Monday, July 31, 2006

New Scarf

Okay, I did really like the Trellis Scarf. I thought it was turning out very pretty, but then the new Interweave had to come out and I had to see the Swallowtail Scarf. So, yes, I frogged again. And started the Swallowtail Scarf. Evelyn Clark does such lovely work, doesn't she. (She also designed the Trellis Scarf and the Landscape Shawl. I love her designs and those of Nancy Bush.) Blogger isn't cooperating with the pictures again, so I can't show you the beginnings. Someday, I'm going to switch blog hosts.

My blocking wires still aren't here. I'm getting really ticked off at the substitute mailman. At least I hope it's a substitute and not a new guy because our regular postman is decent. Always brings packages to the door, etc. The other day I was expecting a package from Amazon (The Animaniacs, anybody remember those?:) Anyway, I was expecting it to arrive Thursday, but it wasn't in the box with the rest of my mail. So, Friday morning I looked up the tracking number and it said "delivered" (the previous day). Huh? I go out to the box and there it is. It had been delivered to someone else and they had been nice enough to put it in our box. I got my Knitpicks size 3 needles on Wednesday and the blocking wires were shipped the same day. Yet, still no blocking wires. Makes me wonder what the substitute has done with them. *Sigh*

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Trellis Scarf and Miscellaneous

The Trellis Scarf is back to where it was before frogging. No point in a picture. Just imagine the one in the previous entry without the big gaping hole. It actually didn't take too long and the cashmere is a pleasure to work with. Since it's 90 degrees every day there's really not a huge rush to finish it, so I'll just enjoy it.

The Faux Russian has been completed and it is lovely, but still has not been blocked. Oh, what the heck, here's a before picture.

I hope to get my new blocking wires today or tomorrow, so I should be able to get her blocked by the weekend. She's going to be lovely!

And while I'm forcing crappy pictures upon you, here's another. This is a little progress on the Forest Path Stole. It really is amazing how bad lace looks before the magic of blocking, isn't it?

Since I'm already rambling on, I got the stitches out yesterday and the ugly mole was fortunately benign. Now I just have an ugly scar. More ramblings, I guess we must have had a brown out last night because our power went out and not the neighbors behind us or down the road. Only those immediately around us. Of course, kids woke terrified because their night lights were out. See why I'm rambling, I didn't sleep well last night, so I probably should end and spare you more ramblings. I'll try to get better pictures when the lace is blocked.

Monday, July 24, 2006


As I was showing off my lovely one-third done Trellis Scarf last night to my Sit 'N' Knit friends, one of them asked me, "What's this?" Can you see it? (First of all, the picture just sucks, but since showing you the Trellis Scarf in all its glory isn't the point of the picture just ignore the bad coloring and look for the big gaping hole.) You do see it, don't you? You can click on the picture to make it bigger.

How about a closer view?
(Okay, the colors are actually a bit more accurate in this picture and yes, I know the picture is blurry, but again, that's not really the point.) Yep, apparently, very close to the beginning I missed one or two of the seven stitches on a make 5 from 7 stitch and it finally unravelled. Now, if this was anything but the cashmere that I longed over for several weeks before finally deciding to treat myself, anything but the cashmere, I would be sorely tempted to fix it as best as I could and sew it closed. Done. But alas, it is the cashmere and I can't have anything but the most perfectly done pattern, so it's getting ripped today to the gaping hole. Lesson learned; be VERY careful to make sure there are seven loops on the needle when knitting seven together. *Sigh* My friend kept apologizing for pointing it out and I kept telling her that I'm very glad she did before I got any farther. The good news is that this scarf doesn't take very long at all, so I should be caught up pretty quickly. Especially when I tell you the other good knitting news. (Yes, there is some.) The Faux Russian is nearly done. I am on the top border and will likely finish today.

You'll have to wait until the blocking wires come in (hopefully this week) before catching a glimpse. Yes, I've finally gotten sick of sticking hundreds of pins into a shawl and thought I'd try the "easy" way for a change. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


What is unspinning you might ask. Well, remember the pretty alpaca silk I got the other day? Well, it came as a four ply laceweight, only it's a cable ply. That means that two of the plies were plied together and then the 2-ply yarn was plied together with 2-ply yarn. This means if you unply it, you end up with two strands of very fine (about JaeggerSpun Zephyr fine) 2-ply yarn. But to do this, you can't just knit off the cone and wind the other strand because you'll still have the twist which will just twist more, so you have to get rid of the twist. So what I did was wind a bobbin onto my wheel full, then I treadled counter-clockwise to get rid of the twist as I pulled the yarn from the bobbin to two ball winders (okay, really a ball winder and a niddy noddy on which I then used the ball winder.) I know sounds complicated and too much trouble, doesn't it?

Well maybe so, but take a look at this:

I know still doesn't look like too much, but when you consider that it's only the first 20 rows of the Forest Path Stole. And it's just so delicate that I know my stole will be wonderful!

I'm still working on the Faux Russian Stole and the cashmere scarf, but as the stole is nearly done and the scarf won't take too long, I have to start something new. (Oh, just for Jody, you may be absolutely shocked to hear that I finally plan on picking Madli back up after I finish my scarf so I can retrieve my size 5 tips. She's calling to me again.)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Purple Cashmere Scarf

A picture of my purple cashmere Trellis Scarf. It's really coming along very well. It's so soft! And so difficult to really show in a picture as the purples are so muted and subtle.

I'm still liking the Knitpicks needles. I'm using the size 5 needles and the tips slip fairly easily into the K7 together. I love the tips for lace!

