Lace Knitting

I really love lace knitting and I read some simple but every effective tips that was posted by Lynn, a member of my knitting guild, from Sivia Harding here.

I started on a wonderful lace shawl called the Peacock Feathers Shawl designed by Dorothy Siemens in January.  I am knitting it in JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 Lace Weight Yarn in white.

DSC03593As you can see from it’s baby picture (at 10 stitches) it is tiny when it starts out. It begins with three stitches and then increases every other row to create a triangular shape.  I am now at 204th  row and have 406 stitches on the needle.  It will eventually grow to 495 stitches in row 249.  So, it takes longer and longer to do each row.

It will not reach it true beauty until it is finished and blocked.

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I have a few more tips on lace knitting that I have learned through the years from trial and error.

  • Use plenty of stitch markers.  In this shawl, I used one in the center, and then one between each pattern repeat.
  • Count and then count some more.  I count the number of stitches between the markers once I finish that section to make sure I have knitted the pattern correctly.  It is very easy to miss a yarn over.  It is much easier to catch and fix the mistake right when it happens than two rows later.
  • Learn to read the pattern.  If you know your pattern and know how to read your knitting, you will see immediately when you are knitting is out of sync with the pattern.

The only good thing about this extreme cold and snowfall in the northeast is that I have more time to knit and the shawl is going very fast.

Keep on knitting!

Ruth

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A Challenge

My friend Lynne handed me a plastic bag and said make an afghan with it.  Before I had a chance to say anything, she was off doing something else.  I bought the bag home and found eight balls of yarn labeled, Berella “4″ Knitting Worsted Weight in a color called, Wine Mist.  Lynne collects acrylic yarn for charity knitting and coordinates and lot of different charity projects.  She knows that I like to make afghan squares.  So, what do I do with this?

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The color was rather drab and I did not want to make a whole afghan with it.  The bag sat in my hallway for a few days.

Inspiration hit me when I was looking through the Spring 2014 Creative knitting magazine. Why do they publish these magazines so far ahead?  Well anyway, an interesting pattern called  a Pop Art Afghan designed by Beth Whiteside caught my eye. The afghan is built from short-row strips of stockinette stitch squares that are reminiscent of American folk art.  The squares in the magazine were made up of very bright colors.

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I decided that I could use my yarn with some brighter colors to contrast it.  Here is my square:

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Not quite as bright as the Pop Art Afghan but it looked interesting to me.  I am not sure now much of the off-white yarn I have but I think I can mix in some of my other left-over yarns with my wine mist.  I can always ask Lynne for some more yarn! I will let you know and show you how it turns out.  I am up to the challenge.

Happy and healthy New Year to everyone.  Keep on knitting!

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Whoo Hoo

Ok, what am I whoo hooing about?  I just finished the sampler afghan whose squares have been sitting around for about 13 years.  My husband kept saying that he does not like different patterns in an afghan – he wants it all one pattern but once I put it together, he loved it.  He wants to keep it.  It is a generous 56″ X 67 “. What do you think?

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Keep on knitting!

Ruth

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Crochet Bobbles

In the previous century, I bought a Leisure Arts booklet called 60 Easy-To-Knit Pattern Stitches Combine to Create Sampler Afghans.  I was so excited that I decided that I was going to knit all 60 squares and make three afghans and give them as gifts to my mother, my mother-in-law and my sister.

As I was cleaning up and organizing my UFOs I discovered that I had made 16 squares.  It was time to finish up this project!  I could knit four more squares and do just one afghan.

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As I was zipping along, the twentieth square, called the Large Bobble Rib, bought me to a grinding halt.  Why?  Because  I hate knitting bobbles!  All that back and forth on a small number of stitches drive me crazy.  This square had 9 bobbles on every fourth row.  I will probably have to do more than 160 bobbles to finish this square.  Can I endure this torture?

I couldn’t do it – I put it down after the first bobble.  Did I want this to remain an UFO for another 15 years? NO – I will not let a bobble defeat me.  I then remembered that I pinned a tutorial on how to crochet bobbles into a knitted project (see here).

I tried it and I could not believe how easy it is and the bobbles look so uniform.  I am actually having fun knitting (and crocheting) this square.

