Friday, June 29, 2007

Mystery Stole #3 Knit a Long, Sidewinders

Mystery Stole #3 Knit a Long

Clue #1 came out today. Above is a picture of Chart A. We are knitting on the diagonal. I changed my mind about the yarn. I’m using a mercerized cotton that I bought some years ago in Copenhagen. I remember when I bought it wondering what on earth I would do with it—I didn’t knit lace then—but it was the most beautiful dark pewter gray I had ever seen. Over the years I have fondled it regularly. This contest was the “Aha!” I’m using beads leftover from another project. I hope I have enough---but if not, there is a design opportunity.

It is not too late to join me and over 3,000 other knitters around the world who are participating in this knitalong. You can even just lurk and read the chat—boy, these guys do talk alot. Google Mystery Stole 3 and it will send you to the yahoo groups. The sign ups close July 6th.

Sidewinders Sock

This is the cast on for the most wearable vertical sock I have seen to date. The design is available from Nona Knits.

The instructions are long, but that makes them thorough. She has sized them for every imaginable foot. Warning: Do a real swatch. I didn’t and knit the first sock to fit Olive Oyl. I’m keeping it to show and tell. After I swatched, I went to a #2 needle (I usually knit on #0 for socks.) It fits well. It also fits my daughter (see pictures). Once I knit the second (third) one, I’ll have to decide who gets to keep them. The yarn is Opal—the Hundertwerken series I mentioned earlier. I loved working with it and after it was washed it softened nicely.

I highly recommend the pattern. Nona knows her stuff!! I like best the vertical instead of horizontal strip. Also – it seemed to take a long time and some serious thought to knit the first sock. The second sock flew. There is a learning curve with this, but it’s steep.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lace Scarf from Handspun

The gorgeous yarn that Christi gave me is now a lace scarf. I love the energized singles that I used. They haven’t caused the scarf to bias, but the surface of the lace is busy! The green and red in the yarn dominate at different places. I will really love wearing this. I can’t believe I hadn’t spun in so long. Thanks again, Christ, for pushing me back towards something I love.

Size 6 needles; Snowdrop Lace pattern from Charlotte Yarn.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mystery Stole #3 Knit a Long

June 18th DH and I have been married 41 years. He gave me a new digital camera; mine is the first Canon PowerShot and it does not take a great picture. At least that is my story and I’m sticking to it. The new one is the PowerShot A640. Hopefully I can take sharper images. If not, be discreet and don’t mention it to me.

I don’t get involved in Knit-a-longs. More words to eat.

HERE is the site to join this global whirlwind. Melissa from Leesburg, Va. is hosting her third Mystery Stole Knit-a-Long and over 2,000 knitters from around the world have signed up. The email traffic is major—do select the digest to begin with to keep from swamping your mailbox.

It is a bit of a chore to go through or delete the email, but I have already learned some neat things and discovered some good sites who will take my money and send me yarn. Lots of help for adding beads (optional), reading charts, knitting lace, and who makes the best lace needles. (I’m still an Inox fan and just found some Inox express for socks.) Everyone says the email traffic will subside once the first clue is posted on June 29th. You can always just check to read it online.

I’ve knit my gauge swatch for the project. I used a Cormo yarn that I bought in Colorado last year at camp. It’s from a small rancher and was just a fluke that it was available. It’s the bounciest yarn I have ever knit and I love the feel in my hands. ( Elsa Sheep and Wool Company) Mine is worsted spun and 2,000 yards per pound.

I was shocked that it took a size 7 needle for me to get the look and drape I wanted, but this will give me a 24” width with the 99 st cast on.

This is going to be so interesting. I can’t change the pattern because I won’t know what is coming next.

Please check out the website and join in. Several folks from the Charlotte Knitting Guild are signed up, so we might can meet early for our special show and tell.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gifted Again!

I’m always stunned when someone gives me a gift out of nowhere. Of course, those are the very best gifts. Turtlegirl76(see Favorite Links) attended the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival where she single-handedly cured every yarn vendor's economic woes. Better yet, she bought me a present.

At Guild last Tuesday, she gave me a four ounce braid of a mixed wool blending which was a green/red/brown colorway. Needless to say, I want to spin it well and make something outstandingly beautiful from it. I’ve spun ¾ of it in a fingering weight single—my default size—and it looks like I will have about 500 yards.

What to make? I think something lacy. I’ve been looking through my gallery of ideas and through Barbara Walker’s books. I have found some patterns I like. I don’t normally ever wear brown (a color I love but looks awful on me) but this is quite nice. I think it is the red—a color I wear often. I held it up to my face while wearing a red sweater and it looked nice. Very rich. Just goes to show that you don’t know til you try. Also goes to show that Turtlegirl76 is great with color.

I carefully saved the band with the info on the group who produced this roving and when I find it again, I will post that data. The stuff literally spins itself.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Art Socks

I’m so excited about Opal Yarn's new Hundertwasser sock yarn. (Opal's site) I’ve finished one pair and they are just beautiful. Here’s why this yarn is so cool.

Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser (born Friedrich Stowasser December 15, 1928 – February 19, 2000) was an Austrian painter and sculptor. He was very controversial as were most of my favorite artists. He was influenced by Klimt, Schiele, and Anton Gaudi who designed those bizarre buildings in Spain. Hope to see them some day. His work has been used for posters, stamps, even flags. Now it is socks. (Scroll down for some pics.)

The Opal folks have taken a work, analyzed the colors and then reproduced them into a self patterning sock yarn, being careful to keep the same proportion of color as the original work. Thanks to Burgl Pruitt for bringing this yarn to my attention at a Charlotte Knitting Guild meeting.

The yarn is 75% superwash wool and 25% polymid—machine washable and dryable (but I always air dry). It doesn’t feel soft in the ball, but softens considerably in the wash. There are free patterns, one of which knits the sock lengthwise. I just used a K3, P1 cuff and a Pat Moore’s favorite Dutch heel. I was even able to knit them on a size 1 instead of a 0; 64 sts. Steve loves them., especially the heel.

Charlotte Yarn is carrying this yarn, but you had better hurry—I want more!!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

New Free Pattern

When my first grandson was born, we only had 24 hours notice of his existence until my daughter picked him up at the local hospital. Yes, he is adopted. She had called me the day before he was born to tell me a doctor had called and offered them the opportunity to bring him into our family. As I left town the day after his birth, I realized I had no baby yarn. There is a Michaels between my house and I-85. Quick stop, several balls of acrylic, no patterns, head to meet the son and heir.

The Newborn Sweater Vest was one of the sweaters I created for him out of my head during the few days I was with them. Erica took him to a shower the next week and he wore it with the Z, his first initial, embroidered large and proud. The other mothers had a fit over it, especially how easy it was to get on and off. I've knit a few of these over the years, and I decided it was time to share the pattern. It takes very little yarn--about 50 grams, I think. I used ribbons on some and just chained some ties for others.

Check out the link in the free patterns section of the sidebar. Let me know if you have any questions.