30 July 2007

More Diamond Fantasy Photos

Here's a close-up of the diamond pattern. The variegation of the yarn is pretty subtle, more so than the photo indicates.

Here's a closer photo of the shawl, showing the pattern and the edge better. I like to think it indicates how nicely this 50/50 merino/Tencel blend hangs. The fabric really has a nice supple hand.

Just another view of the body of the shawl. The color in this photo is pretty good.

And one more close-up of the diamond pattern.

29 July 2007

52 rows of Mystery Stole 3

52 rows of MS3
Originally uploaded by Mary The Digital Knitter

This is my latest project, the Mystery Stole 3. I'm knitting it in Mint Julep fingering weight wool on US 7 needles. The beads are 4-mm cubes, yellow lined with mint.

It sure doesn't look all that great, does it? It's crumpled and curled and lumpy. I keep tugging at it, trying to see the pattern. I can't just look at a chart and figure out what the knitting is going to look like, so this truly is a mystery to me.

I'm running a little behind the clues, since the fourth clue has been out for about ten days and I'm only part way through the first clue. I expect to catch up eventually, of course. I've got another baby blanket to knit and the baby's going to be here in about a month, so I may have to put the stole on hiatus if I don't make a lot of progress soon.

25 July 2007

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

Diamond Fantasy Shawl
Originally uploaded by Mary The Digital Knitter

Here's the Diamond Fantasy Shawl, finished, blocked, and ready to go. It was finished (and photographed) on Sunday and went to its new home on Monday.

Pretty, isn't it? Hey, I didn't design it, I just knitted it. The designer gets all the credit.

As you may recall, it was knitted for my friend to wear to the wedding of her godson on Friday. The wedding is in Camarillo, which can be quite cool, even in July, She went down to Simi Valley help the mother of the groom (her best friend) with the last preparations on Tuesday and I don't expect to hear from her again until at least Saturday, maybe Sunday.

My friend's daughter and her family came out from South Dakota in part to go to the wedding and in part just to visit. They came by Sunday and we had a really nice visit. We hadn't met her husband or his daughter, so it was a real pleasure to do so. He's a very nice fellow and a very devoted father. His daughter is a real sweetie.

You may wonder why I'm talking about this family at such length. Well, they live in South Dakota. It gets cold and windy there and they're in dire need of scarves, hats, mittens, and other knitted items. I pulled some yarn from my stash for them to see and they picked out quite a few choices for me to use. In fact, I've started the Mystery Stole 3 (MS3) in an apple green wool fingering weight yarn because she has a dress it will go with perfectly.

More photos will appear shortly. Right now I have to zip to the grocery store before the thunderstorms start popping up. Yes, the Summer Monsoon has sneaked over here to the SoCal High Desert, further west than it usually goes.

19 July 2007

Quick Update

Real life has been keeping me busy, so this is just a quick posting to update a few things.

The Diamond Fantasy Shawl is thirty rows and a bind-off from being finished. It looks hideous, as does all unblocked lace on the needles. In fact, the more I knit the worse it looks, probably because there's more of it, all jammed onto a relatively short cable.

Our godchildren and their mom were here for about half a day. We spent most of the time looking at family photos which I'd cleverly brought home from my mom's house just for this. I also gave them some little mementos of my mother. There will be more, I think, as well as some for their cousin. My mom was like a grandmother to her oldest brother's three grandchildren, as his wife died fairly young about twenty years ago. My mom was really the only grandmother they knew on that side of the family and she was a truly excellent grandmother, to boot.

We had a very productive meeting with the estate lawyer and clearing the house out is going well. We've got the guest bedroom almost completely done and the kitchen is about a third done. We'll continue on the kitchen and start on the office. I'm putting off the master bedroom as long as I can, in the hope that I'll get more accustomed to going through her things with practice. I still feel as if I'm invading her privacy.

We have out-of-town friends dropping by this afternoon. They're from South Dakota, so I can knit warm scarves and hats etc. for them, knowing they have cold weather and such items will get a lot of use. Knitters in SoCal really enjoy friends like these, as it gives us so much more scope for our knitterly talents.

We're going to go look at mini-vans at the modifiers in the San Fernando Valley tomorrow. That should be very interesting. I'm still holding out for red, of course, so we probably won't buy one off the lot.

I should be back with some photos by Saturday or Sunday.

16 July 2007

Diamond Fantasy Shawl Progress & New Yarn

Working diligently on my Diamond Fantasy Shawl*, I've just finished the eighth repeat of Chart B (Chart A is the tip and set-up, Chart B is the band of diamonds). As the photo shows, it's a lot bigger now. I only have three or four repeats to go.

Not counting the edging, which increases and binds off regularly, one repeat, of twenty rows, adds twenty stitches, so by the time I finish three repeats I'll have added sixty stitches to the final rows and bind-off. I was considering an applied I-cord bind-off but I'm not sure I have the patience for it. Now I'm thinking I'll just run an eyelet row across and then put a few rows of stockinette on, to get a nicely rolled edge.

