Wednesday, November 14, 2018

thought I was invincible...

There I was, like Icarus, flying too close to the sun! Notice my swatch - it was royal blue WCD at T4 - looked lovely, knit like a dream. Full of myself, I confidently threaded up the black and began a sleeve. By row 4 it had already dropped a few stitches. Undaunted, I was able to fix them and continued on. By row 40, I had to admit something was wrong. Decided it was the black yarn and the stitch size - notorious for causing grief because the dyeing process is quite harsh and usually black yarn and most darker colours can end up slightly thicker that shades of the same yarn. I turned the first sleeve into a new swatch at T6 and regrouped. Armed with yarn spray ( ) and determination, I did get two pretty perfect sleeves done, while thinking of Plan B, C and D! At the very least, I'll have a plain black cardigan with beautiful lace sleeves!
When I am knitting something such as this that has a degree of trepidation or requires a certain level of concentration, I like to have a diversion so am alternating pieces here with a project on the LK150  - I’ve already finished a second TBponcho in antique gold and have the bands knit, ready for another in forest green for my niece – it makes me feel a bit better making something for someone else, instead of the usual me, me, me!

Friday, November 9, 2018

earth to MAO...

After knitting all those different lace patterns, most of them being fashion lace (multiple transfer rows between the actual knitted rows) it dawned on me – who am I kidding? the plan is to knit BLACK (hard to see at the best of times), wool crepe deluxe (drop a stitch and it runs like a bullet!)  and I’m going to add 12 to 16 rows of transfers to the equation? Get real, MA! Back to reality! at least I used up all that orange (VBG)! Remember before we had emojis?
I’ve looked at virtually every lace garment I’ve ever knit and paged through the old Knitwords, looking for something and I found one! Lace Luxe from No 38, Autumn 2006 – I loved this stitch pattern but had forgotten it because the garment was knit in Wagtail Yarns mohair,  lilac – not exactly a colour at the top of my most-frequently worn list. Mostly I did keep the garments that were in the magazine but that one I gave to the Wagtail people because it was the first garment they had that was machine-knit! No wonder I forgot it!
Programmed in the stitch pattern and it knit up beautifully in Trenzi. Switched to a leftover WCD and knit an adequate amount to examine it – I’ve used WCD in lace enough to know that my optimum stitch size is T4 – I’m on a roll – swatch knit with a suitable trim added on, all washed and dried – looks great! Now to work on the shape!

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Saw a picture of Becca the bachelorette wearing what I thought was a knitted lace cardigan with satin shawl collar and I loved it. Now that I have all this experience with searching the web, I thought, this will be a piece of cake. It wasn’t really, because it was just an ad on TV, not a show but I did finally manage to track it down – this wasn’t the photo I saw, no rose and she was turned sideways -  and it turned out to be a lace fabric, not an actual knit but that is totally irrelevant, I going with what I thought. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bachelorette watcher – our cable TV comes from Minnesota and I believe Becca is from there, so it was a promo feature!
I have a semi-dress-up occasion for around New Year’s Eve and figure this would be perfect and could be used for so much more (I'm doing a seminar in Pigeon Forge, TN, March 22, 23/19 and another one in Waynesboro, PA April 12, 13/19 and even though I haven’t been to either of those places, you know how I like to have something brand new for each show).  I’m planning Wool Crepe Deluxe, black, of course and I even have a part cone of a shiny black rayon for the collar!

Have you ever had stuff for so long you forgot what stuff you have? In searching for the ultimate lace pattern for my ’Becca’, I pulled out every stitch book I had, looking for a lace pattern that was more holes than stockinette. One book in particular had several good-looking prospects. I spent the better part of an hour pencilling one design on the mylar sheet, feeding it into my Silver Reed SK580, reading it into the PE1 several times and checking for the usual mistakes. Finally got it in and knit – not what I wanted! Began to fill in another mylar and had a little tingle…suddenly I recalled that there were preprogrammed memory cards that came with this book  (they do not have a battery that would expire - )  – where the heck are they? A little searching and sure enough, I had them in hand – so much easier. Quickly tried several more samples - you might notice I'm using that gawdawful orange TAMM Trenzi that's been my waste yarn for the past two years or so. For experimenting, no use wasting WCD and as I know that T6 is the optimum stitch size for lace with Trenzi, that eliminates a lot of the usual issues when experimenting with lace. Only after narrowing down on the actual stitch I want to use will I attempt a swatch with the actual garment yarn!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

it was like a puzzle...

that I had to figure out.
Did you ever put something in the dryer and then forget about it? I almost did that but fortunately, I know I get distracted easily so I have a habit of setting the timer for ten minutes to bring me back to zero.
I was almost sick as I dashed for the dryer imagining a mini-elvis! I got there in time and it was good!
After getting the second front done, I seamed that dart/vee neck shaping,  grafted the two longer pieces together to form the back neck of the shawl collar, folded the facing in and stitched the two layers into the back neck. Did the rest of the seaming and finishing and eucalaned it
then steamed it. It is a little on the big side, but I’ll blame that on my half swatches. Not that I really mind – I think it is supposed to be a little loose and slouchy, something to wear when you’re sort of lounging around with company. Would I make it again? Yes, for someone else but I’d use a nice wool that is a little more predictable than Elvis was because it would turn out much better - I did like the way the collar turned out and I had fun experimenting!