Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Braided Shawl/Flechtmustertuch - done!

I'm free! I can cast on whatever I want now! I've got only Theresa's lace scarf on my needles, and that's my in between and television knitting. So this will take a while. But I'm itching to knit with thicker yarn now, and I want to make hats and mittens. We'll see what will catch my fancy. ;o) This is the original, or the one I liked so much, that I had my father sent me the magazine over. There is a German KAL going on for this shawl. You can see other finished shawls here. Angelika was much faster than I was, so I could pick her brain about it, whenever I needed help and encouragement, she answered patiently I might add, all my questions. Thanks!

pattern: Lotte Wackerhagen (Designer), Anna magazine September 2007, also Karen Noe's selling the pattern on her website, I wanted to link it , but it never loads without an error.
yarn: Koigu KPPPM 100% merino, 50g/175yds/160m. I used 7 skeins in all (including the blue one) and had 18 inches! left over. The pattern called for 920m, but I needed 1120.14m. Hmmh.
needles: 3.75mm addi lace circular
size after blocking: 47" x 76" ( ~117cm x 190cm)
start-finish: Sept. 14-24, 2007

I did everything the pattern called for, no modifications, except substituting the yarn, and the needle size.
18" left over yarn

I would have been happy to finish this shawl with one colorway, but it was not nearly enough. I'm lucky to have found the single blue skein in my stash. I like how it looks now. The braided part is much tighter than in the original photograph of the shawl, must be the yarn and the needle size. The shawl has lovely drape though, and it's huge. You can really snuggle into it - that's nice. Knitting the fringes was a challenge in patience, and braiding them, took a moment of stepping away from the project, and bugging Angelika some more. After that, it clicked and it was done quickly. But imagine 200 pigs tails or cork screws taming into straightness to be braided, and pierced, so I could later pick up the stitches again. I think I invented some new curse words while doing that.

I'm glad I'm done with it. I don't think I've ever knit so long on a shawl before, and it was getting tiresome, especially the pressure of having enough yarn or not. 18 inches left over! Imagine! I'm not quite sure yet if I'll ever knit this shawl again. One should never say never, right?

Love my camera, it's fun to play with.

Friday, September 21, 2007

300th post!

I'm aware that I might bore you with these shawl updates, but have a look at those tiny fringes! 100 little knitted fringes, waiting for their siblings, another 100 of them! I've decided if I really run out of yarn, I'll see that before hand and I will work this almost solid blue color in. It's Koigu as well. While rummaging around in my Koigu stash, which is not that big, I found out that I had accumulated a few single skeins, and some colorways I have 2 skeins of. All lovely for sure, but what was I thinking?

Sue was so kind and offered me her Koigu in the same colorway, but different dye lot for exchange, but I've decided against using a different dye lot. Thank you very much, Sue! I appreciate it!

So for the next day or two, I will knit on and knit some more fringes. It will get exciting when it comes to braiding them and pick up all those stitches again. I'll let you know how it goes! ;o)

Meantime, I finished spinning the fibre from hell! That's right, I said it. This is 4 oz of Lincoln fibre, single spun. I didn't want to spent any more time on it as necessary. The initial start was horrible, but it got better to manage. This is a very fuzzy and rough fibre in my opinion. Nothing to cuddle up to or rub against your bare skin. So I decided to use it for felting some day. I DO love the colors though.

I've put it on my Niddy Noddy and soaked it in water as it was. Then I let it dry in the sun for fast results. I really didn't care what happened to this fibre. I think I have to smooth the wook of the Niddy Noddy now, it was unfinished. Not a smart move, but what's done is done. There was no overtwist to start with, and now it looks O.K. to me. Can you see the fuzz in the picture below?

This was Spunky Fibre Club August installation "Harvest Haze". I didn't measure it, but it's 4 oz. I'm glad it's off my wheel now, because I want to finish my wool/mohair I've started and fill two more bobbins as quickly as possible, so I can move on to nicer roving. The next installment for the fibre club will be here in a couple of weeks, can't wait to see what's coming.

Well, I'll leave you with that. Have a nice weekend you all!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Flechttuch - Braided Shawl!

