Saturday, September 30, 2006

Some Fair Results

One of my knitting friends, Kim, went to the fair and saw some of my stuff.
My felted vase got a 2nd place, Ryan's train wallaby sweater got a 1st place, and my Fir Cone Three-Quarter Shawl got a 1st AND Best of Show!!

She didn't see any of my other things, but they spread out the entries into about 40 4' x 6' tall glassed-in cubes, so it's not always easy to find things.

I'm very excited!!

Now I just need to actually go to the fair and see my stuff. And of course take many, many pictures. :-)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Old Shale variation scarf

I just couldn't resist the siren song of the recently-dyed yarn.

And a gratuitous close-up:

It's not necessarily a color I'd wear a lot of, but I'm sure enjoying working with it.

I think next it's going to be some blues/purples/magentas though. As soon as I get Delores' yarn dyed, that is!

The stitch pattern is a variation on Old Shale, which is different (quite a bit, actually) from Feather and Fan.

Here's a chart of what I came up with:

I like it better because it doesn't have a (yo, k1) sequence that puts a k1 before the first k2tog. Silly, I know, but it pleases some anal-retentive part of me.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

More dying adventures

Round Two of the dying adventure for PFD #50 (dye recipe #50 from Primary Fusion Dye book) went a little better.

The color is more even, but not totally even--still have some redder spots and some greener spots, but it's much better than the first attempt.

Yarns on the top and top left are the purchased skeins, and the one on the bottom is the first dye attempt. The hank on the right is yesterday's dye session result.

Here's a closer-up pic:

It was hard to capture the variation in the yarn because it's subtle, but it's definitely there. It's not yarn that will be used for this project, which is an afghan, so I'm thinking about making it into an Old Shale stitch pattern scarf.

So while I'm getting closer to the right color, I'm still not there yet....

And in closing, I leave you with a picture of Fred, who likes to talk me through things outside in his very loud Siamese-type voice.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Finally recovered from the flu

The last week has been the Week of Illness in my house. The littlest came down with ickiness on Sunday, and the rest of us got it on Tuesday. Not fun!!!

So not much knitting (or anything else except laundry!) got done during the last week. I did manage to start and finish an Odessa hat and a Vintage Bubble Bag from the Pursenalities book.

The bag is shown pre-felted, and it's significantly smaller now. I put it through the washer (in a zippered pillow case) twice, and could probably have stopped a little ways into the second run. The black yarn, which I got for $1 a ball on sale at Porter's in Idaho Falls, felted amazingly quickly. It also bled a little which is not a big deal. The red-plum yarn is Reynold's Odyssey and it's a beautiful yarn. Despite being 100% merino it will not felt. It's absolutely fine in this project though! Once it's dry I'll take some pictures of it.

I got the Odyssey for half off at the LYS, which made it $9.50, and three balls of black yarn at $1 a ball, so $12.50 for this bag was a good thing. It's not going to be my favorite bag because it's smaller than I'd hoped, but that's all right--it was still a fun knit! I think next time I'll branch out on my own as far as a pattern goes. This one has some funny things going on at the bottom, and I think making a shaped bottom piece, then picking up stitches along the sides would be more successful. Next time!

The Odessa hat is Caron's Simply Soft yarn. I have such a hard time finding soft yarns that can be machine washed and dried that I like. I'm not a big Red Heart fan, and the more I knit the more I gravitate toward wool and natural fibers. This hat is very soft though. It's also going to be very warm. It'll be donated through the Yahoo group Caps for a Cure, and I hope to get another finished to send along with it.

The Tulsa State Fair starts on Thursday and I think I'm going to have to drag my family over there that night to see if any of my stuff got ribbons. I'm so bad about that! The fair doesn't start until 4:00 the first day. I might wait until Friday and drag just DS and my very good friend Rori over there. The problem is that it's $8 to get in, and I want to go when I can LOOK at all the neat stuff! And there is a lot of neat stuff if the sampling I saw when I turned in my stuff is any indication. Gotta be patient. Hmm, I'll have to start a new project or two to distract myself....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Went overboard with fair entries

I overdid it with my entries to the fair this time around.
I've got eight things to take in tomorrow, and I'm not sure how I'm going to carry all of them. Silly!