And this is a nice flower for Project Spectrum. It's called a snail vine and was blooming yesterday morning. Speaking of blooming plants, remember my blooming snake plant? Well, the funny thing is that some people have these plants for years without ever having one bloom. So I was surprised when one of the two on our stair landing bloomed back in May. Now, the other one is getting ready to bloom. How weird is that? I'll post picts of it when it finally blooms, but isn't it cool?

Friday, July 14, 2006

I love these needles!

Yesterday, I started the Trelllis Scarf from the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits in my purple cashmere. First of all, I don't think the yarn will overpower the lace or vice versa. The purples are very muted with no dramatic color changes, so I think it will work out very well. Unfortunately, it's cloudy today and though I tried, I couldn't get a decent picture, so that will have to wait.

As for the needles, I'm using the size 5 tips. (When I refer to the tips, I am referring to the silver needle part itself and the points refer to the actual end of the needle.) The needles themselves are nice and slick and are nice and long which I like as some circular needle tips are too short and make my hands cramp. The points are much sharper than Addis (which was why I'm not an Addi fan) and have a fairly long taper. The needle points slid very easily into the Trellis Scarf's 7 to 5 stitch which means you slip the needle through seven stitches and k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, making five stitches from the original seven. That wasn't difficult at all. The only problem I had with the join was my own fault for not tightening it quite enough and I got a stitch caught in between, but I fixed that and the joins are actually incredibly smooth. Just make sure you tighten enough. One thing I've always hated about my Clover Bamboos was having to force the stitches over the join. None of that with these. I can just slide the stitches easily over. The cables themselves (besides being purple, of course) are wonderful. I don't know how they'll hold up to abuse, but they do join easily to the needles and they are not kinked at all from being bagged. Absolutely no steaming required.

Overall, I'm very happy with this purchase and I will be keeping them. I will most likely purchase the 0-3 sizes. I highly recommend trying them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Knitpicks Needles!

The postman just rang the doorbell to deliver my package from Knitpicks with their new needles!

From first glance, the needles look very nice, the tips are nice and tapered and look quite as sharp as my bamboos. I have not used them yet because I had to take pictures and post as soon as they arrived, but I intend to try casting on for my Trellis Scarf with that lovely purple cashmere this afternoon to see how I like them for lace. The cables are purple, which is pretty cool and I can't wait to try them. I will definitely post as soon as I get a feel for them. If I like them, I'll probably purchase the single circular needles in sizes 0-3.

Now on to other news. I got quite a bit of knitting on the Faux Russian at the doctor's office yesterday. It shouldn't take too much longer. Now, why was I at the doctor? I had a really bad mole on my ankle that had to be surgically removed. The nurse even let me keep knitting while she was numbing the area. Let me tell you how much having something off the ankle hurts. Keep in mind there's not much skin there to begin with and him having to take a good chunk of it. (It wasn't a small mole, very speckly and nearly the size of a dime.) Ick. Thank goodness for ibuprofen. And thank goodness for my DH who went downstairs at 3am to get the ibuprofen for me when the numbness finally wore off. Anyway, if you have funny looking moles, go to the dermatologist have them checked out and wear sunscreen. Okay, off the soapbox. I'll write about the new needles soon!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

What I'm now working on

Okay, what's the surefire way to get me to stop working on something? Join a KAL, of course. Since April, I've been cranking out socks. Eight pair and I get to the heel flap of the second sock of the ninth pair (which is only my second pair for the Summer of Socks) and I think I've burned out on socks. I tried, but I just couldn't knit on that flap any more. So I picked up my spinning and it was okay, but not what I wanted. I tried starting my cashmere scarf, but I didn't like how the bamboo needles were catching on it, so I decided to wait until my new Knitpicks needles came to give it a try with those. (Of course, I'll give a review of the needles when I get them). So what did I finally pick up again? Lace.
My Faux Russian Stole has been languishing quietly in a basket, being patient. It called to me yesterday. I know it looks black in the picture, but it's actually quite a deep burgundy purple (KnitPicks Shadow color Vineyard). So at least I'm still in Project Spectrum.

Anyway, I also got a bit of new yarn yesterday. It's alpaca silk from Webs and my goodness, it's soft and shiny. I can't feel or smell a trace of spinning oil in it even though it's coned. Absolutely gorgeous stuff, isn't it?

Should make for something nice and lacy sometime in the future.

So I think the sock phase is over and I'm back to lace for a while.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Summer Spinning

Well, I finally got sick of knitting socks, for a day or two at least. I'm nearly to the heel of the second Trekking sock, but my hands were beginning to feel it. So I decided to actually try to meet some of my Summer Spinning goals. I wanted to spindle at least fifteen minutes a day and that has sort of not been working out lately. But I did get to work on some of the bamboo yesterday for a few minutes. Bamboo is a bit more slippery than wool, but less so than silk. It is very nice stuff though and seems very drapey and I can't wait to have enough for a shawl. (That shouldn't take long at all, should it? That's a rhetorical question, by the way.)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Trek to the Air and Space Museum

Here's the new sock in Trekking color 109 in Slipped Rib pattern from the Sensational Knitted Socks book. These socks are for Project Spectrum, Summer of Socks and the Trek with Me. Today the sock went on a trek with us to the National Air and Space Museum out at Dulles Airport.

Here it is with a Joint Strike Fighter:

And the Space Shuttle Enterprise:

In case you are wondering, my DH helped me get the pictures, not embarrassed in the least. (Or if he was, he hid it well.)

I didn't have a problem with my knitting needles and security. The woman who checked my bag did check with her supervisor after I offered to take them back to the car, but he only asked me with a little humor, "You're not intending to use them as weapons, are you?"
"Okay, go ahead."