Posts Tagged ‘Knit Picks’

One Project off the Christmas Knitting List

I’m the first knitter on Ravelry to finish (or even start) the Diamonds in the Ruff collar.  The pattern was published last March in Defarge Does Shakespeare from Co-operative Press, and I want to thank Heather at Craftlit for getting me hooked on both the series and the publishing company.

Diamonds in Ruff materialsKnitting

This is the project which helped me improve my beading method. As I mentioned before, I picked up the seed beads from Bead Biz.  I also got ribbon, focal beads (rose and leaf) and hook and eye clasps from Jo Ann Fabric, and just a couple of beads from stash.

There was lots of beading involved in this one, so the knitting took longer than such a small project normally would.  Not that the beading was that difficult, but it made the project completely non portable.  Too much set up before knitting and clean up after, too many little bits to make a mess.  So I could only work on this one at home.  It took me nearly three weeks from cast on to finish.


I have heard many people say unblocked lace supposedly looks horrible, but honestly, I just don’t see it myself.  It’s bumpy, true, but I usually find it interesting.

Diamonds in the Ruff Unblocked

This is another piece I blocked using wire.  I threaded one thin wire through the cast on stitches and the other one at the end of the “A” chart.  I threaded a thicker wire (because I was out of the thin ones) through the bind off.  I pinned the first two to the target measurement, and stretched the remainder of the ruff out to really display the lace.

Diamonds in the Ruff blocking


Once the piece was blocked I stitched 3/4″ ribbon to the wrong side, and sewed two hook and eye clasps on.  If I do it again I’ll leave slack at the short ends of the ribbon, and attach the clasps between the ribbon and the lace rather than on top of the ribbon, but it is acceptable as is.

Diamonds in the Ruff baubleMaking the faux clasp was a lot of fun.  I took a large silicone stitch marker and crocheted around it with the Knitpicks Gloss Lace I’d used for the ruff, beading as I went, and left a tail, which I then beaded.  I attached a second length of yarn and beaded it as well.  Then I sewed the whole assembly onto the ruff so that it hides the hook and eye clasps.

The final product is a very dainty and delicate piece, almost more jewelry than anything else.

Of course the person I’m giving it to probably expects a much bolder ‘infinity scarf’, so I bought one at Kohls to give her as well.  Because if I gift this to her and she seems disappointed I might just have to kill someone…

Diamonds in the Ruff FO

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the last Michelle’s Assortment name that pattern giveaway, so I entered the next one (20 December).  I’ve missed some, but I’ve caught a couple of the Knitter’s Pride series of giveaways (20 December) and the Phat Fiber Edgewood Garden Studios BFL roving giveaway (also 20 December).



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Problem Solved

Some time ago I described a painful beading incident which occurred when I was working on the Belle Greene shawl.  I’m now working another beaded pattern,  the Diamonds in the Ruff collar (from Defarge Does Shakespeare).  This is the project which called for the Bead Biz purchase at the Alpaca Festival.  Once again, I’m working with small beads and a really tiny crochet hook.  I’ve made two changes in the process, which help with both speed and safety.

First of all, rather than working the stitch and then threading it through a bead, I’m just beading the unworked stitch and slipping it to the right hand needle.  As long as I do it consistently it works beautifully.

Secondly, I’ve got a new crochet hook.  One with a soft  grip and, more importantly…

beaded hook

Comet wanted to cuddle with the pattern

covered hook

Therefore, camera time

…it has a cover. Now, as long as I cap it before putting it away, there will be no more ‘painful incidents’, even if the cats do knock my project bag on the floor.

You can never be too careful.

But, seriously, it’s a stunning design, and I’m enjoying working on it when I stop the cat from lying on it.

In addition to the seed beads, I’ve gotten the ribbon and some focal beads for finishing


I think it’s going to be stunning.  Now, if I can just be sure to finish by Christmas…

Blog Giveaways

I didn’t win the “Wonder Clips” from A Simple Homestead, the luxury yarn basket from Expression Fiber Arts or the pattern and yarn from Aroha Knits.  I did win the Arciform sweater pattern from Aphaia.

I entered the Expression Fiber Arts November/December yarn basket drawing (15 December) and the Knitting Pipeline drawing for Wool Baby Patterns ebook (26 November).

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Now it can be Told

I have finished my “secret” project, and gifted it to my friend.


