What’s Next?

I am finished with my Dowland shawl and have begun my next project. I actually have quite a few in the queue, but have selected and wound the yarn for the next two projects. The darker one is Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn in color Slate which is the yarn I am using for a new Holbrook shawl in the photo below. The light green is Classic Merino Superwash Sport yarn in color Honeydew which I will be using for a new Kimani shawl. I need to knit new samples of both of these due to inventory changes.

Holbrook Shawl beginning

Holbrook should be a quick knit even if I decide to enlarge the original size a bit. It is an easily memorized lace and I remember it being very fast the first time I made it.

Dowland on the blocking mat

So, I was blocking Dowland yesterday and to my annoyance I realized I still need more blocking mats. I thought 18 should be plenty but if I had just ONE more I wouldn’t have had to come up with the work around you see below for that ONE point I couldn’t pin down. Sigh. It worked for this time but I will be buying some more before I block the next shawl, just in case. Of course I won’t need them then, right? :-D

Looks like I still need more blocking mats. :-)

I am quite pleased with how it came out and hope it will inspire many knitters in the booth this year. I can’t believe it’s only about a month until festival season begins again for me. First up is the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival and the next weekend I am happy to be going back to the Carolina Fiber Festival.

Usonian Shawl
Katania Shawl
Dowland Shawl

I hope to have the Holbrook finished to add to these three new samples. I think it is too much to expect that I can have the Kimani finished before I leave but I should have it on the needles to work on in my down time while I am traveling.


Dowland Progress

We didn’t get hit nearly as hard by the polar vortex as many of you did, and we are finally warming up into the forties this afternoon. We didn’t get any snow, which I am grateful for, but we had some frigid temps for a few days. It has been gray so much too, but the sun was out this morning and I took an opportunity to get a better picture of the Dowland shawl.

The color is more true here than in the previous ones I took. I am on the final chart at the moment, so I have about 40 more rows to finish this one up. The rows are twice as long now though, so progress is a bit slower.

I apologize for the short post but I just wanted to get this in while I had a few moments this afternoon. I have an appointment to pick up an order of alpaca fiber from the mill to dye this week. See you soon!

Knit Blockers and Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival

I finished the knitting on Usonian but before I get to the report on my new blocking tools let me show you what I cast on next. Dowland is a half-pi (semi-circle) lace shawl. I like this style shawl as they look so elegant and seem so fast to knit. This one is especially pretty I think. I am using my Classic Merino Bamboo again in the Atlantic color. I started it a few days ago and am already on the 5th chart.

Okay so on to the blocking of Usonian; I apologize that the pictures aren’t spectacular. The weather is just gray, gray, and more gray, not to mention rainy so much of the time that outdoor pictures just aren’t happening at the moment. At least it’s not snow, that’s that. ;-)

Fresh off the needles shot.

I attempted to block this on Tuesday, but very quickly realized that what one of my commenters said was correct, I hadn’t ordered enough of the mats or the Knit Blockers. Sigh. So I ordered more and they arrived Thursday evening. So on Friday morning I put the shawl back in water to soak and then spin out in the washer before trying again.

Even with two sets of Knit Blockers I ran a tiny bit short but managed to shift a few around and get the job done. I used 16 of the Blocking Mats of the 18 I have now. That seemed adequate but I could see a larger shawl possibly needing a few more than the 18. I may be ordering more of both in the future. I did really like using them and found them a bit easier and less fiddly than wires and pins. It may depend on the project though. We’ll see how the half – pi shape works. From previous experience with that shape you can only use the wires across the top straight edge and have to use pins only for the round side. It seems like it may be require similar application with these Knit Blockers. Threading the wires through the edges is always my least favorite aspect of blocking and using these as a substitute for that part was a positive experience. It certainly made the job quicker and less tedious.

I love how this shawl came out and can’t wait to show it off in the booth this year. It’s about 2 months until my first scheduled festival rolls around. This year my calendar begins March 15th with the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. I have been a part of this show since it’s earliest years and I am very excited about the this year’s show. It is the 15th year and lots of special things are planned to celebrate. It is also returning to it’s roots a bit by moving to a hotel hosted location that is adjacent to but not in the downtown area. Class registration in a huge variety of fiber arts of all kinds are live on the website. I hope to see some of you there!

