Friday, March 28, 2008

Hempathy Swallowtail

After finishing the lace Swallowtail, I figured out how I could fix the edging on this Swallowtail. I started her on vacation last year. I had seen Hempathy before, but thought it was too rope-like. But in Gordonsville, VA - I saw it again and picked up a ball to swatch. I loved the feel after it was knitted. I went back to to Limerick Yarns and snatched up all of her Teal and Yellow and started Swallowtail that week. The nupps were so much easier with DK weight than lace weight. I flew through the shawl. Until I got to the edging and my count was off and I couldn't find out where.

So - off she went into a little ziplock bag in the bottom of my workbasket - only to find a bit of light this week. And with the experience of ONE swallowtail behind me - I'm an expert now of course - decided to figure out how to get the edging on regardless of the lack of stitches at the end of the repeat.


Got it - and it looks great. It's so different with a hemp/cotton/modal blend versus wool. The stitch definition is great, but it still needs a bit of blocking to see the lovely edging points. I used 5 balls and like 20 feet of the 6th ball. Couldn't believe I ran out of yarn on the last 12 inches of the cast off!

I think this yarn would be so pretty in a lovely spring/summer lace shell. Maybe the Interweave Knits Bonsai. I will use Hempathy again!


And I have 4 balls left - not sure if I'm going to trade on Ravelry or find something small to make:


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Well Worth the wait - Year of Lace Spoiler!!!!!

Don't proceed if you don't want to be spoiled as to the March Year of Lace project.

OK - now for everyone else. I signed up for, paid and patiently waited for the Year of Lace since last fall.

First of all, you have to understand how much I love laceweight yarn. My first love was sock yarn. And my stash is evidence of this. I still like sock yarn a lot, but I'm sort of maxed out until I work through my stash.

But then I discovered lace yarn. Which, by the way, was hard for me to discover. Many LYS in my area do not care it or carry a very limited amount. But then I discovered buying Lace yarn online. And oh - the possibilities are endess:

- Yarnplace
- Webs
- Knitpicks (which has new colors and a new lace line - Gloss)
- Schoolhouse Press
- HandpaintedYarns.Com
- ColorSong
- Fearless Yarns on Etsy
- Others on Etsy and Ebay I have forgotten.

Are all some of my favorites. And I know I haven't found all of the great places. Then slowly - I started begging at the LYSs I visited, and they started carrying them too.

So - I have a bit of a stash in Laceweight now and need to slow down because you can knit forever with lace weight yarn. That's why I love it. You can get 1800 yarnds for $16!! And such pretty colors and fiber. Ahhhhhhhh.....

So - when the Year of Lace signup was announced too much temptation. And I wanted to be challenged to try something new. I couldn't wait for the first package and it was finally announced to ship from Canada on Monday - March 24.

I received it today - and it was worth the wait.

1100 yards of 100% silk in a unique colorway just for the Year of Lace participants. It's a brick red color - chosen by Sivia Harding who wrote the pattern. The yarn is made by Claudia Handpaints.


The picture makes it look a bit more orange than it is.

The pattern is lovely - a triange shawl with beads - a first for me.


I have so many WIPs, I need to hold off on starting this but it is oh so pretty. And well worth the wait. I can't wait for the June installment - a non-triangle project. Yeah - I'm sort of at my fill of triangle shawls at the moment so this is coming just in time!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

5 Days of Seclusion

What do you have with 5 days of forced seclusion and when your manager refuses to let you work so you can stop getting sick!!

Pray.....a lot.

And knit of course.

Now that I've stopped long enought to take a breath - I realized my WIPs are totally out of control. Just ltake a look: and I don't even have all of them loaded. My goal this week is to complete Pi and Hemlock - and hopefully the Split Leaf Shawl (another WIP forgotten in a bag in my room) that I am going to give to a coworker that has been so sweet to take over my meetings this week so I can rest.

First of all - the family project is so close. I didn't expect us to get this far this fast. We are cruising. It would be done if I wasn't in quarentine.


I'm on the last section of Pi before the border. Each round takes around 30-45 mins depending on how medicated I am. I'm so excited though. I want to see it blocked!!! This has been the most exciting project *evah* I think. It's simple but so cool. I want to do another one - but I think I am going to do a Pi Are Square next. I've been trying to figure out the yarn.....