This is a Snatchel.  It’s a delightfully ‘naughty’ project from the Anticraft, which is always full of delightfully naughty.  I made it for a friend who is recovering from a hysterectomy, and put a bottle of Fireball, because, hey, everyone needs fireball.  I think she’ll be using it for a dicebag (the snatchel, not the Fireball).

Other FOs and WiPs

I finished the second Artful Infinity scarf, and have given it to my younger daughter.  She absolutely rocks it (as she does everything she wears).

Artful Infinity PhotobombThe not so goatty bag is coming along nicely (if slowly).  It really doesn’t look much different than the last picture I posted of it, but  I’m having fun playing mix and match with the motifs.

Mont Royal toesMy only other WiP right now is the Mont Royal socks. I’m playing around with my usual asymmetric toes.  Rather than my usual plan of increasing on both sides for the first few, then switching to only increasing on the outside of the socks, I’ve staggered it.  So the first few increases are on both sides of the sock, then the next few increases alternate between increasing on both sides and increasing on the outside only, then the final few are on the outside only.  I think it looks fine, and the CoBaSi yarn gives it a very crisp feel.

You can’t really tell from the picture, but I’ve just begun the chart. This is my first project using my new Knit PIcks magnetic chart board, and it will be the first one I use my new KnitPicks sock blockers with as well.

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

I didn’t win the Red Heart giveaway from Happily Hooked, or the Yarn Crush box from the Dainty Fawn blog.  No new giveaways today.

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So the shiny got me, and I just had to cast on with that gorgeous skein of Diadem from the Knitpicks swag bag I told you about. I consulted Ravelry for  one skein projects using this yarn.  One user talked about a change in texture after blocking, so I looked for no block projects which would work.  I found a beautiful (and simple) piece, the Inside Out Cowl by Nicole Dupuis (cocoknits blog)..  The sample photo even has it in similar colored yarn.

First I had to wind it, using that Nostepinne I got at the Sheep and Wool Festival last year.  First I wound a single layer of yarn around the pinne, then began winding at an angle turning, crossing over the yarn.  The idea is to build up a center pull ball (note the strand tied around the tip of the nostepinne).

The problem is that this yarn didn’t want to form a nicely centered ball.  As you can see in the third and fourth pictures, it just didn’t layer well.  What you can’t here is that this yarn produced a lot of ‘fluff’, just from winding it.  Serious lint producter.

So when I removed the ball (picture 5) there was a little layer hanging back.  It ended up with the bottom of the skein looking like this: problemNot only was it not terribly attractive, it was also damaged, snarling yarn.  I ended up cutting off a moderate amount while casting on. It should be fine, the pattern won’t use anything like the whole skein, but it’s a pity, and it colors my perception of the yarn.  It’s beautiful, it’s delightfully soft, but it’s fussy.  Fussy to the ‘no frog’ point – I can’t count on reclaiming this yarn if I make any mistakes.

I still love this yarn, but I wouldn’t want to knit a sweater from it.

On the other hand, now that the cast on is done, it’s going pretty smoothly.  True, there’s a distinctly unpleasant ‘crunchy’ sensation if I happen to split a stitch.  The yarn is put-up without any plying, it’s basically unspun fibers lying parallel to each other.  But look at the color and stitch definition –

Inside Out WIP

I’m developing a love-hate relationship with this yarn…

Yarn Contests and Giveaways

The Knitting Pipeline is giving away a copy of Home by Pam Allen.  Post a comment to the Ravelry thread saying which project you’d knit first for a chance to win.

I entered to with the Expression Fiber Arts $1000 February Yarn Giveaway (February 28).

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Not Dead Yet

There are lots of excuses I could make about why I haven’t posted in so very, very long.  It all comes down to two things – stuff happened, and I got out of the habit of posting.  I apologize, and will try to get back on track with it.

So something happened in particular that I really felt I should post about, and rather than trying to catch up on everything I missed I’m just going to jump in with today’s topic.

Cool thing:  I got a delightful swag bag from Knitpicks!

Knitpicks Swag

They sent it to me as a ‘thank you’ for answering their question on the Knitpicks podcast.  Speaking of which…

Cool thing: I got a spot in the Knitpicks Podcast (episode 249 – the Newbie) almost to the end of the episode.  They called for an answer to the question of what one thing you would tell new knitters, I touched on gauge swatch, and ended up with permission to frog.  Recording it convinced me to make t ‘frogging mohair’ my Ravelry favorite swear word…

brava sportSo, the swag bag – first of all, a nice little project bag (always useful).  Then lots of yarn…  Yummy, Knitpicks yarn.

