Sunday, November 02, 2008

Finished: Feather and Fan Shawl

Pattern: Feather and Fan Shawl by Eugen Beuger. Published in A Gathering of Lace
Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Alpaka Fashion
Color: 122
Price: I was lucky that about half of the balls I used were on sale
Amount: 10? about 475 g. I used a tiny bit of the last ball to bind off and one of the balls was not completely 50 g, because I had used some of it for a previous project
Needles: 5 mm
Gauge: -
Dimensions: about 162 cm diameter sorry, after that girl n's comment I checked and it's actually 144 cm
Modifications: I stopped after row 126 and started doing the last edging rows
Comment: I've heard that people knitting the Hemlock Ring Blanket had problems with the feather and fan pattern puckering too much despite blocking (a not so easy task from what I have heard. I got told that someone compared it with fighting with an octopus). My guess was that there are not enough repeats in the round and this causes the puckering (the other variation is that the blanket grows too fast in diameter/length). With this blanket I had zero problems with blocking, just the usual fussing, but there was no excessive use of force needed to whip this thing into shape as other knitters seem to have with the Hemlock Ring, and I also haven't noticed any puckering yet. It's nice and flat without any visible tensions.

I'm counting 8 repeats of the feather and fan pattern in the round for the Hemlock Ring and this pattern has 24 repeats in the round. I haven't looked at the feather and fan pattern version of the Hemlock Ring myself, but from what my friends told me it seems to be knit in a similar as the feather and fan pattern in the shawl. My conclusion is that if I wanted to knit the Hemlock Ring I probably would work in modifications.

The reason I chose the Feather and Fan Shawl was the play of light and dark in the feather and fan pattern (which I'm actually only realizing now as the thought that floated my mind when I saw the shawl the first time was, "I want to knit that one!") and because I liked the flower in the center better. With the flower and the bright color the blanket looks very sunny.

Next time I would choose a thicker yarn though. It's still more like an übersize shawl than a blanket. The yarn is great though. I have a wrap cardigan that my mom made for me in the same yarn and it's really really soft. It's a delight to work with. I have three balls in red which I initially wanted to use for a shawl; now I want to use them for a beret. We'll see.

I washed the blanket in the washing machine (washing programm: wool, cold) with a regular wool wash, because it was too big to wash it in the sink. By the way, I wash most of my wool stuff in the washing machine (cold), even when it's not superwash wool. If I want to give an item a special treatment and when it's not too big I handwash it with Kookaburra, but that's it.

Feather and Fan Shawl

Feather and Fan Shawl

Feather and Fan Shawl

Feather and Fan Shawl

Feather and Fan Shawl

Feather and Fan Shawl

Feather and Fan Shawl

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Finished: wedding stole

Pattern: Lead or Follow Lace Scarf by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze, 210 m (229 yds)/25 g, recommended needle size 3.25 mm - 5 mm, gauge 18-25 stitches x 23-34 rows in 10 x 10 cm, 70% super kid mohair and 30% silk
Color: "Cream" #634 (it's an off-white, the other off-white Rowan offers is "Pearl", but it looks darker. The true white shade, "Bleached", what an awful name for a color, by the way, is discontinued.)
Price: about $13 per ball
Amount: 3 and a tiny bit of the forth to finish the last row before the binding-off row and the binding-off row
Needles: 5 mm
Gauge: -
Dimensions: about 192 x 68 cm
Modifications: I decided to go for a different border since I wanted it to look like a stole and less like a scarf. I kept the inner border though and added a similar row with holes on both ends. For the outer border used the one from the Lily-of-the-valley shawl from the book "Lace Style."

I did the 12 stitch repeat five times. I left out the 13 stitches part on the right side and the 13 stitches part on the left side. Total cast-on: 79 stitches (including the slip stitches on both sides, one for each).

12.5 repeats.

Inner border:
I wanted both ends of the stole to have a similar inner border as the ones on the side, which consisted of yarnovers and a garter stitch edge. I started with a provisional cast-on and knit three rows in garter stitch and then knit the row with holes.

Subtracting the slip stitches and the inner borders I had 69 stitches in the middle left. My plan was to [k2tog, yo] until the end. As I wanted to start and end with a yarnover though I had to knit the last three stitches together in order to maintain the same number of stitches.

When your stole is long enough, finish with a row with holes and three garter stitch rows.

Outer border:
For the border you need a multiple of 8 +2 stitches.

I increased 11 stitches on both ends = 90 stitches (it might not be necessary to pick that many for the border. Either that or I should have picked up more stitches on the side. The border on both sides is more stretched than the border on the two ends).

