Wednesday, August 23, 2006

WIP Wednesday

I have two new WIPs to show. You didn't think I could really resist all that pretty new yarn, did you? (If you did, you really haven't been paying really close attention, have you?)

I decided to go ahead and start the Snowman vest despite the gauge swatch question. I'm making two, so if the first one is too big, the oldest'll grow into it. Too small, her little sister will get it and I start over.

The second new WIP is my Hex Coat:

These are the fronts. See the indentations in the center. Those are where the hexagons are going to go after the coat is put together.

And just so you don't think I've been neglecting Icarus, I have made a bit of progress.

So there you are, the WIPs that were worked on in the past week.

Monday, August 21, 2006

New Yarn!

Wow, you guys are great! Thank you for all the lovely comments on Madli. I really am very pleased with her! I also wanted to answer a couple of the questions.

Sue asked: How did you like the Shadow yarn? I've actually used the Shadow yarn for several things now and I really do like it. It blocks well and it is soft and the colors are very nice and slightly heathered. I've used the Grape Jelly, green (can't remember its name), Oregon Trail, Vineyard, and now the Jewels and I just love all the colors.

Margene asked: Was it hard to do the grafting? (Basically for Madli, you knit one border, do the body of the stole, then leave live stitches and knit the other border separately to be grafted onto the body.) No, it was not as hard as I had thought it would be. I am sort of glad that I put Madli aside for a while so I could do more socks and practice that darned kitchener a bit more. If you can close the toe of a sock, you can do this. If you don't like socks, you can practice the kitchener with a couple of swatches where you leave live stitches.

It is a beautiful stole so don't let the grafting or nupps scare you off. It is totally worth the effort. You can do it!

New yarn:

This is for the Snowmen & Skates Vest (actually two kid-sized vests) from Knit Picks. I chose this pattern because I thought it was incredibly cute and would be an introduction to (cringe) steeking. I've done Fair Isle, but not steeking. The pattern seems pretty straight-forward but for one thing. Can anyone explain to me why, although the pattern calls for size 3 needles and does not use a size 1 anywhere in the pattern, the gauge swatch calls for size 1 (and it's not a misprint because it actually says 2.25mm). Does this make sense to ANYONE?! To use a completely different needle size for the swatch than for the product? I thought the whole point was to get a swatch using the actual needle. I have an email in to customer service, but I just thought it incredibly odd and annoying.

More new yarn:

This yarn is destined for the Hex Coat from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature book. Hopefully, I'll have a picture for you on WIP Wednesday. I got perfect gauge when I did my swatch (I actually have been good about doing swatches for garments), but for some reason, it's not working out to gauge now. *Sigh*

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I'm on a Roll

I can now work on Icarus a bit more. Madli is finished, nupps and all! I finished her a bit before midnight Friday. (Guess what I worked on yesterday? I'll show progress on Icarus on WIP Wednesday. And maybe a new WIP if I get my yarn.) Anyway, here she is:

Pattern: Madli's Shawl from Interweave Knits, Summer 2004
Needles: Size 5
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow in Jewels
Size: 19" X 62"

Let me just say that this picture was the best one out of about twenty and it still doesn't do justice to this stole. The detail is really pretty and the Shadow yarn has bits of purple that just don't show up. You can sort of see the nupps in the close-up, but the texture in the stole is so nice.

And being modeled by Lily Brown Bear.

Although I did enjoy this stole, the nupps got to me after a while. I'm glad that I finally finished her though! I'm very happy with the finished product. Might be a while before I attempt nupps again though. (There are only a few in Forest Path, so that shouldn't get to me too much.)

Friday, August 18, 2006

I won't insult your intelligence by pretending that this is a swatch. You know what it is. It's the beginnings of yet another shawl.

