Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lace Dream shawl

Quote of the Post:

"Having children is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain." - Alan Bleasdale

Last Saturday I've started my first shawl - the pattern is from Shawls and Scarves : The Best of Knitter's Magazine.
It is called Lace Dream, designed by Eugen Beugler.
That's the first shot:

Very easy pattern - I can't see the need to be classed as 'intermediate' level, unless you attempt to use markers between repeats (which is more than advisable anyway). This was what got me into a bit of trouble.
The pattern does not say to move the markers one stitch forward in front of every repeat for the first 4 pattern rows of the chart - but you have to figure this out when realizing you've got an extra stitch left before starting every chart repeat segment.
That's why I prefer German magazines - no space for any confusion in patterns.
No offence :).
The yarn is Rowan KidSilk Haze: I love the yarn but I am not very keen on this particular colour - it's called 'Pearl' and in my opinion it lacks a little bit more brightness - it is too grey-beige ( kind of 'dirty' appearance). But at least it's neutral enough :).
Keep saying I will get colour charts before getting the yarn from the internet - it never happens though.
I am today at the point where I finished the first ball ( out of 4 ) - so I've got a quarter done - and I am already bored with it. I am measuring and measuring after each new line hoping it's going to grow faster - looks now like a sexual experience :).
Having sais this, somehow I guess I am not going to be into square shawls very soon...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wash your swatch

This should be added as a new rule in the 10 Principles of knitting.
(Of course ) I did not wash my swatch so I had to face a nasty surprise after washing the aran sweater: the marvelous (and highly overpriced) cashmerino aran looked like a drowned cat !
No life left in the cables PLUS that the sweater went longer.
I had to choices : to give it away - which I can't do from obvious emotional reasons - or to cut the bottom parts.
Right: Here is the sweater undertaking surgery :

It took me an entire weekend to knit the ribs again. Somehow I have the feeling I will have to repeat this in the future, after any few washes...
Very poor choice of yarn - this is a new 'never again' on my list with 'never again' things.

At least I had a nice winter weather as a 'background' for the sweater re-engineering.
This was the Friday (English) snow in Halifax:

Thursday, March 02, 2006

My first Olympic gold medal for the 'Dahlie'

I received an email this morning from 'Kat with a K', inviting me to pick up my Knitting Olympic Gold medal.
The best part of this is that I didn't even think I was in the competition at all - as I never got a confirmation to my 'joining' application :). How good is this?

Here it is:

Am I proud of it or what?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Niebling knitted lace, the Dahlie

I managed to get over the first failure with the lace knitting and bought some proper cotton in order to have another go at it.
Valentine Day was the casting-on date (worked well as therapy against weird relationship).
The pattern is called 'Dahlie', it's from a German Burda magazine - E908 and it was designed by Herbert Niebling, according to a few Internet references.
It's absolutly great to work.
I've used DMC Cebelia 20 (light beige) and 2.5 mm needles.

This is the stage after a week: it's just an ugly mass of stitches. I can't say I had much enthusiasm in knitting it - if you've never done lace it's difficult to imagine how much different and nicer it's going to be after it is getting blocked.

Had a few problems with the blocking - mainly due to my own stupidity.
I draw the circle on a present wrapping paper and after placing the wet doily on it, the colors started to appear from the other side of the paper - so I needed to lift the doily FAST, removed the paper - but kept the needles in place.
This is the doily, with the cat assisting all the time - she even slept on the towel all night long.

Next morning 'beauty shot':

While doing the 'Dahlie' I found out about the Knitting Olympics, but it was too late for me to join.
I spent a lot to find the Great Britain team leader - had no luck though.
Obviously I had no choice but to start my own team :) , joined it and finished on time, a few hours before the Olympics closing ceremonies.
So I declare this as my Olympic project in my own Knitting Olympics competition :).

And now the conclusions:
A great pattern will produce a great doily.
A high quality yarn is essential - DMC Cebelia was a very good choice indeed.
And last but not the least : Don't even think of starting a lace pattern without joining a forum first :).
Many thanks to the Teddys ( my german friends from the Teddys forum ) and to the Knitter's Review forum.