Saturday, June 30, 2007

~~~ Dueling Stoles ~~~

Cue the theme from Deliverance ;-) Yes, I'm working on both the French French Trellis and the Mystery Stole at the same time. I well they are taking their turns I don't think I can replicate the part of the Deliverance theme where the banjos are playing at the same time {grin}.

Last night marked milestones on both projects. Frenchie has one more leaf insertion repeat to go before the last border begins,

and MS3 ~ Chart A (50 rows) completed.

I am loving this pattern! It's challenting enough to keep me interested and the non-patterned wrong side allows a nice pause and keeps it moving a long nicely. As of this moment I am on row 57 and should have Chart B (100 rows) Clue 1 completed and maybe even repeat 18 and starting the last border on Frenchie tomorrow. I still need to cast on for the mate to the Donna's Favorite Feathered Ribbed sock.

Mystery Stole 3 theme guesses continue and so far my 2 favorites are:
  • Mortica from Addams Family
  • Taj Majal

Here's a picture of the felted Moebius Jester/Tentacle bag from Cat Bordhi's book last year.
I call this my Morticia Bag. Made with Cascade 220 in Jett Black with antique pewter buttons for accent.

Well, back to some chores and knitting. I'll post again tomorrow with more pictures.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Mystery Stole ~ episode 1

The mystery begins. Here is the first of what I think will be 7 - 8 installments of the Mystery Stole on Fridays. I pulled down Clue One early this morning and printed them off. However, I was hammered today with work and wasn't able to start casting on until 3pm PST. By 3:30 I had the 1st 16 rows completed. This is misleading since the journey stating on the bias and so the rows start out very short and build up. I can tell already though that I am going to love this project! The beading isn't as bad as I thought it would be since it's only done at either end of every 5th row in the beginning and added to the center later on.

Ok, I'm really excited now. Some in Europe have already completed the first clue (100 rows) and have posted their pictures. They are amazing and it's really fun to see how this pattern looks with different fibers and knitting tensions. I will post pictures at the halfway mark and completion of this clue (row 50 and 100).

This is really a treat and wonderful way to end a very stressful and busy work week.

Are you playing along with this mystery?

Have a wonderful weekend and look for the pictures tomorrow and a day or two after that.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Three for Thursday

Well I can tell what kind of week I've had by the fact that I haven't blogged since Saturday.
Saturday? Jeez, where has the week gone? Oh, right busy preparing for MS3 tomorrow but more on that later.

Now for the Three Things Thursday
  1. French Trellis update ~ I really am enjoying the center leaf insertion pattern and not overly anxious to attempt to turn the corner and do my first knitted on border. Maybe I'm doddling? ;-) Repeat 16 will be done easily tonight and I do plan on doing 2 extra repeats to make sure this wider than specs version keeps a similar proportion and I have just enough to do that. Nevermind that I'm cleaverly putting off the turning the corner and knitted border thing. Long story short ~ Won't finish before starting MS3 and no picture since it looks just like Saturday's picture just longer.
  2. Two new items came in for the shop this week.

    HiyaHiya Stainless Steel Circular needles in various sizes perfect for lace and socks on 2 circulars. I'm really liking them and they are a really good thrify alternative to the Addi Lace Turbos.

Then the order of Claudia Hand Painted Silk lace (5 new colors) arrived. From left to right: Crushed Velvet, Freesia, Moss, Blue Fields and Jungle. A really nice mix of bright and muticolored and subtle semi-solids. I've also exteded the sale on the Claudia silks and mohair through the end of July.

3. Preparations for Mystery Stole 3 are complete. All the necessary items are gathered and in place for tomorrow's release of the 1st clue. One final check.

* Yarn - 3 cones of Habu Tsumugi Silk in White ~ Check
* Needles: 1 24" Addi Turbo Lace ~ Check
* Beads: 2 colors from the BeadWrangler ~ Check
* Crochet hook: Size 13 for picking up and applying beads ~ Check
* Stitch markers ~ Check
* Notepad and pen ~ Check
* Glasses ~ Check

Ok, now for the first clue.

