Sunday, February 15, 2009

What A Difference A Needle Makes!

These bamboo #5s + laceweight merino = a very slow go with some yarn splitting as an extra added bonus. Lace needles with nice sharp points would make so much more sense. I didn't have any, hence the attempt to make do with bamboo. It's not that I didn't want to buy special lace needles. It's that it meant a trip to a yarn store, hardly an errand of pain and dread.

Unless you've been to what passes as our local yarn store. It's the outlet for a national craft catalog business. Turn the clock back 30 years, then add some scrapbooking supplies, and you've got a good idea of the contents of the store. It's not 1979 deadstock but, boy, it sure could be. The company seems to exist to turnover variegated acrylic.

But the store does occasionally come through. They'll have the odd ball of Noro Kureyon or a couple of bottles of Eucalan. This afternoon, they came through with Addi lace needles.
This is what my Lilac Leaf Shawl looks like just now. You can make out a leaf or two. The above photo is more true to the color. The knitting is so much more a pleasure with the new Addi lace needles.

It's hard to show lace on the needles, especially as the shawl grows. Here's 4/6ths of Lankakomero's Vernal Equinox Surprise Shawl Knitalong.
That's a lotta lace. Just three more clues to go but, man, so far ... it's lovely. You'll see.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What Happened to the Bohus Cuff I Was Knitting - A Story without Words

Story by Jack the Beagle and Nala the Bad Orange Cat
Illustrations by my daughter Thomasina

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Lilac Leaf Shawl - Part I

From now on, a daytrip to Madison means a stop at Lakeside Fibers. Tom and I started our visit to the shop with lattes and a cranberry craisin scone in the café attached to the shop. It's a room with a floor-to-ceiling view of the lake. Seated at the tables around us, groups of knitters and crocheters were busy talking and doing. I left Tom chatting with a new acquaintance about the neighborhood.

The shop itself is beautiful. A good half-hour whizzed by as I wandered, admiring the merino, the alpaca, the silk, the hand-dyed. I ended up with two skeins of Jojoland Harmony, a laceweight merino, in an almost iridescent lavender. It will be more than enough for Nancy Bush's Estonian Lilac Leaf Shawl. I knit the first 15 rows last night. Here's a closeup ...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Irish Tradition and Swedish Couture

The thermometer read 14 below last night. That's when you throw another log on the fire, snuggle up with your beagle, and take up the knitting needles.

An entire evening of knitting and the cabled baby cardi Trellis came off the needles and got itself some seams and buttons. And not one minute too soon, either. It's for my grandnephew Will's first birthday in North Carolina this Saturday. The yarn is Rowan's All-Season Cotton (which is actually 40% poly, making the sweater much lighter than an actual 100% cotton garment). The color is a juicy Tangerine and the buttons are braided leather. You can supersize any of the photos with a click.

To say that I love the way this sweater turned out is an understatement. It is adorable. I hope little Will's mom and dad enjoy dressing him in it.

Early this morning, I turned my attention to my new Bohus Stickning kit. This is a very particular type of Swedish knitting, requiring small needles and delicate yarns specially spun and dyed for the project. Bohus is often called "poems of color". Judge for yourself if that is an apt description.