For both sides of the stole you're supposed to pick up three stitches from two slip stitches. I had to drop some of the picked up stitches (three on one side and five on the other? My inner perfectionist ran amok when it realized that things were not working out as expected.) in order to get a multiple of 8 + 2. I picked up 226 stitches on each side.

By the way, there are mistakes in the border (row 11 and 13). In the pictures you will see that the yarnovers are on both sides of the corner center stitch (count them), but the charts will tell you that the center stitch and the yarnovers in row 11 and 13 are separated by one knit stitch. Of course, I did notice that the pattern was kind of irregular, but instead of stopping and investigating further, I ignored the tiny nagging voice in my head that was preventing me from blissful mindless knitting. But it was ok, in the end I just had to figure out how to fix a mistake a couple of rows down in a lace pattern. Why have it easy when it can also be complicated and fun. :D It was fixable though without too much fussing around.

The border is really pointy. That's because I added extra stitches when binding off, meaning after binding the yarnover before a center stitch, I knit a stitch (basically you crochet a new stitch), bound off the center stitch, knit/crochet another stitch, bound off the yarn over. I think the border is a bit too pointy, but I really don't want to deal with this stole anymore. It has already woken up the perfectionist in me and that one exhausts me.

Difficulty: The pattern is doable and not really difficult. It is true lace and you also have to pay attention on the wrong side rows, but it's not too difficult. I recommend that you divide (highlight) the rows into groups of four, that makes it easier to read, but it also disentangles the pattern a bit.

Blocking was a pain in the ass. The stole is huge and I had no clue how and how much I wanted to block it. I spent an hour and half shifting the pins around till it looked right. The pattern seems to look better when you stretch it more lengthwise. The stole is very hole-y and the stitches are bigger than I would usually knit them, but I like the stained glass look here, it goes well with this pattern.

Overall I think it looks nice. I was a bit unsure before, but as a friend of mine said, just look on Ravelry for projects with Rowan Kidsilk Haze, everything knit with it will look nice. And I tend to agree with her.

Now, all I have to do is get this stole in time to my friend!

Wedding Stole

Wedding Stole

Wedding Stole

I went shopping today hence the green summer dress at a time when I have already turned on the heating... I'm not running like that anymore in case you were wondering. :D My intention was to buy winter skirts, but I came back with this summer dress (and a winter skirt). It doesn't look like a very clever idea, but it was on sale, and I know if I buy it now I will have enough dresses next summer. I don't really like this kind of anti-cycle shopping, but it's not such a bad idea for me actually. I don't care about shopping and I just hate having to shop when I need something now (like the winter skirts). I know, when next summer I open my wardrobe and find a new dress that has even already been paid, I'll be happy. :)

Wedding Stole

Wedding Stole

Wedding Stole

Since I have posted masses and masses of pictures it should be clear to you now why it's called "lead or follow lace," right?? :D
Wedding Stole

By the way, I got these a couple of days ago, too. You have to admit, they are really cute, aren't they? I wish they also had the tights in my size.
Over-the-knee stockings with flowers

Over-the-knee stockings with flowers

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Finished: One-Skein Shawl

Pattern: One-Skein Shawl by Clara H. Parkes from Knitter's Review
Yarn: 1/15NM lace weight, 100% camelhair from Colourmart; I asked them to ply it for me, so I received a 2-ply yarn, but then I wanted a heavier yarn and used it doubled. So, what I used was a 4/15 NM yan (fingering weight?)
Color: Kid
Price: $16.00
Amount: I have yarn left, I think I used more than 100 g
Needles: 4.5 mm
Gauge: I made a mini-mini swatch to check if my needle size was right, but it's a shawl, so you don't have to swatch properly and measure how many stitches go into 10 cm. :p (you know who you are :p :p)
Dimensions: 150 cm wide and 75 cm from center to tip

I also modified the cast-on. Instead of casting on 5 stitches, I cast on 3 ((I'm convinced that it looks nicer that way, but don't have proof, because I didn't bother to cast on 5 and compare it with my 3-stitch cast-on. Just trust me. :D).

One-skein shawl with picot edge

1. Row: Setup row: k to the end
2. Row: 1. row: k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 (=5 stitches)
3. Row: 2. row: k1, purl to last stitch, k1

Continue with the 1. row from the one-skein pattern (= your 3. row).

Every 9. and 11. row I added some holes:

k1 (edge stitch), yo, repeat [k2tog, yo], k1, yo, k1 (center stitch), yo, k1, repeat [yo, ssk], yo, k1 (edge stitch)

Edit: Sorry, I'm confusing. The first rows with holes are done in the 11. row and 13. row. After that it's every 9. and 11. row.

