Dryad!

Sep. 17th, 2010 03:21 am
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Wow, nearly a month with no posts? I'm sorry. I know my teeming audience is completely devastated when they don't find a new knitting post from me! (just kidding; every time I make a new knitting post, I lose readers like crazy, to be honest)

But -- here's what's been going on knittingwise since the 26th of August, when I posted about my 31 WIPs.

  • I finished two!
  • I started designing a new sock, which I'll go into more detail about eventually, I'm sure.
  • Test knitting has started on another sock pattern!
  • The delightful V and I have begun knitting school plans. Again, more later.
  • I started the project you'll see a photo of below, Dryad.


I have been filling my time with lots of outings and plans with the delightful V, lovely and fun experiences at my day job, and tonight I did some volunteer teaching at Stitch London, a group I highly recommend if you're ever in London.

When I was working for KnitWitches at Knit Nation back in August, I picked up a skein of Wollmeise lace yarn in colourway Golden Pear. And some coppery beads. I picked these things up in order to knit the Dryad stole by Sivia Harding.

You all know how I love mythical and fairy type creatures, and folk tales, and stuff like that, right? So when you look at that picture, are you as annoyed as I was?

See, a Dryad is a tree spirit, not a water spirit. Now, I'm pretty sure the designer would have done her research on this, so perhaps the blame goes to the photographers and designers at Twist Collective (which is a lovely knitting mag, honest!), who did this whole photoshoot of a routinely willowy model by the sea, or a river or something. Sorry, TC: that's a Naiad you're thinking of. So either somebody got the name wrong in copy or somebody's an idiot. I'm going to go with the latter. Pedantic as I am, I decided that my Dryad would by-damn look like a dryad!

Why did I cast it on tonight? Well, because tomorrow I'm representing the Knitting and Crochet guild at a stitching show, and it's always good to be knitting a stunning piece of lace at these things.

How do you think I'm doing?




The first few rounds of Dryad
The first few rounds of Dryad
This is Wollmeise lace yarn in colourway 'golden pear'. I really like the way the oversized copper kidney bean beads are showing up here. This thing is going to scream 'handwash only' in the loudest knitty voice ever!

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You can find them here. Several people had suggestions, and I've incorporated them into a new .pdf, with a better photograph, better charts, ad more definition. As always, I'd love some feedback.

If you want to knit these and you're a Ravelry member, please queue them and put them into your project page on Ravelry — it would help my designer stats move from '0' to 'more than 0'. :D

(I'm Kniteracy on Ravelry.)
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Razor's Edge Socks!

If you care to, try downloading this to make sure it works? :)
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So, according to various Knitting Luminaries out there, there are two main paths on the Knitting Road, and they are Process and Project. Let me give you some definitions, in case you're not a knitting addict and you've never heard these terms. Knitters, go get yourselves a cup of tea; this won't take long. Better be a fast kettle, actually.

Process Knitters enjoy the journey more than the destination. That is, they love the stitch, the technique, the way a colour looks next to another colour. They're more concerned with learning a new technique than finishing something in time for Auntie Schmoop's birthday. They often have tons of projects on the go, often for the purpose of teaching themselves a new technique or exploring some stitch dictionary they found in the library.

Product Knitters want to finish. While they love knitting as much as their fellow travellers, it's the end product they crave. They'll put other projects aside to finish a special cardigan in time for autumn. They often have only a few projects going at one time, and there are priorities. While they may enjoy knitting that sock on the train, Auntie Schmoop's got to have her lap throw in time, and so that silk/wool blend stays in the handbag when they've got the room to knit the project that's higher up on the priority list.

I am a process knitter. I've cast on a pair of socks just to figure out how a unique rolled cuff was created. I've designed a completely tubular vest for a teddy bear just so I can be assured I know how to cut both armhole and neck steeks. So when I learned how to attach beads to lace using the crochet hook method at Knit Nation, I decided I should make something relatively simple employing beads just to get the knowledge cemented in my head. I did a Ravelry search for socks with beads and found what I was looking for on the Yahoo Groups page for a group I've been a lurker on for years. Below, you'll see photos of the recently-finished (and given away!) Fagoting Rib Socks. "Fagoting" is an embroidery term, also applied to lace knitting. It's a decorative lace achieved by pulling threads away from one another to give a lattice effect.

