One last item to share... I got these adorable stitch markers that I ordered from I just couldn't resist.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Consider your self invited

I would like to invite you to the Lace in the Woods '08 ~ 'a knitting retreat' in Big Sur, Ca.

This will be held June 23 - 27, 2008 at the Big Sur Lodge in the heart of Big Sur in the Central California Coastal Redwoods. There will be 4 amazing lace designers teaching lace knitting techniques for socks as well as shawls. more info ...

Wow... I hadn't realized that it had been since Monday that I last blogged. Oh the shame ;-)

Quick project update.... French Trellis is coming along very nicely. I'm on repeat 13 of 16 of the center leaf panel and I'm in the grove on this one. Looks like I'll have plenty to do as many as 18-20 repeats of the center panel and since this seems to want to be more of a stole size I'll go with it. I was really hoping to have this done by the 29th for the start of Mystery Stole 3 but I'm not holding my breath at this point.
Coming Soon!!! The 5 new colorways of Claudia Hand Painted Silk laceweight should arrive on Monday and I'll post pictures as soon as I can and add these to the product page.
New lace friendly circular needles ~ I ordered last week various sizes of Hiya Hiya circlular needles in sock and lace sizes and have heard wonderful things about these giving Addi Lace and Knit Picks a run for their money.
I promise it won't be so long the next time ;-)
p.s. .... I almost forgot the coolest thing that I did today. As a followup to the Alpaca shearing last week I went out there today just in time to watch one deliver her baby... it's a boy and is a beautiful chestnut color. No name yet.

Monday, June 18, 2007

What I did this weekend

French Trellis... progress is being made. I am on repeat 7 of 16 in the lace insert (body) and this is going much faster. I'm hoping to get to the bottom border some time this weekend.

On Saturday I was invited to an Alpaca Shearing party. This was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. I of course came home with a full fleece to be processed and spun. Oh, did I mention I've never ever spun anything before. I'm looking for recommendations for a nice spinning wheel because I have a feeling there is quite a bit of spinning in my future. My photo album from this alpaca love fest can be found here.

New Item - LoRan Magnetic Boards and Magnifying Ruler. Wow!!! This makes following lace charts and any knitting charts so much easier. I have to send a bigh Thank You!!! to my friend Brooke for mentioning these. They are now in stock at The Knitting Hutch and can be purchased individually or as a kit with a project pouch set.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sunny Side Up

I received a comment yesterday in response to my post on Friday about a flower in my yard and that I wasn't sure what it was.

Anonymous said

"The plant is Romneya coulteri. The common name is Matilija Poppy and some call it Fried Egg Flower. It's native to SoCal & Baja. The flowers have a wonderful fragrance and the deer won't eat them. Mine are looking fabulous, probably 7-8' high now. "
Don't you love that... and it does look like a fried egg sunny side up.
On the knitting front (or side) I did in fact turn the corner on my French Trellis scarf for the VLT KAL and am now onto the lace insert (body) portion. I've done a few lace patterns now but this is the first with pattern on both sides and with a 'non' stitch in this pattern it is really kicking my butt. I am still determined to complete this before MS3 begins on the 29th but we'll see.
I didn't have good enough lighting last night to take pictures so that will have to wait until tomorrow or Saturday.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Full Disclosure

Since I'll be turning (literally) a milestone tonight on my French Trellis Scarf (Stole) I thought I should put out to the ether a list of WIPs and not so WIPs.

  • Kimono Shawl
    Pattern: Folk Shaws by Cheryl Oberle
    Yarn: Handmaided Sea Silk in Ebony (3 skeins)
    Needles: US 5 metal circs from the 80's. Don't remember the brand but they work.
    30% complete
    Notes: I love this pattern and of course the Sea Silk is amazing especially in Ebony. I've stalled on this one due to working on shawls lighter colored yarns for Spring and Summer. This will be a good one to finish up in the Fall.
  • Wing 'O the Moth
    Pattern: Anne of Knitspot Fiber Lounge
    Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Mohair in Woodland Moss
    Needles: Addi Lace Turbo's in US 5
    Progress: Not much... I've cast on and done a few rows.
    Notes: LOVE the pattern and yarn combo and knew it was a match made in heaven.
    The reason for not working on this is frankly I need to tink back to find and
    fix a mistake on the previous row and then was distracted by other shawls that
    I've since completed.
