Monday, July 23, 2007

Knitting interruption

I have to confess -- I didn't do much knitting this weekend. But I did read all of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! Fantastic book, such a talented writer. It was hard for me to keep all the details straight, I have no idea how she managed it, and then to bring it all to a coherent ending that didn't leave any major story lines hanging.... WOW!

So, last night it was back to the Mystery Stole 3, but it was quite late. I managed to do about 35 rows since the clue was released Friday morning. And I did do a few rows of the Michelle's Shawl while I played lifeguard and talked with my MIL. That pattern is finally starting to make sense to me, I don't need to refer to the paper all the time. Its about half of its final length. I'm kind of surprised at how long it seems to be taking, I thought it would just fly along. After all, its a much heavier yarn and a bigger needle than all the lace projects I've been doing lately. I will persist! Even though Alison graciously suggested that I could modify the pattern to do what seemed more intuitive. But as a challenge knitter, I just can't let go and do something else. I must master this pattern!

Friday afternoon, I took the kids to the local Build-a-Bear store in the mall. They took one look, and then each had to have an outfit for their bears. The bears came with us to the Harry Potter release party at the library. Notice their wands? I turned them with the boys on Friday afternoon, even used the drill press to put holes in the handles for the elastic to go through. A bit extreme, but I felt like a successful mother......

A bit of magic, and the string turns into beautiful things, right? Or perhaps its all part of the Mysteries... Wizards, knitting, Mystery Stoles.....

And a bit of detail on the latest socks. Not the greatest of pictures to show off the colors. Its not exactly what I imagined the yarn would be when I bought it. Thought more of 2-4 inches of each color, all blending, not these stripes. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New challenge

Well, after finishing the Rona shawl AND the Moc Croc socks, I suddenly found myself with only the MS3 on the needles. Since that doesn't seem to require a full week's worth of knitting time, I had to find another project. So.....

The Michelle's Shawl from Alison Hyde's Wrapped in Comfort. In a mystery yarn I was bequeathed from my sister, who obtained it from someone else..... It's a yarn from the Czech Repulic called Pletaci prize MarLen. The contents read 80% bavlna (I'm guessing cotton), 10% viskoza (viscose?) and 10% akryl (acrylic?). Looks like each ball is 0.100kg (=100 grams), and I have 6 of them. Should be enough. No clue on the yardage.

Anyway, its a strange yarn. 3 distinct plies, just wound together. See:

One is like a boucle cotton, the next is a very white rayon, and the last is a thin beige shiny thread. Totals out to a bit over a worsted weight. I went up to a size 9 needle to compensate for the thick yarn.

And the shawl in progress:

I don't know who this is for. Usually I have someone in mind when I start a project, but I guess not knowing is in line with Alison's general rules for making things. The right person always comes along just as she finishes, and I'm going to choose to believe that this shawl will find the right person like that as well.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Moving along....

I'm just finishing stuff left and right over here in very, very, very hot NJ. Yesterday, while some friends were over for a swim, I finished the crochet edging on the Rona Shawl. Once they and the relatives left, it went into the sink with some Eucalan, and then I spent from 9-10 p.m. up in my knitting classroom pinning it out. It looks so good, but gosh darn it! I don't own enough t-pins. Must go get more at the JoAnn's this week, just to have them in the house. Now, mind you, I do have 2 ends to weave in on this monstrosity, but I think untucked ends are just going to have to all wait for the right day around here. (Marc's Lang Jawoll socks still have ends hanging everywhere, but who wants wool socks when its 95 degrees and humid outstide)



Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud, 100% Alpaca laceweight, in color Stream. Worked on Size 5 Options needles. Blocked to a bit bigger than 56 inches in diameter.

Today, I did the short row toe on one Moc Croc sock, and I may stay up late and do the second one now. Big problem with this is that I don't have anything else on the needles to work on while I pedal on the exercise bike tomorrow morning. Shall I start some new socks? No question I have plenty of sock yarn on hand. And the new More Sensational Sock book. Or perhaps another lace project? I'll see how I feel in the morning......

Good night all!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Clue 2 done!

The Mystery Stole is moving along very nicely. The clue this week was only 50 rows, they went pretty quickly. Finished it this evening (Sat.), and its now packed away waiting for next Friday.

Another photo, just so you can see the cute bag that came with the British Knitting magazine a few weeks ago.

I put the beads into a little acrylic box I found in my Grandmother's sewing box, it worked out very well. I could carry my beads around, they were secure, and it was relatively easy to stab one when I needed it. If this didn't work out, I would have gone to the drugstore and stood staring at the candy, trying to pick the one that came in the right sized tin. Believe me, the type of candy wouldn't have mattered at all.