I restarted the Mystery Shawl with JaggerSpun Zephyr 2/18 in Basil. I have a cone of it - 5000+ yards. I'll be 90 before I finish it I'm sure. But it is perfect for this shawl. The Morehouse yarn because it was a singly ply and varigated, didn't really show the pattern as well as I would have liked. It made it look too casual. When I saw others on Ravelry or in the Yahoo group, it needed a more elegant yarn. You can never go wrong with Lace and JaggerSpun I have found. And this time is no different.


Hemlock is going along. I discovered a mistake I've been making I'm too embarassed to confess. I was being too cocky and not really looking at the chart closely enough. I'm back on track now.....


Poor Mr. Greenjeans - I love you and want to give you the time you deserve. You have to remain on hold waiting for the sleeves and body until I get past my Pi obsession.


I'm making this Split Leaf scarf in NatureSpun Sport - I so love this green. Yeah that I have a cone of it left for a much larger project. I just took a bit of it off for this scarf. My friend Liz has been so great this week doing her job and taking on mine so I can rest in peace. I'm going to suprise her with it in April. Shhhhhhhh.


Lastly - finishing the lace swallowtail shawl gave me courage to find my Hempathy version. I love the yarn, color and feel - I just got a bit mixed up on the edging and then stuffed it in a basket in my office and for got it was there - along with another shawl that I have no idea why I stopped knitting on. Sigh. I will have to take pictures and add it to Ravelry another day. But I did add the Hempathy shawl. I love this yarn and will use it again for something else one day.


That's enough for now. I am getting to the poing where I need to take another set of meds. And trust me, you don't want me to blog as high as these little babies send me. Why anyone would voluntarily take on this feeling, I don't know. My brain slows down the the pace of a snail, and I'm suprised my knitting hasn't been impacted - although I do knit slower.

Chat with you later.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Days of My Life

I swear my life is like a medical drama these days. Like some strange episode of "Janet's Anatomy" or "Urgent Care - Myrtle Beach".

We went on our 14th anniversary trip this weekend to Myrtle Beach. It was a quick trip - we knew it would be. We wanted to get back for Easter Service. My husband is music minster, and directing the children's choir. But we needed a break. It was a nice weekend. The weather was terrific. Today we took a walk, sat on a swing, and then napped on hammocks. What could be nicer.

Let's say a sleepless night rolling over in pain. An early morning trip to Urgent Care. A diagnosis of Shingles. A prescription of VALTREX. Great - why don't the advertisements make it clear it is for something other than .....well you know what. I'm a happily married woman. I'm not supposed to be on Valtrex.


Let's say a sleepless night rolling over in pain. An early morning trip to Urgent Care. A diagnosis of Shingles. A prescription of VALTREX. Great - why don't the advertisements make it clear it is for something other than .....well you know what. I'm a happily married woman. I'm not supposed to be on Valtrex.


And so it goes.

I did make some progress on Pi.


Even more on the return trip - I just haven't taken an updated picture. But I'm in the last section before the border. It barely fits on my needles and takes about 45 mins to complete a round. Or maybe just because I was tired.

Oh - and my little hobby on vacations is to take $20 (no more) and blow it on lottery tickets. That has been my history - $20 spent and lost. But this time - I cashed in my loot for $55!! That's a $35 gain! Not too bad - the teller said it was pretty rare. This link is not pulling in correctly from facebook, you will have to click on it and the next link if you are really, really curious.

And I caught this gem:

14 years - and I still enjoy waking up to that face.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Making Progress

The Family Hobby is starting to get the family interested one by one. First of all Jason started showing interest. Then today Janeen got interested when she saw the frame and then she took a good luck at the puzzle box and saw all sorts of cool fish, ships and rockets on the map. She has always been interested in science and travel, so now she is getting interested. Then even Colin got tired of my bragging (since I've done most of the work today) and started to say he could solve it faster than me. He can't.

Even mom got involved, she helped with the top of the puzzle.

So - it's working - family hobby is making progress!


Excuse the picture - Blackberry was upstairs and I was too lazy to go and get it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Not that I need another hobby......

I wanted to have a hobby that we could do as a family. My attempts to teach my daughter to knit have failed miserably. No one else except the baby is interested.

So - I picked up a new challenge for us to do as a family. Cleared off the dining room table - which was horribly cluttered (another sad matter). And setup something for us to work on together.

Except guess who has spent the most time there :) I can tell right now this is going to drive me crazy until it's "done". When complete we will have a huge map of the world - I'm thinking about framing it for the play room. Especially if I can tempt the rest of the family to join it.


600+ pieces, so we will be working on it for a while. If you stop by my house - you MUST help us out!

