rather mind-bending, though being mildly dyslexic has its advantages…)

Within a day, the designer herself had commented and by two days later, corrections were up on her website.  (I had meant to email her before I blogged it, anyway, but assumed these were known, since I had bought the pattern in April of this year at a yarn shop, so I hardly was the first to knit it.  But I wanted to put the typos/chart direction change up in case others were confused by the same things, since there was no mention of them on the other 41 completed Ravelry projects.  Obviously others are as capable of figuring things out as I am, but newer knitters may not be.  [It would never have occurred to me as a new knitter, especially pre-internet as I was then, that a pattern could be in error.  I would always have assumed it was me….]  Of course, if those 41 prior knitters hadn’t used charts, that would explain the lack of mention of typos….

Anyway, just another example of the power of Rav.  And a note in case someone who reads this has an older copy of the pattern and hasn’t checked for errata (and reads charts, which of course is the ideal way to go for lace, pardon my preaching!).

What else did I learn?  This yarn was a bit tricky, being two yarns (a silk single ply and a strand of glitter) that were not plied together, just wound up together.  But Addi Lace needles worked pretty well to manage it.  It was less resilient than a wool blend would have been (may have contributed to row gauge issues and drape, also).   I do want to knit this pattern again.  I think I will use a nice wool blend for a look more like the pattern, while cherishing my elegant shoulder shawl, which I have christened “Pearls on my Shoulders”, because this yarn in this colorway reminds me of pearl colors:  luminous cream, pinks, pale greys.  On a fine gold chain, apparently!

I also learned that it is very hard to take a (good) picture of a shoulder shawl oneself.

Going on to other things….!

Last weekend, I received some wonderful things in the mail from knitter-blogger-talented people.  I can’t wait to share (that is, show and tell!).  But I have not managed to get a picture of my spoils during daylight hours.  (I could have today, but forgot.)  So that was an awesome start to my busy week, but I will reveal all when I can show you.

This weekend was busy again.  More work yesterday, and the official last day of Oktoberfest.  My long-suffering husband took the girls down to the festgrounds to the rides (I don’t care for rides, or huge crowds of drunk people, though I do like the brats; this year, though, is the first time I just haven’t made it to Oktoberfest).  When I went to work yesterday, it was foggy and very chilly, just above freezing:

Here’s before and after work pictures of a skyway at work, with Oktoberfest sign.

A garage sale also happened yesterday, which my parents graciously hosted, with my aunt’s assistance; but I brought over outgrown kid clothes/cold weather stuff (which they sold for me, thanks, you guys!) and then Ihelped out for a bit after work, plus with the ever-important clean-up.  This post is getting long, so I’ll wait till another time to show you something knit-related my aunt brought to show us.

Then today was spent ministering to a sick RockStar (just an icky cold virus — no singing for her, though), singing & rehearsing at church, ferrying a busy Gothlet, going to the local orchard stand and getting apples for apple crisp (we’re trying Lura Red, they tasted good at the stand), plus the Gothlet picked out a pumpkin she can barely lift.  And a bit of slow knitting-with-hand-brace.

Whoof.  Busy week.  And this next two weeks, my colleague at work is gone, so I’m basically solo.  So I’m not thinking it’s going to quiet down….till Rhinebeck!

You will hear from me now and again, promise, but scattershot.  Besides, the relatively glacial pace of knitting progress to show you, and one stealth project I can’t show you, hinders my knit-blogging.  Though I can always show you pretty pictures from the last few weeks!  Like this:

or this!

Happy Oktoberfest!

Singin’ those Forest Canopy Blues

Not because I’m unhappy–

but because my Forest Canopy is now blue!

Here’s your regulation blocking shot:

(just for Cookie, the dimensions are 68 inches by 36 inches; definitely no Icarus! but substantially bigger than the original Forest Canopy shoulder shawl)

and another Preteen modeling shot.

(She may be 12, for a bit longer, but she’s 5 feet 4 inches, so makes a good model when I can get her to acquiesce. Sometimes…. )

It’s not quite as vivid a blue as it looks in some of these pictures; the photo below is perhaps a little more accurate. A little.

The green stripes certainly don’t stick out any more!

Though, in the light, you can see the green, but it’s subtle. It looks almost peacock-like, in a way.

So, here’s the story.

Being lazy efficient in my actions, I did not block the shawl first as so many of you very sagely advised me to do. I pinned it out firmly as if it were blocked, in one area, and still saw only green stripes.

