Thursday, June 28, 2007

On Board For Mystery Stole #3

I've signed up to do the Mystery Stole #3 KAL. To sign up (hurry...you have to sign up by July 6), send a blank e-mail to mysterystole3-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. As you may guess, this is something that's gone on before since this is the third in a series. Some of you may know what i's all about, but I didn't know myself until a few weeks ago, so I'll fill you in if you're similarly uninformed.

It's a group that's doing a lace stole KAL (knit along) together. The interesting thing about it is, the "clues" (i.e., bits of the chart) are sent in small pieces, so you only get 25 charted rows per week (equivalent to 50 rows of actual knitting as the purl-side rows aren't charted). You receive hints about what yarn type and color to choose, but the finished stole pattern is a mystery.

Also, this stole features beads and though you don't HAVE to use beads to participate, I've decided to give it a shot. Heck, in for a penny, in for a pound, right? I'm feeling brave about the beads since I learned of what sounds like an easy way to add the beads. Check it out: Beading Made Easy.

Another challenge for me is the clues come out in chart form. I've only rarely worked from a chart, and then only in filet crochet. I much prefer written out directions. But the question is, could that be because that's all I work from? We'll see! I've ordered a magnetic Chart Keeper from KnitPicks, so that should help. A little.

And the stole even has a theme! Of course, no clues about that just yet either, though there have been many interesting guesses.

Here's my swatch with my chosen yarn (Skacel Merino Lace in white), though this is NOT the pattern for the stole, we've been assured:



I'm really excited about it. Of course, I need another project like I need a hole in the head. But I've had this laceweight yarn in my stash for maybe five or more years, just waiting for the right project. So the time is right!

Have you worked on lace projects before? Do you enjoy it? Do you work from a chart or a written pattern? Tell me your best tips! :-) I'm gonna need 'em.

Liz

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Felted Knitting Bag Finished



I finished knitting the felted bag, and finished felting the knitting bag. Which are one and the same. Hah! The colors in the picture are a little off...it's actually dark purple, dark blue, magenta, teal green, and light purple. But for some reason it ended up looking almost all blue. Anyway, you get the idea.

Didn't turn out one hundred percent the way I planned. For one thing, I think it felted a teeny bit too much. My fault; I checked it at ten minutes and it was hardly felted at all, so instead of setting the timer for another five minutes, I set it for another ten. Oh, and I added my "secret weapon" to the second felting session: a kettle full of boiling water.

Word to the wise: check your felting objects frequently.

But it's still large enough to carry a knitting project in, so I'm happy.

The other weird thing about it is, the top edge came out ruffly. This is definitely NOT the way it looks in the pattern (see previous post for link), but I kinda like it, so again, I'm happy.

It's drying now...and drying...and drying. Has been drying for three days and still damp inside. Felted stuff sure takes a long time to dry! Another word to the wise: don't felt something on the same day you want to use it.

So now I'm back to working on a shawl from this pattern at Knitty: http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring06/PATTtendrils.html Only, no beads. It's coming out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. Only problem: the cast-on edge is tight. This could just be a function of how tight my knitting is in general. But...does anyone have a suggestion for a stretchier cast-on method? I just use the single cast on...or thumb cast on? Would the double (or long tail) cast on be better?

Well, back to work. I need to start more projects!

Liz

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Goddess Shawl Finished


I finished the Goddess shawl I purchased the kit for at the NH Sheep & Wool Festival. I think it came out nicely...I never would have thought of putting all those yarn colors and types together, so it was fun to see how they worked. I just did a single strand of each of the nine yarns, and while they were all probably a baby yarn weight, some of the novelty yarns came out thicker or thinner. But that's part of the charm of the shawl, I think. I wore it yesterday and although it's light in weight, it's very soft and warm.





Here's another picture, this time a close-up of the nine different yarns so you can see a stripe of each one.



Now I'm back to working on this felted tote I'm going to use as a knitting bag: http://www.karpstyles.com/catalog.html?item=1592 But because I couldn't find five different shades of the same color in my LYS, I'm going with five different jewel tones. We'll see how it looks after it's finished and felted!

So what are you knitting?

Liz