Updates from February, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 12:59 pm on February 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bungalow, Bungalow Heaven Pasadena California, Gamble House, Greene & Greene, Huntington Library, Pasadena California   

    Shawl knitting time 

    I finally finished knitting my gradient shawl.  I got a lot of work done on a trip to Los Angeles last week, and finished yesterday while watching my husband play in his community Jazz band.   It is soaking now, I will lay it out to dry and hopefully get some good photos tomorrow.  When it was done my husband said that the yarn changed color a lot from blue to green, I replied that it was supposed to, as it was a gradient.

    When we were in LA we went to the Huntington Library, which in addition to a library of 6,000,000 books and a fantastic American Art collection, has a beautiful botanical garden area.  The desert garden was our favorite, probably because it is so foreign to our climate here, and it was beautifully in bloom.





    We stayed in Pasadena, mainly to be near the Gamble House, Greene & Greene‘s masterpiece among many other “super-bungalows”.  Also there was Bungalow Heaven, several blocks of beautiful working-class bungalows.  You know I always love a bungalow.


    And, we spent one day driving along the coast and up to Santa Barbara.  It was so nice to be in the warm weather, but I could never live with the traffic of LA.  Even at off hours it was crazy.  Luckily my husband drove and I knit.


    • MrsPeterson 4:01 pm on March 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Those photos are making me homesick! I need to breathe some salty air. Your shawl turned out so beautiful! Can’t wait to see it in person..


    • Ria 8:49 am on March 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful photos! And the colours in that shawl are breathtaking, too! Makes me think of the ocean.


  • knitting1105 8:40 am on February 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Winter Knitting 

    I totally stole this photo from my guild on Facebook.  Taken in Oslo recently.

  • knitting1105 2:51 pm on February 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Finishing up 

    I have started working again on this shawl.  I think that I am about 2/3rds way done, you can clearly see the gradient here.  It just took me a long time to finish spinning the extra yarn needed.  I will pick up with the green end of the gradient and work back towards the blue-green.  The pattern is Alka Faroese Shawl from Myrna Stahman’s book.  I love how these fit with the shoulder shaping.

    I should have enough time this weekend to finish this!

  • knitting1105 8:20 am on February 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Money to burn 

    I had several gift certificates that were due to expire on the 15th of this month, part of our local downtown Holiday shopping rewards program.  I always seem to wait until the last-minute to spend them.  It is amazing how hard it can be to spend money when you have to.

    I started at the local bookstore, and bought this edition of Piecework Magazine (a Historical Knitting issue, I need to subscribe to this magazine), then went in several other stores.  It hit upon me that there was a local yarn store, I never shop there as our tastes in yarn are not the same and I am seriously trying to knit up what I have on hand (let’s just ignore those 2 sock clubs, and the fiber that I am acquiring and spinning…).  I thought about needles, and heard that they carry KnitPicks needles now, having never tried them, I thought that this would be a good opportunity.  I am always on the hunt for #1 double points, so I went in and purchased a KnitPick set and a set of my favorite Lantern Moon’s both in size 1 dpn’s.  That still left money, so I got myself these Sterling silver hoop earrings.  Fun, fun.  I shall review both the magazine and needles next week.  The earrings are on my ears now, light and airy, love them.

  • knitting1105 9:04 pm on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    I got mail! 

    A couple of weeks ago I was scheduled to receive 2 bundles of Merino/Yak/Silk blend from Fiber Optic.  They went missing in spite of the tracking slip that showed them out for delivery.  After many calls with no response and finally an email to USPS, my package came last week.  I have been working on spinning this, and it is causing me great angst.  The fiber does not draft out long, and it keeps breaking in clumps.  I was trying to spin a fine single, and have resorted to a slower whorl and a thicker yarn.  In reading about the Yak, the down is very short staple length, I think that perhaps I should be spinning from the fold.

    This is a photo of a Tibetan Yak, love the saddle:

    The yak (Bos grunniens) is a long-haired humped domestic bovine found in Tibet and throughout the Himalayan region of south central Asia. The word yak refers to the male of the species; a female is a dri or nak.Wild yaks stand about two meters tall at the shoulder. Domestic yaks are about half that height. Both types have long shaggy hair to insulate them from the cold. Wild yaks can be either brown or black. Domesticated ones can also be white.

    Domesticated yaks are kept primarily for their milk and meat. They are also used as beasts of burden, transporting goods across mountain passes for local farmers and traders as well as in support of climbing and trekking expeditions. Often the pack animals are actually crossbreeds of the yak and Bos taurus (common domestic cattle). These are known in Tibetan as dzo or dzopkyo.

