Festivus Bitterroot

For the 2010 Festivus I drew yarnpiggy and after much hither and thither, and a few false starts, I ended up making her a Bitterroot shawl out of Kauni Effektgarn, complete with beads. I'd never added beads to a shawl before (or anything else for that matter), so it was a good excuse to try it out.

Lace is always amazing. A crumpled bit of what looks like string

bitterroot shawl lace pre-blocking   crumpled bitterroot lace

turns, via the magic of blocking

blocking bitterroot  more blocking bitterroot   edging detail

into this

finished and blocked

Project details

Yarn: approx 100 g Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn in the ET colourway

Needles: I forget, but probably 4mm.

Pattern: Bitterroot by Rosemary (Romi) Hill

Modifications: None

Comments: A quick knit on the way to and from a conference, with lots of knitting time there as well as on the flights. The yarn doesn't slip or ravel easily, so it was easy to fix mistakes in. The long colour lengths look really good, too.

Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/laurendw/bitterroot

Festivus 2010

It's been a long, long time since I blogged anything. I blame a number of factors, all of which too boring to detail here and now. But, I finally gave myself some motivation (I couldn't wear my festivus gift until I photographed it; and it's only a small step to blogging once I have the photo!)

The TCYW Ravelry group's Festivus 2010 was held in December. The basic concept is that each person in the group who wants to take part gives a fibre art gift to one person, and receives from someone else. You know who you're giving to, but not who you're receiving from. There's a price limit, and we all go out for dinner some place nice. This year it was organised by the inimitable Beentsy and Yarnpiggy, and it was, just like last year, an excuse for spoiling each other and being spoiled.

It turns out that having a mystery spoiler/spoilee is also a good way to get to know someone you might not have previously known; my spoiler was Lady Sheepsbane whom I hadn't met before. With help of appropriate Ravelry forum postings she came up with just the right gift (that's the Ravelry link), knitted in the right size and colour. And some lovely handspun yarn that hasn't told me yet what it wants to be, a notebook just the right size (small enough to fit in my purse), and a candy to top it off. A perfect combination of festivus items.

Festivus Spoils

One of the knitting groups I'm in on Ravelry meets locally, and beentsy and yarnpiggy organised a Festivus swap (secret Santa). I was lucky to get beentsy to knit for, and even luckier that damselfly drew me to spoil. Which she did.

The scarf is knitted from her own hand-spun, with beads on the end. The colour is more blue-gray, like in the top left photo. One of the chocolate bars has chili pepper and cinnamon, the other coconut macadamia curry (yep, really). Four types of tea: lavender, winter fruit spice, vanilla, and rose congou. Hand-made stitch markers. And, to top it off, a pattern for Sivia Harding's Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl. I feel blessed and very lucky!

Shawl Dreaming

I decided to make the dayflower daydream shawl for a friend when she got pregnant. My idea was that it might be a christening shawl, if she didn't already have one. My mother was of the opinion that white was the right colour for babies, and she had given me some yarn that I think she had originally intended to use to knit something for mine. There wasn't enough for the complete shawl, but I found a different yarn that was close enough that you can only tell the difference in a really good light. It was important to me to use that yarn from my mother for something that would be loved and appreciated.

My friend did love the shawl when I gave it to her, and used it to bring the baby home from the hospital in. It's warm, light, and machine-washable.

I took the photos while the shawl was blocking. I haven't figured out how to photograph large objects yet, so you get a bunch of photos of parts of it. It looks quite a lot like the photos in the published pattern, so you can get an idea there how the whole thing looks.

Learning experience notes: I should have thought about how to make the final grafting easier before beginning the edge. There are techniques for this (such as knitting a couple of rows in scrap yarn before beginning) that would have helped. It took a lot of work to make the graft anywhere close to invisible.

Yarn: Patons Australia Dreamtime 4ply, 6 skeins @ 25g/75m per skein and Rowan Pure Wool 4ply, a bit under 3 skeins @ 50g/160m per skein

Needles: US 3 / 3.25 mm

Pattern: Dayflower Daydream by Eugen Beugler, published in "Best of Knitter's Shawls and Scarves"

Modifications: none

Comments: The first parts of this shawl are interesting, figuring out the construction. Towards the end it starts to get a little boring.

Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/laurendw/dayflower-daydream

Endpaper mitt

In the spirit of cleaning up some of my blogging todos, here are the photos and final finishing details of the fingerless mitts that I knitted in sock yarn. In my previous endpaper mitts post I was worried that the yarn would set off my dermographism. Fortunately soaking in warm water with a good shampoo softened them up a lot, although I'm still careful about not wearing them too much at any one time, just in case.

I found a good post on how to block mittens. The template plastic was easy to find in a local quilting store. You can see the template plastic poking out of the mitts in the photos.

Finished Endpaper Mitts Finished Endpaper Mitts

Yarn: Sandnes Garn Sisu, 0.4 skeins (60m) orange and 0.7 skeins (108m) dark green

Needles: US 3 / 3.25 mm

Pattern: endpaper mitts by Eunny Jang

Modifications: none

Comments: I didn't like the suggested Italian tubular cast-on as I couldn't get the tension right. It looks almost ruffled, which just goes to show the problem. Fortunately there are lots of other cast-ons that aren't as hard for me to do properly.

Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/laurendw/endpaper-mitts