Sunday, July 27, 2008

First of Four

First of Four
Originally uploaded by Strings 'n Things
Because I'm following the pattern exactly as written, I'll have to make four edge strips, which are started and finished with waste yarn. When the dress is ready to be seamed, the edge pieces are grafted together and the waste yarn removed. The first of the four edge strips is completed (but not blocked). It has 15 repeats of the lace pattern. The next three strips will go much more quickly, now that I have the pattern almost memorized.

While browsing through Ravelry to see how others have made this dress, I found that a lot of the knitters had converted the pattern to knitting in the round. I was tempted to do that, but I have a feeling that the side seams offer a little stability to the dress; I could be wrong, but I don't think so. For that reason, I've chosen to work the pattern as written.

I also read a few comments from others that the lace edging was intimidating. I'm not finding that to be the case at all. That said, I don't like knitting lace from written instructions and have charted out the pattern. It doesn't look like a regular chart as I have each pattern line charted on it's own, independent of the rest. There's such a rapid increase in stitches (from 14 - 21 in the first row alone) that it was difficult to chart, so, as I said, I charted each row on it's own. It sure makes the pattern easier to follow. It also helped me to discover a minor error in the pattern. One row (row 7) has a mistake: where it says k11, it should be k10, for a finished stitch count of 23. I've looked online for pattern errata, but was unable to find anything for this particular pattern, either on the Rowan website or the Martingale site (the publisher of Romantic Style).

It's one piece. It's a good start.

Incidentally, this morning I updated the Strings 'n Things website (see my sidebar). At least, I think I did. Could one of you check to see that there are more patterns listed there than just the baby stuff? It looks fine on my machine, but I've had knitters email me to say that only the baby stuff shows on the home page. As well, is the header showing up at all? Thanks so much (in advance) for your help!

Back to knitting.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It Has Begun

Edging July26_08
Originally uploaded by Strings 'n Things
The Brittany Birch needles have been sharpened, the swatches have been knit, the pattern has been charted and tested. All is in order now.

This morning I cast on for the Butterfly Dress and have completed two repeats of the edging pattern. It's very pretty. It's difficult to tell from the picture, but the "medallion" in the center looks like a flower cupped by two leaves. At least, that's what it reminds me of. Incidentally, this edging is true lace, having patterning on every row. The body of the dress is knitted lace, meaning one pattern row, then a purl row.

I have a feeling that, in a relatively short time, I'll be able to knit the edging in my sleep; I'll certainly be knitting a lot of it. This edging is the bottom edge (hem) of the dress and is two layers, which means I'll be knitting the entire edging twice! Then, stitches are picked up from both layers simultaneously and the dress knit up from there.

The yarn, Rowan Kidsilk Haze, is lovely to work with, so soft and silky and yet feels as if it has strength and body. I love working with this yarn, even though it's a bear to wrestle with if you have to frog it. I don't intend to have to frog it. How's that for confidence?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Personal Knitting Now On Hold

Butterfly dress
Originally uploaded by Strings 'n Things
All my knitting projects are now officially on hold. The yarn and pattern for my special project have arrived and now, I can tell you about it.

I'll be knitting the Butterfly dress for a friend who's getting married in January (in Mexico, no less). This will be her wedding dress.

They yarn, as you can see, is Rowan Kid Silk Haze in the colours called for in the pattern. I think this will be an interesting knit and I'm looking forward to getting it started, but first I'll be spending some time charting the lace ruffle, reviewing all the directings and (gasp) swatching!

Now, where did I put my 3.25 mm dpns? (It also calls for 4.5 and 5 mm needles.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Knit Happens

While it really hasn't been knitting weather, I did do a bit of knitting this past week. I finally did something I've been thinking about for some time now.


I love that button! It's a little difficult to see, but it's a seahorse, and it goes perfectly with the yarn. Before you ask, I don't remember the name of the yarn; it's a skein I won a while back and I've not had the opportunity to do anything with it till now. That's not exactly true. I've had plenty of opportunity, but not the right project. It's a lovely, soft yarn to work with, fingering weight, and the colour is amazing.

Oh, you'd like to see the rest? Of course.



This was knitted from the top down (รก la Barbara Walker), with no seams. The only thing I had to use a needle for was weaving in the ends. The lacy stitch is the little arrowhead pattern (also from Barbara Walker). I used a 3.25 mm circular needle for the body and double pointeds for the sleeves. Simple, fast, fun and, I think, cute.

And, yes, I have been working on shawls as well, but the progress is slow on all four. Working one or two rounds on the pi shawl really doesn't make for great pictures. By next week, most likely, all of my works in progress will have to be put aside for a very special project. I'll tell you all about it when the supplies arrive, but it will definitely be special. I've been told already that once started, the upcoming project will be the only one I can work on, until it's completion.

Last Sunday, as I intimated, we did go to Kalamalka Lake for the afternoon. It was wonderfully relaxing. We took along a picnic lunch, some libation, and no sunscreen, found a cozy little beach for just the two of us and spent a couple of hours soaking in the sun and the scenery. We enjoyed it so much (except for the sunburn I got... bad one!) that we'd like to make the effort to get out a little more often. A two bedroom, third floor apartment can become a bit stifling at times, yanno?


Kalamalka Lake, the jewel of the Okanagan. It isn't visible in these photos, but the lake, seen from other vantage points, is a gorgeous jade green and deep blue. One day, I'll get a good picture of the lake, with it's colours.


The arrow points to the clump of trees where we enjoyed our afternoon. And a just-for-fun picture...


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The No Post Post

There's not much to blog about this week, so I won't. The weather's warm, it's going to get warmer. We're taking a picnic lunch to Kalamalka Lake and finding a spot to relax and enjoy the sun and the water.

See you next week, when there will, hopefully, be something to blog about.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Knot Much Knitting

There hasn't been much knitting chez Skae this past week. Yes, there has been some; I've worked about two rounds on the Orkney Pi shawl, but that doesn't make for great photography. My time this week has been spent mainly on visiting with family, namely my daughter, Kristen, and my granddaughter, Trinity. We've made some wonderful memories and got to know the four year old Trinity. There will be pictures, but I have to sort through them, process and then upload them. That will happen, just not today. Right now, they're camping with Kristen's Dad and Stepmom and will be heading home tomorrow.

I do have some knitting related content, though. This morning, I walked over to the bakery at the corner, and popped into the thrift store on the way. I came across two things that I just HAD to purchase. By the time I walked out the door, I'd spent a grand sum of $3.00.

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I love these! The packaging reads "Smooth Fingertip Aluminum Alloy Pins for Hand Knitting". They're 7", size 12, which is 2.75 mm or US 2. The back of the packaging tells me they were manufactured by Aviation Products Co., Montreal, Canada. Doing a Google search hasn't brought up anything, but I've only just started looking. I'll let you know if I find out anything interesting. I paid $1.00 (originally the lady working in the shop asked for 50 cents, but when I commented that they looked heirloom, she upped the price.....oh well... still a good deal, I think). Oh, and there are seven needles in the package. Very unusual for nowadays. The other two dollars went to purchase this..


"Charted Knitting Designs" by Barbara G. Walker. Today, it's known as "Charted Knitting Designs, a Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns", which I have already, in soft cover. This is the 1972 hard cover edition, published by Scribners. Even though I now have two copies, should I have walked away from it? I think not! For $2.00, I'll gladly keep an extra copy in my library!

Edited to add: I did a more in-depth search on the knitting needles and found some information here; especially relevant is the second paragraph of the Summary. So, the needles are from some time in the early 40's to the 50's, I'm guessing. Cool!