24 May 2011

Friends in high places

I'll make this one short and sweet and let the artwork speak for itself ~ encourage those around you to do the things they love and you never know what you'll get back in return.

Thanks, Penny ~ I can't wait to find a place of honor in the knitting attic when it's time to decorate.  You are amazing!


23 May 2011

~LYS TOUR 2011~

Melissa, Sherry and I had a great time touring a few of our favorite yarn shops. We started out bright and early to Weaving Works, to soon figure out they were not participating in the "tour" and were not open as bright and early as us...a little confused we headed onwards and upwards to Fiber Gallery and remembered Bad Girl Yarns was on the way. We stopped and bought yarn with ease. Can't forget mentioning Fusion Beads, if you haven't been, you should go.

Our final stop was Serial Knitter in Kirkland, Melissa noticed the pattern books that her and my sweaters we test knitted are in. Here we are holding them, it was another exciting knitting memory. (It's the sweaters on the left pages)

We saw new yarns, lots of color, and oh the ever lovely Madelinetosh~

21 May 2011

Just checking in!

Happy Saturday everyone!

I just wanted to check in and say hi.  It's been a rough couple of weeks for me for reasons unrelated to knitting, but I've been plugging away at both my Snowdrop Shawl (Nancy Bush) and Juneberry.  I am almost to the 1/4 point mark on the edging and am enjoying every minute of it.  I definitely will knit this one again, although I'm thinking next time in a light fingering weight.

I will try and take some photos soon.  Thank you so much for letting me join up again.  This has helped keep me sane!



17 May 2011

Thanks for the Knit-a-long, it's been fun!

Hey ladies!  Thanks for allowing me to be a guest writer on your lovely blog.  This knit-a- long has been quite enjoyable and it really kept me on track to finish that edging that seemed to go on for ever and ever!   

I love seeing everyone's progress, and can't wait to see them all finished! 
Best regards, Kelly Lightbeam

14 May 2011

Juneberry Update and the Colors of May

Sport weight Juneberry ready for blocking....

Aran weight Juneberry ~ middle Chart B...

Awakening lilacs....

Abundant hanging baskets...

Cousin It is ready for his spring haircut...

Lemon balm in the herb crock...

Struggling Rhody that doesn't grow but blooms every year...
What's not to like about this time of year?
Happy weekend, all

10 May 2011

Bringing Up the Rear....

Hey everyone!  Just thought I'd check in and see how everybody is doing!  I am amazed at how different each one looks and how very pretty they ALL are.

I have developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with my Juneberry, although the love side is definitely winning out.  I am sure this design will join that rare pantheon of knitting projects which I enjoy enough to knit more than once.

The hate portion says more about me than the shawl itself I suppose.  While I have completed Charts B and C and am several rows into Chart D, I found myself repeatedly frogging portions of Chart B due to frustrations with my knitting.  I find myself constantly disappointed with the various size holes in the lace.  Some (the really frustrating ones) seem big enough to drive a semi through.  Others looks "just right."  And no matter how many times I try I can't seem to relax about it.  I have had similar issues with my own knitting when doing cables and being frustrated with the holes that are created where some cables cross others.  I remember whining in class one day how I could "stick my finger" through the hole in the cable and my very smart knitting teacher rolled her eyes and told me "well then, stop trying to stick your finger through there."
With Juneberry, I have also been hyper-critical of the way the holes size up on each side of the little medallions that are created in Chart B which, of course, is a function of whether the yo comes before or after the decrease.
In a lace class taught by Franklin Habit last year down at Renaissance Yarns in Kent, I asked him about it and he very bluntly said it's just the way it goes and reminded me that that is the charm and personality of a handmade item, what differentiates it from its uniformly perfect and mass produced cousins.  I still find it a very hard lesson to learn though!

But when I put the shawl down and stand away from it, I like it.  A Lot! 

So, here's to relaxing a bit...

09 May 2011

The best way to knit...

This past Friday, I found myself finished with work early!  On the rare occurrence that this actually happens, I have to seize the opportunity and walk right out the door.  So I did.  But I really didn't want to go home.  Instead, I stopped by the new neighborhood restaurant and got some knitting done.  I've decided that this is the absolute best way to knit!

Yes, that's Chocolate coconut almond Bread Pudding!

Then I got into a hiccup...As I muddled my way through Chart 4, I found a bobble that was only half-way done in a previous row.  What?  How could that be?  I couldn't think of any way to fix it.  I couldn't just leave it, and I decided that the recipient of the shawl is worthy of perfection.  After ripping a row and a half, I had some issues.  Namely, a dropped stitch or two.  After struggling for awhile and threatening my husband's life (I was in the middle of picking up live stitches and he decided it was a good time to pester me)  I got back on track.  I'm now finished with chart 4 and have effortlessly moved onto the knitted edging.  I think before it's all finished, I'll need some more Bread Pudding!

Kelly Lightbeam

07 May 2011

Final Touches

 I was worried the shawl was going to be too small, but this knitted on edging, it's wide!  I love it!  I think the border is my favorite part of the whole shawl.  My yarn choice was a heavy gauge for me when it comes to lace but I know there is a second Juneberry in my future.  I want this knit heavier ~ at least worsted weight, but I'm actually thinking of doing an aran weight next, with a different color edging.  I can't wait to see how this blocks...
How is everyone else doing?  I've had some hiccups with this knit but nothing that I couldn't get past or do correctly next time.  I can't wait to see everyone's finished shawls! 

