Monday, August 31, 2015

All about the baby

People who work with me know that every baby gets something hand-knitted. The size or elaborateness is usually commiserate with how well I know the person. I always ask if they have something in mind (for one Christmas baby it was a little elf onsie costume with a pointy hat and boots with bells on the toes - so cute and what she dressed the baby in for Christmas Eve) but otherwise I get my choice. 

There is an upcoming baby for someone I worked with at a previous job who I like very very much and whose husband works at my current place of employment. It's her first and we know it's a girl and she wants pink and frilly and girly. So fun to knit a pink frilly girly something. 

And this is the something. 
It will be a blanket using the feather and fan stitch, one of the oldest recorded knit patterns and as frilly as they come!!

I'll also be doing a pink fluffy housecoat to go with it so I hope that will be pink and frilly and girly enough for her!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rounding out the chapter

Just to round out the projects in chapter 2, these are the last 2 projects. I love the braid of the last one (the gold one) although it was a little tricky to move around the elements. 

In fact I made a booboo on the end of one of the trails but was too far down the road to go back and fix it. If it had been an actual project, I would have but it was fine for the sample. I would like to do a table runner using this edging. 

Put it in the list…

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Success as a ratio, not an absolute

When the L.A.C.E. Group started their yardage club (you gain entry by working at least 2 yards of lace at the skill level you are able to work), I started a very simple, beginner lace piece because I was a beginner. There were some really basic things I was still not fluent with. After I'd worked about 2 feet of that edging, things clicked for me and I reached a new level of understanding of the craft. It was one of those moments when I realized that all of a sudden my hands were working stitches without my having to think through every movement and it was such a moment of freedom and triumph. It gave me courage to try something a little harder and a little more complicated.

That edging was, for the most part, completed back in 2012 but since the. I've continued to progress and try new things. Some of them worked and some of them didn't but I'm okay with that. I'm happy for success to be a ratio rather than an absolute. It's way more fun and exciting and fulfilling that way. 

This most recent project of working through this Torchon workbook has been just such another adventure. I'm gaining real fluency with moving from element to element and it's a freeing feeling. 

I was thinking the other day that lace is very much like snooker or pool. With each move you have to think about where each pair lands in the work so that it's in the right place to move to the next step. I'm finally starting to be able to see where the pairs need to be and why. 

That said, I have just 2 more samples to work to finish the second chapter - grounds- before I move on to spiders then Scansanavuan holes and then rose ground. One sample is ready to turn the corner and there's one more after that. 
Here are the last few samples that I completed. 
But I'm done for tonight and will be ready to work a few stitches before work tomorrow. Onwards and upwards!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Spinnin' Fool

I've had several spinning projects hanging around for several months. They're mostly well behaved but the last couple of weeks they've begun to mock me and have gotten gradually more irritating. So, for the peace of the house, I've been getting them cleared out.

I showed the 2 oz of lace weight that I finished up last week. That was fiber left over from a project that is now hanging out at the State Fair waiting for the judging to begin. I had another bunch of leftovers from that project, a silk/merino/angora blend that was probably just under 2oz. As with the other batch, I wanted to see how finely I could spin this. With the silk content helping, I discovered it was very fine indeed. I need to weigh the final skein but I ended up with more than 300 yds (before washing - probably around 270 after washing) of gorgeous bouncy fine lace weight yarn. 

What am I going to do with it?  It's going into a very special place in my stash reserved for the specialty lace weights in white that I've spin over the years. I have plans for a "white on white" project using these in their various shades of glorious whiteness. 

The other finished project?
Plump and squishy. Not sure yet but about 450 yards of heavy worsted softness. Probably a hat and mittens?  We'll see what the yarn decides to be. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What's next?

I've now finished the samples for section 1 of my workbook (clothwork). It's just my style that the book says the last sample (the one on the left) "presents more difficulties than 1.3 (the one on the right) and success may not be immediate!"  Of course the one I had difficulty with was 1.3 and I completely sailed through the last one. 
These are the last 2 samples.  The one on the right is my favorite so far and one that I will definitely go back to. The one on the left is one that I think would work great as a scarf. Just blow up the pattern and use a nice silk or cotton yarn and you've got something really interesting. 

On to the next section - Torchon Ground. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Sometimes leftovers are the best part. When I spun the yarn for my #Roseroot shawlette, I had 2.1 ounces (61 grams) of the merino/cashmere fiber left over. I wasn't really sure what to do with it.

I figured that if I spun it very light lace weight, at least that would give me the most yarn to work with. 

I spun and I spun and I spun until I wound up with this.
Then I plied and I plied and I got this. 
The thing with spinning with a fine wool like merino is that it's super crimpy. That means that, while I ended up with 406 yards of finished plied yarn, after it was washed and dried, it came to 377 yards of finished yarn (2,872 yds/lb). 

Not knowing that got me into trouble a few times when I thought I had plenty of yarn for a project only to end up short 
If I hadn't gotten bored, I probably could have gotten even more yardage but I'm happy with how it turned out. 

Now what to do with it…

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cracked it!!

As I was trying to figure out what had gone wrong on my practice piece, I kept thinking of my Grannie who would be on round 82 of a crocheted doily or tablecloth and I could see her counting. Somehow something hadn't fitted and she was determined to figure it out. She would count back round by round until she found it and even if it was in round 3, she would rip back to make it right. 

I used to tease her about it, first asking how she could have missed the mistake through 79 rounds and then telling her no one would know and she should just fudge it. She would frown at me and shake her head. "I would know it wasn't right."  And she would continue to rip and rip until she had it right. 

That's how I've felt tonight. Not the part about knowing there was a mistake because anyone could see it wasn't right, but the ripping out to almost the beginning because that's where my mistake was - on the 2nd pin of the piece. But as soon as I took it out and did that one thing right, everything else fell exactly into place. 

I'm sure there's a lesson there somewhere. ��