There's not much to show and tell. I finally, finally reached the first yarn over row. I thought I would never get there. Now a couple more rows and the game is on. Knitting 200 fringes, to be braided after. Now, of course, I have some concerns about the amount of yarn left. I had 6 skeins, used up three of them already, started the forth. The pattern calls for 4 x 230 meters. My skeins are 175yds each. It should work out, if they indeed have the yardage on them, as promised. I don't suppose someone reading my blog, would have a couple of skeins kicking around in just the colorway I would need? It's Koigu KPPPM P124 dye lot 151. I suppose not, since I bought it about a year ago. Keep your fingers crossed, so it will be O.K.!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

David's B-day socks!

I'm way ahead with this present! My DS birthday isn't until October, but I'm glad that's out of the way. I'm not made for knitting several projects at once! I forgot to take notes when I knit the first sock, and making another pair in between the first and the second sock didn't help at all. They may appear to be identical, but upon closer inspection you can see some differences. It would not be a problem would they be for myself, but I'm not quite sure how DS will react. He's a bit obsessive, but I don't know if this goes for socks too.

I'd like for him to WANT knitted socks. So far he didn't want me to knit him any, but after his remark some time ago, that he hasn't seen me knitting any cabled things, I though I might surprise him. To make him even try them on, I did not take any chances in my color choice, no experiments there. Although this yarn surprised me. When I picked it out of my stash, it seamed brown to me. While I was knitting the socks though, under a daylight bulb, it always was grey. Taking pictures you see both versions.

I've used Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima Socka, 75% superwash wool, 25 % Polyamid. This yarn is full of surprises. It should not have been this soft and squishy to the touch, but it is! It does split easily though. It's 6-ply, knit with 2.75mm. I put two 6 - stitch cables down the front, and two 2 - stitch cables. All knit without a cable needle. For the back of the leg I did a two row ribbing (row 1 - K2, P2, row 2 - Knit), very easy, and it looks a little different. These stitch patterns are pulling together like crazy, that's why the socks don't look that big, but they stretch from here to Europe! ;o)

I hope he'll like them, and wear them, because selfish as I am, I would love to knit many more socks for him!
On another note: Remember my Magic Mosaic Blanket?
Heike has finished her magic mosaic blanket. It looks wonderful, and it's huge! She made eight more squares than I did. Have a look here. Makes me want to make another one!
This weekend the Braided Shawl KAL started. I was not sure at first whether I had chosen the right yarn, but I like it now. I'm on row 95 now, and I'm getting very sleepy knitting row after row of garter stitch. On row 148 or so There will be a row with yarn overs and shortly thereafter it will get interesting with knitting the braids. Yeah! The yarn is Koigu by the way.
If you are interested in knitting this shawl, I've gotten an email from Karen Noe, that she's selling kits with her yarn, and a pattern in English now. You'll have to google her website and order it from there, I'm still so sleepy - must do something else for a while to wake up. ;o)

I'm knitting this shawl, because I've committed to the KAL, but I'd rather knit mittens, hats, and another cardigan for myself. Oh, yes, I'm already plotting and planning in my head, and even found some yarn in my stash. Would love to swatch for it, but must (enjoy) shawl knitting first.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Woven Ridge Socks by Cat Bordhi

Believe it or not, this is a pair! I've bought two different colorways about a year ago, with another project in mind, but it didn't work out. So I had these two yarn cakes rolling around in my sock yarn bin, until Cat's book arrived and I saw the Woven Ridge Socks. Out they came patiently waiting their turn.

The colorway on my right food is the one used in the book. They did a marvelous job in photographing it. I always liked the linen stitch, and was pleasantly surprised when I saw a sock with it. This does not mean that this is my favorite sock from this book. I haven't decided yet. I like them all, but we'll see which one I like best, if at all possible. ;o)

I love this book, and I love all the constructions/patterns in it, and also how the book is made up. It's very easy to find things, to go back and forth.

