Saturday, August 26, 2006

Unst in progress

Unst in progress
Originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
I've been working on these slowly for a while, since they're not quite as portable done two at a time like this. But, I learned from Hedera that my gauge may change between socks, it seemed prudent to do two at a time. I don't often find solid coloured yarn locally, so I'm glad I was able to get this. I knit with Fortissima all the time, but for some reason this tweedy deep green colour actually feel rougher than the other Fortissima that I've tried. I have no idea why.

Pattern: Unst, from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road
needles: size 1 (2.5 mm) addi circs
yarn: Fortissima Socka
started: Aug 11, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

Diamond Fantasy shawl done!

Finished Diamond Fantasy lounging in the garden

pattern: Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Shawl
yarn: Handmaiden 2-ply Silk Cashmere (or Cashmere Silk, I can't remember)
needles: Boye Needlemaster size 5 and 8
6 1/2 pattern repeats for 300 m fingering weight
knit August 7-18

I had to pay more attention to this pattern than any others I've attempted so far. I don't know if it's inherently the most difficult one I've done, or that I just had trouble reading it. It had a lot of "white space" so to speak, which is part of its light and frothy appeal, but it took a long time for my eyes to see the pattern developing. I used a lifeline every chart repeat, and stitch markers every pattern repeat. I also used a great tip from the Mystery Stole Knitalong - highlighter tape! It's less messy and more durable than the dry erase marker I was using on the page protector. I also noted down the number of purl stitches to expect on the wrong side rows so I could count on my way back. All these tools really helped, and I usually caught my mistakes on the same row or the next.

OCD chart and markers

USUALLY. By the time I bound off, I was feeling pleased about completing an error-free project. Till I blocked it, and discovered this:


Quelle horreur! I didn't panic, as it was fairly obvious which stitches belonged where, and miraculously, it didn't unravel any further down. With a couple of DPN's and extra yarn, I pulled it back up and wove the extra yarn in place:

post surgery, broken diamond

I feel recently confident it will stay put, but I might weave in a little bit more length after I unpin it.

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

It's a perfect size for a summer shawl or fall scarf, and the silk cashmere blend is beautiful to wear. It's possibly the most luxurious yarn I've had the chance to knit so far, and Sivia's pattern is a great way to use one delicious skein.

Diamond Fantasy shawl

Thursday, August 10, 2006

a holiday yarn

holiday yarn
Originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
on my annual summer pilgrimage out to the west coast, I made sure I hit the local and not-so-local yarn shops. This in lieu of my usual trapline of yoga prop supply stores and Banyen Books, since (as unlikely as it may sound) I actually have all the yoga stuff I need right now, as well as piles of unread books.

The large picture at Flickr is annotated, but in summary:

from Knit Cafe in Walnut Grove: Confetti sock yarn and 2 skeins 6 ply all hemp (not shown- acquired after the pic)

from Kept in Stitches in Fort Langley: 7 skeins Silky Tweed, 3 small and one large skeins Fortissima sock yarn

from Knitopia in White Rock: 2 skeins Handmaiden Silk Cashmere 2 ply, 1 skein Handmaiden Sea Silk

from Urban Yarns in Vancouver: 2 skeins Fleece Artist Merino Sock

from Marilyn's Yarn Barn in Bellingham, WA: 6 skeins Wildefoote, 1 Socks that Rock, 3 skeins Jamieson and Smith laceweight Shetland wool.

This doesn't even show the books I acquired - Stahmans Shawls and Scarves, as well as the Knitting Heretic, gifted to me by my friend and knitting mentor Loretta.

I definately indulged, but all the yarns with the exception of the Silky Tweed and Fortissima are yarns I can't find at my local yarn shops. And those were 50% off because Kept in Stitches is going completely to quilting supplies. My mom is bummed about that, understandably.

I've already started knitting the silk cashmere up into Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Scarf, and the Confetti sock yarn into Pepperknit's Anastasia socks. The Sea Silk started out as a DFS, but I decided after a few rows that the very open stitch pattern was better suited to a yarn that will bloom a bit. It's kind of cool - to me, at least - that Knitopia and Urban Yarns are both shops where Sivia teaches, and after joining her Yahoo group I learned that she knit both the samples I saw (and swooned over) when I visited those shops.

All in all, very exciting stash enhancement, and I think I'm going to enjoy every ounce of wooly, silky, goaty goodness in the months to come.