Thursday, April 28, 2011

Latika lace

Here's what I have been up to since Spring Break.....


This scarf design is based on a wavy trellis lace from the first Walker treasury. The design from the book has a swirl going up the right side. My scarf has two lace trellises mirror-imaged and swirling away from the center.  So far so good. This is still a work in progress....I am at the center of the scarf where I need to reverse the direction of the trellises so that both ends look the same. And thats where I am stuck.  After several hours swatching, frogging, re-knitting and frogging again, I still don't have a reverse pattern down. It just doesn't look remotely like the swirls on this side. Sigh! I may have to cast off and knit another piece the same as this first and join at the center. I do hate that - to me it is pattern failure. But maybe I could do something decorative in the middle instead of boring Kitchener. Back to some more designing before this can proceed further. I just may have to let this project rest for a while until inspiration strikes and I can finish strong....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dyeing - the final results....and another shawl

I have been meaning to put up pictures of the dark red skein for weeks ....but Life got in the way. And another knitting project that I've been pottering about for a bit now. So here are the pictures of the final result....

Before the Koolaid dye - just RIT dye. The picture makes it look more orange than it is...more a pinkish red

After 2 step Koolaid - Punch and Orange (step1), Black Cherry (step2)

And here is what I've been working on in the past weeks.  Another lace shawl.....

I have always been drawn to variegated yarn and have quite a lot of it in stash but the more I knit with it the more I  realize that I don't like the final results as much as with plain single colored yarn. I used up some luscious looking Araucania Itata in a blue-green color with spots of mauve and purple, reminiscent of peacock feathers, for this project. I remember being so taken with the colors in the yarn but I am less than happy with the knitted project. The distribution of the colors in the knitted end-product destroys the peacock feather look. Maybe I should just knit socks from multi-colored sock yarn. That would be so boring.

More pictures of this shawl will be up soon. I have to figure out what happened to my trusty Nikon DSLR - I keep getting a card read error. Probably some setting was messed up after we used it to shoot a video of my youngest playing at his violin recital. The other digital camera that we own, while quite good otherwise, is so-so with indoor lighting. Or it needs to get sunny outside and stop raining so I can get some decent pictures in natural light....

Now to dream of other projects to start.....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Experiments with Dyeing

The dyeing and drying happened yesterday. I started with Rit powder dye, one scarlet and one wine together.  The reason for this (vs Koolaid) was that the woman in the store where I bought it recommended Rit for darker richer color and saturation and  Koolaid for a watered down heathered effect.

The color of the Rit dyebath was exactly what I wanted but I ended up with a watered down maroon/pink/wine colored skein.  NOT what I wanted. So after some urgent googling about dyes, which in retrospect I should have done before starting the whole process, and reading up on Koolaid dyes and checking out pictures of actual results, I rushed out to get Tropical Punch and Black Cherry Koolaid. And I re-dyed the damp pale wine/ dark dull pink colored  skein with 2 packets of Tropical Punch and one of  Orange (forget the exact name) to get this.....

The pictures show more orange-ish red/brick but really it looked like the dark red that I wanted when it was wet and I had read that it dries out lighter so I was prepared for that. It did dry out to a bright rich red. But I want it a tad bit darker - so today I put the skein in the Black Cherry Koolaid and see what I get. I know the theory behind it, but the process is so much fun - almost like magic....

Stay tuned for final results on this experiment.... 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pictures of the Paisley Shawl

Main Body
I like the way the paisleys turned out in this part....just as I imagined....The two paisleys mirror-imaged on the center stitch and radiating away from it.

Here's a picture showing the detail of the right side of the shawl.......
Main Body - Right Side closeup

And here's the left side ......up close...........
Main Body - Left side closeup

Finished and Blocking!
And here's a picture of it blocking.... I hate how the large paisleys in the border look like lopsided diamonds. The two swirls in the extreme tips below the border paisleys don't show up right either.
 Next I'll try and get some pictures of it in use ..... with better lighting .....maybe it'll be fine and I won't need to undo and rework the border and edge.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paisley Shawl

The light blue paisley lace shawl done with sock yarn is done! It is blocking right now so pictures will be up in the next few days.
As some of you may know (or not) I love paisleys - in anything and everything. And as knitting lace shawls/wraps is my current favorite thing to do, I had to do a paisley lace shawl. So, after several wasted hours searching for something that would work, including pouring over the Walker treasuries, I found nothing that looked like what I had in mind. So I designed my own.