I did have trouble with sizing this pair. Since I had the original yarn, but not size 3mm needles, I started of with 3.25mm needles. My midfoot measures 9.5 inches, so I went with the largest size in the pattern. I did the toe and used this to measure my gauge, which was 6 sts/inch/ Perfect. After I've knit about 4.5 inches I realized that this sock is going to be huge, even for my big feet. So I ripped it, and started over with 2.75mm needles (remember, I don't have 3mm DP). For some reason the sock was still way too big. What to do???

I started over with the second size in the pattern (fewer stitches), but with 3.25mm needles and it fits perfectly!

For the leg I increased 6 stitches evenly along the woven ridge part, because my leg is not straight up the same all around. I like the bind off with the double strand. It looks nice. I could have bound off a little looser, but I'm happy with it as it is.

I liked knitting with this yarn, how it glides along the needles, really wonderful to the touch. But- there's a but, in one ball I had two knots! Grrrrr! And I didn't even use it all up, so there's room for more knots. The other one had none, thank god.
I interpreted the arch increases wrong (with the first, left foot) sock. I realized my mistake with the second one, so that looks a bit different, but nothing I would rip out half a sock for. Next time I'll know.
So, well, there you have it.
pattern: Woven Ridge Socks by Cat Bordhi form her book "New Pathways for Sock Knitters Book One" page 98
yarn: Artyarns Handpaint Stripes color # 105 (right foot) and # 127 (left foot), 100% merino wool, machine washable, one skein each 100 g/188yds, with left overs from both.
needles: 3.25mm 5 DP bamboo (this yarn and bamboo needles are made for each other)
size: women's 10 1/4 (for myself)
start-finish: Sept. 10-13

After I had such a great time dyeing yarn with turmeric, I wanted to dye this lace weight yarn with rosehip/hibiscus tea bags, lots of them. The brew had a wonderful color, and I left the yarn in it over night, as directed somewhere on the Internet. Next morning, the yarn looked sick, or dirty, or both. I washed it, and it came all out, like nothing happened at all. I had some food coloring kicking around, and but it in the microwave. It came out all mottled and splotschy, real nasty looking - again. O.K. I set up another food color bath and in it went again. It still has some lighter spots, but it's much better. I felt so bad for the yarn, that I decided I could overdye whatever I'll knit with it, whenever. Not a success story, and now I'll take a break from dyeing yarn for a while. But it's still fun from time to time!

I had the urge to bake something and made this "Gugelhupf" without a recipe, just through in all the ingredients I could think of and had at hand. It's good, especially with tea. I used to bake a lot, so there's still some knowledge in my woolly brain left, that it turned out O.K. ;o) It had the potential to be a total disaster.

Something I have to confess: I've been on ravelry for quite some time now. I've uploaded a few finished projects and left it basically at that. Last week, after I've read all blogs I read, needed a knitting break and had nothing else to do, I remembered 'ravelry' and went for a looksie. Wow, you really can get lost there. I still don't use all the features, and don't participate much, but one thing's for sure. You will get startities! It's amazing what fine work people show there! I'm so inspired and would like to have a few more hands, which would constantly work on something. It's overwhelming, and wonderful. I haven't even started to go to all the places, new blogs to be discovered, and so much more. I really don't want to get sucked in, but from time to time, I'll be back there, whenever I need a boost, just looking around, appreciating all the beautiful things.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two socks make not a pair!

It was nice to have a break from knitting. I didn't know how much I can get done, when I don't use every free minute to knit. Of course I could not go totally without fiber related projects, not even for one day! I brought some order into my stash,and general order in my living room, which really is my fiber room. I ripped out and wound the wool for the mitts I started. I thought they might make a nice chevron scarf - maybe. I wound all six skeins of Koigu for my upcoming shawl KAL, and the most fun was dyeing yarn with turmeric. I found the idea here and information how to go about it here. This was a lot of fun. I like the smell of turmeric, and use it in cooking as often as possible. I love how the yarn turned out. This rich yellow, with some lighter spots. I like almost solid colors. I've used Knit Picks Bare, superwash fingering weight yarn. It's merino wool though. Might knit some socks with it, even though I'm not a fan of merino socks, but I hope they will hold up with wear and tear.

