July 31, 2007

Il Est Fait*

Posted in Knitalongs at 4:03 pm by nephele

I bet you were beginning to think I never finished anything, huh? Well wonder no more. The Clapotis is complete. I haven’t blocked it yet but I don’t plan on doing more than giving it a light steaming since I like the corregated look of it.
Clapotis finished

Why yes, I do work in an art store. How did you guess? 

I bought the Brooks Farm Acero specifically for this project and I wanted to use it all up. The Acero comes in hanks of 420 yards. I bought 2, giving me a total of 840 yds. That’s more than the pattern calls for but the Acero is finer than the original yarn. They (Brooks Farm) call it fingering; I think it’s more like sport weight. I used a 4mm needle to knit this and the fabric is nice and drapey. Anyway back to using up the yarn… When I finished the first hank I put a couple of safety pins on the edges to mark where it ran out. I then counted the drop lines and worked with the second skein until I had one fewer drop line. At that point I started the end section of the pattern. It work out pretty well. Here’s how much yarn I had left:
All that is left

Before I forget, I did promise you a picture of the Mystery Stole now complete through clue 4. We find out what the theme is this Friday. We’ll also find out why she wanted us to put a lifeline in on one particular row (that’s the faint line near the top that’s pulling the sides in). I’m almost disappointed to be finding out. I want to know, but it’s fun to speculate. Oh well, there are only three clues left so the suspense wasn’t going to last that much longer anyway. In case you were wondering, pinned out like this the stole is about 20 inches wide and 4 feet long. When I wet block the finished piece it will probably come out even bigger. Oh and if I haven’t mentioned it lately, I’m using Prism Lace Wool in Fog and size 3.75mm needles.
MS3 Clue 4

Since the Clapotis is finished I, naturally, started another project. No pictures yet because there really isn’t much to see. The pattern is from the Summer Interweave. It’s called Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell. It’s cuter than the name (it would almost have to be). I bought Cascade Pima Silk in a pale peachy pink which will look great with a chocolate brown skirt I have. Pictures next time when there’ll hopefully be something to see.

Gretchen said:

On Tunisian crochet: the Interweave Crochet of 2004/2005? (Interweave Knits’ first ever special crochet issue) has a good tutorial on the technique. I’m sure I’m going to try it some day. . .

I don’t have that issue. Did they cover Tunisian Purling? I checked Interweave’s website and they’ve sold out of that issue so I may do a tutorial anyway. I still have to resolve the picture taking issue though so it may be a bit before that shows up.

*Babelfish tells me this means “it’s done” and I’m taking that on trust.

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July 26, 2007

Time Flies…

Posted in Knitalongs at 4:38 pm by nephele

…when you’re hot and tired. Or maybe it doesn’t but I definitely didn’t get much knitting done. I’m about halfway through clue 4 of the Mystery Stole 3 but I haven’t taken a picture of it yet. I should finish clue 4 this weekend and then I’ll be sure to get a picture.

The Clapotis continues to grow a bit each day. I’ve probably got about 25% left to go. It doesn’t look much different from the last picture though so… I haven’t taken a new photo of that either. I’m just a bad blogger this week.

So what is this post about?

Yeah, I got nothin’.

Ooh, wait! I do have a comment I haven’t responded to yet:

Kathryn said:

Love your progress on the MS3 and am especially keen on the tunisian crochet. I’ve never done anything other than the plain afghan stitch with a tunsian hook.

I hadn’t either – which is exactly why this intrigued me. I was thinking about putting up a photo tutorial on the Tunisian purl if there’s any interest (and I can get someone to help me take the pictures). Sound like a good idea?

Well that’s about it – seriously. I spent most of the last week laying around failing to sleep. I managed to do enough of that to make myself sick briefly. I did finally manage to sleep then though so it wasn’t completely bad. The humidity has dropped now so while it’s still warm at least it’s not sticky.

I’ll try to come up with something a little more interesting for my next post.

July 18, 2007

Wednesday? Really?