Right about then, I got an email from ISE 6, looking for angels for a few people who had never received scarves. I have three scarves on the needles right now, including the one you saw the other day, which is going fast when I let myself work on it. So I volunteered.

The person I got assigned to ‘angel’ is a crocheter, who however loves knit items. She admitted in her questionnaire to a longing for lace, and in fact shyly asked for a lace shawl if there was any chance of such a thing. Her favorite colors are jewel blues and purples, and she doesn’t like too much variegation.

K. I don’t QUITE need to be hit with a bolt of lightning to get it! Let’s see — should I overdye the lace shawl that I’m about to cast off, overdye it blue as I was fretting and fussing about doing anyway, and make someone who’s been waiting way too long for their swap scarf, very happy? Or should I knit a scarf from (almost) scratch that won’t, given the interests of time, be a lace scarf or shawl? Remembering that Forest Canopy was started primarily to use up this raffle prize yarn, and keep Nora company, and had no designated recipient (it was probably going to be for me, but Wendy’s Kay’s shawl is DEFINITELY (I think) going to be for me, so how many shawls do I need?)

So, decision made. I dyed it perhaps more of a jewel sapphire blue than I otherwise would have (I otherwise probably would have re-overdyed it with a bit more green or black to tone it down a bit; I did put in a bit of purple with the sapphire blue); had to do Jennifer‘s cat p— trick (read halfway down in the link to find out more!) to get the excess dye out, then stay up way late last night blocking; but I think and hope it will be just what the jewel-tone lace-loving scarf-lacking swapper will like.

Now to find a couple other treats to send her, but that’s the easy part.

Boy, am I happy to have that decision made, and the shawl all done! Not all blues are sad blues, you know — and the blues are one of my favorite things to play and sing.  Get out that big dreadnought guitar, a nice low key like A, and I’m good.

Here’s to singin’ the blues!

L is for (Seasons of) Lace

For my L entry for the ABC-Along, I wanted to celebrate the loveliness of Lace, as well as mention a new KAL for all Seasons, Seasons of Lace.

(If you click over and are intrigued, I think you can still sign up today! But there is anticipated to be a Winter of Lace, also . . . yet now is the Summer of our Lace Content!)

So why did I sign up for this AND Summer of Socks? Me, who doesn’t consider herself much of a joiner?

Well — in the summer, I figure I’m knitting Lace and socks anyway! Sometimes both together:

(The Preteen’s Fern Lace sock which I designed and made last summer.)

Too hot to knit anything much heavier.

I have Nora‘s Lace-along projects to happily work away at: Forest Canopy,

which has progressed minimally, and Wendy‘s Diamonds and Purls,

which saw a lot of progress in Chicago but not so much since (derailed by Hypnosis socks briefly!).

Fortunately, for Seasons of Lace, the rules say this:

Projects that are started before June 21 are still eligible to enter the Raffle Classes as long as they’re less than half finished on June 21, and they are worked on and finished before the end of the the Summer of Lace.

So these projects ‘count’ as Summer of Lace projects (assuming I finish them before September 23rd! Groucho voice here: “I soitanly hope so!”). Which means I could win a random prize or a judged prize for them, potentially.

Those should keep me busy, along with finishing Hypnosis sock #2

(wrist knitting-itis is doing much better), and frogging and restarting the meeting sock.

(Summer of Socks socks need to be totally knit between today and September 1st. The Meeting Sock will count since it will be totally redone.)

Then, what next? So many things I want to do! So many socks, so much beautiful lace!

(I supposed I could finish the Mystery Stole 3…..

It’s so lovely, it deserves to be finished, even though it’s (a little) more than half done and doesn’t qualify for Summer of Lace. Or I also started the MS3 in cream laceweight, barely, very pretty, that could happen. A Ravelry group just started for “UFOlympics“: (Ravelry link) Instead of a knitting challenge, finishing UFOs while watching the Olympics! Either of my MS3 shawls could qualify! (Let’s not even talk about the socks!)

But I want to start something new, whine, whine, after I finish the above projects (FC is fine, but basic; Diamonds and Purls is fun, and I’m plotting beads for the edging, Wendy said I could, so that will be exciting — definitely not burned out — but still not in the mood to go back to MS3 after I finish them). So maybe I will join UFOlympics but start something new in the Lace realm when I finish the above two Lace projects.

It’s hard to believe I never knit any significant Lace until starting Mystery Stole 3 last June. I’m certainly addicted now.

It’s looking like a favorable forecast for a lovely Summer of Lace!