Posted in Finished object, Knitting, Life in general

FO Friday: Estonian Lace and Furlough Day 4

I’m lacking just two or three rounds of being finished with the baby blanket I blogged about on Wednesday, and if I waited to post an FO Friday entry until late this evening, I could add it to today’s accomplishment. But there’s no guarantee I’ll have anything for next Friday if I do that, so you’re stuck. Or I’m stuck, I should say.

Despair not, however, because I got up early this morning to block my Estonian lace scarf.

Blocking Lily 1

I finished the knitting on it two weeks ago, and it had been sitting in a crumpled pile on my sewing table ever since. Wait. Didn’t I say that last week about the Button Back Shrug? Yes. I did. I’m detecting a pattern here. Um. Pressing on… last night before I went to bed, I tossed the scarf into a sink full of water in the upstairs bath and let it soak overnight. This morning, I was wide awake before 6, so I dragged myself out of bed, made coffee, let the dogs out, and trudged upstairs to squeeze the water out of the scarf and towel dry it.

Blocking Lily 2Back downstairs for coffee and then upstairs again into the guest bedroom — which is the only room in the house the pets are kept from — to lay out my blocking squares. It took maybe 20 minutes to carefully insert the blocking wires, another 10 or 15 minutes to pin out, and then back downstairs to eat breakfast and watch the last three episodes of Doctor Who Season 6 on Netflix. (Yes, I’ve seen them before, but I’m prepping for the 50th Anniversary Episode to be aired on November 23rd. I’ll start Season 7 again, either this evening or tomorrow. Or maybe this afternoon if I finish up Doctor Sleep.)

Spouse and I took the doggies for a walk around noonish. (Aren’t you loving all the minutiae of my day? This is what happens when Congress refuses to fund my job. I obsess over the details of my daily existence instead of the details of DOING MY JOB!) By the time we came home, the scarf was dry, thanks in large part to the ceiling fan in the guest bedroom. After unpinning, we were ready for our photoshoot.

Lily Scarf 5
Pattern: Lily of the Valley Scarf, from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Classic Elite Mountain Top Vail, colorway #6403 Steel, 2 skeins
Needle: Size 3 Hiya Hiya circular
Mods: None, really, except for the extra pattern repeats. I knitted until the yarn was nearly gone, using approx 450 yards.
Finished size: Approx 10″ by 57″
Satisfaction with finished product: I love it. It’s light and airy, but the alpaca in the yarn makes it warm and cozy at the same time. It’s long enough that I can wrap it around my head and neck to keep my ears warm — always a concern when winter’s in full force, because a cold wind gives me excruciatingly painful earaches. It’s dressy enough with that gorgeous lace pattern to wear simply as decoration for an evening out. In short, the best scarf ever. Well, except for my Bigger on the Inside shawlette.

d1010-fofridayYou can see more pics — well, actually, several variations of the same pic — on my Ravelry project page, but only if you’re a Ravelry member. Oh, and in case you didn’t know this, you can click on the pics in this post to make them bigger. AND you can see more FOs by clicking that badge over there. Do it! You know you want to.

And now I get to cast on for something new! What to choose, what to choose…

Posted in Knitting, Life in general, Miscellaneous, Work in progress, Yarn stash

WIP Wednesday: Damn the nupps, full speed ahead!

Last week I was in Baltimore for a work thing. I was finally sent to agency headquarters to receive training for the job I’d been doing for nearly a year. I love government efficiency. Well, to be fair, thanks to Congress and its never-ending budget crisis, the funding hadn’t been available until now. On the positive side, though, I’d never been to Baltimore, so I took advantage of its proximity both to DC and to my friend Kelly, and stayed an extra couple of days to play tourist. Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Segway tour of Pennsylvania Avenue and the Capitol Mall, National Aquarium. Whew! Oh, and a yarn store.
Walking upright

Don’t you think this fellow to the left looks a little chilly? Me too. Good thing I’m knitting a scarf. We’ll get to that shortly. Guide

So, the Smithsonian on Saturday. We visited only the Museum of Natural History, and only the first floor of that, and in the three hours we had allotted for our visit, we still missed a few galleries. I could easily spend all day just on the first floor, and go back another day for the second floor.

The time at the Smithsonian was limited because we had that Segway tour booked for 2:00 PM. Let me tell you, unless you’re prepared to walk all day long, Segway is the ONLY way to see the monuments, the Capitol, the White House, and lots more. It only took a few minutes to learn to ride the thing, and then we were off on our three hour tour. Of course, by the end of that tour, I was flat wiped out. Standing on one of those things is more tiring than you might imagine. But it’s still far better than trying to walk the distance — Kelly and I figured our tour must have covered somewhere between 10 and 15 miles, maybe more, on those things.