Posted in Knitalongs at 8:43 am by nephele

Sheesh, where did the week go? I’ve been meaning to put up a Mystery Stole progress post since Sunday and here it is Wednesday already. Better late than never though, right?

So progress. I got my dates mixed up. Clue 3 was another normal size bit (50 rows). It’s this Friday’s clue that will be longer. Melanie told us it would be something like 130 rows, so more than double the normal size. Yay! Hopefully that’ll keep me busy a bit longer. Although, I have to say that it’s probably better that the chunks are such a quick finish for me. If I spent the entire week knitting on one thing I’d probably start to get a bit bored with it. As it stands, I spend two days concentrating on the stole and the next five working on other stuff.

No new guess on the theme yet. It still looks oriental to me and I’m going to stick with my Kali & Shiva idea. Some of the other MS3 knitters have guessed the Taj Mahal which fits well with my read of the design as Indian. Only time will tell. What do you think? Here it is after finishing clue 3:
MS3 Clue 3

There are going to be 7 clues in all so the the next longer clue should be the center of the design. Once that’s done maybe the theme will be clearer.

My commute knitting has been a combination of the tunisian crochet bag I mentioned previously and my clapotis. I have a pretty short commute – more time spent waiting for the bus than actually riding most days – so progress is slow. Because of my wrist problems I can only manage a row or two of the tunisian crochet before I have to put it down. It turns out that the tunisian hurts more than standard crochet. I think it’s the hook. Tunisian hooks look like a  knitting needle with a crochet hook instead of a point. They’re a little harder to grip than standard hooks which usually have a flattened area to hold on to. It may be that the stitch makes me twist my wrist more as well. Either way, this is going to be a long term project even though it’s just a little bag. I do finally have enough to show you though:
tunisian purl crochet

I’m going to persevere with this because I really like the texture. Just don’t expect to see it done any time soon.

Once I’ve done my row or two of the tunisian I switch to the clapotis and get a repeat or two done on that. I made it past the half way point recently. I bought two hanks of the Brooks Farm Acero for this project with the intention of using it up. I’m on the second hank now and it looks like my finished wrap will be about 70 inches long. I’m not tall (5′ 5″) but I’m big (size – yeah, like I’d confess that). 70 inches should be just perfect. I hadn’t taken a progress shot in a while so I threw it on my office chair and took a quick snapshot:
clapotis progress

I think I’m going to like this a lot when it’s finished. I love the colors and the yarn has a real interesting drape to it. It’s very light and almost feels like linen even though it’s more than half wool (60% Super Wash Wool / 20% Silk / 20% Viscose to be specific). I may have to get some more of this yarn to make a sweater. They make a few solid colors that would be great to work up with a pattern stitch. Maybe next Stitches. It’s not like I need more yarn right now anyway (it’s not like that fact will stop me either – addicted? Moi?).

Only two more days until MS3 clue 4.

July 12, 2007

The Waiting…

Posted in Knitalongs at 5:12 pm by nephele

…Is the Hardest Part.

Waiting for the next piece of the Mystery Stole 3 Pattern that is. I can’t wait to see what comes next and how it may change my idea about the theme (or comfirm it, perhaps). But I have to wait. I have no choice! Aaaaaarrrrgggh!

Okay, I’m better now. Heck, it’s almost Friday. I don’t have to wait much at all now. Tomorrow morning I’ll get a nice big pattern chunk to keep me happy for a bit. Next week will be harder. We aren’t getting a pattern clue that Friday because Melanie wants to read Harry Potter instead. I guess I’ll have to do the same thing. Either that or knit slower this time. Yeah, that’ll happen. I am having fun, really. The anticipation is all part of working on a mystery project. I did one of the mystery shawls a while back and had a lot fun trying to guess what would come next. 

I’m actually kind of hoping the next part of the pattern has me rethinking my theme guess. I don’t really want to solve the mystery this early. It’s like figuring out who-done-it befor you get halfway through a detective novel. It’d spoil all the fun.

