Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The miracle that is blocking - part 2.

Progress piccies, NB they're not squif, the photos are!
See you in the morning :o)

The miracle that is blocking!

A teasing title really... sorry! I haven't actually done the blocking yet.

DD's trainset is all over the living room floor (known as the 'front' room in our house, but I am posh on here) and I feel too mean about putting it away to lay out my soggy yarn mass. DH took a long time to build it (the train set, that is)and it is very complicated with several levels and bridges, stations, tunnels etc.

So, plan B, I have a 'back' room too. HAHAHA. But... the back room is smaller so all the big kids' stuff (it's their room really) needs to be cleared to the sides and the floor hoovered, etc. before my precious goes onto it. Add to that the fact that I have reorganised all my craft stuff and cannot find the plastic bags I use to lay blocking out on. I have stalled.

But whilst we wait here is a photo of the preblocked but mainly finished shawl.

It took two balls of Posh Yarn Lucia with just the little bit in the bottom right of the photo left over. I did 13 repeats of the pattern after the set up rows and i LOVE it. The only place there has been any pooling of the colours is on the edging which looks great too. The yarn is soft and gorgeous to knit with, possibly my best ever knit as far as the 'process' goes, enjoyed watching it grow every stitch of the way.

So I can procrastinate no longer, I must away, to block. More later :o)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dither ye not!

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I decided! More of a 'stick a pin in it' job than careful logical deduction/reasoning. VBG

So it is Leaf Lace Shawl by Fibretrends.


I was feeling especially smug at how much I had got done during the day, whilst ignoring/being hassled by little Miss 3 yrs. I was even smugger at how quickly it seemed to be growing and how 'easy' the 4 ply is after knitting with Laceweight for the VLT shawl (see earlier post).

Ha, smug comes before a fall ;o)

Sat down last night to continue and realised I had an error about 2 repeats back and with no lifeline that meant slow tinking back. Having finally found the error (further back than I thought and after many false starts) I managed just one repeat before bedtime finally broke down my reluctance and screamed at me that I had to get up in 6 hours.

Still dithering about quantities and whether there will be enough :o) Just using the two matched balls for this one and then will try to squeeze a basket shoulder shawl out of the other ball.

DD still says "are you knitting ANOTHER shawl?" and "Shawls are for old ladies!" I told her they aren't and that even if they are there is nothing wrong with being old. Actually there is a lot right with being 'old' I feel completely happy about wearing whatever I like whenever I want to for a start. That is more than Madame 13 yrs can say, she of the Goth/Emo cross always dressed in black or bright pink! Hahahha. Shawls Rock!

PS Colour much better in real life btw.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I was intending to make the Shaolwater shawl by fibretrends from this yarn.

However, because I do not know the different between 'sport' and 'fingering' *rolls eyes* I have not ordered enough of this lushious yarn. I bought the 3 skeins from a Posh Yarn One Off Wednesday sale so I can't get any more. The UK name is 4 ply of course - or at least I think it is - this is a sock yarn. I could always just make socks!

Next 'problem' is that the three, although very close, are not the same. Not sure if it's that obvious in a photo but irl they are definately different. Now, that is an expected consequence/side effect of being hand dyed and I am not annoyed about it for it's self, variety is the spice ... and all that. Plus I like both variations of the colourway (called carnival btw). But this means I don't have enough for a lot of other shawl patterns either.

The main problem is that if it isn't straight forward and easy to decide then I dither, and I dither and I ... dither! Can I make a shawl by knitting from 2 balls at one and stranding the unsued yarn up the side? No, I don't think so ... but maybe. Dither.
Perhaps do the body in the 2 that are the same and the third one for the edging? Dither.

Can I make the shawl smaller by doing fewer repeats? Yes, but how will I know I have enough left for the edging? Dither.
Shall I just choose a different pattern for which 330yds x 2 will be enough?

Like the flower basket shoulder shawl (above) perhaps? Or maybe ... dither .

How about the forest canopy shawl (below), I like that one. Is there enough yarn in 2 balls for that? Dither.

On a more decisive note, *rolls eyes*, I am making progress on the lace shawl from VLT, although I have ground to a hault with K's cardi, even though I am on the sleeves and could probably finish this with an evenings dedication. Not sure I like the colour. Dither.

Did I say more decisive? Oh dear.

If I have a fiver for every time I've got the various shawl patterns out of their places to reread the yarn requirements I'd be a rich woman.

