Basically Finished Report

Okay.  I give up.  We’ll likely have a frost the next night or two, so clearly it’s nearly past time to blog my “summer cotton shawl”.  I was waiting to block it, but I’m also already a couple of FO reports behind… 

For those of you who aren’t lace knitters, the fact that it’s cotton means there will be no drastic changes.  Cotton doesn’t lend itself to the wonders of blocking… honestly, I sometimes use a steam iron to “block” cotton projects.

Anyway, I present Quake-icane… thus named because it was a work in progress for an earthquake, lots of aftershocks and a hurricane!

August 2011 003

Pattern:  Miami Beach Shawl, from Cascade.  It was the first of Dog House Yarns’ KALs.  Most of the KAL-ers are part of their knit night, but I’m doing what I can “remotely”. 

It’s a nice, quick, easy pattern.   Per the pattern’s suggestion, I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Yarn:  Cascade’s Ultra Pima.  Wow.  Soft stuff.  Didn’t make my hands hurt, and hasn’t gotten fuzzy either…  not that it would get too fuzzy being moved from one spot to another on the back of the loveseat.  Hem.

Needles:  US #7 circulars, Addi Clicks.

Verdict:  Some of the ladies have made multiples of this shawl.  If I was a fan of weighty, cotton wraps, I could see that happening. 

Anything fun on your weekend agenda?   Celebration week begins for me tomorrow, with gMarie‘s birthday…  but I’ll share more about all the other celebrations later!

Ubiquitous Sissy

No, that isn’t the project name, but I’m sure Sissy would like to think she’s ubiquitous… and she’s almost always a cooperative model.  Granted, she was sight-hunting (no, I’m not at all sure she realizes she’s a SCENT hound) at the time, but nevertheless, she stood still for the photo shoot.

August 2011 005

Project:  Solidarity Knitting  Why yes, I guess that is a crazy name, but I cast on for this project because several of us on Facebook rather pressured Kathy into knitting a “Kate Shawl” for the bride to be in her house.  So, it seemed only fair that at least a couple of us cast on… as a show of solidarity. 

photoPattern:  Well, since Kathy’s daughter made her request precious close to her bridal shower, Kathy got to choose the pattern.  We went with Ubiquitous Kate.   (Get it?  Kate shawl knock-offs have been everywhere this summer.)  It was fine for a free pattern, which is to say I had to email gMarie for clarification.  If you’re on Ravelry, gMarie’s notes are spot-on, and I copied them into my own comments there as well.

To be clear, I used Chart A, which is to say I did the pattern on the knit side and then purled on my resting rows.  I also did the full ruffle, not to be confused with the extreme ruffle.  That just means I did the ruffle all the way around, as written.

Yarn:  Knitpicks Gloss in Guava.  I wanted pink… not necessarily PANK, not coral, not… guava.  Still, I like the color, and the yarn was okay.  It was a bit splitty at times and the silk in it definitely wasn’t the silky-smooth kind of silk, but considering what it cost me, I have no complaints.  I also had almost no yarn left after six skeins.

August 2011 002

Needles:  I did the body on my Addi Clicks, #4 tips with the longest cable in the standard pack.  I then used two Knitpicks Options #4s to pick up each side’s stitches for the ruffles.  I don’t understand why my KPO wood tips had one side that just wouldn’t stay tightened.  I like the KPO interchangeables just fine, but sometimes you get what you pay for; they do seem to have a quality control problem (and in full disclosure, Knitpicks is AWESOME about sending replacements, even out of warranty… which to me implies they know they have a problem but it’s cheaper to send parts than to FIX it).

Verdict:  It wasn’t as painful as I feared it would be.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve done a 1300 yd. project, and I’m not sure I’ve ever done one that size in fingering yarn.  I never once considered poking my eyes out instead of finishing the ruffle, so I never had to regret doing the full ruffle, but no, I don’t think I’ll knit this precise one again.

Wrapped up in the Outer Banks

Look!   Another finished object report!  I actually finished this about a month ago, but evidently, it takes me a while to block and get more photos.

