Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Peacock In Progress - Chart 3

Progress on the Peacock Feathers Shawl is getting slower, not because I'm not working on it but because the rows are getting longer. They are now up to about 230 stitches per row. I find that I am getting the hang of the pattern more and haven't needed to frog although there has been a lot of tinking. Counting the stitches after each half of row is completed has saved me a lot of work.

The medium-sized feathers are showing up better now. I'm very excited to see the shawl blocked but that is a long time away.

I've been enjoying my first attempt at lace so much, I am now planning out my next lace project. It is between:

1. Something from the Heirloom Knitting book which I think might be too hard for my concentration level at the moment, especially with two small children.

2. The Frost Flowers and Leaves Shawl from the Gathering of Lace book. There is a knitalong starting on yahoo which fits into my schedule well and the shawl is beautiful.

3. Or the Mystery Shawl 2 which has the lure of a knitalong plus the element of surprise but does not fit into my schedule as well being that it starts on September 30th.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Peacock In Progress - Chart 2

I have finally finished Chart 2 of my Peacock Feathers Shawl. You can finally begin to see the larger feathers at the bottom of the shawl. I'm finally beginning to get the hang of the pattern but the rows are also getting longer. I'm sure chart 7 will be slow going. It has so many rows and the rows increase to 450 stitches each. Right now each row is 170 stitches long.

I also am loving the Alpaca Cloud yarn that I am using. It is so soft that I just enjoy being able to touch the yarn while I'm knitting it. It's a little fuzzy which might blur the pattern a little although it seems to show up okay.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

To the Frog Pond

I just had to share my latest disaster. On my Peacock Shawl, I had forgotten to put a lifeline on row 60 and put one on row 62. I got up to row 69 and then realized that I was off I stitch. I read my stitches backward only to find a huge hole. Alas I was unable to figure out how to repair it so I had to go to the frog pond. I ripped out 7 rows. That hurt. I'm almost back up to row 69 again. I love putting in the lifelines. It makes me feel like the rows before it are safe.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Peacock In Progress - Chart 1

I have finished the first chart of my Peacock Feathers Shawl. I told myself that I would only work on it when I really had time to concentrate on it but I have been somewhat obsessed.

These are the small feathers at the top of the shawl. I am still waiting for my circular needles to arrive so I am using single pointed needles.

Things that have helped me so far:

1. Stitch markers are your friend . . .

2. I have been threading dental floss lifelines through my stitches every 10 rows. I have used them. Unfortunately I have done a bit of frogging and tinking.

3. I have been using a row counter.

4. I have also placed a post-it not under the charted row I am working on. This has also helped me keep track of where I am.

5. I found that frogging can be minimized by counting my stitches at the end of every odd numbered row.

Now I'm off to start chart 2.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's a Peacock Birthday

For my birthday, I asked my mother for the pattern and yarn to make the Peacock Feathers Shawl. I selected Alpaca Cloud yarn in iris and ordered an extra skein of yarn, just in case. I spent my birthday balling up the yarn. This was the first time that I ever balled yarn in center pull skeins. I started balling the yarn by putting the yarn down my thumb. The end of the yarn was in my palm and looped over the top of my thumb. I then wrapped the yarn in a ball around my thumb until voila a center-pull ball of yarn. Pretty good for just using my thumb and my knees to hold the yarn.

Today I received my pattern after much anticipation. I must say that I have never made a lace project before and I realize this is an overly ambitious beginning. I figure I've done about every other type of knitting at some time or another and I would rather make something that I really wanted to make. Anyhow, any lace knitting tips or any specific tips about the Peacock Feathers Shawl would be greatly appreciated.

My plan for tonight is to make the gauge swatch on single-pointed needles. After I determine the needle size then I will order myself some Addi Turbo circular needles, I believe.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Socks, Socks, Socks!

I have started two new pairs of socks this week. The first pair is the Amble pattern for the Six-Sock Knitalong. I am trying out the new KnitPicks Essential yarn with this pattern. The color is Dusk. I am using size one double-pointed needles and seem to be getting the right gauge of 8 stitches per inch. The sock seems a bit narrow but it does fit when I tried it on. The miracle of wool, I guess.

The other thing that I am trying this week is a pattern knitting two toe-up socks on one circular needle. This was a big deal for me since I have only done cuff-down socks on double pointed needles. I did the figure-8 cast on which I didn't find too onerous in spite of talk I had heard to the contrary. The worst part was tightening up the stitches in my opinion. I am still working on the toes, however. It feels as if it is taking forever but that probably is because I'm doing double the amount of socks.

I don't have a picture of my toe-up socks at the moment because I have put them in my car. Every time I end up sitting in my car with my 6 month old sleeping in the back seat, I wish that I had some knitting along so I have stashed this project in my trunk. Some day I will finish it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Booga Bag Transformation

Before felting

I just finished my Booga Bag. I think it came out pretty well in spite of a few things. This was my first attempt at felting and I broke all of the rules.

1. I used bulky yarn. I didn't know that you weren't supposed to do that until after I started knitting.

2. I didn't make a swatch. I figured that this was an experiment and it's a bag so I didn't really care how much it shrunk.

3. I used Lopi yarn which I understand sheds too much for nice felting. I wanted to use up some stash leftovers so I did it anyhow. I didn't find that it shed too much.

4. I used white yarn which doesn't felt well because the bleaching process inhibits felting. I knew this but I thought that the white yarn I was using was more of a natural off-white color. It did not felt well though which is where I guess a swatch would have helped.

I'm pretty happy with the result, so I think I will make another bag with my remaining Lopi scraps. This time, however, I will leave out the white.