Friday, December 29, 2006

Flower Basket Shawl

A shawl for my grandma (Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark, from Interweave Fall 2004). If you ask me nicely I can tell you where to get the pattern. ;-)

I'm too lazy to get dressed and model this shawl. The little one here is also doing a good job.

Yarn: "Rheumawolle", which translates as rheumatism yarn? by Wolle Rödel, 100% wool
Color: #4860
Price: 3-and-a-bit-more €, at Wolle Rödel (Wolle Rödel is what you might a yarn store chain? Not sure about the proper English term)
Amount: 1 ball and a little bit of the second ball, 280 m/50 g
Needles: 4 mm
Gauge: Ha, I'm an independent woman and I don't have to slavishly follow gauge requirements when knitting a shawl, hihihi :D
Dimensions: 142 cm wide, 72 cm from tip to center of bottom

The yarn is very light, airy (good for insulating and keeping the warmth, hence "rheumatism wool") and soft. It just doesn't have a lot of sheen though. It's ok for knitting, but well, there is just nothing really special about it. They also just had it in white, although other brands also carry other colors, like 'sand', 'light grey', 'weird light brown', etc. none that I find really thrilling.

I had tried to dye a ball with something similar to Kool Aid (they don't sell Kool Aid here), but the end result just wasn't that thrilling either. I have a yarn now that is partially a light weird green and partially a very very light pink, that is so light that it looks like a dirty white.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My great new rosewood needles

Here are some pics of my new rosewood needles. They are really nice to knit with. What I like especially about them is the join. Unlike a lot of other wood needles that I have seen these don't have such a big metal join, there is just a small metal ring (or the part of a metal tube that is sticking out of the wood, I have no clue about the actual construction of the needle) between the cord and the needle that is barely visible. I also like that the cords are thinner, thus more flexible.

At the moment I'm using a 3.5 mm needle to knit the Swallowtail Shawl (in the same color and with the same yarn as the original - how original of me, eh? :D Give a gal a break sometimes. :p I'm doing enough projects where I substitute yarn and then have to recalculate everything. I guess, that's the reason why I like doing scarfs, they are quick to knit, nobody cares about gauge or swatches, and you don't have to worry about the right fit, which can become something that a perfectionist likes to obsess about - frogging, reknitting, frogging, reknitting. Ugh. Just give me the original yarn... :D ). Anyway, for knitting with the Misti Alpaca yarn they are good solution, as this yarn is so slippery (but also oh-so-soft, I'm in love with it. :D ), but with the wood needles there is a tad more friction to keep them on the needles.

Here's another close-up. "Holz & Stein" means wood and stone.

They are actually perfect. There is just one thing that bothers me a bit, I knit a bit tighter than other people it seems and when I do the row with the decreases and yarnovers and change to the purl row my stitches get a bit stuck at the join and I have to move them manually. With my other needles (Inox) I had less problems as the needles had a smaller diameter around the join and then gradually increased in size.

Add: My mom bought the needles in a department stores, but you can also order the needles at the manufacturer's, Holz & Stein, website.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Grumpy potholders...

The title says it all, these are potholders. Crocheted. With holes. Guess they will only serve as decoration :D Ok, ok, I didn't do it on purpose. It just happens that I do not crochet a lot. The last time I remember working on any crochet project was a blanket I had promised to my brother (and which has never seen the light of the day, he was still young, cute and naive then... :D )

They are supposed to be Christmas gift for a friend of mine who I haven't met yet. I'm also working on another pair with similar colors. All I can say is, crocheting bores me. Also my middle finger hurts, because I try to crochet tightly (so the potholders don't have too many holes). I'm afraid these potholders have not really been crocheted with a lot of love... :/ For a couple of reasons I just feel unmotivated to get her something. These potholders are just a compromise.

I think I will include the yarn information, dimensions, etc. in my next post.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Japanese Feather scarf

I've finished another item! :D Ok, I've have been working on it for a while, so it's not as if I made this since my last post.

It's a scarf for my mom. It was supposed to be a Christmas present, but as it was not a secret anyway she has received it today.

This is the scarf while blocking:

This is me modeling it, so you can see how it is when worn.

