January 31, 2009

Lace knitting: is the miracle of blocking real?

I really hope so.
seascape in progress

I'm loving knitting this pattern - the waves are so elegantly designed and the diamonds are a little treat. Love it. 

At least, I love it when I lay the piece out and smooth it all out so it isn't a crumpled mess. I've heard about the miracle of blocking lace, and how everything suddenly pops and the heavens open up and sing the praises of yarn overs, but I'm nervous about it. Will it happen for this project? Did I pick too heavy of a yarn? I love how it looks when I fake-block by hand, and I'm head over heels for the nubbly handspun in this pattern, but after every row I look at it an wonder: will it block out?

Here's hoping.

January 27, 2009


I always have trouble finishing one big thing without starting another.  I don't like the feeling of being without some lengthy project - it feels unanchored.  I love knitting socks, but if they are the only thing I have on the needles I get nervous.

Last night I had one inch of collar left to knit on the Urban Aran. So what did I do?

Seafoam yarn becomes...
I cast on, of course! 
The yarn is one of my first handspun skeins - the merino seafoam  if you remember it. It looks more gray than green on these dreary winter days, but I love a color that changes with the light.
This little beginning will eventually be the Seascape Stole by Kieran Foley from the summer '08 Knitty.  I'm making it in a much heavier yarn than the pattern calls for since I wanted a winter wrap rather than a summer accessory. I went up one needle size so the lace will still show, but the fabric will have some insulating density to it, as well. So far, so good.

PS - this morning I knit that last inch of Urban Aran collar and the body pieces are currently drying after their bath. Now the zipper waiting begins...

January 24, 2009

Daydreams of Spring

In between stints of Urban Aran work I've been doing a smidge of spinning. 

And yes, my new lens came and yes, I'm loving it. 

January 22, 2009


They are done!
urban aran front
Why the goofy picture? Well I got some new toys in the mail today. A remote control and tripod for my camera. Woo! Some of you know that my husband is leaving for a long business trip to China at the end of the month. As in, he'll be gone until the middle of June. That long. (oy.)

Among all the other wonderful things he does in our lives, my husband indulges me when it's time to photograph a finished object. What am I to do when I finish this sweater and he's 12 time zones away? Important question, this!
Technology saves the day. 
Obviously I didn't really need it for today's picture, but I'm excited about the tripod for day-to-day use in low light situations, and I think the remote will help with reducing camera shake when I'm taking yarn photos. Can't hurt, at least.
I'm also expecting a lens next week which I am super excited about. My first non-kit lens!!

And about those sleeves... I'm ripping back. I think it'll bother me too much as it is. I can see how it would almost look like a design element, but *I* know that it isn't, and I'm fussy (apparently). After I finish the collar I have a few days until the zipper arrives in the mail, so I'll take care of the sleeves then. Probably. We'll see.

January 19, 2009

FO: Noro two-row scarf


Here's a project that it kills me not to have better photos of. My flash for my good camera broke on a recent trip (aaaargh!!!) and so when I traveled last I only brought my little point and shoot. I forgot that I was giving away this scarf on this trip so wouldn't be able to take better pictures of it.


Well, there it is, sort of. One of the wildly-popular Noro two-row scarfs. It was absolutely mesmerizing to knit and I'm very, very happy with the final project. And the recipient liked it too, I think! I can definitely see making more of these in the future.

So. The sleeves. Keen eyes spotted the double cable at the top where there should be a triple. I finished the sleeve at my knitting group so I guess I wasn't paying enough attention to the pattern. I've decided to rip back the relatively few rows I need to to fix it, but not until I finish the front. The wound is too fresh right now... (drama, anyone?)

January 16, 2009


Anybody remember that I have a sweater in progress? That I started, oh, back in the beginning of September? Sigh. So many things have jumped ahead of the sweater in the queue. Since starting the sweater I have finished:

The Februrary Baby Sweater
The Noro striped scarf (blogging about that soon)
Alex's striped scarf
an unblogged simple hat for my brother-in-law
little Elijah the Elephant
A pair of socks
And TWO pairs of mittens.

Project ADD anyone?

But I am determined to finish this sweater in time to wear it this winter and since this is Virginia, that means I'd better get cracking.

There has been some progress:


Sleeves! So that just means that I have the front and the collar left to knit, plus all the seaming and the dreaded zipper installation. 

And Oh. My. Gosh. As I sit here typing this I just noticed a mistake in my sleeves. 


Okay. I need to go figure out what I'm going to do about this. 
(hint: it has to do with the cable pattern and is near the top.)

January 13, 2009

FO: February baby sweater

February Baby Sweater

Pattern: Baby Sweater on Two Needles, by Elizabeth Zimmerman from Knitter's Almanac.
Needles: some little Addi turbos - maybe 2s? I can't recall
Yarn: My own handspun, from the Roses of Childhood colorway

A holiday knit, finally gifted so now I can blog about it. 
What a JOY to knit this was!! EZ's pattern is brilliant, and the result is pretty darned adorable if I do say so myself.

February Baby Sweater
I love the look and feel of handspun all knit up. Millspun still has a place in my knitting life, but I find myself looking for more and more patterns to use my handspun, handdyed yarn. 

The sweater went to my dear, dear friends who are having a baby girl after two sons. I thought a good dose of pink would be in order!

January 3, 2009

Touching Base

I'm home for a few days between trips. Jetlag. Laundry. You know the drill.

I have a lot of knitting and non-knitting to share, but it'll take me a while to get pictures in order. The Romania we saw on the trip was a land of extremes, from mud huts to marble mansions. We had an incredible time with family and seeing the sites, and feel so lucky to have had the opportunity for that kind of trip. Unforgettable!

For now, the news is that I have finally succumbed:
Noro two row
What they all say is true. I'm totally mesmerized by the play of colors and despite it being the second 1x1 rib scarf I'm knitting in a month I'm finding it totally entertaining. 

More soon!