Friday, August 01, 2008

FO: Sticking To My Guns

Several weeks ago, I made myself a promise. Yes, I've made lots of them but this one I actually kept. I decreed that there would be no new projects until I finished this shawl. Only then might I even consider other suitors. Now that the hooks are put away and the steam iron's cool, I'd like to present my version of Eva's Shawl:

FO: Crochet Lace Shoulder Shawl

FO: Crochet Lace Shoulder Shawl
Back view, eyelet rows

Crochet lace shawlDetails and Modifications
450 yards bellamoden laceweight kid silk
450 yards malabrigo laceweight merino
Size H(5.0mm) and K(6.5mm) crochet hooks

I must've really had my stupid hat on the day I started this shawl. Aside from mentally making all the treble crochets (TC) into double crochets (DC), I had a devil of a time with the fact that 'Ch Sp incr' was not an instruction to chain 1, then work 2 DC into the same stitch. The designer meant something altogether different. Stupid hats are invisible, by the way.

I was into the eyelet row by the time I decided there was no way for me to fudge it any longer. Version one had to go and, as you know, ripping back fuzzy yarn has its downside.

Enter Take Two and my "aha!" moment. Once I paid closer attention to the pictures (thank the deities for those) and re-read the pattern from the beginning, a reasonable facsimile of Eva's Shawl started to take shape. Once you're beyond the foundation rows, just think "double crochet two rows, eyelet one row."

The only real addition I made was to the two-row border, which is essentially alternating chain stitch openwork. My third row adds a feminine frill of double crochet scallops. If you like the look, add the following instruction to the border:

Row 3: (optional) Ch 4, work 4 DC into next 'Ch Space' to end of row, finishing with a Ch 4; DC into turning Ch from previous row.

Enjoy your weekend. Chase butterflies like these two.

Was That A Butterfly?

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lacy Crochet Shawl

Eva's Shawl - Crochet Lace
bellamoden kid mohair and silk lace (Pretty In Pink) + Malabrigo lace merino (Floral)
The pattern is called Eva's Shawl by milobo. Always fun to see how others have done this project on Ravelry.

I've stayed fairly true to the directions, though I've simplified them a bit for my taste, as they are written using UK terms such as treble crochet which in the US is really a double. I've also rewritten the eyelet row since I kept getting caught up in the weeds of growing frustration: "But what does that mean? That doesn't make sense!"

At which point, I put the pattern aside and started crocheting with my instinct instead of my logic. I find that I really rather like this pattern much better that way. I'll share more details of the modifications at the end of this project.

By the way, I am keeping up with my exercise regimen (treadmill, sit-stands, balance) like a good rehab patient. Thanks for the encouragement. Happy weekend, all!

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Saturday, August 25, 2007


honey bee graphicLet's see how long can I extend this device: there are scores of people besotted with Anne Hanson's beguiling Bee Fields Shawl or the rectangular presentation of the Honeybee Stole. Whether they're actively participating in the knitalong or keeping a watchful eye on the action from the sidelines, the Bees are swarming all around.

From what I've observed, many of those knitting either the stole or the shawl have opted for (at most) fingering weight yarn to maintain the light, airy feel of the finished product. I debated doing the same, even after purchasing the DK-weight Briar Rose Fibers "Celebration". I knit up a couple of swatches in the merino / bamboo blend and in a finer weight Handmaiden SeaSilk for comparison.

After mulling it over, I went with the Briar Rose for a couple of reasons: 1) the wool content will allow for better blocking options and 2) I just like the more rustic, autumnal look of the emerging stole. Granted, I'm only 20 rows into the Beehive section, but what do you think? You start to see a beautiful texture emerge.

Begin a Honeybee Stole
(First 20 rows of Beehive section with provisional cast on)
While I take my time on this, I am pondering what to do with 2 bags of Ice Blue Rowan Polar Wool in stash. Anyone have any thoughts on French Girl's "Fantine" or "Anise" from the cover of Rowan's Fall design pamphlet, NewShapes? I'm really drawn to both of them for some reason.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

And The Winner Is...

Remember this?
Möbius Lace Wrap - Complete!
Then you also remember that Very Berry Möbius, though lovely, came out way too large and draped unfortunately beyond the realm of my shoulders. What you don't know is that it took quite a bit of futzing (and a few hidden pins) to get the wrap to stay put on the dressmaker dummy. It was in a fit of pique that I decided to hold a contest to give her silkiness away to someone more - appreciative.

The winner is blogless Michigan knitter Nancy L., whose contest entry came closest to the randomly selected number. She's been notified and we're making the arrangements for me to say farewell to Miss Möbius. I may knit this particular pattern again but it will most definitely be in a smaller size!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered. It was quite fun and I shall have to do it again. As you might expect, I've got lots of yarny goodness here at Yarn Is My Metier!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Very Berry Möbius Speaks

Möbius Lace Wrap - Complete!

I so enjoyed coming into being; stitch after silky stitch of that yummy yarn building above and below the pink cable line of my knitter's needles and she had no idea. I came out just as I was supposed to, even though my knitter got tired toward the end and cheated me of a couple of rows. No matter. I got her back, but good!

I know that my knitter is a bit disconnected from her actual versus imagined body size. I gave no clue during my making that the size 46 bust was too big. You should've seen her jaw drop as she neared the end of my 430 stitch cast off. Heh. Well, fun is fun, but now what do I do? I don't see much of a future on this dressmaker's dummy. Won't somebody save me?

