Patti Purls

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Prime Rib or Brioche BodiceLook at the beautiful colors of the Schaffer "Miss Priss" yarn and the color has its own name that I forget. This is the brioche or prime rib stitch. It makes a wonderful textured rib that doesn't curl. This is another pattern from the Summer 2006 Interweave Knits. After an entire evening of unsuccessful starts on this pattern I started rummaging through books trying to find something somebody once wrote about this pesky stitch. I KNEW I had seen it, just couldn't remember where. Then, there it was. In Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman, sympathetic detailed information on making this stitch work! And, work it did. You are looking at one evening's (the NEXT evening's) work.

Oh, the blue and white socks are done! Successfully, too. I look forward to wearing them, if not to the weather that requires them. For my next pair of socks I will try the Magic Loop Method. The brioche top is to keep me busy until some Plymouth Galway comes in to my LYS for my Weasley Sweater. Every librarian and Harry Potter Fan needs one!

I really needed a successful project. Oh, yes, I made the tissue box cover for the bathroom but back in July (those halcyon days) I had so many very successful projects that I was quite stopped in my knitting tracks by Icarus and those red mitts. Oh, Icarus and I need to figure out what to do. I told myself I liked the substitute yarn on the last lace chart. I really thought I did until I saw it in the strong daylight. Now, would I ever wear the shawl in strong daylight? Or is it something for soft evenings?

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Knitting by the lake

This is looking out across lake Erie toward our neighbors in Canada. The second meeting of our DKC convened at a LYS known for catering to summer people. It was a cute shop in a lovely setting but they had no sock yarn. They had many lovely things for weavers and lots and lots of mohair.

Here is a close up of my friend's knitting. This is her eldest son's official "off to college" sweater, a green cotton Aran. It will be suitable for that balmy Ohio weather.

Lake Erie provided fresh air and entertainment for us in the form of kayakers and sailors. We have decided that knitting near bodies of water is very relaxing.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

On the needles:

Icarus, now sprouting feathers. Notice the slightly toasted hue of the outer plumage. That is the Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud. The texture is smoother than the domestic alpaca that I started with which is more like mohair while the Knit Picks product is silkier. I WILL be satisfied with the outcome.

Also on the needles:

Ubiquitous socks. Handy to have as a portable project and very handy as a finished product. These are from the very nice, basic sock instructions in Nancy Bush's Folk Socks book and made from Opal "Tutto," a satisfying blue and white. I believe that is the color name. The entire label, including the free sock pattern, is in German so I am not entirely sure.

Coming to a ball winder, soon:

Knit Picks Shadow in "Vineyard," just as soon as I can round up a human swift. Shadow is 100% Merino, very fine laceweight, destined to become the Adamas Shawl. It will be a lovely coverup for a rather strappy purple dress I wear sometimes at our ballroom dance club.

In limbo:

The mitts from the cover of the fall Knitty. Yes, there is a warning about needing to use every scrap of yarn in the ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and yes, I knit loosely anyway, and I liberally added a row here and there... and inevitably ran out of yarn before the second one was off the needles.

The solution I am currently entertaining is to frog them completely and knit again on smaller needles. They don't need to stretch to slip on in their current state and it only took a couple of evenings to knit these cuties up. I look forward to wearing them in the fall, while cheering on my favorite high school band.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Sorry, no pictures. However, the laceweight alpaca I was awaiting from Knit Picks arrived on Saturday so I could move on in my Icarus Shawl. The color works with my current color. It is as if someone took the rusty red and toasted it a little darker. I think it will make a nice final chart. It is actually much finer than the alpaca I've been using and so I decided to double it, which made it a bit bulkier than the first yarn and so I went up a size in needles, too. I am very happy with the way it is turning out and will share it with you, soon. Right now the rows are so long that it takes me about 30 minutes to knit across one.

Last Friday, my knitting friend and I met at the Vikings to knit by the lake. Later, our families came up to have dinner with us. I started the mitts on the cover of the new Knitty in cashmerino aran. I had them nearly done the next day, but only nearly as I ran out of yarn. I should have known better than to short myself. I knit very loosely and used up the whole thing. I'm trying to decide if I should just frog the entire project and knit again one needle size down or go buy more yarn. Thing is, I purchased that in East Aurora, someplace I don't go every day.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Another Shawl
Icarus was not yet ready to go out to dinner last evening, so I wore what I consider to be my learning shawl. It is really The Aran Weight Victorian Lace Shawl which I knitted beginning in May and finishing at the end of June. It is true that lace items on the needles are larger than they appear. I unintentionally made this shawl absolutely huge. In the following picture I actually have the shawl folded in half down the center back so it is doubled. We were sitting on a boat, not strolling around, so I was safe from tripping on it!

