Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweet Ishbel

I knit my very first lace shawl last week and I LOVE it. Seriously, in all the years I've been knitting I've never knit a real lace shawl using lace yarn! I've knit lacy patterns before on edges but nothing like this.

Yarn: Plucky Classics 'Ms. Marianne Dashwood
Needles: size US 6
Started: Jan 15th
Finished: Jan 24th

I thought when I cast on for this that it would take me forever to do. The yarn was so thin, but after knitting a few rows of the stocking stitch I realized it would go much faster than I thought. I was thrilled when I started the lace pattern but oh my, the amount of times I had to knit back a row because I had forgotten a yarn-over! I soon learned that I needed to count after every lace row to make sure I had increased the right amount of stitches, then I would purl the next row and knit the next lace row, then count again. It was much better this way because I still did forget a YO now and then but I could go back along that row and correct it instead of having to undo the purl row too.

I was thinking of gifting this but I like it so much I might have to keep it. And can I tell you I just about had a heart attack at the end while casting off. I don't know what I did but as I purled two stitches together it was like I'd dropped a stitch and the edge started unraveling before my eyes! I quickly tried to pick up what I thought was the dropped stitch and carried on MUCH slower, and it happened again. I don't know what I was doing wrong, I can only think I wasn't 'scooping' up the first purl stitch? And then it happened a third time and this time there looked to be about 10 stitches unraveled? I don't know how, I just sat there looking at it hardly daring to move, and not knowing what to do. Finally I carefully tried to pick up what I could so that more didn't unravel, and finally I did it, although a tiny bit of the edge looked a little off by now. I tried to take a close up picture of the 'error' when I had it blocking but when I look at it you can hardly notice because it's all so lacy, so I think no harm done.

It's raining today so I will try to get some modeled shots at the weekend.

Also last week my goodies arrived from Knitpicks....

I finally got some sock blockers, and some holders for my dpn's while knitting socks (haven't used these yet, but I still have my mystery socks on the needles, so I need to try them out. I was surprised though that they are only made of cardboard?)
I also got 3 skeins of Gloss lace in 'Sterling' (grey) 2 skeins of Alpaca Cloud lace in 'Autumn' and 4 skeins of merino wool, 2 in Hollyberry and 2 in Vanilla. I think I'll be doing more Ishbels in the lace for gifts.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A good photographer I'm not!

Seriously, my pictures seem to be 'sucking' of late. It doesn't help that I don't go outside to take photos I'm sure, but I always feel kinda weird going out there with my tripod trying to take pictures of myself!

Anyway, I tried to take some modeled shots of my latest knits and this is the best I could do....

The 'Just Enough Ruffles' scarf. A few of you wanted to see this modeled and wondered how you actually wore it? The Ravelry Link seems to show it at it's best... you can see it HERE
Can I just say again how nice this is to wear seeing as it's not itchy wool ;-) Still don't know who the lucky recipient will be, but I'm sure they'll like it. It feels so warm wrapped around my neck.

I knit another cowl this past week... the Ridged Lace Cowl (you can see my Ravelry page here). This is for a friend who just moved to a colder state and is experiencing her first winter there.

Yarn: Sublime Angora Merino
1 skein and a few yards of the second skein (I will try to make another one with the second skein and just make it one pattern repeat shorter).
Needles : US 8

I tried taking more pictures of the Fresco Basket Whip Cowl, but I won't even show those... disaster!

Right now I'm working on my very first lace shawl - I cast on for Ishbel over the weekend. I picked this pattern because it didn't seem so intimidating, having a lot of stocking stitch in it. Oh my gosh, I started the lace pattern yesterday and I am making a mistake in EVERY row! Without fail I will either forget a yarn over or forget to pass the slipped stitch over. I have resorted to counting my stitches after every lace row. Is that what I should have been doing all along? Do you do that when you're knitting lace?

