Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘Bee Fields’ Category

Where Does the Time Go?

Posted by notthatkat on December 3, 2007

Sorry for appearing to fall of the edge of the earth recently.  I’ve been busy, busy and haven’t spent much time online at all.  First there was the holiday (Hope those of you in the US had a happy one), then my camera went AWOL.  Plus I’ve been working on a little project I’m not ready to go public with at this time.  (and since such phrasing seems to be practically code in the knit blogosphere – NO, I am not pregnant.  That’s all I’m saying about that.)  There has been some knitting accomplished, although not as much as I would have liked.  As I said – busy.

Pirate Hat

I finished the Pirate Hat for my nephew a couple weeks ago.  I had to sew the lining down twice, as the first time it came out wonky.  The second time did the trick.  I love this hat, and am seriously wondering if making myself one would lower the coolness factor of the hat for Patrick.  He’s 14, so seeing someone his parents’ age wear something might automatically lower the cool level, but I am the “cool” aunt, after all.

Fractal Handspun Project

I also finished spinning and plying my fractal yarn last week.  It’s a bit overspun in places (not usually an issue for me), but overall I’m pleased with it.  I like how the colors blend, and the yellow doesn’t seem too overwhelming in the skein.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it knits up.

Thermal

I decided to work my Thermal sleeves at the same time, using Magic Loop  I have re-figured both the increases and the cap shaping for my smaller row gauge.  They are about a third of the way to the underarms, and so far so good.   I’m still loving this project, but it’s about to go back burner to make way for gift knitting.

Bee Fields

My Bee Fields is almost halfway through the Bee in Field section, which is the last section before the edging.  The rows are very long now, so I don’t tend to get many done at a time.  I consider 3-4 rows in an evening to be good progress.  Ditto the back burner comment for this one as well.

Merino Lace Socks

My Merino Lace socks have managed to get past the heel despite languishing in my Go Knit pouch most of the time and getting very little action.  But when I do work on them, they are tough to put down.  The temptation to keep adding just one more row/round is strong in these.  I had a bit of a situation when I reached the heel only to discover I had dropped a stitch in one of the lace sections a couple inches back.  I tried several times to drop back that section and work it back up, only to have it come out wrong every single time.  Finally I bit the bullet, put the error free sock on a spare pair of needles and ripped back the offending sock to before the mistake(about 2 repeats of the wide lace panel) and reknit those couple inches.  Okay, all things considered, I guess I’ve made a lot of progress on these socks.

Merino Lace Socks

I deviated from my usual preference of short row heels and followed the directions which carries the lace motifs down the heel flap.  I don’t think I’ll ever be a big fan of flap and gusset heels, but in this case, I like the effect.

Branching Out

I cast on Branching Out for my sister on Friday night.   I decided to start from the center with a provisional cast on and work both sides out so they would be symmetrical.  It’s about 2/3 done, with 12 more pattern repeats to go.

Branching Out

It has practically flown off the needles with very little effort on my part.  The yarn is some Knit Picks Shadow that has been marinating in my stash for a while.  I debated long and hard about lengthening it, but decided to go with the number of repeats directed in the pattern.  I know it will grow once blocked, and don’t really think it would look good super long.  Once blocked, I think it will probably go about 4 1/2 to 5 feet, a nice length to tuck under the collar of a dressy coat.

I plan to make felted clogs for both my parents, and possibly something for my brother-in-law (not sure what, but I’m considering options), but overall, my gift knitting for this year in not very ambitious.  Oh, and I need to come up with something fiber related for my fiber guild’s gift exchange this weekend.  It must be fiber related, and has a  $10 price cap.  Right now, I got nothin’.  I’m considering banging out a couple dish/wash cloths and wrapping that up with some soap.  I’ve had a couple other thoughts, but that’s the leader right now.

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Posted in Bee Fields, Branching Out, Christmas, Merino Lace Socks, Pirate Hat, Thermal | 1 Comment »

Maine Morning Mitts

Posted by notthatkat on November 7, 2007

Maine Morning Mitts

I finished the Maine Morning Mitts this afternoon. These were a good quick knit, and the fact that it took me almost 3 weeks to finish them is a function of how sporadically I worked on them. They fit me well, so they should fit my niece, who is getting them for Christmas. They are knit in 2X1 ribbing, which is very forgiving of variation in gauge and make the mitts very form fitting over varying widths.