    The wild yak is an endangered species.

    It is going a tad bit better, but I do not think that Yak is for me.  I am thinking of knitting this up with some camel that I need to spin.  Those should make some warm mittens.  The fiber was expensive, as much for 2 oz bundles as a normal 4oz, so probably just as well that I don’t enjoy spinning it!  The color though, as always is gorgeous.

    I received my latest 2 packages in record time and safely.  The first is the first installment for 2012 of the CookieA sock club.  It is a beautiful fiery red by Alisha Goes Around called Richness (of Martens) Fingering, which is 75% Superwash Merino, 15% Cashmere and 10% silk.  Obviously very soft.  Along with the yarn, and two e-patterns, (and of course 2 cookie recipes), came another CookieA project bag with a new logo for the 2012 year.  Not sure yet which of the 2 patterns I will knit with this yarn.  I will wait and see what speed knitters on Ravelry post to decide.

    The other package that arrived a little later on the same day (too big to fit in the mailman’s bag), was my recent order from the Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Spinning SAL.  This is fiber from Into The Whirled.  I chose the color Gwydir in English Shetland, 2 bags:

    And 2 bags of the Delectably Delicate color in a Polwarth/Silk blend, along with a matching solid in pink and blue.

    Along with the fiber came these tags for use to label the finished yarn.  Smart marketing, I normally make my own.

    I have wonderful comments on Nancy Bush workshops that I attended over the weekend, but want to wait until my samples are finished up to blog about it.  I will say that I knit so much that weekend, my elbows ached.  My masseuse said that it was my triceps that were strained.  It did feel like I had worked out at the gym.  And who says that knitting is not a form of exercise!

  • knitting1105 10:02 am on February 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Honeysuckle Rose 

    I spun this pencil roving last week, in record time for me (only about 3 days), it was such a joy to spin and very quick.  This is a view of a partial of the 4 oz roving from Fiber Optic.  It is Footnotes Unspun Pencil Roving, color Honelysuckle Rose.

    I loved how the pencil roving split evenly into 2 balls, and needed very little pre-drafting.  It felt like it was practically spinning itself.  Here are the progress photos:

    And, the finished skein.  400 yards of 2-ply, 80% Superwash Merino & 20% Nylon.  Just about the squishiest skein of yarn that I have spun.  Destined to become a pair for socks for ME!  Sorry about the fuzzy photo.  Time for  a new camera I think.

    Returned a little while ago from 1 1/2 days of classes with Nancy Bush.  Photos and details tomorrow!

    • Diane Hamilton 9:09 pm on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very pretty–I hope to see your spinning in action this summer.


    • knitting1105 9:20 pm on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Me too! I miss you. I am anxious to show you my spinning.


  • knitting1105 5:52 pm on February 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Back in the works 

    Remember this shawl that I was knitting up?  Seems I started it in early December, then I got preoccupied with Christmas stuff and other spinning.

    I spun the yarn by combining these 2 fibers, a gradient and a dye break from Fiber Optic

    I knit through the first skein using 2 of the 4 braids.  When I was plying the first skein, I had more of the gradient than the dye break, and had extra green left.  This time I started plying first with the left-over green, then the green from the new braid.  My thought is to have the green knit out and then start heading back to the blue color.  That way I can make the shawl as large as I would like.  The first go-around, I was able to get 830 yards, this time I got 900+, so it might be a tad finer, but not too much, and that is okay, as it is towards the outer part of the shawl anyways.   I feel like this took FOREVER to spin, not exactly sure why.  I have some singles of the blue from the gradient, which I think that I will practice Navajo plying with and keep for mittens.

    I am anxious to continue knitting on this, I have not taken a new photo of the shawl in  awhile, will post progress photos later next week.

    Tomorrow I am taking an all-day class on Haapsula shawls with Nancy Bush, and a 1/2 day class on Sunday on Nordic Knits.  These are some of the wonderful classes offered through my guild, The Windy City Knitting Guild.  It is the first time that I am able to take a class with them.  Last year I had signed up for a few classes with CookieA, but it was cancelled.  Cookie is coming back this April, and I decided to splurge on the entire weekend of classes for that also.  The only problem being that they are not close by, so it is a bit of a drive for me.

    • Mimi 1:52 pm on February 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t wait to see this all finished! Also can’t wait to hear about this weekend’s workshops!


