8 posts categorized "Shawls"

11 July 2014

I get by with a little help from my friends

Caught up in the excitement and camaraderie of a knit-along with, among others, some of my oldest (in blog years) friends, I was easily tempted into signing up for the TTL Mystery Shawl 2014. The prospect of dyeing my own gradient yarn for the project made it even better -- it's been a long time since I spent time in the dye kitchen. The pattern would be released in five clues, one each Sunday in June, and I was amped up to blog about it (I even created a special category) and looked forward to photographing it a couple of times for #100happydays.

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I wound and dyed the yarn on the last day of May and managed to cast on and knit a few rows on Sunday, June 1st -- right on time.

A few days later, on Wednesday, I helped my stepdad take my mom to the ER. She was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia... partly the result of complications from side effects of a new chemo. By Saturday afternoon, after two episodes of arterial fibrillation, Mom was transferred to ICU where she remained until she died 16 days later.

The last time I actually spoke with my mother was Friday, the day before going to ICU. I'd brought my knitting to work on while we visited, and she asked about it. I told her about how a mystery pattern works, and how fun it was to dye yarn again. I had no idea that it would be our last real conversation, and that it would be about my knitting and this shawl. It's not surprising, though, she was always interested in what I was doing, and I can't tell you how many times over the years she'd say, half-exasperated/half-prideful, "You're always busy doing something!"

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I was happy for the distraction that the knitting provided while Mom's condition fluctuated, eventually declining, over those 19 days. I was grateful, even, to tink back and re-knit many rows (14, I think) of Clue 2, stitch by stitch, to right an error. My knitting was something that I could fix.

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Probably the most complicated lace pattern I've ever knit, arguably moreso because I'm one of those rare super freaks that works from written directions alone, it gave me something to concentrate on and think about that wasn't my mother, though of course I thought about my mother constantly.

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I looked forward to knitting every night -- after work, after visiting the hospital, no matter how late it was... I had to take time. I enjoyed following along, contributing, reading about others' progress with the pattern, how they felt about their colors, how they were working out the transitions*, concerns over yardage and whether one had enough stitch markers in their possession, what types of needles people were using. I spent time carefully highlighting my pattern clues, color coding the different sections so that it would be easier to keep my place; I employed sticky notes to further zero in; breaking it down, keeping control.

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A margarita-induced setback late in the game resulted in the tinking of a few more rows, and the discovery that while I can drink and knit at the same time, a good hoppy craft beer yields the best result!

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By the end of the month, I was on track and nearing the finish. Therapy knitting at its finest, I was really pretty astounded at my progress and, without being too sappy about it, gave a thankful nod to Mom & Sharon, my guardian knitting angels. I was in first grade when my mother taught me to knit for the first time. Though her prowess in knitting never matched that of her sewing, she was knowledgeable and appreciative. My sister Sharon was neither steady nor prolific as a knitter over the years, but she chose the most amazing projects and the quality of her work was incredible.

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Thanks to my model, my youngest sister Ann. She models all (2) of my TTL Mystery Shawls! The first was finished just before they left for Brazil, this one as they returned.

*1-4-2-3-2-2 as suggested by Terry, and probably because it gave me one more slightly complicated aspect to control.

 

09 November 2013

Marin

I'm not sure why it's taken so long to blog this little project.

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I bought the yarn and pattern for this shawl about a year ago when I took a little birthday trip to the west coast.

Marin

It didn't take long to cast on, and I was finished in about a month.

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It was a fun and very interesting to knit, with some different but very simple construction & stitch techniques, and it's completely reversible!

Marin by Ysolda Teague

I recall that when I unpinned it from blocking last year, I wished that it was slightly larger. If I knit it again -- and I might -- I'd probably go up a needle size.

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I could probably block it a bit larger next time, too.

Anyway, I've been wearing it a ton this year. The color is fabulous with the knit jacket I've been wearing most, that someone recently described as being "raisin" colored. 

Marin

Originally, I was going to just post the photo above, write a few words, and call it a NaBloPoMo day. Ha. The light's not so great today -- and I may as well get used to that situation for the next six months -- but I managed a few FO photos. Progress!

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Hope you had a good start to the weekend.

 

03 October 2011

Study this

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Not only did I get to visit Silver Lake with Margene (one week ago today!), I was also able to photograph a fresh Different Lines there with Margene as my model! A little overwhelmed was I, what with being at Silver Lake with Margene, and the moose, and the kids, and SILVER LAKE with MARGENE! They're pretty standard FO shots... except, you know, they're at SILVER LAKE! Whew!

