Knitting the Light Fantastic

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Archive for the ‘christening blanket’ Category

Whew!

Posted by notthatkat on September 27, 2007

At long last, done!

I finished the knitting part late Tuesday night, but saved the grafting for Wednesday morning when I was fresh.

Not quite seamless

After three attempts, I still wasn’t able to manage a completely invisible join, but I decided it was good enough.

Off the needles

Here it is, off the needles, before blocking. Now it’s time for a bit of magic.

A Good Soak

It got a really good soak because after many months on the needles, despite being careful and no accidental spills (and only the one round on the floor with the puppies) boy, was it dirty! I let it soak for a good hour followed by 4 rinse baths. Why? Because the water was still looking dirty after the second one and it took two more to get all the soap out.

Blocking

The angle of this picture makes it look more rectangular, but it’s pretty square. I did allow the edges leading up to the corners to curve in a bit trying to get a more rounded corner.

Center

The center is done in Diamond Fantasia from Barbara Walker’s Third Treasury

Border

The border came out of my own fevered brow. It arose from the desire to add some white space around the center for a visual rest. It came out pretty much as I imagined.

Edging

The edging was cobbled together from several different sources then swatched and tweaked until I though it was just right.

Christening Blanket

Cristening Blanket - Shawl option

While it was conceived as a christening blanket, it could also be used as a shawl (wedding shawl. perhaps?) It was started with the intention of selling it when I was done. I’ve since come to the conclusion that I cannot sell it, and probably no one would pay me enough to compensate for the time put in. So instead I’m making it a family heirloom, to be passed on to my niece when she gets married.

ETA:  Big thanks to Whitney for agreeing to model this outside in our still 90+ degree heat 

Posted in christening blanket, FO, lace | 6 Comments »

Home Stretch

Posted by notthatkat on September 24, 2007

76 repeats done, 8 to go.

Anyone have any pointers on how to graft faggot lace seamlessy? I think I’ll play around with my edging swatch before I try on the real thing. These seven little stitches have me rather stymied. “It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.”

Soon, my precious… very soon.

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Here we go a Harlotting

Posted by notthatkat on September 22, 2007

(This post is a bit later going up than I planned due to the time and fatigue factor of a mid-week trip to Atlanta followed by intermittent internet access issues. Better late than never.)

When I first heard that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was coming to Atlanta on this book tour, I was resigned to the fact that I probably would not get to see her. After all, it is a 3½ hour drive, and taking a random day off is not easy for me in my current job. However, I checked the calender to discover that the date she was coming to Atlanta was a Wednesday, which just happens to be my regular day off. Filled with excitement, I invited the other three member of my small local knitting/crochet group to come with me to see La Harlot. While factors such as job and family kept two of them from going, my friend Christine and I set off late Wednesday morning and arrived in Atlanta about 2:30 in the afternoon.

After parking and getting the lay of the land, we had a nice meal on the patio of one of the nearby restaurants. The weather was beautiful – clear and cool and almost fall-like.

The event was hosted by Knitch and we stopped in to look around, do a bit of shopping, and check out their newly renovated upstairs space.

Alpack roving

I bought no yarn, just a set of DPN’s (in a size I don’t have and need for a pair of socks I have planned that won’t work on circs) and 4 oz of alpaca roving. It is a lovely shade of medium brown and not as orange as it looks in the picture.

A bit after four we cruised by the theater and found a small gathering of people already there, but no actual line. Within minutes of our arrival, everyone started spontaneously lining up in front of the box office and we jumped in and and found ourselves in pretty good position for good seats.

The theater looked like an old movie theater, but the former concession stands had been turned into a Starbucks on one side and a Ben and Jerry’s on the other.

The line

By 5:00 the line was out the door and well down the block. They started seating those with disabilities, pregnant women, etc at about 5:00 and began letting the rest of us in a bit later. We wound up on the third row, next to the nice couple behind us in line. We sat and talked and knit, and made friends with those around us.

The crowd

There was quite a crowd. They had set up folding chairs in rather tightly spaced rows and there were very few empty chairs.

Balcony

You can’t see past the front row, but the balcony was full as well. They made about 700 reservations, and though there were certainly a few no shows, there were a lot of people there.

I worked on my blanket and received a lot of nice comments and complements.

Promptly at seven, La Harlot took to the stage.

Yarn Harlot

She was funny, insightful and thought provoking, often at the same time. A non-knitting friend asked me later if it was everything I expected. After faithfully following Stephanie’s musings and ramblings online and in print for a few years, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. She did not disappoint. She spoke for about an hour and a half, including answering questions from the audience. She received two standing ovations.

After the talk, those of us assigned to the early book signing remained in the theater, while those in the later group were told when to show up at the store. Despite the long line and some grumbling about line jumpers (I am all for allowing those with physical limitations avoid standing in long lines, but seven people moving to the front of the line because one of them is pregnant was a bit ridiculous.), we got our books signed got to chat for a few minutes. I gave her a couple bars of hand made soap to go with all the wash cloths she’s been receiving.

Stephanie and Me

We were back on the road by about 10, with Christine driving most of the way home, while I dozed in the passenger seat. We got back to Columbia about 1:30. Thursday morning came too early, but I got through the day fairly well. I was falling asleep Thursday night by 7:30.

Hand Dyed Socks

I had started my next pair of socks on Tuesday night, and decided to work the foot in stockinette, although I’m considering a simple stitch pattern or ribbing for the leg. I worked on these while standing in line waiting to get into the theater, as the blanket is too big, heavy and awkward to stand and knit on.

