Weekending

Saturday was cold, somewhat wet but Smith and I made the best of the day by spending leisurely time together. It was a weekend of no obligations, the kind of weekend you need to recover and regroup before another week at work.

Walk in the Park

Overnight Sunday we had what counts for snow around here, which amounts to a skiff on the lawn. It was chilly in the early hours, but by 10:00 the sky was a mixed of clouds and bright blue sky, nice enough to take a walk around the park.

Saturday I was able to block what had turned out to be the endless shawl. I was so into the process and ease of garter stitch I just kept knitting on my Duane Park Triangle. Finally, I realized I needed to count stitches and figure out where I was in the pattern. Thank goodness I had plenty of yarn because, without intention, I ended up knitting a large. 

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The lace border was easy and the edging quick, and by then, I was so happy she was off my needles. The yarn, The Woolen Rabbit Lark, is soft and light as air, but I've had the yarn so long, I think Kim no longer has it in the line up. The only way to get a picture was to take a sun-washed selfie.

TaDa! I have a finished object to share! How long has it been since something finished has shown up around here? FOREVER! 


In Full Bloom

On the last day of fall, the day before winter (finally) descended upon us, Smith and I went to the farm for for a photo shoot. The sky was as blue as blue can be and the temperature belied the November date. Smith looked around the fields emptied of crops where he spotted an old rusted truck and he thought would be perfect as a backdrop to photograph my elegant shawl.

Check out the shadow

We had some fun and he captured some great shots of the shawl in action, but I think he was more enamored of the truck.

Skethguru fun

I had some fun with SketchGuru while he took more pictues of the truck.  15761335895_589038cfb5_z

When I saw Cactus Flower I fell head over heels for its beauty, but admit to being slightly intimidated by the construction. The side knit border was new to me and it looked oh-so-complicated, but I decided to step forward despite my angst. As it turned out, there wasn't anything about the pattern I couldn't do and, while I knew it would take me a long while to knit, I was surprised it only took 3 months.

Cactus

As I neared the end of the border, the fear  of not having enough yarn struck. My friends were also fairly sure I'd run out, but I knit and weighed, and right after sending Kim a panicked email, I realized I would make it to the end. As it ended up, to my relief, I had a tiny little ball of yarn left.

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Blocking this shawl took a lot of pins, more blocking wires than I'd anticipated, and about an hour of time. But, seeing the end result of a well stretched lace is worth the time and trouble of proper blocking. 15752213102_d9ae373ace_k

Cactus Flower by Romi
Kim's elegant Woolen Rabbit Lucent
Inspiration and encouragement from my virtual grrlfriends

When I finish a long-time project I feel a little sadness, but that is abated by the joy of wearing something so beautiful every day and I have done so even since it came off the needles.

My Ravelry Here


Imagine It

Half way through this shawl I became nervous about the outcome and dared not dream the shawl would look good in the end. Of course the promise of a pattern is if you follow directions you end up with a reasonable facsimile of the designers finished object. Even so, I often knit with trepidation.

Myshawlunfurled

While I did my best to keep the faith and to move forward with each stitch. I confess my head took over and I faltered from time to time knitting with my heart in my throat. As I bound off the last of the stitches I felt a little disappointed in myself and the misshaped mass of knitting. I certainly didn't think my shawl would be as wonderful as Joji's Imagine When. My confidence often wavers as I knit, and especially before blocking but, I should have known the shawl would be right. I did everything I could to insure it would be, so why not believe in myself?

Standinginthesnow
The color is more true in the above photo. Click to embiggen any photo.
(How do you like Bray stuck into the pocket of my coat?)

Shawl

The yarn is The Uncommon Thread's Merino Fingering, in the colorway Cobble. I used about a skein and a half. When changing from one skein to the other there was no noticable transition, no contrast in skeins. The yarn held up even when frogged, although if I'd had to rip out more than once (or twice) it may not have fared as well, as it is a single-ply yarn.

Iwearitallthetime

The finished shawl is soft, fine, and yet, sturdy enough to hold up well to constant wear. (Once something new is off my needles it is worn in abundance.)

Ravelry here.

 


Red is THE Color

In celebration of four years going strong, I'm showing off my latest cherished object. Long ago (during my short run at spinning) I joined a fiber club  and one of the luxury fibers was a vibrant red cashmere/silk. I was in love. It was my dream to turn into a Rumpelstiltskin and spin the elegant blend into a find thread. (Of course, after spinning I would then turn into a very kind and caring princess.)