Help is on the way
Cry me a river, Möbius wrap. Yes, I made you a few inches too large. No, I will not rip and re-knit you. I simply do not possess that kind of patience. Unless someone has a goof-proof, can't-miss silk shrinking method, I'm giving you away, baby!

Did someone say, "Contest?"

If you're interested in pretty silk lace Möbius wrap, send an email to yimmcontest [at] gmail [dot] com. Your entry will be the subject line containing the words "Very Berry Wrap" and a number between 1 and 100. That way, I won't have to open the emails.

Pattern: Möbius Lace Wrap from Cat Bordhi's "Treasury of Magical Knitting"
Yarn: Great Adirondack Yarn Company Silk and Bamboo
Needle: Addi Lace 6 US
Modifications: Rows 38 - 39 eliminated without significant impact to wrap.
Dimensions (inches): 46" x 13"

The last day for contest submissions is Friday, August 24, 2007. The winning entry subject line will contain the number closest to the randomly selected number. The winner will be announced the following week. Thanks for participating in the first-ever contest chez Yarn Is My Metier!

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

We're Halfway There

I must say that working with this nearly 50-50 blend of Great Adirondack Yarn Company silk and bamboo has been heavenly and really tough to put down. So tough in fact that I have completely abandoned all other WIPs to knit, purl and yarnover my way through this interestingly constructed wrap in record time. Since I'm just about to join the second skein to complete the last half of my half-twist Möbius Lace Wrap, I thought I'd share my status as of one week in:

Möbius Lace Wrap
Here it sits: 430 stitches per row, 8,600 stitches thus far, coiled around a 47-inch size 6 US Addi lace needle. You see that I've pointed out the cast on tail? That's because Möbius knits are constructed from the center out towards the ends simultaneously. Unless you do it (or you're very visually oriented) it is hard to imagine. It's also mind-boggling to think that, conceptually, you're knitting in two directions at once, though given the nature of Möbius, there really is only one side.

Who's afraid of a mixing up a little math with their knits? Not I.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Fork. Done. Etc.

It started with beautiful yarn that, if you recall, I could not put down despite doctor's orders to the contrary. Three months later, Debi's gift of Diakeito Diamusee Fine, color 116, evolved first into damp, then blocked lace:

Wet, blocked lace

Then, all stretched out, it dried overnight into the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl:

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl
Finished dimensions: 54 x 32 inches
Needles: Addi Lace Circular, size 6 US

I made no modifications to the easy to follow pattern, which I would heartily recommend for those new to either lace or chart reading. The only thing I did was to add repeats as suggested by the designer, since I was using fingering rather than the sport weight yarn called for in the pattern.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Woman On The Edge

Oh yes, gentle folk. I am but 7 rows from bind off of my Forest Canopy Shawl and I could not be happier! I'm in the midst of creating the pointy edge rows prior to calling it a day for this simple, but long-in-the-knitting triangular shawl.

I'd let a couple of other things jump the WIP line and, before you know it, I'd lost that lovin' feeling that I had in the beginning of the project. It had become monotonous as the rows got longer and longer. In the past week or so, I decided it was time to put up or shut up and finish the darn thing, especially since my mom's birthday is coming up in exactly 2 weeks and I never have anything finished in time for her. Guess what she gets this year!

After a soak and a stint on the blocking board and wires, we will have achieved finished lace shawl. This I solemnly vow because I need to move on to some serious baby knitting and new sock designs.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Weather Report

Today, look for occasional knitting following a 4-day dry spell. Expect continued spotty work to eventually give way to mostly sunny skies and finished objects over the next 10 days.

Frequency of repeats this afternoon should reach a high of around 2 to 3 rounds per hour, slowing to zero by nightfall. Stray knitting remains a possibility overnight, barring sleep event.

Sockapalooza 4 "Mona" sock, first 24-row repeat complete; 1.5 additional repeats needed to finish the leg.

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, about 50% complete (per pattern)

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Friday, April 20, 2007


"You need to take it easy for the next 48 to 72 hours. No physical exertion for that arm."

Thus spoke the latest orthopedic specialist after he shot my right shoulder full of a strong painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug. Did I listen? Nope. Especially after a dear friend sent my kitty boys some new food, accompanied by two balls of Diakeito Diamusee Fine*. After all, I needed the perfect yarn to go with the perfect lace needles to start my first official shawl, the pattern for which I'd purchased the day before.

Forest Canopy shawlSusan Pierce Lawrence's "Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl"
This is so easy, even I can do it. Good thing too because I've got a raft of increasingly more complex shawl and wrap patterns waiting in the wings. I just have to get one completed lace project under my belt (something larger than a pair of socks) to feel competent enough to go forth and conquer the rest of the diaphanous pretties.

Oh, and the arm thing is more complicated than any of us first thought, with no clear choices and equally uncertain outcomes. One of these days, I'll look back on this and smile triumphantly. I'm sure of it.

*Edited to add info about Diakeito Diamusee Fine yarn:

Content: 100% Wool
Size: 40g/239 yards
Gauge: 30-32 sts/4" using needle #2US (I'm using size 6 for this shawl)
Care: hand wash, dry flat

Although it is made in Japan like its cousin Noro, Diakeito is much softer than Kureyon or Silk Garden. It also appears to also have less vegetable matter and (so far) no knots!