08 December 2007

What's New On The Knitting Front

I'm going to start out with the knitting for the March baby, my dear friend's first grandbaby.

First is the christening shawl. Traditionally this is worn by the baby at the christening and then, decades later, by the bride at the baby's wedding. Well, the baby isn't a baby at the wedding, of course, but you know what I mean. We don't know whether the baby is a boy or a girl, so I have to write very generally until March.

This shawl, knitted from the Diamond Fantasy Shawl pattern, is finished, with the yarn ends woven in but not clipped. It needs to be washed and dressed (blocked, dressed--I use the terms interchangeably for lace; everything else gets blocked). I got a blocking wire set just for shawls and I think I'll use them for this shawl. The yarn (Knit Picks Bare merino and silk fingering weight) is very nice and I think it will block beautifully.

A close-up, to show the diamonds.

Next is hand-painted Ultra Superwash Merino in worsted weight, from Karen Jorden (sharing.etsy.com). She's one of my favorite dyers as she has a wonderful eye for bright colors.
This yarn (five skeins) was custom-dyed for the March baby. This green is one of the mother's favorite colors and it's safely neutral. I haven't decided on a pattern yet, but I'm considering a ripple afghan pattern. I could make another Argosy baby blanket, I suppose, but I feel as if I should try something new. Be adventurous or something. We'll see.

And here's a slightly lighter version of the same color, in fingering weight. We didn't want to make the two exactly the same. Too matchy-matchy. This will become a shawl for the baby's mother. Like the worsted weight, this is just beautiful yarn. I really look forward to knitting with them.

Now, some knitting for grown-ups in Iowa. This is the start of a scarf for my brother-in-law. It's Knit Picks Panache in Dusk (the alpaca, cashmere, silk, and superfine merino yarn is discontinued, I'm sorry to say). The pattern is the Yarn Harlot's One Line Hand-spun Scarf, which is beautiful indeed in hand-spun yarn, and pretty good in regular yarn.

And this is a close-up of the garter-stitch scarf, knitted in hand-painted brushed Suri alpaca, for my sister-in-law. This yarn is so light and ethereal, it's just amazing how warm it is. The scarf, which is about nine inches wide and over six feet long, took only one and a half balls of yarn.

Here's a bigger photo, showing a section of it. I think the colors are just beautiful and I was ever so slightly tempted to keep this beauty, except that I've never worn a scarf for warmth in my entire life. Instead, I've threatened my husband with a throw knitted from this yarn, to keep him warm. He's not sure if I'm serious or if I'm kidding. Neither am I.

And here's the ball of yarn. It's one of those yarns that you want to cuddle and pet the ball, because it's so soft and nice.

And finally we get to some yarn for me. This is Claudia's fingering weight merino, hand-painted in the Tropicana color way. Yes, the colors are as bright as they look in the photo. Most people use this yarn for socks. Not me. I have six skeins of it.

I'm making a triangular shawl with it. Here's a photo of about half of it. It's too big to lie flat on the needle cable, so I bunched half of it up and spread out the other half. Bright, isn't it?

Here's a close-up, showing the pattern.

And here's another, closer close-up.

This shawl is knitted in the flower motif from this book:

This is a wonderful book by an exceedingly talented designer. I have many of her lace shawl patterns from Fiber Trends and various magazines and books. This book shows how to knit a triangular shawl in four different motifs, either singly or combined, and add a scalloped edging.
With this book a knitter will understand triangular shawl construction and be able to go much further, designing original lace shawls with a wide variety of lace patterns. I highly recommend it.

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