  • Hidcote Garden Shawl
    Pattern: Miriam of Mimknits
    Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace in John B
    Needles: US 4 Rosewood circular needles
    Progress: Same as WOM above.
    Notes: Again I love the pattern and yarn but this was the first lace weight in this style
    of shawl construction and it was a learning experience which is good. I'll
    probably frog and start over fresh but this will be a lovely garden of
    orange, red and gold poppies.
  • French Trellis Scarf
    Pattern: Victorian Lace Today
    Yarn: Habu Textiles 'kusaki zome' Silk 2/10 in 23 Ryokuyo
    Needles: Knit Picks US4 circs
    Progress: Just finishing the bottom border and ready to turn and do the insertion pattern.
    Notes: This is classified as a scarf but since mine will block out between 16" and 18" I'm putting
    it in the stole category. This has to be done by the 29th... see below.
  • Mystery Stole 3
    Pattern: Mystery Stole 3 by Melanie
    Yarn: Habu Textiles Tsumugi Silk in White (really a vanilla)
    Needles: Addi Turbo Lace US 4 circs
    Progress: Swatched, blocked and ready to go. The first clue will be revealed on the 29th.

There are many more shawl projects in the wings waiting the perfect yarn or pattern or concept from me.

Tomorrow.... Non Shawl/Stole WIPs

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday Q&A and French Trellis update

Mystery Stole 3 / Habu Silk Question

Lisa asked
" ...I've been looking at your Habu silk. Is the white a bright white or softer?..."

The white is actually a nice soft white more like vanilla ice cream. I'm not a person who wears white or even cream especially next to my face so I hesitated a little before pulling this out of my shop for this project. I figured I could wear this with a brightly colored and patterned top or dress or at the very least it will look gorgeous draped on my headboard. I couldn't decided which color of beads I wanted to use with this project so I ordered 3 and will do another swatch with all three this weekend. Who knows I might use some of all three in a random fashion.

French Trellis Scarf Progress

Last night I finished repeat 6 of 8 on the lower border (Woot!). No pictures since 6 repeats looks pretty much like 4 just a little longer ;-) This lace pattern with patterning on both the RS and WS is really challenging me which is a good thing. I should finish the lower border tomorrow night then will start picking up the slipped stitches along the straight edge to begin the body. I'll try to take pictures of how I am picking up these stitches and post that this week. Looking at the pattern for the body this should go much faster which is great since I really want to finish this before the 29th when the Mystery Stole 3 clue 1 will be released.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I'm so weak

Ok, I'll admit it... I am weak. I just signed up for Melanie's Mystery Stole 3.

... but I just couldn't help my self my resistance to a new stole project was low and looked like so much fun. So I picked out 3 cones of creamy white Habu Tsumugi Silk, my new Knit Picks US 4s and before I knew it I was doing the swatch.

It went up quickly and blocked beautifully. Fortunately this doesn't start until the 29th so I can finish up the VLT French Trellis Scarf ... which have been working on and last night finished the 3rd of 8 repeats for the first border. I should be well into the 5th or maybe even 6th repeat by the end of the night. I just switched from my Colonial Rosewoods US6 to the Knit Picks US6 I just got in the mail and it's going much faster plus I'm getting more comfortable with this slightly challenging border pattern.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Friday, June 08, 2007


It's Friday and I'm looking forward to the weekend.
Plans include ...

  • Housework - The usual suspects.
  • Gardening - weeding, general primping and much needed watering.
  • Knitting - Getting 4 repeats on the French Trellis Scarf done so I can cast on for the mate to the Chevron Donna's Favorites sock.
  • Photo shoots - Habu Tsumugi Silk for the website. The small images just aren't doing this yarn justice and new colors just came in.
  • Website work - Need to finish up the pages for Lace in the Woods 2008.
    I also need to get out the June Newsletter and work on the Press Release for the Lace in the Woods retreat to go out in a few weeks.

I know there's more that I'll come up with but looks like I'll be busy... maybe I'm not looking forward to the weekend now. ;-)

These grow like weeds and come up volunteer but I just love them and they really don't last very long. I have no idea what they are but enjoy seeing them come up every year.

