Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Somebody Stop Me!

Help me - I can't stop knitting! After fiddling around with the charts from the Mystery Shawl for a couple of days, I finally settled on this simple scarf. I'm using lace weight 100% wool from Handpaintedyarn.com (in Violetas colorway), and a version of the chart from Clue 4. The yarn is doubled on US8 needles - my favorite red plastics with the nifty tapers.

In between swatching and charting, charting and swatching (and some frogging), I managed to complete the second twisted rib Ballet sock for SuzyQ, and the first lime sherbet sock. Pics to come soon.

Mom treated me to breakfast this morning (my birthday treat), and I gave her the Dreamsicle shawl. Except I had to take it back right away to weave in the two ends... good thing I had my knitting bag! Mom actually poked fun of me for bringing it along.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Mystery Solved

Stick a fork in her - she's done! I completed the knitting of my Dreamsicle Mystery Shawl last night, and blocked her today. A special thanks to Zak The Cat for his invaluable assistance. As always, click on a picture to view a larger version. Finished measurements: 76" wide by 39" from top to tip.

The yarn is Monty 3/9, 100% merino described as sport weight, but I'd say it's on the light end of the scale. I got it from Sheila at Wool2Dye4, and I can't say enough good things about her service. I used approximately 6 1/2 ounces (which equates to just under 700 yards) on US8 needles. I started out with straights, then switched to a circular when the stitches were too crowded.

I dyed the yarn with Kool-Aid, using about a dozen packs of lemonade and one package of orange. I purposely used a pot a little on the small side in order to get the slightly variegated look.

Mom asked me the other day what I plan to do with this shawl. I dunno - I'll figure something out.

A little housekeeping -- I made a change in the comments. Now one must complete the verification in order to post a comment. That's to prevent spammers. Also, unless you are a Blogger member, I don't have any way to reply to your message. At least, I don't think so. Perhaps a bit of research is in order.

Friday, August 26, 2005

New Furniture

See? Two new buttons...... one for ISLAGA (Indiana Society of Art Glass Artists) and one for MysteryShawlAlong 2. I was member #3 of this new group - I just can't get enough!

I'm on row 3 of the final chart on my Dreamsicle shawl. I was dismayed to see that each and every row had a double decrease requiring stitch marker manipulation. Just too, too much. So I took the liberty of reassigning the spot for markers. So far, so good.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Things We Do for Love

Sheesh. Remember how much I love driving around Dayton? Saturday I'll be driving Sister Jane and a dog to some itty bitty town southeast of Dayton, so we'll be circumnavigating my favorite city. Go here and click on the 'puppies' link... you'll see Molly a little ways down the page. Isn't she a cutie?

I found a source for 12" bamboo dpns, and spent this afternoon wiring up some stitch markers to match three new pair of needles.

Before I made any of these, I tested the size ones by using them for my current sock. The needles are spiffy, but I gotta tell you, knitting a sock using 12" dpns isn't a walk in the park!

So this sock I'm working on is the new design to take the place of the Surf's Up sock. I guess now that Surf's Up is a washout I can show you my first sample. Isn't that a great stitch pattern? I originally saw it when I was browsing dishcloth patterns. Check out the Lacy Mock Cable - it's on the lefthand side. I wrote to the designer of the pattern who graciously agreed to allow me to use her pattern - nice lady! Maybe I ought to send her an e-mail to let her know I've changed my mind about using the pattern.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Step Four - Complete!

Hasn't Renee designed a gorgeous shawl? Step four is done; one more step and I will officially have knit a shawl. I would have finished this chart sooner, but I spent the morning in the dentist's chair, and the afternoon in bed recovering. Too bad I can't convince him to trade his services for handknit shawls and socks.

Speaking of socks, I've canned the Surf's Up sock. Seems I chose the same stitch pattern as the designer of a recent Sock-of-the-Month kit. I plan to peruse a couple of books this evening and see what I can come up with.

Zak loves paper... specifically, he loves to attack and rip it up. What a tiger!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fer Pity's Sake

I had a lovely, witty entry all written up, even illustrated... and Netscape froze up. Don'tcha just hate that? I've downloaded Netscape 8.0. It's kind of weird looking, so we'll see.

Step three of my Dreamsicle shawl is done. I simply whizzed through the chart; had it finished by Sunday night. Here it is pinned out on black fabric (I used knitting needles as blocking wire substitutes - aren't I clever?). I've tried out several different needles on this, including 10" red plastic straights, 14" aluminum straights, aluminum circs, and nylon circular needles. I liked the 10" red plastic ones best, but it they were too short past the step 2 halfway point. The nylon circulars were nice too, but turns out they're size 9, and I can't turn up a set of size 8s.

I've dyed the wool for my Surf's Up socks, and have just cast on and knit a whopping three rounds so far. Not picture worthy yet.

In glass news, check out these needles - aren't they spiffy?! The matching stitch markers are made with sterling silver, and Swarovski crystals. There are two each of slightly different designs. I haven't listed them on eBay just yet, but plan to in the next day or so.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lemming Land

Step two of my Dreamsicle Mystery Shawl is complete. (As ever, click on the image for a bigger view.) There was only a little tinking, and no frogging, praise be! Looking forward to the next step, to be revealed tomorrow morning.

