Sunday, May 30, 2010

Triinu Scarf

Pattern: Triinu Scarf by Nancy Bush
"Knitted Lace of Estonia"**
10" x 50" relaxed

Yarn: Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace
70% alpaca / 30% silk
460 yds/50 gr - color 2481 Misty Meadow

Needle: Size 4 KnitPicks Options circular

Once again blocking worked wonders. It was hard to feel the love for this one during the knitting. Maybe that is why it took me so much longer. It certainly wasn't the fault of the pattern which was very straightforward and easy to remember. There were nupps on only two rows and, with only three repeats across, only six at most on any row. The column of two purl stitches that separate the repeats looked especially sloppy in the pre-blocked state. Once blocked they combine with the triple decreases on either side to form graceful arcs.

Not a great blocking job on the edges, but perhaps with wear it will ease into line. Wish I knew a faster, easier, more reliable way to work those blasted wires!

At any rate, glad to have this one done. This yarn was purchased way back in Aug. 2008 from The Yarn Circle in Murphy, NC. That was a lovely, relaxing trip so there are good memories tied up in this yarn and I am glad to finally have put it to good use.

If you are ever in the Murphy, NC area I recommend stopping in at this shop. The shop was established originally to meet the needs of weavers at John C. Campbell folk school and there is a lot of depth in their inventory.

**I can't say enough GOOD THINGS about this book. I have enjoyed it so much and used it more than any other I own. The history presented in the first part of the book is fascinating (to me at least!). Nancy says this scarf was inspired by an article in the Spring 1990 issue of Triinu magazine, founded in 1952 by four Estonian women all living in Sweden after the war. Experts in Estonian national costume and handcrafts, they wanted to create a magazine to keep their national traditions alive and to connect fellow Estonians dispersed throughout the world. It was published four times a year by a series of co-editors located in different countries. Early copies were simple copied pages of type. Always issues included an inspirational message at the beginning followed by poetry, articles on art, literature, culture, and recipes and also always featured a young woman in regional national costume along with patterns for making it. Obviously a labor of love.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Free Triinu

The green blob, a/k/a the Triinu scarf from "Knitted Lace of Estonia" is off the needles. I'm pretty sure there was not enough yarn for another whole repeat.

I think this project looks worse in the pre-blocked stage than any other I've ever knitted.

I used Classic Elite's Silky Alpaca Lace and, while knitting, it felt a little crispy to me. I tried to think back to the last time I used it. I knew I was pleased with the final outcome of that.

I made myself go ahead and use the dreaded blocking wires and get it blocked out last evening. What a difference! I think I'm going to be pleased. I'll leave it up most of the day, even though it is certainly DRY already.

This morning, I pulled out some yarn and dithered a few minutes choosing a new project. Choice is made and I am SO excited. I can hardly wait to start the next thing.

Long weekend. The promise of time.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Unadultered stringplay.
What fun, and perfect for an UNadult like me!

Sometime back I saw some lovely pieces at Yarnplayer's blog combining black thread with some of her wonderful hand-dyed threads (HDT). Knitters are used to seeing hand-dyed yarns, well Marilee does an amazing job of dyeing threads. See more of her things in her Etsy shop. I haven't ever tried any, but my friend Pat says they're great. Right, Pat?

Ever since seeing those I have been wanting to try out something similar myself. So yesterday I bought a ball of LizBeth thread and thought I'd try the combination out on the pattern in the current issue of "Piecework" [a/k/a the amazingly wonderful LACE issue].

The magazine article is entitled "The Tatting Treasures of Irene Buckland" and the author tells of taking a tatting class and seeing the tatting sample notebook of Irene Buckland (1901-1998). Trish Faubion recreated this pattern from one of the samples in the book. Irene's original and Trish's recreation both use blue and ecru.

I'm planning on finishing out the thread in the shuttles and then maybe trying a round or square motif. Oh, and the thread color? It is #119 - Jelly Bean. I'm thinking of this Jelly Beans and Licorice (with a nod to Jeannie, of course!).

"I'm growing older but not up, my metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck"
Jimmy Buffet (from 1980)
Remember: May is National Cheeseburger Month!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New String Saturday

Have you noticed that you haven't yet seen the Leafy Knot Clutch bag here? Yeah, that one has been put aside for just a bit. I haven't fallen out of love with it or anything. However, I reached the part where I put a section of stitches on a holder in order to begin one of the handles. A point at which I need to start decreasing while maintaining the lace pattern. Eek! Suddenly the instructions said things like "do not work a yo in st pattern without a corresponding decrease". No specific chart. No hand holding. Just me and my wee brain.

Since I didn't feel like working that bit out just now, I returned to an Estonian scarf that I started back in March. Seems I haven't ever even mentioned it here. It has been inching along. This picture was taken a couple of days ago.

Since I'm not sure that I have enough yarn for the full number of repeats specified, I've put the working end on a holder* and I'm going to take the provisional cast on out and, with the other end of the yarn, work that edging. Then I think I'll be better able to judge how much yarn the edging uses and whether or not I can add another repeat.

In the meantime, I bought new string today and have been having lots of FUN playing with it.
No brain required.