For those of you wanting a blanket update, I turned the last corner last night and most of a side worth of edging yet to do. 68 repeats done, 16 to go. I’m hoping to be done by the middle to end of next week so I can block it next weekend.

Kitten

Since I haven’t done an overly cute animal picture, here’s one for you. This kitten was boarding with us last week. We let her out to run around the back part of the hospital and play a bit every day. She managed to pull my surgical cap and mask down off my desk one day and was having great fun chasing the strings on the mask.

Posted in christening blanket, Yarn Harlot | 1 Comment »

Lace – Tragic No More

Posted by notthatkat on September 17, 2007

So I went to my LYS on Saturday and bought a replacement needle:

addi Turbo Lace

I decided to splurge (a whole extra dollar) and try out a set of Addi Turbo lace needles. I wasn’t having trouble with the regular Addi Turbos, but the pointier tips do make working lace easier. I like the tips on my Options set for lace also, so I doubt I’ll be picking these up in many sizes, but I do like these needles as well.

TOFUtsies

While I was there, I picked up a skein of TOFUtsies in a lovely semi-solid pink (Light Foot). This was the first time I’d run across it in person and I’ve been wanting to try it for a while. I resisted the siren call of the other yarns there including Trekking in a lovely autumnal colorway that is totally outside my usual color palate but called to me none the less; or adding another skein of Paca-Paints to my collection.

Transferring stitches

The next task was getting the live stitches transferred from the old needles to the new ones. I decided the needle end was too mangled, so I trimmed the jagged end off the cord end so as to not snag my yarn. Then came the long task of moving the stitches, one at a time. 605 stitches total. Yes, I counted them. 41 edging stitches, 24o on the partially completed side, 324 on the full side. Since I started my edging with over 1300 live stitches not counting the edge stitches, 564 stitches left seems not so bad.

The puppies were indicted, tried, and convicted for crimes against Addi Turbo, but the sentence was suspended because – puppies will be puppies.

State of Lace

I’m now halfway done with the third side (53 done, 31 to go) and I laid it out today as best I could. There are still too many live stitches left on the needles to show it off well, and the corners won’t look right until it’s blocked (as if lace ever looks right before it’s blocked) but I’m excited about how it’s all coming together.

Cable-Down Raglan

While the blanket was on hiatus, the Cable-Down Raglan saw some action, getting a couple inches added to its length. I just barely working the waist cables, although you can’t tell from this picture. I enjoyed working on it again and it was a bit tough to put it away again once the blanket was ready to go again. I had hoped to have this ready to put in the fair as well, but the blanket is the first priority.

Solstice Slip Socks

Between lace knitting and cabling, I managed to finish my Solstice Slip Socks. These came out great! This was the June offering for the Rockin’ Sock Club, and for anyone in the club, the pattern and yarn should be available to the general public sometime next year from Blue Moon.

I posted the comment a while back that I found the stitch pattern a bit fiddly. I realized the irony of that statement, given the nature of many of my other projects, about two seconds after I posted that blog entry. What I meant was it was a bit fiddly in a way didn’t thrill me. While it got more enjoyable as I became more familiar with it, I did find it hard to find my rhythm. The resulting sock is quite attractive however.

Solstice Slip Toes

This sock used the same garter stitch short row heel and toe as the Inside Out sock from the February club kit.

Leftovers

This was all the yarn I had left after I had bound off and woven in my yarn ends.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to start another sock right away, considered another small projects like a hat or gloves, but it didn’t seem right to see Stephanie without a sock on the needles. I’ve decided to knit up one of the yarns I dyed last month, but I haven’t settled on a pattern yet.

Off to knit a repeat or two of lace, and perhaps cast on a sock or two….

Posted in Cable-Down Raglan, christening blanket, rockin' sock club, summer of socks | 1 Comment »

Lace Tragedy

Posted by notthatkat on September 14, 2007

I worked on my blanket over my lunch break today, and I had to walk away from it for a wee bit to check on patients.  I left it on the break room table, well away from the edge, where I thought it would be safe.  When I got back, I found it on the floor with two puppies standing over it.  I quickly separated puppies from knitting and accessed the damage:

Yarn Pile

This was what remained of my yarn ball which had been broken or chewed about 2 feet from my last stitches.  I carefully detangled and rerolled, but had to discard about 1/4 of the remaining yarn in the ball because it was in many, many pieces.  I wasn’t sure I would make it through the edging with my current ball of yarn, so I already have another ball wound and standing by.  I’ll probably work from that next so I can minimize joins.

Needle end

This is one needle end – the one furthest away from where I’m attaching the edging.

 Needle end

The other end of the needle was even worse, especially as it was no longer attached to the cord!

MacGyver Solution

The edging stitches were pulled off the remaining cord end, and I had to get MacGyver creative to salvage it before major unraveling started.  My solution – an unfolded paper clip to hold the edge stitches.

Unfortunately, I don’t have another circular needle in this size in my possession.  Fortunately, I should be able to find a suitable replacement at my LYS tomorrow after work.  I’m not sure I can find the same length (80 cm IIRC), but if I can find the right diameter (2.5 mm) in a shorter length, I can probably make it work.

The good news is that the blanket itself doesn’t seem to have suffered any significant damage, and loose stitches have been secured until I have a replacement needle.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on the long neglected Cable-Down Raglan.

Posted in christening blanket | 1 Comment »