I took evasive action when I finally admitted that I would not have enough of the lovely alpaca to finish Icarus. After contacting my original vendor and not getting any I looked at Knitpicks online and ordered another lovely alpaca in a heathery version of the rusty red. Or, I do hope that's what it is when it arrives. It is my intention to use that color for the fourth and final lace chart. I am nearly done with chart 3 and am very pleased with the emerging feathers! The order should arrive by the end of the week. Since I was ordering from them anyway, I decided to get a few more things. I expect to be making the Adamas Shawl in a lovely deep purple called "vineyard." Someday.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Here is a picture of the Thorn and Thistle tank in use for your viewing pleasure while you wait for me to finish the Icarus shawl. I slowed down on it for a couple of days since I am starting to fear running out of yarn. I emailed Birgitta at All Strings Considered in hopes she might have more but she doesn't. I've seen pictures of the same shawl done with a deeper shade for the final chart of lace and that seems acceptable to me. Now I need to find some...


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Knitting Icarus is like playing a video game

Because of this the only knitting I have done is the Icarus shawl. Here are a couple of pictures of the progress. A friend noted last evening that it keeps getting larger and more involved, "kind of like playing a video game, eh?"

Yep. That's right. And JUST as addictive, too.

The broccoli-like plant is sedum "Autumn Joy" and I hope that by the time it is in its fall glory that Icarus will be off the needles.


I am delighted to say that I am now a member of the Icarus Knit Along! See what I mean.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The alpaca Icarus shawl thoroughly enjoyed the last Municipal Band Concert of the season. Friends came over after and introduced us to Mojitos, the national drink of Cuba. What with all the disruption down there I hope they have access to these things, as they are a very refreshing summer libation. I am on the 4th repeat of the first chart of Icarus. As I have about 675 yards of alpaca laceweight I think I may do only four repeats of chart one instead of the five.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Friends are friends forever

What is it about handwork that draws us together and keeps us industriously producing? Knitting with friends is a delightful simple pleasure. Here you see the beginnings of the Thorn and Thistle sweater on my needles, next to me a baby blanket gift is growing chain by chain and another baby blanket is flyng off the needles in the next hands. We ARE created in His image to be like Him: CREATIVE!

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Bridemaid's Choice
This cotton/rayon cardigan is based on the lovely design called Bridemaid's Choice by Jill Wolcott in the Summer 2001 Interweave Knits magazine. It is not at all like the elegant mohair number she designed but it fits a niche in my wardrobe. The stone colored portion of the sweater is called Linnen by Neveda and while it felt like string as I worked with it, I like the way it feels to wear. I had used this yarn to make a lacy tee shirt that is see through a bit more revealing than I intended and with this sweater it makes a great twinset. This cardie got to go to hear Peter, Paul & Mary a couple of weeks ago at Chautauqua Institution and received many compliments from complete strangers.

Thorn and Thistle Twinset

The Summer 2006 Interweave Knits featured this twinset designed by Joan Forgione. I opted to skip the bolero and I knitted my way to a second prize ribbon at the Chautauqua County Fair using Berroco Softwist rayon/wool blend. I cast it on around the 4th of July and used the fair as incentive to get it done. I knitted it travelling across five states, too. Done is good!

See the thorns and thistles in the detail:

On The Needles: ICARUS!

Like so many others, I have been seduced into thinking I can fly with this buttery soft alpaca I am knitting into Miriam Felton's beautiful pattern from the Summer 2006 Interweave Knits. I'm thinking I should join the Icarusalong. The yarn is from All Strings Considered who usually shows at fiber festivals but I fell for it at our local Scandinavian Folk Festival. The alpaca lives in Michigan, I was told!

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A Souvenir of Kentucky

When I visited the lovely, welcoming shop A Stitch in Time in Lexington, Kentucky I purchased Brown Sheep Burly Spun in "Mountain Majesty" to knit this nifty shoulder bag for felting. Pictured with it for scale is At Knit's End Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, The Yarn Harlot. My much-loved autographed copy was a gift from a friend who attended the Canadian Book Festival last year. The pattern is The "Pristine" Shoulder Bag by Shelly Boardman.

Before felting:

After felting:

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Oh, my happy feet! The self striping Opal sock yarn in "Rodeo" on the right is my second prizewinning entry in the Chautauqua County Fair. My friend and coworker won first and one cool day this fall we shall conspire to distract all who work with us by wearing them ON THE SAME DAY!

Soon to come: pictures of my other knitting exploits from this knitting-obsessed summer.

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