No, I haven't been knitting like a maniac. This one is frogged, not finished. I started this sweater knit from SWTC Bamboo two years ago (Ravelry says July 2007). I worked on it during the summer months, finishing the whole back. It sat in hibernation for the winter, then I dragged it out last summer and hated it. I hate the color, I hate the pattern, and I really despise the little hem thing I did on the bottom. It went back in the UFO pile for another year. So last night, for Frogging Friday, out it came.
Yes, there was a martini involved. We have a house guest who was horrified that I'd rip out half a sweater's worth of yarn.
Specifically, what is it that I hate about this? The color is just not me. I can wear all sorts of jewel tones, and even pastels if they are clear and bright. While I can get away with some yellows, this just makes me look consumptive, not a good look.
The pattern was one I made up using Sweater Wizard. I did a picot hem with a little cable-cross detail, and in this light, drapey yarn, it just doesn't work. The ball band calls this a DK weight, with the suggested gauge of 22 stitches per 4 inches. The fabric I got with this stuff was perfect at 28 stitches per 4 inches on 3.75 mm needles. I also designed a v-neck for the front, which I think would have been pretty droopy.
I'm not sure what I'll do with the yarn yet. There are 1500 yards of it, and I could do a stole or shawl of some sort, but that doesn't get around the fact of the color. This might go in a give-away at some point.
What do you have in your UFO pile that needs to go? I dare you to frog it!
Finally, it's finished! This wasn't the greatest day to take photos, but I was anxious to get it done and up. You'll have to excuse the number of photos, it's not every day I finish a huge lace shawl.
Yarn: Blue Heron Egyptian Mercerized Cotton, color Bluegrass, from Sonny & Shear
Pattern: Peacock Feathers Shawl, by Dorothy Siemens
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony circular, size 3.5mm
Started: August 3, 2008
Finished: May 8, 2009
What I Learned: I just love knitting lace. I also love Dorothy Siemens. Her patterns are very well written. Though this looks like a complicated piece, it really isn't. All the wrong side rows are purled, and the charts and instructions are thorough and detailed. The pattern calls for 1260 yards of laceweight. The Blue Heron is in 1000 yard skeins, so I had to buy two of them*. This yarn is on the heavier side of laceweight, almost a fingering, making this a very large shawl. Since I'm nearly 6 feet tall (I have always been pissed off that I never hit 6 feet!), it fits me well.
I also like the yarn. I wasn't sure that I would enjoy knitting with cotton for lace, but it turned out nicely. It also blocked like a dream. The color is just barely variegated, enough to give some interest but not so much as to detract from the lovely lace patterns. I predict that I'll get a lot of wear out of this.
*Yes, there's quite a bit of this leftover. Stay tuned to see what I'm going to do with it!
The Peacock shawl is washed and blocking. It's cotton, and a bit heavier laceweight at that, so it's taking forever to dry. Here are some photos.
I think I used about a million pins on that border. This is the part where I'm really glad that I have my blocking tools. I soaked the whole thing in soapy water for awhile, then threaded blocking wires (welding wires bought in a large tube from Airgas) through the top and down the center. The bottom scalloped border is pinned. The mat underneath is a whole stack of those kiddy play mats, which I love. I can crawl around on them on my hands and knees without getting bruised up, and I just pin right into them.
This thing is huge. It's about 84 inches across the top, and 42 from back neck to tip. If you are a shorter person, I'd think twice about making this one in a heavier weight yarn. More details and photos once it's dry.
Well, that was a little longer than I intended to be away! Since the last post, we finished the kitchen remodel, went to Washington DC, I finished a pair of socks, and I'm 99.9% done with that Peacock Shawl. Whew. I even went to work once or twice.
Here's how the kitchen turned out. We couldn't be more pleased with it.
The last photo is the powder room. Of course, the counters in the kitchen are already a lot more cluttered than in those photos.
We went to DC last week to visit a good friend whose wife (also a good friend!) is stationed in Baghdad. We had a great time, did a lot of wonderful touristy things, and ate and drank some lovely food and wine. Here's just one photo of me and another knitter I found.
