Friday, 31 July 2009

finished some, started more

here are a few finished projects - the guinevere socks with altered toes. even though the pattern looks wishy-washy with the yarn - they wear nicely and feel good on my feet. I didn't think the heel would fit like that, but it does, at least in the birkies I usually wear. normally I'd change needles for heels and toes, when I knit socks, but I didn't this time - we'll see how fast I'll get holes in my heels:))
I also finished the Aeolian shawl, at least the knitting and blocking is done. this is a more detailed photo:
I do like how it looks, though if I did it again I would use a slightly chunkier yarn. it isn't too small, it just feels extremely light and given the fact that I rarely wear shawls - and if I do, I wear them for warmth and not looks - it's probably going to go to another home eventually. I will try painting the lace first though - a good base I think, because the different areas of the pattern are well defined, and also the investment for the yarn and the time for knitting wasn't extraordinary either. I am thinking about blue and green tones? or maybe blue and red and purple - like a sunset?

holding it like that it looks like a big white bat - taking off any second now:))
of course my needles are never empty! I snatched up a pair of socks I started a while ago - nothing special, simple straightforward socks for DS - as long as I don't put the promised HP decos on it at least. I also started the print o'the waves stole by Eunny Jang, but there's nothing much to show with the fine yarn and only 8 or 9 rows!
in spinning I finished the first 100 g of BFL in brown - but as long as there's no button for touch/feel on the computer, a uniform brown hank isn't going to make it into the blog:)) it does feel nice though, soft and scrunchy and I am rather impatient to knit with it now! unfortunately I have to do quite a lot of the merino/possum mix first, because the BFL in brown and "humbug" (brown/natural blend) is only decoration for the main colour of m/o.
I also "found" three small balls of angelina again, one white and two in a blend of pastel tones that I wanted to mix into some other fibres. I have been going through some of my fibre stash and I want to start blending colours and fibres more. unfortunately the weather is once again dysmal, rain all day and wind, too - so no carding outside:(( it'll have to wait until the weather dries up a bit! what a summer!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

funny socks and finished shawls

I took sock stuff with me for the trip to germany - I liked the looks of Guinevere (from yarnforward), even though I was pretty sure from the start that the sock yarn I chose wasn't ideal. I thought the i-cord instead of a rib was fun, even though (or because?) it isn't as tight fitting as a rib. I also liked the pattern; it was interesting to knit - until I reached the toe decreases... I know that I have long narrow feet, but I wonder if there are still people out there, who wear the duck feet shoes that were fashionable in the middle ages? the toe shape would surely be ideal for them? but even though I wear slippers or birkenstocks most of the time - I don't want to wear socks with funny ears on both sides of the toes, while the middle is tight! so I unravelled and started again, with my usual toe decreases this time. I tried to make sure that the rib pattern looks reasonable even and it worked quite well, I think.

this is the changed toe part, it fits like a glove without "ears"!
the k tbl stitches are nice and even, no visible breaks in the pattern...
this is the whole sock - but I still don't like the yarn as it makes the lacy leaf pattern vanish in the stripes. I'll have to do it all over again soon in either a single colour yarn or a sock yarn with barely visible colour changes!
I also finished the Aeolian shawl from knitty - it's drying just now and should be done tonight.
I took the opportunity to try out my new carbon fibre rods, which I ordered from a german kite supplier and brought home in the suitcase (this was rather worrying at first - when I saw the package I first thought I won't be able to make them fit! but it turned out that 10 1.3 mm diameter rods took up about 5 % of the whole package - the rest was wrapping etc.! they bend nicely and gave me no trouble).

We only have timber floors or tiles in our cottage, so no carpet to block my lace knitting. I did buy a pack of those rubber floor jigsaws a while ago, but most of the shawls are too large to fit, not even when they are doubled up down the middle. so off I went to the bed again... and was quite glad that I was able to thread the stitches along the even side onto the rods while sitting comfortably at a table. I knew already that I wouldn't be able to completely do the two patterned sides on the rods, but I put them through the longest part of the pattern and added pins only for the shorter "tips". it worked quite well and I think, the 10 rods I have should be enough for even the largest of lace shawls (I still think about doing the Oregon shawl, which is huge!). one happy bunny:)) now I just have to decide what to do next... when a friend asked about an error in the "Print o' the wave" shawl" I remembered that I always wanted to do this one - which would be nice in the dark blue cashwool from Baruffa... might be my next project? at least the colour would look better with waves instead of Laminaria:)) I am just not sure whether or not one skein will be enough....
detail of rod/pin blocking
the whole (well, most of it anyway) Aeolian shawl, when blocked on the bed. it's another crescent shape, just like the lily-of-the-valley shawl I did last. they do sit nicely on the shoulders without slipping! I didn't add the beads shown in the original pattern, but I plan to knit this pattern again and will probably add beads the next time (just to compare....)