I got all happy this afternoon when I won two auctions for knitting needles and accessories. On the way to me is a box with 13 pair of plastic needles, a few long flexible stitch holders, two row counters, and some other stuff. I've developed quite a liking for the plastic needles. Plus, the colors make them fun to top with lampwork beads. I'm still in the engineering phase in the matter of attaching the beads to the larger sizes, though. Bamboo needles are easier, since I can easily carve the right size to fit the bead cap. Hmmmm, need to think on it some more.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Motherrrrr, There's Nothing To Do

Apparently I don't have enough knitting works in progress. There are at least a dozen socks awaiting a mate, two three four socks currently on the needles (but - two three of those are second socks), the Mystery Shawl, and a coupla other things that I don't remember right now.

I've spent the last hour or more poking around trying to decide what I should start next. What I have nearly settled on is dyeing the yarn for the Surfs Up socks I am designing. But the wool is in an 8 ounce hank, and I need to wind off enough for the pair of socks and I have neither a swift nor a niddy-noddy. I don't even have an obliging young daughter whom I've convinced holding the skein while I wind is fun! (Yah, Mom, that one's for you!)

Perhaps I should continue my safari. I could always start another shawl... I mean, I've finished chart #2 of the Mystery Shawl, and won't get the next clue for nearly 36 hours. I should be able to get a lot done in that time, right??

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I Went to a Garden Party ....

Lately my lawnmower's been giving me fits. Yesterday evening my next-door neighbor was in his backyard and must have heard me swearing at cajoling the dratted machine. Good ol' Bobby tinkered with it a little, and soon I was cutting merrily away. He came back over a few minutes later with his weedeater and took care of the jungle weeds at the edge of the yard. Nice fella, eh? Thanks Bobby!

Mystery Shawl is progressing quite nicely. I'm about halfway through Chart 2, with few problems so far. The little bit of tinking I've done was in the same row, so no fits for me today.

Dreamsicle beads are made with coral and pale ivory; they match pretty well, don'tcha think? I'll be listing them tonight on eBay. There is a half-price sale on the Featured Plus upgrade for the next couple of days, so I'd better get torching. It's good to have a set featured, but the $20 fee just about kills me in the summer. Sure will be glad when school is back in session and all you jewelry-makers are shopping online again!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Back to Work

Ever wondered how many beads I make in a sitting? (I know, but just pretend you have, okay?) This here is the stack of beads I made during a 5-hour torch session. Some are encased and some have stringer decoration, but there is nothing terribly complicated or time-consuming here. 5 hours is longer than I typically work at one sitting - usually I torch 2-3 hours a couple of times per day. At least in the summer; it's not much fun sitting in front of the flame with sweat running down my face.
Some knitters say knitting when it's hot is just too uncomfortable. I take the opposite view, knitting is my way to cool down.

Sneak Preview

So I decided yesterday morning that I didn't have enough WIP, and that I should design a sock. Here's a sneak preview.

Beads? What do you mean, I should be working?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Changing My Tune

Okay, so the SixSock Amble is growing on me. This is 5 rounds into the second repeat of the (16-rnd) pattern. After the first few rounds following the chart became much easier. Now I'm watching the chart and counting the stitches while knitting, pretty much just like Jan describes it - like touch typing. Clicking on the pic takes you to a larger version showing the pattern a little better.

Yarn is Patons Kroy Socks, color #54729 (I forgot the name), and the needles are my 5" Surina wood, US1. The color must be discontinued, because it's not listed on the Patons site. I got it from Elann a month or two ago.

Please take note of the rib - I am so proud of the fact that I followed the instructions and knit a full two inches.... of course, I did change it to a K3P2 from K!P1. I've gotta assert my individuality, y'know?

I toted the Mystery Shawl to Sister Jane's this afternoon for a little show and tell. Mom was there, and was duly impressed. Jane pretended to be interested, because as I told her, I pretend to be interested in her dogs. Fair is fair, after all.

I'll leave you with a pic of Zak guarding the Mystery Shawl chart. We won't let on that it's the uncorrected version.....

Monday, August 01, 2005


I am now a confirmed chart follower. Until today, I had little experience knitting by following a chart ... I thought I was a lifelong written-out knitter. I knit the first few rows of the Mystery Shawl, then on to chart #2. After futzing around with the stitch count (this was before the corrections were posted), I started sailing along. The scales have fallen from my eyes.

So here it is, my mystery shawl, first week. Kinda purty, eh? I frogged and started over 3 or 4 times (each time at around row 15, so no big deal really). I'm using some old Boye size 8 plastic needles, but since they're only 10" long, I can see I'll be digging in my needle stash soon for circs. I'll miss the points on these red Boyes; they're lovely and pointy and a little concave.

I'm not as thrilled with my new SixSock. It's knit in gansey-style, again with the chart. I'm hoping it'll grow on me. Pics in a day or two, when I have more to show.

Swatch This

Mystery shawl swatch - blocked measures 5 3/4" x 3 1/2" (I forgot to measure it before blocking). One pattern repeat (23 sts) with a two-row stockinette border at the top and bottom, size 8 needles.

Okay, Renee, I'm ready!