Saturday, September 26, 2009

DONE! FO: Diamonds and Triangles shawl


Pattern: Diamonds and Triangles stole from Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: Baruffa Cashwool, nearly a full hank
Needles: US size 7, three brands.
Cast on date: November 2007
Cast off date: September 24, 2009

That's right. It took me nearly two years to finish this behemoth. I began it, finished the center and put it aside, worked on the edging, got bored and put it aside. Rinse and repeat until a couple of weeks ago when I decide that it will be perfect with the dress I've bought for the opening of my museum. At that point I have the edging complete on two sides, so I've about half the edging to go. And I kick it into high gear. I finished knitting it on the 24th and had it ready to wear on the 25th.

If I were to knit this again (which I don't plan on) I would absolutely use smaller needles, and probably a slightly thicker yarn. It was very fiddly. The pattern itself is quite straightforward. I find that I have a strong preference for shawls knit in one piece, instead of having to knit an edging on after knitting the body.

Technically speaking, there are problems with this shawl. I had some difficulty with the corners - I had to fudge one or two things here or there. There are a couple of mistakes in the edging. And my weaving in of ends isn't very good. In short, this isn't a fair piece. But I don't worry about it because the shawl is black, which makes a lot of things hard to see, and because of the size.

One thing this piece is, is enormous. I blocked it out to about 3' by 7'. And I didn't even block aggressively... It's also very warm. The wool is soft and kept me warm all night long at the opening.

Preblocking, with a meter stick.
Diamonds and Triangles stole

Blocking on my alphabet foam blocks, with a meter stick. You can also see the line created by grafting. I pulled the kitchener tight, rather than making it invisible.
Diamonds and Triangles stole

Blocking cat deterrent devices. We had a little problem the last time I blocked...
Diamonds and Triangles stole

Post blocking detail
Diamonds and Triangles stole

Wearing the shawl with my dress from the opening. Not the shoes though. My feet were tired from the heels.
All dressed up

Higher contrast posing:
Diamonds and Triangles stole
Diamonds and Triangles stole

Fluttery detail shots:
Diamonds and Triangles stole
Diamonds and Triangles stole

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lace ambitions

I didn't get so far as I had hoped yesterday. I did a couple repeats during the movie and another one later. Here's a big mess of black. I'm getting a little worried - it's going to be tight at the end for yarn.
Diamonds and triangles

But, in other news, I got packages today. First package is a very pretty sock needle holder from my pal Madam, which normally would be enough to thrill me, but it got a bit overshadowed by the second package.
sock needle holder

Second package!

Knitted Lace Designs of Herbert Niebling
! Printed by Lacis and available through School House Press (who had VERY fast shipping, big thumbs up there).

With pretty things like this:

And this:

And this:

Such lovely lace designs. I swoon. ... But first the edging.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Green Mile vs. the Edging

Sunday, 1:43 pm PST: I have 8 repeats of the edging left to go on the Diamonds and Triangles Stole. I have about 3 hours of the Green Mile to watch. How far can I get? My money is on three repeats, when you count in interruptions. Hoping for more. Wish me luck.
Diamonds and Triangles stole

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Summer Swap

I participated in a Summer Swap over on the KnittyBoard. I got my fabulous final box from my swap partner, Aitara! It was chock full of East Coast goodies:
Summer swap package

Lovely yarn, lots of little goodies, Maine saltwater taffy, a really neat blank book, and some chocolate covered graham crackers that disappeared before the photo was taken. Thank you for the fun summer packages, Aitara!

In knitting news, I've really been focusing on buckling down on my Diamonds and Triangles stole from Victorian Lace Today (aka: the shawl started in November 2007). I'm knitting on the edging and I'm about halfway down the second long side. So I have the rest of the long side and the last short side and a 32 stitch graft, and then it will be done!

And I want to finish it in less than 2 weeks. In two weeks, the museum I work for will be opening (like, for the first time!), and I bought a dress online that the stole will be gorgeous with. So I need to finish it in time. I really hope the dress fits right when it arrives.

Monday, September 7, 2009

FOs: Socks and Lilac Leaf Stole-ish

It's Labor Day in the US. Time to show off the fruits of my labor.

