Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Flutter Away!

I present to you, at long last, Mariposa, from SouthWest Trading Co - this was a test knit and my first extensive lace (after my initial beginnings with Cozy that is...and who, I might add is still an unfinished object)

Mariposa is knit from SWTC's Bamboo yarn, and is basically a lace shawl that has a handy little slot in it so that one end can be tucked thru the other so there are no unsightly knots to mar the lovely lace, a la the bowtie scarf.

Comments on the pattern: Fast knitting once the original pattern is memorized, and fairly straight forward. Some calculation is needed in order to determine how to space the decreases, and there was no recommendation for blocking the shawl once finished. I personally think all lace looks like garbage without blocking, so I went for a full wet block on this one. The pattern is availible where Bamboo is sold, but a recent Google turned it up online at YarnMarket.

Comments on Bamboo: The yarn is not spun, but seems to be woven, and it seems every ball has a joining knot deep inside - a shame really, it seems that if every ball has a joining knot, then perhaps some adjustment could be made so that no balls would have a joining knot! Bamboo itself was easy to handle and knit. It didn't seem prone to splitting or pilling with handling, though every now and again I would split the fiber while decreasing. While it seemed a bit rough while knitting, once wet down and drie, the fabric loosens up considerably and becomes much softer to the touch.

Start to finish, it took me about a month and a half to knit - not too bad, considering I had to frog the poor thing once (reknit the yarn with no ill effects). Not to mention the fact that I'm not a real fast knitter, and I typically don't knit for more than an hour or so a day (often less, and on a rare occasion more), since I typically knit at night before I go to bed.

One last gratuitous parting shot before I pack her up to give her back - a Lace Close Up:

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Soft Packages of Fun!

Not only do I have a thing for handbags, I also love little pouches that I can hide little surprises in. This little bag was knit for Amy's Birthday - inside, I hid a package of tasty caramel treats from Holland - Stroopwafels!

Pattern: adapted from Last Minute Knitted Gifts

Yarn Used: Bernat CottonTots in Grape Berry

Comments: As you can see, I was taking care of my cable fix while knitting this bag - there's a matching one on the back. New technique learned: 3-needle bind off! The CottonTots was easy to knit, and the fabric was nice and soft. I will note that when the bag is open, it flares a lot at the top - but when drawn shut, it makes for a very attractive ruffle. While I like the three-needle bindoff just fine, I'm also partial to totally seamless (in appearance) bags - I might do up another with a flat bottom, picking up the stitches around the edges to do the sides, knitting the bag from the bottom up, rather than top down as described in Last Minute Knitted Gifts.