A few months ago a very kind and caring princess (one of many) came into my life and offered to turn the amazing fiber into an amazing yarn. What else could I do but take her up on the offer? When her hand spun yarn arrived I was floored by its beauty and its softeness.My dream had come true and I never had to turn into Rumpelstiltskin.

Happyshawl

Sweet Dreams was a heavenly knit. The pattern was easy to follow and the yarn was one of the most elegant I've ever knit. I felt very fortunate, and loved, to have this luxuriousness in my hands.

Itsthebeads
The color of the beads is very close to the color of the yarn, but they are lined with silver, which adds a subtle "glint". The sparkle, also, adds light that shows off the lace and their weight gives a touch of reality to the ethereal fabric.

Redcape

A picot bind off doubles the number of stitches along the edge, but its effect is well worth the effort. Its delicacy matches the beauty of the shawl and continues the integrity of the lace right to the end.

I'm having Sweet Dreams of Sweet Dreams, a very special and elegant shawl and I couldn't love her more.


Red Shoe Beach

There are times when wandering through a yarn shop isn't as inspiring as I'd like. I have a large (enough) stash and, often, much of what I see is similar to what is already housed in the (ever burgeoning) stash. It just doesn't feel right to buy more of the same.

Beachglassandcorn

Last spring, when I spotted Anzula's lace weight silk/linen blend (Breeze), it was an unexpected delight. Here was something new and unique and it was stimulating to see.  I was worried the linen would be hard, tough on my hands, but this yarn was soft, with the cool texture of linen and the sheen of silk. I was enchanted and, of course, I bought red…a pretty not quite pink, not quite coral, Red Shoe.

Before long I'd decided on a suitable pattern for my unique yarn, Susan's Beach Glass. It was time to tackle my first ever bottom up shawl. 388 stitches were successful cast on and the feather and fan section launched. Over the months it took to complete, there were times when I became distracted with other projects, (Color Affection for one), but I never abandon my Red Shoe on the Beach.Beachgardensshadow

With each of the decreasing rows, through wavy lace and into the eyelets, this shawl enchanted and entertained. A designer must have a vision of how the patterns will fit together, must have an understanding of when, and where, each decrease should be, and before ever casting on, must know, in the end, that the pattern will come together when the last stitches are woven together. I am in awe of this ability. 

Gardenviewofbeach

The linen/silk blend yarn has a nice hand, a beautiful drape, and an airy lightness, which reminds me of the a summer's day. I am also assured the yarn was the right choice for this elegant shawl. Come spring, I'll be ready to let the beautiful pink Beach Glass sit on my shoulders and keep the cool breezes away.

My Ravelry - Beach Glass


Romancing

I knit. Yes, I do and, every now and then, I finish a project. 

Beautyofoccitan

Occitan captured my heart from the moment she caught my eye. Little did I know luck was with me the day I wandered into The Uncommon Thread Etsy shop (now closed) to purchase a kit.  Later, one of the SnB grrls told me what a commodity I had.

Edgeofoccitan

Part of my wonder with Occitan was why the name? What did it mean? Was it something specific that inspired the design? Was Occitan a time, a place, a feeling, a language? (This is the most interesting link I could find.)  I did see the romance, the elegance, and I could feel the draw of an unusual, far away, place. Whatever Beth's inspiration, through this shawl she took me to a a lovely place with this glorious design. 

Occitanonthelantern

The luxurious yarn, a lovely blend of wool/silk/cashmere from of the The Uncommon Thread was exquisite to knit and I loved watching, as the subtle beauty of the hand-dyed yarn slide through my fingers.  As if Occitan wasn't a beautiful enough name, Comulonimbus is the name of the yarn.  It's blue, it's named after a cloud formation, it was clearly meant to be.

Occitan was a magical, delightful project, as each stitch of its elegant simplicty filled me with calm. This was the right project at the right time and it has brought me joy all the way along.

Thankyoucarole
Even more joy came my way as Carole visited Utah just when I needed her skills for a photo shoot! Thank you, Carole, for taking such a great picture of the shawl!
The Uncommon Thread shop is now open here.


One of Many

Nearly 5,000 knitters have made, or are in the process of making, Color Affection by Veera Välimäki. To my mind, the pattern has been popular because it can be knit in a multitude of color combinations, as well as a veritable mountain of yarn choices. The knitter is in charge and can create a simply, comfortable, suitable wrap to match their style. Genius.