It's Icarus in that lovely alpaca silk from Webs. I've been wanting to do this shawl since I got the magazine and I really wanted to see how I was going to like it in the pink. That's all. I'm very close to finishing Madli (I keep saying that, don't I?) and the Wool Peddlar's Shawl won't take long at all. I accept that the Forest Path will take forever, so that's sort of an ongoing thing. I will not work on Icarus any more until Madli and WPS are done. And the yarn I have coming from Knit Picks? Well, only some of that is for me, really. I've got to get started on Christmas presents, don't I? And I need something non-lace to work on. Okay, so maybe I am insulting your intelligence just a little, but Icarus is on hold until Madli is finished.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

WIP Wednesday

With a lot of blog talk lately on WIPs, like how many you have, I bring you a new feature here on Alianne Knits - WIP Wednesday where I show you a few of my works in progress. Maybe it will keep me from forgetting about some WIPs for new projects. Madli is somewhat close to being finished, so I'll save her picture until she's all nicely blocked out, hopefully sometime next week before we leave on vacation.

First, I begin with the Wool Peddlar's Swatch, um, Shawl. I have about 65 of 110 garter stitch rows done, then I do the lace edging.

I love the color and I think the finished shawl will be lovely and will certainly be heavier than my usual shawls are.

Next is the Forest Path Stole. This entrelac project is really quite amazing, but each little rectangle seems to take quite a while.

It is really hard to see the separate blocks right now, but trust me when I tell you the finished project is just gorgeous. Check out blogless Karen's on Margene's blog. In case you are wondering, though I may need them at times, no, I don't have multiple hands. Just nice little helpers because Mom's too lazy to find the pins to pin the WIP out. (Are you seeing a "lazy" theme here lately?)

Show me your WIPs!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Red Yarn

Thanks to everyone for all the comments on the Swallowtail. It really is a nice shawl and easy to do. I highly recommend it! And thank you to Irie who pointed out that it was the Fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits not the Winter one. Since I was too lazy to verify the measurements, I was also too lazy to verify the exact issue, but I guess most of you knew what I meant:)

Isn't this some lovely yarn? My mom found a red silk sweater at a thrift store and I unravelled it for around 2900 yards of lovely red laceweight silk. The color in the picture probably isn't too accurate. It is a true red. No hint of warm or cool undertones. Not sure exactly which shawl it's going to be yet, but the yarn, or thread rather, is quite thin. Hmmm, possibly the Tina Shawl. (I would love to do the Mediterranean shawl from Gathering of Lace, but I don't have quite enough for that.)

Madli's coming along. I'm a little over half-way done. I think this time she might actually get finished. I tried starting the Icarus shawl in that lovely pink alpaca silk I got from Webs, but if you remember for the Forest Path Stole I had to unply the cable ply for a thinner thread and I think I might have to do that with the pink as well because I wasn't happy with it as it is.

After seeing the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice from Netflix a couple of weeks ago, I decided to re-read the book for about the thousandth time (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration) and I also decided I needed my very own copy of the movie as well. Colin Firth just broods so well, doesn't he?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Swallowtail Shawl Finished!

Thank everyone for all the kind comments on the Faux Russian. Blogger doesn't always email me everyone's comments so I'm sorry if I didn't respond to everyone personally, but I really did appreciate all of them. The Faux Russian really was a fun knit. This was another fun knit which didn't take long at all.

Obligatory close-up of the edge:

(You can click on the pictures for a closeup.)
Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl from Winter 2006 Interweave Knits
Needles: Size 4
Yarn: Handpainted cashmere laceweight from Just Our Yarn, local dyers. (I passed up this yarn when they came to our guild meeting because the MD S&W was the next weekend, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. The yarn wasn't on their website, but I finally contacted them to see if they still had it. As you can see, they did:)
Measurements: Pretty much what's given in the pattern; I'm really too lazy to find it right now and look.

You may remember that I started the Trellis scarf (also a nice pattern) with this yarn, but then saw this pattern and frogged. I'm glad I did. I think the yarn and the pattern really complement each other. It's really light and elegant.

You may notice that the Wool Peddlar's Shawl is now in the sidebar. I'm coming clean. I really can't justify calling it a swatch anymore.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I know you gals must be tired of me complaining about the blocking wires, so I will complain no more. Nearly three weeks after ordering, they finally came today. They had three different postal code stickers on the tube meaning they did not come straight here. But the important thing is that they are here. And they are wonderful. Instead of a hundred pins and an hour's work, the whole thing took me less than twenty minutes and twenty pins. And here's what the Faux Russian looks like all blocked out.