Moral? Buy more yarn than you think you need! Hah! That idea makes me smile. :o)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Oh and the little cat (who may not be getting much bigger if she doesn't watch it!) has jumped up and damaged one of the blinds. Grrrr! Already! Double Grrr!

sock stash

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

In the absence of lace piccies here's a flash of the sock yarn stash. £ skeinns of Posh Yarn for a shawl, maybe Shoalwater? 5 months of Sock Club yarn (might actually make some socks from this one day *rolls eyes*), some Cherry Tree Hill (bottom right) bought on Angel Yarn Forum 2 balls of Opal for a little person's jumper and some Ladybird Opal for socks for me - maybe, I did want another ball of this to knit another little jumper but they discontinued it :o(. The royal blue is thermal sock yarn bought on eBay to knit some socks for my Grandma, as they were going to be a Christmas present for the one before last I think they may end up as something else.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Still Plodding

Ok, still at it! Up to 26 repeats now, need 49 in total so I'm more than half way there - which feels good :o)

Have also finished the fronts for the little girl's cardi in Snowflake - I'll try to get the scanner to work to add a photo *rolls eyes at technical ineptitude* Started the back last night. Meant to just cast on but there were only 6 rows of rib and before I knew it I was flying up the back. Lovely quick knit after the lace :o) Lace so far seems flawless (famous last words) so that is making me smile.

Bought some venetian blinds for the bay window and took down the curtains and roman blinds - suddenly my room is so much bigger, I like that so that is making me smile too :o) I have to keep opening and closing them! Because I can.

Nearly forgot to say, I went a bit spendy *blushes* at last nights Posh Yarn Sunday sale bought some more lace and some DK in yummy colours I'll share when it arrives. Their postal service is usually excellent, I hope it s as good when Dee relocates to Wales as at the mo. I usually get my parcel the day after it is posted.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Plodding on

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Still knitting lace. I think I need a tripod! On repeat 22 only 26 more to go, nearly half way, nearly half way, keep teling myself nearly half way :o) Bored of the 8 row pattern repeat but happy with how it's turning out so far.


I keep looking at the photo in the book and thinking to myself - it'll be worth it. Maybe something more comlicated would be 'easier' if that makes sense! But I have the hang of the pattern and can tell straight away if I am going wrong. Famous last words... I estimate another week of this central panel before I move on to the edging. Plod. Plod. Plod.

I have also cast on for a Snowflake cardi for DD2 just as an easy pattern to have around during the day. Bright pink, ss no shaping, fluffy, silly yarn which doesn't show the stitches.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lace = frogging!

Flushed with success, after finishing my first 'proper'* lace shawl, I headed for Vitorian Lace Today.

I chose this pattern from page 50. Full of confidence I cast on and knitted three repeats of the chart (first go at a chart *shock*).

Pants! Absolute pants! Lace is a bugger for showing errors! 3 repeats frogged and cast on again.

Last night and tonight I have now knitted 5 repeats in total. From memory that means I still have another 43 to go. VBG.

Lessons learnt? Count on every wrong side row. Are there still 70 stitches? If not tink it back and do it again. Don't imagine it will all work out ok if you have one stitch too many or too few!

Now I have got my 'eye in' I can see where the s2k1psso should go to get the pattern correct and I need only go back one section to correct my most recent error, but boy do they keep creeping in. You see, I thought I could count but ...

Having said all of the above using a chart is much easier than trying to look from written instructions to the knitting and see where I should be. With practice I think this will get even easier. This chart is a doddle but the knitting is not so easy to read. I think this is beacuse the pattern is not as obvious as some.

Maybe the dark yarn doesn't help either but I love it! It is Cecilia from Posh Yarn in a colour called 'Gothic' which i bought in a 'One Off Wednesday' sale before Christmas. I now have quite a lot of Posh Yarn's Yarn *shock*, Hard to believe I know, but no, really I have! The true colour is somewhere between these two pictures - need new batteries for the camera and too lazy to walk to the kitchen and get any. Valuable knitting and blogging time would be wasted, you understand!

Not much there yet, is there. To coin a phrase, I may be some time...
I wonder if I need a daytime project on the go too? Hmmm? What was that I said last post about doing some sewing? *whistles and looks away* :o)
I just realised I didn't mark the stitch for where to begin knitting on the border - oh more pants!
*I know there is no 'proper' lace and that lace in thicker guages is also lace but you know what I mean - my first fine guage shawl. :o)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Finished! Shawl is completed, at last!

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Got there in the end :o) Very chuffed!

Started this on 8th August 2006 finished blocking last night, 3rd January 2007. I know this becuase I wrote down where I had got to at the end of each session - otherwise I'd never have remembered! It took 12 evenings work approx 3 - 4 hours per night.

Blocking made a big difference to the size. Went up to 59" x 33" here's how it looks without me. VBG was 40" x 24" prior to blocking *shock*


Pattern: from Posh Yarn's Lace Club
Yarn: cobweb Arabella (I think) from Posh Yarn
30% cashmere 70% merino
50g, 795 yards (lots left from a 100g skein)
Colour: Mulberry
needles: used my smallest Denises as I didn't have the correct (smaller) size for the pattern

Near disaster last night as I started to block and discovered a HOLE where the edging was beginning to unravel at the botton point! Eck! Sewed it up with the tail of yarn. Did this after I had blocked it. Lots of good info about tis sort of thing in Heirloom Kntting. It looks okay now. But you can see it in this photo I took whilst it was blocking.