The Rona shawl, all 1,152 sts of it, is now well on its way to being done. I'm about 2/3rds of the way around casting off the sts. As per the instructions, I'm using a crochet hook -- work 3 together, chain 7. (The instructions alternated ch 7's a few times, ch 5 twice, but it was all too complicated) It looks all ruffly, but when I block it, I'll get to pin out all those ch 7 spaces. Sounds like a lot of pins. Time will tell how it looks.

Its late - I'm going to go do a few more loops on the bindoff, then off to bed. Still no clue on my next project, but I'll have to decide soon. The MS3 just isn't enough this week, and I hate to be without a project.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Lots of stitches

A quick update: The Rona shawl is now up to 1,152 stitches per round. I have just knit 4 rounds at this stitch count, and yes, it takes a long time. The next row is the LAST!!!!!

Since there is a double decrease (SK2P) on the last round, the final stitch count will be 22 sts x 48 groups = 1,056 sts. Wow. Thats a lot to then work an edging on (its crocheted)

So, here is what 1,152 sts look like on a 47" needle.

Its hard to get a good picture. Especially when the lace is all bunched up. And we all know how crappy lace looks until its blocked. Perhaps my next post.

Still have not decided on my next project. The Curved Shawl is still a top contender, but maybe it'll be something from Alison's Wrapped in Comfort instead. (Got my signed bookplate for the front of the book in yesterday's mail. Yay! And she sent a second one, maybe I'll save it for her next book....)

And, for stash enhancement, I just placed yet another order with Knitpicks. I'm such a sucker for a book sale, and then I needed another size of dp's, in doubles of course, so I can make both socks simultaneously. And I have to try the new sock yarn, right? My family is going to have so many socks, they are starting to beg me NOT to knit them anymore. And this Sat. is the Silk City outlet day, I haven't been there in months. Not that I'm lacking laceweight yarn or have a project in mind for any.

Not much else. Waiting for the next MS3 clue and I'll clean up for our get-together on Friday morning.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Almost finished!

Yay! The Rona shawl has been moving along well! It just needed me to love it again.... I'm getting at least a few rounds in every day (takes about 30-45 minutes per round, so this is significant time) Thank goodness for the plain knit every stitch rounds, I can monitor the kids in the pool and still get somewhere on the shawl. I'm in the middle of round 144, the pattern ends at round 153, then you do a crochet edging around.

Want to see a picture? Nah - it doesn't look like anything at all. Just a mess of blue. But wait till its blocked!

So, its getting to that time again. What will the next project be? Besides the MS3 stole, of course. Maybe the Curved Shawl from VLT, in the Mountain Colours Wool Crepe. Got to try a swatch of that, see if the bouncy boucle yarn works in the pattern.....

Oh, and I did get a few rounds in on the Moc Croc's this weekend at some friends' house. They may actually be up to the toe shaping.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mystery Stole 3

The knitting has begun!!!!

The clue was released Friday morning, and I was there! Got it at 7:35 am, and started knitting immediately.

This is not a pattern you can work on at night. I keep finding myself dozing off with my knitting in my lap, and no idea what row I am on. But even with all the interruptions of life (why do the kids need to be fed?), I finished it this morning.

The edges look horrible, as you can see in the picture. They keep flipping under. I know that blocking will correct this and open the lace as well. But what really scares me is the size. It measures only 16" across in the picture, and the desired size is closer to 20". I kept looking at it and regretting the size 4 (3.5mm) Options needles I used, but the size 5 tips are in the Rona shawl, which is still at least 10 hours from being done.

So, what to do? Simple. Take off the needle tips, put on some end caps, and block the thing! So, here it it, its pinned at 20" wide, 10" deep, and I think it needs to be blocked out even larger to really get the lace to open up. I can live with that! Aren't the Knitpicks Options great?

I'm such a nerd - I had to block this out into a right triangle, instead of just pulling it. See how it follows the diagonal of the blocking lines? And I've also screwed up with the beads. Instead of putting them on the stitch and then knitting it, I knit the stitch first, then put on the bead. Its not a big deal, I'll do it correctly from now on. Its not like its all that visible anyway, certainly no one else would ever see it.

I am so glad this stole has all the beautiful scroll curlicues and the wonderful braiding up the side. I didn't get to participate in MS2, and I loved all those great patterns in it, so its just wonderful that this stole has the same fancy work!

I'm going to go back to working on the Rona now, maybe the Moc Croc socks also. I'm also going to try to organize a get-together for other MS3'ers in the area for this Friday, when the next clue is released.