Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Me? In a Jane Austen Novel?

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Odd quiz but fun. I think it is more likely that I am in an Emma Thompson movie.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Still Knitting

I have been knitting pretty constantly since the beginning of my vacation. It has almost become a job, but I still love doing it. I went away for a few days to relax by Lake of Bays in Muskoka. I justsat on the beach and looked at the sky and knit. As the cloud formations drifted by the Ooh La Lace Dress was knit back to normal. The alternating of 2 balls at once is not visible from the outside. I am just starting the third repeat. When the third repeat is finished I will have passed where I was when I had to frog.

My alternate WIP is a summer top by Lana Grossa. It is almost finished. I'll try to post a photo soon

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Tink Tink Tink ......

The saga of the Ooh La Lace Dress continues. I took a deep breath girded my loins and plunged into correcting the damage. Actually I gathered up my knitting and skeins and drove over to my LYS where sympathetic knitters could comfort me in my grief and help me stay determined to do what must be done. I ripped back to the life line (more life lines needed in the future). I then proceeded to swatch each remaining skein of yarn. All the knitters agreed that it was impossible to determine the relative shade of the yarn by strand alone, so the swatches were necessary. I have labeled each swatch and skein from darkest to lightest (photo below). Now I am tinking (unknitting stitch by stitch) the remaining 4 rows of lighter yarn. Once this is done, I will commence to knit from darkest to lightest skein alternating skeins. Proving that I can do the right thing.


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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ohh No Not the Frog Pond!

I have just met my first challenge with this project and surprise surprise it’s not the lace. Last weekend I decided to work on this dress outside in my garden. I usually only knit this at night in bed. I am on my third pattern repeat and my second ball of yarn, Its about 12 inches long now. As I hold the knitting up to my leg to check for length I notice what? A stripe! A colour change! Mixed dye lot? This is Handmaiden yarn. There are no dye lots or colour ways assigned to skeins because each batch varies, and apparently each skein varies within a batch. Mine was a custom order of a single batch: this is as good as it will get. They do recommend knitting with two skeins at once to minimize colour differences and pooling but this does not always work and I was reluctant to do this when knitting circular lace. I’m not frogging. I will have to figure out a way to work with the colour variations, especially since they are not that obvious when on the skein. My daughter says it just looks like an intentional fade, but I’m, worried about what happens when the next darker skein comes in.

- Either I introduce the next darkest skein immediately after this one is finished, and when it is finished start knitting with the remaining four skeins two at a time.
- or I frog 15 rows back to my life line (four rows above the shade/skein change) and start knitting two skeins at a time.
- Another option is to frog back to the life line and introduce the next darkest skein (I can only identify one) and then continue with the remaining four lighter skeins.

I’m afraid that knitting with two skeins alternating will create a ridge in the circular lace. What I really want to do is just continue knitting one skein at a time and pray that it all looks like a sophisticated fade in and out (fat chance!). The yarn is a semi solid as it is a mix of silk and linen which absorb dye differently.

I have posted a photo of the dress-in-progress below. The colour is not quite dark enough and I think the shade contrast is exaggerated. The “cast on” photo shown in the previous post is closer to the actual colour. Neither of the photos conveys the sheen and depth of the yarn. I lined up all of the wound skeins from light to dark. Again the photo colour is lighter than the actual colours. I looked at all of the yarn and the knitting in the sunlight, (morning, afternoon and evening) in the shade, in artificial light etc… Sunlight creates the most noticeable contrast and artifical light the least.

paden lace handmaiden knitting

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Ooh La Lace Pour Moi

dress lace paden

I finally have my lace summer dress (by Shirley Paden, in Lace Style) on the needles. First the yarn, Flaxen, took forever to arrive from Hand Maiden. But it is so beautiful and so worth it. Then I had to wind the skeins into balls. It took two attempts to get the cast on right. The original pattern has a slit in the back, but I am knitting this circular with no slit. I did not make a swatch because the pattern has a 45 stitch, 26 row repeat, and uses 6 needle sizes. I am a loose knitter so I am hoping that by starting with the needle size in the pattern I will allow enough ease for walking. After I knit past the area where the slit would be I will take the piece off of the needles for a fitting. If it works out I will then proceed to gradually decrease to a needle size 3 sizes smaller than what the pattern requires, because that it is the difference that typically gives me gauge. I will also not have a turtleneck or buttons down the back. A jewel neckline should allow enough ease to wiggle into the dress.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Starting Is More Enticing Than Finishing

February is over and my mittens are not finished. I till have one thumb and the blocking left to do. hopefully I can finish before next February. They would be excellent mittens to wear now in the late winter and in the early spring. The green and purple and black remind me of Blue Heron Tulips in my Spring garden.


I may not have finished in February but I did start projects. Starting is so much more enticing than finishing. My Habu lunch bag kit arrived in the mail. The yarn is multiple strands of coloured silk bound together with black silk. It creates a beautiful tapestry like effect. Blue and green roving is also in the kit, to make a felted handle. The instructions are a hoot. Very brief. You have to be an experienced crocheter to make sense of it, but the diagram is excellent.

Lunch Bag Kit

I also started the Anastasia socks, in red cotton/lycra Fixation. They are to be my March break travel project. I don't have wooden needles so I hope I don't have trouble taking them on the plane.


I finally photographed Curly Locks, the Fleece Artist mohair, and Flaxen, the Handmaiden silk/linen that I received before Christmas. Both of them are intended for Shirley Paden patterns. I have started swatching Curly Locks for a cardigan, but I probably won't knit that until next fall.

Curly Locks

The colour and feel were just so tempting that I couldn't resist swatching. How can yarn be so beautiful that I am happy to knit nothing but a swatch with it. The Flaxen is for the Ooh La La Lace dress and shawl, from Lace Style. I should start that some time in spring. But when will I finish?


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Monday, February 23, 2009

February is for Finishing Photos

I finally took some pictures of projects that I finished in December. The spiral scarf is the first crochet project that I have done in decades. I love crochet but crochet eats yarn. This scarf tooke 3 skeins of Manos yarn. I made it as a sample for my Fashion students. Most of the students enjoyed the project. The scarf incorporates all of the basic crochet stitches in a very straight forward way and produces a fun and funky accessory. I actually wear this scarf a lot, almost every day. I also made a matching head band to keep my ears warms, and avoid my "big hair".
I made the hat for my son. This is the first thing that I have hand knit that he actully wears. It fits him very well as long as he has short hair. Unfortunately once his hair grows it becomes a problem, just like mine.
Now if I could only finish those Druid mittens! I have closed the tops, but still have to knit two thumbs.


Spiral Scarf, Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica


Hat for a Skater-Boy, Cascade 220 Superwash