Now I want to dye some more with natural dyes. I'll see what I can find in my kitchen. The thing is, turmeric does not need a mordant, but pretty much all the other "dyes" do. I read somewhere that one can boil a tin can in water for a few hours to get a bath for the yarn you want to dye later. So I'm boiling some tin cans right now. I know there are rules about dyeing, but I don't care. As long as I'm not using toxic ingredients I don't care much, if the color will fade, but for good measure I'm always including vinegar. If it does no good, so be it. If the color will hold, great. You can get a lot of yellow, orangey, redish colores, but I want some pale green. No idea where I can get something like that. So, my next best thing is tea bags or red cabbage or better yet, beets! I like to eat them too. Two days ago I managed to get a little knitting done. It helps when the yarn is thick, the project is a sock, and the needles are 3.25mm. The right sock is the secret (only to my son) sock for his birthday. I can only work on it, when he's not around, and I have to hide all evidence of it, because he's real good in guessing, when something's for him. You might ask yourself, why it fits on my right foot so well? We have almost the same shoe size, his a tiny bit larger, but his feet are WIDE! This is a funny sock. The cables down front, and the ribbing pattern all around make this a VERY stretchy sock, and it morphs back and encases everything you stick in it. I'll let you know more about it as soon as the pair is done.

My left foot is showing off the "Woven Ridge Sock" by Cat Bordhi (page 98 for those who have the book). It's the same yarn she used in the book, but the sizing was real trouble. More about that later too. Just wanted you to know, that I have not thrown away my knitting needles!

I thought this paw was just too cute. The evening, when I didn't feel so good, I was sitting and watching TV on our love seat. Nobody else but the dogs at home at that moment. There's also a really big leather sofa, which seats three giants if need be, and it was empty. Normally her favorite spot to curl up and snooze.

Not so that evening. She came, "asked" if she could join me (she pauses, and waits for me saying "up"before she climbes on a sofa). I was surprised (she's not a cuddly dog ususally), but it's nice to have your furry friend beside you (even if still slightly damp). Anyway, Biko curled up beside me, which was not easy, and started to "purr" almost like a cat (have never heard that from another dog), her paw resting on the big gymnastic ball.

This picture shows you how "in tune" Sam is with me! Ha! I was all wired and uncomfortable, while he was relaxed as can be. OR he thought Biko was taking care of business anyway, and he was off the hook. OR maybe he didn't like Jane Fonda in the movie "Mother-Monster- in Law" (or something, I'm so bad with titles).

It was actually a funny movie, mindless. I was very glad to see Wanda in it, she's very funny. My least favorite in this movie was/is JLo. Anyway.
It rained over night, I'm very happy about rain these days, even if it's humid afterwards. I don't think the temps will go back up to over 30 C this year. I'm welcoming fall with open arms.

Now, off to do some house work, and hopefully some knitting later. By the way, I'm a still a little scared of my spinning wheel, after last times disaster! I still have to decide if I keep going with the Lincoln or get it off the wheel and resume my mohair/wool blend. Oh, and I picked up a huge bag (5 different colors of mohair/wool blend each 250g) of roving the day before yesterday, this will keep me busy for the next two years or so. ;o)

Have a nice day, you all!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I didn't think I would post today, but since this is troubling me so much, I thought I'll get it off my chest. You may think what you like, of course that's how it's supposed to be anyway.
9/11 didn't affect me personally, I didn't loose somebody that day, but it still affects me more than I would have thought, because it brings to mind, all the bad what's happening on this earth. This sounds very melodramatic, maybe it is. Have you seen the movie "The Fifth Element"? In one scene Lilo is learning about this earth, going through it alphabetically. When she comes to "W" as in war, she breaks out in tears. Later she says something to the effect, that we on Earth use everything just to destroy what we built.

I stopped watching daily new, because it made me so sad, my heart ached every time they were on. I still get to know the major news, it's all around us, and of course we should know about it, but I think it's a bit much. How can we stand it to be bombarded with bad news every day and still go on, like nothing happened. We don't have to watch world news, to get bad and sad stories, it happens very locally as well.

