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Archive for the ‘Lace’ Category

Color Correcting

Much seed stitchIf I thought that my stars were turning out too skewed towards pink/purple/blue… well, two of the projects on my needles are going to add some greens into the mix.

The first is my Margit in the Wind hat, which is proceeding… very slowly. That is what happens when you are working on size 0 needles, I suppose – I’m almost to the place where I fold over the brim. The second is my Sunwalker shawl, which is certainly moving along (except that it is going to use over 1000 yards of fingering weight yard, so moving along is really a relative concept).

So textureIt starts out with a lengthy section of seed stitch, which isn’t fast going but is giving the shawl a beautiful texture. I’m using Knit Picks Palette for this one as well, in the colorway Rainforest Heather. It’s a dark green with heathered spots of teal and red, which is much more beautiful than that description makes it sound. I like the use of a heathered yarn in a situation like this – it lends visual interest, but doesn’t take away from the design elements of the piece. I purchased it during a Knitpicks sale a couple years ago, intending it for a sweater, but I’m happy with this use.

I’m really excited about this one! I love the combination of seed stitch texture and lace, and for my wardrobe the dark green color will be very versatile. Like many office dwellers, I work in a building which is approximately as warm as Siberia in January, so a nice wool garment is always appreciated.

This is my second project by Melanie Berg this year, and I’m starting to think that it will not be my last. (The first project, a Drachenfels shawl, was finished just before I started back up with blogging again. I’m including a picture here for illustration and because I love it). Rustic chair bonusI have the yarn for an Ashburn  (Purl Soho Linen Quill in Turmeric and Salt + Pepper, plus an unknown third yarn in natural white/cream – I’ll be swatching to see which one works best out of my stash) and during the yarn crawl  that I’m going on with my mother I’m going to keep my eye out for yarn for a Rikochan or Solaris. Her patterns are well edited, fun to knit, and so far have turned out really, really well. Consider me a fan.

I find this shape of shawl (asymmetrical triangle/boomerang) to be very wearable – they stay on well for me and look more modern to my eyes than traditional center increase shawls.

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A Blocking Dilemma

Back when I started college, I was a novice knitter. I knew how to knit, purl (incorrectly, I later realized), cast on (with one method), bind off, and very little else. Essentially, I could make scarves and hats, if you didn’t care about them being plain and the fact that every other row of stitches was twisted.

Then I met my friend Alexis. Alexis, it turns out, was also a novice knitter, but both of us were in some bizarre place in our lives where we needed to prove our worth and machismo by blatantly lying about our knitting abilities. She would bring up cabling, and I would nod wisely and say that of course I could cable. I would then run home and teach myself how to cable. She taught herself stranded colorwork. I took on one of the more insane colorwork projects of my life, which contained some rows with five colors, as a first project.

The Turkish cape. Someday, I will screw up the courage to try this again.

In the space of about two years I taught myself how to do cables, lace, intarsia, fair isle, and pretty much every other fancy knitting skill that I can do now, mostly through the help of knitty articles and youtube videos. It was insane. Of course, Alexis and I slowly started to claim certain skills as ours, and actually got legitimately good at them, and at some point we even got to the point where we could admit to the other one that we didn’t know something.

One skill that Alexis took to and I never really did was lace. In part this was because I didn’t think that lace looked as cool as cables, and in part because it took me several years to figure out how to actually do a yarn over, and this meant that when I attempted lace it often came out looking rather odd. (I’m still not sure why this was as difficult for me as it was. Yarn overs aren’t exactly complex.) And while I can knit lace now, I still tend to do it only as an accent in projects and not as entire projects. Then one day I was looking through patterns on ravelry and fell in love with Hemlock Ring, and immediately decided that I was going to knit one of these someday. It took me a bit, but a few weeks ago I cast it on. I knit for a while.

The blanket, pre-blocking.

I was kind of nervous as I was knitting, because it looked a bit wonky, but I reminded myself that lace always looks weird before you block it and told myself that everything was going to be fine. When I doubted this, I contacted Alexis and she told me that it was going to be fine. Better than fine, even. It was going to be lovely. And I do trust Alexis, so I kept on knitting (and knitting, and knitting, and then binding off for forever.) And when it was done I gave it a bath and then pinned it out to the desired dimensions.

The blanket, mid-blocking.

It looked beautiful for a while! I wanted to steam block it but the iron here is terrifying and really not safe and so I told myself that all would be fine, and the fact that it looked absolutely beautiful was proof of this. Unfortunately, all was not fine. When I unpinned it, it was already starting to get a little wobbly, but I put it on my table to take pictures and said that it was all going to be ok.

Post blocking, day 1.

I gently folded it and stuck it in my basket of things that I needed to take better pictures of. Then I took it with me to get more pictures several days later, and by that point it basically looked like it had never been blocked.

Lots of wrinkles. Many, many wrinkles.

So, it clearly needs to be reblocked. And I’m going to admit something that I would never ever have admitted at the beginning of college; I don’t really know how to do this better. Somebody help me?

Also being blocked at the moment is my Opus Spicatum, which was a very quick project and lots of fun. Full writeup on that when it is dry and I can take some pictures.

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