Maine Morning Mitts

The yarn is Sheep Shop Sheep 1, a medium weight wool single. This was my first time knitting with this yarn, and I bought a single ball to try it out. My only complaint about the yarn was there was a fair bit of straw and shavings and other vegetable matter that needed to be picked out as I knit. It wasn’t too bad for a single skein project, but I would think the annoyance factor of this would become too much on a larger project, for me at least.

Thermal

I’ve made fairly good progress on my Thermal. I reached the armholes Monday night, and now I’m about half way done with the upper back. This project is starting to feel a bit home streatchy, and I have to keep reminding myself that I still have two whole sleeves to go once I get done with the body…

Thermal Front

…not to mention the rest of the front. But I’m pleased with the progress I’m making, especially considering the small gauge, and the fact that I’ve been a bit distracted, knitting wise:

Bee Fields

I sat down Monday night with my Bee Fields to figure out where I went wrong last week. It turns out that I had missed a yarn over in the transition zone on one long side. I’m not sure what I did on the other side, but it was completely my error while trying to establish the new pattern stitch. I picked up the missed yarn over, placed a stitch marker between every pattern repeat, and found it all worked out quite well, once I was out of a moving car and able to fully focus on the problem at hand.

Bee Fields

The joy of this project is back, and I find myself having trouble putting this down once I’ve started. I’m about half way through the bee swarm section. The rows are starting to get really long, so it takes me a while to get much length added. This pattern is worked from the center top out (much like Icarus and Swallowtail and several others) and I presume the provisional cast on will get grafted to itself at some point. I find it hard to read too far ahead for big complicated lace pattern, preferring to take it one step at a time.

I’m mulling my next small/mindless project. Might just cast on for some socks tonight or tomorrow (you knew I wouldn’t stay away for long, right?) but I’m not sure what yarn and pattern I want to do next. But I also have a hat I want to make for my nephew for Christmas, as well as some felted clogs. Decisions, decisions.

Posted in Bee Fields, Maine Morning Mitts, Thermal | 2 Comments »

On The Road Again

Posted by notthatkat on October 31, 2007

… Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway.

Linda, my office manager, and I drove up to Raleigh today for half a week of continuing education.  We left town about 1 in the afternoon and arrived at the hotel  about 4:30.  We settled in and hung out until we were able to pick up our registration packets at 6.  After a not very good dinner, which I complained about and got half off, we went in search for a Walmart or similar type store, because Linda left her phone charger behind last weekend and needs to get a replacement.  We were unsuccessful in locating a suitable source, and returned to the hotel.  We were almost there when I realized that we should have looked it up before we left.  A store has been located and directions have been printed, so we might make another attempt tomorrow.  Or she might just leave the phone on her car charger for a while.

While I mostly spun at SAFF, some knitting progress has been made.

Maine Morning Mitt 2

I finished the first Maine Morning Mitt except for the thumb, and decided to knit the the main part of the second one before adding thumbs to both.  The yarn has a bit more random VM than  I would like, but the colors are fabulous and they are looking great.

Bee Fields

The Bee Fields (which needs a better backdrop to show up the pattern) is enjoying a short time out as of this afternoon.  I got through the hive section and everything looked good.  I tried twice to work the first row of the swarm section and suddenly things have gotten wonky.  Either I inadvertently messed up the end of the hive section or I’m not doing the first row of the next section right.  In either case, I wasn’t accomplishing anything but raising my own frustration level.  I tinked back (again) to the start of the first row, and will try to figure out where I went wrong when I’m in a better mindset.  And preferably not in a moving car.

Thermal

For the rest of the ride (I had the rare, for me, occasion of being a passenger and therefore able to knit on the road) I worked on my Thermal.  I’ve got about 7 inches of the body, and come to the conclusion that my row gauge is even more off than I had thought.  Since I’m working even at the moment, all I have to do is work to length, but I will have to modify my shaping pretty significantly.  I’ve still got another 6 inches of working even, and I’m crunching the numbers a little at a time.

Now it’s off to bed so I’m fresh to sit through lectures and talks all day tomorrow.  Thermal will be my mindless knitting project to work on if I don’t have to take notes (most of the speakers provide very complete lecture notes).

Posted in Bee Fields, Maine Morning Mitts, Thermal, work | 3 Comments »

Nothing to Knit

Posted by notthatkat on October 23, 2007

I finished my Clapotis on Friday as expected and blocked it on Saturday I haven’t managed to get a good modeled picture, so this one will just have to do for now:

Clapotis

I only added a couple repeats to the straight section, and the finished wrap came out toabout 70 inches post blocking. I didn’t pin it out or stretch it too extremely during blocking; just generally pulled the edges even and flattened out any excessive curling and I think it looks great!