Fagoting Rib Socks, Finished, Front

Here are the completed Fagoting Rib Socks. Yes, that's fagoting running down the centre front. :)
Fagoting Rib Socks, Finished, Front
Fagoting Rib Socks, Finished, Sides

I really do love the subtle bead detail. I first started these in a limited edition Cherry Tree Hill colour that I fell in love with, but the CTH, even though it's classed as a 4-ply/fingering/sock weight wool, was just slightly too big for the beads. So I dug around in my stash and found 100g of Opal Solid I'd had lying around since an order from Get Knitted ages ago, and the Opal is considerably smoother and less fluffy than the CTH. Now the CTH is becoming something else, which I'll post about eventually, I'm sure.
Fagoting Rib Socks, Finished, Sides
Fagoting Rib Socks, Finished, Back

And the fagoting up the backs is nice, too. Note the modified Eye of Partridge stitch on the heel flap. Lots of you know that I flit around among several different projects at the same time, because sometimes I just don't want to knit the same old thing again. That's one reason why I almost never do the second sock right after the first: I just have several socks on the go at once, and when I finish one I work on another. Eventually I come around to the mate of an already finished sock, and then I can rejoice because I have a new pair of socks. I don't think it's a bad system. But these socks didn't bore me, not one bit, not even though they're knit from the cuff down, which I usually hate. The ruffled cuff was interesting to make, beading is a new skill for me so I cherished it, even though there aren't many beads on this sock, and the fagoting rib was fast, easy, and wonderful to watch. The modified heel stitch made even the heel flap fun, and the narrowing of the lace pattern on the sock's instep was fun to do as the foot of the sock acquired its shape. We've all got projects we'd like to throw across the room—I couldn't put this one down. It was like a great book. Designer Claudia Tietze did a great job with this.
Fagoting Rib Socks, Finished, Back
Fagoting Rib Socks, Finished, Where They Belong

On V's feet! I'm so glad she was pleased with her birthday present. :) My lovely friend V is younger than me by only a few months, and her birthday was last Friday. These socks were finished in time for me to give them to her the first time I saw her after her birthday, and that was lovely. As many of you know, I am a selfish knitter and I don't give a lot of knitted items away, except once a year to my favourite filk charity, so you might have some idea of what an important friend V is and how much I love her.
Fagoting Rib Socks, Finished, Where They Belong
Process Knitter? You Bet! Spiral Cable Socks!

Sometimes you look at something, and you can't help thinking, "How did she *do* that?" That's what I thought when I saw these socks. And you know what happened next! I cast these on last night and knitted up the toes before class at I Knit London. I was planning to figure out the technique in the dying embers of the knitting group after my students had left, but instead I found myself in no fit state until I got home last night, whereupon it was much simpler. By this morning when I headed to the Royal Festival Hall to have a much-looked-forward-to meeting with my beloved Uppity Ladies, I felt confident. Of course, the marking thread I'd decided to use turned out to be much too dark in the RFH's poor lighting, so I borrowed, first from J and then from Aunty M, brighter marking wool —that's Aunty M's turquoise DK teasing from behind the sock-in-progress here.

So how is it done? Come talk to me in person sometime, and I'll show you. Or run-don't-walk out and get yourself a copy of THINK OUTSIDE THE SOX.
Process Knitter? You Bet! Spiral Cable Socks!
Spiral Cable Socks, from Think Outside the Sox

Here's the photograph of the completed socks from the book. A little more about the book? It's the result of a Knitter's magazine contest, and I've been reading teasers for it for months. I was so interested in this book I actually signed up on the Knitter's web site to find out more about it. They didn't get back to me, but one night a few weeks ago at I Knit London, the delightful but rarely seen these days B comes up to me and says, "Have you seen this book? I really like it, and I think I'm going to buy it, but not tonight, because I don't have the money." I snatched it out of her hands (I recognised the cover) and said, "That's good, because I'm going to buy it!" Whereupon money was exchanged, and we figured out that only one copy of the book had been ordered into IKL. Muahaha! Victory was mine! And the book doesn't disappoint: there's a huge variety of fascinating sock patterns, from the sublime to the ridiculous, in this book. Sometimes a book comes along that really changes the way you think about something, and this one does that. It's not as earth-shattering as Cat Bordhi's New Pathays for Sock Knitters, but it's amazing for its sheer diversity. If you love knitting socks and you can find a copy, run out and get it. I think it was £18.
Spiral Cable Socks, from Think Outside the Sox
Dover Castle Shawl, Getting Dressed

This is a project I haven't blogged about, because again it's a gift for a friend. It's actually been finished for weeks now, but I only got around to blocking it tonight. Blocking takes up space, and there's not always very much space in my house; at the moment, the blocking boards are taking up about 1/3 of our huge kitchen table. Assuming no rain tomorrow (and that's a big assumption!) I'll hang it out on the line in the morning for faster drying.

