Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Shawl Emergency

It finally happened to me. A hole appeared in my shawl. I always thought this was one of those things that happens to everyone else, but not me. Never me. Well, here it is. My Shetland Garden Shawl got an owie somehow and it showed up in the blocking stage. Ow, ow, ow. Doesn't it hurt just to look at that hole?

I put the shawl away for a couple of weeks to let my feelings settle. I knew it had to be fixed. Furthermore, I knew I could probably fix it. But sometimes it takes courage to step up to the plate.

Today I did surgery on my shawl. See the clean sheet underneath her? Here is a closeup of the damage.

And a closer-up, pointed the way the shawl was knitted this time (top-down). I picked up the live stitches and placed them on a double pointed needle. Yay... just three stitches to be fixed! It could have been a lot worse.

I was able to follow the chart and just knit that baby right back up. Phew!

After it was done, I had one live stitch, which I anchored with a spare piece of shawl yarn and wove the ends into the back of the shawl. I think it's almost undetectable now (hint... it was the middle leaf).

All congratulations gratefully accepted. May your shawls never sprout holes...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No Sheep for Me

Last Monday I showed up at Three Bags Full to teach a lace class and what did I see????

Be warned... this is going to be a shameless plug for the new book, No Sheep for You by Amy Singer, just out from Interweave Press.

If you haven't yet heard about it, this book is a compendium of gorgeous projects, none of which contain wool or animal fibers. Which leaves... let's see... silk, cotton, bamboo, linen, soy, tencel, and probably lots more that I am forgetting. Glorious stuff, right? Right.

I happen to have a piece in this book, the River Rock Scarf. The pictures below won't be in the same colorway or have the same beads, but I hope you can get a good idea.



Yarn: Silken by Handmaiden. Beads: 6/0 Matte silver lined gold beads. Design: My own.

This design is based on a simple 2x2 rib with a little lace openwork at the edges. The scarf is meant to be like a freely running river with beads simulating the little rocks that interrupt the stream from time to time. It is freeform in that you can place your "rocks" anywhere you please, and put in as many as you like. For those who like to follow a pattern, I have included a plan that will give you rocks just like the one pictured in the book (which will be different from this one...every one I have made has been quite different from the others. Lots of room to play in this design!)

River Rock Scarf. In the book, No Sheep for You. Play in your river...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Squares Have It

Thanks to all who responded about my square/triangle conundrum. The squares have it! As a matter of fact, the center square of the shawl is finished, now on to picking up stitches for the border and knitting in the round - yay! I am just putting off knitting on this for today so I can use the shawl as it is to demo adding on a new ball with Russian Join for my lace knitting class tomorrow night. I normally find this join just a little fussy but it will be perfect for the sea silk I am using for the shawl.

Want to see a crumpled up piece of knitted lace? Here 'tis so far...

I like what the ivory sea silk is doing - kind of pooling but so subtly that it looks like sand dunes. I don't know if the sheen of the yarn comes through the photo, but it is really really nice. I am kind of hooked on this project even though I have several others I could/should be working on...

Well, actually I am working on one other thing, a scarf based on the Gothic Leaf Stole that I re-configured for the new lace knitting classes I am teaching now.

Want to see a semi-crumpled up piece of knitted lace?

I blocked out the scarf after the first three repeats to demo blocking out a swatch for the class, then just kept going. To tell the truth, I am becoming quite enamored of crumpled up lace knitting. See what I mean? So organic, and the beads are fascinatingly random in their crumpled state too.

I think a crumpled lace project may be coming soon...

For your information, the yarn used for this lace scarf is Sweet Georgia Yarn's merino superwash sock yarn in the afterglow colorway. Beads are silver lined crystal megatamas from Earth Faire, placed in with a crochet hook as I knit.

Thanks to a very generous knitting friend, I now have sock blockers for the very first time! I finished the second Journey Cable Sock last night and washed the pair. Now they are very happily resting on Smokey Jo Sock Blockers from chappy, who makes these at home with her husband in a multitude of sizes and patterns. I am now a convert to using them as they do smooth out your socks and make them dry faster too. Please go and give her online store a peek.

In the meantime, here are the socks:

Journey Cable Socks. Pattern to be published soon.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Bloggers (silent) poetry reading

In honor of poets, long may they inspire...

This is one of my all-time favorite poems, and I think the reason I have always loved handpainted yarn, and any art inspired by the inner spirit of nature. Enjoy...

Pied Beauty

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things--

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough;

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise Him.

This is part of the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Silent poetry reading. Please join in...