Picot edge: Using the cable cast-on, *cast on two stitches and bind them off. Bind off two more stitches (I purled them. I find the edge looks nicer that way and I was also hoping that I would get a less curly edge. In the end, I didn't have problems with the edge curling, but I also blocked a lot.).* Repeat from * to *

One-skein shawl with picot edge

One-skein shawl with picot edge

One-skein shawl with picot edge

Yep, that's a spinning wheel that you're seeing in the left corner! :D It's a Minstrel from Kromski. I had a hard time deciding, because at first I like the antique look of this wheel, but then I thought I wanted something less frilly and with clear lines and shapes, like the Ashford Joy (I was also thinking of all the dust that would settle with time in the thousand corners of the Minstrel. While I don't like cleaning, I like things to be clean, if you know what I mean.). Having tried it before I did know that it was a good wheel and after reading Abby Franquemont's post about choosing the first wheel and her recommending it together with three, four other wheels I decided to go with that one (also the others were not really available here.). Sofar I'm really happy with it. :)

Kromiski Minstrel spinning wheel

Same stuff as here, but spun with the wheel.

Kromiski Minstrel spinning wheel

The blue yarn is Domestic (a bit scratchy. Or maybe overspun...? :o )


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Finished: Lilly's Leaf Shawl

Pattern: Lilly's Leaf Shawl by Lillysmuul
Yarn: Wollmeise sock yarn, 100% merino superwash, 150 g skein (574 yards), 350 m/ 100 g, wash at 30 °C
Color: "Farn"
Price: around 15 € per skein?
Amount: well, more than I thought in the beginning! I ran out of yarn after finishing the body and I had to start a new skein for the edge. Of course, I hadn't bought a second skein. I tried the skein that one of my friends had, but the color was too muted. I finally succeeded obtaining another skein by contacting Claudia from Wollmeise. She was supernice and did indeed have a similar skein. It's not a perfect match, but the difference is not too obvious.
Needles: I think 4.5 mm (sorry, I didn't write it down and between finishing and blocking a lot of time passed. I finished it sooo quickly, but not having jigsaw mats to block it delayed the whole finishing process.)
Gauge: -
Dimensions: 168 wide and from the center to the tip it's 80 cm (I measured after blocking it, usually my shawls shrink a bit after that)
Modifications: none

It's a nice and easy pattern. The main body is composed of a quite popular Estonian stitch pattern that I have already seen used a couple of times in other shawl designs. At the upper edge and on both sides of the center you have a leaf pattern.

The yarn surprisingly looks very very much like cotton. If I didn't know that this was merino, I would have assumed that this was cotton. Many knitters I know think the same. I don't think this is something positive or negative, I was just surprised about its texture. The colors are fabulous, many many shades of green. I really really liked the first skein I bought. The colors were brilliant and just perfect greens. The second skein was also nice, but the green was tiny bit more muted and blueish. I'm usually not such a Wollmeise fan, but this colorway I liked a lot.

Lilly's Leaf Shawl

The next two pictures were taken by a friend's boyfriend.

Lilly's Leaf Shawl

Lilly's Leaf Shawl

Lilly's Leaf Shawl Lilly's Leaf Shawl Lilly's Leaf Shawl Lilly's Leaf Shawl

I'm not sure if I should keep the shawl or give it away. I never knit shawls in this size (it's really big) and I have no clue how to wear it without looking like a granny. I think it doesn't look that bad in the first picture. I could also use it like a scarf and wrap it around my neck. Or I could give it to my grandma who likes green. Shall I keep it? What do you think?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Resolved --> Does anybody recognize this plant?

Help! What's the name of this plant?

Help! What's the name of this plant?

Help! What's the name of this plant?

I love this plant. It's just gorgeous. But what's its name? Anyone has a clue? I got a cutting from a friend of mine whom this plant belongs to. Hopefully it will survive.

Edit: I also posted pictures on Flickr and yippieeeh - I got an answer! It seems to be a Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Progress shot of the wedding stole

Rowan Kidsilk Haze in cream (looks pretty white to me though). It's not blocked yet, don't worry. I just pulled it apart a bit.

Progress shot of the wedding stole

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Does anybody still remember the Mystery Stole 3?

Pattern: Mystery Stole 3 (Swan Lake) by Melanie Gibbons
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr wool-silk, 50% merino wool, 50% Chinese Tussah silk
Color: Pewter (a very nice light grey)
Price: I don't know anymore, I bought it at Sarah's Yarns a while ago
Amount: not sure, officially 1000 yards
Needles: also a good question, I'd assume 3.5 mm needles
Gauge: not necessary
Dimensions: ??
Modifications: none
Comments: I used black beads. I thought I was very clever, but later on I thought they resembled black sesame seeds. I have to find a way to store, because if you fold it, its own weight will cause creases, that's what I realized when I took it out from the box where I had stored it to take pictures.

