Monday, February 28, 2011

The Colchi KAL Continues.

...my apologies, I couldn't resist the alliteration!

We were a small group at the shop on Friday, but we all made forward progress.

Jessica's in the upper left, knit out of her stash...something light worsted, I think. and Sharon's is the lovely turquoise Venezia. and mine is the purple Sublime.

a close-up of Sharon's. Venezia is a great choice for this project!
A few clarifications and notes based on questions I've heard:

First, the ssp (slip slip purl) stitch that appears on the wrong-side rows beginning on row 24. Think of this like an ssk (slip slip knit) except on the wrong side. Slip the first stitch as if to knit, slip the second stitch as if to knit. Then slip both those stitches back to the left needle (keeping their "new" orientation) and purl them together through their back loops. Yes, it's a bit awkward - at first - but we get lots of practice! Here's a video that demonstrates the stitch.

Second, a reminder that the designer included a great video link in the pattern for the yarn over short rows.

Third, what happens for rows 45 and on? (the pattern gets pretty vague at this point). You want to keep working the short rows, using row 43 as the model for the right side rows and row 44 as the model for the wrong side rows. You will continue the short rows until you use up all the stitches, til row 74, I think? (I'm still on the chart... so I'm kind of speaking out of turn here!). Also, the stitch counts shown (113-13-13-19-25...) include "13" twice, but I think it's really only 13 once on row 42. Row 43 has 19 stitches, row 44 has 25 stitches, etc.

Fourth, here's a video that shows an i-cord bind-off. (it takes a long time to execute, but it makes a great looking edge!)

I'm hearing that folks are finishing. I can't wait to see pictures - please post them in our Ravelry thread.

And that means we're starting to think about our next KAL. Clapotis (ravelry link) was suggested because it's so versatile - you can pretty much use any yarn you want (as long as it's not too "sticky"...dropping stitches with sticky yarn is not fun!) and it makes a lovely wrap for summer. Stay tuned as we finalize our plans.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Best Wishes.

Yesterday was Jane's last day with us. *sad sigh* Her morning class gave her a wonderful send-off with homemade treats, coffee and these adorable petit fours that said "K1" and "P2".
Like the good friend I am, I focused my camera on Jane's face, and the petit fours got brightened out of the photo. Oh well!

Jane, you'll be missed. And we wish you all the best!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Too Cute!

(apologies for all the cross-posting, but Theresa made me do it!)

Yes, I finally knit Holly a sweater. And it's probably the cutest thing I've knit since my girls were babies. (a very long time ago!)
It's a free pattern from My Savannah Cottage, knit in the Ysolda Red colorway of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted. Raveled here (and it's public, so you can see all my project details).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Craze?

Yarn has been arriving at a crazy rate - not that I'm complaining... if you love yarn and love to knit, new yarn is a great thing! And on Tuesday, our long-awaited Malabrigo shipment arrived. A few bags of Twist, and a lot of bags of Rios and Rasta. Rios is new to the shop and it is as pretty in person as you'd expect. Joining Madelinetosh Vintage and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, it's a high quality washable worsted wool, perfect for accessories and sweaters.

But as excited as I am about Rios, I'm loving that our Rasta wall is once again (if I've counted right, this is the third time!) restocked. We have 14 colors plus black and natural. And since most of our blog readers probably have a Marian cowl (or two, or maybe you knit three and gave them all away), we wanted to suggest a new one-skein pattern. Thank you Jessica for sleuthing on Ravelry! The super-fast, ultra-cozy scarf ( free pattern here) is a perfect knit for right now. Seriously, right now! you can cast on tonight and finish before tomorrow.

Or if you're a brand new beginner, it might take a week, but still! This is the progress three of our Wednesday morning beginners made in just one hour...

One skein of Rasta. and note that we're using size 17 needles, not the size 19 that the pattern suggests, and we are sticking with the 10 stitches. The scarves look to be about 5-6" wide and we'll report back on the length. The Rasta has more yards than the suggested Twinkle Soft Chunky, so we're thinking 60" at least... stay tuned...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Colchi Cast-on.

Our latest KAL started Friday with the cast-on. Three of us were there in person - and that means we cast on a whopping 1,035 stitches - WOW!
...after 2 hours of knitting...
That's mine in front, Kathy's on the right (she's using Venezia Worsted in a colorway that's going to look fabulous at the Masters in April!) and Jessica's in the back (she's using something in a light worsted weight from her stash).