July 2011 006

Blocked... loooong and lean

Outer Banks Aragante

Pattern:  Aragante, my first short-row, side to side shawl.  I can honestly say I’d knit this one again.  It was a pleasant, quick knit, and I’m delighted with the results.  Is it a scarf or a shawlette?  Dunno, but I like it.



Yarn:  Pout.  No, the yarn’s not called Pout, but that’s what I do every time I think about Springvalley aka: Alabama Fiber Dreams not really existing anymore.  Jessi has a great eye for color and really chose good bases for her yarns.  She dyed this Outer Banks light fingering with me – and our vacation spot – in mind, and I couldn’t love it more.

Needles:  US #7 Addi Clicks circs.  I love my Addi Clicks.  I have found some sizes have smoother joins than others, but…

July 2011 007

Lace edge

Verdict:  I’ll get a lot of use out of this one.  It’s long enough to be a scarf, definitely hugs my shoulders without need of a shawl pin, and did I mention the colors are fabulous?

How ’bout that weekend?  I’m looking forward to some time with a friend or two, and I’m trying to figure out how to get to see the last Harry Potter movie.  The Knight probably won’t want to go, and honestly, I do enjoy watching them with Gretchen, who definitely is at least part Crup and really is cute with all the head tilting, attentive watching/listening! 


Strawberry Whine

Where is the perky-stoopid me who posted Friday?  Not here.  It’s a Monday.  You know what… just hold on.  I’m going to make a cup of coffee.  Yes, coffee.  See… there’s just something about the smell of coffee…  When I REALLY need a jolt, it will clear the brain fog better than even a brisk, black tea.

Ah, for the love of Keurig…  Louise tells us was Gingerbread Day, so I’m now sipping – and smelling – gingerbread coffee.  

Just like that, I’m recalibrated.   Whoda’ thunkit? 

Now, about that finished object report…

DSC01316The project name is too long to be helpful.  What you really need to know – in case you’re a new reader or missed 27 posts – is I used to knit non-stop, but over the past year, my Mojo left, and for the past few months, I’ve had NONE.   I saw Project Spectrum (not just a knitting thing, so click over!), and decided it could get me knitting again, and just in time, it did. 

In the meantime, Wendy Knits and several enablers had a knit-along.   I simply couldn’t find a yarn that suited me.  Finally, the red koigu Crimson Purl (just married!!  hop over and wish the newlyweds well, will you?) screamed at me; I didn’t waste a moment.  I wound it into cakes and cast on.

So, here are the details:

Ravelry project page



Pattern – that’s the link for the first clue, but there are a total of five clues, including a set-up page not included in that linkEdit – Link has been changed to the general Mystery Shawlette category, so all posts should show up.  It was exceptionally well-written; I’m a chart gal, but I wholly appreciate a designer who does charts an words, because I know many knitters who simply can’t function happily with charts.   

It’s just a grand little pattern, and in case you can’t tell, it’s strawberries in lace!


Blocked lace

Yarn:  I was so happy to discover that I have some blue Koigu left in my stash.  It’s a great fingering weight yarn with the perfect blend of soft, sproing and color.   I totally lucked out that I grabbed red for a pattern than had strawberries in the lace!

Needles:  My beloved Addi Clicks…  I cast on with #7s, and immediately switched to #5 tips for the real knitting.  I lurvers my Clicks, but my #5s did have that infamous rough edge some of you have cursed.



Verdict:  My Mojo is back.  What more do you need to know?!

How was your weekend?

Happy Friday!

I feel a little like Frosty (who shouted “Merry Christmas!” indiscriminately, as an expression of joy).  Just lots of little happiness stuff going on here.  New glasses, a good hair day, a pleasant, no-humidity day, etc. 


Photo taken just before midnight...

Oh – and I finished a knitting project.  The FO report will have to wait for blocking, but it will come soon enough.  Next up, finishing a couple of long-time works in progress, and then I need to settle on another little something to keep my selfish Mojo happy too.

