Saturday, December 12, 2009

Woven exploration

Well I haven't knitted much in these last 2 weeks - I'm still working very slowly on my stonechat b-side cardi, and I'm still on the first sleeve, ready to shape the cap.

It's been slow going because I started a new hobby. I rented a Knitter's Loom from Knotty by Nature, and I've made 3 scarves so far.

The first uses Black Wollmeise as the warp, and Handmaiden Camelspin - in a blue-pink-green colorway as the weft. This scarf turned out very pleasing, but not as soft as expected, as the wollmeise is a superwash wool. Both are near fingering weight, so it took about 1/2 hour to setup but about 6 hours to make total. Let's call this my learning scarf. I forgot several of the things that Ryan briefly told me at the store. One was to center my project in the loom. Since the scarf was built almost entirely on the right hand side of the loom, my tension was definitely off, and it took longer to manipulate.

The first pic shows off more of the Camelspin:
Woven Scarf 1 - Pic3

This second pic, I layered the scarf as it would likely go around my neck - and it shows off more of the black:
Woven Scarf 1 - WM-Camelspin

On the second scarf, I forgot that to change colours, you should do this mid-row. Consequently, I have a pile of ends to weave in. I made the warp with more of the black wollmeise, and added some Blue Heron Metallic in a pink-red colorway that I had left over from a wrap I'd made in the fall, and also some copper-black strands.
Here's a pic of the warps in the loom, waiting for weaving:
Woven Scarf 2 - Setup

On the weft, I had a lot of fun - I used some back wollmeise, the blue heron pink-red, and also added a thicker Elsbeth Lavold wool yarn in a deep rich burgundy colour, and also Knit One Crochet Too red rayon chenille. I alternated the colours when I felt like it, and now, am left to weave in some ends. I brought the scarf to Knit night friday and that gals loved it.

Woven Scarf 2 - Length

and a detail shot:
Woven Scarf 2 - Detail

It's very addicting and I made my third woven scarf this week. After re-reading the instruction booklet again, I learned some new things. The booklet I have has black& white photos, so it's hard to see what they are describing. I was told in my group that there is a colour booklet which would probably be easier to follow. The loom is the 20" size.

For my third scarf, I tried using the Camelspin as the weft. After I wound a bunch of warp yarns around the post, I realized that I'd forgotten to clamp the loom to my table, so the tension was off. I ended up having to unstring and cut a bunch of the yarn off the loom. On my second try, I re-strung the warp yarns snug and this worked much better. Also, I realized that by putting the piece of paper in the bottom of the tied warp yarns in front, the heddle could push each weft yarn straighter against the last. I really enjoyed making this last one - and I think this time it took only about 2.5-3 hours to make. I see now why this lady in my group Melissa really likes to weave - it's very satisfying to be complete with a project very quickly.

So, from here:
Handmaiden Camelspin - side 2

to here:
Woven Scarf 3 - Pic 1

and here:
Woven Scarf 3 - Pic3

Here is the detail:
Woven Scarf 3 - Detail

Ta Da!
Woven Scarf - Ta Da!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

B-Side progress

Whew a month's passed, and I've finished the body of the B-side cardigan, and started on the first sleeve. The Mal silky merino is very soft and enjoyable to knit with. After knitting 3" of ribbing, I decided to rip back, and start the sleeve again in the round. Now, it's progressing along well. Tuesday knight I knit 6 repeats of 12 of the sleeve. No new pics as of yet. I did find perfect buttons to go with the cardigan when it's ready for them. Haven't unpacked the buttons I own yet, but hopefully soon.

Took a couple of fun classes last week at Silk Road Tea - one was on making Massage Oils (oooh - a new hobby!) and the second was called Glacial Melts which involved pouring hot tea over ice cream (yum!). Most black and herbal teas brewed strong taste wonderful over vanilla. The Glacial Melts class was held at Roger's Soda Shoppe, which I hadn't been to yet. It was a fun class.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Started on the B-Side

Started a B-Side Cardi in Stonechat (Burgundy, Brown, Olive Green) Mal Silky Merino. It's a dream to knit with; so much so that I sometimes forget to read the pattern completely. For instance, I started well enough with a 2.5" rib, and knit a few more rows before realizing I was supposed to decrease. Too much yarn, so had to frog back. You could say I'm getting good at this. Next time, I reknit the cable, and continued onwards, then, reaching the end of the cable chart (26 row repeat) that I over-ribbed, for more like 4.5", instead of doing stockinette.