  • knitting1105 6:21 pm on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    The Principles of Knitting 

    I really do not need another knitting reference book.  That doesn’t mean that I will not purchase one, especially when I was in my local independent bookstore, and the owner (also a knitter), pulled out this book and asked if I had seen the reprint.  Seen the reprint, no, I was not even aware of the original.  Apparently this has been an out-of-print reference book (original publication date 1988) that was gaining legendary status and equally large prices on eBay.  By the time that I was really buying knitting books, this was already out of print.  This is not just another reprint by the publishing company with one or two new photos, it is a complete re-write by the original author, June Hemmons Hiatt.   The original data for a reprint was lost, and she was not interested in scanning the book for a facsimile edition.  Instead, she spent 10 years typing the text back into her computer, and in the process rewriting chapters, and adding information.  The book is approximately 100 pages longer than the original (now at 650 pages not including the reference section).  The book is broken down into 8 sections, containing 33 chapters.

    • Learning and Methods
    • Constructing a Fabric
    • Decorative Techniques
    • Special Fabrics
    • Stitch and Color Patterns
    • Pattern Design
    • Materials
    • Working a Project

    The graphics are mostly simple 2-color drawings, with a few photos.  Definitely not a browsing book, this is truly a reference book.  One that will take me quite some time to delve into.

    If you want a preview of the book, this link will show some sample pages that you can read.

    • Lisa 7:06 pm on February 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I was trying for years to get my hands on one. The waiting list at the library was long and I only was able to get my hands on it once. I knew it was being reprinted, and am happy to see it happened. Now to find my own copy.


    • Barbara 5:05 am on February 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure you do need another knitting reference book if it’s this one. I am so pleased that it’s being reissued – I borrowed a copy a while ago and found it full of really useful and insightful material. She desn’t take anyone else’s word for anything – she tries everything out for herself, so you can rely on what she says. Thanks for the info about the reissue.


    • Debbie 2:13 pm on February 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am surprised that there isn’t more buzz in the on-line knitting community about the release of this book! By the time I became a serious knitter in the mid ’90’s, this book was already out of print, and it could only be purchased on the secondary market. Most knitters that have the original think that it is the ultimate knitting reference book.


  • knitting1105 11:48 am on February 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    The Perfect Pairing 

    I decided a couple of weeks ago to use a skein of pink gradient that I had spun last fall (see post on how I spun this fiber here) to make a mystery shawl, not really knowing if it would work or not.   The pattern called for 400 yards, I thought that I had 484 yards.

    It worked!  And I think that the two were a perfect paring.  Really just dumb luck, but the color changes seem to have been planned for this knit.  I had wanted originally to start from the other end of the skein, but could not find the right end when I was winding it up.

    I don’t know if my count was off, or if the pattern really needed more than 400 yards.  I had only 2 yards of yarn left when I finished casting off.  I had been hoping to not use the end of the skein, as my least favorite part was where the darkest pink and white or pale pink combined.  However, the knitting gods knew better, and I think the edge of the lace pattern looks good going back to the dark color.

    I have 3 more braids of this gradient.  I love the colors, and plan on making spinning the rest as a regular gradient for a larger shawl.

    Project Specs

    Pattern: Knitterati 1
    Pattern Source: Knitterati Sock Club
    Yarn: Handspun gradient, fiber from Fiber Optic
    Needles: US 5
    Date Started: 1/19/12
    Date Finished: 1/2/12
    Finished Dimensions: Long, thin scarf

  • knitting1105 3:56 pm on February 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bjork, Colbert Report,   


    Well, I am still working on my Boreal socks, and decided on the second one to try out a short row heel that everyone is talking about in the KAL forum.  I was so intent on trying the new heel technique that I did not think, and knit it to the top of the foot!  Won’t fit my foot, nor anyone else’s I imagine!

    I think that it is a better solution than a simple wrap and knit together short row.  I definitely have to take out this heel, I will compare it to the mate, and see if it is worth taking out that sock to the heel also.  From this photo they look similar, but I think that my mistake heel does not have holes like the other that you see when it is put on…

    On another note, I was watching a recent Colbert Report, and he had the singer Bjork on.  I really want to spin her hair!

    Not sure about the bubble outfit.

    • Tiara 9:18 pm on February 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You’ve seriously brightened by day with this post. I think we all have moments like that. For example, I started a baby cocoon last month and instead of knitting circular I started knitting flat and didn’t even pick up on my error until I was an inch in to the ribbing.


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