Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Well, since I started a mystery project that I can't show you, I've also started something that I can. Well, that and (as you can see from the sidebar) most of my current projects are in fingering or laceweight and I just needed something non-laceweight for a while.

This the beginning of Bella. I'm having second thoughts about making her into a cardigan. There are options for both the pullover and the cardigan. Originally, I had decided to make a cardigan to go over a Shapely Tank. I think I probably will; I just wish there were pictures on the site of Bella as a cardigan. I suppose I can always frog if I don't like it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

C'est finis!

I think that's right. It's been a while since I took French. Anyway, here it is being modeled by the lovely Lily Brown Bear.

The specs:
Clapotis from Knitty
Yarn: Laceweight Peppermint Stick from The Fiber Denn, less than 880 yards. (I'll measure the yarn I have left, but if I had to guess, probably about 80 yards are left over.)
Changes: The pattern calls for worsted weight, but works really well with laceweight. (EDIT: I also used a smaller needle - a size 5 instead of the size 8 called for.) I simply added more repeats until it was about the width I wanted and I knit until to the length I wanted and started the decreases. It has a nice drape. I might lightly block it at some point, but it seems fine as is right now. I'm very happy with the way it highlights the handpainted yarn.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I am definitely a fibernut. I dreamed about fiber last night. I don't remember the entire dream too well, but I was in some store that wouldn't ordinarily have fiber, like a bath and linen store, and I found some fiber hidden away in a corner. It was a lovely colorway in pinks and greys (similar to the lovely Concord worsted weight that Delia sent to me). It was pencil thin, so just asking to be spun into laceweight. So not only do I drool over the stuff I find online, I have to drool over stuff in my dreams. I've broken the yarn diet, but I do need to finish a couple of rovings before I purchase more fiber. And I have to keep in mind that the Maryland Sheep and Wool is a mere 2-1/2 months away. (I will not break down and purchase the camel silk or the cashmere silk from Crown Mountain Fibers. I will not break down.)

Question for bloggers: Can anyone tell me how to do the cool percentage bars everyone has on their blogs? Just drop me an email to the address in the sidebar if you can help me. Thanks!

UPDATE: As you can see, I got an answer. Thank you to Chris for sending me to this site. Now everyone can see how many projects I have OTN. (At least the ones I'm willing to admit.)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I made a swatch!

I know some of you out there are shocked that I would actually make a swatch. If you are a regular reader, you know I make a lot of shawls. Okay, shawls can be complicated and take a long time, but you don't really have to make swatches. I know, wouldn't a swatch take a lot less time? Sure, but for some reason, I hate them. I hate doing them and so far, by some miracle all the garments I have made have actually fit. So now I've probably gone and jinxed myself by not only making a swatch, but actually washing it and checking the gauge AFTER.

So there's the swatch. And if you don't remember that particular yarn from previous purchases, well, that's because it's not. That's right, folks, when I break a yarn diet, I do it in style.

All Shine from Knitpicks. The Violet (which the swatch is in) is destined to become the cardigan version of Bella. The Orchid will be a Shapely Tank to go underneath.

And the Cherry – well, it was supposed to be a Shapely Tee, but it's a little brighter than I thought it would be (and I even had the color card), so I'm not sure about it.

And I got a couple of other things, but I'm not telling what they are and what fate awaits them.

In case you are wondering, Clapotis is coming along. I've passed the halfway mark now and still working. I'll give final details after finishing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I have spun the first ounce of my Black Cherry roving from The Woolen Rabbit.

The second picture is a little more color accurate, though the red specks are actually a bit brighter in real life. It is gorgeous stuff and so soft! Since it took me so long to spin up the first ounce, my plan is to spin another ounce onto another bobbin and to let it "rest" for a week or so while I play with my merino from The Fiber Denn. Then I'll ply the Black Cherry and see how much I have. I'm hoping I spun thin enough to make 500 yards because I've got two more ounces and that would mean I would have enough for this. If not, I'll come up with something to use it for, but I really want to make Melanie's pattern sometime.

What do you think of the new IK? I found a couple of things sort of cute, but nothing really stood out for me. That's probably a good thing as my queue is already a mile long.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Clapotis Progress

I hope to have some spinning to show you in the next couple of days. With all the snow, it just feels like a spinning sort of week. I do have the Clapotis to show you.

And the obligatory close-up:

I've had some interest in Clapotis in laceweight. So far, I like it. I have used a smaller needle than called for in the pattern (size 5 instead of size 8) and I added several more repeats of the set-up rows. Okay, I was lazy and didn't count exactly how many more repeats I did; I just repeated until it was about the width that I wanted. I think it will be a little wider after all the stitches are dropped. I am having to tease down the dropped stitches a little, but it's not a big deal. And I have to admit that purling the to-be-dropped stitches instead of using markers was not an original idea, but it works really well.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

A couple of weeks ago, I said something about wanting just one snow before spring came. Well, this is what I woke up to this morning.

