Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rogue Adventure

About 7 years ago, I found Rogue

 I learned about it reading Helene's blog.  (Helene writes excellent blog but my Norwegian isn't that great, so her photos and my guess work must suffice).

I had sworn about 15 years before never to knit a cable sweater again.  One should never say never.  I love this pattern, thank you, Jenna. I went to an upscale unnamed yarn store in an unnamed city and bought some yarn for it.  They did not have enough, and promised to send the rest, stating that "dye lots didn't matter for this yarn."  Like heck...don't ever believe that.

Finished Rogue in light green, with big streaks on the sleeves where the dyelots met.  It fit poorly.  The yarn met gauge but wasn't somehow chunky enough.  I think I actually put it in the trash!!  Maybe I gave it to my local charity place...

Anyway, I always vowed that I'd do another...after researching for a long time what yarn to use, I settled on Jamieson's Heather Aran from here.  This time in a natural cream.  I'm steaming along and loving how Jenna fit the shaping in to the cables.  Brilliant!  Ironically, when I did Rogue the first time, Jenna suggested using this yarn, which obviously as recounted above, I didn't.  But it's a pleasure to knit this sweater again.

 In my travels on the internet this week

Granted sells fabulous  chunky handknits.  Their prices might actually be fair for the handknitters. (People ask me a lot "how much to knit me a sweater?"  I dunno, 1K sounds about right...given how precious my time is and how many hours it would take...). While the label "Cowichan" cannot be used, there is certainly a strong resemblance.  My favorites at Granted are the wave and the mermaid. 

The Red Cross sponsored the Production Corps during the First and Second World Wars, and copies of official knitting patterns from WWII are available here.

I love Librivox, which involves the opportunity to listen to spoken versions of books in the public domain.  I just finished Jane Eyre and am now on to Moby-Dick.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lace design...goes on and on and on OR why I love a graph

I have been busy this week.  A while back, I conceived of a shawl.  This was after my trip to Scotland and I was enchanted.  I wanted to design a shawl that was like some of those I saw on my trip.  Most traditional shawls in Scotland are square in shape, and are either 1) functional working women's shawls or 2) fancy lace shawls originally knitted for sale to wealthy women.  I wanted to design one that incorporated the earthy-crunchy feel of the working croft woman's shawl, but with some added lace patterns.  I also wanted it in a nontraditional triangle shape.

I knew in my head exactly what I wanted to do...it is designed in my head.

For the first attempt, I wrote down the directions as I knit. There are many opportunities for mistakes over the course of 300+ loooooong  rows.

For the second attempt, I started a graph. I wrote about it here. The second shawl is cute (and alpaca!) and seen here.  But my graphing skills and perhaps my problem solving skills failed in the border.  I screwed up the border and must go back and redo it...later.

This month, I returned to the graph and the shawl.  So, I being my own test knitter.  Again.

I should add that I am using excel for this graphing task.  There are some internet resources to help me, discussed here.  And, it helps to have a teenaged son at home for some basics on how to move a graph chunk from excel to a word document (use paste preview).  Working on the graph is much more fun;  this will be a graph only pattern.

I am having more success this time.  Here we are so far.  But...I'm not sure after all these hours of work that it will be free...the yarn is from Harrisville Designs New England Shetland and is lovely to work with.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vibration Knitting

So, a long time ago I bought yarn from Mostly Merino at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Fest.   It's a heavy worsted, about 4 stitches to the inch and I also purchased a sweater pattern for it.  Didn't start it.  As we know, merinos have a history in Vermont.  And interestingly, I had traveled to this farm a long time ago as a day trip during a workshop at Green Mountain Spinnery. 

In 2006, after moving to South Carolina, I found a cool triangular shawl pattern with intriguing shaping, done in a cone, actually, neatly avoiding...you guessed it....purling in stranded colorwork!!  It came from Sheep to Shawl by Patricia Kim for Philosopher's Wool.  Construction involved starting on 4 needles then moving to a circ, with 2 increases per row at the edges.   Once done, there is a steek to stitch up and cut, to open up the triangle. I decided to repurpose the lovely merino and wool blend for this heavy shawl.  It's the kilim shawl, here's the pattern

I decided this year to try to finish some old FO's, of which this is one.  It actually was almost done; there are 5 different colors.  As there were different amounts of each color, there has been some spontaneous "vibration" use of the colors...as in I used what seemed to work at the moment...

I am having fun doing an icord at the top

 It will be a big blanket of a shawl...after it's steek is steeked and the fringe applied

And in other news, here's a new offering at youtube

why is it that this IMMEDIATELY reminded me of the killer rabbit in Monty Python and The Holy Grail...?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Does she look like me?

I gave Theodora-Lucia long hair because I don't have it...she and her klukka (Icelandic for "slip" or underdress) are done. She's finally smiling because she has hair, eyes, a smile, and a klukka...

More wardrobe to follow...

I finished a hat for R

No, R isn't pictured here, it's B...in the Utopia hat, done in Cascade 220 washable wool.

And in other news, it's warm here on the first of February in SC...

rosemary is starting to bloom

"native" SC gladioli are sprouting...actually, they are not native, they were brought to America some 300 years ago...called "african parrot"

cats want out to eat some grass

and the garden produces lettuce and broccoli