No, the iPad isn't included for scale. It just happened to be sitting there while I was pinning down the shawl.
Dover Castle Shawl, Getting Dressed
Dover Castle Shawl, Lace Detail

This is Handmaiden Casbah Sock, in the prettiest blue-purple I've ever seen. I could only afford one ball of it, and I started out making something else out of it. But this came out much nicer. The lace pattern is very simple, but particularly in the soft wool/cashmere blend, it feels and looks amazing. And you can't beat Handmaiden's rich colours. I can never get knitting photos perfect: the colour here is actually a lot darker and richer than what you see in the photograph.
Dover Castle Shawl, Lace Detail




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I don't know what it is with me. All my knitting friends talk about getting sucked in to Ravelry, how many friends they've made there, how great it is to have a community of knitters ... and while I've been on Ravelry since October of 2007, I only just passed my 100th post.

Once upon a time, there was a Knitlist. Maybe it's still out there; I don't know. I joined it, and I was relatively active for a little while, but I just couldn't keep it up. I don't think I'm a member of the Knitlist any longer, if it still exists. I'm still a member of the Sock Knitter email list, even though I never read it. I'm also a member of Socken-Kreative, even though I don't speak German, because good patterns are occasionally posted there in English. And I've been a member of the Six Sox Knitalong mailing list for years, but I don't think I've ever made a single post to the mailing list.

I guess I just am not a joiner. Maybe I don't have the kind of time to invest in these things, I don't know. Loads of knitters I love and admire don't think their day has begun if they haven't caught up on Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry, and one lady swears by Lazy, Stupid, and Godless, also on Ravelry.

Nobody knows who I am on Ravelry, except for a few local friends. I changed my Ravelry name yesterday, and I don't think anybody except my little local circle will even have noticed. I use Ravelry mostly to keep track of projects; I actually have a more extensive project notebook than many people who are much more "active" on Ravelry than I am. I pitch Ravelry to my students as a place to learn about patterns and see them knitted up in ways you might not have imagined. But the sense of community other people have found there continues to elude me.

Ravelry and other knitting oriented groups/sites aren't the only places this happens. I love fountain pens, but I only go on the fountain pen network forum to ask questions. While I was once an active member of the internet harp list, I never read the messages any more. I don't even keep up with the wire harp list. I barely read the filk mailing lists most of my UK friends live on. I can just about keep up with LiveJournal, if I filter my reading, and FaceBook is skimmable. I don't actually read my friends list on Dreamwidth: DW is just a home for the Kniteracy blog until I have a better place to put it.

And yet I'm sure I'm a social person. I'm considered talkative, even magnanimous, by most people who know me.

So, OK. If you're a joiner, if you're a member in good standing, if you're invested, tell me how you got that way, and tell me what the difference is between your experience of places like Ravelry and fringey me.

And what was the point of that personal ramble on your knitting blog, Gwen? Well, it's because of what I'm knitting now. It comes from the Six Sox Knitalong, and I feel a little guilty for not, well, knitting along. It's one of the few patterns posted there that's ever completely caught my interest and come around at the right time for me to knit it and enjoy it and do something a bit new (beads) to me at the same time.

Want some pictures? Or-- here's a link to the Ravelry Project Page for these socks. I can now share links from Ravelry, so you should be able to see the page even if you're not a Ravelry member.


Fagoting Rib Sock, Cuff Detail
Fagoting Rib Sock, Cuff Detail
Fagoting Rib Socks, Progress Down Foot
Fagoting Rib Socks, Progress Down Foot

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I've started several simple pairs of socks in preparation for the next MA term, started the patterning on the Celtic Leaves shawl, worked hard, written a lot, and mostly knitted very simple things on the train.

Now though, with the hottest part of the summer hopefully behind us, I'm gearing up for KnitNation, where I'll be helping out at the KnitWitches stall and hopefully getting to attend a few events along the way. It should be fun.

Call me a compulsive project-starter (really, it's OK; I call myself that all the time!), but I want something lacy and silky to be knitting during KnitNation. Which one do you like best?