If you're joining us virtually, be sure to read the details I posted here about reading the chart. And if you have any questions, feel free to leave them here, or in our forum on Ravelry. Looks like we've got great participation for this KAL - thank you to everyone for participating!

And special thanks to Beth for letting us know how to pronounce the pattern name. If you missed it on Ravelry, it's coal - ki - KAY - kI (i = little i sound, KAY = syllable that’s emphasized, and I = long i sound). So no "ch" sounds, just "k" sounds :-)

We'll be meeting again this Friday at the shop - 2-4pm (ish) if you'd like to join us in person. We'd love to have you!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Even More Madelinetosh!

...as in 108 POUNDS of it! By the way, that is two UPS boxes that are about four feet by four feet by four feet - we're glad our UPS delivery person is a strong guy (cute too!) because we can't lift a box that big!

This latest order, which arrived just this past week, includes VintageMerino DK, Merino Light and more colors of Pashmina.

First up, the Vintage, 200 yards of 100% superwash merino in a worsted weight (18-20 stitches over 4 inches).
a few colorways of Vintage up close
This yarn is great for accessory projects - our very own Kathy knit up these Susie's Reading Mitts in just one day! - because you can get a hat or a pair of mitts out of one skein. And it's washable!

But of course I love it for sweaters. It would be perfect for the February Lady Sweater, or Cassis (next up in my queue, in the Composition Book Gray colorway), or the Creature Comforts Cardigan.
Creature Comforts Cardi - seriously LOVE the back of this!

...and a few more colors up close
Then the Merino DK, another 100% superwash merino, single ply, 225 yards per skein that knits up to 20-22 stitches over 4 inches. The colors are - as you'd expect - simply gorgeous; and the single ply makes it super soft. Again...great for accessories - one skein would make a lucious cowl - and sweaters. I just added this one (Hooray Cardigan-> ) to my queue!

Merino DK

The Merino Light is also 100% superwash merino, single ply, but it's 440 yards of fingering weight. Yes, it screams "make me into a shawl" :-) and with that generous yardage, it would be perfect for just about any of those super-popular lace projects.

Merino Light
I've written about Pashmina before (and again!) but now we have more colors. Pretty isn't it?

Pashmina
I'm knitting the Fall Away Cardigan with the Cove colorway and I am loving it. The yarn is just yummy and the colors. oh my. (you can read more about my love affair with this project here).

Happy Knitting! ...and Happy Friday - a cold wet day like today seems perfect for knitting, doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Colchi Swatch.

As promised! I've selected a pretty dusty purple shade (#107-rhubarb) of Sublime Aran for my Colchi (even though I've finally learned to type its full name, I have no idea how to pronounce it, so for now this is going to be Colchi, which I say as "kol-chee" :-) The finished projects on Ravelry that used worsted weight used about 440 yards - the Sublime has 94 yards per skein so I bought five.

For this swatch, I decided to test out the first section of the chart. I cast on 25 stitches, using the knitted cast on (remember back when we did the Annis shawlette, we needed a very stretchy cast on and that was the one we suggested) and a size 8 needle. I then worked one repeat of the chart through row 18. I like the fabric and love the texture in the pattern. I think I'm going to use a size 9 needle for the "real" cast-on just to be sure I have a stretchy enough edge for blocking out the points. Also, I am not planning to knit or purl back a plain row after the cast-on, before starting the chart - we did that on Annis, but I like the look of the lace starting right away on this swatch. I do need to remember to switch back to my size 8 needles for the first row (if you're there on Friday, please remind me!)

A few notes about the chart. Because we're knitting flat, we read the odd rows (right side) from right to left, and the even rows (wrong side) from left to right. The chart symbols (at the bottom of the first page) for the empty square and the square with the dash are only shown for right side rows. An empty square is stockinette - it gets knitted on the right side and purled on the wrong side. A square with a dash is the opposite - it's purled on the right side and knitted on the wrong side. Note that the two edge stitches are worked in garter stitch - knitted on every row; they have empty squares (knit stitches) on the right side and dashed squares (knit stitches) on the wrong side. There is also a "cdd" = "central double decrease", which gets worked over 3 stitches: slip 2 together knitwise, knit one, pass the 2 slipped stitches over. Here's a video to demostrate.

We'll be casting on at the shop this Friday afternoon. 345 stitches might take the whole two hours!

Please let me know if you have any questions. We've had a great response in the Ravelry forum about this project - hope it continues!