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
turns, via the magic of blocking
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
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
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"
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
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!
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