I’m also happy to report the fur-girls got a walk last night.  It was a hard, fast walk in the near-dark, but it was a walk and Sissy in particular was VERY happy.  At some point tomorrow, Gretchen and I are going shopping for an Easy Walk harness.  Hem.  (No, I haven’t found either of Sissy’s yet, but thanks for asking.  One is in a beach bag, although not the beach bag I used last fall.  The other is in the box of stuff removed from my old car a year ago, and I have no idea where we stashed that lone box of things I knew didn’t need to go in the new car.)

I am in dire need of a mani/pedi.  I might see if I can slip away from work later…

What’s on your weekend agenda?


River Dance

How ironic is that title?  Well, if you live from my northern edge of the mid-Atlantic northeast, it’s not funny at all.  A local friend is waiting and hoping that the rising James doesn’t flood his garden plot, and Kathy has some scary, impressive, raging river shots on her blog…

However, timing aside, this post is about a long-forgotten finished object.  Way back in the spring of 2008, the River Citiy Knitters  guild had the very talented Renee Leverington design a stole for their KAL.  (Knit A Long, for those not in the know.) 

Project:  My First Mystery KAL Shawl    As the project’s name suggests, it was my first mystery KAL.  To date, it’s my only one too. 

Pattern:  River Dance.   It was offered only in charts, which was fine for me because I tend to use charts more than words, but don’t have a strong preference for one over the other, but a few members just didn’t like or couldn’t get the hang of reading charts.  What I didn’t like was the segmented design, which reminded me of a cross stitch sampler, and I never cared much for those either.

Yarn:  The intent was to have all the guild members who had participated in the KAL show up at the holiday party sporting their stoles, so I contacted Amanda and got this lovely wine-colored superwash.  Happily, I didn’t use up all I bought, so I have more for another project one of these days.

Needles:  My Ravelry notes say I cast on with a #8, then knitted with  #7 straights.  Well over a year, almost two later, we’ll have to trust those notes.

Verdict:  I’m not really mystery KAL material.  I don’t like surprises in my knitting, especially in my lace.   I am sorry it took me about 15 months to lightly block this bugger, but it finally told me with whom it should live, and that person happens to be capable of blocking it to her own heart’s desire.  Especially with superwash, I feared that if I blocked it HARD, as I like to do, she’d not have the option to leave it a little denser if she thought she’d like it that way.

Got your curiousity up?  Good. 

We still have two more items to review from yesterday’s marathon blocking session.  Both of them have been given FO report time here, so I’ll just flash blocked photos and ramble a bit.

… and that’s what I did this weekend.  Not very exciting, but productive just the same!  How was your weekend?

Blue Moon…

… I mean, Citron.

I’ve put this finished object report off for almost a week, and I just need to get it done.  I wanted to wait to get an on a human body shot, I wanted to wait… well, I just have a laundry list of reasons to put off the report, but I’m drawing a line in the sand and sharing my thoughts now.

Project:  Blue Citron

Pattern:  Knitty’s Citron (link above).   I loved the first couple of repeats of this pattern, but it got REALLY tedious as the number of stitches on the needles grew and grew.  I also couldn’t get the sucker to block into the perfect crescent shape I wanted, as you can see from the photo above.  I wanted crisp edges, and I just don’t think they are possible with stockinette all the way around.

Yarn:  NH Knitting Mama‘s custom dyed alpaca laceweight.  This yarn has been in my stash for a couple of years.  I had her dye it for a specific project for a specific person, but honestly, at the time, I wasn’t ready for lace done in laceweight.  Then, Sissy taught Gretchen to play in yarn with THIS VERY YARN (no photos… I was too devastated, I think?), but the Knight was able to save all but a few feet of it. 

Anyway, I love the vivid blue, love alpaca always,  and I’m glad I finally found the right project for this yarn.

Needles:  My KA #6, 24-inch bamboo circs.  Just perfect for a project with slippery laceweight, and they more than handled the 540 stitches on the needles at the bitter, ruffled end.

