Monday, March 30, 2009


Pattern: Miralda's Triangular Shawl
by Nancy Bush in "Knitted Lace of Estonia"

Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss - color Porcini
70% merino wool / 30% silk
220 yards/50 grams - about 3.5 hanks

Needles: Size 6 - KnitPicks Options 32" circular

In spite of having no model and having to be content with the photo above, I'm surprisingly pleased with how this project turned out.

If I could have been a little more patient (I could end every day with that sentence!), I would have ordered the exact yarn Nancy called for in the book. It would not have cost much more. Patience, while a virtue, is sadly not one of mine. I was not thrilled with the yarn when it arrived and not much at the start of the knitting either. After soaking and blocking I am quite satisfied with the drape and feel of the knitting and think it will work fine for this shawl.

This shawl was pure pleasure to knit and not once did I run into problems. There is a posted errata on the Interweave site, which made it smooth sailing.

This was my first time at this type of construction - start with the most number of stitches along the bottom of the 'V' and decrease at center and edges all the way up. Lace edge is knit first and progresses directly into the design. What you don't see in this photo is the garter stitches edge. As you knit (and knit and knit) and decrease you eventually finish off the center and are left with only the two sets of 8 stitches at the very back center of your neck and these are grafted together.

Don't you wonder who first figures out this magic? I do.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

armchair traveler

Damp and chilly here today. The rain is most welcome.

The dampness may prolong the drying, but there is no hurry on this project because it's planned for a Christmas gift.

I got Miralda pinned out this morning and she measures about 62" across and 31" in depth all pinned out. Once unpinned she may relax to pretty close to the finished size stated in the pattern (59" x 30").

My lovely beach towel blocking surface obscures the center section pattern which was a rhythmic three-stitch cross that was fun to work.

Once the crawling around on my knees with those pesky blocking wires was over, I settled down with that wee aran baby sweater to watch PBS and was rewarded with a trip to Norway! Ah, the homeland (joking). What beautiful scenery!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Brooching the Subject

Don't blame me for that pun, I took it right off the
magazine ad for Piecework's brooch contest.

Deadline for receipt of entries is April 1. Here it is March 23 and I only just finished my entry! Yikes.

I really hadn't thought I would enter until the other day. Naturally it would have to be something Quick.

Stringplay to the rescue! This is a grape cluster and the twelve grapes are simple Hedebo rings.

Wrap your string (in this case #12 pearl cotton) ten times around a pencil or knitting needle and then work buttonhole stitches all the way around. When you have the twelve little rings made, attach them together in a grape cluster and put a little faux pearl in each one.

The tendril is a length of pearl cotton wrapped around a small dowel (or watercolor brush handle; must be resourceful!) and stiffened with white glue.

The leaf was a puzzle that I left until last. I found this one in the bead section.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome Spring!

First day of spring. It is a sunny 64 degrees here and the cul-de-sac was full of small children on a variety of wheeled objects. Mary, on the other hand, reported some snow this morning!

The sun was so bright that it really washed out the picture I took of the EZ EPS sweater.

I didn't want you to think I'd just abandoned this project. It is my car and visiting knitting. I still don't know if it will wind up as a sweater. At this point I think I will run out of yarn at an inconvenient spot.

But I think it will give me confidence to tackle another one and I will have learned something.

Too bad the bloom on the Christmas cactus didn't show up better. Please refer to yesterday's post to admire its loveliness. I think I'll call it the Equinox cactus.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Indoor Archeology

: the scientific study of material remains (relics, artifacts) of past human life and activities

The other day I told Kay that I was doing a bit of indoor archeology. I think it's an apt term for something that seems to occur around here on a fairly regular basis.

I need something that I know I have. Somewhere. Where? I think I know and so I start digging. It usually is not where I think it is and the dig continues. Intensifies. I go through layers of my past life; my past fascinations. I become frustrated but determined.

I dig down through the periods. The embroidery period. The lacemaking period. The brief crochet period (a dead civilization).

Usually the relic is discovered. And just like real archeology there is usually a good bit of DUST involved!

Today was successful. I found the sought-after supply. According to e-mail to Kay it took me an hour - an hour of good stringplay time. Grrrr.