This is Brava Sport in Mint.   Between the lovely delicate color and the fact that it’s 100% acrylic it’s definitely going to be part of the whole baby parade thing.  No, not in my own family, but enough friends are about to be new parents/grandparents that I am going to just constantly knit/crochet precious little thingies and expect that they’ll be gifted somewhere.

LindyI also got Lindy Chain in the Ivy colorway.  It’s a linen/cotton fingering weight, with a curious ‘chained’ construction.  The color is so deep that it almost looks black.  I’m not sure just yet what it screams out to be, but it’s definitely interesting.  I think I’ll do some reading on the qualities of linen fibers before I decide.  Off the top all I can think of is that everyone says it just gets better the more that it’s washed.  Intriguing, but I don’t know just where it will lead me.

Next is Swish DK superwash in the Dusk and Bark colorways.  swish

It’s always good to have superwash, and DK is a nice, serviceable weight.  What I find most intriguing about these at the moment is that the ball band styles vary between the two skeins.  I’ll definitely find something worth making out of these, but no immediate inspiration.

Billow Gloss Lace

I’ve actually been thinking of picking up more cotton.  I really do need dishcloths.  But I just can’t see using this Tea Rose Billow as dishcloth material.  It’s just got a softer, squishier feel to it.

Of course, it does feel substantial enough to work well as a cloth.  Maybe a face cloth, because the color is so pretty?  It’s also got a really nice shine about it.    I think I might want a cleaning cloth made from this, but it’s very possible I will want something else more.  Time will tell.

Then there’s the Rouge colored Gloss Lace.  This is a Merino laceweight with 30% silk mixed in.  I’m not a great lover of pink, but I have a skein of wool/silk blue laceweight which may just have been waiting for this one to partner with.  The new Ravelry search feature which lets you key in on numbers of colors in a project will be getting lots of use here.  So many decisions, so little time!

Which brings us to –

Argent Diadem

Diadem Fingering in Argent Solid.  It’s 50% baby alpaca, 50% mulberry silk, this amazing pewter color, and I’m having a hard time finding anything to say about it other than mine!

So, yeah.  Working through a couple of projects with deadlines, but I’ll be better at sharing them with you, and I’ll definitely come back here and let you know what I do with these beauties.

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Earlier I published the calculations of yarn size vs. yardage, and found that when I’d knit half the Claudia’s Handpainted Mohair the yarnball would be 176mm in circumference.  This morning I finally finished with chart A, and found that the yarnball circumference was 180mm.  Pretty good, right? Chart A Complete

There should be enough yarn left over that I don’t have to worry about getting a second skein, but clearly NOT enough to start another pattern repeat.  Yay me!

You can clearly see the knitpicks connector in the photo., and you can just make out the lifeline, which was added while knitting that final row.

This picture looks much oranger than the actual shawl (though there are some orange undertones).  A side effect of playing around with the light levels on the camera.

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Knitpicks cable linker visable through stitchesWell, as I was nearing the end of the last round of lace repeats in part A of Haruni, I realized that there was a BIG problem.  The first ‘stem’ was really, tragically, misshapen.  I finally realized that there was no way to delicately work back on this one, there was nothing for it but to frog back to my lifeline.

Remember how I said I didn’t much liking with the Claudia handpanted mohair, but I’d probably start to love it by the end of the project.  Yeah, I was loving it, up until I started to frog.  Then it turned into this cobwebby, goopy, grabby ooze of a yarn.  That, and it broke (so I spit spliced it).   That was just, well, a really gross tactile experience.

On the other hand, now that I’m back at the lifeline, with all the stitches neatly picked up again and my Knit Picks cables neatly linked together with that little adaptor I picked up, I’m prepared to start loving the project once more.  Hopefully I’ll be back where I was soon, then I’ll check the size of my yarn ball (expecting the 17x mm circumferance or more), and get on to the excitement of knitting that lovely border.

In other news, it’s damn hot here.  And my A/C is broken.  Posting from the computers in the public library (did I ever mention that I love my library?).

Edited to add – I found a blog contest which gives away a skein of Lorna’s Laces (I’ve always wanted to try that!) Check out Kim Werker’s blog.

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