Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Quick Dulaan Update

A quick progress report on my Dulaan knitting:

1. One Cameo Faggot Stitch Scarf in Rowan Big Wool. Thanks to Gerald for donating the yarn, and TallGuy for pointing out the pattern.

2. One pair of Mittens done in Classic Elite Maya (yarn donated by Gerald). Pattern from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

3. One double thick hat. The yarn is Bernat's Softee Chunky. Pattern by Norma. I made it larger.

4. One hat in Rowan Big Wool (yarn donated by Gerald). Work in progress. Pattern from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Still here!

I'm still here. Work has been super crazy. We are working to completely redesign one of our web sites to reflect a name change. It needs to be done by July 1st. Lots to do. Also, our team is spread out in 3 different places (2 states). It takes time to do all the communication stuff. We use Skype a lot. Hey, we save money wherever we can. :-)

I am doing a lot of Dulaan knitting. My plan was to practice Continental knitting at the same time, but it really slowed me down quite a bit when I did purling. I guess it would be a while before I get used to it. So back to English knitting. Only got about a month to get them delivered. No time to fool around.

So far I have one double-thick hat, one scarf and 1.25 mittens done. Lots more to do.

Ah "Violets". That picture I posted a couple of posts back? The one that showed 5 rows of lovely violets? Gone!!! I ripped it. I did another row of violets with the TV on at the same time. BAD move! I didn't make any mistake, but my tension was all over the place. The violets turned out in all different sizes. There was no way that I was going to keep it, so I took it off the needle and started ripping it. I ripped and ripped to just above the good violets. Looked at the knitting and just rolled my eyes. Fudge! I had no idea how to put it back on the needle. *scream* Oh well, nothing left to do but rip it completely. So it went. A lesson on impermanence.

So, is the "Violets" back on the needle? Nope! But I have been practicing different techniques that I will be using with the "Violets". I got lots of help from Ted. He modified the pattern a bit to make the right and left sides of violet pattern looking balanced. Remember my complaint about one side looking looser than the other? That is solved now. Thanks Ted! You are truly a genius!

Oh, I will be using a "lifeline" this time around. I didn't think I needed that. *eyes rolling* Duh! Anyway, I went out and got two balls of cotton crocheting yarn just for this. They will be quite nice for making markers too! Photo updates soon.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Yet another sample

After seeing the big improvement the knitting had with lace weight yarn, I had to do another sample on "honeybee & faggoting". I'd say it's much better!

Friday, May 19, 2006

The real violets

It's been a long long week. After last weekend's events I was left with very little energy throughout most of the week. Very little knitting. But that did not stop me from knitting a little on the "Violets by the River" shawl with the intended yarn that arrived 10 days ago. I am using KnitPicks' Shadow in the color Sunset. 100% Merino Wool. I can't tell you how much better it is knitting lace with lace weight yarn. I mean it looks so much better. A bit scary with very thin yarn. But I shouldn't complain. Many others are using sewing-thread-like yarn for their projects. Just look at this. You can hardly see the yarn Ted is using for the Princess.

OK, here's a picture of my work on the Violets so far. Only five rows of them but you can see that it's definitely better than sock yarn. :-)

Other than the concern of making mistakes when the shawl grows wider, I am also concerned that the right edge is not as neat as the left edge. It's a bit loose compared to the left. I got the same thing when I was using sock yarn for tests. Hope this will be corrected during blocking.

Oh, that ball of yarn, it took me an hour winding it by hand. LOL And I have another hank to do. I don't own a ball winder or a swift. Guess I should get them if I want to do more lace! My partner is going to roll his eyes when those show up.

Oh, hey, Gerald, thanks for sending all the lace goodies. It's a stack of treasures! I'm going to have fun reading about the history, the different lace styles and all those project ideas! It's funny that I feel that I know of the "conference". But I just can't think of where I've heard about it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A little update

What a busy weekend, and I didn't see it coming. Friday was Buddha's birth/enlightenment/passing day. Saturday was my mother's birthday plus another belated birthday dinner. Sunday of course was Mother's day. Phew! Just the driving in So Cal traffic was enough for me.

Anyway, I had to prioritize my knitting projects:

1. Duulan Project. Many thanks to Gerald for sending all that yarn to work with. I have to put this on the top of the list. Even though the project is extended to 2007, there's still a winter in 2006. I want to get as much done as possible.