I don't watch much TV, unless I'm down already, not a good combination! I think it was a week ago, maybe longer, when I saw this news about Thailand ( sorry, I try to forget, but this image is imprinted on my brain). There was a segment, where 7-8 year old girls had to fight each other, with boxing gloves on. They were crying, and still had to keep going. All around them were men cheering and laughing, and betting I'm sure. This is not about war between countries, but how people treat each other. This scene looked the same to me as when they had a cock fight, but this was way worse.

So, forgive me, this day of remembering 9/11 brings forth so much more bad, not just what happened that day, but is still happening every day.

This makes me angry, and tired, and thinking about how ridiculous it is to think about ordinary stuff, like knitting. I will not knit today, I'm too distressed. I'll try to do something different today, might not be useful to somebody else, but I need to get my peace back. I'll knit again tomorrow.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

End of Summer ...

If you came here to see and read something about knitting, you'll be disappointed. I've nothing to show you. At least fiber related. This weekend, I had ants in my pants, so to speak. Saturday, was a day I don't want to repeat anytime soon.

I've discovered that knitting or spinning does nothing for me, when I don't have my inner peace, and so I did not knit a stitch on Saturday, and this lovely dyed Lincoln (dyed by Spunky Eclectics Amy) roving kicked my butt big time. I'm afraid I've lost quite a bit of it, and the weird thing I still have on my wheel I'll have to remove and throw away. I would have never thought, that after spinning quite some yarn, this would happen. Maybe it refused to be treated that way, because I thought since it's quite a scratchy fiber, and I don't know what I would do with it (nothing but felting comes to mind, and I don't like felting very much), I thought I would spin it up quickly, rather thicker than usual, and give Navajo plying another try. Well, I said IT refused to be treated like that, because I practically had to stuff it into the orifice and it still wouldn't wind on. Anyway, it was a nasty experience, which I have to recover from with some hot chocolate and a good book, cuddling with my new lap blanket, doggies at my feet. Sounds good to me. It doesn't happen that often, that nothings going according to my plan. Have to rethink and regroup.
Well, today/Sunday was much better! I've finished one of the secret socks, and started the second one. It's going well. I even like the cables down the front! Figure that!
Since this is a secret project, I started to knit a sock from Cat Brodhi's new book. I've even got the same yarn she uses in the book and the same colorway for this sock, and still, I've ripped it out three times already, and still can't get it right. Hmmh. I'll show you, as soon as there is something to show.
So, what else, a distraction would be nice. Biko is always good for this one. Summer is coming to an end, so these pictures will be the last ones of her wet self and pool. Even though she's still swimming and would do so way til October or as long as the pool is open. It's a little picture story, don't need words to explain, do I?

Keep your fingers crossed for me, that the Knitting Goddess is kindly disposed and lets me get on with my knitting! I'll not push my luck, and go read something for a change. Over and out!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sockamania Club KAL - September ( huge) Socks are done!

Howdy, folks! ;o)

Let me first thank you! I never expected such a response to the Doily Blanket! Some where wondering, how I could knit this so fast. Well, it has only 101 rows. The first 50 rows or so, go very quickly, and I was determent and highly motivated. I love it.

We got the Sockamania Club pattern for September on September 3rd. I was already waiting for it. I was quite disappointed to see that it was Fair Isle knitting. I now know, that I dislike this technique more than cable knitting! The prove: I've ripped the mitten I started. I was getting quite disconcerted whenever I picked it up. Also the contrast didn't show to its advantage, so I gave up. It was too small for my hand anyway.
Back to the Sockamania socks: At first I was thinking of sitting this one out, but for some reason I got quite ambitious and cast on. It was obviously going to be a big sock, so I decided to make it a Birthday present for my daughters boyfriend.

pattern: Sockamania Club KAL - September sock " noughts' n crosses" by Anni Design

yarn: Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima Socka, 75% wool, 25% Polyamid, one ball green, one ball black

needles: 2.75mm 5 DP

size: men's size 11 1/2

start-finish: September 03 - 06

modifications: I made the cuff longer, I used the German heel with fewer rows, and I knit a few rows in green, before I started to decrease for the toe.

