Friday, April 28, 2006


Remeber this baby from last week?:

Well, the fun thing about having several projects on the needles is that you can sometimes crank out finished objects with what seems minimal effort. Like I told you last week, the Print O' the Wave shawl was almost ready, missing only a few rows of edging. So I finished her last night, and she got to go blocking, too!
This yarn really needs some day light to show it's colors properly, and of course it was way past my bed time as I was finishing up and started blocking -so no day light. Needless to say, my blocking pictures didn't turn out at all.

The pattern shows up much better against my black shirt, and you can even see the edging in this one.

The technical details for this shawl:
The yarn was KnitPicks Color Your Own, a little over 440 yds (100 g), dyed with Pro-Chemicals fabric dyes. I used the Inox 3.5 mm circular needle, and Eunny's pattern with 30 pattern repeats in the center panel. Finished dimensions are 48 x 128 cm. (sorry, I only work in metric units ;)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Finishing touches

First, a couple of notes. 1) I won't be posting quite this often in the future, but since I'm co-knitting with Claudia and Sylvia, I'm doing frequent updates for this project. 2) I NEVER thought I could finish this thing in one week!! I am most surprised that it's all done, and I have to say, quite pleased with the results. I only found one mistake at the end, but I'm not sure I'll fix it, although it would be an easy one to fix (it's in the final crocheted edge.) We'll see, if I can't sleep tonight because of it, I'll have to fix it. Otherwise... I just might leave it as a sign of genuine hand craft.

I liked how the casting off was done. The stitches were picked up off the needle 3 and 5 (alternating) at a time, and little loops of 8 stitches were crocheted in between.

Picking up the stitches 5 at a time:
And the 8-stitch loop:

And then off to blocking. I had a little help, which maybe didn't make it a whole lot faster, but more interesting, if you know what I mean. My little helper, who is little and of little help:

But he was very serious about sticking those needles into the scarf! So together we finally got it done, and here she is, in all her beauty, Hyrna Herborgar, Herborgar's scarf:

And a couple of close-ups (how many pictures can I show of the same thing without my audience getting all bored?):

And then the technical details:
I used KnitPick's Shimmer, an alpaca/silk (70/30) blend, that I dyed over, because the Morning mist colorway was just way too busy for lace. The yarn is super soft, and I like everything else about it, except the original color. It did not full after blocking, though, which is what I kind of expected, since I'd already soaked it while dyeing it. I used all of 1 skein, 440 yards. The needles were Inox 3.5 mm circular, and a 2.5 mm crochet hook. The pattern, Hyrna Herborgar, is from the book Three-cornered and Long Shawls, published by Schoolhouse press.
*edit* I forgot to mention the finished dimensions that Sylvia asked about: 62 cm down the middle (this was measured when blocking, so it might ahve shrunk just a touch after that), and 116 cm wing span.

Crochet hook, 2.5 mm

To cast off the stiches in H.H., you need a 2.5 mm crochet hook, and I happen to have one -go figure! Since I started this project in such a hurry, I didn't even check that I would have everything I need for it, such as the hook. I don't own a lot of crochet hooks, and most of the ones I do have, are in bigger sizes, because that's what my 6-year old son uses. So anyhow, this post means that I have finished the knitting part and am ready to start the crochet loops that finish off the stitches. It's an interesting technique that I've never tried before -I'm quite excited to see how it works! I'll try to have a couple of pictures later, but now it's lunch hour crafts again, and I don't have a camera with me.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The light

I can see light at the end of the tunnel now. I know I can finish this project on time and even have time to mail it to it's recipient. The rows have become increasingly slow to knit, though, since this scarf is knit from the neck down with increases at the beginning, middle and end of each right side row. It took me almost my entire lunch hour to go once back and forth -that's two rows! In general, I'm too impatient for such slow knitting, but since there is only 15 or so rows left, I can tough it out. This is what it looks like so far:
See that emerging fan? That's maybe about 1/3 of it. In just a few days I'll be blocking! But back to knitting now...


It has been one of those amazingly beautiful South Dakota spring days, sunny, warm and not to windy (doesn't happen too often here). DH has spent the weekend working on building planting beds for me in the back yard, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. I went to a garden center with one of our boys, and we bought two apple trees and some other greenery. We'll be planting soon! I can't wait! Here's a close up of one of the goose berries that I got in the ground last fall:

Now the house is all quiet, the kids are already in bed. We have all the windows open in the house, and I'm sitting on the couch knitting and listening to the frogs croaking in the pond. I can't imagine anything more relaxing. :)

I got to the part in H. H. where I need to start the fan pattern. I wanted to check the size at this point, so I had to move part of the stiches onto another circular. And fiddle some other WIP's onto other needles...