Happy Mother's Day to all my motherly friends and especially to my mom ~ enjoy your special day!

05 May 2011

Update from the tortoise...

Hi everyone!  Morgen here.  Your Juneberry's are all so pretty! 

Kelly, your yarn is simply beautiful!  The Robert Frost allusion is perfect!  I've never tried any of the Gryphon's yarn, but I have heard that Bugga is particularly delightful.

Kelli, you can't go wrong with Silky Wool!  It is such a unique yarn and is so versatile.  Add to that the colorway you've chosen and it's a stroke of genius.  You'll be able to wear it year round!  I am anxious to see how doubling the yarn turns out.  I am imagining it to have the weight of a heavier cotton yarn but with a much softer hand?

Melissa,  I am anxious to see yours as well since I know it is in a much finer gauge.  As I have been working mine I have realized how nicely this particular pattern will translate to different gauges of yarn; they don't always do that.  You always do such fine precision work and I love the color!

So, mine.  Well, I am using Shelter in the Tent color.  I love the yarn.  I know a lot of people think it is too coarse and rough a yarn for their tastes, but it suits me to a T.  I love its hand, the colors, the gauge, everything about it.  All that being said, I have had my usual heckuva time getting started.  It always seems to take me a couple of days to start a shawl.  Maybe it's because I don't gauge swatch shawls.  Anyway, I started on 9's and had to start over at least 6 times just to get the initial tab with the provisional cast-on to look acceptable.  I got several rows into the pattern and decided I wanted to move down a needle size.  Believe it or not I could not track down a circular size 8 needle in my stash so I started using my size 8 Signature single points.  I have very very mixed feelings about Signature needles.  The one thing I am quite certain of is that I do not like them at all in any way shape or form for working lace.  They are simply too heavy and I think the extra weight distorts the stitches, not to mention the beautiful but weighty end cap will sometimes cause the needle to just slide out of my project if I let go.  Then I got to the aforementioned issue with the SSP.  (Kelli, I haven't gotten to the bobble part yet, so can't answer on that point.)

Today I picked up some circular size 8's Addi lace and am much much happier.  I essentially tore the whole thing back down to the start of chart A and worked back up to the end of chart A and am finally on my way.

Better late than never.

I am REALLY enjoying the yarn and the pattern!  Thank you all for letting me join you!


04 May 2011

My Juneberry

The colorway of this yarn makes me think of a Robert Frost poem, Nothing Gold can Stay.  The colors remind me of leaves bursting out of buds and taking on that golden hue that is so fleeting.  I'm itchy for spring!

The project is going quite well.  I'm through the second chart now and hope to finish the third chart today.  This is my first lace project to have lacework on both sides, so I expected quite a challenge.  What I found is that it's not nearly as difficult as I had imagined, it just needs my full attention.

Kelly Lightbeam, guest blogger

03 May 2011

Juneberry KAL

Here's my Juneberry~ I'm knitting double strand Silky Wool in a cream color. Knitting with size US 8,Harmony circular needdles. This patterns has lots going on. Lots to keep track,I watch for those 'check points' where those lines of purl on the WS and knit on the WS ,at least for now.
The yarn kind of reminds me of what it would be like to knit with Shelter. I've never knitted a lace piece with this big of gauge.
Can't wait to block. Fun pattern, can't wait to see everybody else's... everybody got the 'bobble and SSP thing'?


01 May 2011

a Haiku for Jared

hooked on hemlock rings
left breathless on rock island
juneberry in may

ETA:  Morgen didn't want to bump this post down ~ silly girl!  So I bumped her comment into this post so it doesn't get lost altogether...thanks for joining with us again, Morgen!

"I scoured my stuff for quite awhile yesterday and never could locate my copy of Volume 2 of St. Denis with the Juneberry pattern in it. I am very sorry to say that this is not the first indication I have had that I really should be spending my time organizing the Wool Cave rather than starting yet another project. But, one of the delightful perks of being an adult is that one can, if one wants, tell that little good angel voice to go "take a hike" as it were.
So, with lovely yarn in hand, (Jared's own Shelter, color Tent which was purchased to knit up Jared's Dryad Scarf for Patrick) and a newly purchased and downloaded copy of the pattern (which I can now gift to someone when I am done, guilt-free, since I paid for it twice!)I sat down to get started. And here I am now, online, looking up SSP. Good thing I looked it up because my guess at how it was done was wrong. I am also considering tearing back and starting again on 8's rather than 9's, but we'll see.
Hoping to finish up a turtleneck sweater for one of my dogs this evening. She's had some serious health issues lately and it is unclear exactly how much time she has left. She is the Little Lamb to my Mary, and her kidney issues often leave her shivering, so she gets a special Noro Silk Garden sweater (it even has steeked sleeves!)
Thank you so much for letting me join along on this one! A project is ever so much more fun when someone else is slogging through it too. Your Juneberry is already looking gorgeous. It really is a perfect pattern; it's beautiful, it's relatively quick, it makes you think a bit etc. The yarn you're using? Is it Bartlett Yarns? I remember seeing you at Dublin Bay carrying that cone around and was trying to remember what, exactly, the yarn is. If it is Bartlett, I used it last year on an EZ sweater and LOVED the yarn. It IS rustic like you said, and that to me only adds to its charm.

Hugs to you this May Day!
Morgen "