Thursday, September 27, 2012

Starfish Progress, and Shhhh!!! ..... New Baby!

Starfish shawl continues to grow nicely on the needles. Now that the stitch pattern is set, it's becoming quite a mindless project, except for each row takes forever. There is a decrease at the end of each pattern repeat, and there are five repeats per row. I lose five stitches every row, then again, I started from 730 stitches. I think I will be knitting this for the next 10 years.

And then life takes a sharp turn. Last weekend Bill and Henry went to CARE adoption center, where we first saw Rascal, and they met a delightful little dog. She's all black, very small, about four months old. Tuesday night her foster mom took her to our house. We, all the humans and Rascal, all officially met her, and the rest, as they say, is history.

She will be in our house in a few hours. She name will be Emma.

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

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What's Twisted Shall Remain Twisted

Last week I showed you my new project, Starfish Shawl. I talked about the challenging beginning, "Cast on 730 stitches, join, be careful not to twist". I showed you all 730 stitches bunched up together on a 36" needle. I admitted "it's still hard to tell if I'm twisted or untwisted".

Ten rows later, I was able to prove to myself, I was twisted.

I took it to The Knitting Room, looking for some emotional support while I attempted the crochet hook trick to untwist without unwinding. 

I dropped down the connecting stitch, down all ten rows. I imagined the shawl would come apart and I'd re-attach it untwisted. Well, it didn't. Still didn't want to start over, I turn the twisted side over, made the dropped stitch into a big butterfly, picked up an extra stitch on the next row, and called it a day.

Yep, twisted.
Dropped stitch
Turned and re-attached with an extra stitch

A few more rows later, the "twist" site doesn't look too bad. I may have to do something about it later, but for now I can live with this.

Or am I just fooling myself?

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Project: Starfish Shawl 海星

Project:  Starfish Shawl 海星
Pattern:  Starfish Shawl by Norah Gaughan, published in Knitting Nature
Yarn:  West Valley Alpacas Classic DK yarn
Yardage:  2472 yards in stash
Needles: Size 7
Cast on: September 4 2012

Notes: West Valley Alpacas is a semi-local alpaca farm, about 90 miles from us. A few years ago we used to go to their annual open house to see alpaca shearing, spinning, weaving demos, and of course, buy yarn. This yarn was a very large cone, over 1lb or so. I used a small portion for Box 96 couple of years ago, and really liked working with it. It didn't work out for Elizabeth of York which I planned to knit during the Olympics. I didn't want to give it up just yet, and thought a large shawl with relatively loose gauge would be a much better fit.

Starfish Shawl starts with "Cast on 730 stitches, join, be careful not to twist". After two evenings and many hundreds of counting, the cast on was finally accomplished. Though with all those stitches bunched together, it's still hard to tell if I'm twisted or untwisted. The thing with a shawl like this, I have about eight rows done, does it look like it? Now think about it, if I'm knitting a hat in bulky yarn, I would be done already.

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

Thursday, September 06, 2012

A Scarf, A Hat, and A Baby James

Pattern:  Stitch pattern based on Forest Path Stole by  by Faina M. Letoutchaia, Interweave Knits Summer 2003
Yarn:  Unknown fiber gifted from a book or magazine seller at Stitches
Yardage:  Less than 200 yards
Needles: Size 6
Cast on: August 24 2012
Cast off: September 3 2012
Cost: (Gift)
Notes: I have these two small skeins of yarn with no label, so I don't know the fiber content or producer or yardage. I found this very intricate birch leaves pattern as part of Forest Path Stole, and drew the design idea on the white board in the first picture. I'd knit one pattern repeat (18 st x 38 rows), cast off, turn the knitting to its side, pick up 18 stitches, knit two repeats, cast off, turn and knit three repeats, so on so forth. Since I don't know the yardage, I can do this for as long as the yarn lasts. Turns out I was only able to knit 3.25 repeats on the forth side. But I think it looks pretty cute.

Pattern:   Sideways Grande Cloche by Laura Irwin, Boutique Knits
Yarn:  Paton's Classic Wool
Yardage:  Less than 200 yards
Needles: Size 8
Cast on: August 21 2012
Cast off: September 4 2012
Cost: Less than $5

Notes: I needed a simple project for when I knit with my friends, this was simple and straight forward -- just as soon as I realized the band was knitted sideways, not bottom up. I should have changed the top so it's not decreased so sharply. It really should look more flat than what I have here. For the cable on the side, the pattern makes you knit two strips and then twist them and sew the ends on the hat. I thought I was smart, and knitted the big cable (8x8) directly onto the hat. It got very twisty. Unless you have a very clear mind and a clear surface to put the hat on while you turn the knitting back and forth, go with the easy route.

Remember the Traveling Baby Sweater? It went to its first stop in UK to visit baby James. James's mom Claire-Louis graciously took these pictures. Doesn't she have the cutest kids?! Claire-Louis said, "James has loved wearing it and I’m a bit sad to be passing it on as he looked so cute in it but I’m sure the next baby will love it just as much x". I'm so happy James (and his mom) entertained my idea, and enjoyed the sweater! Now it's heading back to US, to Chicago, and then Seattle, before making its way back to my neighborhood to a friend of mine. If you know someone that wants to be part of Traveling Baby Sweater's route, drop me a line and we'll work out the logistics.

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