We are the knights who say KNIT!

The knitting, crocheting, spinning, and disconnected ramblings of a geek of too many trades.


Alisa: We're here to talk about my knitting blog, not my love life.
Ed: You're making a distinction between the two now?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Knitted Veil (not) in Pyrenees Wool

I have a wonderful, wonderful client at my yarn store who loves shawls, but doesn't have the time or patience to make them herself. So she asks me to make them for her. The most recent shawl she requested was "A Knitted Veil in Pyrenees Wool" from VTL, which I finished on Tuesday evening of this week.

Pattern: "A Knitted Veil in Pyrenees Wool" from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby
Needles: Size 4 (US) Addi lace needles. I've mentioned before and I'll say it again - I love these needles.
Yarn: Almost an entire skein (1250 yards) of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in a beautiful chocolate brown. The colour actually started to bleed a bit while I was soaking it pre-blocking, so I treated it with clear vinegar and now everything is back to normal.
Dimensions: Per my client's request, I added two extra repeats in length to the pattern. I forgot to actually measure the final dimensions, but as you'll see from the pictures, it stretches a tiny little bit further than the diagonal of my queen-size bed.
Started: December 2007
Finished: June 23, 2008 (I took a three-month pause to make a baby blanket in the middle of this project.)
Blocking: Blocking wires are awesome. I just stuck them through the points of the edging, pinned everything out, and then spun on my spinning wheel for about three hours while everything dried. Simple as pie.

While working on the project I actually didn't like it, as it was mindlessly boring and repetitive once I memorized the (simple) pattern repeat. But then I blocked it and took one good look at it and fell completely in love. Would I do it again? Probably not for myself (althoug possibly as a commission). Would I recommend it to someone else? Hell yes.

(This is the first project I've done from that book where I didn't either find something or the errata page or email the publisher with an error I'd found myself. Yay!)

Here's the shawl blocking out across my bed. As you can see, one corner was a liiittle bit too long and went off the edge, so after taking photos I moved a chair over and pinned it on that to keep it from being uneven.

A closer photo of the pattern and edging while the whole thing blocks on my gorgeous Target towels.

My friend, the lovely and talented Chris, modelling the shawl for me outside my yarn store. (My client does not want to have photos of herself all over the internet.)

Another action shot from behind.

A close-up of the diamond edging.

Super close-up picture of the stitch pattern. I actually really love this picture - I'm almost tempted to make it my background on my work computer, except I like the one I already have too much.

And finally, a gratuitous artsy-fartsy shot that I really liked and felt like sharing.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Month in Spinning

My mom wanted to see pictures of some of the stuff I've been spinning, so without further ado...

(Click on any photos to enlarge them if you want.)

Here is the 3 lb. mass of Blue-Faced Leicester roving I bought at Hello Yarn! the night I learned how to spin. I photographed it next to a Netflix return envelope for size comparison. That's its natural colour - absolutely beautiful. Smells very, very sheepy, though. When I finished setting the twist of my last batch and hung it over my tub to dry, my whole bathroom smelled like a farmyard for days.

Here's my bobbin filled up with a single that, if left unplied, would probably be about 22 WPI lace-weight. I need to get some sort of easy-to-use measuring tool at some point, but for now I'm still learning so it doesn't matter too much.

Here is my plied yarn out on display. I've still got some tension issues and I need to work on my plying skills, but the lack of huge honking slubs is a distinct improvement over my first skeins.

And, so you can see how ridiculously thin my yarn is, here's a strand held up against a dime. I'm guessing that this is, on average, a light fingering weight, maybe 15-18 WPI. Given that my first few skeins ranged from sport to super bulky within a single skein, this is incredibly awesome.

Hey, Mom! Thanks so much for being awesome! I hope you like all of my yarn!