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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Moray Eel

Blue is my favorite color. I have lots of blue yarn. I just have to think of a project. Is it time for St. Brigid? What to do with all my new Beaverslide? Perhaps it will rest in stash to be petted and admired until the right project comes along.

I'm combing the old books and magazine for inspiration. The problem is it's getting a bit warm to knit. I have absolutely no sock mojo. I'm tired of hats and shawlettes. I was going to spin spin spin today, but then in a fit of domestic endeavor I sliced my dominant pointer. I think it will only be out of commission a few days.

I did manage to crochet a moray eel. Blogless Miche is setting up her Hook the Reef project and the wonderful projects and links to incredible Hawaiian marine life is inspiring. I put if off too long and have missed the deadline and he is kind of short for an eel. I got to used some left over Ultra Alpaca, and some white slubby stuff of questionable fiber content.

(Yup that is my pile of Beaverslide!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cashmere Island Stole

Pattern: Stitch Sampler Shawl by On This Day Designs. A free Ravelry download! This a well written and very forgiving pattern. I occasionally ended up with an extra stitch that I just knit together on the same or next row.
Yarn: Cashmere Island by Noro. Now discontinued. Colorway 11. 7 skeins. I have not blocked this yet, but it feels a little softer then Silk Garden, but is a little cushier. There were a few knots, but not an excessive amount and this yarn spit splices very well. This being Noro, there were some tufss and other little surprises that I just knit in. The color changes were fun and melded in a pleasing way imo. The stole feels very cushy.
Needles: size 10
Mods: I added a bobble row and shortened the center panel by 5 rows, and mirrored it on the other side of the bobble row. I also CO on two extra stitches for an end stitch.
Comments: The unblocked size was about 54 x 16 inches. I'm not sure when I'll get around to blocking this. Noro makes me happy:)

Monday, May 16, 2011

FO, Scarves

Annis, a new ending. My shawl curled something fierce, which is not so unexpected for stockinette. This shawl is knit from the lace up and a curve is created with short rows. Rather clever. Many on Ravelry seem to somehow avoided the curl, perhaps with the yarn choice and aggressive blocking. I was not so lucky and of course there were other misadventures with this shawl along the way such as the nupp debacle.

The pattern and the yarn were not to blame.

I may have posted about the green scarf before. I have two scarves down for the 2011 Red Scarf Project. I hope the project continues.

The red is Cascade 220 Superwash Paints, pattern Berlin Scarf by the purl bee. The green is yer garden variety SW Cascade220, pattern My Accountant's Scarf by Darlene Joyce. I used size 8 straights for the red scarf and size 6 for the green scarf. I soaked both scarves, spun them in the washer, and dried them on cool in the dryer. They survived without a hitch. Both are great patterns and FREE!

My house is covered with painters, scraping and power washing away. I like living in a house, but boy is there a lot of stuff that needs to be done.

PS: The red scarf counts as a Project Spectrum Project! Yay!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bulky Cowl with Handspun

Pattern: Patricia by Debbi Stone from The Stitches of My Life Designs, free Ravelry download. A nice easy, fast knit-up. The challenge was grafting the provisional cast-on, staying in pattern.
Yarn: Ashland Bay SW Merino. Hand spun, 3-ply. Dyed after plying in crock pot with 2 shades of Wilton's cake dye blue, and a dab of orange.
Needles: size 13

The Ashland Bay fiber was very nice to spin. Some of the singles were very over spun so I unwound it a bit before plying. Judith McKenzie's description of a 3 ply explains that the singles will lock together producing a fat, round yarn, that is good for cables. I was a bit distressed looking at my singles as there were so many corkscrew areas. I had this idea with the dying that I wanted shades of blue with some black areas, but did not have the black dye, so I thought if I went with a bit of orange the orange would separate into yellow and red so I I would have blues and a bit of purple and green. Umm, well, I got areas of orange.

The cowl came out better then I expected. I don't think I'll over dye it like I planned. The yarn has a nice plump solidness to it. The soaking and thwacking have evened out many of the blobby areas.

I have never worn a cowl and I wonder if it should be a bit more snug. I can imagine the winter winds of Chicago finding their way through. If it was a little more wide it could be pulled over my head. I'm not sure when I'll go some place cold enough to try it out.

Speaking of weather, I wonder if this icky, still, humid weather will move out next week. I've put off the house painting for 3 weeks already. At least it's not super hot yet.

I'm gearing up to work 2 days a week in June and July. A little income is never a bad thing:)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This and That

Number 2 sister and her extended family came for a visit and they were lucky to get some sun before the deluge. The last week or so has been a lot of gray skies, thunder and rain rain rain.

My niece joined my Saturday walking group at Hoomaluhia and the view of the mountains was most inspiring. I love the greens of the Koolaus.

May 1 is Lei Day in Hawaii. My group had a great breakfast on the beach following our walk around Kapiolani Park. The leis were cordoned off until the Queen picks her fave, so I wasn't able to get close enough for any photos while the ceremonies at the bandstand were underway.

The War Memorial in Waikiki was especially picture worthy.

FO: Annis
Yarn: Mountain Colors Winter Lace Jr (600 yd ball) Colorway Wild Horse.
Needles: size 8, 10 for the CO
Comments: I had a lot of trouble with this knit that had nothing to do with the instructions which were straight forward. It had nothing to do with yarn either, which was quite lovely to work with. First off were nupps. They have a fancy name but they are bobbles just the same. I generally avoid bobbles. I tried the crochet hook method which seemed to work pretty well. However I somehow got my needles twisted up in the lace and one of the nupps was stretched out of shape. I was too lazy to fix it properly so now its a little fluff ball. Then when I was nearly done, I realized I had a group of purl stitches in the knit side of my stockinette. I dropped them down and ended up with a bunch of enlarged stitches. Never fear, I said, they would block out, but they didn't. While pinning out the lace, I found I had missed on stitch on the bind off and it started to unravel. Yikes! I picked them all up after the thing dried and did Jen's Stretchy Bind off on the purl side and re-blocked the whole thing. The CO off edge curls. I quit for a while. Perhaps some kind of crochet edging will help? Now I'm reminded why I avoid lace weight!

I rolled up Opal's ball of yarn. It's a big one! Bigger then my ball winder! 8.4 ounces. She can do lace weight, yes she can.

I scored this lovely hank of fiber. Thank you Opal!

FO: SW merino. I was going for a bulky 3-ply. The dye job is awful, I know. The plan is to knit something and then dye it again. I will stick to two ply for now. I still tend to over spin my singles. I unwound some of them, but there still is as lot of energy in this yarn. It may have to become a Slug, but I'm toying with the idea of a bulky cowl. Just what I need for summer in Hawaii, lol.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Mother's Day Card

My mother loves violets...the common ones that smell so nice. We used have them growing in the yard, but it takes a lot of work to keep them going. The flowers were the easy part of the card, but the leaves really stumped me. I had envisioned using hearts, but they just didn't look right. So, in the the end I printed some up and cut them out.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Purple

The Purple by acornbud
The Purple, a photo by acornbud on Flickr.

Pattern: Noro hat, pattern by Saartje de Bruijn,
Yarn: Cascade Luna
Needles: size 4 and 5
Mods: decreases on purl sections to reduce the slouch. I knit this one bottom up and tried techknittings method of jogless joins.