That's about a foot of snow on top of our covered picnic table on the porch. Well, I wanted snow, didn't I. I just hope someone remembers to plow out the subdivision sometime soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Knitting Olympics

Okay, first full day and I have yet to decide if I'm participating in the Olympics. I know, very lame, but I couldn't resist waiting to start on the Clapotis. All the shawls I would like to do will take a LOT longer than the allotted two weeks. (I mean who can do a Shetland style shawl in two weeks? Size 2 needles? Maybe if I gave up eating and sleeping and spending time with my family I'd get halfway done.) And there's Bella, but I don't have the yarn for it just yet. I've discovered no matter how hard I try, I can't be loyal to just one project at a time, so technically just about anything I start would be a trial to finish because it wouldn't be the only thing I'm working on. The only time I'm loyal to a project is when I'm very close to finishing, then I get very focused.

Maybe I should just set a personal goal for myself - to finish Clapotis and the Landscape Shawl as well as finish spinning two ounces of the Black Cherry merino/angora. That sounds like a challenging goal to me (especially because I'll very likely get distracted by something else before the Olympics are over.) I'm not officially bowing out yet though. I might yet come up with something to start and finish before it's over.

Clapotis progress: I've gotten to drop three stitches and think I like how it's turning out in laceweight. I promise I'll give more details about the Clapotis in laceweight as I get a bit further along.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yarn Diet Busted

Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows how hard it is to keep to the diet when people keep waving wonderful goodies in your face. So, I'm calling the yarn/fiber diet off. I just can't fight the call of all the lovely fibers anymore. Or the call of a new project. (The diet lasted all of what, two weeks?) I finished the sweater and am working steadily on the Landscape Shawl. So what if I started a little something else.

I mean who could resist this yarn? This is the beginnings of the now-famous Clapotis with the Peppermint Stick laceweight from The Fiber Denn. Since the pattern calls for size 8 needles and worsted weight yarn, I am using size 5 needles and I will just do a few more increases, so it should work out. I think it shows off the pooling quite nicely. Instead of using markers, I'm purling the stitches to be dropped which is why you'll notice a little pucker. I'm quite looking forward to dropping the stitches. On purpose.

Last night, I received this yarn.

It is 6300 yards of Infinity laceweight soy silk from South West Trading Company in natural and is quite lovely. It is actually more creamy yellowish tan than in the picture, but it's more of a neutral color than warm. It is very thin, thinner than Zephyr if that gives you an idea. I think some of it might be dyed, but I just may use some of it natural. (There's 6300 yards of the stuff!) I did some test/model-knitting (more on that later) and this was my compensation. Will knit for yarn:)

Monday, February 06, 2006


When postman rang the doorbell Friday, I couldn't imagine why. I had gotten all the packages I was expecting. Amazon.com had already arrived. My White Lies patterns are here. I recognize that return address. Hmm, what could it be?

How beautiful is this yarn? (As usual, the pictures just don't do it justice!) I've been spinning a bit this week, trying to finish some of the Black Cherry merino/angora so I could dig into my merino from The Fiber Denn and she sends me this. She had no idea that my kids and I had been sick all week and had not left the house. We were going stir crazy and were tired and grumpy. And this brightened my whole week.

I know I said it when my rovings arrive, but she does beautiful work! Absolutely wonderful! I love handpainted yarns. I know they drive some people batty with the way they pool, but not me. I love it. I've been working on my Landscape Shawl and it just fascinates me to watch how the colors work on each row. Will they pool in the same area on the next row or will the pooling be broken up? It keeps my attention even though the stitch patterns are simple.

Now to find patterns to highlight my lovely new yarn. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

May I present

My first finished project of 2006 - "Lizzie"

And the closeup of the moss stitch diamond and cables:

Pattern: Lizzie by Kim Hargreaves from A Treasury of Rowan Knits
Yarn: 11 skeins of Color Your Own Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks
Modifications: The pattern is written for Rowan Denim which is supposed to shrink lengthwise when washed for the first time. Since I used 100% wool, shrinking wasn't an option. I can't tell you exactly what I modified since I pretty much fudged as I worked on it. It wasn't a great bit though, mostly just length in places. I will tell you that the sleeves didn't quite fit into the armholes, so I sort of fixed that problem when sewing. It's under the arm, so you can't really tell.
Start Date: Somewhere around the end of November. End date: January 31 (except for the belt and the buttons)

I love this sweater! The sleeves are maybe just a tad too long, but the length of the sweater is just perfect, exactly what I wanted. It comes to just below the hips and is really warm. This sweater has also taught me a bit about collar construction which is a good thing because I think I almost understand how to make a sweater that I've really been wanting to design.

Next on the horizon: I picked my Landscape Shawl up last night. It seemed to be the project that was calling to me right now.