From left to right:
Two skeins of Handmaiden Sea Silk, 800m total
One skein of Seriously Gorgeous Laceweight Swiss Cashmere and Silk, 1,000m
One skein of Artisan Yarns Ravelry Red silk, 600m, and
One skein of Handmaiden Lace Silk, 600m

Now, since I'm working for KnitWitches, it might be politic for me to work with the Seriously Gorgeous. But it's a dark colour and I'm not feeling it right now, plus the cashmere content will make it less than ideal to knit in a hot exhibit hall. I'm leaning more toward the silk and silk/seacell blends, but tell me what you like best!
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This evening, I finally started making the box pleats for the Celtic Leaves shawl. They are beautiful and quite easy to make, even though they're a little bit ticky, since I have to juggle three parallel needles (and knit three together from all of them at the same time). I'm using Square dpns for the cable needles now, but I might actually switch to wood if I decide to take this project on the bus in the morning.

Amazingly, my 546 stitches will turn into only 186 stitches when I'm done, according to the pattern.

How the box pleats are made:
For the whole of the pleat section, I've been knitting 30 knit stitches and then 30 purl stitches with a border of 15 purl stitches plus three knit stitches with an eyelet at each edge.

So to begin the box pleat row, I first knit three stitches. Then I'm onto the 15 border purl stitches. Ten of these get slipped onto one cable needle, then the next 10 stitches (5p, 5k) get slipped onto another cable needle. These needles are then placed parallel to the LH needle so that the pleat folds properly, and three stitches are knitted together (one from each needle). The next half of the pleat is made exactly the same way except the fold is reversed. It really is like magic! Right now I'm using a 150cm needle for this project. I may actually end up going with a shorter cable for the remainder of the piece, since I won't need all that extra space. Or maybe I won't: having such a long cable will give me a good way to show it off while I'm knitting!

Once I'm done with the box pleat row, there are some setup rows with a garter stitch base, and then I'm into the shawl itself, which is comprised of two edge panels, two cable panels, and a large centre panel. The panels are separated by simple fagoting, but the effect is very nice and open. I suspect the edges of the box pleats will need to be ironed during blocking/dressing to flatten out the cast-on.

The only thing I'm not looking forward to? Knitting another tedious box pleat section, right at the end of this project! That's another 547-stitch Channel Island cast-on, followed by 22 rows of alternating 30 knit and 30 purl stitches. It's not a killer, and it's good train knitting, but it does go on for a bit!

When I'm done with the box pleats, I'll post more photographs.


Box Pleats
Box Pleats
Three box pleats completed, six to go!
Box Pleat Detail
Box Pleat Detail
Aren't they pretty?

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Celtic Leaves Shawl
Celtic Leaves Shawl
This is a pattern from the new issue 17 of The Knitter. There's no picture on the Ravelry link, so I've uploaded this one for your pleasure. :)
Current State of the Laceweight
Current State of the Laceweight
Well, clearly I need some more. But these are the laceweight wools I have where there is actually enough yardage to create the Celtic Leaves thingamahoppy, above. Actually, I only *technically* have enough of one of them: that's the Cherry Tree Hill, the one on the bottom, which measures out to 2,400 yards (that's a mile o' yarn!) The pattern as written calls for 1592m or 1741yds of laceweight wool. Now the fact is, it's pretty easy to shorten a project like this; the base length according to the pattern is 165cm/, or nearly 5.5 ft/1.65 metres long! Now, this length is not too long for the shape of the shawl, since it's rectangular. Ordinary I'm not a huge rectangular shawl fan, but the design here combines a couple of things I really like.



Your mission, dear readers, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me which of the three laceweights above I should use for this pattern.

Bear in mind that the Seriously Gorgeous (the mulberry colour) has only 1,000m/1093yd, and the Wild Fire (earthy rock tones, on top) has only 1097m/1200yd. Only the Cherry Tree Hill has enough yardage to make the whole thing free and clear (with quite a bit left over, actually!), but I'm concerned about the colour variegations -- it's a bright variegate that goes from dark brown/green to bright purple via light blue and some teal-y bits. I'm not sure it would complement the pattern at all.

Because this is a newly released pattern, there are no Ravelry project pages to peruse. In fact, I think it must just have been added, because there's no picture on its Ravelry page, and I'm the only person who has it queued.
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Somebody in one of my knitting classes asked, "How is it you don't get bored, knitting so many socks?" She was referring to the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome, that malady that affects many sock knitters, where when you've finished the first sock, you can't bear to go on to the next one. It's, er, like knitting the same thing twice! I explained that my answer to this age-old problem is that I have about forty gazillion socks on needles at one time. I don't ever have to knit the same sock twice. And sometimes, when I'm done with a sock, I start another sock from a completely different pattern, just to get the previous sock out of my head. I take enough notes and am geeky enough about my Ravelry project pages that I can usually remember changes I've made in this or that bit of the sock.