Also - I started another Pi on 3/14, Pi Day. Thanks to Dani and Allison at Knit Night, I had no idea about Pi day - but I had always wanted to take another stab at a Pi shawl. My first mini-Pi was a dissappointment. I thought I would make a plain Pi, but I was sooooooo bored by it I ended it early. It's a great stroller blanket for Jada though.

Half pi Shawl

I made this with Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport - the yarn is perfect for it. I still have over 1/2 the cone left and will use it gain. I just can't get enough of this yarn - such a great basic, work horse yarn - great for lace, garments, color work, socks - anything. And such a great color range.

My current Pi is made out of the softest alpaca you can imagine or atleast that I have in my stash. DK weight and not dyed, just a pure creamy color. I picked this up at Weaving Works i n Seattle where they have generous hanks for 600+ yards for a reasonable $14-15. I picked up 2 hanks of this for a triangle shawl, but I think the Pi will be nicer. I think this will be my home office shawl. For my shoulders or lap and so soft. I want to try to finish it and the Hemlock around the same time - working a little on both of then when the other one get's boring. I'm using the instructions in the Knitter's Almanac and the Charts in Shawls and Scarves.


Hemlock is also growing, I'm in the growing feather and fan section - nice and peaceful knitting. I can take this along with me when I'm outside watching Jada learning about bikes, balls, slides, and spring time. Watching a 15 month old discover the wide world is so much fun. I'm enjoying it so much more this 3rd time, maybe because I know for sure it's the last. THE LAST.

The color on my Blackberry is sucking all the life out of this yarn - it's really a dusky purple, but looks washed out in these photos.



Poor Mr. Greenjeans and Mystery Shawl have been on hold this past week. I have to get back to them. I'm at the sleeves section on Mr. Greenjeans, and just love, love the yarn but I needed to wind a few more hanks and stalled b/c I've been too busy taking care of Colin and Jason to get upstairs to wind more. Yes - my boys have the flu so our house has been a zoo the past week and I can only handle the most mindless of my WIPs.

So the Mystery Shawl was definately out - couldn't handle the counting each and every row right now. If Colin gets well by Friday we are hoping to make a quick trip to the beach and I will get to make some progress on both of these on the trip down. I'll miss another Charlotte Purls field trip!!! It is just not been my luck to make any of these since I have been in the CPs. I'm on a yarn diet - so it's probably for the best.

Monday, March 10, 2008


The Charlotte Purls KAL has totally distracted me. I had been looking for an excuse to knit the Hemlock Ring Blanket - and then there was one.

It has been a fun knit through the flower, now I'm in the feather and fan - let's hope it stays fun - I've always had trouble with FnF - I usually get really, really bored.


I'm also a bit distracted by my Mr. Greenjeans Malabrigo sweater in Lime Blue.


And I am still trying to work on my Pethathalon socks, Mystery Shawl, 'lil Janet socks - I'm in a bit over my head!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Atlast, a Swallowtail

I've wanted to make this scarf/shawl forever.
I started out strong, and faded in the face of THE NUPP.
But at last I finished it.
Success at last.


Patiently waiting for blocking.....


Nupps, nupps, and more nupps.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Flu revisited

It's baaaaaack. Yes, the yucky flu 2008 came back, meaner and nastier this time. At first - it was just sleep and rest for me. I was miserable with fever and body aches. I'm starting to get over that - just a few moments of being unbearably hot here and there - but I've got no energy and little appitite. Maybe I'll loose weight? :) Let's hope for a bright side of this experience.

It's so great you can knit when you are sick b/c TV is really terrible. I can't stand realtiy shows or the talk shows and soaps now get on my nerves. Had I of known I would be housebound for a few days - I would have stocked up on DVDs. Thankfully there was some political drama on March 4 to keep me a bit glued to the TV, although I wasn't happy with the outcome and am afraid to see the Democratic race degenerate into negative nitpicking. All the nonsense drove me straight to to make a donation for a new day in America. Instead of just getting angry, I had to do my part to bring some common sense back into the discussion.

In the midst of the fever, the thought of so many UFO - Unfinished Objects - drove me nuts. So I was inspired to knit on some of the items hanging around waiting for the last few stitches.

First of all was my Malabrigo Loafers, which I stalled on during the first bout of the flu. They are a bit big and I'm thinking about slightly felting them, but don't want to over do it.


I love both of these colors independantly - having them together is growing on me. Not my favorite, but not terrible. They need a crochet flower on top, but I didn't have the energy. Maybe later.