She measures 50 cm down the center right now, and I figured the fan pattern would add about 12 cm (about 1/4 of the currently finished rows), which would be right on with the instructions, because the finished measurement down the center is supposed to be 62 cm. So I'm going to quit worrying about the size and just keep on going. Here's another detail of the diamond pattern (and the yellow towel for your enjoyment;)

Saturday, April 22, 2006


It's already been a very busy day, but in the middle of all the busy, I've still managed to get some knitting done while sitting in on my son's basketball practise. Now this is some basketball, I tell ya, 40 kindergartners in the same room bouncing balls all over the place... it's actually very entertaining, if you don't take it too seriously that nobody seems to be able to remember more than one rule at a time, if even that. Anyhow, today I left the house without my knitting, and we had to turn back, of course. An hour and a half of sitting still with nothing to do? Unacceptable... So I made some proggress on H.H.:

- a couple of rows of diamonds. Interestingly, the only person there who's ever asked me about my knittin (and I've been knitting something every time), was my chiropractor today, who's son also plays basketball there. He was very impressed by the picture, when I showed him what it'll look like. :)

Some knitters have commented on the size of H.H. -it is on the small side, even though I don't think it looks too small in the picture in the book. Must be a gauge issue. Sylvia for example is increasing the size of hers quite a bit. Mine will be fairly small, especially with the yarn I'm using, but I actually prefer that this time. I won't go into details why, because that would reveal too much about my secret (see previous post). ;)

Friday, April 21, 2006

It's here!

My Three Cornered and Long Shawls -book, it's finally here. I was a little torn between "should I start H.H. now" or "should I finish Print O' the Wave". Why? Because I knew I could finish Print O' the Wave in one night, I was so close to being done, but on the other hand, I had decided to knit H.H. (Hyrna Herborgar) for a special someone for a certain holiday in May (shhh... secret!). The book took so long to get here, that I'm really pressed to have it ready by then, but I decided to still give it a try. Here's how far I got yesterday (the light greenish line is the provisional cast on):

I just dove right in, without even reading half the instructions on how to read the patterns. Well, pretty soon I noticed I'll have to read them to get any further. But it went really fast at first, since you only start with 7 stitches. :) Well, the rows get wider also really fast, so it slowed me down pretty soon. Here is 52 rows of H.H. as of 11:30 PM last night:

Now it's a race against time, so keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Is that like a bag or something?

A question regarding this baggy mess:

Well that is the Print O' the Wave getting a border, of course! I was ready to say that this was almost a quick knit (I ended up doing 30 repeats of the pattern), until I figured out how much knitting is still left before I'm all done. 208x2+80x2 stitches... that's 576 stitches, which translates into 1100+ rows, because only every other row will be attached to a live stitch. The width of the rows is 19 stitches on average, so not very wide, but that's still a lot of stitches.
I've been knitting like crazy today (just ask my family), and I'm still not even half way done. Well, almost. Here's a close-up of the edging I found a slight mistake in the graph for the border, but had it not been 11 PM when I was trying to figure it out, it would have been a very quick fix. Well, the next morning it was quite obvious what I was supposed to be doing. :) No I'm just dying to get this thing done, so I'm ready to start the next project when the book finally shows up.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Possibly about half way done...

Here's my progress so far on Eunny's shawl:I'm 20 pattern repeats into it, and I'm contemplating about how long to make it. Eunny's pattern has 34 repeats in it, and with lace weight yarn (which is what I'm using) that would be 80 inches long. That's a little long for my taste, and now I'm trying to decide how much too long. It's hard to say how long this will actually turn out without blocking. Oh, yes, and I did make a test swatch, but it wasn't big enough to get any good measurements anyway, just to try out the pattern. Another change I made was that I'm knitting the center panel in one piece. It doesn't bother me that the waves don't fall off both shoulders symmetrically.

I have to finish this shawl quickly, because I've already got my eyes on the next one, namely the Hyrna Herborgar. I'm still waiting for the
book (scroll down for Three-Cornered and Long Shawls) in the mail, but I've already got the yarn for it. My plan is to use the redyed Shimmer, which based on other knitters' pictures, should fit the pattern well weight-wise. I can't wait to cast on...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

a little something

I came accross this little bag of metal loops that I'd bought some time ago for possibly making a few stitch markers, although so far I've managed to get by without. But these were going to be really cute, because of the millefiori beads I happened to find in my bead stash.

I took them outside for a photoshoot to better show off the beautiful glass beads:

Now I just need to start a project where I could use them. I'm thinking one of these scarf projects will probably require the use of stitch markers. I don't know i I have enough of them -might have to make some more, but that would mean another trip to the bead store. How terrible... ;)

Thursday, April 06, 2006


All right, all those of you, who neglected to tell me that lace knitting is completely addictive, my husbands wrath will be upon you, once he finds out the total lack of house work getting done during his weekend away! Beware! And also, let this be a warning to those of you, who've yet to have started working on a lace scarf of any kind. It is addictive, and when you start to see the pattern emerge, you just can't put it down -you have to knit one more row, and one more row, and one more... to see what it'll look like. I started yesterday after getting the yarn into a ball (let me tell ya, 440 yards of yarn is a lot to wind into a ball without a winder):
I actually decided against Ene's scarf, because most of the pattern in the middle of the scarf is... well, a little dull. I wanted something more! So I was contemplating between two fairly similar patterns,
Anna's shawl by Lynda, and Eunny's shawl, both of which can be found free of charge on their web sites. I decided to go with Eunny's because of the more suitable size for me, and the really pretty edging. Here's how far I am tonight:
I love it how the waves look like leaves in the green color. This picture actually displays the true color of the yarn very well. Mostly green with some blueish and more yellow green tones.