It was knitting up pretty quick until I started the lace. Now it's slow going having to count every other row, but it will be worth it because I simply hate unpicking the rows. I hope I can get better pictures of this when it's finished.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Yay for Knitpicks :-)

I heard from Knitpicks last week and they kindly sent me replacement 32" cables :-) So, I got my ruffled scarf finished as you can see.....

but it needs blocking and the ends sewn in. Then I will try to get some 'modeled' shots of it. I don't know who I'll gift it to yet, but I think I will definitely make another one(if not more). I used the Caron Simply Soft I had in stash and I love that it feels so soft. I'm not very good at wearing wool, especially around my neck, I find it very 'scratchy' so this is perfect for me.... oh, hang on, this isn't for me is it, ha ha. Oh, well hopefully the recipient will feel the same - nice and soft, not scratchy ;-)

I got a $50 gift card from Knitpicks for Christmas, oh my gosh it must have taken me about 5 hours yesterday to spend it on line. I'm not kidding, I just didn't know what to buy with it - too much choice! I knew I wanted some sock blockers and I bought the little set that you put your dpn's in while you're knitting socks... but then I was so undecided about yarn. I wanted yarn (I have a ton of books, so I thought yarn stash would be better) but I didn't know what I wanted to make. I prefer to buy yarn with at least something in mind for it later. Finally after many hours of surfing Ravelry and the Knitpicks site I decided on some dk wool and some alpaca lace. I'll show you my goodies when they arrive.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

While I wait....

haven't heard from Knitpicks yet but I think I might go to their site and send my message via their 'contact use' button. The email I sent was to customer servicet from a previous email I had from them. Plus they only re-opened after the holidays yesterday so they may be behind a little.

Anyway, while I wait for new cables (hopefully) I cast on for the One Hour Earwarmer yesterday! I want to start walking again in the mornings, only right now it's way too cold for me... was only 28 degrees this morning. I will need something to keep my ears warm, because as soon as they get cold I get a really bad headache. This should help. I've tried all morning to get a good picture but I just can't - it would probably look better outside but this is the best I could do -

Details: One Hour Earwamer
Yarn: not sure, I think it's lionbrand wool?
I don't have the band any more!
Needle size: US 10

I also tried on the Basket Whip Cowl which still needs blocking but couldn't get a good picture of that either!

Details: Fresco Basket Whip Cowl
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Needle size: US 8.

I will continue with my mystery socks until I hear from Knitpicks and be thinking of what else I can cast on for next ;-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

what just happened?!!

A few nights ago I cast on for the lovely 'Just Enough Ruffles' Scarf. I'm using my lovely Knitpicks Interchangeable circular needle with the 32" cable. Last night I was knitting away and as I went to move the stitches along on my right needle, they felt like they just 'fell off'? I looked down and to my surprise saw that the purple cable had come away from the metal part of the needle!

I was so shocked, thankfully there were only about 30 stitches that had fallen off the cable. I carefully scooped them all back on to the cable then I went and got my other 32" cable (which already had 4 rows of a lace yarn on it) to 'swap them over'. I decided because I'd only done 4 rows I would just frog that project, it had been sitting like that for months anyway, and I really wanted to finish up this scarf.

So, that was last night. Today I was getting excited because I had finished all the wraps on the scarf and just had to knit 2 more rows before I could increase to the 600 stitches that would make the ruffle. I was excited - until I looked down and saw this in my lap....

OMG, not again? Yes, again. My only other 32" cable has done exactly the same as the first one and come away from the metal part? I couldn't believe my eyes, and arghhhhhh, how many stitches have fallen off the cable this time?

a lot more than 30, that's for sure. See the blue line I've drawn on the above picture? those stitches are all just lying there waiting to unravel, I hardly dared move! You can click on the photo to see up closer.

I had to get another needle and cable out and carefully scoop up the stitches. Now it sits because there's no way I dare increase to 600 stitches with a chance that the cable will just fall out again, which it quite easily does now.

I will have to email Knitpicks and hope they can replace both these cables. The surprising thing is, I don't think I've even used the first cable before. It's rare that I need such a long cable, the only time I did need it was when I cast on for the lace project and that cable was just sitting untouched for a while. So it's not like either of them have had a lot of use! Now I will have to wait til I get replacements before I can finish off my lovely scarf. I'm so bummed!