In the meantime I started another project. Are you shocked? It is so unlike me. I’m playing with some tunisian crochet. I found a pattern in a Crochet Today magazine for a placemat that used tunisian purl stitch. I’d never heard of it but it looked interesting. I made a slightly shorter chain but otherwise I’m following the pattern. The plan is to keep going until I get short of yarn and fold this in half to make a bag. It’s possible I’ll get bored first.

Crochet is slow going for me these days. I learned to crochet before I learned to knit by a couple of years. I got good at it. Good enough to make up my own designs. My problem now is computer induced carpel tunnel pain. The twisting motion required by crochet makes my wrist hurt pretty quickly. I’m okay doing a quick edging but making a project, especially one made of cotton yarn, will be slow going. Still, it’s good to know I remember how to do this stuff. Maybe I should get my bobbin lace back out… Hmmm, bobbin lace insertions for a knitted t-shirt? Or maybe tatted… Ack! To many ideas!

I think I’ll just go knit on my Clapotis until the next MS3 clue comes out.

PS: Ingrid, when do want to have a knit-night? If you’re hosting, you need to pick a date.

PPS: Ingrid, where are those pictures?

Okay, off to knit.

July 8, 2007

Help Wanted – Summer Tweed

Posted in Yarn Stash at 11:51 am by nephele

Posting on behalf of a friend this time…

She’s knitting up a jacket in Rowan Summer Tweed from an old kit. The trouble is her gauge is tight but she likes the fabric she’s getting and doesn’t want to change needles (besides, she half done and it’s all intarsia). So I’m putting out a call for help. If you’ve got a stray hank of Summer Tweed floating around in your stash that you’d be willing to trade (for a different color or a different yarn or even the same color in a different dyelot)… Please help!

She needs one more skein of each of these:

#500 Powder (lt. blue) dyelot 30I2
#513 Dew (lt. green) dyelot 15K1
#526 Angel (lt. pink) dyelot 21J2
#515 Raffia (tan) dyelot 23D2
#507 Rush (khaki) dyelot 23D2
#525 Blueberry (lt. purple) dyelot 21J2
#528 Brilliant (fushia) dyelot 21J2
#506 Ghost (lt. grey) dyelot 29E2

If you find some of these lurking in your stash, please send me an email at nephelebATgmailDOTcom (replace AT with @ and DOT with . )

Thanks for checking and fingers crossed!

Okay, I’m Ready to Guess

Posted in Knitalongs at 10:52 am by nephele

Lots of people (6700 people) are busy working on their Mystery Stole 3s. Many of those folks have been trying to guess what the theme might be. Melanie gave us a few clues but mostly in the negative – it’s not Harry Potter related for instance. She did tell us that the most obviously appropriate colors (for those that worry about that sort of thing) would be black or white. She also mentioned that the white version wouldn’t necessarily make a good bridal wrap. So it started. We did our swatches.
MS3 Swatch

And lots of guesses were made based on this stitch pattern. We were warned though that the pattern was just something to play with so that we could get a needle and yarn combo that we liked. Still the guesses came in.

Then we got clue #1. I was a bit slow knitting it but did manage to finish up by the night of the 4th.
MS3 clue 1 complete

People were seeing all sorts of things in that border pattern and central motif. More guesses came poring in. Lots of classical mythology guesses. Lots of other guesses, some of them getting deliberately silly (a craps table with fuzzy dice in the middle). One person found a website with some archeological images on it. One of them had a border pattern that did look a lot like our border but the central image didn’t look anything like our motif.

Then clue 2 shows up. Clearly I was in the mood to knit lace last Friday. I got all but 12 rows done and finished those up on Saturday.
MS3 clue 2

I pinned this out to take a picture and a good look. It’s starting to look a little eastern to me. The first Mystery Stole was based on Leda and the Swan (Greek). The Second stole was based on the 1001 Nights (Arabian). I think this one may be taking us even further to the east. I’m thinking it looks a bit Indian. So here is my guess:

The goddess Kali and her consort Shiva. Kali is often depicted with jet black or blue black skin. Shiva is ash white in color. Since the white version represents the male deity it wouldn’t be good for a bride.

