Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lace

I know I recently posted about my current blanket obsession....well, in total honesty, I wrote that post about a month ago, and then let it sit until a gentle nudge from Betsey reminded me of my neglected blog.

While I'm still enjoying my blankets, I've recently been drawn more to some lacy knits... maybe the glimpes of spring we've had? I knit this Seascape Stole over the holiday season, and I love it! The pattern calls for Kidsilk haze, but I was looking for something a bit more substantial, so this is knit out of my much loved Silky Wool. I love the pattern, the yarn, the color = it's a winner! The larger gauge gave a little wider stole, which I wanted, and I did 5 repeats (rather than 6) of the main chart. I think it ended up being almost 24 x 75ish inches. I didn't take a pre-blocking measurement. I've already worn it several times.

Seascape Stole

Last week I cast on for the Diamond Fantasy Shawl with the Seasilk I bought at SAFF 2007. I got the pattern in my Think Pink Holiday Swap package in December and decided it was time to cast on. This shawl starts at the bottom point and goes up, which is a new construction for me, but I really like it so far. The yarn is amazing to work with - but very slippery. I'm using lifelines for the first time - if you drop a stitch, it will just slither right down, making it very unplesant to pick up. This shawl comes with instructions for a small (6 or 7 repeats) and large size(10) - I should have enough yarn for 8 or 9 repeats, I think. I've gotten a little further along since I took this photo.

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I generally don't like to have more than one peice of lace on the needles, but I think I'll be breaking that rule shortly. I just got my Spring IK in the mail last week, and I immediately picked up this yarn for the Float Stole - I'm not sure I can wait to make it! I've been squishing this MamaE laceweight at KnitPicky for a few week and was glad to have an excuse to buy it....And hey - the gray will be a nice change to the red lace streak I've had going!

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Hemlock Ring

I don't know if it's the cold weather or what, but lately all I want to do is knit blankets. There's something about curling up on the couch with a warm blanket that sounds so appealing right now.
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I finished this Hemlock Ring blanket in early December, but didn't block it until early January. I had hoped to get it washed and blocked by Christmas, but it was not to be. The week I finished it I was dogsitting for a family that has a giant carpeted basement/playroom - I had hoped to be able to block it there, but I didn't think it would be dry before it was time for me to head back to my own home. My apartment has hardwood floors - which I love, but does make it more difficult to block large items, since it's not really feasible for me to block on my bed.
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For Christmas, two of my siblings went in and bought me some interlocking foam mats to use as a blocking board. So, after I finally cleared my lving room floor of the fabric from last weekend I put down the mats and pulled out the pins. I had to go buy more T-pins, and as it was, I ended pinning out every other "ruffle" on the edge. Another bonus to using these mats is the foam doesn't absorb water like carpet or towels, so the blanket dried much more quickly.
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I'm really pleased with how it turned out! I wish I had made it a tiny big bigger, as I have a ton of yarn left, and it seemed awfully small right off the needles. (My Dad stopped by a few weeks ago and noticed the foam mats out and asked what I was going to do with them, again? I pulled out the wrinkly, crumpled mass of knitting and he was a little skeptical of the magical powers of blocking...I'll have to send him the pictures!) After a wash in the tub with Soak and being pinned out, it grew quite a bit. I took it off the blocking board on Saturday annd I love it! It's a great size for keeping my legs warm on the couch and it goes great in my living room.
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Specs:
Pattern: Hemlock Ring (doily pattern rewritten for blanket by Jared Flood)
Yarn: Cascade Eco+, 1.75 skeins (purchased 2 years ago at a Fall Sale at KnitPicky, originally intended for Starsky. I like this better!)
Needles: Size 10 1/2 Knitpicks Options - started with Magic Loop on 32 inch, and used both 40 and 60 in cables
Time: 40 days
Mods: none, really! Went through the extended chart on the Rainey Sisters blog - 3 extra repeats from the original doily pattern

So, next up in the urge to make sure my home is never without enough blankets? This cabled blanket from the Bernat website. Melinda's mom made one for her, and as soon as I saw it I knew I had to have one!
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I also have picked up the Great American Aran Afghan book, and would like to make that...as a long-term project. Probably not for a while. I'm also dying to make the Liberty Blanket from the latest Mason-Dixon book, though I'll change the color scheme.

Now, I'm off to curl up under my new blanket with a cup of cocoa and a good book.