Making Progress

Here’s a little something I cast on after New Years while I was deciding which color I wanted to use for the shawl you will see below. This will be another pair of long cuffed fingerless mitts in fingering weight this time instead of sport weight. I haven’t touched them much since then though because I cast on for the shawl a few days later.

I am making decent progress on my re-design of my pattern Honeydew Lace Square.

You may recall that I originally designed this from my Classic Merino Lace but since that was discontinued, I am re-knitting and editing the pattern to work with fingering weight yarn. I chose to use my Classic Merino Superwash Sock for the sample but the Classic Merino Bamboo would work as well. The difference would only be in the hand of the fabric since the gauge would be the same. I am using the Lavender and the above picture that I took several days ago when the sun was out shows off the color better. This was after one repeat of the chart.

This is after two repeats, that I took today. It’s an indoor picture because the weather is really gray and cold today so the color is a little dark. So far I have adjusted the cast on number to account for the larger gauge. The needle cable at the top is the one I am knitting with and the one at the bottom is from the provisional cast on. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On so I just leave it on the needle until ready to use those stitches when the center square is complete.

I am weighing the ball after every repeat to help predict the amount I will need and it looks like it will take 1 3/4 skeins to complete the center square. It’s harder to predict the amount for the borders yet since I haven’t swatched that part. I hope it won’t take more than 5 skeins for the whole shawl.

Last Post of 2019

Here is the progress on my current project. In case you forgot, since it’s been a few weeks, I am knitting a new sample of Ode to the Butterfly shawl in my Classic Merino Bamboo yarn. I am only six rows from finishing this so my next post should be of the completed shawl.

It’s hard to tell what this will look like while it’s on the needles but it is a beautiful design and I can’t wait to see it blocked out in this yarn. That keeps me motivated to get this done. Also I need to get the re-knit of my Honeydew Lace Square on the needles. I don’t know how long it will take to knit and I am probably going to have to edit the pattern with new numbers for the fingering weight version so it won’t be too humongous. My ambitious goal is to have it done for the spring festivals.

Hope your holiday celebrations were wonderful and that many blessings come your way in the new year.

December Update

Wow, where to start? I knew it had been a bit long since my last post, but I didn’t realize until I looked it up today that it has been over a month. Here we are at the end of 2019 almost. Why are we always surprised by this? Anyway, we got the tree up yesterday, and Mimi is having fun driving me crazy bonking the ornaments and climbing on the presents.

So I’ll catch you up on my knitting since last month. First, I finished the Usonian II in my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn. This is the second one I have made and it’s just a really fun shawl to make. People are drawn to it too. It’s gets lots of attention in the booth.

So the next thing I did was to swatch for a reknit and possible rewrite/edit of my Honeydew Lace Square design from last year. The yarn that I used for this was my lace weight base which I had to discontinue this year due to the mill not producing it any longer. I decided the thing to do would be to try it with one of fingering weight yarns. Here are the swatches in my Classic Merino Superwash Sock from the above shawl.

Top sample is the Merino Superwash Sock yarn and the bottom is the original Merino Lace
Both samples in Merino Superwash Sock with different needle sizes

In the bottom picture I tested first my default lace needle size in fingering weight yarn, which is a US 5 (the blue yarn). I then tried a US 4 to see if I liked the definition and fabric better. It was a bit preferred, but I was surprised that the size/gauge of the overall swatch was almost identical. I will probably go with the US 4’s but haven’t decided what color I want to use.

So in the meantime I have another design that I used as a sample in my lace weight. It is a pattern one of my daughters wrote about 10 years ago called Ode to the Butterfly. I am re-knitting it in my Classic Merino Bamboo, which is a fingering weight. I am using my US 5 needles on this even though the pattern calls for a US 7. I have a Ravelry project page here.

Okay, so that’s enough catching up for now. Hope you are enjoying getting ready for the holidays!

Richland and Delmare

I have finished my Richland Shawl since my previous post and have cast on for my next project. Before I show you the pictures of Richland, here is the yarn I am using for what’s on my needles at the moment.