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  • Project: Different (Different Lines Shawl) by Veera Välimäki, 100% Rain
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Sock (eggplant) from Iris Fine Yarns, Appleton, WI
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Superwash Wool & Nylon, fingering, Make.Do.Dyed for Project Spectrum in a shade of pink that reminded me of Grandma, so called "Virginia"
  • Needle: Susan Bates Quicksilver 6US/4.25mm
  • Mod: Knit one row and cast off in contrasting color
  • Start to Finish: August 31, 2011 - September 26, 2011. Finished while at the Rocky Mountain Knitters' Retreat at Alta Lodge in Utah!

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Margene took one of me, too!

I had a great and busy and quite productive weekend -- cooking, knitting, dyeing, harvesting, dyeing some more! Also gearing up for a brand new, twice-monthly Knit Night at the coffee shop beginning this Thursday... Wish you were here!

01 August 2011

Stripe Study

image from www.flickr.com 

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com 
It's an interesting color combo, as mentioned a few times along the way, and not the combo I started with! The "Forest" is very subdued and sedate, and the "Highland Holiday" just goes ZING! Let's have a party in the woods!!

Up 'til now, I've knit only mostly one-skein shawls -- and I love them and I'll certainly knit more -- but this is the second in a row, now, that I've knit using at least two skeins/hanks/colorways and I love the larger size! (The first was the recently completed Cerasifera by Kirsten Kapur.) I'll be knitting the larger size of Stephen West's Mystery Shawl in three colors** and I can't wait to get started.

image from www.flickr.com 
One last parting shot. Alison must really love me because she let me wrap that big wool shawl around her neck and then take her outside for photos -- I worked quickly because it was 90F and the humidity was awful! I'm so sick of being hot and sticky. If you have to stay inside because of the weather, it may as well be winter... it's just depressing when it looks nice out but feels awful. I really do love summer, so I'm conflicted... it's been a tough year.  ; )

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The westknits Mystery Shawl KAL kicks off today -- in fact, the first clue arrived in my mailbox already last night! I'm very excited as I've never knit a mystery before.

*I used my second-to-last hank of my OMA workshop yarn for Stripe Study; the last is earmarked for the Mystery Shawl, if...

**I can dye the right shade of pink to go with it, and then come up with a third color... which I'm thinking will be either black or gray, or maybe blue. I'll probably buy that yarn because dyeing is hard. Pink is hard! I dyed three test batches yesterday (naturally, because it was hot and humid!) and may yet dive into the surplus test skeins for more experimentation before settling on the final color. I haven't had to do that before! Pink is the Project Spectrum color for August.

Stay tuned!

08 July 2011

The antidote

Stripes, anyone?

Here we have a wound-up hank of Malabrigo Sock in a delicious color called "eggplant" sitting atop a yarn cake of Araucania Ranco in a color that has no name. I've had the Malabrigo for a while because, well, I am weak when faced with anything "eggplant" -- positively helpless with "aubergine" -- take me, I'm yours (it seems to say to me).

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I have been working on and off on Gretel.

Gretel III

Exciting, isn't it?

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Yeah. I know I'll truly love it in the end, but the process... not so much that it's a black stockinette blob but, for me, that it's on circs*... is sooooo sssssllllllloooooooooooooww.

New project

The first self-prescribed antidote to the black stockinette was a colorful lace shawl with which I couldn't be more pleased.

image from www.flickr.com

I've been feeling itchy. It's been quite a while since there's been any garter stripe action around here -- I'm perfectly fine if I never get over it -- so the second self-prescribed antidote is a Stripe Study Shawl.

I took that pattern with me to the UK as a possible project -- for either knitting or acquisition -- so it's been in the back of my mind for a while. One of my two remaining hanks of dye workshop yarn from Scotland came to the LYS with me last night as a contender, too. In the end, though, I decided on this combo; many thanks to Phyllis and Pam at Iris Fine Yarns for their assistance last night!

*I prefer straight needles, so I've begun Stripe Study on straights, and I will continue that way, adding more as required, for as long as I can... maybe even all the way. (I knit Cerasifera entirely on straights.) This works *for me* when it's a project that's knit back-and-forth; my pay-off is comfort... and speed.

05 July 2011

Plum crazy about this thing!

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I'm so happy with this project. I've had in mind a two-tone shawl with this yarn from the moment I unwrapped it nearly a year-and-a-half ago. I've been perusing, pondering, and printing possible patterns ever since...

