Saturday, May 31, 2008

Beach Day

I went to L'Atelier Yarn Shop this morning and bought 2 skeins of cashsoft yarn for a future baby gift. I didn't take any pictures of the yarn shop (they might not approve!) but I did walk around the beach area afterwards and snapped these shots.

Afterwards: I picked up a couple of tamales at the Farmer's Market this morning and brought them home, and Sam decided that it would make a supper if we added some Spanish rice. So we created Spanish rice as follows:

1 plate of cooked rice (Sam cooked some fresh and added some leftover.)
about 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
about 1/4 cup very finely chopped celery
4 strips of bacon

Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry up. When nearly done, add the onion and celery. Continue frying. Fold in the rice (warmed, if it's cold.) Pour a generous amount of ketchup over and stir gently to coat all the rice evenly. Serves 2~3.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Branching Out All Right!

Just when I thought that only geniuses could possibly knit real lace, and that I ws born without the necessary genes, I think something finally clicked, and I'm getting the hang of this! It still takes a lot of attention, no autopilot here! And a lot of careful counting after each right-side row. And the occasional bit of tinking (which is a challenge in itself, because how do you undo a stitch in which you have slipped 2, knit 2 together and then passed the slipped stitches over?) And the liberal use of lifelines to avoid having to rip back to the beginning in the event of emergency.

But at the moment, I have 4 repeats done, and I am addicted!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fast results!

Amazingly, I finished my airy fairy scarf already! I guess when you use size 11 needles, it speeds things up a bit! I'm very happy with it--pretty color, a nice simple go at really basic lace, and a super soft scarf that I will enjoy wearing. One skein of yarn gave me a 5" x 52" scarf, which is enough to wrap around from front to back and around to the front and hang nicely. So now, to finish up the paprika one and then decide where to go from there.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Quest for Lace Continues

I thought perhaps I was ready for a real lace pattern, so I printed out the pattern for Branching Out and bought the exact yarn called for, Silky Wool, and confidently cast on. K2tog, yo--no big deal, right? I get this now!

Uh, well--this pattern has k3togs, and pssos and changing numbers of stitches all over the place, and after 90 minutes or so, I got one repeat done and couldn't get the stitch count to come out right, tinked, tried again, and finally frogged. So that one is in a time out.

Instead, I decided to have a go at a really simple "lace" pattern, from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, called Airy Scarf. The original was done in Kid Silk Haze, which looks like sticky cobwebs on the skein, but I recently purchased Kimono Angora by Louisa Harding at Concepts in Yarn, and that seemed like it might work, and sure enough, this I can do! Size 11 needles, with yarn that claims to be DK but is actually fingering weight, very soft, very light, feels like bunnies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One Skein Scarf

I finished my little scarf (scarflette?) in a simple lace pattern. The pattern is a slightly adapted from One Skein Wonders--they have you knitting on both sides, thus creating a garter stitch lace which is the same on both sides. But garter stitch annoys me because the needle doesn't slide into the stitch as easily, so I purled on the back. That makes it not the same on both sides, but I kind of like it that way anyway. Alpaca seems soft, but it does have a bit of itchiness to it, on my skin. But in any case, I am pleased with this little experiment. If I'd had 2 skeins, I would have kept going, but I got just one in an online trade.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The quest for lace

I have become obsessed with the need to learn how to do basic lace patterns. The concept is simple enough: do an equal number of k2togs and yo's in a row, and arrange the holes in some sort of pattern. But I keep starting and then ripping out. And I keep wanting to try a new idea. Usually I only work on one project at a time (monogamous knitting) but somehow lace has made a yarn harlot of me. They do say lace is seductive!
I am not even talking about lace-weight yarn, though that's probably next on the slippery slope!

At the moment I am trying:

Berocco worsted weight wool-alpaca in colorway Pesto (which I love!) in a super-simple lace with all purls on the back:

Fingering weight sock yarn by SeeJayneKnit in the pattern that was driving me crazy from Ann Budd's book of basic patterns. Turns out there was an error in the chart! I photocopied the corrected chart and pasted several together to make sure that the holes would line up, and I think it's working. I might rip this out and try it again a little wider:

And last but not least, more sock yarn, this time from Claudia's Handpainted Yarns, in a pattern that doesn't quite deserve the name lace, but is captivating nonetheless. It's from Morehouse Farms, and consists of knitting fine yarn on size 11 needles, garter stitch, starting with 3 stitches and increasing with a kfb on each row. This one needs a new needle to finish, which is on order from knitpicks. I'm running out of space on this stubby needle, and I think the stitches will flow more smoothly on the metal needle.

Pattern here:

Monday, May 12, 2008

It will do.

I finished the V-neck vest, now officially named Stonehenge, in honor of its slate coloring and its Anglo-Saxon good looks--and its general weirdness. I am wearing it today, but it actually would fit someone several sizes larger than me. Nevertheless, it's wearable and comfy and it's cool and grey here today, so I'm wearing it.


Sunday, May 4, 2008


Well I fumbled my way through picking up stitches and knitting ribbing around the neck edging, and I do think that the cable looks fairly decent with this part done. It no longer looks like it had a bite taken out of it!

However: the size and the shaping of this vest is all wrong. The waist shaping is too extreme, and the whole thing is too big. I am going to set it aside for a while and think about what to do. I am tempted to machine stitch a new side seam before doing the armholes, but I don't know if that would be a disaster. An expert tells me to do it on a serger, but of course I don't have a serger. Maybe I will decide I can live with this size. Maybe if I block it I can stretch it in length and thereby decrease it in width. I don't know. But I'm somewhat happy to have the front looking respectable.

I think I will try knitting some worsted weight lace for a while as a time-out.