I'm NOT pleased with these. The Fair Isle part is irregular and tight, although the second sock was much better (practice makes perfect?). I normally DON'T use 2.75mm needles for a 4-ply sock yarn. The knitted fabric is just too loose for my taste. But I knew I had to, because the Fair Isle part would have been too tight, now it's going over the heel with just a little bit of pulling. I don't know why I didn't change to smaller needles for the heel and foot part, maybe because I was in a hurry and didn't want to rip it out again, because I have to mail them by tomorrow. So they are on the loose and wide side. I still hope they'll fit and he likes them. I'm sure he likes the colors.

So, now I've got my La Dentelle Bele scarf on my needles. I'm knitting on it when I'm in between new projects, so it's growing slowly but surely. And - I will cast on for a pair of socks for my son (his birthday is coming up soon). But I have to knit them whenever he's out of the house, so he doesn't get suspicious.

September 15th is coming closer and closer and with it, the start of another KAL. Lots of time though!

That's it for today. Have a good one! ;o)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Syvstjernen plus One!

Phew, just finished blocking! Sticking over 200 needles in the carpet floor, crawling around on your knees is not my kind of fun!

This project had to be done. It's a between project, one that has been on my mind ever since I saw Jared's stunning Hemlock Ring Blanket. I saw it, and fell in love with the idea, his choice of yarn and color, and I had to make one for myself. Of course Jared found the perfect pattern for his, but I didn't want to copy it at this time, though I think I'll knit it some day anyway. I found three doily patterns, which I liked for a lap blanket, on this danish website. Once again the Internet came to the rescue, with loads of information, and I was able to translate enough to be able to knit the "Syvstjernen Doily". I'll get to the name later.

I'm glad I could provide my son with a chuckle and a laugh, when I told him, that I screwed up this doily BEFORE round one! That's right. I didn't notice until about round 65 or so. How's that possible? Easy. My thinking was that a doily knitted in the round must start with 8 stitches. So I cast on and worked round after round. Sometime during knitting, it bugged me as what the name of this doily's meaning was. So I translated and investigated. It means "The Pleiades" also know as the "seven sisters" or "Messier 45" (star cluster). I was scratching my head, because nothing in my doily suggested the number seven. I had eight "leaves" in the middle, so how come?

There was one sentence on the pattern sheet before round 1 started. At the time I just ignored it. Now I found out that it said to cast on "syv" seven stitches. It never crossed my mind that these three letters actually are a number. Anyway, since everything turned out to be alright I knit on.
Soon I encountered some sentences in red, which were hard, to not at all possible to translate. Sure I could translate it word for word, but that didn't make any sense. So what to do? I went to the Internet for help again. Greatest invention of all times! I found a danish website, Hyldemor, where Anni was writing her posts in English. She is such a dear and very patient, and she helped me with the sentences, which confused me. Thanks, Anni! Couldn't have done it without you!

One can probably knit from any language, as long as you crack the "knitting symbol code". As long as you know what "x" or "y" means, you are good to go. Because all we knit is purl, knit, and YO anyway. ;o)
"Many a night I saw the Pleiads rising thro' the mellow shade, glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid"
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1837-8, Locksley Hall

pattern: Syvstjernen by Anders Andersen; English version of the pattern can be found here
yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino, color # 240 "leaf green" 100g/223yds. I've used 3 balls, with a few yds of the forth for the crochet bind off. (669yds plus)

needles: 45mm circular; I could have used a bigger needle size for this project, but I needed a long circular in the end, and a 4.5mm was what I had on hand.

size after blocking: 46" in diameter
start-finish: August 28th - September 2nd 2007

This lap blanket was knit so fast, that I didn't get to take pictures during the process. The yarn I wanted to use first, a 100% cotton yarn, turned out to be not the right choice, so I switched to Patons merino wool. I'm glad that I did, because it's warm and not scratchy, but I'll have to wash it by hand, which is very O.K. by me.
Also I feel a bit like a fool, because today I found the English translation for this doily pattern. So if you want to knit one yourself, just go to Yarn Over website and get going. This lap blanket can easily be used as a shawl or a table cloth as well. I LOVE the color, which was very hard to capture in the pictures, not one got it right, but close enough.