The yarn was a bit splitty, and there were some ugly joins I had to mess with, but overall I liked it, and would use it again if the right project presents itself.

So I found myself this weekend with almost nothing on the needles. The full accounting was the following:

1. My MS3, which is enjoying a time out while I work through my mixed feelings about the wing v/s symmetrical. I had about decided to go symmetrical, then I wavered. I will probably be the last knitter who started with the rest of the pack to finish, but I will get it done. I just need to decide how I want to do it.

2.

Bamboo Top

This mess, which was on its way to becoming a Lots of Choices Top from The Knitting Experience: Book 1. I started this last year about this time. Then I put it aside to work on Christmas gifts. I worked on it a bit more in January, but it’s a summer top, and the weather was cold-ish and my motivation was low. Since about the end of January, I haven’t worked a stitch on it. For a while it rode in the bottom of my knitting bag, from which it radiated guilt every time I got down to that level. A couple months ago, I took it out to make room for other projects. I think it comes down to – I just don’t like the pattern. It’s knitting up nice enough, but there’s not enough going on to stimulate my interest. Garter stitch, with the slipped stitches taking place on the back, where you can’t really see them that well. I think this one is destined to the frog pond, which is a shame, but I love this yarn (Plymouth Royal Bamboo) too much to let it languish too much longer. I just need to find the right pattern to show it off to it’s best advantage. Any suggestions? (the yarn is silky and shiny, but has no sproing factor)

3. There is no 3

Thus, I needed to start not one, but a few new projects, so I would have knitting available for every knitting occasion.

I made a couple more swatches last week:

Thermal Swatch

Everyone who sees this swatch comments on it. It is for Thermal, which I planned to make, oh, about a nanosecond after I first saw the pattern. I love it, but I am thinking about raising the neckline a bit, so that I can wear it by itself or layered depending on the weather. It’s so light, I think it could be a three season top so long as the neckline allows for a bit of modesty without needing a tee shirt or camisole underneath. I got stitch gauge using a 3.5 mm (US4) needle, but my row gauge is a bit off. Since the body of the sweater is knit straight, I’m planning to recheck my gauge once I get a bit of length on it, the sit down and figure out if I need to recalculate for sleeve shaping.

Thermal

I cast on Saturday night, and have gotten this far. I’ve barely started the patterning, but so far I’m loving the yarn and the fabric I’m getting.

Cloud 9

I also made this swatch for an Elizabeth Bennet Cardigan out of Fitted Knits. This was one of those rare occasions where I actually got gauge with the recommened needles and yarn. I got this yarn from Webs on closeout of discontinued colors (they still have a few colors left, btw). This will probably be my next sweater project.

Bee Fields

Next up, I (finally) cast on Bee Fields. If you’ve been here a while, you may recall that I bought this yarn (Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace in Honey) without a specific project in mind. I saw it and had to have a skein. I wanted one of the more subtly variegated colorways, since I think subtle is best for lace if one uses variegated at all. The two colorways they had that fit what I wanted was this one and one in blues. I was feeling in a bit of a color rut, so I went against the obvious (for me) choice and this one came home with me. When Anne started working on a bee themed shawl pattern, I immediately thought of this yarn, and have just been waiting until my decks were clear enough to cast it on.

Maine Morning Mitts

Finally, I started a pair of Maine Morning Mitts(pdf link) from The Knitter’s Book of Yarn. I had a single skein of Sheep Shop Sheep 1 marinating in my stash, that I bought just to try it out, but hadn’t found a pattern, and didn’t want to just make a swatch. When Clara released this pattern on Knitter’s Review a couple weeks ago, I knew I had found my pattern. I had a chance to look through the book this weekend, and wholeheartedly agree with all the positive reveiws I’ve read for it. The book as comprehensive a reference as I’ve ever seen on different types of fibers and how yarn is constructed and everything else you ever wanted to know about yarn but didn’t know who to ask. Oh, and there’s also some patterns (40). And the only reason it didn’t come home with me was that it’s going on my Christmas Wish List. If no one gifts me with it, I’ll get it for myself after the holidays.

Posted in Bee Fields, Clapotis, FO, lace, Maine Morning Mitts, Thermal | Leave a Comment »