Friday, July 29, 2005


The market bag is coming along. I'm on Tier 6 and enjoying my first entrelac experience. If you can pick up stitches along a sock gusset, you can do entrelac. My biggest piece of advice for entrelac is to learn to knit backwards. What I mean is that instead of turning your work after only ten or twelve stitches to purl the wrong side, you learn to knit to the left needle. It's really very easy and if you're doing only a few stitches it can be a time saver. So here is how you do it (the pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them). You slip the left needle into the back of the stitch on the right needle.

Bring your yarn over your left needle from back to front.

Next, bring up the yarnover through the stitch on the right needle.

Finally, slip the stitch off the right needle and voila, you have a stitch done in the opposite direction (it would have been purled if you had turned the work). It does take a bit of practice, but for rows with a few stitches it is easier for me than turning the work continuously. For big projects, I still turn and purl the wrong side the traditional way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fourth time's the charm

I've had some trouble deciding what colors to use for my Market Squares Bag. I'm using Knit Picks (there's a shocker) and the Merino Style just doesn't have five colors that I could get to work together. This is the fourth time I've restarted the bag and I think it will work this time. I'm going to use just four colors - Petal, Cornflower, Honey and Vanilla. You can see all but the Vanilla in this picture. This is my first try at entrelac and I am enjoying it. I plan to do the Forest Path Stole sometime in the future and I didn't want that to be my first entrelac project.

And here is the beginning of a sock using "Dusk" Essential. The sock is Conwy from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. Essential is nice to work with, but not quite as soft as Lorna's Laces.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

New sock yarn

Look what came yesterday!

New solid sock colors from Knit Picks - Dusk, Black, Burgundy and Pine. I would have called the "dusk" denim as it looks very much like blue jeans. The black is black and the pine and burgundy are beautiful, together they remind me of country Christmas colors.

Okay, I know I'm becoming something of an ad for Knit Picks, but their yarn is nice and the prices are really good. Occasionally, one of their colors isn't exactly as I expected, but usually I'm pretty happy with my purchases. I've just started the Market Squares Bag in Merino Style. Picts to come when I get a bit more done on it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

On the needles

I don't have anything really photo worthy since the shawl. I had to restart Madli's Shawl. I had gotten about halfway through the border, made a mistake, and couldn't figure out where the mistake was. Rip. I am now about 2/3 done with the first end border. I'm a little over halfway done with Lace Dream from The Best of Knitters: Shawls and Scarves. I'm making it in "Midnight" Alpaca Cloud from Knit Picks and it will be beautiful. I'm about to start on the Market Squares Bag from A Knitter's Dozen: Bags. I also ordered some of Knit Picks new solid color sock yarn. So I should be busy for a while.

In non-knitting news: I read the new Harry Potter on Saturday. I liked it, not my favorite of the series, but I did like it. I loved this quote:

"No, I was merely reading the Muggle magazines," said Dumbledore. "I do love knitting patterns."

Friday, July 15, 2005

Never-ending shawl has ended

Most of the time, I find a shawl pattern that I want to do, then I find the yarn, but occasionally I find the yarn first. This was one of those occasions. I had ordered two cones of yarn from WEBS and they called me because one of the colors I chose was out. They asked if there was another one I might like. I chose the "teal" just because. I've never really been able to tell much from their website pictures, so I've just ordered and hoped for the best. I fell in love with this color the moment I saw it. It's actually more turquoise than teal. (Turquoise is more blue than green; teal is more green than blue.) It is a wool/silk blend and it is a heavier laceweight. I did not have a shawl pattern for it. I looked through all my books and magazines and couldn't find anything. I wanted something not too fancy, just simple just to show off the color. Then my copy of Gathering of Lace came. What a wonderful book! Totally worth every penny. And there was the Shaped Triangle. Simple, yet elegant. And here are closeups. The pictures really don't do the yarn justice. The deep turquoise color has little flecks of blue and violet which the pictures just can't capture.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Miniature skeins

I've decided to do a miniature scene somehow related to knitting. I'm not sure what exactly yet. I've tossed around the idea of a knitting store or maybe a Christmas scene. Anyway, these are some miniature skeins that I've made for the scene. These mini-skeins are made with 2 strands of embroidery floss about a yard long. I wrap the strands around my hand, take it off and twist it with crochet hooks like you would twist a full-sized skein with your hands, then I tuck one end in the other. Cute, huh?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rabbit Season

Living in the middle of suburbia, we seem to see a lot of wildlife. This little fellow was hiding in my very small garden. I coaxed him out a little further with a few blueberries.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Harry Potter

Only 1 week to go!!!! And there is actually a little bit of knitting content. Check out the cool Harry Potter bookmark that Laura on one of my online groups was nice enough to share. It's a Gryffindor scarf. Very cool.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Madli's Shawl and new yarn

You thought I was kidding about starting Madli's shawl, didn't you? Well, when I finish the Shaped Triangle (I'm at the halfway point of the edging now), I'd be down to just one project on the needles. Just one. (I'm not counting the pair of baby socks I need to finish up for charity because that will go really fast if I ever just sit down to it. And I'm not counting the spindling I'm doing for yet another shawl because that's technically not on the needles yet, now is it?) So it would be just one project actually on the needles; I had to start something else.

Of course, yarn came today for another soon-to-be project, the Market Bag from Bags: A Knitter's Dozen. The Merino Style from Knit Picks worked so well on my mom's felted purse that I wanted to try it for mine. Here it is: Mint (really green, a bit brighter than the catalog - think Saint Patrick's Day green), Rhubarb (red-pink), Vanilla (self-explanatory), Honey (a muted golden yellow), and Cornflower (a lavender purple). I think the green might actually be a little too bright for the other colors; it is much brighter in real life than in the picture. I should have tried Tide Pool. Oh, well, I'm sure I'll have to place another order sometime.

Of course, something that's going to interfere with all those projects is the new Xbox game I bought today – Jade Empire.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Barn swallows and a little knitting

Only 10 days until the new Harry Potter!!! I know, nothing to do with swallows or knitting, but I had to get it out of my system.

For those of you following my barn swallow updates: Sometimes barn swallows have two broods in a year. I was beginning to think that our swallows had given up their nest. Although I've seen several flying around the front of the house (and helping with the mosquito population), only one has been sleeping under the porch eaves. Today, however, God help the poor sparrow that tried to move into the nest. Apparently, the swallows are not done with it and two (presumably Mom and Dad) have been fiercely defending the nest all day. So, we might have another brood after all.

I feel I must at least mention my knitting. I've been working almost exclusively on the Shaped Triangle lately. The edging is slow, excruciatingly slow. I was hoping to have it done in time for my guild meeting on Monday, but it's not going to happen. Oh, well. What's that about slow and steady wins the race? Unless, of course, you just get bored and just put it aside for a while. Hmm, where's that pattern for Madli's Shawl?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Never-ending shawl, Part 2

I've now finished the shawl stitches and have begun on the edging.
Pretty, isn't it? Let me tell you what a royal pain in the derriere it is. Remeber how the edging contains over 7,200 stitches? Turns out that I was actually off by a little in my calculations. Okay, a lot. The edging actually contains over 14,000 stitches. And that's not counting all the stitches that have had to be ripped or tinked. So 15 stitches, turn, 15 stitches, turn. Only about 13,000 more to go.

If ever I finish this shawl, I'm going to use this yarn to cast-on for Madli's Shawl by Nancy Bush from Interweave Knits Summer 2004 (pictures here and here, scroll down on each page). The thread is a coned 100% silk, sort of a lavender color with blue and pink specks.