29 July, 2007

Lipstick red lace

This was so much fun!

Pattern: Scarf with No. 20 border, Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace, in color Lipstick, 2 skeins
Needles: 3 mm Addi turbo

Width: 29 cm
Length: 142 cm
Pattern repeats: 22

I did twenty-two repeats of the lace pattern, which is exactly the same as the much larger stole in the book. I thought I would have to knit more than that because my yarn is thinner than what they used in the book, but that's just how it worked out. Check out the picture at the end. If I had made a narrower scarf I could have easily gotten by with just one skein of this yarn. Good to know!

I tried modeling on the pretty one:

Is this my color?

She ran away into her safe corner, but I followed. Just as well, the wood makes a nicer background. See how her right ear leans in? It does that when she in insecure. Poor thing, the tortures she has to suffer through.

Outside was better. As a bonus we got a better representation of the color as well.

This is taking forever...

I am not sure it was worth modeling it on her. I spent half an hour trying to pose her, which was impossible. Every time I tried to move so I could get her from the side, she followed and wanted to face me. And then I spent half an hour afterwards picking out white dog hairs with tweezers. They worked themselves in really well!

I love the way the second border is knitted on. And look how far I got with the first skein of yarn! Ten cm short of the end! So about 97 percent of this scarf from one skein...

I really learned a lot from this project. The knitted on border was definitely cool, and I found that a crochet bind off works better for lace. For me at least. The book recommends suspended bind off, but it worked out tight for me. I tried a few different ones, but none of the others worked. Lace is addictive, I think it's the most fun knitting there is. I had to force myself to put it down.

One amazing thing about the book, is that the author, Jane Sowerby, knitted every single shawl herself. There are forty items, most of them quite large!

Thank you, Jacqueline and Stephanie, for the fun knit-along!

12 July, 2007

I love rock'n roll

Put another dime in the jukebox, baby! Rockin' girl Agnes kindly nominated me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger, so now I am pretending to be Joan Jett.

I know I am silly, but I can't help myself. It seems Joan Jett immediately springs to mind for a lot of people my age when you say Rockin' Girl. Though Joan probably wouldn't be showing you pictures of quilts and lace.

Now I am supposed to nominate five others. I nominate Meg - for all the fascinating topics she writes about, Blossom - for her beautiful sewing and style, Liz - for her beautiful art works and photos, Mel - for her beautiful spinning, Marina - for her gorgeous fair isles, and Marianne - for her caring and thoughtfulness. Of course all in addition to beautiful knitting. Okay, maybe that was six. I must do two more: Katy and Brooke, who both share their lives with lots of beautiful greyhounds and have so much fun with it. Pippi and I get our daily must-read greyhound news from them.

I would really like to nominate all the bloggers I read. I want to say something like "You all rock!" but honestly, I am too old. I can't use an expression like that with a straight face. So let me just say that all of your blogs are an endless source of inspiration to me, and I get a lot of joy from reading them.

I am picking up some UFO's:

The first is this wall hanging. It represents the four seasons, and there are some autumn leaves still to applique. I won't tell you how old this ufo is. Well, ok, ten years. Blossom came to visit me a few years ago. I was showing her my projects, and I couldn't find the book for this. I have since turned the house upside down several times, and it has never appeared!

Every time I thought about starting this again, I would feel compelled to search for the book, thus keeping myself from actually working on it. I can hardly believe that I would have owned a book and forgotten its' name. It was a Japanese quilting book, and I think I bought it in Copenhagen at Quilter's Paradise. I have the pattern sheet, but I wish I had the picture so I could see how they did their quilting and surface embellishments. I now have decided to face the fact that I will never find it, and I will have to improvise. How scary.

Putting something on your blog causes it to get finished, right?

November, 2007, edited to add: A very kind reader sent me a sweet email and the name of the book! I was able to find it here. I really enjoyed seeing it again. I know I would never have been able to think of such a nice frame for the picture, so I am really happy. Thank you very much, M.C.!

The second thing I have picked up again is the "Scarf with No. 20 Edging" from Victorian Lace Today. This has hibernated for about six months. The funny thing about this is that many people have done the same scarf as part of the KAL, and all except one have done it in red! And no, the picture in the book is not of a red scarf, it's yellow! This is a scarf that just wants to be red.

Plus, there is still the Brocade Leaves sweater, Poetry In Stitches p124.
Nordic Fiber Arts has a "one per customer" notice for this book and for Norsk Strikkedesign on their page now.

One of our rhododendrons which is blooming at the moment. I think it may be a 'Rosebay' rhododendron, and it blooms well after the other rhodies. The weather has been misty for a few days and I feel like I am in Oregon or Seattle. It's so nice! After the drought, this is better for the plants. Tourists are not happy, though.

02 July, 2007

Poetry in Stitches Camisole

The Poetry camisole is finished, and I really like it! After spending more time on the finishing than the knitting (typical), it's ready. This pattern is a copy of an actual vintage under garment. Maybe it was worn over a corset? I love learning about what people wore underneath their Victorian and Edwardian finery.

The shaping makes the top very comfortable, and I believe it would be flattering on most body types. The only adjustment that I made was to knit it size small on the length, but size medium on the width.

The instructions for the button holes were written for the medium size only, so I had to do that calculation for the size small. But I think it was good for my brain to be forced to do a tiny bit of math. It is getting old and creaky.

I found some flower shaped buttons to bring out the summery feel.

Pattern: Poetry In Stitches p126
Yarn: Hifa Luxor cotton in pale blue 315. (Click on the button that says "Fargekart" to see the colors) Kit was special ordered from Nordic Fiber Arts.
Needles: Addi Bamboo circulars, 3 mm, 60 cm (24 in) long (An awkward Addi size, stick with 80 from now on!)
Crochet hook: 3 mm
Started: May 21, 2006, Finished June 28, 2006. A record!

The weather is not cooperating. Sometimes it's too sunny for pictures! I hope to be replacing this picture shortly.

I love the Hifa cotton yarn. It's smooth and makes a pretty fabric. I would love to make something in plain stockinette using this yarn to really bring out the sheen.
The only problem was that the plies tended to separate some when crocheting, but I don't mind, because this is what makes the yarn so smooth and silky. Crocheting was much harder on my carpal tunnel than knitting, though. I think I need one of those ergonomic hooks!

I had a problem with my cast-on being looser than the bind-off (the cast-on side is the button hole side), and when I tried it on, I realized that it would not look good. One side was a little longer than the other. So I picked out the row before the double seed stitch area, picked up the stitches, and reknit the 14 rows in the opposite direction. Now it's great. There is not any gapping between the buttons at all, even though the top is quite form fitting.

The garter stitch was quite stretchy, but the crochet edging firmed things up nicely.

I really liked knitting sideways like this, and I am thinking of making this Solveig Hisdal jacket from Norsk Strikkedesign later! I also love this Hanne Falkenberg jacket, the Mermaid. Isn't it the coolest, most awesome design ever?