*for holders I'm using KnitPicks Options cables and the end caps. So flexible and handy! And when I get ready to go back to that end all I'll have to do is screw on the needle tips!

Friday, May 21, 2010

A May Day

Wednesday I spent a lovely spring day with a friend and it was a tonic. Planned months ago, we changed our destination and ended up in the Atlanta neighborhood Virginia Highland. I didn't take the camera.

Virginia Highland is the home of Knitch yarn shop. There were some lovely things and a good deal of cashmere, but I didn't buy anything. I have plenty of yarn at the moment.

We wandered in and out of a few shops having the most fun and only spending money at Paper Source. Isn't this hand dyed silk ribbon sublime?! I'm not sure how I want to use it just yet. It seems enough at the moment to just look at it.

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


[photo from Knitting Iceland - Blonduos Museum]

A nice, cool morning today so I decided to get my walk in earlier than usual. As usual, I listened to a podcast while I walked and today I listened to Episode 35/Knitting in Iceland produced by Never Not Knitting, a wonderful episode.

[you don't have to walk or even bother with downloading to a portable device, you can listen directly from your computer at that link]

Alana interviewed Ragga an Icelandic knitter, knittwear designer, and entrepreneur.

Ragga along with her business partner, Helene Magnusson, have started Knitting Iceland to focus on Icelandic knitting, publish a web magazine of patterns, and conduct tours.

Their June knitting retreat is sold out already, but there are still spots in the August retreat with teacher EVELYN CLARK. Oh, to be in Iceland now that Evelyn is there! Wouldn't that be a treat?!

Ragga also hand dyes Icelandic yarn, Nammi (which means candy in Icelandic), available in her Etsy shop. Looks yummy.

If you are on Ravelry, there is a Knitting Iceland group.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Steel Magnolia

Pattern: Vine and Flower Scarf by Cathy Payson
Interweave Knits Holiday 2009 (sans flower!)

Yarn: Brooks Farm Acero
60% superwash wool / 20% silk / 20% vicose
420 yards / 113 gr (4 oz.)
I think the color is Cathy ??

Needles: Size 7 Crystal Palace Bamboo 9" straights

[Now I know you must be exclaiming, "what? no red door?" Shocking, isn't it?]

This scarf was knit especially for a former co-worker. I was thinking of her as I roamed around Stitches South and hoped to find some special yarn to make something for her. When I spotted this Brooks Farm Acero, I knew I had found it. Brooks Farm says they chose this name because it is Spanish for steel. My friend has been one tough cookie these past few months so I felt a steel scarf would be just right.

I've already said what a JOY this yarn was to knit. The pattern is a very simple staggered vine lace over 40 stitches. Any stitch dictionary probably has one. And although this particular project never traveled, this would make a GREAT travel project. The two right-side rows are the very same except one row is offset by one stitch. All wrong-side rows are purled. You can immediately know which row to start just by looking at your work. No pattern to keep up with and no notes to take.

I took this in to work with me today so I could drop it off at my friend's house. Door Knob Love. For a change, I walked across to the square to get a daylight shot. A bit muggy, but a wonderful chance to get out for a few minutes.

Spread out on a bench you can see how wildly the colors snake through the piece, but when worn I think you only notice the lovely richness of the colors and the beauty of the yarn. I will be wanting more of this one day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Start at the very beginning

a very good place to start.

[ah, The Sound of Music]

Recall the Leafy Knot Clutch bag? It was stalled because I ran out of yarn. I ran out of yarn unsurprisingly because I began with NOT ENOUGH yarn. That is pretty much a formula for running out of yarn.

I looked through all the vendor booths at Stitches South for MerLin and found none. Just before leaving I ducked back into the WEBS booth and left with two very inexpensive balls of their Valley Yarn Longmeadow, a cotton/acrylic blend.

This is a FUN project so far as I near the top and get ready to work on the handles.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Inch by inch

Things seem to be going rather slowly around the cul-de-sac. Or maybe it just seems that way.

I'm making progress on the Acero scarf and still enjoying it immensely. At the same time, my mind keeps drifting off to other projects.

I bought two new bag patterns at Stitches that I am eager to try and today I thought of a Christmas project I'd like to start soon.

Let's not even discuss the two WIPs that I have ignored while concentrating on this scarf.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Let go and let color

Thankfully the wrist is feeling much better, so I've been able to start playing with the Brooks Farm Acero yarn.

What lovely stuff!! I'm using a very simple two-row vine lace pattern so the knitting, especially with this wonderful-feeling yarn, is simple and a pleasure.

I have such a hard time with multi-colored yarns. I knew this when I bought the Acero, but the individual colors were so beautiful (and I was in that Stitches stupor) that I bought it anyway.

You can see the bronze/gold has traveled from the left up and across and has started wandering back to the left. This scarf is destined for a friend. She loves art and colors and I'm counting on that, and the fact that she doesn't knit herself, to win her over to this scarf.

There is a pattern called "Pooling Colors Scarf" from the fall 2004 issue of IW Knits that I would love to try sometime when I have more patience and time ( ha!). In that scarf, through trial and error, you purposely knit the color sequences to line up and stripe vertically.

In the meantime I've decided to just Let Go and Let Color!
Brooks Farm Yarn - Best Fun Yet!