Dotted Swiss JelliesOn Sunday, we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore which, despite its name, is not owned by the people like the Smithsonian, and therefore does not have free admission. The Blacktip Reef exhibit was wonderful, and the shark tank, and the puffin feeding, but the star for me was the Jellyfish exhibit. I adore jellies. And this was a decent showing. The aquarium on the whole, though, doesn’t hold a candle to my beloved Monterey Bay Aquarium. I haven’t been to the Georgia Aquarium yet, but it’s on my list. So is the Chattanooga Aquarium. Can you tell I love aquariums?

Baltimore stitch markers 4Somewhere in there, we fit in a visit to a yarn store, where I promptly did my bit for the local economy. Two skeins of lovely sock yarn, and these nifty stitch markers. I suppose they’re actually sort of ordinary, but I like them very much.

So, it was a whirlwind week of training, and an even more whirlwind weekend of sight-seeing. In between all that, though, I made a great deal of progress on my scarf. See? It might even get finished in time for the cooler weather that’s just around the corner.Lily scarf 3

And that’s my work in progress report. Click the badge below to see what other folks have been up to lately.

WIP Wednesdays

Posted in Book stash, Knitting, Technique, Work in progress

WIP Wednesday: To Nupp, or not to Nupp

Knitted Lace of EstoniaSome time ago, I bought Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush, simply because the projects were so beautiful, and put it on the bookshelf next to all the other knitting books, where it sat, forlorn, forsaken, forgotten. Well, not exactly forgotten, because every now and then, I’d take it down and thumb through it, thinking: “I really ought to make one of these scarves, but nupps. Hmmm….”

Then one day, shortly after I arrived in Atlanta, my friend Kathy took me to Lovin’Knit Studio in Marietta, where I fell in love with MountainTop Vail, a fingering weight alpaca/bamboo blend by Classic Elite. I bought two skeins, not knowing what I’d do with them other than make a lace scarf or shawlette.

MountainTop Vail by Classic EliteAnd finally, a month ago I brought these two items together: Vail, meet Knitted Lace of Estonia. Estonia, meet Vail.

Luckily, these two hit it off. Match made in heaven, even. I chose one of the smaller scarves to start out, because, well, nupps. And, hoo boy, did those puppies give me trouble. In fact, I wasn’t able to make them the way they’re written. Okay, I could do the stitch, wrap, stitch, etc., in the same stitch part easy enough, but when it came to the next row, the purl row, I couldn’t get my needle through those five stitches to purl them together. Or, if I actually succeeded in making the nupp as written, it looked like crap. So I adapted. Instead of making the traditional nupp, I knitted into the front and back of the nupp stitch like I was starting a bobble, and then purled it on the next row. Looked exactly the same as the “traditional” nupp and was easier, to boot.

Lily of the Valley ScarfAnd here it is! The pattern is the Lily of the Valley scarf, and I’m very pleased with how it’s turning out. I love the cast-on with the yarn doubled, which gives a wonderful substance and heft to the edge. The photo here was taken on July 9, so I’m actually much further along than this. In fact, I attached the second ball of yarn Monday night. This project will go with me to Baltimore next week (work thing, plus a couple of days added on to play tourist). While I may not finish it by the end of my trip, I’m sure to make good progress sitting in the hotel room each evening.

WIP WednesdaysClicky the badgy to see what everyone else is doing!

Posted in Finished object, Knitting, Work in progress

Sometimes I should be more selfish

I truly enjoy making things for other people.  It's a joy to give a beloved friend or family member something handmade, with love and friendship imbued into every stitch. 

However, right now, at this very moment, I'm tired of making things for other people.  I want to make something for ME, dammit!  Yet I have commitments to fulfill.  *sigh*

Still working on spouse's socks:
Treads socks #1
The cuff is done and I'm ready to start the heels.

This scarf is done and intended as a gift.
Mohair scarf
Made with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in Grape for the base yarn, and Artful Yarns Broadway (colorway #002) as the carry-along for its fluffiness and color changes. Soft, fuzzy, lightweight, and ever so warm. Approx. 6" wide and about 60" long. My pattern.

A closeup of the stitch pattern, which you probably can't see anyway due to the fluffy yarn:
Mohair scarf detail

I've also started on a crocheted shawl using Patons Brilliant and the Solomon's Knot stitch.  It's also intended as a gift.  No pictures because it currently looks like a rumpled mess.  Once it's finished and blocked, I'll show it off.  Unless it turns out truly awful, and then you'll never hear of it again, and I'll think of something else for its intended recipient.

Once these gifts are done, I promise myself the next THREE projects will be mine mine mine.

(I do have one project on the needles for me:
Duo Cardigan #1
Eventually this will be a cardigan.  The yarn is Duo by Jarbo Garn, 100% acrylic and one of the softest acrylics I've ever had the pleasure to touch.)

Read and post comments | Send to a friend