Monday, August 30, 2010

shawl down, vest to go

Finished the Shipwreck Shawl in 10 days. Not so sure about the outcome, but it was pleasant to make.

Pattern: Shipwreck Shawl by Knitting Harpy
Yarn: Premiere Yarns Festival Mix Fiber (also known as... whatever the hell the factory had left) 3 skeins of what I suspect was some kind of wool fingering weight yarn with 359 yards per skein
Modifications: Knitted the entire center section with US#3s instead of US#4s, then as the outside grew I used US#6, US#8, US#10.5, and US#13. For the last section of the outside I only did about 5 rows instead of 14 before binding off.

The inside circle pattern doesn't pop out as much as everyone else's does. At first I thought it was because I used variegated yarn, but I've seen a lot of variegated yarn examples on Ravelry that still show up. Maybe once I get it framed against a white wall in the new apartment (I intend to use this as an art piece, now a shawl) it'll look fancier.

I've had a thing for lace shawls lately, but since I never wear them, I'm taking a break to knit up a Four Seasons Vine Lace Vest, a free pattern from a Classic Elite Yarns Webletter. Using an angora/lambswool mix I recycled from a thrift store sweater and dyed over with Kool-Aid.

I like it, so far, and might even get to wear it since winters here only call for so many days of full-on sweaters. A wool vest is the perfect warmth and easy to take off when I get inside for class.

Speaking of life outside knitting... we move in two weeks! My mother and I managed to fit my grandmother's cedar chest she got for her married life into the car on the way home from Michigan this summer, and when we move I'm sticking it in the craft room to store my fabric and such.

My 20th birthday is this Wednesday, and my mom hinted that she and her boyfriend found something special for my craft room when they went antiquing. So that something will also be there once we move in.

And since I have a day and a half left of being a teenager... I guess I need to think of something stereotypically angsty to do tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

traveling stash enhancement

A few new yarn shop adventures. Two summers ago we visited Yarn Company, which I liked, and Uptown Fibers. Because of construction, Yarn Company is only open Thurs - Saturday, so we didn't get there.

We visited Uptown Fibers and my mother found a yarn she liked for a shawl.

I'm going to make the Malagash Square Shawl with it. This yarn is kind of hard to photograph because of the shine. It's a variegated blue/green plied with a steel silver/grey. There's some fluffier less spun pieces in there that make this a very interesting texture knitted up.

Then we were at Craft 2000 and all their yarn was on closeout. I found this random yarn called Festival Mix Fiber and got it. Apparently this name is applied to any random discontinued yarn manufacturers have on their shelves, because I have found a million different examples of this label and none of them are anything close to what I have.

It's a fingering or maybe even a lace weight yarn in variegated deep pinks. I can't find yardage amounts for it, so I'll probably measure it out on my skein winder when I get home and figure out how much is there. I'm thinking of making a Shipwreck Shawl out of it to hang on the wall for art.

Monday, August 9, 2010

traveling through

Friday my mother and I started our annual roadtrip to Michigan. This year we went through Memphis first and then Michigan. Which means of course we visited Graceland and between Memphis and Michigan was a lot of Amish country.

Stopped in Shipshewanna today, where they have an AMAZING fabric store called Lolly's Fabric. We probably spent an hour just walking around. Seriously, they had more fabric than I have ever seen before tucked into every crook and cranny and shelf. And everything was $5.95 a yard. They also had some beautiful fat quarter combinations and kits. I kind of wanted to just roll around in all the fabric, it was just overwhelmingly amazing. I got my first quilted pattern (for a table runner that I'm going to use as a wall hanging in our new place for color) and a few fabric sticks to accent what I've got at home.

There was also a really nice yarn store with a side bead shop and garden/herb shop called D'Vine Gallery.

In all our antique shopping, I've seen 3 vintage spinning wheels, all Saxony style. The first was in good shape for $125 that I should have bought. The second was absolutely beautiful with a distaff and obscenely gorgeous finish, but it was $325 and a little more than I should spend on a first wheel... seeing as I can't yet spin. The third was in kind of crappy condition for $115.

Unfortunately I have passed on all of them thus far... but there's still the trip from Michigan to Florida and lots of antiques in between.

I also found several vintage yarn winders that were beautiful, but for now my little home made rough one is fine. If I win the lottery, it will definitely be on my list of things to acquire.

And while in the car I started and finished an improvised design for a shawl for my mother's neighbor. She's a sweet elderly lady who has always gone out of her way to send me cards and such for birthdays, graduation, etc.

Kind of hard to get a good picture in a hotel room, but here it is:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FO: Vernal Equinox Shawl

I started this June 30. And continuously worked on it until earlier today. This thing took over a month of TV knitting. But it was kind of fun, even though in the end it took about an hour to get through 2 or 3 rows of the charts. It's HUGE. I even left out a clue and it's width is bigger than the length of a full size mattress.

Yeah, that's right... I used my mattress to block this thing because I didn't have a big enough space anywhere else.

By the time it dried there wasn't a whole lot of sunlight left for outside photos (and Alex wasn't home to take modeled pictures, as I wasn't about to do a self-timer rushed photoshoot for the neighbors to watch).

And though I have usually avoided knitting shawls because I don't wear them... I think I'm going to have to start wearing them. I like knitting them, I love knitting lace.

The original plan was to knit up some lace shawls to use as artwork to hang on the walls in our new place. This one, however, might just be worn.

Pattern: Vernal Equinox Shawl by
Yarn: 2 different colorways I dyed from yarn I recycled. It's 100% wool (though it's really light and the shawl isn't really warm to wear). Probably around 800 yards?
Modifications: I didn't do clue 5, I wasn't sure I would have enough of the red to finish it. Regardless... it's still huge.

And some cuteness for the road. Sakura frequently sleeps like this, the little hussy.


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