Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘Clapotis’ Category

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:


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.


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.


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 »

Odds and Sods

Posted by notthatkat on October 15, 2007

Hand Painted Socks

I finally finished my hand painted socks over the weekend. The actual knitting was done on Wednesday night, but I was so busy I didn’t manage to get them bound off until Saturday.

The color bands lasted about a round and a half each, which resulted in skinny stripes. As I said earlier, I am planning to take my drill to my warping board and add some different (shorter) lengths. It’s not that I’m unhappy with these socks – I love them – but I like playing around with stitch patterns on socks and this color repeat length just doesn’t lend itself well to that.

Since these were the first socks I knit with the yarn I dyed using this technique, I decided to knit them toe up, so I could see how the colors worked up before committing to a stitch pattern. I knit the foot in stockinette stitch, but decided to add a bit of lace on the leg á la Dublin Bay (see the sidebar).

Hand Painted Socks

I put a twisted rib at the top and did a sewn bind off, which is my usual for toe up socks. Also my usual short row heel.

I was thinking about taking a break from socks for a while. Yes it’s right in the middle of Socktober, but I’ve done a lot of socks over the last several months and the cooler weather has me thinking about mitts and hats and other little projects. I tend to try to keep myself to only a few projects at any given time, otherwise I find that perfectly fine projects tend to languish unworked in the bottom of the knitting bag. I don’t have any hard and fast rules, but I try to limit myself to one big non-lace, one lace, no more than a single pair of socks, and possibly another smaller item or two. But that’s about pushing my limit. I tend to have more mentally lined up for the future, but not a lot OTN at any given time.

So imagine my surprise when I got an email from one of my favorite designers on Friday asking if I would test knit for her. Since I was already thinking mitts, and am done with deadline knitting for a while (and taking a break from the monster projects), I jumped at the chance.

Snow on Cedar Mitts

I am knitting her Snow on Cedar Mitts, which will be sold as a kit at Wooly Wonka Fibers with the yarn Anne used. I am using some more of my hand dyed fingering (sock) yarn. I figured the variegation on this yarn was subtle enough not to fight the pattern. So far, so good. I am through the wrist section and have only found a couple minor mistakes so far. I am knitting the first one using only the written instructions (I consulted the charts to help figure out the couple mistakes). I will knit the second one from the charts. This way, I will have checked out both thoroughly. Normally I am a chart knitter, to the extent that I will write out a chart for a complicated stitch pattern if one is not provided in the pattern.


My Clapotis, she grows. I have finished the straight section with 15 repeats and have done a single repeat of the decrease section.


I love how she is knitting up. The colors are so me. And soft, squishy, pettable alpaca – no complaints here. The only downside (besides the not so pretty joins I mentioned previously) is that the yarn is fairly grippy, so the dropped stitches don’t just unzip but have to be coaxed to unravel all the way down each column. If that’s the biggest knitting problem I have all year, I am a lucky knitter indeed.

Burn Day 1

This is my biggest problem lately. Last Tuesday I burned myself on the autoclave at work. While it wasn’t quite at full heat, it was probably about 250°F (120C). And I managed to whack my arm against the door, which is the only external part that isn’t insulated. I held it under cool running water immedieately, and the picture above is what it looked like about 20 minutes later. I started treating it with silver sulfadine (Silvadene) right away. The blistered skin came off with my shirt when I was undressing Friday evening, which left a lovely open raw patch. Since then I am keeping it covered with Telfa pads and liberal quantites of Silvadene cream. When I changed the dressing this morning it looked like this (warning: semi-gross wound picture) It has a good granulation bed, and has begun to re-epithelialize. I have been treating this myself, mostly because there is nothing an MD would do for me that I’m not already doing. If it begins to look unhealthy, I’ll go see someone, but I have a lot of experience in wound care, and everything looks good so far. Not pretty, but good from a wound healing perspective.

Posted in Clapotis, misc, Snow on Cedar, socks, test knitting | 4 Comments »

Wedding Bells (but no Blues)

Posted by notthatkat on October 8, 2007


On Saturday, I drove to Calhoun, GA (about an hour north of Atlanta) for the event of my good friend Mike’s wedding to his lovely bride Rachel. The setting (outdoors at her parents house) was beyond lovely, the weather was pretty, if a bit warm, and the ceremony was short and sweet. In no time at all, the deed was done and done well.