The results of the design are mixed.....the main smaller motif that is the body of the shawl/wrap is a distinct paisley shape but the larger border motif loses that swirly curve of the paisley. Maybe because it's a lot more open and lacy and the columns of plain stockinette which pull the yarn overs to define the paisley's edges are no longer there. The border pattern looks like a badly done large diamond. Maybe it just needs to be re-blocked.

I am thinking now that I probably should frog this effort back to the point where I started the border paisleys and instead of making a bigger design in the border, make it a smaller paisley with scallops maybe, to echo the swirls of the paisley.
I don't know - the long hours spent knitting the large border - seems like a waste to undo so much work. But then again, I want this to look like what I thought it should, in my mind, not what it turned out to be.

I think I'll leave the question of undoing the border for now. In any case I would have to spend some time designing the alternate border that would work before I frog anything.

Meanwhile, I have some ivory-ecru Alpaca Lace yarn calling my name, to be dyed a dark red/wine color. This was the result of the search for dark rich red lace weight yarn which was semi-successful - I found the yarn I liked but not in the color I wanted. Apparently no lace weight yarn, which is easily available in any LYS here, is made in that color. So now I get to try my hand at dyeing some yarn. Maybe even today!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Noro Silk Garden striped scarf...and more lace

After reading about and seeing several pictures, I tried the Noro Silk Garden scarf alternating stripes from two different colorways. But it was quite a let down. The yarn, for all it's hype was just so ... disappointingly fact, bad. Scratchy, no real sheen, yet expensive. All these I could put up with if the things about it that people raved about - the colors and their transitions - were as expected.
That was the ultimate disappointment. The colors did transition really well for about 4 inches of the scarf and then there was an abrupt knot! And a completely different color joined at the knot! So I went from charcoal grey to a muddy ivory at the join. That was a jarring color change and it would have still been all right if that happened once or twice in the scarf. It happened 6 times until I gave up on the scarf and went off to design and knit some more lace in some pale blue sock yarn.

There are no pictures of the lace shawl yet but I am at a part where each row takes about 20 minutes to knit in pattern....and I ran out of yarn. Luckily the yarn I am using (part of the stash reduction resolution for this year) is easily available at Joanns. Looks like a trip to that store is needed tomorrow....

Then, when this lace project is done, a trip to a real yarn store to buy some burgundy/dark rich red/maroon lace weight yarn for another lace project that I have in mind.

Somehow I don't think the stash reduction resolution is working....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ethereal Pattern

  •  1 skein Misti Alpaca Lace Solid in Ivory - Lace 2-ply 100% Alpaca - 437 yds.
  • Circular Knitting needle 29" (or longer) size 3.5mm - US size 4

  • The shawl is knit straight starting from neck to bottom and side edges. The circular needles are used to easily hold a large number of stitches. 
  • The border (not shown in any chart) is made of two stitches on either end worked in garter stitch throughout.
  • All wrong side (even number) rows are purled. Wrong side rows are not shown on the charts.
  • Gauge is unimportant - use larger needles if a more open, lacy look is desired.  

  • Cast on 5 stitches and work 2 rows in garter st.
  • On the next RS row (1st row on the main chart):
  • k2(border),yo, k1, yo, k2(border)
  • Keep working following the main chart which shows half of the pattern until the center stitch, repeating rows 29-41, adding a motif at each end and two at each side of the center stitch, for 5 times, or until desired length or number of repeats. Remember to work the 2 border stitches on each end in garter st.   
Main Chart: 


  • Starting on row 29 of 5th repeat (or your final repeat) work the Border+Edge chart once. The chart shows one border and edge motif which are repeated all around. Also the center stitch is not shown in this chart. Remember to work the 2 border stitches on each end in garter st.
 Border+Edge chart:
  • Bind off :
    •  k1, put the stitch back on left needle, k2tog. Repeat until all stitches are bound off.
  • Block.
This pattern is available as pdf on Ravelry......
Download now

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ethereal triangular shawl

After working on several experiments on designing a triangular shawl or wrap, here's the one that I actually finished (unlike the others that were frogged..). There were several stages in the middle when I was tempted to give up on this one too and send it on to hibernation. But, after several pattern enhancements, when I got bored in the middle, and for whatever other reasons (nothing to do when it's snowing and bitterly cold outside, late nights staying up with a middle schooler doing homework, excuse to avoid exercise of any kind now that the marathon is over.....) this made it to the finish line. Here it is:

The pattern for this will be made tech ready (after I figure out what I meant to say in the scrawled bits around the hand-drawn charts from 3 months ago) and available here.....soon....