Monthly Archives: July 2008

Smurf hands and Yoda hats

Jill P,

Somehow I always get into color trends and it’s usually always unintentional.  After a long bout of pink, I’m onto blue/purples. 

I’m making some progress on the Shetland Shorty.  At first I wasn’t really enjoying it, but now that I’m doing the lace body I’m more interested than in the tiny garter stitch.  Here’s where I’m at so far:

But after doing only a couple of rows, my hands are stained purple-ish.  I think it’s the deep purple color that does it.  It’s my left index finger and thumb from pushing the stitches and on the back of my right index finger from wrapping. 

It doesn’t even clean off that easily.  It certainly makes me wonder about the final project.  I’m using Schaefer Anne, and have heard some stuff about Schaefer colors bleeding.  I just don’t want to worry about that all the time. 

I started some new spinning too.  I’m spinning up a 4 oz. bit of Lisa Souza 50/50 Merino/Silk Top, in almost the same colors as the shorty. 

Since it’s top, I was trying to not split it in half and spin it straight as it is.  But this is hard to spin without much pre-drafting.  And I suppose that once it’s been dyed the fibers aren’t really aligned that great anyway.  I am spinning it worsted and pretty thin. 

If I do a 2-ply, it might be lace weight.  I could do a 3-ply for a change.  Or I can try to challenge myself and give navajo plying a shot.  (Especially since I didn’t split the top into three sections, just halfsies.)  But there is some color gradiation and I don’t really want a stripey yarn.  If I ply it off multiple bobbins it will alleviate that a bit.  I can’t decide.  Any suggestions?  Or beads? 

I think this fiber will bleed too.  I’ve had some bad luck with some Lisa Souza yarn that I used.  It kind of ruined a few shirts, just by dripping water onto them in the laundry bag.  And some of her fiber that I spun sock yarn out of stained the head of my wheel. 

I recently finished the Baby Yoda Hat.  It’s for my co-worker Kai who has a baby due in September.  I don’t know if he’s a Star Wars fan, but he’s the IT guy, so he must. 

I used Cascade 220, about half a skein.  It’s knit on US11s and pretty loose.  I used this pattern.  I followed AnnyPurls modifications to add earflaps and I-cord ties.  The ears could use a little finessing, but I think they’re going to stay just like that.  I hand felted it in the sink which helped me to put this project off until I was hitting the baby shower deadline.  I think it’ll look better on a baby than on this IKEA lamp.  I also tried to get Miely to model it:

She just wanted to play with the ties though. 

That’s all I’ve got to show for now!  See you tomorrow at the guild meeting!

Jill B.


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I’m so over lace.

Jill P.,

I was kind of getting lazy about writing because I knew you wouldn’t be writing back.  But this time, maybe, just maybe you will.  I don’t have a formulated blog post, but I’ll show you what I’ve been working on.

Last week I was on a time schedule to finish the Cobweb Lace Stole.  I wanted to get it done for Compatto‘s customer showcase on Friday.  I finished the knitting on Tuesday and was able to block it that night.  The two halves are knit separately and then grafted together at the middle.  I had been nervous about grafting because I’ve only ever used it on sock toes.  I thought maybe there was a different way to do it for lace.  Like a way to keep it in pattern.  After some research, I realized that there doesn’t seem to be another way.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Using the regular old kitchener adds a regular knit row in between the two sides.  I thought that might look out of place since both sides had patterning, but it didn’t.  The designer picked a good spot to graft, it looks pretty seamless.  The pattern looks different from the other sections, but not out of place.  

Here’s a pre-blocking shot:

It looks fairly open already, compared with other lace.  The pattern said to steam block it, but I went with the immersion block.  I wanted to add some size to it. 


A blocking close-up:

I was using Malabrigo Lace yarn.  I’m not entirely sure about using a lace single.  The yarn broke on me once, but I was knitting in heatwave weather and I think my clammy hands were too sticky.  And sometimes my inside and outside yarn ends would tangle and once I had to cut them apart.  This yarn is really fuzzy and feels like it’s felting as I work with it.  For this pattern, it wasn’t quite ideal either.  There are several sections of drop stitches in the outside edges.  The yarn is so sticky that I had to use another needle and kind of tear each stitch apart.  It took a long time.  Of course I didn’t worry as much about dropping stitches.  They would have just hung out and not gone anywhere!

But when all was said and done I was very happy with it.  I got Sean to take some pictures of me modelling it at work.  The brick wall background was the only spot in the work courtyard that doesn’t look like an industrial area.  There are also chemical vats and stuff out there.

Cobweb Lace Stole by Michelle Rose Orne

in Interweave Knits Spring 2008

Malabrigo Lace Yarn in Orchid, 2 balls.  About 800 yds (much less than pattern called for).

It was a fun one to knit, and a bit of a challenge.  But after these last two shawls, I’m pretty ready to take a break on the lace.  I think I have some colorwork in my future.  I got my yarn from KnitPicks to do the Road to Golden sweater from KnitScene.  I just cast on for the Shetland Shorty from the most recent Knitty. 

I’m using Schaefer Anne.  The pattern calls for US4 needles, but I had to go down to 2s.  And my gauge is still too loose.  I’m going to knit the smaller size and hope for the best.  I was in-between two sizes.  but it already looks too small.  Hmm.  I’m also worried about running out of yarn.  I have 560 yds, and the two sizes call for 540 and 590yd.  I’m tired of doing crap like this, but I’m also tired of not being able to return extra yarn.  I’m trying to be optimistic.  There’s no way I’m getting a second skein of yarn.  I refuse.

Last weekend I also tried my hand at some sewing.  Using your sewing machine, I tried to make this Infinity Dress.  (can’t find the link right now)  It’s a one-seam dress, that consists of a big circle skirt and two 90″ straps connected in the front.  Then you wrap the straps any way you want.  Convertible style.  I cut my skirt hole to be the size of my body.  But with the weight of the fabric and the fact that I might have bought the wrong kind of fabric, the hole ended up giant.  I finally got lazy and just overlapped a bunch of inches of waist and sewed it down.  But now the circle is a little small.  I have to put it on over my head and then squeeze my boobs through individually.  ha!  It’s a little ridiculous.  And the straps are a little unwieldly.  I’d be worried to wear it without a bra, but with all the crossy straps, it would be hard to wear one.  No picture yet.

Oh, and I finally finished spinning all of my alpaca fleece.  It took forever with all the carding.  But it’s done!

There’s 404 grams.  Maybe a little more than 800 yds.   I think my spinning thickness was a little irregular.  Some seems like DK and some a little more like fingering.  Hard to say.  I hope I can make something with it.  I don’t know what my next spinning project will be.  Always lots of fiber to choose from…

Ack, I’m running late for work!  See you soon!

Jill B.


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