I've got:
• 2 - 2-page scrapbook layouts
• Gillian's doll (from previous posts)
• photograph of Ryan in the snow
• Ryan's train Wallaby sweater
• Fircone shawl (pattern in sidebar)
• Doily with Spiral as a tablecloth
• felted Christmas vessel

Whew! I must be totally insane.

Dying Misadventures

One of these things is not like the others....
The two on the bottom and right are the two Delores is going to use for an afghan. I was attempting to dye the top skein (and two others) to coordinate with them. Unfortunately that particular dye recipes is a very very tough one--the red/magenta strikes (absorbs) much more quickly than the yellow or blue, so the red sucked in at once, while the yellow and blue made green in the rest of it. GGRRRRRR

While I love the resulting yarn, it's not what we were going for.

I'm going to attempt to dye the yarn in stages; first the blue dye, then the yellow dye, and last the red dye. So I'll effectively be triple-dying the yarn instead of mixing the dyes in a cup the way I usually do. We'll see--I've got some other things that must get finished before I start playing again.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gillian's doll is finished

It took me three tries to get the socks finished (swatch? Who needs to swatch?), but they're on the doll!

And the full shot with DS:

The boy wanted his clothes off, and I obliged thinking, erroneously, that he was going to nap. Ha!
The socks are cute enough to merit a close up:

I also finished the Shape It! Scarf from Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch book. The pictures leave a lot to be desired, but I don't seem to be able to have photo opps during the day in natural light--too much "help" from little fingers.

And a so-so picture of the fabric.

It's kind of a neat scarf, but I think I'd like it a lot better in a different yarn. I paid less than $1 a ball for this stuff, though, and full retail is close to $9....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hanging Garden progress

I've been working quite a bit on my Hanging Garden Stole, and finally blocked part of it in preparation for my talk on lace that I'll be giving tomorrow evening to the local knitting guild.

You can see that it's still on the needles (because I'm on the 5th repeat of the 12 I'll be doing), but I wanted to show how it doesn't look like much where it hasn't been blocked, and then where it has, it's beautiful and lacy.

It's pinned out on a portable ironing surface which is nice for lining up things, although I wasn't being too careful about how even the lines are. It kind of plays with my eyes because of the red lines of the grid but it's handy to have around.

My plan is to pick up stitches all the way around, do a plain round, do a round with a lot of yarn overs, then a plain round, then some beads, then a sideways edging. All that being said, if I get totally tired of it I can just bind off after a couple of garter rows and call it done. :-) But I really want to add beads and do a sideways edging, so we'll see.

I'm using KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud, which is one of my favorite yarns. The needles are bamboo size 2.5mm (between US 1 and 2) that I got through eBay. The pattern is from KnitPicks, Sivia Harding's Hanging Garden Stole.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Swatching and scarfing

Last night at our weekly Sit N Stitch at Panera I started the Shape It! Scarf from Sally Melville's book The Knit Stitch.

It's going very quickly, and I'm pleased with the way the yarn is looking. I used this same yarn for a drop-stitch Mobius, and I'm considering ripping it out and using it for something with a tighter gauge.

I also did some more swatching for the Rose of England (ROE) KAL, which starts the 9th of this month, I believe. I'm not going to be able to start then, but hopefully soon.

Here are the swatches:

And some more close-up pics:
The big one is on size US3, the top is on 2s, and the bottom is on 0s. I'm strongly leaning toward the 2s because I'm not seeing a lot of definition between the stockinette and stitch pattern in any of the sizes, and if I use the 3s the shawl will be huge. Be sure to click on the pictures to see them big.

Another pic of Doily with Spiral

I've got a miserable head cold so I'm dumber than a post, but I do have a beautiful picture of my Doily with spiral Tablecloth from my friend Delores.

It's spread out on a table at Panera.

I also finished (at long last!!) a pair of socks that I started months ago. They've been languishing on the needles for not really any good reason, so I pushed through and got them done. Wore them last night and they're pretty good--could be tighter around the ankle, but each sock is still a learning experience.

I'm giving a talk on lace to my knitting guild on Monday night. The hard part is figuring out what not to talk about. I could go on for days. I finally got a short outline and I'll keep working on it once my brain is a little clearer.