Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Kissmas and a Houndy New Year

My daughter, home from college, and Jack ...




Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lily of the Valley Scarf

The scarf, she is done! It's the Lily of the Valley Scarf from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush.

Want a closer look?

That's about seven repeats of the pattern. I would have preferred a longer scarf - say nine repeats - but I was plum outta yarn.

But seriously, could there be a more romantic scarf? As fun as the scarf was to knit, it will be even more fun to wear.

And in beagle news, Jack wishes it weren't quite so cold. He spent the day inside, a difficult task for a sportsman such as himself. Here he is, passing the time on a December day that didn't get above 0 degrees.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Knit Like An Estonian

The Aran vest for Tom can wait; the sock club kit for whoever (I don't wear socks) can wait. This week, I am a Selfish Knitter and this scarf is for me, me, me. It's the Lily of the Valley Scarf from Nancy Bush's perfect new book, Knitted Lace of Estonia. The yarn is White Lies Designs Joy in Shell Pink leftover from Photobucket and Photobucket, both from Joan McGowan Michael's book.

The Lily of the Valley Scarf is a 27-row pattern chock full o' "nupps", those little knit bobbles.
This bobble-like feature is a specialty of Estonian lace knitting and is used to add texture in openwork patterns or to create a figure or image on a stockinette-stitch ground. Shawls were typically sold by weight, and those containing nupps weighed more and could bring a higher price. Nupps were (and still are) proof that a shawl was handknitted, as they cannot be made by machine. - Nancy Bush

As that might suggest, a nupp is a tricky little devil. It's all in using your best lace needles (mine are ebony #3s, a freebie from Herrschner's last year) and in keeping those nupp stitches loosey goosey.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Double Yak Hat

A snowy day is as good as any to finish a warm hat. The cable is from Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitting, page 51. Using the construction of's Coronet hat for inspiration, I grafted the cable together, then picked up 85 stitches around the edge with #7s. When the hat was done, I picked up 85 stitches around the bottom rim of the cable and knit a second layer. Two layers of Shokay 100% yak yarn should be nice and toasty through the Wisconsin winter.

And now for a breath of spring! This arrived from Knit Purl's Sock Club a few weeks ago.
I can't say enough nice things about this sock club. This installment's pattern is called Buds and Butterflies. An azalea garden inspired the colorway. See the sunlight glowing in the yarn?