July 12, 2008

"Block severely"

My preference is to block lace within an inch of its life. Now I can accomplish this even better, because my darling husband has made me a lace blocking frame! He used Knitpicks' tutorial, which resulted in a sturdy frame with a vendetta against lace!

With yet another Sundara FO off the needles, I was eager to give my new toy a whirl. The pattern is Swallowtail, one of the many fantastic Evelyn Clark shawls. I love this pattern, especially the nupps, but I'll save a wrap-up of it until it is off the rack.

As for the blocking frame itself, it is superb!A tip I got on the Rav Lace Knitters Group was to use plastic weed whacker string to string up my shawl. This worked really well, and made it easy to adjust as I went along.

My preference is also for pointy shawl ends---I love the points! I also tend to block for width and not length, since I'm on the short side, and in this case, the recipient, my mom, is even shorter. So my shawl on the frame is tight as a drum, and skewed wider.

I also adore the way the nupps blocked. The way I knitted them was v-e-r-y loosely, and I actually did the p5tog, which so many people seem to not do. I was also concerned a substitution of beads for nupps would make the shawl too heavy.

June 15, 2008


Having just returned from Niagara Falls on Thursday evening (a spectacular place!), I didn't plan to mark WWKIP Day with a public display of my knitting, but in Friday's local paper there was an article about a knitter who organized a WWKIP event. Saturday turned out sunny and hot, so Alan and I checked it out. It was fun! I have never knitted in such a large group before, and it was exhilarating. Maggie, who hosts a knitters' group that meets at a coffee shop in my town, organized the day at Princeton Shopping Center. This group is also represented on Ravelry as Cafe Knitters.
I enjoyed meeting lots of other knitters. We exchanged Rav names, favorite patterns and yarns, and chatted about ourselves and our knitting. Alan met a fellow Brit, from Plymouth no less. Maggie had prizes and knitters brought food. There was even a band, and one of the restaurants at the shopping center, Zen Palate, passed out delicious vegan food to the hungry knitters. We stayed for about an hour and a half, during which a few non-knitters stopped to gawk at us and our sticks. A couple even asked how they could find out more about knitting!
I worked on my Muir, which is 4+ repeats in as of today. Only 9 more to go!

I love the whole KIP Day concept. It just feels so right to do something I love with other people who love it too.

Did you KIP on WWKIP Day?

May 17, 2008

Yarn as sedative

Having made my living off pharmaceuticals (the legal kind) for years, I would be the last to disparage them. But I've discovered something even better than Xanax (although just as addictive), and I bet you have too. . . pretty yarn.

I've also expanded my horizons and tried new yarns. Recently I decided to see what this whole Loopy Groupie thing was about. The Loopy Ewe is a wonderful source of yarn! I purchased a skein of Chewy Spaghetti and another of Perchance to Knit's lace. Lookee here:

The colorway is Cocoa and Gingersnaps, with a fibery mix of 50/50 merino and tussah silk. I can't get enough of the colors. . . .

There are plums and olives and occasional golden streaks all playing against a background of milky and tawny browns.

Such a magnificent yarn demands an equally gorgeous pattern, and one I've been admiring is Rosemary's Muir. Muir has developed quite a following on Rav, as well as interesting variations hit upon by Rosemary since the pattern's original publication in the fall 2007 Knitty. There's a Faroese version, in addition to several ways to incorporate beads.

I started Muir late Thursday night, and after a couple of false starts, I've gotten into a knitting groove. More to follow.

**Photos courtesy of Sheri at The Loopy Ewe

May 14, 2008

Cranberry Relish

Whoa! Another FO? Yes!

I've been planning to knit a Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style for awhile now, and in my recent quest to do something, anything, with a skein of sock yarn instead of knitting socks, it was time to take up needles and cast on.
The very talented Sundara dyed a gorgeous sock yarn called Burnt Cranberries, which I received as a part of the previously mentioned Seasons Yarn Club. Burnt Cranberries is a subtle, deep, rich, sophisticated colorway. Did I mention I love it?

