Thursday, August 30, 2012

England Spoke Finale 英国自行车

Project:  England Spoke 英国自行车
Pattern:  Spoke by Lori Versaci, Knitty Winter 2009
Yarn:  Tahki Yarns Ambrosia Slim, 100% wool, Aran weight 
Yardage:  1100 yards in stash
Needles: Size 8
Cast on: July 29 2012
Cast off: August 24 2012
Cost: (Gift from South Bay Knitters retreat)
Previous entries: first, second, third

Notes: Daniella looks smashing in the new sweater! I'm very happy with how it turned out. The pattern gives you option to leave the front open to wear as a cardigan, or sew it up for a pullover. I opted for a pullover. Because of the irregular shape and the stockinette on the edges, I have to arrange it and let the front overlap just so, or it would hang crooked. It's been very warm for the past few weeks, and I look forward to being able to wear it myself. In the mean time, I'm very happy I have Daniella modeling the sweater, and I get to take pictures any way I like.

Happy Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blogTami's blog, and leave me a comment! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Catching up on FO

Before the Olympics I sneaked in couple of small projects, one was the baby sweater, the other was this doll sized shawl.

Project:  Samantha's Cape
Pattern Doll cape pattern from Cast on Magazine Holiday 1997, heavily altered
Yarn:  Paton's Classic Wool from stash 
Yardage less than 100 yards
Needles: Size 8
Cast onJuly 24 2012

Cast off: July 26 2012
Cost: practically nothing
Finished size: American Girl doll size
Notes: I've knitted a few things for my two American Girl dolls, and they always take longer than I expected!

We took a trip to Carmel to visit my mom when Henry was off for the summer and didn't have camp, and picked up her latest batch of charity knitting. She's moving to Houston to stay with my brother in January, so this will be one of the last batches from her. If you know someone running charity knitting in Houston area I'm sure we can use a contact, ideally it needs to be someone speaks either Russian or Chinese (Mandarin).

Happy Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blogTami's blog, and leave me a comment! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Adventure of Irish Diamond Shawl

English Spoke is still going, slowly but surely. It wasn't finished by the end of London Olympics, but with only one sleeve left, it will finish soon. Towards the end of last week I started getting some tingling in the right forearm, and I cut back some TV watching and knitting. It certainly didn't help that Team China slowed down their medal-earning.

But I really want to tell you about the adventure of my Irish Diamond Shawl.

The Irish Diamond Shawl is designed by Cheryl Oberle, published in Folk Shawls. I knitted mine in 2008 and wore it to Stitches West the following year to show Cheryl her wonderful work in real life. It's knitted in Newton Yarn Country's Cashmerino (50/50 cashmere and merino wool), so it wears like creamy butter. I love it dearly, and keep it in a nice big zip lock bag when I don't use it.

At least two years ago, the bag (and the shawl) went missing. I looked for it when it came to my mind, in all the obvious places, dresser, closet, yarn stash, all the big drawers. Nope, I knew it must be somewhere, just not where I was looking. I waited for it to show up, because things generally did when I didn't look for them, and it didn't. I pondered and wondered, where have I not looked in the house, how long should I wait before panicking, how can I possibly lose such a great piece of knitting ....

The missing Irish Diamond somehow stopped me from planning other large shawls too, as if the new one would pack up and gone missing too. Last week I brought the question to my Ravelry friends. Should I tear the house apart till I find it? Should I wait for it to show up when it's ready? Should I pat self on the back for being a good process knitter and be content with the time spent working it? Or should I make a new one? A shocking number of people (134 votes!) told me to make a new one! Because that's the best way to make the old one show up.

I still have Folk Shawls, and I started considering seriously what yarn to use for the replacement. In the mean time I gave it another chance and dug up large portions of the content of various closets. During the process I gathered two huge bags of blankets and linen to donate, plus a bunch of clothes and accessories. The big drawer lightened up quite a bit. I reached behind the drawer, yep, there it is. The zip lock bag slipped behind the drawer, caught by the backboard so I couldn't see it from any direction.

Lesson learned: when in doubt, make double.

This is closest to true color

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment! 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

England Spoke Progress

My Olympics project is still going, tho I'm not confident it will be completed by Sunday night. I have finished the back, right front (the "spoke"), and the left front is more than half way done. Then I still have both sleeves left, well, unless I decide it's going to be a vest. With the wool yarn and stockinette on the bottom, some severe steam blocking will be needed before piecing together.

I got a new camera this week and had to test it on my children.
first shot, bad focus
Much better. (Is this one more handsome?)
In the last couple of weeks Henry has done a lot of writing on his blog. He finally finished a story he's been writing since before he was eight years old, Pug That Always Finished Second. Take a look, it's quite interesting. His blog, Otter World is linked in my blogroll.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on 
Andrea's blog and leave me a comment! 

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Olympics Knitting: England Spoke 英国自行车

Project:  England Spoke 英国自行车
Pattern Spoke by Lori Versaci, Knitty Winter 2009
Yarn:  Tahki Yarns Ambrosia Slim, 100% wool, Aran weight 
Yardage 1100 yards in stash
Needles: Size 8
Cast onJuly 29 2012

Notes: I planned to do Elizabeth of York from Tudor Roses in honor of the host country of this year's Olympics. It took me two days to realize I wasn't going to get through it. The alpaca yarn was too weak for the pattern, and it's sheddy and splitty. The pattern is finicky with purl stitches passing right and left. I had the Ambrosia Slim in my queue for the next project, so naturally it stepped in. The yarn has very long color stretches so an unconventional structure would look very interesting. I started on the back first, then realized it'd be much easier to judge where I should start the armhole shaping if I have the front to match, so in the picture there is the back half done, and right front (the "spoke") coming into shape. After losing two days, I'm catching up and hoping to finish it in time.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment!