Blocking wires

Yesterday I finally gave in. I had about 300 pins in a shawl and I still couldn’t get the edges as straight as I would have likes. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I went out and purchased a set of blocking wires.

The set includes straight wires, 2 flexible wires, 20 t-pins, and a yardstick

The set includes straight wires, 2 flexible wires, 20 t-pins, and a yardstick

I LOVE these things! I blocked my Brown-eyed Susan today and it took me so much less time with a just as good or better result. Why didn’t I do this years ago? Having the proper tools makes the whole process of blocking so much easier.

browneyedsusan1

I ended up using more pins that I needed. I thought I would try to block the edge into scallops but then I got lazy and just pinned it all to the wire. I made this shawl a year and a half to two years ago out of Artesano 4 ply in three different colours. The body is striped with the violet and coco colourways and the lace edging is in Venezuala with the cast off in violet. This was an awesome stash busting project for me and it’s really nice to get it re-blocked and all set for when the weather gets colder!

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The aftermath of mothmagedon

After mothmagedon and before I left on vacation I stuffed almost all of my shawls, gloves, and hats in the freezer for safekeeping away from moths. This weekend I took them out of the freezer. Apparently at some point during my vacation the power went out long enough to defrost the freezer and get yucky freezer water all over my woolens. Of course the yucky freezer water refroze after the power went back on. Now I have to rewash and block all of these:

towash

 

This will take me a while to work through. I’m hoping that with the help of a fan I can go through at least one shawl and with the help of a balloon one hat a day until its all wash and blocked. I also realized that there is at least one project in that pile that I made in 2008 and has never been blocked! I knew I was bad about blocking but I didn’t realize it was THAT bad! Oh well, at least I can correct that soon. Today I’m washing a scarf that I purchased in Scotland a long long time ago and a cowl that I haven’t worn in ages.

wollmeise cowl

I really do love the colour!

This was my first exposure to Wollmeise. It’s knit in 100% Merino Superwash in the colour way Brombeere. In real life the colour is darker and more burgandy with subtle variations. At the time I would never have thought of writing up a pattern and I kept no notes but now I wish I had. The patterning is very subtle and doesn’t show up well in the photo but it plays on a 2×2 seed stitch that is off-set by one stitch each row to form diagonal lines. Once this is dry I think I just might study this cowl and write up what I did.

 

WIP Friday #20

This week I’ve been working on my silk top and my Rocio cardigan. Both of them are in the plain stockinette stitch phases of their construction. I’ve mainly been working on the Rocio cardigan because of a few fitting issues with the silk top. It turns out that I had a bit more negative ease than I thought I had. So I had to rip back again to put some more stitches in. I hope this is the last time I need to rip it back.

This photo looks shockingly like the photo from last week. I swear I’ve made progress, it’s just that I’ve ripped a decent amount of that progress out.

While there doesn’t appear to be that much progress on the silk top there is plenty on my Rocio cardigan.

So much more progress!

I’ve gone from part of the back done to being on the body! I think all I have to do before the sleeves is knit another 12 inches on stockinette stitch. With 282 stitches per row that might take a while. I might go work on the silk top for a while. The yarn is much thicker and I might see some progress.

Making Repairs

Darning is one of the techniques I have yet to master. Unfortunately this year was mothmagedon and when I came back from holiday I discovered a hole in my Cloudette Cardigan. A rather large hole.

I saw this and cursed all moths everywhere

I saw this and cursed all moths everywhere

I had been wearing this top a few days before I noticed the infestation so apparently it the moths loved it. A word of advise: if you live in an area with moths and like to wear a particular top  wash it after every wear in moth season! There are seven stitches affected and 5 rows missing. The first thing I did when I saw the hole was secure the stitches as best I could. The second was grab a drink while throwing the sweater in the freezer to kill any potential baby moths. Now it is out of the freezer and I’m trying to figure out how to fix it. I figure the best way to do this is to re-knit.

I cut a really long (approximately 4 metre) strand of the yarn I used in the project and worked duplicate stitch for 10 stitches before the hole drawing the yarn through so only a short tail was left at the beginning. Then I knit across the row of live stitches and worked duplicate stitch for 10 stitches after the hole. I repeated this across the rows of the hole and then grafted the top and bottom stitches together. This is the result:

atemptatdarningfinish

The grafting ended up with a purl ridge on the knit side and the boundary between the repair and the rest of the garment shows a little. I’m not completely happy with  how it turned out but I think it’s wearable for the moment. If it continues to bother me I can always rip the sleeve back and re-do it. For a first attempt at darning with a dark slippy lace-weight yarn I don’t think I could have done any better.

WordPress Family Award

I have been absolutely horrible about responding to nominations for awards. This week I have decided that I will not let that be the case any longer. For the next three Mondays I will respond to my award nominations starting with the most recent and numerous, The WordPress Family Award. I was nominated by three people: From the Purlside, iknead2knit, and monsteryarns. I am honoured by the nominations. I’ve only been blogging for a bit over 6 months and the fact that so many people thought of me for this award astonishes me. 

The rules of this award are simple: link to the person who nominated you, display the award icon if desired, and most importantly pass it on to 10 additional bloggers and let them know they are nominated. These are the people I would like to nominate in no particular order.

iMake

Peacefully Knitting

All Knight Knits

Introverted Knitter

All She Wants to do is Knit

Pans and Needles

Kate Davies Designs

Neoteric Wool

Knit the Hell Out

R1-K1-Spin

These are all blogs that I read and enjoy on a regular basis and I hope you will too.

WIP Friday #19

This week I’ve worked on my silk top and a new project. I finally have sleeves I’m happy with on my silk top!

The beads add a nice weight to the sleeve

I’m now working on the waist shaping and finishing the body of the top. It’s odd not working lace in this yarn any more. I am enjoying how fast the top is moving now.

Now for my new project: Rocio by Joji. Earlier this week I was frustrated with the progress on my silk top and decided that what I needed to relax was a project from a published pattern.  I also wanted to play with my new Classic Elite Silky Alpaca. After lots of browsing, I decided this pattern would work well. It’s knit from the top down with the back worked first through the arm hole followed by the fronts which are joined under the armhole. I haven’t worked on it too much but I do like what I have done so far.

There is some pooling on the edges but I’m sure that will go away once I join the fronts. I found that this yarn was a bit warm to work with in the heat but hopefully it’ll be a bit cooler soon and progress can resume.

You know its hot when

Yesterday I was looking through patterns on Ravelry and I found a cardigan I really like, Isis Tailcoat by Kari-Helene Rane.

When I saw the first photo I liked how it emphasizes the waist and the lace at the bottom edge. Then I saw the back.

I love how it scoops down and the geometry involved with turning the fronts around to make the skirt in the back.

Then I thought about working on it now. A large cardigan in worsted yarn. Not in this weather. It calls for 100% alpaca: I would die of heatstroke before I’d finished casting on.

I showed this to my husband who normally complains about the amount of yarn I have and he was enthusiastic. I had to explain that this would not be happening for a while. It’s so hot I’m declining to purchase yarn for a beautiful project. What is the world coming to?