The details:

Burnt Cranberries Sundara sock yarn (I used 94.5 grams of the 100-gram skein!)
Size 6 Options needles, and size 10 1/2 for the bind-off
Unblocked size: 33 X 16
Blocked size: 56 X 18
Blocking technique: The Yarn Harlot's method: Block severely!
The pattern was easy but so rewarding. It was addictive! There is a kal for this pattern on Ravelry right now, and the STs are all turning out beautifully. My mom was here for Mother's Day, and she has ordered up one in Sundara's Winter Sky colorway of her fingering silky merino.

I'm trying to knit through my Sundara because I re-upped for not one but two seasons, starting in June: winter (again) and summer.

Pasty white skin, huh? Gotta love NJ!

May 3, 2008

Haruha has landed!

An honest-to-goodness FO! Really!

Last fall I joined Sundara's Seasons Club, and chose Winter. (If you haven't sampled Sundara's yarn, I can heartily recommend it all.) Out of the six shipments, three are socks yarns. Now, I'm not much of a sock knitter. I know, I know, they are great portable projects, but they've never really thrilled me. Fortunately, the good knitters on Ravelry have discovered many patterns for a single skein of sock yarn that are NOT socks, and Haruha is an excellent example. My skein of Candied Chrome is highly variegated, so I was apprehensive about a lace project for it, but I am so pleased with the result! Haruha consists of a very simple lace pattern that is easily committed to memory. Most of this project was knitted during HBO's recent John Adams mini-series, with nary a need to rip back.The details:

Haruha Scarf

1 skein Sundara 100% merino superwash sock yarn in Candied Chrome

Size 6 Knitpicks Options circular needles (love the Options!)

Finished size is 65 X 8.5

Go for it!

In Chez Infiknitty news, Alan and I will be in NYC tonight for a lovely dinner out with my mom and stepfather. Tomorrow Alan will be in the Five-Boro Bike Tour, so I'll be at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island to greet him, while knitting away on this:

Have yourself a merry little weekend, fellow knitters!

March 16, 2008

Love me, love my knitting

A well-laid plan, but it doesn't always work. Daughter #1 wants nothing handknit by me, whereas Daughter #2 is always asking for more. Yep, she's in the will....

#2 loves socks. All hues and patterns. And so she shall have them. She picked out the yarn herself for this pair, DG Confetti in colorway 39108 on size 3 Knitpicks Options via magic loop.

The other gracious and grateful recipient of my gift knits is of course Alan. He is also the only one willing to tramp around with me on yarn crawls. Yesterday we hit two: The Spinnery in Frenchtown, NJ and Twist in New Hope, PA. Frenchtown is a lovely little village on the Delaware River and also the D&R Canal. Yesterday was a spring preview, a picture-perfect day for all of us hungering for spring, and it brought out the bicyclists, the doggies and their people, and anyone else who wanted to enjoy the day.
The Spinnery was charming, but not very inviting. There were two straight-backed wood chairs that appeared to be for show, not for knitting and chatting. The yarn selection was minimal, but spinning wheels and supplies were more plentiful. They had a couple of very impressive antique spinning wheels for sale. Twist was quite small, but it still had a comfy sofa and chairs that invite you to pull out your needles and join them, although I didn't. The project I'm carrying around these days is the Bee, which is not conducive to snatching a minute for a couple of stitches here and there. I'm trying desperately NOT to start a new project. Too much on the needles.
Happy knitting!

March 11, 2008

Oh so cute Malabrigo loafers!

What a fun (and practical) knit! I will definitely make these again. They'll make great gift knits.
Malabrigo loafers
by Julie Weisenberger

Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky in Cognac
Knit on size 8Knitpicks Options circular needles via Magic Loop.

The pattern called for two strands of worsted Malabrigo, but I just couldn't be bothered, and so used the chunky. I thought about doing one of the optional embellishments Julie created, but because I am so pleased with the colors of this yarn, I think the embellishments would only distract, so I omitted them. I accomplished the short-row shaping in this pattern with yarn-overs instead of wrapped stitches. The yarn-over method is so easy, and very tidy indeed.

I bound off purlwise for the entire body of the loafer, and knitwise for the apron. While binding off purlwise, I did a knitwise every few stitches so the bind-off wouldn't curl.
Knitting took about three nights.
I may knit inserts for my loafers to make them extra cushiony!