In fact, these socks were only 1/4 of the way done when I picked them up this week or maybe last week sometime, probably right after I finished the Laminaria. But they proved to be so easy and quick to knit that I just went right on to the second one. I do that sometimes, too.

Anyway, here are some pictures.


Catnip Lace Socks, Finished!
Catnip Lace Socks, Finished!
In all their glory, or camo, whichever you prefer. ;-) This is a design by Wendy Johnson, who wrote the great socks from the toe up book. Her heel construction is actually quite innovative.
Catnip Lace Socks -- Detail of lace on foot
Catnip Lace Socks -- Detail of lace on foot
Although this pattern was quite repetitive, I never did memorise it.
Catnip Lace Sock, Another Look
Catnip Lace Sock, Another Look
It's so nice to have socks that fit and look great, all the time. ;)

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We left the shawl out for about three hours. Took it in just as the light was starting to go. I will be able to wear it to class tomorrow evening, which was my initial goal. :-)


Laminaria, Blocked, point detail
Laminaria, Blocked, point detail
All done. Here, you can see the points, being all pointy and stuff.
Laminaria, Blocked Lace Detail
Laminaria, Blocked Lace Detail
All done. Detail of the blocked lace.

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I block lace projects on playmats-- lots of people do. But when [personal profile] pola_bear was over yesterday, we discovered that my blocking mats weren't large enough to block the Laminaria! Like not even close. I asked around, and actually posted a message on a Ravelry forum for lace knitting. Several people suggested that I block it by folding it in half -- then my mats would be enough, plus the shawl points would match exactly on either side!

So this morning, [profile] filceolaire helped me (I'm having a really bad pain day) move stuff around and place the mats, and I used the yardstick from the blocking wire kit as the foldover piece. Probably I will end up pressing the shawl when it's done, but I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Even though I'd managed to misplace my big tomato of blocking pins, there were 20 in the lace wire kit. Today was, therefore, a great day to learn how to use the kit efficiently. So with only 20 pins and 4 wires, Laminaria is blocking. It should be ready by dusk, which means I'll be able to wear it to class tomorrow night!


Laminaria Shawl, Blockin' In The Wind!
Laminaria Shawl, Blockin' In The Wind!
Here's the shawl, pinned out on the blocking boards, drying in the (semi)sun today. Should be done by dusk, which means I can wear it to class tomorrow night!

Laminaria

Mar. 12th, 2010 12:17 am
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Laminaria, complete but not yet blocked
Laminaria, complete but not yet blocked
Sorry about the blurriness of the photo: I am not comfortable standing on a chair to photograph big things at the moment, so had to just hold the camera up and hope. The edges look ruffly now, but the shawl actually blocks into points.
Detail of primary lace pattern and edging
Detail of primary lace pattern and edging
Including several of those creepy faces that made me want ot knit this in the first place!
Closer detail of edging and creepy faces
Closer detail of edging and creepy faces
They all look a little different. ;-)



Ravelry Project page for this project

Was it hard? No, but I wouldn't have said that about this project even five years ago. In fact, it was dead easy, so easy that I found the patterns extremely easy to memorise. This became train knitting. In fact, I finished the knitting on a train this afternoon and cast off this evening in front of the television. :-)

I suppose if I'd been interested in knitted lace five years ago, I could have got up to speed on lace. But I only really became interested in lace when I first saw Victorian Lace Today. Something about the colours they chose in that book and the realisation that, duh, lace doesn't have to be made out of white cotton or mohair and it's not all about doilies and tablecloths made me change the way I thought about lace. It suddenly became interesting, and I started adding lace to socks, made some simple lace scarves, a blue alpaca neckwarmer. This is my first large scale lace project. I had 629 live stitches on the needle before I was done.

For you experienced lace knitters, yes, Laminaria is a walk in the park. It's very simple, very repetitive, you don't have to think much about the increases.

