Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sampler stole finished

It's creamy white and lacey:

There is quite a bit of variation in the patterns. The second from the left is my "mistake lace" pattern - I misread the pattern and purled the wrong side rows instead of doing a pattern:
I'd love to show this stole on my favorite knitwear model, a.k.a the dog, but the finished piece is just a little too big:
Pattern: Sampler Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls
Yarn: 3 100g skeins of laceweight by Wool from Wales; it looks like they will attend Maryland Sheep & Wool again this year! Stop by their booth to see some gorgeous shawls and blankets.

The pattern is very well written, with both charted and written lace instructions. The yarn is rustic and strong and worth every penny. What am I going to do with a giant shawl? I'm sure I'll figure something out!

In other news, tomorrow I start my lace class at the university. It's a four-week, one hour a week class and tomorrow we'll go to the yarn store to choose yarn for the projects! I advertised it as a class to do the Orenburg-style scarf, aka my Pink lace scarf - it has a historical connection, it's pretty and it can be made with any quantity of yarn. My scarf only took one skein of Kid Silk Haze. Of course, I'll be happy to work with the students on whatever pattern they might fancy...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Not much knitting

Despite a trip filled with knitting opportunities (plane rides! endless car trips through suburbia or corn fields!), I managed to get preciously little done in terms of knitting. I packed the green undulating ribs socks:

and didn't even take them out of the suitcase. I put some mindless rows on the shiny red scarf:

This is the long-awaited pattern match for the 780 yards of Artfibers Sylph. A priceless yarn from a unique trip, and I want to use every yard of it. Veronik Avery's Lace Ribbon scarf in the current knitty looked perfect. I have a million scarves, but I like wearing them and among all my knitted objects it's the scarves and stoles that get the most wear. The pattern is super-easy, but it might take a while since I will knit all the yarn. Might end up with a very, very, very long scarf!

To make up for the lack of knitting on the trip, I've finally set out to block the Sampler Stole. Please excuse the messy room and the stuffed moose feet in the following photo:

Friday, March 21, 2008


I'm off to visit family for a few days; happy end of March!

Monday, March 17, 2008


... meet Mariko.

Lavold in a yarn that's gathered universal acclaim but is sadly discontinued. A few skeins are available here and there, making the hunt for the yarn quite a thrill. There are a few skeins on eBay. I am very proud of myself for not buying said skeins last night.

Shopping is sometimes a cure for the blues, but resisting temptation also makes one feel better. Having just looked at my credit card statement for last month, I see way too much yarn on the list. Time to look at longer term goals, like... you know, savings and purchasing a house. I have enough yarn to last me a while.

Speaking of things that will last a while, check out the ends from the back of the Crosspatch vest:

(photo will be here once blogger cooperates)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Keefely mittens

These might be the fastest mittens I've ever made.

Pattern: Keefely Mittens from Handknit Holidays

Yarn: Harrisville New England Shetland (the yellow and the purple), Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport (the red)

Comments: The Harrisville is kind of rough on the hands. I know it's Shetland wool and all, but the Jamieson's shetland is a lot softer. The pattern is fabulous and knits quickly; I especially like the thumb construction - the way you pick up stitches avoids gaps!

Disclaimer: I did not pick the two main colors and I still think they don't go together at all. But a promise is a promise! So, warning: if you take your partner into a yarn store and tell them to pick some yarn, be prepared to work with their choices! Fortunately, we are poor and could only buy yarn for a small project; can you imagine having to do a whole sweater in yellow and purple?!?!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The knitting has been done for weeks, but this sweater took a bit of finishing: weaving ends in cotton yarn is not much fun.

Pattern: Jade from The Sentimental Collection by Elsebeth Lavold

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine, color "denim"

Comments: For some reason I am addicted to Lavold's designs. I've just scored another of her books on eBay, The Embraceable You and I am already dreaming of the angora yarn used in that book. I don't even like angora and I certainly don't need another sweater pattern in my queue. And yet - there is something about her work... maybe the Swedish vibes? I am a huge fan of Ikea as well!

Anyway, back to the sweater. I've probably written somewhere that the lace sleeves are fiddly, since the pattern does not tell you how to achieve the increases. It's fun to figure out ways to incorporate the increases in the lace pattern, and the pattern itself is quite stretchy and forgiving. Plus, it's a very quick to learn lace. I knitted the body in the round up to armholes, then knit back and forth for front and back. The lace collar is cute and different, and I found some shiny buttons to go with it:

And here are the lace sleeves I am so proud of: I think the seam turned out allright!
Overall, a very quick and satisfying knit. It will be perfect for spring.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

More colorful projects

I sometimes wonder whether my "sense of color" is off. Whenever I pick up the Crosspatch vest and need to adjust my eyes, I think that perhaps I need some lessons in color theory. And then I remember that I married a man who chooses these colors:

and insists that they be used together in a colorwork project. Purple and yellow. Wow. My eyes almost hurt when I pick up this project. For the record, these are the Keefely Mittens from Handknit holidays and the pattern is beautifully written. I will certainly get my money's worth from this book.

I recently acquired a copy of Alice Starmore's "Fishermen's Sweaters" and oh! the beauty!! I think the next big project will be one of her sweaters. If I could live a million years I'd like to knit ALL her projects.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The vest goes on

Third row of blocks is done, and I started the fourth row earlier today. I hate this vest with great passion. I hate the fiddly little squares, the pulling of the yarns, the non-rhythm of knitting this project. What was I thinking? And why couldn't I at least follow the colors in the pattern? I have to sit and THINK hard before choosing colors for each row, as I must make everything perfect. "Have I used this background in this column before?" "Is there enough yellow in this row?" "Has this accent been overused?" "Am I capturing the spirit of the inspiration photo?" I am too much of a control-freak for this to be a good experience.

I will have the most colorful vest in the universe, though, and this thought keeps me going.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

How to lose 5 pounds in a week

Days 1-3: ensure husband catches San Francisco stomach bug. Eat ... not much.
Day 4: get up at 6am, spend 5 hours on trains, 1 hour in New York subway, 6 hours in job interviews. Eat whatever junk food you can bear to buy in random train stations (although I must recommend the lime and coconut bar at Dean & deLuca)
Days 5-7: catch stomach bug yourself. You'll be too sick to think about food. Let's just say it's a deeply cleansing experience.

Enjoy your new lean body, if you are strong enough to care. You might be too tired to shower, make dinner or walk the dog.

Please don't try this at home. Being sick sucks. Being sick in the middle of a very stressful week sucks even more. And I don't even know if I lost 5 pounds.