One of my knitting buddies (beentsy, to be precise came up with the idea of the knitting group (we know each other through the Terminal City Yarn Wranglers group on Ravelry) holding a swap, so we could all receive knitted gifts as well as making them. I was lucky enough to have beentsy (yes, the instigator and one of the organizers) to knit for. She's made nice comments on some of my knitted doilies before, so this was her chance to get her very own! I picked a pattern that had just been re-published by the Lacy Knitter's Guild, written by Marianne Kinzel and first published in 1951, and knitted it in a thread described as "shaded purples". it was a fun knit, small enough to not get boring, and well charted. I liked how it came out, and apparently so did the recipient. Now I just have to figure out which one to knit next, once I have some of the rest of the queue finished.
I spent much of the weekend at Sivia Harding's lace design workshop, put on by the West Coast Knitters' Guild. I love knitting lace, so the chance to learn more about the design process to jump-start me into designing my own shawls was too good to pass up.
The workshop concept sounds deceptively simple: come prepared with stitch dictionaries and figure out how best to fill the triangle shape with appropriate stitch patterns. It's harder than it sounds, but Sivia made it seem, not quite easy, but reasonably straight-forward, with lots of places to make artistic design decisions.
Sivia has some wonderful designs and brought some of her shawls for us to admire and deconstruct, using them as teaching examples. She gave us ideas on how to start the shawls, various ways of finishing them, how to modify stitch patterns to fit nicely into the triangle shape, when and how to fudge stitch patterns to make the entire pattern easier to understand and knit, and lots of other tips. Everyone ended up with charts and swatches, and undoubtedly lots more ideas than they started with. Now all I have to do is finish the design I started (I want to change a couple of things), complete the charts, and start knitting!
My mother died on Wednesday night. My step-father, who was with her, said it seemed she had decided it was time to go. She had dementia, and the last couple of months were one trip into hospital after another until she'd had enough. I miss her awfully. May she rest in peace.
I posted about the beginnings of this long ago, here are the final photos. It was a fun knit, architecturally interesting, small enough to not get boring. My daughter uses it as a hat, doll blanket, scarf, and toy carrier, depending on her mood. It's tough enough to handle all of that without problems.
Yarn: J&P Coats Royale Classic Crochet Thread (Size 10), 1.5 skeins in mint green
Needles: 3 mm to start, then 3.25 mm starting at round 63
Pattern: Birkenkätzchen - Birch Catkins by Herbert Niebling
Comments: see the previous post
Dates: Started July 23 2008, completed September 13 2008
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/laurendw/birkenkatzchen---birch-catkins
To go with the acrylic hoodie, I also knitted my Mum an alpaca hooded scarf last Christmas; slightly less easy to care for but more luxurious. The pattern is from the Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark book Knit 2 Together. I've knitted a couple of things from this book now, and haven't come across any mistakes or instructions that are difficult to understand. This pattern is another easy one, and the finished product works well.
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, two skeins, one for the scarf and one for the bonnet part.
Needles: US 8 / 5.0 mm for the main part, and US 7 / 4.5 mm for the ribbing
Pattern: Grownup Bonnet by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark in their book, Knit 2 Together
Modifications: I made the large size of bonnet for wind protection, and also made it all on smaller needles for wind protection.
Dates: Started December 12, 2008; completed December 20, 2008
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/laurendw/grownup-bonnet