Thursday, February 21, 2008

Knitting Left to Right

Don't know about you, but we have a couple of crazy friends who knit left to right instead of right to left and they call it 'normal'. Well, we all know that 'normal' is a relative concept, but in this case they happen to be correct: knitting back the other way is a good way to avoid purling, turning after the short row wrap or knitting right to left, if you happen to be...well...normal. Ok, EmBe, this one's for you! Now, would you show us all how to do a cable that way? And how about knitting into the back of the stitch and purling and...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Two Leaf Lace Shawls

Today we have some vintage knitting, 'cause sometimes we just run out of current knitting to show you. We'll be doing Vintage occasionally because the original concept for our blog was to have a place to archive our knitting and spinning. Common sense demands that we pull out old projects, take photos and post details so that we can go back through the archives someday and claim to remember knitting that.

By Peggy, in her handspun Corriedale from Grafton Fibers
By Rebecca, in her handspun merino from Ashland Bay
Pattern: Leaf Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark from Fiber Trends.
We knit these back in 'o6 with some of our first handspun. I can clearly see some serious over-twist and over-plying in my purple yarn while Peggy's is superior in every way ~ she's a natural talent at spinning.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Koigu Gloves

Working on the ring fingers.
Trying on to check fit.
Not so many ends to weave in...
Just in time for the rest of Winter:
Knitter: Rebecca
Yarn and Needles: Koigu Sock yarn (KPPPM), 2 sks, #2.0 mm Inox 24" circulars, 2 of 'em.
Finding a pattern was problematic. Have you ever noticed how chunky knit gloves look in the pattern photos? I wanted 'refined' gloves, densely knit at a fine gauge and that meant (to me) sock yarn and size 'tiny' needles. There were no patterns with this criteria in our shared library of knitting books, although I came closest with one from VK's little book on mittens and gloves. I just had to revise it from double-points to 2 circulars and I also included the beaded picot cuff, using 32 #8 seed beads per glove. The pattern had a goofy kitchenered end to each finger/thumb which, after working, looked (as I said) goofy, so I changed it to the less obtrusive "break yarn and with a chibi, run yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight; weave in ends." That worked nicely.
Project Notes: Began knitting December 16th, 2007 and finished January 27th, 2008. The Koigu was stash yarn and I used less than two balls, so if you have two balls (which we all know are not enough for socks with a long leg or foot) you can actually knit a pair of gloves with a fairly long arm. On the next pair I will go up one needle size for the fingers/thumb as they are just a tad too tight. The rest is perfect. My first gloves. I like them!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Blue Vest

Swatching with stash yarn.
The holes are yo/k2tog's which indicate
the needle size I used. I started on a US 5
and decided on the US 7.
10 stitch steek and decreasing for front V-neck.
10 stitch armhole steek and decreases.
The steeks after cutting,
picking up for the button band
and armhole trim and blocking.


Knitter: Rebecca
Yarn and needles:
The yarn is GGH Via Mala from my stash. This was a 4-ply chunky weight yarn calling for size US 10.5 needle. I separated it into 2-ply, which was simple to do as the singles weren't twisted (plied) ~ they were just 4 strands laying next to each other (see photo #3 for a peek at the ball) ~ but it was tedious and so handy to have knitting friends willing to help. I'm not fond of knitting with needles bigger than US 8 and I ended up with about 2,900 yards of yarn I can happily knit on a US 7. For this vest I used a #4.5 Addi Lace 32" circular for a gauge of 5 stitches to the inch. This revised vest pattern only took about 820 yards so I have plenty left for more projects. I can also separate the yarn again, into singles, and have some lovely lace weight for shawls.
Pattern: The Artisan Vest from Green Mountain Spinnery, tweaked. I changed the pattern to be knit in the round with steeks and it worked out well. I also changed the button band and the armhole trim from crocheted to seed stitch, so that they matched the border. I added back-neck shaping and short-row shoulder shaping for the three-needle bind-off.
Project notes: Began knitting on January 11th, 2008 and finished on January 27th. The steeks are knit in seed stitch, which lays so flat that I didn't have to deal with the fabric curling after it was sewn on the machine and then cut. I didn't even need to tack it down. Even though the pattern is a cardigan style and I did put button holes in the band, I ended up sewing the button band closed and so wear it as a pull-over. Next time I'll remember to save myself some time and leave out the button holes. The buttons have little thistles on them and came from my button box where they have languished for years. It's nice to finally use them. The difference in the blues is totally my camera, with and without flash, cloudy days vs bright sunshine, etc. The photo closest to actual yarn color is the close-up of the buttons.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Dancing Leaves Lace Shawl

Blocking tools: lump of damp shawl,
towels on rug, pins and blocking wires.

Blocked out to about 25"
from collar to cuff.
Close-up with beads
Knitter: Peggy
Yarn and needles: 900 yards of a
Rambouillet/Angora blend from pal Evanne; size 5.5 mm circular needle.
Pattern: Evelyn Clark's Dancing Leaves Lace Shawl, available on her website.
Project Notes: Knitting began January 6th, 2008 and finished January 27th. Choosing a pattern fabulous enough to go with this incredible yarn was challenging and then choosing beads to go with the yarn was intense. I ended up with #6 seed beads in 24k gold plate, 366 of them, from Fusion Beads in Seattle. The finished product: so warm, so cozy! The Friday Knitters passed it around at show-n-tell, trying it on as it circled the envious and now everyone wants to knit one. It fit every body type and looked great.
Evanne modeled for the FO photos.