Updates from March, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 1:31 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Because I love color! 

    This long, dreary, cold, icy, snowy, interminable winter is getting to me. My spring break last week was hardly that, and they are calling for snow this week! Color is a great comfort. So, I pulled out the yarn that I had spun this winter, Reef by Fiber Optic.



    And I turned to my new book, Lovely Knitted Lace by Brooke Nico to choose a pattern.


    While this is not the pattern that I really want to knit from the book, I like the look the yardage requirements were almost perfect.  Poppy Shawl.



    Here is my start.  At least the sun was shining for photos.






    • Diane Hamilton 8:39 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love the colors, it will look beautiful on you as you watch the sunset on Lake Michigan!


      • knitting1105 1:35 pm on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oh, it is indeed a sunset shawl!


    • Linda 6:17 am on March 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Wow!! This is going to be beautiful! Can’t wait to see the finished garment.


      • knitting1105 9:25 am on April 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, maybe another week of knitting…


  • knitting1105 1:52 pm on March 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Lace in my future 

    Recently, I have added a few knitting books to my fairly expansive knitting book library.  These are the newest lace books. First I purchased The Magic Of Shetland Lace Knitting which had been on my Amazon wish list for a while, and when I placed an order recently decided that it was time to purchase this book. This book is primarily a short review of Shetland knitting, details of lace knitting, and an awesome stitch pattern dictionary.  There are a few projects at the end, I would recommend this book more as a source book. Techniques for designing your own Shetland shawl are incorporated in the book.



    After showing this book to a knitting friend, she recommended A Legacy of Shetland Lace, written by the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers.  This is the polar opposite from the previous, as it is basically a book of lace patterns. Nothing is screaming out to me to knit at the moment, but I will come back to this at some point in the future.  Here is a really great review of this book by Kate Davies.




    Lovely Knitted Lace is a brand new book by Brooke Nico, which has 16 beautiful projects using the 4 basic shapes of triangles, rectangles, circles, and squares.  Last Fall I took a class from Brooke at Vogue Knitting Live and fell in love with some of the samples from this book, in particular the Camellia Dolman (which is featured on the cover).  This one definitely has my name on it, I really want to make it with handspun, but may not be able to wait for the spinning as the yardage is large.  The concept of lace knitting some uniquely shaped garments really intrigues me.




  • knitting1105 6:28 pm on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Honey to Fig 

    I cannot believe that I have not posted for 2 weeks!  Must be that all of my energy is going into shoveling snow and attempting to stay warm.  We are on the 3rd snowiest winter ever, and it is not yet halfway through February.  Everyone is hoping that we do not break the record books.

    During this hibernation phase, I have finished up my Semele shawl using the Honey to Fig gradient from Fiber Optic that I spun last Fall.  There were several false starts with various patterns, so the real knitting with the final pattern chose actually was only about 2 weeks.



    Having a pattern that was knit from side to side for this gradient became an obsession with me, not quite sure why.  Three different patterns were tried before I settled on Semele, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  This pattern allowed me to knit 1/2 of the shawl increasing and then start to decrease.  Either my calculations were incorrect, or the 2nd half of the braids were spun thinner.  In either case, I am still happy and I have some leftover deep purple for future use.

    Here is a photo blast for this yet again cold day. Colors were hard to capture, as it went from a golden-yellow to a very deep purple.







    Pattern: Semele
    Pattern Source: Downloaded pattern
    Yarn: Handspun gradient Honey to Fig from Fiber Optic
    Needles: US 6
    Date Started: 1/9/14
    Date Finished: 2/8/14
    Finished Dimensions: 68″ wide x 37″ deep

    • Diane Hamilton 12:15 am on February 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      First I love the name–definitely one that you need to keep for yourself. I also love the colors and the edging, it turned out beautiful. As always, you did a great job!


    • chikwithyarn 7:23 am on February 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love this yarn. I have just started spinning myself. How do you spin the fiber so the color stays together so you get an ombré look?


      • knitting1105 9:47 am on February 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! If you spin your fiber evenly, regardless of the weight, the colors will match with Kimber’s fibers. If there is some overlap, I leave it to allow for more transition (which I prefer), if there is too much I break off a section (but usually not). Hope that answers your question. Her fibers are so beautiful, they always look great spun up.


    • janice bauerle 11:36 am on February 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful Frances!!! Love the colors and detail along the edge


  • knitting1105 8:13 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Knitting TM 


    Knitting is the new yoga is a phrase often heard amongst knitters, and we like to point out that we accomplish things at the same time.  As a yoga student, it has the meditative properties, but my abs and triceps benefit little from my knitting, try as I might.  Today I was watching a talk show and they were taking about Transcendental Meditation and the associated health benefits.  I was working on my current shawl, at a point in the middle of each row, where it is mindless stockinette stitch, and thought this is TM also.  A quick google turned up this yoga retreat site that taught knitting as a meditative part of the retreat.