Things I found difficult about the pattern? mainly the edging. I had a totaly different look to the line where I attached the edging from the photgraph that came with the pattern, mine is much lacier. I think this is due to not having slipped the first stitch of each row. The pattern said to attach to body of shawl on every row but that would have been too stretched for my shawl so I attached every other row. First I couldn't work out the reverse shaping and then the mistakes I made ment frogging back the other side of the edging. When i came to knit it again i ended up having to use the reversed edging pattern as the shaping was wrong when I tried to repeat the directions I had used the first time. i obviously did it backwards, but it came out correct! The purling was on the wrong side the knitting on the right. *shrugs shoulders* Hey, i don't know the reason, I just work here! But it all turned out fine and I am eager to try another shawl.

Next time, I will use laceweight rather than cobweb, just to see if it is easier. I will use the correct needle size *rolls eyes* as the fabric of this shawl is very see threw (which i like but wouldn't suit a lot of patterns). So now I just need to decide which yarn and which pattern for the new shawl. Maybe circular or maybe a stole, hmm so many choices... Maybe 4 ply, maybe not, variegated? Solid? Isn't it great to have so many options?

To answer Di's question - I don't have enough time to do it all -haven't sewn a thing for ages - so behind, (note to self- must stop self knitting to keep committments to sewing forum). Ho hum, oh for more hours in the day. Thank you for the positive feedback, it makes me smile! :o)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

shawl PS

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I think there is an error in the forth flower repeat as well, and I am NOT frogging that one! So I will jut be Amish and pretend I put that there on purpose to save offending God, who is the only one allowed to create perfection, so there!

Shawl pre blocking

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

As it is it measures 24" neck to point and 40" along the neck edge.

Ok, ok! The error on the edging is BUGGING me so I will have to frog! Grrr! Besides the blocking will only make it look worse. Bah! Rippit, rippit!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Lace Shawl number 1

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Happy New Year to All :o)

This is to be the year of Lace!

Here is the first lace project for 2007. It is the free pattern which came with my Lace Club (Posh Yarn) membership in August. I started it straight away but in a finer lace than the one which came as the club lace yarn that month. Maybe that was a mistake but I have loved this project and picked it up and put it aside depending on the demands of the months as they passed. I also didn't have circular needles in the small size called for in the pattern as my Denis's don't go down that far, so I just used the smallest ones I had :o)

The pattern for the centre isn't hard to remember but I have diligently followed the longhand instructions rather than the chart. In 2007 I hope to do another shawl reading the chart instead. At first I could manage a couple of pattern repeats in a session but by the end 1 was a struggle, I haven't counted how many stitches there were by the cast off! You have no idea how hard I had to scold myself to make me do the last two repeats, I tried it on to guess if it would be long enough after blocking several times, and I mean several. But no I was firm with myself and using the phot on the pattern as a guide I kept going and going and going until I was loosing the will to live. Finally I got to the border and mistakenly heaved a sigh of relief in the hollow conviction that I was entering the home straight and the new year might even see it finished and blocked ready to display, no such luck!

At this stage I am still knitting on the border. When I did this for my gran's shawl I found it very satisfying, this pattern is a little harder, or I am paying less attention!

Near the top of the sidethat I have finished, I made a mistake but just kept going and on future repeats was more careful to count my rows correctly. Now that I have photograhed it I see that the error is obvious and I should really pull this side out and redo it. Grrr! Drat! and other not so polite words!

Will I bother to do this, or just hope no one ever sees or if they do that they are too polite to mention it. Hmmm! Not decided. The part of me that nagged to do the 'correct' number of repeats is nagging to frog and reknit to achieve that elusive erfection that my Virgoan nature craves (and fails so often to attain, near enough is good enough, right?)

Besides, I have another problem as I am now working down the other edge and the pattern says 'reverse the shaping'. Oh, eh? What does that mean. I can do the basic of putting the descreases and yo in the other way round in the pattern, ie after the yo k4 instead of before, but should I substitute k2tog for the skpsso? Or, should I leave them as skpsso? Why do pattern writers assume I have knowledge of anything?

Note to self: when writing up patterns do not assume your reader knows anything about anything, ever. Which reminds me I must type up the pattern for the top I made DD1 and send it to Tess. Ho hum!

So tonights task (how quickly can I get DD2 to bed and how early is acceptable for bathtime?) is to finish the edging on side two (guessing how to reverse shaping) and then to ponder whether to frog side one. Oh dear I do hate to have to make decisions. I guess that having taken 5 months to get this far I really SHOULD frog, shouldn't I? Ho hum!