It’s almost time

I predict it won’t be too much longer before Usonian will be complete and I am actually looking forward to blocking for a change. Why you ask? I have been meaning to try out some new to me blocking tools. Maybe you have heard of them? They are called Knit Blockers. My friend Dee O’Keefe uses these and seems to like them a lot so I decided to order a set and give them a try. I ordered mine from Amazon along with a set of blocking mats. I have been using my bed to block on and that can be a bit limiting when it’s only empty for about a fourth of the day since my husband works second shift. ;-) Now I should have some flexibility and not have to wait until afternoon to block out a shawl. Blocking wires work fine and I will probably still find them useful, but I am looking forward to seeing if these work better for most things.

I have progressed on the shawl to chart 18 out of 20. Chart 18 is 40 rows in all and I am on row 14 so it’s one of the larger sections but it’s pretty fast and uncomplicated so I still hope to be ready to block it out within the next week or two.

Since it’s the start of the year there are lots of end of the year bookkeeping tasks breathing down my neck which cuts into knitting time I am afraid. Add to that, school time with my 8 year old and housekeeping, but I am a woman capable of powering through a to-do list. ;-) Never fear!

Last Post of the Year

Here we are once again with Christmas passed and the new year about to begin. It’s another gray rainy day here in Nashville but at least it’s warm. I think we are going to hit 70 today, so there’s that. :-)

Here are some of my Christmas presents. I got a few more but these are all I happened to get a picture of. The one in the center was made by my third daughter, Meredith, from the sea glass she collected when she was living in Nome Alaska a couple of years ago. The watercolor portraits were painted by another daughter, Kyla. They are of all four of the children, including herself (top frame) that are still living here at home. She has promised the other six to be added to the collection as she completes them. I can’t wait to see the rest!

Here’s my progress on my Usonian shawl. It is coming along and I will probably get some more knit on it tonight since my husband has to work tonight so no going out. In the past he always had New Years Eve off but not this year. Boo Hiss!

Happy New Year to all and be safe!

Winding Down

Christmas is almost upon us once again and it’s time for slowing down and taking in the year that has passed. We normally take this month off from as much as we can get away with. We pause homeschool lessons and it’s a slower time for the business, in that I am not traveling and doing festivals. I like to work on new ideas and samples for the coming year. Of course there are family gatherings to prepare for and presents to buy and wrap. We have all the gifts done and the tree is up. We will probably start baking on Sunday afternoon.

As you may recall in my last post, I started a sweater for my youngest which I finished a couple days ago. He loves it and has worn it to the library yesterday, where we loaded up with Christmas story books.

Since my needles were empty, it was on to my next planned lace project. I wound the yarn and cast on for Usonian in my Classic Merino Bamboo yarn. It is gray and rainy today and I had to make due with indoor pictures but actually the colors aren’t too far off. Click through to the website for slightly more accurate ones; the names are Damson Plum and Sea Oat.

I started last night and have gotten half way through Chart 2. This one should be pretty fun and easy, possibly quick even. We’ll see.

Have a Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Katania

I am happy to announce that I did finish Katania on Thursday and got it blocked yesterday. I am quite pleased with it. I do apologize for the less than stellar pictures today but it was the best I could do with the gray wet conditions here today. The color is a bit off too, as this color is more yellow/gold than it appears in this indoor picture. The weather is supposed to be warm and sunny tomorrow so I will try again and share if I get any better ones. In the meantime I had a bit of time to post this morning and didn’t want to waste the opportunity to show it off.

This shows the picot bind off edge which I am glad was not any longer than it was. ;-)
This perspective shows the cast on side looking down towards the bound off edge.

It looks so much nicer after the blocking. I didn’t even take a picture of the poor thing right off the needles since it looked much less impressive and I was trying to be respectful of it in it’s unfinished state. ;-)

I have two other shawls already picked out to work on but am taking a slight diversion from lace to make a sweater for my youngest. I was digging through my dresser for something this past week and came across a couple of sweaters that I had made for some of my grown children when they were little. One of them was the right size to fit my littlest and he has worn it non-stop ever since. I mean that literally. He even slept in it a few times.

Well, what’s a knitter to do in response to such appreciation? Make another sweater for that person, am I right? So I dug out some of the yarn of the same batch that I have had in the stash for what has to be about 18 years or so. I let him pick the colors from what I had left and these were his picks.

This is some wonderful farm yarn with the lanolin still in it that I bought back in the days when I used wool soakers over cloth diapers. I bought gads of it online back in the late nineties or 2000 I guess. My favorite kid’s sweater in those days was the magic top-down raglan which I was delighted to find had been converted to a free pattern on Ravelry. I needed to look up the math for the cast on since I haven’t made one for awhile. I have made lots of these since they are so fun to make and great for kids wear.

Katania lace shawl
This one shows the side edge you knit as you go