The plan is to block it tomorrow morning, but I've got to take into account my current state. It might take a while to work up the energy, and it might take a long time to pull the points out, given that I'll have to bend over something. Or I could just wait and get somebody to help me block it at some point in the amorphous future. I definitely want to wear it to class on Monday, though. It is deceptively light, and very warm. In the sunlight, the colour looks like, well, sunlight on grass.
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Laminaria, First Chart
Laminaria, First Chart
Just a few rows into the Star Chart of the Laminaria Shawl, I'm finding the going fairly easy. I'm loving the Estonian star stitches; they really are lovely. And the mohair isn't pissing me off too much yet. Then again, I haven't made any mistakes (that I know of!) yet.....
198 Yards of Heaven, Lace Detail
198 Yards of Heaven, Lace Detail
The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Silk Wool, in bright purple. I'm sending this to the recipient unblocked as it won't stay crisp in the post and she feels confident to block it herself.
198 Yards of Heaven, Finished!
198 Yards of Heaven, Finished!
Well, for a project I thought I was going to finish on Friday night of Van der Filk, this was a fail. Of course, I did have lots of other things to do! I cast it off this afternoon, and here it is unblocked.

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Hi, I'm Gwen, and I am a yarn addict.

(Hi, Gwen!)

That's how all this started, anyway. I was at I Knit London last night to teach my class, and the lovely L let me know that there was Handmaiden Silk in the house. At first, I refused to even get up and look at it, because I worried what would happen.

Well, it's gorgeous. Amazing. The colourways are fabulous. But there's only 650 yards in a skein, and I would be unable to make Dryad without two skeins. At £22.95 a pop, that's much more than my budget (what budget? I'm broke!) currently allows. Then, I had a look at their wool/cashmere sock yarn and was just about lightheaded with yarnlust. L, R, and half the shop were unhelpful; Alpaca Addict pulled me back from the brink and reminded me that in order to be awake and alive to knit, I must also have the money to eat, bless her!

So....I decided that when I got home last night, I'd take a look at the lace yarn I have, assess it for projectworthiness, and satisfy my craving for a new lace project with some of the gorgeous laceweight already in my stash. I know, sounds logical, but if you could have touched this stuff... omgomgomg.

Aaanyway.

The photo that follows is all the lace yarn from my stash that I might want to use in a new project. It includes some 4-ply (the Debbie Bliss, Artisan Ravelry Red Silk and the Duet Sock, and the DT Craft Designs, although the DT is very light) and some standard laceweight (Cherry Tree Hill, Wildfire Fibres, Knitwitches, Knitting Goddess Cashmere), and one that might fall in the middle but is definitely closer to lace in my book (Mind's Eye). I've noted their yardage in the caption to the photograph below. I left out the Malabrigo Lace (in neon green!) I'm using for Heere Be Dragone!, since I am going to finish that one day; heck, I may even take him along to the convention this weekend, though I doubt I'll give him so much as a stroke. I left out several skeins of cobweb lace yarn because I'm just not feeling up to it at the moment. I may have missed some things in the bottom of the WWII US Army footlocker reserved just for sock and lace wool (and maybe from the three plastic bins that serve as the overflow storage for the WWII US Army footlocker reserved just for sock and lace wool....). (What?! Shut up!)

But this is a good enough stack to choose from for now.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook (yes, OK, I may also have an internet problem, but I promise it doesn't get in the way of the knitting: just housework, deadlines, and managing to get out of the house on time, and it has the added bonus of keeping me way up to date on bad American television!), you might have read that I'm looking for a new lace project. I want something repetitive but interesting, stunning if possible. It's not that I'm tired of socks (how could I be? I have something like a dozen pairs on needles!); it's just that sometimes I itch for something different. Well, and when I'm stressed, as I'm stressed about this weekend's convention, I itch to start something new. Starting something makes me feel confident, if that makes any sense.

So take a look at the yarn picture below, if you would please, and then take a look at some of the projects linked to below the cut tag. I'm afraid some of them are Ravelry links. What catches your fancy?


Under Consideration: Lace Wool
Under Consideration: Lace Wool
From the bottom (large white label with lady's face on it), clockwise around and into the middle:

1. Duet Sock Yarn from A Swell Yarn Shop, bought at Socktopus last year; 450 yards. Coordinating heel and toe yarn, but I'm sure I'd find a use for it if I used this for a lace project.

2. Wild Fire Fibres Unicorn Lace, in colourway "Broken Stones". A Christmas gift (2008) from delightful elder stepdaughter who is muchly adept at lace knitting. 1200 yards.

3. Knitwitches Seriously Gorgeous Laceweight Kid, in colourway "Sherbert". Bought at I Knit London sometime last year I think. 1200 metres.