What do you think? We’ve still got five more clues to go. The next piece could complete change the look. It’s going to be fun finding out.

Ingrid said:

Hi Liz! The shawl looks great – just wanted to thank you for the gorgeous baby cardigan! Gwyneth is wearing it as I type; I’ll post a photo today:) I miss knitting with everyone – anyone up for a knit night at my house sometime?

So… where are the pictures? (This is something I worked on without blogging about last month because it was a surprise. Then I gave it to Ingrid without taking a picture first.) Hopefully, you’ll get to it soon…

I’d be up for a knit night at your place. I can get some dog hair in my Clapotis – he matches the color nicely 🙂  Anyone else?

July 5, 2007

The 5200

Posted in Knitalongs at 4:48 pm by nephele

5200 knitters signed up for the Mystery Stole 3 Knitalong – and counting! You can still sign up. Come on, you know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it.

I finished clue 1 last night and we don’t get clue 2 until tomorrow morning so it’s back to my (many, many, many) other WIPs until then. Here’s my progress so far:
MS3 clue 1 complete

I’m very happy with the varigation on this yarn. Most people would guess that I’d have picked one of the stronger colors that Prism Yarns are known for and I’ll admit I was tempted, but I knew that a strongly varigated yarn would fight with an intricate lace pattern. So I bought the Fog. I was hoping the colors wouldn’t obscure the lace and it’s looking like I’m going to be good there. By the way, there are beads in there but they match really well. They show up when the light catches them.

Since my rampant ADKD fueled startitis won’t allow to start just one project, I had to start another one.
runway cardigan

This ended up just being the swatch but I’ve already started over for real. The yarn is Rowan Plaid and I’m doing a variation on the Cosmopolitan Cardigan from Runway Knits.

I just got the book last week from a friend at my LYS. She’s someone I helped out with some knitting woes and this was her thank you. Nice, huh? There are several really nice designs in this book. Mostly the sizing isn’t large enough for me, but that just takes a little arithmatic. I’m used to that. This project took a little more math than usual because my yarn is a different gauge than Aurora Bulky the pattern used.

I’m hopeful that I’ve finally got something I’ll finish in this yarn (it’s my third try). I’ve made two other pieces with Plaid, so it’s not the yarns fault. The first attempt was a poncho with a few cables. It wasn’t a bad idea but I was over ponchos before I’d knit more than half of it. Then I tried knitting an uber cozy shawl with it, something to wrap up with in the winter time over some hot cocoa. I didn’t get too far on that before realizing that was what the afghan is good for. There’s a limit to how many cozy woolie wraps a Californian can really use. So, a cardigan. I like cardigans. When you get on the bus or go into a store you can open them up so that you don’t get too warm. Once back outside, you can button (or in this case, hook) them up again. Plus, size 11 needles and solid seed stitch makes for good breaks in the lace knitting. And speaking of the lace again…

Cathy-Cate said:

Actually, I think Swan Lake, romantic ballet though it is, wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate for a wedding, because everybody dies in it. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet! Romance, yes; but no wedding bells for the star-crossed lovers. So I still think that might fit — white swan, black swan. Otherwise, no clue here!
Just wound up my white-ish yarn tonight, ready to knit, after knitting clue 1 in black. I don’t think I”ll be able to keep up knitting two stoles, unless I did no other knitting and refused to interact with my family, but at least I’ll start it!

I think Swan Lake works great for the black or white color scheme. Some of the other suggestions have been interesting too. We’ll just have to wait and see (and guess in the meantime). Whatever the theme turns out to be, I’m sure the stole will be lovely.

I’ve notice quite a few people are making two stoles. I don’t think I’d want to. Not two in the same pattern anyway. There are so many other patterns I want to make and only so much knitting time. I have a hard enough time making that second sock!

Speaking of which, I did finish the Zarina socks:
Zarina Spiral Socks

I think they came out pretty cute. I may have to make a pair for me some day. You know, when I’ve got nothing else to knit 😉