I also rescued my Swallowtail shawl from the bottom of my bedroom yarn stash bin where it had fallen in it's little zip lock bag. I was working on this (and another SW that I'm not sure where it is actually) like mad when on vacation in August! But the nupps drove me crazy with the super fine JoJoland Harmony yarn. But for some reason this week it wasn't so bad, I blew past the last 6 nupp rows and am on the edging! Yah! This will replace my lost Flower Basket Lace scarf.


Hopefully - will wrap this up by end of the day.

I also have been working away on my SKP 2008 sock - my first toe up!! The gansey pattern is enough to keep it interesting, but it's not difficult. I like the diamond pattern and the little ladders on the side. I'm loving the handspun BFL, I have a few BFL hanks in my stash but this is my first time knitting it. It's sooooft. And the sock feels really springy. I can tell it's wool, but it feels different than my other socks. I love it. I'm glad I have another hank from this spinner in blue. Maybe by then I'll be good enough to make my own handspun sock yarn. What a refreshing change of pace for socks. Also - I love the subtle color changes, no set pattern, but very pleasing. I just love the way the yarn is behaving in this pattern. It probably wouldn't have been as nice in lace, so it was a good chose for a knit/purl pattern.


I didn't realize SKP 2008 would be a gansey pattern and had previously started (on a whim) another gansey sock - this time with the pattern in the cuff. I decided not to carry the texture down the instep and onto the foot as I was afraid moss stitch on the top of my foot would drive me crazy. I like this yarn to - it's a handpainted yarn, frogged from a failed scarf attempt. I'm trying to finish both of these pairs of socks this month. My green sock month!


I put the mystery shawl on hold to finish swallow tail. I hope to get back to it tomorrow.

I also have to cast on Mr. Greenjeans - but need to FU some of the UFOs and get them into my FOs. :)

Last note - on Stash Burning 2008 - last week was a mixed bag. I did so well in Seattle for a while. No yarn, just a bit of fiber. But I slipped up on Ebay. My friend Jill showed me her Kauni hat, and then I found some on Ebay. It has a shetland feel, and the slow color changes remind me of Noro but the yarn is a 2-ply (I think) fingering weight. Yummy. There is a pretty cardigan made famous by Yarn Harlot using this yarn. I'm not sure what I will make with this - it would be beautiful in anything fair isle. I also have some some really pretty lace made out of it. What you can't see in the photos is these babies are huge - the smallest one is 700+ yards! The largest is ~1200 yards. So many choices!





Sunday, March 02, 2008

Malabrigo March

March is shaping up to be a great month.

First of all - I received my lovely gift from my swap partner in the Ravelry Malabrigo swap. I was spoiled. She gave me 2 - two - lace weight hanks of Saphire Magenta. I love lace weight because you can make something really, really big with two hanks. The color is lovely and even better - not in my stash. I've been so spoiled with Malabrigio in February so I have got to make something with it in March.


Then - she made me matching stitch makers. The greens and purples of the yarn are duplicated in the beads she choose. Won't I look cool with a project where the stitch markers match the yarn :)


And then for the goodies. Dark Chocolate Truffles mmmmmmm :) And Good Earth Organic Sweet and Spicy Decaffeinated tea. I came back from Seattle a bit run down - sore throat, coughing, etc - and the tea has really hit the spot. It is so lovely and flavorful and sooths my throat and makes me feel all over good.

What a great treat!

I'm having so much fun with the Mystery Shawl - I've just finished clue #2.


Starting Clue #3 this week.

And - the first Sock Knitting Pentathlon started this week. I have yet to start - hope to cast on tonight. It's my first Magic Toe cast on, Toe-Up, Short-Row heel sock. I've been sort of stuck on the traditional top down. The pattern looks good - a gansey diamond pattern. This contest is great for trying new patterns and styles. I know I won't win, however. The first winner from Germany finished both pairs in 9 hours of straight knitting! And there were several shortly after her. I won't even try to stay in their league. First of all my neck, shoulders and arms would kill me. I have to take breaks just to keep from tightening up. To knit 9 hour straight sounds like a recipe for being totally locked up in bed for a week. I love to knit to much to put myself out of commission for that long. :)

Here's the pattern - and I picked out some green handspun BFL sock yarn for the sock. yum.



I've also started back on Jada's Tomten Jacket. I was a bit irritated with having to pickup the stitches, the first few times looked terrible. This go around it is a bit better and I'm tired of frogging it.