Close-up of the center:

And a close-up of the edge:

Hopefully, this weekend I can get some action shots of it. For now the specs:
Pattern: Faux Russian Stole from Gathering of Lace
Size: 24" X 72"
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow in Vineyard
Needles: Size 6

This pattern is easy to do, just takes a bit of concentration in places as the chart is a bit long. Coming soon: the Swallowtail Shawl

Monday, August 07, 2006

Weekend of Swatches

You'll never guess what arrived on Friday. No, it wasn't the damn blocking wires. (I know this blog is generally G-rated, but I've been waiting on the things for two weeks now.) I got the order I placed just last Tuesday. And I've already been swatching. This one is the new Amethyst Heather color of Wool of the Andes in a moss stitch. I think I might be ordering more of this for the Hex Coat from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature. Lovely coat and lovely heathery color.

Secondly, I've been swatching with the new Gloss yarn in Concord Grape for the Wool Peddlar's Shawl from Folk Shawls.

It's a swatch, I tell you. I wouldn't start another shawl when I already have four on the needles. I wouldn't do that. Really, I wouldn't. Oh, yeah, the yarn. The yarn is really soft and nice and shiny. Lovely stuff; I think I'll have enough left over for matching socks.

Tell me something. Why is it when I'm in sock mode, I can work on just one sock at a time, finish one sock and do the second without even experiencing second sock syndrome and then do more socks, one at a time, but with lace I have to have at least two or three projects going (usually more)? I just can't stick with one lace project continuously until it's finished.

But the purple thing, it's really just a swatch. Not the beginnings of a shawl. It's not. Really.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Story of Madli

A little over a year ago, I started the Madli shawl in a miscellaneous silk yarn I had. I had to frog and start over countless times and just couldn't get it to work. I kept making small, stupid mistakes that threw the whole pattern off. So, I quit. For the first time, something had beaten me. I couldn't quite accept it, but I got on with other things. I started my Faux Russian Stole, finished Lace Dream. A few weeks later, I saw some beautiful versions of Madli and knew I couldn't just give up, so I tried another yarn and started her again. She was working up beautifully; I loved the pattern and the new Jewels color was exactly what she needed. She was going so beautifully.

Then I got distracted. I got some gorgeous handpainted yarn and I started a Landscape Shawl. I got a spinning wheel. I started socks and a sweater and Christmas presents, and Madli and the Faux Russian Stole got tossed in a basket and forgotten. (Well, except for the time when I had to steal her size 5 needles to work on something else. I did feel guilty about that because it said she wouldn't be worked on for quite a while.) Then I got on a sock kick and worked and worked on socks, but when I finally burned out on socks, instead of starting a new shawl, I decided to pull the Faux Russian from her fate and figured out where I was in the pattern (luckily I've become smart enough to make notes as I go) and finished her. (She's still not blocked. Just guess why.) Still Madli waited. I had started a Trellis scarf using my new size 5s and I didn't want to have to switch the tips back and forth, so still she waited. I started the Forest Path Stole and still Madli waited patiently. She waits no more. I picked her back up and she is being happily worked on. She's not punishing me because I left her for so long, but is happy to be un-neglected.

For those of you keeping track, STILL no blocking wires. If they don't arrive today, I'm going to call and ask them to send me another set. Which is what I'm probably going to have to do because these just seem to have completely disappeared.

Interesting to note: I don't particularly like doing nupps, yet all three of the shawls I'm currently working on - Swallowtail Shawl, Forest Path Stole, and Madli - all have nupps. Hmmm.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Shawl Pictures

Blogger seems to be cooperating today, so I'll post pictures of my beginnings on the Swallowtail Shawl (which I mistakingly called Scarf in my last entry).

It really is much prettier in person; the colors are really subtle, but enough for interest. No pooling because the colors are very short. I'll do closeups when I finish which shouldn't take too much longer. I'm already nearly to the Lily of the Valley charts. It's working up quickly and I love it.

Still no blocking wires. I'm going to have to call Knitpicks and ask them to send me replacement wires if they don't arrive before Friday (especially if what I ordered yesterday shows up before the wires do). Again, *sigh*