Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Road that never ends but just keeps getting better

I have been really into knitting shawls over the last few years. Of course I don't wear them but just love making them. Lately as you know I have been knitting some Orenburg shawls. Today as I was looking at more incredible shawl designs that it hit me all of a sudden like a rock. I WILL NEVER KNIT EVERYTHING I WANT TO KNIT. Yes, there I said it out loud. Now after I have spent a few hours pouting and not believing I realized that this was the case. I mean I have looked at Shetland shawls saying I am going to knit that. Then at Estonian shawls and want to design and knit one. And knit others that are already out there. And then of course I cursed myself further by joining an Orenburg Shawl KAL given by not just a great designed but someone who has actually changed some of the way I look at shawls. She has a great historical knowledge. And there you go. Another 30 or 40 shawls and I see I will never be able to knit what I want. Yes the road never ends for this but each thing I learn and knit just makes it that much better. So there.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Little Arrows - First Design

 Well, I am trying to publish my first design on Ravelry. It is not the first thing that I designed but the first that I actually took the time to write out and publish. I am still working out the kinks.

For the time being they are only in one size but I hope to work out a few others. I also wanted to give a big thanks to Fiona for helping me so much through this process and getting started publishing on Ravelry.

You know making something is not that hard, but having to take the time to write it all down so someone actually understands it is something different.

I am just test knitting these on Ravelry so if you want to test knit for me go to the "Free Pattern Test" group and let me know you want to test these. Once I am sure that the pattern is correct and written well I will offer it for free.

Little Arrows Fingerless Mitten Download

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Orenburg lace, Neibling and other musings

Well, here we go back to the lace kick and of course ordering from on-line. I got in my set of Chiagoo Red Lace Needles.  I also got in 2 of the three Herbert Neibling books that I ordered. I was just watching a course on Craftsy that I ordered........Well Ravelry you have done it again. Below you see the on needle beggining of the Orenburg Shawl that I am doing in Zephyr. The colour is based on what I bought on sale a while back. Orginally it was going to be a stole but with only 1200 yrds or so it is now a small square shawl.

 I am loving lace work as always and more so enjoying learning. My problem is I don't like too many projects on my needles, usually 2, but have so many things I want to do. I wonder if I could just retire and have someone pay me to knit stuff. Somehow I don't think that will happen.

I also wanted to say that I have someone that commented on a few of my blogs...WOW.....there is actually someone reading...so I don't want to say the name although it is easy to check but thanks so much.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fingerless and Lace

Well, I am now finished my kick of fingerless Mittens. I enjoyed making them and even more so enjoy seeing them being worn, but hopefully winter is over and so goes making gloves.

I have made the lace ones, Twined ones, Brocade stitch ones, Cable ones, and self designed lace ones.

But now I am finished them. And of course I have now moved back into my lace knitting which is probably my favorite of all. I have been working on a cobweb lace Unst Stole in black from Sharon Millers "Heirloom Knitting". I put it aside for some winter projects but pulled it back out. It has been extremely challenging given that the lace is on both sides of work and the yarn is like thread. I think I have finally gotten the hang of it.

But just as I started going, I got invited into a "Orenburg Lace" group on Ravelry. Yes, I will once again state the Ravelry can be the death of all things not knitting. You know how you find something, then off on a tangent you go. Well, I put aside the Unst Stole and joined an Orenburg Lace KAL. The women running it is running one in english and one in Russian. I am learning so much from her. I don't know her name but on Ravelry it is "Russian Lily".

One of the things I am learning is how to read a "Holes" based lace chart. This is where the decreases are not on the chart and you just learn where they go instinctively based on a few rules. I am loving this. The other thing I am learning is to really learn the pattern so I don't have to go line by line on the chart. In the olden days, knitters would learn the different patterns so they could knit them from heart. Doing this seems to make the knitting that more enjoyable and their is a rhythm to it that is fantastic.

Of course, it didn't stop there. I had to order some new lace needles, which should be here today or tomorrow. They are Chiagoo Red Lace. And then I spent hours on Ravelry, yes that scoundrel place again, and looked through hundereds of "Herbert Neibling" lace work. And of course you know what comes next.

Yes, that's correct, ordering books of Neibling Patterns which should arrive at the end of March.

That being said I now know what I am doing this summer.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fingerless Mitts - So quick

I have been knitting using the "Twinning' technique for the better part of a month. I made my son some gloves which I absolutely loved. So warm and plush. I made myself some mittens for walking my dog. And now I made my daughter some fingerless Mittens. I loved how they turned out. It was a pattern on Knitty.com called "Larus and Ardea". Very cool.

The one thing is that this type of knitting is very tight so for now I need to give my hands a break. Perhaps I will do some lever knitting. So much fun being able to use different techniques.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Knitting "Twin"ing

I have been searching for years for the warmest mittens I could make. This does not include "Thrum" mittens. I don't want big bulky things, but rather sleek mittens to walk my dog on the cold days. My best pair to date were my "Incredible Checkerboard" mittens from Robin Hanson. These are simple stranded mitts, where the strand creates a double layer. Actually in eastern Canada/US they are known as Double Knitting.

While I love these and have made quite a few, they still let the wind pass through. I next tried to actually double knit (two sides at once) with Cascade on the outside and Misti Alpaca on the inside. Well, these are the softest that I have done and with no wind are extremely warm. The problem is that when the wind howls they are worse then the stranded ones.

Given my obsessive nature to find the perfect pair, as those of you who know me know I will, I then took a class with the "Yarn Harlot" on Matawa Mittens. Now the class actually did not turn out to be about mittens but it was about Matawa. And Stephanie did bring along her Matawa mittens. These looked good and felt warm. I still can't say about the wind as I did not have them outside. So, I ordered 3 skeins of hankies from Blue Moon Fibre. They arrived a few weeks back. Now I wish I could say I have made these mittens but instead tried something else.

I had just read about "Purl Inlay" technique in my "Principles of Knitting" book so decided I would do the outside as a regular mitten but use the Matawa for the Purl inlay. basically this is just stranding it and locking it in after every stitch on the inside. I finished one mitten. The problem though is that the Matawa has no stretch. So while it was warm and probably good against the wind, you could feel the matawa bindings and it felt terrible. I still want to make some actual Matawa linings but that is for another post.

So, know you are thinking "I read all this, but what does this have to do about twins". Okay....Over the holidays my son was looking for a pair of gloves for me to knit. He wanted them in one colour but warm. I figured I could do stranded using the same color for warmth but then saw something new in my "Principles" book. It was a technique called "Twining". I think it is from the area of Sweden. I had seen it before but never tried it. While, I had a few weeks during the holiday so grabbed some Sublime Marino extra fine DK and sought out to make a Twined Glove. As I began to knit this I started to fall in love with the results. Plush, warm, soft, and looking like they would do great in the wind.

I finished the pair and gave them to my son. Unfortunately this does not allow me to try them out much. So I then searched and found some new books on twining. One is called "New Twists" on Twining by Laura Farson. Wow...Anyways I have just tried making my first Twined Mitten. Actually it is a twined with a reverse stitch. Incredible. Well I am not sure about my colors, you can see below are some pictures of the outside and even better looking the inside. Also note the purl band. I want to work on my decrease ending as I like something more rounded but I am hooked on this technique. Now I am making the second and then off to some slippers from a second twining book from Laura

 Below (inside of mitten)