Needless to say for those who know me well, I've veered from the pattern. I did un-do about 16 or 18 2-column pearls and used a crochet to drop and pink up the columns of stitches to make stockinette. Between the cable and the left front edge though I kept about 6 columns, and to even it out, also at the right front edge, so I'll have a border of ribs which will hopefully keep the cardi pliable. It's still soft, but the stockinette is very boring. Hopefully, the cable will keep my interest up.

Here's the pre-ripped rib:

B-Side cable and ribs

Ahem, having said that I started another lace sock in Yarn Pirate Cicada (Lt pink, spring green and white), a merino-bamboo yarn which is very soft and the color reminds me of spring flowers.

Wonderful Swap package

I received this beautiful swap package last week in a private swap with a Rav friend in Texas:

Wow-Swap Pkg Irunnaked

Everything a girl could want and more - 4 skeins of beautiful yarn, tea, chocolate, and practical jewelry for knitting, and the cutest sheep notion pouch from frabjous fibers. From left to right - a skein of Madeleine Tosh toshyarns in superwash merino - the colorway is Water Lily - a soft pink and green combo (I haven't tried tosh yarns but have heard people rave about this yarn); next my favorite color combination Vera in Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb (50-50 silk and wool) - pink, olive, brown, and a light tan - very pretty and very soft. Third is a pink laceweight yarn that Jen said is a local yarn. Last but not least, a skein of Mal worsted in Noviembre - love love mal, enough said.

For the chocolate - ritter sport in both alpine milk (another fave) and dark chocolate, which I haven't tried. Tea - a big box of green tea jasmine from Taylors & Harrogate (haven't tried), and a cute travel tin in acai green tea - looks yummy!

From my Kaboodle wishlist, a jasper bead row counter bracelet - here's a close up:

Jasper Row Counter

and a close-up of the sheepie (which is the weirdest thrill - the black line looks at once like the outline of the sheep's head with ears, yet also like the biggest goofiest grin - anyway, I really like it) -
Sheep Notions Bag
it's felted, and the pouch part is all one piece with a slit at the top for the zip and a liner. I have it propped up on my shelf so I can see it from across the room.

Also from my kaboodle list, Jen bought me the Dark Horse CD by Nickelback, which I put in my car cd player right away. I've been listening to it now for a couple of weeks and keep forgetting to bring it in for a pic with the rest of the stuff.

To top it off, a cute card with a knitted scarf - nice touch :)
Thanks Jen for a great swap package (and sorry for the belated post).

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Back from Luhvul

Spent last week in Louisville, Kentucky at a work-related conference. That's Luhvul, a sound similar to swallowing while saying, at least that's what it sounded like to me. While everyone I spoke to claimed to speak it the correct way, I mostly heard Luhvul with a long oo sound on the u.

The pin given to me by the local host committee says:

Looavul.
Luhvul.
Loueville
Looaville.
Looeyville.
Louisville.

Sunday, I met up with a friend of mine Ann who took me around for a bit of sightseeing, lunch, and a trip to her favorite LYS, Knit Nook:

Knit Nook with Ann

I restrained myself and bought only 1 skein of yarn - an Artyarns Regal Silk in a pink and green colorway. The shop is good sized with shelves of yarn lining the outside walls and plenty of samples hanging up. One of the yarns I had wanted to check out was Raven Frog Yarn, but they didn't have the colorways I was interested in.

