Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Eyelet Lace

This scarf was knit as a holiday gift, it's a nice long somewhat narrow scarf from handspun vebena batts! The pattern was simple, and unfortunately it no longer appears to be online any longer. And of course, I knit it so long ago I don't recall what the dimensions of the finished scarf was (and of course it's winged off to its new home), nor do I recall what size needles I used. Anyhow, It's warm when wrapped several times around the neck, but open enough to stretch and cover a longer season.

If you're wondering what the yarn looked like before it was knit, click here!

I was very happy to hear the response of the recipient :) she's very happy with it indeed!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Red for the Bride

A good friend of mine is getting hitched, and I decided I needed to make her a little something to celebrate the occasion. Why Red, you ask? Well, I'm Chinese. Red is a color for good fortune and happiness - and no wedding would be complete without a little red. The above is probably the best representation of the color - the other photos are a little off in their color and I had a hard time correcting them.

The Details?

Yarn: it's more Southwest Trading Co Bamboo. The same stuff I used on my Shetland Triangle Shawl. Almost 2 balls.

Needles: US6

Pattern: Cinnabar, from the December 2006 Magknits

Finished Size: Approximately 10-inches wide, by 80-inches long (oops. It's a bit longer than I had anticipated - it grew about a foot and a half in the blocking process)

Comments: A neat pattern, it's garter stitch based, so it's reversible! It incorporates these mock cables with a little bit of openwork and dropped stitches of the Seafoam stitch. The total scarf took a little longer than the two recent shawls - I think I had it finished in perhaps a week to a week and a half. I wasn't originally planning on blocking the scarf, but the edges of the scarf were definitely not straight. The blocking really made the pattern (especially the mock cables) much more distinct. This may not be required for some yarns, but you'll have to decide for yourself :) The pattern was quick to "memorize" and I only had to quickly glance at the charts to jog my memory once I had gotten into the flow of the knitting. It is a beautiful scarf, and the bride really liked it, as did numerous other women at the wedding!

Incidentally, the designer has made a matching hat pattern available for purchase!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Chaparral Socks

Gift socks...and incidentally, the first socks I've knit to give away, and also the first I've knit in my own DK yarn. I sure hope they fit! (and they do, so says the recipient :) *whew* what a relief!)

Pattern from All Tangled Up
Yarn: Spritely Goods Sprite (superwash merino!) in Chaparral
Needles: US3

Comments: A much faster way to knit socks (compared to my usual fingering weight socks) and the pattern seems to have a fair bit of give, to more easily accomodate any mistakes on behalf of the knitter who may or may not have access to the intended feet.

I'm even more excited over this pair of socks because it's the first full garment I've actually knit up in my own yarn...and now that I've seen it knit, I've got more visions for this colorway - I think it will do well with lace patterns too as the colors are so harmonious :)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shetland Triangle Shawl

a little flashy, sorry bout that!

I didn't think I'd ever be one of those shawl-a-week knitters, but here's the 2nd one and in less time even than the Swallowtail. I've been hoping to get some photos in natural light, but my hours aren't cooperating with me, so I've done up an all-indoor shoot instead.

Anyhow, the details!

Pattern: Shetland Triangle Shawl, by Evelyn Clark. Found in the book: Wrap Style

Yarn Used: Bamboo by Southwest Trading Company, in Red. Probably worth noting, this is the "older" version of bamboo - the newer feels much softer. This is a yarn of "chain" construction, rather than a traditional twist construction. ~1.25 balls or so...

Needles: US9

Comments/Commentary - because you know I have some ;) Don't worry, I'll intersperse it with pretty photos!

The Shetland Triangle Shawl was super speedy to knit - I think I had this one off the needles in a total of 5 days - I tended to knit on it in the evenings while watching TV. The pattern was quickly memorized, and it's nupp free ;) As with all lace, the magic appeared in the blocking - the freshly bound off shawl looked tiny - as in barely large enough to stick out from underneath my cat, had she decided to sit on it. Once blocked, the shawl stretched to a full 70 inches across the top and about 28 inches down to the center point. I felt like I had stretched it as far as it would go in the blocking process, but once dry, it seems like there's even more stretch to be had (I suspect it may have something to do with the yarn and how it may have "swollen" during the soaking process)

I opted for the full completion of the final pattern, and as I have issues binding off loosely enough to form those lovely scallopy edges, I used the same bind off as called for in the Swallowtail Shawl, and it didn't disappoint. I've plenty of points to keep me pleased :)

The only "issue" I encountered was with my yarn, rather than with the pattern - because of its chain like construction, the yarn can "unravel" if it splits - there were several sections of "thinner" yarn where it had partially unraveled or unchained itself in one ball of the yarn - I didn't have any issues at all in the 2nd ball. I stabilized as I went along, by knotting off the thinner sections, though I must have missed on section as it showed itself quite spectacularly during the blocking process. The good news is that the yarn didn't actually break, and I was able to stabilize that section by drawing up the slack and knotting it off to prevent further unraveling of the yarn.

I'm loving this shawl, and because it's knit from bamboo, I think it will make a good year-round piece :)