One of the things I uncovered this time was the above piece of in-progress tatting. [there was a LOT of in-progress tatting!] I remember doing this; liking the silver of the buttons with the shiny black of the pearl cotton; thinking it might become a choker or bracelet [neither of which I would ever wear]. Where were the buttons purchased? Are more available? What's to be done with this scrap? I don't know. I probably didn't know then and that may be why it was abandoned, but it brought a smile when I found it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nupps for Miralda

Only about 4 more rows have been added since the last picture, but this one is much more true to color.

I have to say that just prior to pinning it out on a sofa pillow for this photo op that I had little warmth in my heart for this Miralda.

Some relationships just take more work than others. Sometimes even a good relationship requires work at times. In the give-and-take with this one, I was feeling like I was doing all the giving.

Nupps are not difficult*, but I felt like they were getting completely lost in this yarn and were appearing more as blobs than nupps. They still may, but I was at least encouraged somewhat after I stretched the whole thing out a bit. Encouraged enough to continue.

But perhaps no more today. There are some other things to do and things best done while the light is natural and abundant.

*watch video of Nancy Bush knitting nupps here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thought I'd flash a little GREEN here in readiness for upcoming St. Patrick's Day and to cheer on my friend, Mary, who is busily knitting a scarf to wear to a parade.

It has been very rainy and overcast here around the cul-de-sac. The rain is most welcome, but it doesn't make for great pictures so while the green in this shot is pretty true, the knitting is not.

I'm using KnitPicks Gloss yarn in color Porcini and a size 6 needle. I like the color for this project very much, but the yarn is a bit heavier than I would have preferred.

According to one helpful Raveler, I'm just a bit under a third done. That seems hard to believe. Perhaps I'll go check my figures again. This long edge has really eaten up the yarn. I've almost used a whole 220 yard skein!

The pattern is lovely and the knitting relaxing and enjoyable. I have NO IDEA how large this will end up being. Right now it seems like I'm knitting an strangely-shaped Estonian afghan!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Miralda Begins

I know I just started a project, but my yarn finally came for the Miralda shawl.

Well you don't expect me to wait do you?

Miralda promises lots of challenges; new stitch patterns and a decidedly different construction from other shawls I've knit.

There's no hurry as I'm planning this for a Christmas gift.

So today the plan is only to cast on and to count and REcount all the many stitches to make sure it is set up correctly. FUN.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Teeny Tiny Aran

A new project. Well at least a new project start. I'm not altogether sure this one will ever make it to FO stage.

I've been returning to this pattern, Heirloom Aran Baby Set, by Lisa Lloyd, ever since I purchased the Spring 2004 IW Knits issue.
That's 5 years of reading, pondering, studying, and then putting the issue away.

A friend is quite excited about an expected grandbaby. I thought perhaps, just perhaps, I'd give it a try.

But already I've encountered roadblocks. I've screwed up a cable (see 2nd on right). I fear both the neck pick-up and the seaming. Seaming! Ugh.

And the things I don't know about knitting could fill an encyclopedia. For starters: the center cable repeats over 6 rows but the sides repeat over 16. Directions just tell you to knit the back until you reach a given measurement, yet the introduction says the saddle shoulders (yes, that's another hurdle) carry the pattern over the shoulders. This sounds to me like I should be ending at a specific point.

Such puzzles. That's what makes knitting so interesting, right??

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Here's a confession. I used to be terrified of psso. I quickly scanned knitting directions and if I spotted a psso, I moved right along. Yep, a psso sounded like the hardest thing imaginable.
Of course now I just check to see if there is any seaming. That's the current immediate disqualifier.
The Lilac Leaf Shawl is speeding toward the finish line. I'm ready to put the bulk of it on a holder and start the other edging.
And look at that ball of yarn still left! I'm sure I'm going to have enough for a third RED shawl. I wonder if anyone has ever knitted all the patterns from a book in the same yarn??
And speaking of the leftover ball. Isn't it something how dimpled it is. It feels SO wonderfully soft. That Lacey Lamb. What a treat!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

School girl crush

I linked once before to Mimi Kirchner's blog (back when she was exploring a series of muscle men). I think her art dolls are amazing and I check in frequently to see her latest creations. I think I have a crush on her school girl.

We are getting snow here on the cul-de-sac. In March! Unusual but quite welcome. Doesn't snow quiet things down? Outside and in the mind, too. A good day to enjoy the peace and quiet and the rhythm of the stitches moving from needle to needle.