2. "Violets by the River" Shawl. I think I am done with practice knitting. The yarn arrived. Can't wait to start knitting for real. :-)

3. Jackets and sweater for the triplets. I have to get these done. The babies don't stop growing. :-)

4. Learn-to-knit-Afghan. This will be done whenever possible. 56 squares to go.

I did another test knit on the "Honeybee & Faggoting". Still using the sock yarn. Did a quick blocking without pinning it down. I think I am ready to knit, no? I need to take pictures outdoor in the future.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

It's about time!

The "Two Socks at Once" Class Socks are done! It seemed forever. Four weekly classes plus one break in between. Then I caught the lace fever. Phew! They are done!

Pattern: no pattern
Method: two socks at once with magic loop
Needle: one Addi Turbo US #1, 47"
Yarn: Jawoll Color Superwash, color 820080

I really love this way of sock knitting. It sucked in the beginning. But you really do get used to it after a while. Definitely the most portable way to knit socks. Now I just have to find out how to adapt this method for patterns using DPNs. Possible?

I learned a new trick. During our last class Kathy showed us how to avoid creating little "peaks" at either end of the toe when doing the kitchener. Well, I didn't get it. So I did a quick search on google and found this site:

It's not the same technique but the result is similar. Can you see the difference in the pictures below?

I won't attempt to explain the technique. That would probably end in disaster. Just click on the above link and scroll down to "GRAFTING THE TOE AND FINISHING THE SOCK" to read about it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Honeybee & Faggoting

Here's my sample knit of the top border of "Violets by the River". Again, done in sock yarn. I thoroughly enjoyed knitting this. It was just fascinating to see the design being formed by working different techniques. If this is just a tiny taste of lace knitting, I think I'm going to fall in love. All I can do at this point is to follow the instructions carefully. But I hope to one day understand how different stitches work together. Pattern designers are amazing people in deed!

I leave you with a picture of Ted's (Knitterguy) "Violets by the River". Click on the picture to get a better look. What a beautiful sight! *sigh* I just hope that my attempt will turn out half as good.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Package! The Package!

It's here! It's here! The package from Gerald has arrived! What generous gifts! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves first:

This is the yarn that Gerald generously gave me to knit for the Duulan Project. Wow! 3 Rowan Big Wool, 2 Lamb's Pride Worsted, 2 Lopi and 3 Classic Elite and some yarn dyed by Gerald himself! I have never worked with these before. Not only will many in Mongolia receive gifts of warmth, I am going to have fun knitting with different yarn! Thanks Gerald!

His generosity doesn't stop here. Oh no. Here come the surprises! 4 skeins of luxurious sock yarn! (Am I over using the exclamation mark?) Two Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Seaside. Two Wildfoote handpainted luxury sock yarn. Mmm... so soft and pretty. Just the colors I like! How did you know?

And that's not all... Tucked in the package are two boxes of these:

PEEPS! I couldn't stop giggling for the longest time! :-) A while ago Gerald did a post on Peeps. I had no clue what they were and was given a detailed introduction to these sweet little treats. Even special tips on how to "enhance" the enjoyment. *wink wink* Should I give them the special treatment? :-)

Thanks Gerald!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Time Flies

Tomorrow is the last day of sock class and I still have about 2 inches to knit on each sock. How did it get to this? I had two weeks and I thought it would be no problem. *sigh* Guess it's sock knitting tonight.

"A Gathering of Lace" arrived today! I have been anxiously waiting for it since last week. What a book! I only leafed through it quickly but was really loving what I saw. So weird. Not too long ago I didn't think I would ever do lace. But now I can't wait to try all of it! The night before I laid in bed, head filled with lace knitting. Sleep woudn't come. I knew I couldn't wait for my order of yarn to arrive, so I started a trial run with the pattern I chose. You know, just to see how it is. Here's the result. Can you guess the pattern?

Did you guess it? It's "Violets by the River" Shawl. Sorry for the backlit picture. I thought the light would show the pattern better. Keep in mind that this was done with sock yarn instead of lace yarn. I didn't bother to pin it down either. The picture is actually upside down. I was holding the piece by the tip of the triangle and letting the needle's weight stretch the fabric a bit. But it really needed to stretch more to look proper. I think this is OK. I hope with the correct yarn it will be better.

The right edge of the fabric seems to be a bit loose. I wonder if this is normal? Will it be corrected through blocking? Actually, there will be border around the edges. Maybe it's not too important.

I have not gotten a circular needle for the project yet. I am thinking Addi Turbo with the flexible cord, but I don't know if I will like the super slippery needles. Maybe I will be better off getting Inox or Susan Bates. Any idea?