I got some new yarn, maybe for my Mystery Stole 3 (MS3). Or maybe not. It's fingering weight Egyptian Cotton from Mystical Creation Yarns. I've got two colorways already and a third in the mail. If I decided to use one of these, I have to go over to the bead shop and find some nice beads to go with the yarn. I also have some cream silk that I'm considering. I don't have to make up my mind until I finish the Diamond Fantasy Shawl, after all.

Here are the two I have:

This colorway is "River"

This colorway is "Topaz Jewel".

*I'm not in the KAL, it's just the best address I can find to show you the shawl.

14 July 2007

Not The Kind Of Fantasy I Was Looking For

I've been knitting away quite diligently on my Diamond Fantasy Shawl for the last four or five days. The day before yesterday, just as I finished the 18th row of the sixth repeat of the 20-row pattern repeat, I held my lovely shawl up so I could admire it. I discovered I'd screwed up an entire row. Twenty rows back.

I tried (oh, how I tried) to convince myself that no one would ever notice, that I only noticed because I was looking for errors, even if someone did notice it wasn't that bad an error, and so on. All the time I was coming up with these rationalizations I had a nasty sinking feeling that there was no way in the world that I was going to be able to leave that row in my shawl. I was just going to have to rip out twenty rows and correct it.

I even tried the acid test. I held the shawl up for my husband to look at, telling him there was an error in it and could he see it? He studied it briefly and then ran his finger along the offending row and I knew I was doomed to frog.

So I did. An entire day of knitting gone in a few minutes.

Mid-morning today I finally got back to where I'd been when I found the error and now I'm halfway through the next pattern repeat. I'm more than halfway done and I'm pretty sure I'll have it done well beforehand.

I'm so sure of this, in fact, that I ordered the interlocking foam squares for blocking from Amazon.com. I'd already bought two pounds of 1.5-in. T pins on eBay, so all I need now is the shawl, a bit of beading cable, and a yardstick.

No photo for this post because it doesn't look that much different. Maybe tomorrow, since I've got some new yarn to show, too.

09 July 2007

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

Now that I'm done with the baby blanket, I'm working on this shawl again. I'm making it for a friend, who needs it to wear to a wedding in a week and a half. It's going fairly quickly and I think I'll make the deadline. I've finished four repeats of the body chart (there will be ten repeats when I'm done, yarn willing).

Here's a close-up of the diamond pattern.

The pattern is from Sivia Harding. She has a lot of great lace shawl patterns.

I love knitting lace. It's just enough of a challenge to keep me interested. I don't knit really complex lace and I don't knit lace in anything finer than fingering weight. No wedding ring shawls for me.

This shawl is knitted in 50/50 merino/Tencel (lyocell) fingering weight yarn from The Woolen Rabbit. The color is Blue Lagoon. It's a very nice yarn, with a nice hand.

08 July 2007

Off The Needles

Argosy Baby Blanket
Originally uploaded by Mary The Digital Knitter

Here's the Argosy Baby Blanket, just off the needles. I haven't woven the ends in yet and I'm still debating whether to run a crocheted edging around it because of the rolling, but it's essentially done.

Notice the subtle zig-zag color pattern in the body of the blanket. I like the pooling on the two corners, too.

03 July 2007

Hot Cross Knitter

It's really hot here, I'm tired and grumpy, and my latest knitting project is giving me fits. Other than that, everything is going just fine.

My friend and I have been spending weekday mornings over at my mom's house, packing things up, throwing things away, and and sorting everything else. We've cleared out the bathrooms, the linen closet, the video tapes, and about half of the kitchen. I've also made some real inroads into the mass of financial material, most of which belongs to the volunteer organizations for which she was the treasurer.

On the way home yesterday my friend and I went by Costco to buy just one thing, an inflatable queen-sized bed (her daughter and son-in-law are coming from South Dakota in about two weeks). I'd seen the beds there Saturday, when my husband and I went by for more fans, and told her about them. She's not a member, so I had to go with her. We didn't have a written list, because who needs one for just one thing? However, we ended up buying twice as many things as we'd intended. She remembered that she needed compact fluorescent lightbulbs, so she picked up an eight-pack of the sixty-watt equivalents. I had fun teasing her about getting twice as much as she'd intended.

My lace shawl has me perplexed. There's a line in the chart that I can't reconcile at all. I've sent an e-mail message to the designer in the hope that she can straighten me out. Until I hear from her I'm working on my baby blanket. I enjoy knitting this so it's not a hardship.

Last weekend I got some of those big thick boneless pork chops at Costco. I brined them, using the usual salt and sugar, and adding black peppercorns, allspice, and chopped garlic, for about 48 hours. However, I think the standard brine is just a little too strong for chops, so next time I'll use about 75% of the salt and sugar. I think I'll use a little more garlic, too. All the same, they were really good. Very moist and tender. The brining really makes a difference.