Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Thank you, thank you

Thank you all so much for the overwhelming responses to my plea for opinions. I asked and you all answered. Once again, proof that the world is getting smaller, where one knitter meets another through the web of cyberspace. You all came from all over, Knit List, Lace Knitters and Knitting Beyond the Hebrides. Talent and wisdom from far and beyond.

So, enough lace for now. I’ve been dying to post another FO. This one took more than a year to finish. Just because the pattern got familiar and I knitted intermittently, to slowly finish. I present Forbes Forest.

Forbes Forest

Pattern: Forbes Forest by Kathy Zimmerman
Book: Scarf Style

Recommended Yarn Information
Yarn Brand: Jaeger
Yarn Name: Matchmaker Merino Double Knitting
Yarn Colorway: #890 Seaweed
Yarn Content: 100% merino
Yardage: 1 ball = 50g = 131 yards
Quantity: 5 balls = 655 yards

Yarn Substitution Information
Yarn Brand: Knit Picks
Yarn Name: Elegance
Yarn Colorway: #0980 Grass
Yarn Content: 70% Baby Alpaca, 30% Silk
Yardage: 1 ball = 50g = 110 yards (100 m)

Yarn Source: Knit Picks
Amount of yarn purchased: 6 balls = 300 g = 660 yards
Yarn Cost: $4.29/ball (x 6 = $25.74)

Amount of yarn used: 272 g = approx 600 yards

Needle: Size 4 US (3.5 mm) 24" (INOX)

Gauge: Who knows??!! I swatched until the cables looked right.


Project Duration: 09/28/2005 - 12/17/2006 (1 year, 2 months, 20 days) = INSANITY!!

Recipient: We'll see who...

Project Notes:
So, this is one of my very first projects when I first started knitting. Ambitious, but a great learning experience. I knew nothing about fibre content, needle size, gauge, drape etc, they were all foreign to me. But what I learnt from this project is that you need a firmer, more solid yarn for cables. This yarn is an Alpaca Silk blend and it is too soft and flimsy for cables. So, number one, wrong choice of yarn.

So, the only way I knew how to compensate for this was to knit SUPER tight. This helped and made the cables pop a little more. So, I think that strategy worked.

I realized that I don't like alpaca. I don't like the long fibers that stick out and fuzz. So, here's another lessoned learnt.

A slight modification to this pattern. I knitted an extra full repeat, bringing it up to 40 repeats instead of 35 of the frond cable and 24 repeats instead of 21 of the zig zag cable.

And here are some poor attempts at taking good pictures. I mean, the pattern is so pretty and I just can't capture it's beauty. I guess that's why I'm not a photographer.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Just in case, let's beat a dead horse.

3 different pictures, swatches unpinned in it's relaxed blocked shape. I was afraid that the pictures in my previous post do not accurately represent the drape since it's so tightly pinned out.

On the left is size 2 US (3.00mm) and on the right is size 3 US (3.25mm). A nickel is placed for scale.

Did you change your mind?

The Great Debate... (again!)

Alright ladies and gentlemen. I know that it is the holidays and everyone is busy but I do hope that you guys are not too far away from your computers and will take some time to look at this. I need your opinions.

It seems like I constantly have decision making issues. Remember? Here and here. Don’t worry; it’s something that I continuously work on in therapy. But for now, bear with me. You all have been so helpful in the past.

So, here it is. The sampler stole swatch, over size 2 US (3.00 mm) and size 3 US (3.25mm) needles. I can’t believe how much difference 0.25 mm can make in lace. Look at that!

Click to enlarge.

So, whaddya thunk?

On the size 2 US swatch, I have 2 boo boo’s (green arrow), so ignore that. I read the pattern wrong. But the size 3 swatch is fine.

So, here are my thoughts. They both look fine to me. That's why it is so hard to make a decision. The only difference is that one is smaller. They both drape fine and they both feel fine. What do I do? I guess if I want to analyze this to death, I really need to decide which one looks better. Whether garter stitch lace looks better in smaller needles or larger. I know it is a personal preference but I don't have a backbone. So, help.

Ok, cast them votes so I can start the damn thing already!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Interim Goodness

Ok, I could post about a couple of things, but I think I'll save them for later when I have more time.

I have a finished project that I'm waiting to take some good pictures of. I am just not very good at taking artistic pictures of fabric (unlike brooklyntweed, I just LOVE his pictures!!) but I'll ask a friend to help me this weekend.

Secondly, I want to rant and rave about Knit Picks Needles! Sharp, fast, smooth and slick. Just like the perfect man.

Third of all, I'm having lace issues. As you all know, I'm swatching for Hazel Carter's Sampler Stole with some Jaggerspun Zephyr. Being the newbie that I am, I just don't have very much experience. I have no idea how open garter stitch lace should be. So, I'm currently toying between needle sizes. Furthermore, I was totally knitting the pattern wrong. ARRGH!!! Again, a separate post on this. My biddies at work are joking that by the time I'm done swatching, I'll have no more Zephyr left to start the project.

So for now, I'll leave you with this:

BTW, Elann's shipping is awesome!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Get Ready!

First of all, thank you all so much for your kind words in regards to the accident. I guess I really need to count my blessings that no one got hurt, instead of moaning and groaning about the fact that the accident happened. As I learn in the program, I need to take it One Day at a Time and just Do The Next Right Thing that is in front of me.

