Sunday, May 24, 2009

almost there...

So last time I checked in I was knitting on a shawl for a friend of my mother...and I am still! I have been completely monogamous (its terrible!) and I'm still not done. At this point I have knit the border up one long side, across one short side, and I am past halfway down the other long side. This knit-on borer business is just plain cruel and tedious, though it HAS to be better that knitting a border separately and sewing it on...I've decided that this would certainly be the most horrific thing a knitter could ever have to do.

I finally feel like some progress is being made, so I allowed myself to pause my knitting for this little update. It really does look great, and I think it will turn out to be beautiful. I'm knitting the border on 5mm needles (instead of the 4mm I used for the body) because the border is knit in garter stitch, and it just wasn't stretching out enough. The border is a little bit looser than the body now, but I'm not concerned...I want to block this this very intensely anyway, so everything should get a good stretch. Before I hit the "border wall" I was really enjoying this knit, I may even be convinced to knit it again without an edging...hmmmmm

The only thing that has kept me sane through all of this shawl knitting has been fantasizing about my next projects; I already showed you the yarn I have set out for my paper dolls cardigan, which I plan to cast on the very second that I bind off this shawl. I have also been lusting after the Muir shawl (I know, more I insane??) and I have the most awesome yarn set aside for this project, it is Funky Carolina laceweight in their Sunny colourway...i can't wait! But realistically, if I finish up the sweaters and socks that I already have on the go, I'll be pretty darn happy

Friday, May 15, 2009

ishbel mania

Once again, I have left it way too long before posting...but I'm still hoping that I'll get the hang of this!

Since my last post I have been knitting busily, as usual, my most recent FOs are two Ishbel shawls, and I love them! The first is a fingering weight Ishbel that I knit as a sample for the Sheep. I used Tanis Fiber Arts fingering weight in the colour Chestnut; it is BEAUTIFUL! This was my first time knitting with Tanis' yarn, and it was a lovely experience...the colour is mouthwatering too! After a considerable amount of Ravelry pattern stocking (as the Stash and Burn ladies would say) I decided that I would have enough yarn to knit the small stockingette, and large lace portions, which I did. Just a teeny ball of yarn remains, which is such a satisfying thing.

My second Ishbel is for me, and I've already talked about the yarn I used... Malabrigo lace in a colourway of my own creation! I knit the large size shawl, after noticing that a few people on Ravelry had been able to do this with just one skein, and it worked! I had an even tinier ball left over from this Ishbel, and its my new favourite shawl. I LOVE Malabrigo lace, but after knitting a few shawls with it, I'm noticing that it doesn't hold onto its block for very long. Even though its only been about two weeks, my Ishbel has already shrunk up considerably. Sad. I don't think that this little downside is enough to stop me from knitting with this yarn, but it is a bit of a bummer...

Speaking of Malabrigo lace, I've already cast on another shawl, this time in the colourway Polar Morn. Unfortunately, this one is not for me, its actually a commission from a friend of my mom. The pattern is "Melon Pattern for a Shawl or Scarf" (Rav link) from Victorian Lace Today. I've had the book for a while now, but this is my first time knitting anything from it. I'm about 2/3 through the body of the shawl, which has proven to be very simple to knit. This will also be my first time making a knit on border, which I'm kina excited about.

Because this project is for someone else, who is paying for it no less, I've felt as though I shouldn't be knitting anything for myself...and I haven't, yet. As everyone else in the world but me seems to know already, denying yourself something only makes you want that thing more. So as I plug away on this lovely little shawl, I've been dreaming about all the projects that I'd love to be finishing, and starting, and all the spinning that I want to be doing, and sewing, and all those other crafts that I can't even do yet, but want to learn...and I think you get the idea. How long will this monogamy last? Will I totally loose my marbles by the end of this project? Stay tuned to find out.

I have attempted to motivate myself by dangling the carrot of a new and exciting project; the Paper Dolls sweater by Kate Davies. I've got the pattern and the yarn all ready to knit, and have promised myself that I can cast on the moment I finish this melon shawl business...hope I can hold out is all. The temptation is even greater considering the excellent yarn I chose for this project...more Tanis! The colours I chose are "Sand" for the body "Blueberry" for the dolls and "Amber" for the little accents...I can't wait!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Nautical Top

Though we've had this lovely yarn in the store for some time now, it was just this spring that I decided it needed to become a top...I think it had something to do with the fact that this lovely new dark blue colour came in. Whatever the reason, I snapped up this stunning dark and steely blue, a stone colour and a super-bright orange and set to work. Luckily I had a clear vision of what I wanted, and the entire project came together quite well. The yarn is Sirdar Baby Bamboo (it is more appealing than the name, I promise!) and its a DK weight 80% bamboo 20% wool yarn.

I knit this from the bottom up in one piece, at first worrying that the lack of side seams would make the top too saggy (because it is 80% bamboo after all). But I forged ahead thinking that anything would be better than fiddling with those tiny stripes in seaming. My bold move paid off, and this baby has the perfect amount of drape! I also used a handy little trick for getting rid of the jog created by striping in the round; fast, easy and much prettier than a nasty jog! The only hassle I had knitting this was in the neck and armhole shaping, because I was binding off at the beginning of some rows...and changing colours, I had to leave a HUGE number of tails in the back of my knitting, bleck!

I also knit a lovely hem at the bottom (that I still need to take pictures of...sorry...) and used the bright orange again on the inside. I love those little details that only I know about (now you do too)! I found the buttons at an excellent vintage sale in Leslieville, they are mother of pearl...and very pretty.

Well, I just had to share this. Its been finished for a while, but I just managed to wrangle Jeremy into photographing it yesterday. I'm hopeing to write up a pattern...but don't hold your breath people!