4. Knitting Goddess cashmere lace in colourway "Autumn". I'm hesitant to use this, because it was a gift from Joy when I said I'd design a couple of lace socks for her. Both socks are designed, but the patterns aren't finished and the test socks aren't knitted. 1050 metres.

5. DT Craft Designs hand dyed sock yarn in colourway "Enchanted Glade". A gift from a knitswap from a couple of years ago. Alpaca and nylon, 382 yards.

6. Artisan Yarns Ravelry Red Bright Silk, the last skein they had of it at I Knit Day in September 2009. 600 metres.

7. Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. Bought at John Lewis sale last summer for a very good price, colourway 27015, 500 metres.

8. Mind's Eye Merino Sock Yarn (with portion on needles, leading up to centre). Yes, I started the Hypnosis Sock from Enchanted Sole on this wool, but I'm unhappy with how it's knitting up as a sock and it feels much more lacey to me. So I'll restart Hypnosis in Firelizard (which I should have done to begin with, duh) and rewind this. Bought at Mind's Eye in Cambridge MA on our last trip to the US. 400 yards.

9. (In the centre, partly wound and partly still in the hank—you'll understand why in about 5 seconds) Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace in colourway River Run, bought at I Knit London last year. 2400 yards.



Lace Project Possibilities:
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
I took a lot of unfinished projects on our trip to Ireland. When I realised I'd neglected to bring a jumper or jacket of any kind, I focused on completing this one. It was finished enough to wear by the last day -- when we were in Wales and it was hot! Ironic, yes?

Btw, if you're interested in seeing Ireland photographs, check this recent LJ entry for Flickr links.


Lace Cocoon, Getting Blocked
Lace Cocoon, Getting Blocked
I finished this on our trip to Ireland, and did the armhole edgings last night and this afternoon. Today I washed it and pin-blocked it, and it'll be ready to wear to class tomorrow night at I Knit London
Slightly skewed view of the same Cocoon
Slightly skewed view of the same Cocoon
I think you can see the front lace a bit better in this photograph, even though it's out of proportion because of the angle.

kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)

Aaagh!
Aaagh!
See that on the left needle? That's the amount of space I have to finish doing the lace work for the edge of the Silk Garden Serina. See that little string coiled above the right hand needle? That's all the yarn I have left. :(

kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
I haven't stopped knitting, promise. I've just been really busy with other things. Here are a couple of things I've been working on recently.

Three photos below cut tag )

Ravelry project page for the Purple Pomatomus">
Ravelry project page for the Silk Garden Serina
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)

IMG_0596.JPG
Originally uploaded by harpetrator
Blocking Lace!

This is [personal profile] mokatiki's BRANCHING OUT, which she gave to me as a birthday present. To preserve my rapidly failing dignity, I won't tell you which birthday it was for. But today, with the help of a £15 playmat from an Amazon Reseller, I've pin-blocked it. Woohoo!
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
At this point, I have copies of
The Ultmate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches,
The Vogue Stitchionaries,
The Encyclopedia of Knitting,
The Knitter's Bible,
The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches; and
three of the four Barbara Walker Treasuries.

I'm working on some designs for a couple of pairs of lace socks.

But you know what? All those other books do not hold a candle to the Barbara Walker Treasuries. There's just more, and more interesting stuff, in them. Which is not to say you shouldn't get the others, but I'm finding the Walker treasuries much more valuable as a unit.

Just sayin'.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
Here's a glimpse of the continuing Summer Sliding Sock. I haven't worked on this sock since Saturday, since I've been down with flu and I really am not up for ticky or difficult knitting. It's teddy bear jumpers and a ditty bag for me at the moment.

I'm into the gusset increases at the moment and will turn the heel fairly soon.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)

summerslidinglace
Originally uploaded by harpetrator
I'm really loving the way the colours are coming out on this sock. Thanks to everybody who encouraged me to knit this one: I think it's going to work out fine.

My only concern still is that the 3.25mm needles are not giving a very firm sock and that both the pattern itself and the garment will suffer for this. Then again, I still have my first pair of socks, made in sockweight Fortissima Socka, on 3.5mm needles, and they've held up fine. I can't help but think the pattern might look nicer with a firmer tension. The largest size for this fairly complicated sock is 70 sts around, so I had to find a tension that would give between 9.5 and 9.7 stitches per inch on 70 stitches. I settled on 7.5 stitches/inch on the 3.25mms, which will give me a sock 9.5" around -- half an inch smaller than my foot, but the sock should stretch.