First up is a pair of socks for Ms. PolarG who will be starting a nursing program very soon! They're simple socks in Elann's Natural Merino sock yarn, with a contrast heel and toe from leftover Dream in Color Smooshy I had from my Killa socks. They were worked two at a time, two up, with a peasant heel (or is it an afterthought heel? I'm not sure there's a difference.). The ribbing may look familiar - it's the same as the Spey Valley socks, a 5x2 rib.
socks for polarg

And then there's my Lilac Leaf Stole from Knitted Lace of Estonia. It took 4 balls of Naturally Dawn 2 ply, three of which I had in my stash and one which I had to hunt down in a panic when I realized I was running out of yarn. Three balls had the yardage the pattern asks for. I was using a needle size up from the pattern requirements. Yet my stole still blocked out much smaller than the measurements in the pattern. (14" x 56" rather than 20" x 66")

Naturally, I didn't swatch. I never swatch for lace because I'm all kinds of mavericky. I think, if I did it again, I would go up yet another needle size for a looser knit. The Dawn, while called a lace yarn, seems more like a light fingering to me. The yarn itself is soft, but tends to be a bit splitty. I hope it holds up well - I have six more balls of the stuff because I'm a sucker for silk blends.

The pattern, now that I get to it, is pretty easy! The center motif is memorizable, and the edging lends interest. Least favorite part of the project? Kitchenering the top edge to the body. Kitchenering is nice, and creates a good effect if done properly, but over 95 stitches? Oy. Still, all in all, I like the stole, even if I wish it were a bit bigger. Let's go to the photos:
Lilac leaf shawl

Lilac leaf shawl

In this photo you can see where the kitchener is. My tension on that is all kinds of wonky. Nancy Bush, in her wisdom, incorporates the kitchener into a garter stitch row, so it's a less heinous offense to have wonky tension.
Lilac leaf shawl

Lilac leaf shawl

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Knitting: Now with more awards!

It's fair weekend here in Kittitas County. And, for the first time ever, I entered some knitting in the fair. Because it's free. So why not?

Mr. Husband and I went to the fair today to check it out. We picked the only day in months where it rained. Actually it poured. We got pretty wet. But our umbrellas still work, despite not getting as much action as they used to in Seattle.

The socks were the first entry I spied. A blue ribbon!
Kittitas County Fair

Just before submitting the socks, I cut out some sock forms from cardboard. That lace really pulls in on itself. Second sighting was my Milky Way Scarf. Blue ribbon!
Kittitas County Fair

My final entry - my Shetland Tea Shawl - was the hardest to find. It was in the back with the other best in class winners!
Kittitas County Fair

I was pretty excited. Although, as you can see, the judging committee was not exactly stingy with the blue ribbons. But it was really neat to see my stuff with everyone elses. Needlework entries were a bit scarce, but there were a lot of quilts. And the winners were stunning:
Kittitas County Fair

The black one on the far left was amazing. The work that went into it just astounded me. And there were entries elsewhere that didn't even get a ribbon. But I thought they looked good. Just not as technically excellent, I guess. Lots of great handwork going on in the county.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Busy bee.

But I've been busy. A couple weeks ago my husband and I took an impromptu road trip up to Kalispell, MT and Glacier National Park. It's a 7 hour drive and it was a three day weekend. You do the math.

For the record, Glacier National Park is stunning. We saw lots of mountain goats, including a kid, a couple of marmots, and even a bear!
2009.08.24-MTroadtrip 311

Before we headed home on Monday, I wanted to stop at the yarn shop in Kalispell. Camas Creek Yarn is a beautiful shop, with a great selection. It's organized front to back from thin yarn to thick yarn, with lots of comfy corners and warm colored wood. I only got this sorry shot of the inside (being too midwestern to just whip out the camera and start snapping)
2009.08.24-MTroadtrip 373

But see how warm and inviting that is? And the storefront is great too.
2009.08.24-MTroadtrip 371

Naturally, I had to get some souvenir yarn, so I got a Zauberball in Grass Green. Which promptly went in the stash. Socks someday, I expect, to remind me of the green hills and the hiking. (Check out the photos which my husband has cleverly condensed and I have not even processed yet (except for the ones of the yarn store.))

And I've been knitting like a madwoman. A pair of socks for this gal headed into a nursing program, and I just now, just earlier tonight, blocked out my languishing Lilac Leaf Stole from Knitted Lace of Estonia. I survived the kitchener.

By brain is consumed by the fibery. I want to be knitting all the time, playing with my yarn all the time. But I have this thing called a job, which I would like to keep...

I have two lace shawls on the needles. One of which I started nearly two years ago and which really needs to be finished. I'm not a fan of the knitted on edging, I tell you what. But what I want to do is one of those super cute little shawls that's mostly plain, but with a bit of interest at the end. I think it might be time for me to break out the hank of Sea Silk I've got sitting in the stash and knit something on that order.

But I should really finish that one shawl before it hits its terrible twos. It's going to be a massive thing, let me tell you.