Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Together with more than 3200 others I signed up for the Mystery Stole 3.
I think it will be fun knitting the same project with so many others. For me this is the first time I join something like this with NO idea of what it looks like.
This is the choice I made for the yarn and beads.

Jade Sapphire 2-ply Cashmere in Silver Pearl with silverlined 8/0 crystal beads.
First I wanted to knit it with the Zephyr in Vanilla as suggested and as many others seem te be doing too. I made a nice swatch with it ( as suggested too) but somehow it didn't appeal to me.
It seemed nice to stay in the theme ( black, white, greys) and I also had the cashmere lying there. I thought it would be too heavy for it but when I also swatched it , the difference in size wasn't that big at all. It is more dense than the Zephyr, but I hope it still looks good.
You're welcome to give your opinion !

The two swatches with the Zephyr on top and the cashmere below, both after I blocked them.

A close-up of the cashmere.

This is something entirely else I started while waiting for the KAL to start. As if I don't have anything else on the needles at the moment, ahum.
A little while ago I bought some handspun Alpaca with a little glitterthread added to it from Madge It was on my desk so I could admire it every time I was sitting at it, and could think up something suitable for it. I looked through my patterns but couldn't find anything. I didn't want it to become a plain scarf, the yarn deserved more than that. But also because the glitterthread isn't very comfartable wearing against your skin. Then suddenly I remembered I had this:

The Diamanta pattern from French Girls. But where did I leave it ? I had to search very hard for it but finally found it at last. The original is knitted with Kid Silk Haze together with 1 thread of Lurex Shimmer ( which is discontinued ) on size 13 needles ( 9 mm )
The effect of this is VERY lacy. I am knitting it on size 11 ( 8 mm ) with a worsted weight yarn so the effect is different but still nice I hope. I just finished the first repeat. If you notice the bottom of the shawl, it's knitted sideways BTW, you can see that this first repeat is smaller than the ones on top of that. I'll just have to wait and see how the final result will be.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's done !

She really took her time to dry !

36 hours to be precise.
Thursday evening I gave it a good soak and then blocked it. It needed many pins , one for every edging point. I used some welding rods from my husband as blocking wires ( always comes in handy, a man with a lot of tools ) and fixed these with pins too. I had to do this in the attic which is the only space in the house with : a) Carpet to pin into, b) a large enough area to block such a large shawl, and c) I can leave it undisturbed.
Because of the bad weather ( lots of rain) it just wouldn't dry quickly. Every time I checked it it was still damp, but this morning, after 36 hours of drying, finally THE moment had arrived.
It wanted to be unpinned !

Sorry no blocking pictures, it is really dark in there so they didn't work out.

My youngest daughter took these pictures of me modeling the shawl, they are a little blurry because she was in an exteme hurry and didn't feel much for the whole idea. Well 14 year olds, you get the idea....

Hanging from the side of the bed.

This is my favourite shot, with the light from the window shining through.

A close-up ( again)

The bottom edging (oops, the right point is a little bit shorter blocked, or its just a croocked picture)


Draped across the bed, this a lits-jumeaux size so you get an idea how long it is !

Pattern: Morning Glory shawl by Knitspot Yarn : Briar Rose Wistful, 1 1/2 skein.
Needles: US 9, 5,5 mm.
Start: May 25 , 2007, Finish June 23, 2007. I was almost halfway when I discovered that the colors of the 2 skeins that I had weren't matching. I had to order new yarn and start all over again. So the time knitted on this is less than 3 weeks. Modifications: 1 repeat less of the mesh pattern, otherwise knitted as described . Length: 77 ", Width 24".

Well what more can I say about ? It was a very enjoyable knitting experience due to the fact that the pattern was very well written and the yarn was heaven to work with. A part of me is feeling sorry that it's over, on the other hand I'm really glad it's done and I can finally see the result of my labour.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Grafting lesson

The knitting part of the Morning Glory is finished and now I just had to graft the two halves together. Sounds easy, but I have never ever grafted before !

So what I needed was a really good tutorial, with pictures please ! In my Victorian Lace Today book were some instructions but when I tried them out they just didn't make any sense to me.
After some searching I remembered I had seen it on someone's blog a little while ago. But where ? I knew it had something to do with socks but that was all. Well I finally found it here
( I'll have to learn how to make a proper link someday)
I printed it out and started with trembling fingers. I just didn't want to ruin it. I know, I know I should have made a test piece first but I just wanted to finish it so badly !
And guess what, it really worked !

Can you see the join, right in the middle ? I hope it will show even less after blocking but it will do for me. I'm really happy this worked out so well.

So now all I have to do is to weave in the ends and then I can start blocking ! I will post blocking pictures later.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Orchids, a Rose and a Kiwi.

It has been VERY hot over here , especially Thursday and Friday. If you moved as much as a toe you would start sweating , yak ! That's the downside of living in a country like mine, the high humidity when it's hot. Friday evening we had a huge thunderstorm and that ended the heat.
When it's that hot and icky I don't like to knit. Sweaty hands and a warm shawl in your lap are not such a good combination.
However Saturday was a rainy day and I really wanted to make a start with the pattern that Anne from released last week, the Orchid lace scarf. I just HAVE to make this ! With a greenhouse full of Orchids this one is just made for me !
Don't worry, I haven't abandoned the Morning Glory. The first half is ready and I already made a start with the second.

I had just the right color yarn for it, a perfect match with this Orchid.
If I had to make one for every color we have in the greenhouse I would end up knitting an endless heap of scarfs I'm afraid. There are so many colorvariations !

Because of the heat I decided to do some dyeing instead.
Yeah, that's right, I wanted to copy Judy , hahaha !
Well no way I can achieve something like those lovely yarns !
Just take a look at what she made , georgeous aren't they ?
No I did it my way, the messy way. I ordered some Kool-Aid a while ago to dye some yarns from which the colors were not like I had imagined them when I bought them. They were stuffed in the back of the closet and since the weather was great do dry them I thought I would give it a go. If I would mess up no harm would be done. I didn't like them as they were anyway.

First in line was this, it's a cashmere lace yarn which was originally was a very pale, dull pink. No color at all in fact. This is how it turned out.

The variegated look wasn't on purpose, I just didn't add enough dye to the water !
I had read a tutorial on Knitty how to dye with Kool Aid and it said you had to add a package per 1 oz. But if you wanted a lighter color you could use less of it, so I did. I used only 4 instead of the 5 needed because the water seemed so VERY PINK ! Instead of making a totally different color I just wanted a brighter one. Well, it is brighter but for a first time I was happy with it.

Then I had this brightly colored orange yarn, which was supposed to be a Cognac. I couldn't think of any other color than to turn it into a red. More packages were added ( I learned my lesson) and it became a bright red yarn ! The only thing that happened with it that afterwards the yarn was tangled in itself, so when I wound it up it broke several times. Now I have four little balls instead of 1 big ball. But hey, I can still use it !

A while ago I had ordered some cashmere yarn, I believed it to be a green. It was more a neon yellow than green when it arrived, and I just don't like anything in that color !
I added some blue dye to it, but it became a VERY bright green. I didn't like it at all, so what to do. I only had a few colors of the Kool Aid to play with and I had to tone it down somehow. I added some Grape to it very carefully untill it was about a color I could live with. Since this was a variegated yarn already some parts turned brown. It reminded me of a kiwi when I started winding it. The brown doesn't show in the picture but in real it does.
I liked the dyeing part, but I just messed around, not exactly knowing what I was doing. I guess I need a lot more lessons before I can make something that vaguely resembles Judy's yarns.