Fern, Midnight Blue, Earl Grey

I am using the Earl Grey (greyer in person than in this picture) as the Color A, Fern as color B and Midnight Blue as color C. The pattern is one of Dee O’Keefe’s latest releases, Delmare, in which she used my Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn as the base yarn. It should be a pretty quick project since the lace work is minimal. I am not a big fan of making these garter shawls which are all the rage because I prefer complexity, but the color changes help keep it interesting. :-)

Lavender, Damson Plum, Berry

These are the original colors Dee used for her sample. I usually like to select different colors for several reasons, but in this case I had two main reasons. First I discontinued the Berry this year (heh, sorry about that); and second I was itching to use some of my new colors from this year. (Fern and Earl Grey)

Okay, so on to the finished shawl you are waiting to see. I really love it! These DK weight asymmetrical triangles are pretty fun to knit and get a lot of admiration in the booth. :-) The are quick and easy but still interesting enough to not get tedious.

last progress shot to see the texture before blocking
Quite a difference!
Just look at those texture stitches!

This lovely shawl will be making it’s debut this coming weekend in Yellow Springs, OH at the 24th annual Woolgathering Festival at Young’s Jersey Dairy. Hope to see some of you there!

Holbrook #3 and Other News

I completed my Holbrook last week and am finally getting around to updating the blog. Hopefully this one will be staying in the booth longer than the last one did.

Here’s my new project on the needles. It’s another of my favorite styles to make lately out of my Classic Merino Superwash DK yarn, called Richland, by Dee O’Keefe. These have really been popular in the booth and I am excited to have a chance to knit with one of this year’s new colors for it.

Since my last post I returned from Schaumburg and Jerry and I took a short little road trip to the Smoky Mountains for two nights alone. We have been happily married for 31 years this year but have only away alone like this 5 times, including this one. We had a lot of fun just exploring and hanging out together. Must do it again! Anyway here’s a few pictures.

Hike up to Clingman’s Dome
At the visitor’s center in Kodak, TN near our hotel

We saw two caves and I think this is from The Lost Sea

View from Clingman’s Dome

So the weekend after this I was in Allegan, MI for the Michigan Fiber Festival and had a great time there in my new space in the nice new Expo building. I think the booth looked especially nice with the better lighting and more room.

Before I close I will throw in a final couple shots of Holbrook which will be back in the booth next weekend in Wisconsin at the Sheep & Wool Festival.

Posting from Raleigh

Good morning again! Last week you may recall I was in Pittsburgh for the Knit & Crochet Festival there and in the final stretch on my Holbrook shawl. All went well at the festival and I drove from there on Monday morning to Raleigh, NC, where I am currently for the Carolina Fiber Fest. I have had a couple of days here of down time, so I mostly hung out at the hotel and made good progress on my booth sample knitting.

I finished the Holbrook last night and while it is impossible for my to block it here in the hotel I will show you how it looks right off the needles and will update on it later once it is properly blocked.

So, last night after finishing that project I immediately cast on for the next one I had in the queue, Kimani, which I had brought the yarn with me in case I got to this point while away from home. I am re-knitting this one also to replace the sample I have in this pattern because I decided I wanted to try it in a new lighter color. I am using the same yarn I used before, Knitting Notions Classic Merino Superwash Sport in Honeydew. I have completed the first chart so far. I like how it is looking in this color. :-)

I have to go get the booth set up right now so I need to get the trailer hitched and head out for the afternoon. Next post I write will probably be from home. I love doing shows, but am sure going to be glad to get home. I miss my people. See you soon!

I think I can…

I am about 10 days into my Holbrook Shawl and the progress is encouraging. I have only 3 repeats of the main stitch pattern, which means 18 more rows, if I want to end it there and move on to the border. I had entertained the idea of adding two more repeats to make it a bit larger, but I am probably just going to go with the size as written. I would like to have this one finished in time to have it in the booth at Pittsburgh and Raleigh next month.

Speaking of fiber festivals, I have been working through my other show prep lists when I am not knitting or taking care of the household and family tasks. It has been a challenge with all the rain this winter but I did manage to get some yarn dyeing done on Monday. This is about half of it which I put back out on the lines today during a short respite in the wet weather. My next opportunity to get it all dry will be Sunday and Monday.

There are things that can be done on rainy days too. I have some Yarn Boxes I need to wax, yarn labels that need printed, cut apart and color labeled, patterns to be printed, etc. Of course it’s that time of year that we all dread; tax time. I have done my Federal return, first quarter sales tax returns, and local business personal property return, so that’s at least out of the way. Whew! I also need to take my truck to get some scheduled maintenance done before I hit the road again.

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!

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