And a picture of the Shimmer that I also dyed -now this picture again doesn't show the true color very well, it is darker and more violet than this, and the yarn has very much of a shimmer, which doesn't show at all in any of the pictures I took. But here it is:
I like it much more than before dyeing. I haven't decided on a pattern, but it'll have to be something quite delicate, because of the light weight of the yarn. And triangular, probably, since the green one will be rectangular. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The plunge

Today I received my order from Prochemical in the mail -six little jars of powder dyes. I just couldn't wait till I got all the kids to bed, so I had the 6-year-old helping me mix the dye solutions. We pre-mixed two different blues (navy and national), and a yellow (sun yellow) with water, about a half teaspoon into 100 mL, and then I used these to mix up a green in a separate jar. I also added a touch of red to make the green a little browner. I was testing the shade of the mix by dipping a little corner of paper towel into it -worked pretty well. I used the crockpot method, which worked wonderfully, and was so easy! First I was a little worried that I might have too much dyein the pot, because I didn't have a scale that could weigh 1 g, and I had just estimated the density of the dyes to be around 0.5, which could easily be way off. So to get to a roughly 1-2 % dye ratio, I used about 1.5 tsp total of powdered dye for 200 g wool. (I used about 20 mL of white vinegar for those of you, who might want to try this. I dosed it in two parts, 10 mL right away, and 10 mL about half way through the process.) The liquid seemed really dark and saturated when I put the yarn in. But lo and behold, about an hour into it, most of the dye had been absorbed, and the liquid was almost clear, and yellowish green.

The end result was a very nice surprise: mostly dark green with slight variegations of lighter and bluer tones. Just what I was looking for! But for a scientist, this was a VERY unscientific process. I combined the colors in a completely approximated "I feel like this could work" kind of way, and the variegation -well, that was mostly caused by poor mixing and too much wool for a small crockpot. But it worked, and that's all that counts!

I took the picture when the yarn was still slightly wet, hence the apparent sheen. Also, the yarn looks more blue in the picture than what it really is, and some of the darker tones are not visible. The yarn I used was
Knitpicks Dye Your Own, fingering weight 100 % merino. I must say I am most pleased with the results, they were much better than I expected!

Now I think I'll use my leftover blue to redye the two skeins of Shimmer I have, a lace weight alpaca/silk mix from Knitpicks as well. It looks nice in the picture and on the skein, but the differences between the variegated dark and light areas are too big for a lace pattern. I've tried to start a couple of different patterns with it, and it just doesn't look nice at all. But the yarn is heavenly soft, so I'm thinking a little dye job might fix it. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Slippers, the in-between-projects

A while back, I had to figure out something for a friend as a baby gift, and I came accross this Kraemer Mauch chunky wool at Yarnia, and look at those delicious colors! I immediately started seeing images of all kinds of felted projects, but first and foremost, adorably cute baby booties. After a couple of tries, I ended up with these:

Another color combination:

Here's the same bootie in my hand to get a sense of the size:

I used 7 mm needles, and crocheted the edging around the opening, as well as the strings. I machine felted tem first, and then continued with some hand felting to better be able control the shape.

I also made a bigger pair that fits our small 11-year-old:

My husband, who generally isn't all that interested in my knitted items, asked me, if I could make him a pair of slippers as well! So they must have looked quite comfy! ;) He, of course, wanted a little more subtle colors, tones of brown, which I have a boat load of, so no problem. Then he went into explaining what the slippers should look like, and "... on the top, you could do like a design, like deer or a turkey...". Huh, WHAT!? Ok, I'll work on that... (still working, no pictures to show;)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sweater progress

I'm still enjoying knitting this yarn, and have made some good progress on the sweater. I'm just past the beginning of the arm pits, and I'm contemplating what kind of a neck style to use. I'm thinking it'll be a "V" with possibly cabling around it. I think I'll try that, but may end up frogging it a couple of times.

Here's the front so far:
The bottom half pulls in so strongly that it's hard to see the shape. The piece is actually straight, and I'm taking care of shaping with the k6, p2 and cabling. Here's a detail of the cabling:
I do have another sweater in progress that is missing only a few inches of one sleeve and finishing, and I really should just make myself finish that one first before getting too much into this one. But it might already be too late... oops. I had some problems with the other sweater, and as you probably know, that can easily move a project to the "unfinished for ever" category. I used a pattern from the Vogue knitting November issue (sorry, I can't find a picture that I could link), and even though I had doubts about the sleeves being too skinny, just kept on going, untill after I pieced it together, and finally believed that indeed, they were way too skinny! And also too short for my monkey arms. So I ordered tqo more balls of yarn, frogged the sleeves back to less than half way, and that's where I still am. Maybe my goal for my posting next weekend will be having finished pieces to show, and who know, maybe even a finished sweater. Keep your fingers crossed!
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