  Colorwideandhappy

My first attempt at knitting Color Affecton was a fail, as the silk yarn was unyielding and uncomfortable.  Many of my friends advised I should listen to my inner voice and I realizing they were right. The silk was frogged and more suitable yarn ordered from Vicki's new company Make.Do. Vicki's eye for color is informed by her years of photographic experience, as well as enhanced by her innate talent. The yarn she dyed is perfect in color and, with her added variations of tints and tones, exactly what I wanted.

Colormehappy

The pattern is fairly straight forward as long as you read it carefully.  Some people have worried about the edge being too tight and some about it being too loose.  In my usual fashion, I gave it no thought and just jumped in. My knitting is on the tighter side of a gauge, which lead me to added a YO between the first two stitches. The YO was then dropped on the next row, which kept the edge from becoming firm and without give. As far as I'm concerned, doing so was the right thing for my shawl, my yarn, and my style. YMMV

Itsthecolor

Together the yarn and pattern create a coziness of a perfect cool weather into winter wrap. Color Affection, my Color Affection, will ensure I'll be wrapped in warmth and luxury for many winters to come.

Coloritsawrap
Color me happy!


For Cheryl

I've been trying to write this post for days, but my thoughts lead nowhere, and then, (just yesterday) I realized Cheryl's birthday, which is today, was the perfect way to show off my latest finished project.

Upperedgeandborder

The rich warm color of the yarn reminded me of Cheryl from the moment Kim shared her Luciole in 2010. The beauty of the top edging, as well as the elegance of the lace border worked to enchant me. I knew this would be a grand knitting experience.

Cherylandlucioletwo

There were a few hicks and ups along the way, the biggest of which was leaving many of the yarn overs out on the first few rows of the border. Only an evenings worth of knitting was lost and I was quickly on track, a little wiser, and more careful, about the reading the chart.

Cherylandluciole

When finished, I fell for Luciole all over again and, from the look on Cheryl's face, she's very happy, too. I can't think of a better recipient.   Happy Birthday, dear friend!

Raveled Here


Zen Ziggity

The minute I saw Ziggity she was on my "to knit" list.  I waited while Kirsten had it test knit and watched daily until she published the pattern.  I felt sure the colors I had set aside would blend, would look like part of a piece, as was my vision of my version.

Madtoshziggity

Ziggity had her way with me, as she was entertaining, interesting and enjoyable, whist being easy and charming.  In fact, Ziggity finally took over my knitting desire completely and kept me rapt and enchanted. Her pretty upper border (you can see a tiny little bit in the photo below) attracted me in the the beginning, but when the knitting started I was slightly intimidated. It didn't take long before I had the hang of the repeat and found it very easy to remember.

Ziggityrocksmeworld

The yarn also has an ease about it, with its subtle shading and warm hues.  Ziggity and madtosh danced through my fingers and swayed my heart.

Ziggityzagitty

Now that she's finished I love her more.  Ziggity is easy to wear, her shape is long enough to wrap and stay, plus she can be worn in many versatile ways.  I love this shawl and have been wearing her daily.

My Ravelry Zig


Flying By

If it's the end of November, which means Vicki was here two months ago! How can that be true!?  Two months? Alta Retreat seems so long ago, but also like it was yesterday. Memories of autumn colors, the relaxing weekend, and the visit of a friend, are beginning to fade into the hubbub of life. It's hard to believe we're in the midst of the Holiday season and approaching a new year, a New Year, Christmas. Wow, just WOW!

Vicki was very focused on her Different Lines shawl whilst knitting during the Knitters Retreat. Because of dedication and focus she finished the shawl and we were able to fit in a photo shoot before she left.  This is old news, I know and you've seen the picture of her beautiful shawl before, but this is a day I love to relive.

Vickiatsilverlake
It can't be that long ago, can it? In any case, Vicki gave me one of her beautifully dyed skiens of "Virginia", a lovely soft pink she named for her grandmother.  Inspired by Vicki's Different Lines, a shawl I had been unsure I would like or wear until I saw how lovely hers was, I started one of my own with her beautiful yarn.

Hugsfromvicki
The pattern was just as much fun to knit as Stripe Study, but different enough not to be redundant. It was pure entertainment.  The short rows are quite amazing as they create a wide end and a short end to the stripes. Veera, the designer, has an eye for the elegance of asymmetry.

Wrappingupshawl

Shawlcollarshawl

Thelovelyshawl
Simple techniques and stitches can create quite an impact when used in creative, unique ways.  The shawl is light and airy, the fabric created with light fingering and a slightly larger needle.  Ravelry details here.

Flyingbyshawl

This shawl is very dear to me, as it's made with the gift of hand-dyed yarn. It's a treasured hug from a dear friend.  Thank you, Vicki!