Other sights of Louisville:
Downtown Louisville

My hotel - The Galt House
Galt House Hotel

The Humana building, designed by architect Michael Graves:

Humana Building 2

and here:
Humana Building 1

and here:
Humana Building 3

Louisville Slugger Museum and home of the world's largest baseball bat:
Slugger Museum Baseball Bat

Enter the 21C Hotel and Museum on the ground floor and walk by 3 standing columns about 4ft tall, covered with with reused circuit boards; inside, miniature people asleep in their beds. Walk past 2 people taking reservations on phones at a long desk, and a smallish gift shop with high priced chocolate and interesting knick knacks. Two floors of human 21C art adorn the walls, pictures reminiscent of dali and warhol together, a tv showing a barebreasted woman playing in the back room, next to paintings of people with various stages of dress collaged with different textures. Onto the quirky bathrooms - each with one main wall to the hallway which is mirrored on the outside, yet a one-way glass for persons in said bathroom to amuse themselves by viewing the hallway outside.

My 5 mins of Fame - A camera trained on the hallway captures anyone walking by in a lively piece of art with cascading letters:
5 seconds of Fame - 21 C Museum

Back courtyard of the Red Tree, a home furnishings store in the East Market area:
Red Tree Courtyard View

Fourth St. Live and Hard Rock Cafe:
Fourth St. Live, Louisville KY

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ta Da - Rhiannon Socks Finished!

Rhiannon at Rest

I finally sprinted over the finish line with my Rhiannon Pair - with just a couple of inches of yarn to spare on the second sock; and 8 yards leftover on the first.
It was close - just 2 skeins @ 400 yds each of Yarn Pirate Merino Tencel in Icicle.
It's been a joy to knit with, the yarn, I mean, and softens up further when washed in Soak. The pattern was challenging, but the second so made more by the fact that I'd made modifications which I hadn't duly noted on my pattern, or I'd made notes and hadn't kept them fastidiously.

ok, ok, so I made a few mods to CookieA's original pattern-

1. First I replaced her purl pattern cuff, with regular cables, then, turned the cuff inside out. This resulted in me not needing to do a ribbing and an increase row, I just cast on the number of stitches needed for the cables and away I went. Remember, this is on the cuff, which is up at my calf, so it was snug anyway.

2. I used a slip stitch (eye of partridge) for the heel flap, instead of plain stockinette

3. At the toe, I skipped the purl row, and just blended the pattern into the toe. On the second sock, I ended the cables (row 16) before doing the toe, which gave it a more finished look.

More lovely sock pics:

At Length:
Rhiannons at Length

Toe Detail:
Rhiannon Toes 2

Toe to Toe:
Finished Rhiannons

Calf and Cuff Detail:
Calf and Cuff

Detail of the horshoe cable end, heel flap, and heel:
Sock 2 End Cable

Horshoes down the spine:
Horshoe Cable Spine

Relaxation at last:
Finished Rhiannon Pair

At knit night, I modelled the socks for the gals - now, just to find the right skirt, and shoes...

and an addendum from Sock Summit :

I met Cookie A at her Sock Innovation Class at Sock Summit 2009-
Sock Innovation Class with CookieA

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Post Sock Summit

Tried madly to knit the second rhiannon sock to bring the finished socks to the Sock Hop at Sock Summit. Sadly, I rounded the heel turn and re-did the gusset, but did not have 2 complete socks. I wore the one completed sock at the Sock Hop and it was suitably admired. As for the second sock, I'm on the foot, so nearing probably 80-85%completion. It's still very soft and lovable.

I've also started another project just two or three weeks ago when I was struggling with the gusset of rhiannon. It's Guinevere's Choice Tunic from Iris Schreier's Lacy Little Knits book. Instead of the yarn suggested (as always!), I am using Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Gold Hill, and Loom in Essence Pomegranate silk-wool, and also a alight kidsilk-haze type yarn which is 70% silk and 30% mohair - very soft, and proving to provide a very light and airy fabric.

Guinevere's Choice Panel

The colour is more of a light pink, and gold hill combines the same light pink, with a light orange, olive, and gold colours -
Guinevere's Choice Tunic 1

Sock Summit was wonderful yet a bit overwhelming with the sheer amount of yarn for sale. Luckily, there were a few non-yarn booths to pique my interest - Jennie the Potter had mugs for sale with cute jumping sheep and balls of yarn, and Nancy Geddes had glass beads, glass pendants, and cute glass sock pendants for sale.