The Chevron Sock ... One done and one to go. I finished the Ribbed Feather chevron sock in Donna's Favorites last night and I will not cast on for the other until I ...

finish the border repeats 1-4 on the French Trellis Scarf from VLT and right now I'm halfway through the 2nd repeat.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

New beginnings ...

The Victorian Lace Today KAL kicked off this weekend and I'm starting on the French Trellis Scarf.

I'm using 3 balls of Habu Kasuki Zome Silk in the Ryokuyo (light green) colorway and my Colonial Rosewood circs in US 6. This silk is so soft and almost cotton like... really a pleasure to work with.

I'm buzzing right along on the first border repeat (of 8) ;-)

This pattern is classified as an Intermediate and can be challenging with patterning on both RS and WS and is not easily memorized.

but I'll continue on. Can't wait to see how it turns out.

Sock Mojo is back baby !!!!

I was getting really concerned that I had lost my mojo for knitting socks which I love.

What I came to realize is that it's all in the combination of the yarn, colorway and pattern.

I had started a pair of socks with this yarn Claudia Hand Painted fingering weight in Donna's Favorites back at the end of April. I started with a pinecone pattern which is a simple eyelet design and had the toe, instep and was ready to turn the heal but just couldn't get beyond that.

Then I realized that I wasn't loving this combination of yarn/colorway/pattern. So I went to the frog pond and RIPPED! All the way down to the end of the toe increases. I knew I wanted a chevron type pattern so I pulled out Sensational Knitted Socks and looked at the 3 chevron style patterns and selected Ribbed Feather. This was it!!! Well, after the first repeat I wasn't sure but as I added repeats I knew this was PERFECT. I am in love with socks again (at least this one). By Sunday evening I had all but 2 repeats left to do for the instep and last night I finished turning the heel.

New from Habu Textiles - More colors of Tsumugi Silk. There are now 17 colors in stock!
I just love this silk from Habu and it's such a good value for 450 yards of laceweight silk. I also received the Linen and Silk Shoulder bag in brick/wine and only 1 of the 3 are left!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

More Completion Weekend

The Ostrich Plume Stole .... Completed.

Pictures of the bird bathed, blocked and ready to use.
I am really pleased with the way this turned out (having never blocked silk before). I will definitely do this one again either in a different colorway of Habu Silk Tweed or a solid Habu silk.

I am also glad that I decided to go down a needle size (US6) for this weight to keep the stitch definition, and will use them again for my next shawl with this weight of silk.


Now for the Habu (sense a theme here) Silk and Linen Shoulder bag.
In all honesty I had started this one quite awhile ago and layed
it aside for other projects.
Just last week picked it up since all that was left was the second handle and sewing.
This really is a quick knit and have another one in the wings to do very soon. I again used a smaller needle on this one (Clover US4) to get a nice firm fabric.

Instead of sewing the side seams I put the right sides together and did a single crochet seam. I really like this as
it gives a nice finished and almost serge edge and adds support to the seams.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A weekend for completions

I am completing two projects today and well onto a third.

The Ostrich Plume Stole is being blocked as I write this and the Habu Linen and Silk Shoulder bag is being stitched up.

Here's a detail of the stitch pattern while blocking.
I LOVE it!!! I'll take it up tomorrow morning and do a final photo shoot and put together my project page for this one.

Some stats on this one .... 5 balls of Habu Kasuri Silk Tweed in the Yellow colorway. Colonial Rosewood circular knitting needles in US6 (down a needle size from the pattern). These needles have a nice pointy tip that worked fine for this pattern. I ended up doing 12 repeats instead of the 9 for the stole to get the length with the slightly smaller gauge. Finished dimensions 19" wide (just under the 20") and 70" (just under the 72") in the pattern. I used the smaller needle size so I could keep some stitch definition but not close up the pattern too much. Very pleased with the results.

I will finish up sewing on the Habu Linen and Silk Shoulder bag and take final pictures tomorrow. This was a fun and mindless knitting project that I really enjoyed and know I'll enjoy using the bag as well.
I'm still not completely decided on if I should line it or not.... I do have material for lining but will probably try using it as is before deciding either way.

More later ....