Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Mirror Image.

A few tips if you're knitting the Springtime Bandit along with us.

First, the pattern only includes the chart for the right-hand side of the shawl. It says to knit the left-hand side reading the chart from left to right to create a "mirror image".  If you do this, you'll need to swap the left leaning and right leaning decreases (i.e., if the chart has a K2tog, substitute an SSK or SKP and vice versa). I found that I could actually just read the chart from right to left for both sides - and didn't have to think about swapping.  Here's a close up shot of my finished shawl showing that "mirror image" (more details on my ravelry page, here).

Second, the shawl needs a very loose bind-off if you wanto to block it into points. There's a tutorial here for one I like - I use it for all my lace bind-offs (usually the "through the back loops" version). If you have another favorite, please let us know!

5-24-10 - edited to respond to the comment about using a larger needle for the bind-off. Personally, I don't like to use a larger needle - I like those bound-off stituches to be the same size as the rest of the shawl. But I do keep the tension loose. If you're a tight knitter, using a larger needle might be a very good idea!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Little and Big.

This is my favorite kind of post for a Monday morning (really, for just about any morning!) - showing off a few of the FOs (finished objects) that have paraded through the shop in the past few weeks. We love to see what you create with the yarn; please keep bringing those finished projects in!

First up, the little. Cecile Rosenburg's darling Fiona's Top (more details on her ravelry project page here).

Cecile used 4 skeins of Rowan Organic Cotton DK (3 for the main color and one for the contrast). Love the pretty lace and the stripes of color on the yoke!

Second up, the big. Stormy Falso's Rowling Wrap. Stormy used Araucania Toconao held double to get that "super chunky" gauge.

Those cables really pop! in that yarn!

...GREAT work ladies - thank you so much for sharing!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What to Knit Next?

How about a lace shawl that knits up quickly in worsted or aran weight? Specifically, Springtime Bandit (another design by Kate Gagnon Osborn who designed the Selbu Modern beret that we knit last month). Again, it's a free pattern (see here, or on ravelry here), but Kate suggests a donation to ASPCA to say "thank you".
 
We like this design so much, and see so many options with yarn and color choices that we've chosen it for our 3rd shop KAL.
Thank you to Lynn DiCristina for braving the hot sunshine with me yesterday to model one of her finished shawls. Lynn knit hers in Debbie Bliss' Luxury Aran Tweed (just under 4 balls on a size 10 needle; she also knit another one in green on a size 9 needle - she says she like this pink one better) and I knit mine in Berroco Ultra Alpaca (2 skeins on a size 9 needle).
 
For this KAL, Lynn selected Karabella Aurora 8, Diane picked Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted and I chose Cascade Venezia Worsted. All of these will block beautifully to show off the lace - and depending on the color, could be perfect for summer air conditioning.
 
Looking at projects on ravelry, other popular yarn choices include Malabrigo Worsted or Twist, Madelinetosh Merino, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and the Luxury Tweed and Ultra Alpaca we've already used.  (see what I mean about choices?!)  Libby Fisher suggested Maggi Knits Linen and we think that would be stunning, too!  Basically, just about anything will work, but we suggest something in a worsted or aran weight, on size 9 or 10 needles.
 
Project Highlights (please refer to the pattern for all the details):
  • Construction/Pattern - this is a triangular shawl, knit from the center back neck out to the edges - similar to the Traveling Woman.
  • Yarn - approximately 400 yards of worsted/aran weight.
  • Needles - of course everyone's gauge is different, but 9's or 10's - should work to give the shawl drape without being too loose (if in doubt, swatch!). You'll want to use a circular needle so you have enough room for all the stitches. The pattern suggests a 32" needle, but a 24" should work, or definitely something longer.
  • Knitting Skills - intermediate lace, including increasing, decreasing and following a chart. Note that the pattern is charted only, there are no written instructions for knitting the lace pattern. If you've knit lace before, but never used a chart, this could be your project to learn about charts! This tutorial is a great introduction.
We'll be casting on tomorrow, Friday, May 14 at 2pm. Please join us virtually if you can't be at the shop in person!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Views from the Weekend.

First, Saturday. Hollie Wood modeling her finished Selbu from our 2nd KAL. Hollie used Fresco for both the main and contrasting colors. Very cute!

and then on Sunday, Reba Pearson's adorable pug, Weezer, "helping" Theresa with the computer.