Nancy Geddes glass

I participated in the Guiness World Record breaking - 1600 knitters knitting with 2 straight needles continuously for 15 minutes, versus the recent Australian record of 256 knitters. Some pics from that:

Filing in:
Guiness World Record Breaking 1

The crowd goes wild:
Guiness World Record Breaking 9

They brought in local news coverage (KATU) and the mayor of Portland also attended.

More to come later...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Saturday: Sunny and Rhapsody

I'm at Row 86, and in the second round of decreases on the Rhiannon sock. No pics as yet, just knitting along merrily. The pattern has small multi-column tables where you look up your ankle size to determine the number of rows to make decreases on. Somehow, though, I'm supposed to end up with 88 stitches for my size, and it looks like I will end up with 82 this time, and the first sock, I ended up with 76. May have to adjust a bit when I get there.

Saturday, I went to the Moss St. market and explored around; picked up some yarn I'd ordered from Boutique de Laine - it's Artyarns Silk Rhapsody intended for projects in my queue since 2-3 years from the Lacy Little Knits book. Both Boutique de Laine and Button and Needlework have started to carry the artyarns line; unfortunately, both purchased only the silk rhapsody glitter, instead of the plain silk rhapsody which is very soft and smooth and does not have the rougher glitter piece in it.

Here's the pink and brown:
2 Artyarns Silk Rhapsody #161 Pic 2

and the blue and brown:

2 Artyarns Silk Rhapsody #157

After BdeL, I headed back downtown and caught the end of the Strawberry Festival at Bastion Square. Very yummy and sweet local strawberries - Mmmmmmm.

Yesterday was sunny and warm. I had a lovely massage at Silk Road - I looove their massages - very definitely relaxing and well worth the money. After the massage, I wandered around the sunday market (mostly crafts and usable art - bags/clothes) and had a snack, then, walked through Chinatown and picked up a mango bubble tea with coconut jelly. It was the perfect day for it. I also found a fab parking spot in front of Opus Art, and guess what ? They were having their once yearly inventory sale. Found a couple of items that never go on sale.

For dinner, I met with friends and we made our own sushi, which was fun and easy, and oh so inexpensive. I found a package of bbq'd eel at Fujiya, so I used that. I'll definitely try making my own sushi again.

I decided last week that I'm on a yarn diet, but didn't decide exactly when I should start. I think I wouldn't stay very well on it right now as there are a lot of sales, and I am still in acquisition mode. One of the gals in my tuesday group asked me if I would knit all my stash, and I told her that I'm more collecting, than knitting. That has happened with other hobbies too. At least I am "collecting" quality yarn (yarn snob that I am !) and not the cheap acrylic stuff.

Speaking of diet, I cancelled my yarn pirate subscription. The last few months have been somewhat of a disappointment. It seems like the colors are recycling through from previous months, and nothing is earth-shatteringly gorgeous.

May 2009 was called Zephyr, and looks like this:
Yarn Pirate Zephyr (Back). A bit of blue, green, and some yellow-ish gold, reminiscent of the hope from jan. I haven't decided if I will keep it or not.

Destashed Zinnia (June 2009) on Rav.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rhiannon Sock Progress

I finally took pictures of the Rhiannon sock pair I'm working on.
Here's Sock 1:

Rhiannon Sock 1 (full)

and the detail of the sock from cuff and calf:
Rhiannon Sock 1 (Cuff)

to mid-leg (back showing horseshoe cable along the bottom back ridge of the sock)
Rhiannon Sock 1 (Horseshoe cable back)

to the foot:

Rhiannon Sock 1 (foot)

Oriented to look at the front

Here's the cuff:
Rhiannon Sock 1 (Cuff and Calf)

mid-section:
Rhiannon Sock 1(Mid- Leg)

and foot:
Rhiannon Sock 1 (mid-lower)

Sock 2:

After a few false starts, the second sock is underway
Rhiannon Sock 2 (Back)

and the celtic cable:
Rhiannon Sock 2 (cuff and cable)

knitted from the cuff down in yarn pirate icicle (merino-tencel).