Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More on my needles!

I have moved onto my 32" needle, and all is well. The tiny gold flashes you see in the picture are the gold-lined opal beads, which I am using modestly. I am going to post the chart for the basic motif tomorrow, time permitting. I then challenge you to knit with me!

Monday, July 30, 2007

What is on my needles? An update...

So here is the update of my new project, on the 16" needle. The tension isn't that even, but blocking will do wonders. I might give it a mild blocking when I move to the larger needles. This picture is from yesterday and I have a few more inches on today, so I'll give you another look tomorrow. I was thinking about posting this pattern as I do it, as an interesting illustration of the process and what you can do with one simple motif. Let's see what I come up with. Happy Monday...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

What is on my needles? A circular start

I have a new design I just got on my needles. This design will be approximately a square. When I cast-on for a square or full circle, I begin with a four stitch I-cord in smooth waste yarn. I make a few inches of I-cord so I have something to hold onto.
I then begin my design in the yarn I choose, starting with four stitches, directly from my I-cord. Once I have an inch or two of my design knit, I unravel the cotton waste yarn.
You can leave it just as you find it, but if the center hole is too large you can tighten it up.
And here you see the scale with my Chibi case and US 1 needles. All the supplies for this new design are here and I'll post some pictures of my move to a circular needle when I get there. Once I block this out, you will see a perfect center without any aggravation.

So we have four skeins of Misty Alpaca lace weight, a tube of #8 Japanese seed beads (gold lined opal,) my new chart, a tiny crochet hook and US #1 needles in 16" and 32". More later...

What's for Dessert...

The color of these fruits seemed worth sharing. Pluots and mango nectarines, cinnibar Zephyr and gold beads...

Forsaking the Zephyr, I cast-on something totally new last night and I'll post about it later this weekend. It is worked from the center out and I start my centers in a slightly different way, so I'll take some pictures and show you.

My mom emailed to tell me "Blood is thicker than Blog." Happy weekend.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Understanding Blogville...

As a neophyte in Blogville, I must confess a certain lack of understanding about how things happen. Several days ago I posted a picture of some yarn and beads, hoping that I might get feedback on which beads looked best with my special Cinnabar Zephyr. Now, if you trust my recently installed "hit-counter," at least 1000 people have looked at my Blog since the post in question, and have presumably seen my request for bead selection assistance. Two people have offered advice. Just today, Fleegle(http://fleeglesblog.blogspot.com/) left her advice, for which I thank her deeply. But that is not my point. My point is that the only response I had for several days was from my mother. On the surface this might not seem odd, but I never told my mom I had a Blog, my mom has probably never even looked at a Blog AND my mom is in Paris and I am in New York, so it is odd. To mark the occasion of my mom's first Blog comment ever, I share a picture of her. Isn't she extremely pretty? So thank you mom (and also thank you Fleegle) for your bead advice. The red beads are very dull and actually don't look as good as all that, so even though it is two against one I think I am using the gold beads...

Monday, July 23, 2007

What's for dinner?

Here is a quick shot of the pale blue cashmere scarf, using the Leaves variation 1, as promised. LucyFur is wondering if that is all we're having for dinner...

Variations on a Theme

I was thinking about how to teach a friend of mine the basics of charting a lace design for a shawl, and I decided to take a simple motif and manipulate it to work in two shawl shapes. The first is the most basic; a rectangle. The second is a simple triangle from the point up. I did not put a selvage on these charts, but the Oak Leaf edging I posted previously would work nicely on both. Happy knitting!

I actually have this very motif on my needles right now, as a scarf in pale blue cashmere lace-weight. I'll post a picture of it later.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Taking Suggestions...

Well, I must admit to some recent yarn and bead acquisitions. I am not sure if the beads will really show their true colors in the pictures, but I need help selecting the right beads to use with the Cinnabar Zephyr. Think Lace. Think Southeast Asia. Tell me what you think...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Workshop Notice

I will be teaching a Lace Sampler Workshop, based on my Blue Ribbon Sampler pattern, in August at Knitting Nation (Nyack, New York.) The design uses 13 different lace patterns and an optional edging. For details, take a look at the Knitting Nation website:
and go to the Sampler Workshop link.
Half-way through the week...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Queen Anne's Lace is finished...