    Knitting relieves stress for me, and comes out in times of crisis to keep me centered.  It always is my solution for people going through difficult times in their lives, whether they be personal or physical.  Some heed my advise, most look at me as if I were crazy.

    This is my current shawl, Semele.  I have added extra increases to make it a true shawl, you all know my less than passionate feelings towards “shawlettes”.  Seems like any “ettes” are simply excuses for not having the completed full thing.  The other rational was to use all of the yarn that I have, this is a handspun gradient from Fiber Optic, Honey to Fig. There were many false starts to this shawl, as I was determined that this gradient wanted to go side to side.  This pattern was perfect, as you knit increasing until you have used almost 1/2 the yarn, then start decreasing.  I might have pushed the envelope a bit on this one, but I do have a back-up plan in my head if I run out of yarn at the end.

    Here is my progress, I am approaching the end quickly, having knit the majority of the body.  I was in a fog, took me quite awhile to get the hang of the pattern repeat. And the cast-on befuddled me, as the first leaf is backwards, I kept thinking that I had made a mistake.  It is advisable to read all the directions for a pattern first prior to starting to knit!





    “Like the counting of the rosary, the motions of needlework are singularly well suited to the practice of contemplation”  –From The Knitting Sutra by Susan Gordon Lydon

    • CWLFibers 8:16 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Oh how beautiful.


      • knitting1105 8:25 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you! Better lighting and blocking will show it off more. I am anxious to get to the purple colors.


    • Carla 8:27 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you about shawlettes. If I want something to make it is going to have a purpose more than cute. Mine is to keep my shoulders and neck warm summer and winter. And they all look lovely than. What a pain sometimes to i figure out the increases, but so worth it in the end.


      • knitting1105 8:31 pm on January 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        My shawls become scarves in the winter, a quick pull over in a cold restaurant, and something light on a cool summer evening. Shawlettes just dont cover all that. The increases were easy to figure out with this pattern, I will elaborate on Ravelry and in my last post. Thanks!


    • beccasimplified 9:46 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Aww…I just posted about my love for shawlettes 😉 They aren’t so bad. I do love that gradient yarn though, and the effect you’re getting along the edge, it’s beautiful.


      • knitting1105 6:20 pm on February 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry, not meaning to offend, I just like a big shawl to wrap around me.


    • hoppinglark 11:34 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      What a great post and a beautiful shawl.


  • knitting1105 3:02 pm on October 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Eiffel Tower, Paris   



    I love anything Paris, especially the Eiffel Tower.  This pattern had been in my queue for a while, and when I finished spinning the Falkland fiber Glacial, from Spunky Electric, I knew that I wanted to knit up this pattern for a friend.

    Preblocking you can even see the details of the arches and metal scrollwork.


    And after blocking it is beautiful.



    Pattern: Eiffel Tower
    Pattern Source: From Natalie Servant Designs
    Yarn: Handspun from Spunky Electric, color: Glacial; fiber:  Falkland
    Needles: US 4
    Date Started: 8/8/13
    Date Finished: 8/19/13
    Finished Dimensions: 58″ wide x 32″ deep

    • Manning 9:00 pm on October 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Oh Francoise, that turned out so lovely.


  • knitting1105 2:32 pm on October 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Heart Healthy 

    This shawl was knit up for a charity auction this winter to benefit Women’s Heart Health.  The yarn was donated to my friend Jane from Loopy Yarns, and she asked me to knit something up with it.  Since it was expensive yarn, with a bit of Bison in it (90% Merino, 10% Bison), I wanted a pattern to use up as much as possible.  I chose Haurni, which I had knit previously as a gift, I had 2 skeins and since the border takes about 40% of the yarn, I started the border at a convenient point after finishing the first skein.  Fun pattern, and it did not disappoint a second time.  The yarn had a very high twist to it, and was not exactly soft to knit with, akin to knitting with cotton, although it did block out nicely.  Would not be my go-to yarn for a project.





    Pattern: Haurni
    Pattern Source: Free Ravelry download
    Yarn: Alisha Goes Around Tracks of bison Fingering
    Needles: US 4
    Date Started: 8/8/13
    Date Finished: 8/19/13
    Finished Dimensions: 58″ wide x 29″ deep

    • ghostfaceknitter 3:15 pm on October 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      interesting with the bison content. but you did a beautiful job. pattern is clear and perfect. 🙂


    • Diane 7:49 pm on October 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      What a gorgeous shawl and to such a worthy cause!