We of course took tons of photos, which I won't terminally bore you with. Here's a link to John's Picasa album if you are interested.
And I finished those Wicked Witch socks while we were in DC. Our friend Byron lives out in Arlington, so we did a lot of subway riding, giving me lots of knitting time.
Yarn: Tempted Good Grrl sock yarn, in the color Wicked Witch.
Needles: Knit Picks Harmony, size 2.25.
Pattern: Um, do you have to ask any more? These were 72 stitch socks.
Started: December 2008
Finished: April 2009
What I learned: Don't post photos of sock yarn unless you are willing to buy more for family members who want some of their very own. My niece Angie loved this color so much that I bought a second hank for some for her. I thought about sending her these, but I think they'll be a bit small. She has even bigger feet than I do. Plus I love them too much. You'll get yours, my pretty.
I also learned that I probably should quit buying sock patterns and pattern books. I always end up knitting the same thing.
And I finished the knitting on the Peacock. I just need to wash and block it, which will happen this week. Here's a finished-but-not-blocked photo.
Next time, the finished Peacock, and what's new on the needles.
The granite counters got installed yesterday. They are just gorgeous, so I thought I'd show some photos. No knitting here, so if that's what you came for, move along. Nothing to see here...
This is the fancy-schmancy sink we got for the powder room (with Randy, our contractor):
Looks heavy, boys!
Yes, I cringed a bit while they were cutting the opening for the cooktop. He did it without any noticeable finger protection, eye protection, or ear coverings. I'm not their mother, so I didn't say anything.
Last but not least, a glass of wine to celebrate:
Today is plumbing day. The sinks will be functional after today, and if all goes as planned, we'll have a dishwasher. Then all that will be left will be the tile backsplash and a few finishing details, and the glass doors on those cabinets in the dining room.
Just for a little comparison, here are some photos of what the kitchen used to look like.
Bye bye, ugly grey plastic!
I'm finally to that point in this shawl where it's getting exciting again. You know how it is. You start a big lace project, you're all enthusiastic about it, and you can't put it down. Then it gets to that point. All you lace knitters know it. The shawl gets big enough that it just looks like a blob on the needles, and the rows keep getting interminably longer and longer. It seems like you'll never get to that last chart.
Well here I am. At the last chart.
I have 22 rows to go. The rows currently have around 450 stitches, and are getting longer and longer and longer. Now that I'm seeing the end, though, it's getting fun to knit this again.
Here's how much yarn I have left of the first hank.
I'm pretty sure it won't make it through the last row. Fortunately I bought a second hank of this. I won't have to use much of it, but this is one of those shawl patterns that is a little hard to adjust by adding or subtracting rows.
Our other big project is the kitchen remodel. We now have cabinets and sinks, and the granite counters will be installed today. The rest of the finishing work should be done by next week.
We're also remodeling the "powder" room off the dining room, since the cabinets and counters were the same as in the old kitchen.
Now we just need to decide what will be the first thing we cook in the new kitchen!
You guys rock. I got way over 100 comments on my last post. It's amazing how "Free Yarn!" brings people out of lurkdom. Thanks for all the lovely Blogiversary good wishes!
You all have some great gadget ideas, though admittedly, I've used many of them already. I'm mostly impressed that knitters are so accomplished at MacGyvering ordinary objects into knitting gadgets.
Ok, I know what you all want. You want to know who won, and what they won. I'll stop yammering. Here's the way it works. The random number generator chose the first winner, and I picked the second one because she was the first commenter to make me laugh out loud. And what are the odds, they're both from Minnesota.
Miss T won the random number spot, with her comment about her very special stitch markers. If she hadn't won the random number award, she'd have been a contender for the "make me laugh" award. Her favorite stitch markers say "Oops" and "Crap".
The funny award goes to Chris. She listed several of her favorite tools and gadgets, one of which is her treasured drug dealer's scale. Her second comment was the one that made me laugh out loud.