The pattern is called "Japanese Feathers" and has been used in this freely available Japanese Feather sock pattern , but first I saw it on some other blogger's website, Knitting Interrupted. Her stole was then in the beginning, but now she has finished it and it just looks gorgeous. There is a pattern for a stole called "Baltic Sea Stole" which incorporates this pattern and it looks soooo great. Take a look here. I've ordered the pattern and might start working on it one day. At the moment I'm waiting for my yarn package to arrive so that I can start with the "Deep V Argyle Vest".

Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr wool-silk, 50% merino wool, 50% Chinese Tussah silk
Color: White
Price: $ 8, bought at Theknitter
Amount: Less than a 2oz ball (630 yards), I still have some yarn left.
Needles: 3 mm
Gauge: none. I cast on 62 stitches with a garter border of 2 stitches on both sides.
Dimensions: about 20 cm wide. I have no clue how long, long enough to wrap it around my neck once and to have some ends dangling around. :D

Here's a picture of the leftover, not sure yet what I will do with it. I wonder if there is enough left for these cute mitts.

I forgot to give a report about my knitting experience with this yarn. It was weird at first to knit with such a fine yarn as I'm more used to thicker yarns, sock knitting yarns were as far as now the thinnest yarns with which I had ever knitted, but it didn't take me long to get used it. The yarn seems so fine, but it's astonishingly resistant, you have pull quite a lot for such a thin yarn till it breaks. I would definitely recommend it.

I'd also like to take a moment to express my gratitude to the the internet :D, because it's impossible to find yarn in lace weight here. I've visited several local yarn shops and none had anything in lace weight, sock weight seems to be the bottom of what is possible. I wonder where other people get the yarn for their lace knitting as internet shopping is still somewhat new. Where did they get their yarn, let's say, 10 years ago?

Last, but not least, I would like to add that in the last couple of months I have finished a couple of more projects than the ones I have posted about, it's just I'm a bit lazy with taking pictures. So, I've been a good girl and I deserve the rosewood needles that my mom has got me for Christmas. Yippiiiieeh. :D It seems these are luxury rosewood needles, can't wait to get them and try them out. My mom got these in a shop and thus saved shipping costs, but as far as I know you can ask them for special orders with no additional fees. I've contacted them to ask for shorter needles (I mean the needle part on circulars, not the length of the cord), we'll see what they will reply.

P.S. If someone needs a program for recalculating units, try Jonelo's software. It's open source software and in this case for free. I find it useful for converting yards, ounces, pounds, etc. into meters and grams.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Finished: Birds Eye Scarf

I finished something! :D Yeah! It's a white scarf, knit in Regia Silk. I got the pattern from the Heirloom Knitting site, it's called Birds Eyes (um, not sure if this is such a great name for a pattern - eyes of birds?! - freaky :D). The original pattern is for a triangular shawl, but I wanted a scarf, so I modified the edge a bit (actually my mom was so nice to do it for me).

Scarf unblocked:

I've actually finished the scarf quite a while ago, but I just never managed to block it. I didn't know how and where. Now I did it on my couch with a microfiber towel. At the moment it's still drying. I can't really say that I like blocking, it's all this pinning that I don't like. Some people don't like seaming, I think I don't like blocking.

The yellow thing is the microfiber towel that is kind of, um, waterrepellent. :D Not sure why they produce a towel that absolutely takes up no water. I used it once after taking a shower and I was just as wet as before. Anyway, it has found a new purpose. It does not soak up the water and therefore allows for a quick drying.

Scarf blocked:

Yarn: Regia Silk sock yarn, 4 ply, 55% merino, 20% silk, 25% polyamide
Color: white
Price: about 5,50 € per ball
Amount: 1 ball, 200 m/50 g

There's a shawl in "Victorian lace today" which uses the same pattern.

I think I'm going to knit this one, too. I love the color and I really like the pattern, although it's quite boring to knit, requires attention at every row (no purl rows...) and the many yarn overs and decreases slow my knitting down. By the way, the sell this book at the Book Depository at a pretty good price and you also get free delivery. I bought it by the same seller on Amazon, but here I had to pay an additional 3 € for shipping.

If you want to see some pictures of the models in this book, take a look at Grumperina's blog.

Last but not least, a picture of my cat. I think she looks so cute in this pic. She hates me, because I'm occupying her room, but ok, I'll forgive her. :D


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