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Within 30 minutes of this shawl appearing on my radar, I'd not only read about and purchased the pattern, but had cast on as well!

  • Cerasifera Shawl by Kirsten Kapur with modification to the ribbed edging *
  • Sundara Hand-dyed 100% Superwash Merino Wool Yarn; approx. 370 yards "Calla Lily" + approx. 250 yards "Ochre Over Lime" *
  • Size US 7 needle (straights throughout, employing a 3rd as needed)
  • Began June 20, 2011 and finished July 4, 2011
  • Dimensions: 55" tip-to-tip wingspan, 22" neck to edge at middle
  • Rav'd here

Kirsten is hosting a Summer Shawl Knit-Along and has a number of beautiful shawl patterns to choose from, should you be so inclined to knit along.

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Cast on now and finish by September 23rd -- plenty of time -- and not only have a lovely shawl for fall (or a start on Christmas knitting!) but a chance at prizes in the end.

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* Yarn & Edging Details. I began with three balls of yarn -- two in the “Calla Lily” color that were each about 185 yards/50g, and one in the “Ochre Over Lime” that was about 350 yards/100g. (Please note that I did not measure or weigh before I began, so don't know the accuracy of the stated yardage/weight.)

It just happened to work out that I used nearly all of the first ball of “Calla Lily” for the openwork/body part of the shawl and most of the second ball for the Cerasifera lace section. The yarns were the same colorway, but the second ball was a bit darker and I was thrilled that it worked out this way. Measuring the leftovers of both balls, there is a total of 12g left (cautiously translating to about 40 yards total).

I had plenty of the “Ochre Over Lime” colorway when I began the Ribbed Edging section -- enough to play! I loved the ribbed edging -- it's one of the design features that appealed to me most -- and decided to riff on that a bit. It took a couple of tries, but I ended up knitting the K2,P2 edging as written for a few rows and then knitting another increase row, basically doubling the number of stitches, to knit the rest of the edging. I didn't want a crazy ruffle, but the increased number of stitches definitely gives it some movement at the bottom and a lovely softness. This is 36g/approx. 125 yards left, so my rough calculations tell me I used about 225 yards for the edge.

 

24 January 2006

FO

Finally, three weeks into the new year, I'm able to post a picture in the "Completed in 2006" photo album!  It's the Simply Garter Shapely Shawlette that I knit with the Lana Grossa Luna that my employer gave me for Christmas.  It blocked beautifully and the extra four inches from neckline to point that I coaxed in the blocking remained after the unpinning.  I'm wearing it today.  It's definitely short, but is perfectly fine for an ette.  During some recent rearranging and organizing, I stashed the lovely shawl pin that Yvette sent me and I couldn't come up with it last night -- I think it might look great with this shawl!  In the meantime, it's held closed with the aid of an old belt buckle.

Dsc06373Dsc06374Green Ramen!  These are from Sunday afternoon, during the ripping of Williamsro.  The new swatches are still steeping in my knitting bag, and I haven't started the new calculations yet, but soon.  Maybe today.

Go say Happy Birthday to my favorite, be-pearled, Purling Swine.

02 February 2005

Happy Groundhog Day!

My day is still rather up in the air.  One thing I will be doing, at some point, is wallpapering.  I ought to be able to wrap that up in a couple of hours and clean up all my junk so DH can move on to the next stage...

I got the Spring '05 anthropologie catalog in the mail the other day, and pages 31-33 made me wonder why we're busting our butts.  (One word:  dust.)  I love the green cardigan on page 18, too.  I think I'm half as tall and twice as wide -- no, she's a stick, I'm probably four times as wide -- as that model, so no clue how it would look on a real person/me.

Closure1One of the things I've been scouting for when thrifting is belt buckles like this.  The other day, I found only one -- huge, hideous, gold.  This buckle was found among the buttons and things in Great Grandma's sewing machine drawers.  It's just big enough to use as a closure for my Shapely Shawlette.  When I first came upon it, I thought it was black, but it's really a very deep green.  And I think it's Bakelite, which is very cool.

It really hit me yesterday that I have a significant FO on the horizon.  I hope I'm not jinxing anything, but I think it's very possible that I could have a new sweater by the 1st of March.  I'm not officially setting any goals (and sooner would be just fine, too!), but I am feeling very focused and determined -- feelings that increased with every encouraging comment yesterday.  You guys are the greatest cheerleaders!  I finished the first repeat and started the second last night and, if I remember correctly, the front will have one less repeat than the back because of the neck shaping.  Whoo!

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