They Mystery Stole 3 was a knitalong that started in June (oops, June 2007! :o I just looked it up in my project list on Ravelry. It says I started in August 2007 and finished it in December 2007). I blocked the stole using the lazy method (just pulling it apart without using needles) when it was finished, so I had to re-block it a couple of weeks ago, but hadn't managed to take pictures until today. Obviously I'm in dire need of a good photographer, but don't worry, I will try to compensate quality with quantity, which is always a good idea in my book. :D (The good thing is also I don't have to decide which is the best picture and which one I should use. I just take a couple that look ok.)

Mystery Stole 3

Mystery Stole 3 Mystery Stole 3 Mystery Stole 3 Mystery Stole 3 Mystery Stole 3 Mystery Stole 3 Mystery Stole 3 Mystery Stole 3

Melanie won't be doing another Mystery Stole knitalong this year. Her mom will be responsible for the design of the Mystery Stole 4.

This top my mom knit for me. The pattern is her own.

Green top Green top Green top Green top

I still haven't been able to block Lily's Leaf Shawl. It's quite big and I don't have enough of the jigsaw pieces.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Suggestions for wedding stole?

One of my friends is getting married and I would like to send her a knitted gift. I suggested a wedding shawl, but she already has one, she doesn't have anything yet for the dress though that she is going to wear in the evening. I'm thinking about a stole.

That's the dress.

wedding evening dress

Since this is a simple dress with clear lines I think the stole should also not be too girly or frilly. As the dominant color in this dress is already red a white stole might match it nicely. She is from Tahiti and will get married in November, so I thought I could use mohair, as it's light and airy, yet warm. What do you think? And what pattern would you suggest? What do you think of the lead and follow lace scarf by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer? And maybe instead of mohair I could use alpaca (I don't really like knitting with mohair and I'm not sure how well it would work with this pattern)? I have one skein in white from Alpaca with a twist.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I need...

... a new job.

(Warning: endless rant about stupid people following. No, it's not about cyclists, eBay sellers, sociologists, this is a new group of people - graphic designers.)

Starting here:

A new job where I do not have to work with people who reduce the dpi [not dpn as I had written previously. Obviously even unconsciously I'm thinking about knitting.] number of a screenshot thus decreasing the resolution and the size of the screenshot and then create a banner image adapted to the new dimensions of the screenshot!!! It will be too S - M - A - L - L!! And not only once, but like four times? Five times? Six times? And do it to the same screenshot of the same website, creating the same wrong-sized banner image over and over again? He just keeps sending me banner images that are simply tooooo small. Small, small, small! No matter what I tell him.

I don't understand how a graphic designer with more than 15 years of work experience could do this!

If he believes that graphics on a website have to be reduced to 72 dpi (I have no clue) he should reduce the original image and then create the banner image. Increasing the resolution will just give you a low-quality image. What's so difficult to understand about this??? He complains that I don't give him the exact measurements of the image while I tell him to make design changes to the layout as he wishes and that the technical implementation was my business and if I couldn't do it do I would forward it to the multimedia agency who created this \&%$/§& website. I'm going crazy with that kind of people. This is just an example, but it's irrational things like these that drive me nuts. Recently just mentioning the words "marketing" and "website" drives me up the wall.

Rant over!

Anyway, I've decided I want to do something with environment - phytoremediation (short version: the use of plants to remove toxic substances from contaminated soil/environment). As a student I did an internship at a lab where they did research in this field and I still think it's a pretty cool thing. If you have been wondering about my recent blogging frenzy, it's because I'm on annual leave. I'm taking two weeks off (this is my second week now) and not going anywhere so I can take care of this jobseeking thing. I've been procrastinating a lot, but I think having an idea of what you want to do is an important step forward. I'm feeling superanxious at the moment, even if you don't believe it. I have problems with applying for job, because I get hypernervous just reading the job description, so if you have any kind of helpful advice to give, go ahead. It will be very much appreciated. :)

... these puzzle mats (or whatever you call them in English):


I bought them at Obi, but they don't have them anymore. :( Has anybody the same puzzlemats from Obi and would like to get rid of them?

... patience. I gave in and ordered a spinning wheel (YAY, YAY, YAY!! :) ), a Kromski Minstrel, but the delivery time is 4 weeks! I could cancel the order and order it somewhere else, but that dealer had the best offer and I need to be considerate of my budget. *big, big sigh*

Last but not least, my recommendation for a really tasty cooking blog: I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but the food always looks very yummy and if someone writes with that much passion about food, the recipes must be good.


Italian knitting group on Ravelry

French knitting group on Ravelry

Mystery Stole 3 KAL

Rockin Guy Blogger Award

dangerous intersection blog