Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FO: Ishbel Scarf

Everybody's doing it. Or has done it. And now I'm going to be starting a two part class on it at the Dancing Ewe starting a week from Saturday, so I figured I ought to knit one up.

I went stash diving and came up with three balls of this:

That's Baruffa Bollicina, a yummy 65% cashmere/35% silk blend yarn. I must have bought it as a treat, and I bet it was on sale at the Ewe when I did. Anyway, it's lovely stuff, although I did find a knot in one of the balls.

Ishbel is a lovely little pattern - very clear and easy to follow, although the lace pattern is not one I was able to memorize. My only change to the pattern would be to do a provisional cast on in the place of a regular cast on. I think it would be cleaner, although not too functionally different.

Ishbel on guitar case

As I am wont to do, I blocked this within an inch of its life. It ends up just under four feet long and maybe 20" wide center to point. That's a little smaller than I usually prefer, but very functional.

Ishbel on the fridge

I could imagine making the larger laceweight version of this someday. Also, while knitting it, I had the opportunity to try AddiClick Lace needles - interchangeable needles from Skacel with Addi Lace heads. I loved how light the needles were, and adored how flexible the blue cords are (my own addi lace needles are the old red cord, which is great, but not so nice as the blue ones, apparently). And I liked that I had no concern whatsoever that the needle tips were going to fall off. But I did find the my yarn was catching at the join between needle and cord, a very unfortunate impediment to their use. It was interesting to compare them to others I've used.

Ishbel detail

Next up: Finish the foot on the sock I'm making for this Saturday's class, and then get to work on the socks I promised my aunt! Excited, because I'm going to do the Rivendell Sock - a pattern which I have loved, but not had an excuse to get until now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

FO: Olympic Rose of England Tea Shawl

As you may have guessed, the radio silence has meant that I totally failed to complete my Rose of England by the end of the Olympics. I was going crazy knitting Thursday and Friday before the Olympics ended and realized that I wasn't having any fun. So I eased up, and just enjoyed the ride. It's taken me until today to finish the last dozen or so rows and the crocheted bind off.

Pattern: Rose of England (tea cloth) from Marianne Kinzel's Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting
Yarn: Baruffa Cashwool, most of one hank (~1400 yards)
Needles: Size 6 Knitpicks options, Size B crochet hook for the edging.
Size: Blocked to 58" across, pulled back some once off the pins

Kinzel's pattern is clear and well written, but that didn't stop me from having trouble wrapping my head around it. The charts have a slightly different style from most modern lace charts, which threw me for a bit of a loop. Then there's the matter of casting on for such a small diameter, which is always a bit tricky.

After the first day of knitting, I found that I had completely missed... something. I'm still not sure exactly what happened, but I had to rip out completely and start over. So I lost some time there. It was all pretty much smooth sailing after that. Except for the problem of the Extremely Long Rows toward the end. And that was just a problem of inertia. I did get hung up a bit at the crocheted edging, but after reviewing multiple instructions on how to do a double crochet, I found's the most useful, and off I went.

The yarn was lovely. It's been in my stash for years, and I was glad to use the Olympics as a chance to use it up. I didn't run into any knots or slubs, which is very nice over that length of yarn.

Preblocking, the usual crumpled mess:
Rose of England Shawl

Blocking. It took all my T-pins, and most of the safety pins I could dig up to pin out the crocheted loop edging.
Rose of England Shawl

Draped over a chair:
Rose of England Shawl

Hanging off the side of the fridge:
Rose of England Shawl

Edging details:
Rose of England Shawl
Rose of England Shawl

Center details:
Rose of England Shawl
Rose of England Shawl

And now onto the next!