Monthly Archives: July 2008

Pity Party is Over!

I realized afterwards of course that my last post was such a whine-fest, and I apologize. The Pity Party is now officially over! I got tired of screwing up, so decided to buckle down and Focus with capital “F.” That means, I put stitch markers in between the repeats on Liesl to help me along. And it also means I stuck with Hanami a bit more and actually finished one whole repeat in a span of a day or so. To celebrate, I have a FO to show. It’s Liesl!

Project: Liesl by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Cable Cotton in a plummy color, about 3.3 skeins
Needles: Knit Picks Options US Size 11
Start: July 2
Finish: July 18

Thoughts: I made this sweater to wear over camis during the summer, and it’s perfect for that. I’m tempted to frog my Retro Redux Shrug and make another of these using a denimy blue Cotton Patine (that is very splitty) because I can see a lot of use out of this. I made no mods but found my gauge tightened up quite a bit. I didn’t fit right before blocking, so I soaked it for about 12 hours and then pinned it out. I don’t usually soak projects for such a long time, except every time I would check on it, I would see lots of purple in the water. I’d change the water and walk out and check back again when I remembered next. Finally, after the 7th time or so, I put a bit of vinegar (apple cider vinegar was all I had in the cupboard), and no more bleeding after that.

I also want to make one from wool, probably 3/4 sleeves, and will probably go down to size 10 needles and knit the next size up. I blocked this one a bit more than I expected, and while the fabric is drapey and airy (perfect for summer), I’d like the next one to be a bit more dense. There are a ton of beautiful finished Liesls on ravelry, so be sure to check them out for inspiration. Finally, I give you a picture of my back. I love how the lace lines up and runs down in columns.
The linebacker view.
Thanks to Patty for the pics and to Marie for the tacking-on-the-ribbon-ties tips!

A Snail’s Lace

I’m well into my knitting group’s Summer of Lace knitalong, and things are crawling along. Of the five current wip’s I have on Ravelry, I realized all of them are lace. Hmmmmm, I’m sensing a trend here. Some have been abandoned from six months ago but I still consider them active. Huh, might have to rethink the definition of active.

I’d be making much better progress on three of the active projects for this knitalong, if I didn’t have to tink or rip out so many rows on each. Yep, each project.

I just finished the second repeat of Hanami; I’m the slow one of the Three Laceketeers. On July 4th, I must have spent about three hours trying to figure out a mistake, laddering down, losing a stitch, and having to tink about three rows. Ugh. I still have to decide if I’m going to do five or seven repeats of the basketweave chart. It just looks like pink thing right now, but it looks beautiful when I stretch it out a bit with my hands.

The story is basically the same with the Razor Cami. Not hard at all, but you definitely have to pay attention or else you end up like me. Tink back three or four rows to fix the little boo boo. This one is my social knitting project, since it’s the easiest of the three. Not saying much but at least I’m making some progress. It’s growing a little bit. I still try to stretch it out every so often to see if it’ll fit around me, but I can’t tell because my cable is too short. Of course, I could put it on a bigger cable and try it on, but that would require work. ‘Nuff said.

Last but not least of the lace projects is Liesl, my impulse cast on. I love the summery, lacy look of this sweater. I’m using Elsebeth Lavold Cable Cotton in a plum color for it. I was lured by the finished Liesls on Ravelry and the comments that it only took three days or so. Hunh, I’m going on one week and I’ve got about half to go still. Same story, knit three rows, rip back three, count the stitches, get to the correct stitch count, knit three rows, rip back three et cetera. I think you get the idea.

I’m just going to have to live the motto from “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” the movie Sweetie Girl and I saw this weekend: “Don’t let it beat you, kid.”

Okay, trying not to. Good thing I have the rest of the summer for this knitalong.

Rose Garden

The Rose Garden Shawl/Scarf thingy is finally done, stitches dropped, washed and blocked. Even though it has been hot here, knitting knows no pain! All to give you a modeled shot of this latest shawl du jour.

Project: Hattie’s Rose Garden by Christy M. Roosien of Briar Rose Fibers
Yarn: Hot Foot from Village Spinning and Weaving, 1 skein
Needles: Knit Picks Options US size 8
Start: June 7th in honor of our knitting group’s Solvang yarn crawl
Finish: June 25th

Thoughts: This is one of those wonderful easy to remember patterns that’s fun, fast, and engaging if you’re using variegated yarn. Just enough interest to keep you from getting bored but easy enough for social knitting. The Hot Foot superwash wool from Village Spinning and Weaving really made this project. No pooling, the color variegation was evenly distributed to create a beautiful look to the fabric. When you got to the point where you dropped passed a slipped stitch, it was so fun to see the contrasting colors. So fun, in fact that I looked forward to the chartreuse that I got to pass over; it soon became my favorite, while passing a same color slipped stitch was a bit of a disappointment. Who knew knitting with variegated yarn could be so fun!

But wait, there’s more! After doing umpteen kazillion repeats, it was time to drop the stitches. Yep, that’s right. Drop the stitches, a la Clapotis. I reached that point at knitting group and it was a bit of a to-do. I even shared the dropped stitch love with Madgik who was on the edge of her seat, like Pam and me.

Before dropped stitches

After dropped stitches

Since it’s superwash wool, I tossed it into the washer with some Soak and set it for hand wash. I hung it over a hanger to dry, since I wanted a bit more length on it, and the result was a super soft, long scarf, long enough to double it and wear it like the Parisiennes.

Crazy woman wearing wool scarf thingy in the 90 degree heat; AND it doesn’t even go with her outfit!

I followed Erika’s mods, so I’d have a garter stitch border at the top and bottom that wasn’t interrupted by the dropped stitches, and I’m so glad I did. They were great tips! Of course, I didn’t have the foresight at the beginning to weigh the amount of yarn needed for the garter stitch and bind off, so I eyeballed it with four times each row and the bind off and tied a little bow, so I would know when it was time to drop stitches and start the garter rows. Here are the leftovers. It’s so nice when it works out with just a little bit of effort.

A leeeetle bit of leftover yarn

I love this shawl/scarf thingy and will probably give it away as a gift. That means I’ll have to start another up for me at the end of summer… maybe with the autumn colored Hot Foot last December. I definitely recommend this pattern. Even though it says the pattern is free on Ravelry, you have to email Briar Rose Fibers to ask for it. It’s a pattern that’s free with the purchase of their yarn, but Chris was kind enough to send it. It’s definitely worth the email to make this beautiful shawl that will keep you engaged with the color changes.

Since Rose Garden was done, I had to find an easy knitting project for Sweetie Boy’s soccer tourney this past weekend. We would be out of town, so I knew I had to pack the project and hope it was easy enough to do on the soccer field. I’d been jonesing to start the Razor Cami and since I scored the cotton on the Solvang trip, this was the perfect time. I made a bit of progress.

This cotton is quite rough on the hands to knit with, but I’m holding it loosely enough where I’m not getting tender spots or callouses. So far, it doesn’t seem to have the stretch that the pattern is purported to have, two to four inches of negative easy. The unstretchiness of cotton at fault here. Who knows if it will stretch over my big head. I don’t think I’ll know for a several more inches, but if not, I’ll make Sweetie Girl wear it as a dress. She still loves to play dress up! Stay cool!