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I am well on my way to finishing my square.  I will post pictures of the finished afghan soon and it will be another Sean’s Gift blanket.

Keep on knitting!

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Sean’s Gift

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My Mom was cleaning up her condo and gave me this blanket that she and my aunts (her sisters-in-law) had made from scraps.  It is made up 11 X 15 granny squares.  It is a generous  54 X 72 inches.   It is colorful, big and beautiful until I turned it over.

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There were tails every where.  For some reason, my Mom and my aunts decided that leaving the tails on the back of the blanket was fine.

I decided to calculate how many tails I have to weave in.  There are a 165 squares and at least 2 tails per square which leaves me with a minimum of 330 tails to take care of!

I decided to donate the blanket and my friend, Lynne, said it would be the perfect blanket for Sean’s Gift.  Sean LaPersonerie was a 24 year old veteran home from Iraq when he was hit by a car crossing a local street in his Long Island, NY hometown on New Year’s Eve 2011. Four days later he died of his injuries. Sean was an organ donor and his mother found comfort in a hand made blanket that was placed on Sean while they were waiting for the organ retrieval to take place. Sean’s mom founded SEAN’S GIFT, a non-profit, dedicated to providing the same comfort she was given.

I now feel silly complaining about how many tails I have to weave in as I think about the family who will receive this blanket as they morn the loss of a loved one.  My Mom, my aunts and I are are grateful that we can be a small part in comforting a family.

Keep on knitting!

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Grafting

I am working on Eisig-Warm by dreamersplace in navy, silver grey, beige and dusty green in Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Choice.  It is a fun design all worked in garter stitch and I was zipping through it until I got to the line in the direction that said: join the stripy block and the main block with kitchener stitch.

Well, I have made many top-down socks that requires a kitchener stitch to graft the two sides of the toe together, so I though I knew what I was doing.  I also have a little cheat sheet that a lady named Georgia gave me when I took her sock class at one of my local yarn stores.

Here is the little cheat sheet (which I keep in little pouch that houses all my darning needles):

F  P  on

B  K  on

F  K  off      repeat

F  P  on         x

B  P  off         x

B  K  on         x

The F is for the front needle and the B if for the back needle.  The P is to insert the darning needle as if to purl and the K is to insert the darning needle as if to knit.  The on says to leave the stitch on the knitting needle after you pull the darning needle through the stitch as indicated.  The off says to pull the stitch off the knitting needle after after you pull the darning needle through.

The first two lines are only done once in preparation for the repeat of the next four lines until all the stitches are grafted together and removed off the knitting needles.

I love the way Georgia boiled the kitchener stitch to its simplest terms.  Her little typed up sheet looks just like what I typed it up – nothing fancy.

Now back to my Eisig-Warm cowl.  When I got to the part where I had to join my stripy block to my main block, I pulled out Georgia’s cheat sheet and grafted both sides together in no time but my join did not look right.  (I wish I had enough foresight to have taken a picture)!  In the middle of my wonderful garter stitch ridges, I had a row of stockinette!  I could not figure out what went wrong.  I though I had to do the graft on the wrong side.  I took it all out and tried again and again and again and again in many different ways – all with horrible results.

I put it away for a day to think about it and it finally occurred to me that I have to do something different to graft garter stitches together.  I found a wonderful explanation in The Knitter’s Companion and I was able to get the graft done correctly.  There is even more types of grafting explained in the Reader’s Digest Knitter’s Handbook.  I found headings for knit grafting, purl grafting, garter-stitch grafting, ribbing grafting, grafting to stitch lines and grafting to rows.

For now, I just concentrated on the garter-stitch grafting and I decided to do a Georgia cheat sheet for myself for the future.  Here is what it looks like:

F  P  on

B  P  on

F  K  off      repeat

F  P  on          x

B  K  off         x

B  P  on         x

Here is my Eisig-Warm Cowl:

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Keep on knitting!

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Persistence pays off

Well, I finally finished my Dainty Bess scarf and I love it:

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I just realized that I had started it on March 9, 2007 and finished it today, March 5, 2013. Almost 6 years to the day!

Keep on knitting!

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