    • Linda 8:15 am on October 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      What a gorgeous shawl! Always looking for new patterns; can’t wait to do this one. Beautiful!


  • knitting1105 1:09 pm on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    This shawl was completed last week, after I got home from Michigan, and finally settling down to my new normal.  The past 2 1/2 years have been traveling to Michigan, first to be with my good friend Judy as she succumbed to ALS, then supporting my Mom who broke her femur the day that Judy passed, subsequently contacting an infection in her knee that she was never able to overcome. I am happy that my life and work allowed me to be there often and when needed for both of these special people.

    This shawl started in the late winter as beautiful hand dyed gradient roving from Fiber Optic.


    It evolved into this beautiful yarn, 1250 yards for 8 ounces, I was very proud of this output.

    IMG_1277 IMG_1276

    And finally into this gorgeous shawl which I started knitting on our first bullet train ride in Japan, and worked on while sitting with my Mom, finishing up after getting back home.  It is gargantuan, 84″ across, and when the weather is not so hot and muggy, will envelop me in memories.



    Pattern: Ice Fantasia
    Pattern Source: Twist Collective
    Yarn: Handspun from Fiber Optic roving
    Needles: US 6
    Date Started: 5/25/13
    Date Finished: 7/7/13
    Finished Dimensions: 84″ wide x 31″ deep

    • Joanne Wood 5:25 pm on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      wow it is beautiful may it comfort you for many years to come


    • Diane 11:03 pm on July 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      This is absolutely beautiful and what a wonderful way to keep Mom and Judy’s memory alive. Every time you wear the shawl, think of some good time you had with Mom or Judy.


  • knitting1105 7:42 pm on June 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The Longest Day 

    This solstice evening finds me knitting in the comfort of my lounge chair on the back porch, listening to the birds, and enjoying a cool breeze (in lieu of the scorcher that had been predicted, thanks to an afternoon storm). I am working on my shawl using the Fiber Optic gradient Turquoise to Tangerine that I spun up a couple of months ago. I started this on our trip to Japan, and worked on it while sitting with my Mom in Hospice, she is still hanging on but my brothers are with her. There will be a lot of different memories associated with this article, it is something that I certainly need to keep for myself. My Mom got to see it in progress and loved the colors.

    It is addictive knitting and watching the gradients evolve, I love it! I chose not to do the bind off with the pattern, as it would not have kept the gradient intact. The pattern is Ice Fantasia by Anne Hanson. Instead I opted for another repeat of the last section, and now need to figure out how to end it. This may be the hardest part.


  • knitting1105 8:43 pm on June 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Slow and Steady 

    Slow but steady progress on this shawl, Ice Fantasia by Anne Hanson. The last of 3 pattern designs on the main body of the shawl require doing lace work on the reverse side. I am not a fan of this, it is just not intuitive for me. I had purchased the pattern to have on my iPad, but had to print out the center section and this last repeat, as this PDF is locked, and therefore my PDF marking tools are not working. I am getting in the hang of it though.

    The bigger of my 2 skeins of the handspun is finished now, I might have the unusual problem of more yarn than I need. For this project I really want to use all of the skeins to get the full color repeats. Normally I would weight the yarn before and after a row to try and gauge how much yardage I will need at the end to finish up. Being away from home, I did not bring my scale, so therefore will put in a lifeline and start the knitted cast off edging. First 15 more rows in this pattern, and we will see how much of this new cake I have used up.

    The colors here are very close to another shawl which was pale green to yellow to a light orange. The turquoise color is really needed to give this shawl a distinct appearance from the other. I am starting to wonder just how many handspun, hand knit shawls one person can need… That theory will be tested shortly.


  • knitting1105 5:18 am on June 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    During our recent trip to Japan I was on the hunt for Japanese knitting books, particularly the pattern books. Trolling the bookstore around the corner from our hotel in Kyoto and in Tokyo I was able to score some. I did visit one knitting store, the yarn was all on cones, I don't need any more yarn, and their book selection was not the best.

    The Faroese shawl that I started in Japan continues on. I had to rip back a major section, without a lifeline in place, and that set me back. I am knitting this from a PDF on my iPad. Unfortunately, this pattern is locked somehow, which will not allow me to mark my place in the pattern. It is getting a bit confusing, I have not had this problem with sock patterns (the only other type that I have tried). I was able to use JDKnit PDF reader program to at least turn the charts around so that they all face in the same direction. Any input from tech-savy knitters would be greatly appreciated.

    This yarn is a handspun gradient from Fiber Optic. I am quite pleased with my spinning, it is a lace weight, 1250 yards for 8 ounces. The bigger color changes should start happening soon


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