Verdict:  I can only hope the woman I knitted this for will love it.  I do find myself fluffing the ruffles as I walk past the shawl as it sits, waiting for its presentation to its owner.  I think the timing is great; it will be a wonderful light layer of warmth for spring, or even throughout the summer as AC vents attack vulnerable shoulders or neck…

It’s finally Friday, although that’s not said with my usual glee.  It’s dreary, wet, rainy and gloomy.  I did get perky-happy while emailing two of my best girls, and the rain did hold off yesterday evening while Ann and I test-drove a new spa in the area.  (Ann wrote all about it , and all I have to say right now is that if you are local or coming to visit and you don’t want to go to the spa with me, you’d better speak up, because I’m looking for excuses to go back early and often.)

The other reason I did this FO report today is because I hope to have TWO more for you after this weekend!   What do you have planned for the weekend?  Does anyone have sunshine?

V is for…

V is for…  really is the project name.

Pattern:  Multnomah – direct link to the pdf file.    If you’ve never done feather and fan before, make sure you read the “editing” tab on the Ravelry project page, or see Robin’s notes .    I would type out the necessary changes here, but I’ve given you two awesome resources that are a click away…  Other than following those “clarifications” I made no modifications to the pattern.

Yarn:  Swoon!   If you haven’t knitted with Kathy‘s Gypsyknits BFL Superwash Fingering, you’re missing out.  I have to admit that I let this yarn marinate for a good while, but when it turned up as my January personal brown bag stash sock club offering, Barbara suggested that we have a knit-along with our Gypsyknits yarns…

Oh… and the colorway is Victorian Tea. 

Needles:  Addi Turbo Lace 40″, US size #4.  Most wonderful needles in the whole wide world.

Verdict:  I’m well-pleased.  I still don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but it’s a nice little shawlette, and it used almost a whole skein of yarn from my stash.

Now, the weekend and the last 2.5 rows and bind-off of Citron await.  The Knight and his band of merry men are busy with their shed-raising (although my girlfriends and I voted last night and decided that the little house is far too large to be called a shed – but what do we know?) and more tree work this weekend. 

I’ll slip away tomorrow for a bit of scrapbooking and/or card making, and that’s about as exciting as it gets this weekend.  How ’bout you?  Will you have sunshine and warm temperatures?  Hmmm…  I think I’ll add some walks and dog baths to the agenda too.

Lace ‘n Loot

Anitas Grace Shawl

Anita's Grace Shawl

Actually, we’ll start with the loot.  Grace, the  sweet, speedy, wonder lace knitter, has added one of her glorious shawlettes to the prize pool.  (NOT the shawl pictured above – that’s just so you can see her lovely lace!) Thank you, Grace for your continued generosity! 

Glass jewels by TG Designs

Glass jewels by TG Designs

But wait!  There’s more!  Christina donated another special prize.   T G Designs is another pair of talented sisters cranking out beautiful, functional art.  In fact, I have my earrings in at the moment…  The pendant will feature a gold bail, so add your own gold necklace, and you’ll have a snazzy fall look!

I think that covers all of the prizes now.  You’ll have to peruse a few posts to find everything, but wowza!   I really do have some talented, generous friends.  And in the spirit of full disclosure, the vendor/donors are also eligible to win prizes other than their own.    There’s plenty here for non-knitters, so rest assured, I’ll assign prizes according to your interests, with a lot of help from Excel and the random  number generator.

Now, how ’bout that finished object report?

This is the shawl I made for Hope and her parents.   No, it’s not pink, as I’m sure Hope will note, but the Knight lobbied hard for a not too light (for easier care) and not too girly (out of respect for the dad, who would hunker down under a baby pink wrap to make his daughter happy) wrap, so… 

Pattern:  Homespun Shawl is a VERY simple feather and fan stole/rectangle.  It’s just four simple rows, and while I don’t memorize patterns as quickly as some, truly, one look was all it took for this one.  It’s as straight-forward as they come, and I think it would be a great first lace project, as long as you have the will to slog through miles of the same four rows. 

My final measurements, without any real blocking, were 19″ x 53″, right in line with what’s listed on the pattern.

Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky.  My only complaint is that the yarn doesn’t have a colorway name on it.  (Don’t bother telling me if there’s a website that lists the numbers and gives an actual name; it’s one of my hang-ups.  I’d like my yarn to have a colorway name, not a number, right there on the band.)  It’s a shame it’s so pricey, because it’s a great machine wash, dry flat yarn.  Thank goodness for Little Knits and their sales, because that’s where all of my Debbie Bliss yarn has come from. 

I’m calling the colorway Mermaid, because Hope likes mermaids.  Take that DB and your nameless ball bands!  I used 8 balls, with just enough of the last one left over to save for repairs.

Needles:  Knitpicks Options, US #11, 24″ cord, metal tips.  No failure here, I’m happy to say.  I don’t want to jinx myself, but maybe I’ve finally gotten all of the early edition cords that come apart out of my kit.

Crab stitch border

Crab stitch border

Hook:  “What?!” you say?  Yep.  Lookie!  I successfully crab stitched on both short ends.  I might go back and do that on Fredfoot too, since the bottom edge rolls just the tiniest bit…

Anyway, if you don’t know by now, I use nothing but Boye hooks, and this was size J.

The crab stitch is also called reverse single crochet.   While I learned it at a Guild meeting this summer, I did find a nice You Tube video to refresh my memory.  I think that if you can single crochet, you can do this lovely, twistedropelooking edge.

Verdict:  Oh yeah.  I’ll be cranking out more of these, especially if I can find more of this Cashmerino Chunky on sale.   It’s a great prayer shawl, because I don’t think I swore once while I was knitting it, or even while I was crab stitchin’.  There’s nothing but love, hope and prayers in there, aside from the ever-present dog hair that is my signature touch to everything that comes from my hands, heart and home.

Colonnade Parade

Before we dive into the finished object report and my weekend plans, I need to send out some good wishes to a couple of packs!  Please take a moment to send a healing thought  to Sunny and her pack.   Sunny had surgery on her paw yesterday and they’re waiting on test results with a scary prognosis. 

Sweet Morgan, stole from Sue's blog

Sweet Morgan, stole from Sue's blog

Also, Sue and her gang have a lot going on right now, and that’s not even including Fudge’s big day, one week from today!   A lot of little things can add up to big stress, so wish them well too.

On the look-out for good news about our friends

On the look-out for good news about our friends

As if doggy health issues and tests (of all sorts) aren’t enough, Jessi got the scare of a lifetime yesterday too.  I was never so happy to get home and snuggle with the fur-girls as I was last night.

I’m tired of pretending I’m going to block Colonnade.   I’m pretty content about how it looks right there, so done is done.

Pattern:  When the newest Knitty went up, this was the one pattern I just couldn’t resist.   Anita and I bought yarn for Colonnades together.  There was one simple error in the pattern which doesn’t seem to have been corrected on Knitty yet; you need to do 16 total repeats of Section 1 to have the required number of stitches.  You also want to end with a wrong side row so you’re ready to start Section 2 with a right side row.

Yarn:  Berroco Peruvia.  Meh.  I’m not crazy about the yarn.  Can’t really say why, but it was a little fuzzy, a little like kniting with roving, and just generally didn’t move me.  I also don’t think that I really care for the two-color thing going on, but I do love the two heather hues I selected!

Needles:  US #10 Knitpick Options with the metal tips.

Verdict:  I like it better on Sissy than on me.  The shape isn’t so bad, so maybe I’d like it better in a single colorway.  Maybe I’ll try another one, but while it was a very quick, fun knit, there are so many patterns out there…  This one heads to the to be gifted pile!

So, what’s on tap for your weekend?  The firehouse is having an open house tomorrow from 11-3, so if you’re local, stop by.  There will be things for kids to do and demonstrations for kids of all ages to watch… 

Other than that, I’ll be knitting all weekend on a special project, and snuggling with the fur-girls.  I’ll spin too, I’m sure.  I have a bobbin full of plied yarn that wants to be set free, so I’m going to tend to that, no matter what!