So, back to knitting. Am I ready?

I guess I am. The sharp Knit Picks Classic Circulars, the Zephyr and the pattern.

While waiting impatiently for my online purchases to arrive, I decided to swatch on some Bryspun straight needles in Size 3 US (3.25 mm). They were ok, interesting tips, but I could use sharper. Here is what I got:

What do you all think?

I think that this is going to be a real OPEN pattern. Look how big the yarnovers are in comparison to the solid garter sections! I think I'm going to give my KnitPicks Circulars a test drive and swatch on size 2 US (3.0 mm) needles before I embark casting on all 99 of them stitches. Hopefully it will give a more compact and stable fabric. I "feel" (and I am no expert) that because the yarnovers are so big, it doesn't give it a very solid look, it sorta makes it kinda unsymmetrical looking. Does any of these make sense?

And what's up with the fuzziness of the Zephyr? I really don't like the way it fuzzes up when handled. Anyone of you all experience the same thing?

Well, once again, I'll rely on you experts out there to guide me. I'll swatch with the smaller needles (and also to get my mind off the accident) and compare the swatches side by side.

Stay tuned!


I had a long post prepared with pictures and stuff, hoping to post tonight, but it's 2 am and I just got home. I just got into a car accident and am pretty stressed out and shaken up.

I'm ok. It's sorta my fault. I failed to yield. But the only reason I didn't yield is because the other car had his blinkers on to turn, but he didn't and he hit me.

Oh well.

Time to go to bed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ene's Scarf

Pattern: Ene's Scarf by Nancy Bush
Published: Scarf Style

Yarn Brand: Blackberry Ridge
Yarn Name: Blackberry Ridge Silk Blend Lace Weight (2-ply)
Yarn Colorway: Samarkan Blue
Yarn Content: 25% Silk, 75% Wool
Yargdage: 1 hank = 2.4 oz (67 g) = 350 yards

Yarn Source: Blackberry Ridge
Amount of yarn purchased: 2 hanks (4.8 oz = 700 yards)
Yarn Cost: $9/hank (x 2 = $18)

Amount of yarn used:
4.3 oz (0.5 oz left over) = 627.08 yards

Needle: Size 6 US (4.0 mm) 29" (INOX)

Gauge: I swatched over the lace pattern. So, no numbers here.

Dimensions: Approximately 61" wide, 32" high

Project Duration: 11/10/2006 - 12/10/2006 (1 month)

Recipient: I think my mom.

Project Notes:
I knitted exactly to pattern. The only thing that I might have changed, if I knew I would have so much yarn left over is to knit with a size 7 US or size 8 US. I'm such a tight knitter.

Do you all think that it's too tight? I guess it could be looser.

All in all, the pattern was intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's a breeze. You start of with 375 stitches which is the sides of the triangle, which is a pain, but it gets smaller and smaller as you progress. That's about it.

Friday, December 8, 2006


Ok, I realized that I was such a tease in my last post. Martha from Pittsburgh calls it yarn porn. LOL!

Details. I found a secret little shop tucked away in a La Porte, Texas, not far from where I work. Disguised as a weaving shop, she does sell some knitting stuff. The gorgeous red ball you see is non other than Jaggerspun Zephyr in the Ruby colorway. A yummy 1500 yards of it. Hopefully, in delirium to make this:

Rough start you guys. I’m not even going to post the picture of my pathetic attempt. I’m running into a couple of issues that I’d like to talk about.

First of all, I’ve never knitted with yarn as thin as the Zephyr. I was assured by Laura that Zephyr is indeed a very good and popular lace yarn. For now, all I know that it is wonderfully soft and smooth to knit with. But I still need to get used to the tension and handling of such a thin thread.

The second problem is the complexity of the pattern. The stole is garter lace with true lace patterning on every row. Not easy to fix a boo boo. All I can say is life lines!

The third and main problem is needle size and needle brand. I can’t seem to find a needle that will perform these lace maneuvers comfortably, especially knitting together a knit stitch with a yarn over.

Addi Turbos are blunt as hell and totally out of the question. Don’t even get me started on Crystal Palace Circulars. The tips are average but the join totally SUCK! It’s some sort of weird ball join. The Inox was satisfactory. I actually really love my Inox, but I could use something sharper.

Being the internet whore I am, I think that there are 2 others out there that might work. The new KnitPicks circulars and the new Bryspun Circulars. What do you all think?

The problem I have with them are availability. I placed an order with KnitPicks and I CAN’T WAIT FOR THEM TO GET HERE!!! I can’t even find anywhere in Houston that sells Bryspun circulars. And where do I have to get them? Online, and I have to WAIT for them too! The closest thing that I have is some Bryspun straights. Will these tips work?

In conjunction with needle brand, is the problem of needle size. What do you use for Zephyr? I’ve read that people use anywhere from 1 US (2.5mm) to 5 US (3.75mm). I started off with 2 US but couldn’t get the lace pattern right. The 3 US are in the mail and the rest of my needles are too blunt. Looks like I’m stuck this weekend. All the yarn but nothing to knit with.

I better go to bed. Sweet dreams ya’ll.