What do they win? Here are the photos. Miss T will choose first, then Chris gets to pick from what's left. They each get to pick one thing. I had a hard time picking stuff from all my favorite yarn, let me tell you.
First up is a pile of sock yarn. Each of these choices has enough yardage for a pair of socks.
From left to right:
Socks That Rock mediumweight, in Fairgrounds
Schaefer Heather, in Gertrude Ederle, one of the Memorable Women colors
More STR, in Lenore, one of the Raven series
Dream In Color Smooshy sock, in Deep Seaflower
STR again, this time in Silkie, a merino/silk blend. The color is Walking on the Wild Tide
Last but not least, Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, in Dusk
Here are the non-sock options.
Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk, in a very pale pink. There are three skeins, each 146 yards.
On the left, one lonely little skein of Alchemy Haiku, in the color Mediterranean, 325 yards. On the right is Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace, a silk/wool blend, in the color Sage, just ever so slightly not-solid, 1250 yards.
Knit Picks Shimmer, in the color Grape Hyacinth. This is a total of 1760 yards.
Last but not least, from Blue Moon Fiber Arts again, this time some real cobwebby stuff. This is Silk Thread II, in the color Grawk. It's 1125 yards, and would make a lovely shawl, if you are inclined to knit an entire shawl out of nearly black thread.
Let the games begin! If either of you have any other questions about the choices, let me know. They've all been lovingly stored in closed containers, and are unused, though all have been occasionally fondled.
No this isn't an April Fool's Joke. Once again, I've missed my Blogiversary by several days. March 26th, 2004 was my first blog entry. It's been a crazy fun five years, and I've learned a lot about knitting and blogging. I've also met a lot of really wonderful people by starting a blog. Who'd have thought?
In honor of the five-year anniversary, I'm having a contest. All you need to do is leave a comment, telling me about your favorite knitting gadget or tool. You know how I love gadgets. Your gadget can be something that's made especially for knitters, or it could be something from the Muggle world that you've adapted to knitting. It doesn't have to be something that I don't already have, though that would delight me to no end and give me something new for which to shop. My definition of "gadget" is rather broad: it means anything that you use in your knitting that is not actually the yarn.
Prizes? Of course there will be prizes. I just haven't picked them out yet. I'll choose two winners. The first will be by the random number generator, the second will be for the gadget comment that amuses me the most. The two winners will each get their choice of something from my vast stash. It will be a choice of sock yarn or something lacy with enough yardage to make a scarf. (No, you can't have my Wollmeise. I'm not totally nuts.) Once we have winners, I'll post photos of a couple of fine yarn selections and let each of them choose. The random number winner will get to pick first, then the amusing winner, just to avoid fights.
I'll post a photo of my favorite gadget just to get things started. You've all seen this before. It's my treasured drug-dealer's scale. Every time I post a photo of this I get questions about where I got it. You can buy it here if you want one of your very own. You can't have mine, it's not one of the contest prizes.
You have through the weekend to leave me a comment. I'll close the contest Sunday night, April 5th, at midnight Pacific time. May the best gadget win!
I started to post some photos of our Portland trip this morning and realized that I completely skipped over the Phoenix trip earlier this month.
Here's Phoenix in photos:
This is one reason I love my sweetie. He makes me drinks on airplanes. He packed his own Grey Goose vodka for me.
First stop on the way from the airport:
The family Mexican Train competition.
I got to meet Lee Ann, who was in town for a conference. Here are two knitting doctors:
I'm pretty sure that the centerpiece on that table was inspired by yarn balls. Yes, there were martinis involved.
I finished John's socks.
The girls all got pedicures.
We went to our favorite fast food restaurant.
We also went to the Desert Botanical Garden to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit. If you have any opportunity to get to Phoenix before this leaves, go see this. It is just breathtaking.
We went to see a couple spring training baseball games also, but for some reason there is no photographic evidence of this.
OK, that's enough photos for one day. I'll leave Portland for another post!