It's still possible I'll rip this out; I need to see how the lace pattern looks once it's built a little more. I'll make a decision probably in the next two or three inches.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
As if I didn't already have enough to do, I thought, "Hey, I'll design a pair of lace socks that will work well with self-patterning jaquard sock wool! Yeah! Let's do that!" Well, they've at least given me a chance to experiment a bit more with the square DPNs, which I still like.

Three photographs, plus technical notes, beneath cut tag. Pattern to follow. )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
Not just a modification; a "real" design this time. These were cast on last night, and they are moving pretty quickly at this point.

Single photo below cut tag. )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
Well, let's see.

I'm just not a monogamous knitter; it's obvious. And I neglect projects for months, sometimes years, at a time. Sometimes I come across a neglected project when I'm going through my stash, usually looking to start something new, and although I know in my heart I might never finish it, particularly that replacement pair of Camelot socks that I've lost the pattern for (and I had two copies of the pattern at one point; can you believe that? I should really just scan everything and turn it into .pdfs for my iPhone). Still, I can't bear to give them up. I think I can remember most of them.

  1. It wouldn't be fair not to list those gorgeous Camelot Socks,* after having whinged about them up there;
  2. There's the Ragna,* which I put aside because I was knitting Christmas gifts. The bottom mitres are all joined for the front, and I'm about to start knitting up;
  3. There's [livejournal.com profile] filceolaire's spiral tank top,* which is temporarily put aside because I have to make a couple of design decisions and I'm not ready yet;
  4. There's [livejournal.com profile] resourceress's Twisted Flower Socks,* one of which is complete. I just need to knit the second sock;
  5. There's Harmarnii's (winolj) Malabrigo lace socks* from DROPS design, one of which is complete. I think I even cast on for the second one at one point. I was on the bus;
  6. There's the gorgeous Rhiannon* knee socks from Cookie A that I have found to be incredibly frustrating and will come back to when I'm feeling like a challenge (yes, they are more challenging than the Ragna!);
  7. There's [livejournal.com profile] bardling's Harika Socks,* one of which is complete and the other of which is at least started;
  8. There's the lace cocoon,* which I've been concentrating on for the last couple of weeks;
  9. There's the Pfeiffer Falls Hooded Scarf,* which I started in the dead of winter and which is going to be very warm and cosy. But I used stash wool, and I'm just not all that thrilled with powder blue. Probably this will go to an auction or a friend when completed;
  10. There's the purple and green entrelac knee socks,* which I'm designing and knitting on the fly. They've been put aside because they're kind of boring to knit, and as I'm doing most of my knitting at home these days, I don't really need train knitting projects at the moment;
  11. And as of last night, there's the Strangling Vines Scarf,* made of sockweight (4ply) Colinette Jitterbug, in the "Popsicle" colourway.


Wow. That's eleven projects, not counting stuff I do for knitting classes and whatever I've forgotten. If any sense, I wouldn't start another one for awhile. But, you know. I have lace yarn.

One photo of Strangling Vine Lace below the cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
I took some photographs when I was home for lunch, so you could see how this is going.

Three photos below cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
...I feel a lace phase coming on.

"Can you keep secrets? Can you hear a thing and never say it again? And puzzles and codes, I imagine they lay down to you like lovers."

Tangled Up In Lace? )

Lace knitters, tell me your secrets! I'll never repeat them. ;)
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
So I am making these eyelet socks from Garnstudio. The pattern is a free .pdf.

Everything has gone swimmingly, from the lovely picot edge, through the first very simple lace pattern, right down to (eerie music) Chart M2.

Potentially large image and explanation (with some whinging) behind cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
So I'm looking around for wool (I know, I know!), because I don't have enough of any one colour to make the Heere be Dragone shawl, and the most of the online retailers I know are only carrying the very expensive Rowan Kidsilk Haze in solid colours. All of the other beautiful (and equally expensive!) imported lace yarns are in various variegates. One store had some mint green on sale, but really: who wants a mint green dragon shawl?

And then, I stumbled across Heirloom Knitting. [livejournal.com profile] mokatiki, I forbid you to look at this site! You will break out in hives and whimper!

TONS of lace wool. NOT expensive. I could make this shawl for as little as £14 in materials if I were willing to go with white/ecru, about £16 if I go with some deliciously yummy looking merino lace wool from Jamiesons. I thought I was looking at £50-60 worth of materials to make this, and that I was going to have to put it off for a looong time.

And they take PayPal!

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

The whole page is fabulous.

What colour should I make it in? :-D

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