Friday, 17 July 2009

gone - and back already

I've been gone for a week - the first time in 10 years. but I had to deliver the bobbin lace fan in person:)) I have never been a "gift" to someone either - this time I was flown in from Dublin to my old home town in germany as a gift for my mother's "round" birthday. apart from a very long wait at dublin airport (over night) everything went smoothly - though we were welcomed back to ireland by a heavy shower right when we landed and the doors opened. unfortunately dublin airport is a bit behind with development - no weather-tight "tubes" to connect the plane to the airport building - everyone has to climb down the steps and run across the open runway!
this is a photo from the air, just a few miles away from the german airport "Duesseldorf". the weather was lovely there - I like the few floating clouds - like cotton wool:)
of course I had to do something during the train ride, so I started the Guinevere socks from the last "yarnforward". they aren't done "the usual way". instead of a rib an i-cord is knitted and stitches are picked up for the leg part from this. the pattern in itself is a bit unusual as well, wrapping yarn around a few stitches, when you have plenty of sock needles in the project is a bit fiddly (and lead to astonished glances from other passengers on the train:)). I do like the pattern, but I think the wool - or rather its colour pattern - isn't ideal, too stripey! I'll finish them anyway and do another pair in a less patchy colour!

on my way back I was delayed, the weather was extremely showery and I had quite a few problems with my luggage, so that I didn't manage to have a look at the book of kells:(( but I just about managed to visit the new shop of "This is knit" in powerscourt house. I haven't been in there before - it looks more like a very large old private house than a shopping center and it's very nice to walk around the galleries to look at shops - and have some food too! the store is split up into two parts that are across from each other and there is a lot of choice in yarns, albeit on the more expensive side (esp. as I do spin most of my knitting yarns myself). I couldn't resist a skein or two, so this is what I bought:
the 2 skeins are sockwool from lorna's laces (purple = must have been dyed with me in mind:)). the other one is a very fine merino "cashwool" (no cashmere involved, but very soft) in dark blue, from Lane Borgesesia, Baruffa, an italien company. I'll use it for something lacey, but I only have one skein and have to start hunting for a suitable smaller pattern.
I also did some crochet during my stay in germany. I wound some of the linen mix from the recycling center into balls, doubled up to make it more substantial. the plan is to crochet a sort of sleeveless vest/tunic out of this. the middle front and back are done in this pattern in horizontal rows; I will crochet the two side parts vertically, don't know if in the same yarn or maybe I'll add another colour (I have plenty of muted linen/cotton blends from the same source, all snatched up during previous "raids"). I should have more than enough - the cones looked barely touched after I wound 4 large balls off them....
I also took some (actually quite a lot:)) of longish, narrow bamboo slats with me - from a screen my father took apart; he wanted to throw them away! I have planned to drill holes into the top and bottom of each and make a door screen from this (or two?) to prevent all those darned flies and wasps coming into the glasshouse/front porch! no pics yet - I didn't start drilling the hundreds of holes yet:)) my father found it hilarious that I'd bother to carry 1.4 kg of bamboo slats home with me, but even though my suitcase reached the allowed weight of 20 kg - my cabin allowance wasn't fully used up:) I have to admit though that I packed a parcel of well over 20 kg and sent it home - should arrive next week (at least I hope so!). DS is looking forward to this as he expects more food and sweets....

Monday, 6 July 2009

finished at last

I did it just in time - I finished the bobbin lace fan. I was rather worried about putting the lace to the base, because in the instructions I found in an old issue of the german "kloeppelverband"it all looked quite complicated. but eventually I decided to just put my used pricking (covered with sticky plastic) onto the lace pillow and fix the fan "arms" with pins. I used cotton buds to spread wood glue thinly and pressed down the lace - that was it. as long as you make sure that all the arms are spread properly, it's all straightforward. just don't do as I did and follow the advice to press the fan together after all this - or at least wait longer than 3-4 hours - or the lace might stick to the back as well as the front:(( I had a major panic attack, but managed to loosen it all again after a bit of fiddling! if I hadn't noticed the recipient of the fan would probably have looked rather bemused to take out a fan that only opens halfway...
so this is it - my first lace fan:
I am off for a week now - and my special bobbin lace callus has time to soften up again:))