I am putting the finishing touches on the pattern and should have it ready to go in August. It uses two skeins (about 800 yards) of Jade Sapphire two-ply 100% Mongolian Cashmere and a few silver lined beads for the edging. The shape is three-fourths of a square and is worked from the neck down to the edge. There are a few nupps, just to keep things interesting:) I have posted more pictures on my Flickr pages, under the folder "BadCatDesigns." Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Interpreting An Antique Pattern...

There are a terrific number of antique needlework patterns available on the internet, but can you actually make sense of those directions? Sometimes! I thought I would take a simple pattern, chart it out, make the obvious corrections and show you what I came up with. By the way, it is a garter stitch ground but I hate to do that to the chart (makes it so hard to look at.) The pattern I re-worked can be found at: http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/completelist.htm

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Does Color Matter?

Does it? There was a good discussion about a week ago, on Yahoogroups Laceknitter's list, about using color in lace work. More specifically about using variegated yarns... I prefer my lace in a natural white, for pure pattern clarity. But how bored I would be if I knit in white only... I wear black most of the time, a by-product of my East Village days, but I love color. I often choose to knit in a specific color just because it pleases me each time I work with it. So what do we think about color and lace knitting? These two leaves were gifted to me by Judith Gilbert, who I "met" on-line. She shared that they were from a Jackie ES pattern. One is a solid, dark color and the other a variegated, almost tone-on-tone light color. Though I rarely knit my intricate lace in spaced-colored yarn, I was struck with how well the lace "reads" in the variegated yarn. So what do you think? Take a look at some other lace pieces using color on my Flickr pages, in the folder called "Color and Lace."

My next post will hopefully include a pattern chart for an Oak Leaf edging and a discussion on interpreting antique patterns. From there (and into enough free time this weekend) I should have good pictures of the Queen Anne's Lace Shawl. It is really hard to get good pictures of lace knitting, eh?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Say What?

I have been wrestling with getting my pictures posted well and I seem to be loosing the match. I am not sure why you can click on some of the pictures and see them larger and not on others. I will get it eventually, but if anyone out there actually knows what I might be doing wrong, feel free to educate me:) And after that, go check out this link. For all you knitters out there with time on your hands and a dramatic inclination:
This is a casting-call for a movie called "Knitting Club."
Say what?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Queen Anne's Lace

We had a lovely overnight backpack trip, with the perfect balance of hiking and relaxing. My knitting came along and actually became a Finished Object. Here it is, enjoying a wonderful campfire. It is blocking as I type, and here is a preview. I'll take better pictures when it dries.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I must interupt myself...

to share the good time I had yesterday at Sunnyside, the home of Washington Irving. You can check them out here at :

I took my daughter and her friend for a July Fourth visit and had the good fortune of meeting Catalina Hannan, who is the librarian at Sunnyside (and also the resident knitting historian!)

She had a wonderful display of things she's knitted, based on patterns from the mid 1800's. Of particular note were her samplers, based on Knitting Lace, by Susanna Lewis. She had one version:And another, using DMC Cebelia 30, and it looks like this! Get out your eye glasses...

And even more wonderful things!

And yet more!

My knitting and I had a choice time...

I will put these pictures and more up on Flickr (link on your left) for complete enjoyment!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

What is on my needles?

I am working on a new design, which I thought I would share. The Fern Garden didn't quite fill my need for nupps, so we have a few more nupps here! Where the Fern Garden uses a finer lace weight yarn, which I knit on US 1 needles, this is a heavier lace weight yarn (2-ply natural color cashmere from JS) and I am working on US 3 needles. I tend to work loosly, so that could translate to larger needles for other knitter's tension. I am pleased with how this is working out and I might have an updated photograph shortly.

I have a small photo essay cooking on the use of color in lace knitting, inspired by a recent discussion on the LaceKnitters group at YahooGroups. I hope to get that posted later this week. Don't I need more days off??? Happy July 4th!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Fern Garden Shawl

I just finished photographing this shawl, which is my newest finished object. I'll get some detail shots on the Flickr site in the next few days. It was one of the most fun things for me to knit, because I actually love nupps. My Eastern European grandmother taught me to knit when I was six or seven, and my default knitting style is "Eastern crossed-uncrossed." I twist the knit stitches and then un-twist when I purl back. Because I knit into the back leg of the stitch and purl into the front leg, nupps do not slow me down. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!