Kiss your Bride

They are so cute together, no? As they begin the next chapter of their life together, I wish them all the best and am so glad I got to share their special day with them.

The Happy Couple

But this is a knitting blog, and as such, should include some knitting content. Rest assured, I was not idle on the knitting front over the weekend.


My Clapotis has grown a fair bit. I am about 2/3 of the way through the straight section, if I stop when the pattern says to. But I am a bit less than half way through the yarn I have, and I think I might make mine a bit longer than the pattern specifies. I won’t decide for sure until I get to the end of the straight section as written in the pattern.

The yarn I’m using is Paca-Paints from The Alpaca Yarn Company. I acquired it this spring without a clear idea what I wanted to do with it, but it called to me from the shelf of my LYS and would not be ignored. It is extremely soft and squishy and I love the way it’s knitting up. It is a wee bit splitty, but nothing I can’t deal with. My main complaint is that there have been a couple obvious splices or joins in both of the skeins that I have knit up so far. I managed to hide those sections fairly well, I think, but I’m a bit disappointed to have had them in the yarn to begin with.

Hand Painted Socks

My hand painted socks are nearing completion. I will probably put another inch or so on the leg, then ribbing.

Lattice Lace

I especially like the lace panel on each side of the leg. This is basically the panel in the Dublin Bay socks, but I reversed the direction of the pattern for the other side of the sock so they are symmetrical. I think it breaks up the striping of the yarn and adds some visual interest without competing too severely with the color pattern.

I’m considering adding some more holes to my warping board, so I can wind shorter sections of yarn. I’ll probably knit the other skein I dyed with this method before I attack it with the drill, but I’m thinking more options would be a good thing.

Posted in Clapotis, dyeing, misc, socks | 2 Comments »

Apologies for blog silence…

Posted by notthatkat on October 4, 2007

I was madly knitting to complete my Cable-Down Raglan in time to enter it in the State Fair yesterday.  I made it, although without much of a margin.

Cable-Down Raglan

I blocked it Tuesday night with a fan blowing across it all night so it would dry in time.  Overall, I’m pleased with how it came out, but I did make some modifications.  I started the waist cables sooner than the pattern called for, although if I made it again, I might start them even higher.  I also shortened the overall length by about 5 inches.  Had I made it to the specified length, it would have come about halfway to my knees.  As it is, it’s a good length for me.   If I made it again, I might taper the sleeves a bit.  The wide sleeves are pretty, but being the klutz that I am, they might wind up wearing a bit of food.

Cable-Down Raglan

I am pleased overall with how it came out.  By the time I get it back in a couple weeks it might (might) be cool enough to wear it.

So I took all my entries down to the fair grounds yesterday.  In addition to my Cable-Down Raglan, I also entered the infamous christening blanket, my messenger bag, and the following items that haven’t made appearances here by virtue of being finished before I started blogging again earlier this year:


My Shedir cap

Hat and Scarf

My Edgar scarf and matching hat

Entrelac Shrug

The entrelac shrug I made last winter


and the Bayerische socks I made last fall/winter and haven’t been wearing because I knew I wanted to enter them.  They look better in person, trust me.
I am hoping to do well overall, but my highest hopes are for the blanket.  It is the “biggest” knitting I’ve ever done, not just in terms of actual size, but also in terms of design and work and sheer number of stitches.

So after finishing all that deadline knitting I wasn’t quite sure where to go next.  I got my mystery stole to the halfway point (I’m making mine symmetrical) and have to get started on the second half.

I have a few sweaters lined up that I have both pattern and yarn.  The hard part is deciding which one I want to do next.  It’s like I’ve got a bad case of Starteritis.  So bad, I can’t even decide what to cast on next.

I did make a wee swatch yesterday.


This might very well be my next sweater, but it’s a bit summery and I’m feeling the need to knit warm woollies now that it’s finally cooling off a bit..

I have the yarn for a Thermal, I just need to dig up the right size needle and swatch for it.   And there are a few more sweaters rattling around the old brain-pan.  I might just swatch up several then decide which one is calling me the most.

Hand Painted Socks

In the mean time, I got a bit more done on my hand painted socks.  I decided to add a lace insert up each side of the leg.


Oh, and I may also have cast on a Clapotis.

Posted in Cable-Down Raglan, Clapotis, State Fair | 2 Comments »