semperfiona: (icarus)
The pictures in the last post are my Aeolian Shawl, knit from yarn I bought last year at the Bethel Sheep & Wool Festival. This year my friends told me I had to enter it in the competition. Until last night we weren't even sure which of us were going, or whether we were going at all. But we made up our minds, Tammie reserved us a room, and Tammie and I drove up here this morning. Had to be there before 10 to enter into the contest. Despite missing my turn and going 10 miles or so out of my way, I was at the competition tent at 9:45 filling out the entry form.

After an hour or so of looking around at the show, during which time I bought some more yarn from the same dyer who had dyed the Aeolian's yarn (Woolie Bullie)--and told her I had entered the shawl in the contest--Tammie and I drove up to our hotel in search of lunch and possibly a nap. They weren't ready for us to check in (not unexpected at 11:30 a.m.) so we went to the cafe and ate lunch before heading back to the show. En route, I got a text from [ profile] tempesttea: "Beautiful shawl beautiful blue ribbon".

It is important to note that cell service is patchy to non-existent in this area. The only place it's reliable is a three- or four-mile stretch on the highway between the show and the hotel. Therefore, my response to Jamie went undelivered until well after four p.m. Nonetheless, we looked all over for her without success. We did find AnnieKnits and her DH.

Eventually we gave up on finding Jamie and went to watch the "Mutton Busting": little kids riding sheep as if they were rodeo cowboys and bucking broncos, respectively. It is exactly as adorable, and as high-larious, as you are imagining. I have some lousy cellphone pics that maybe I can edit into something later.

So now it's two o'clock, we watch the sheepdog demos for twenty minutes or so, and then are bored again. Let's take a walk down to the town and see what there is...What there was was a couple ladies working on hooked rugs, with more on display, as well as some period furniture, inside an otherwise unoccupied house built in the 1850's.

Bethel, it turns out, was a Christian communal colony from 1840ish to 1860ish. What the Wikipedia entry doesn't mention, but the hysterical marker in the middle of downtown does (oh, and this page has a much more complete history), is that William Keil's son was supposed to lead the new settlement in Oregon, but he died beforehand. They preserved his body in alcohol and took it with them along the Oregon Trail; he's buried in Washington State.

What *else* there was was a plethora of yard sales. We did not purchase any yards at this time--I tell you this because you looked nervous--even though one of the sales had a whole rack of womens' clothing in my size, some of it quite nice.

After all that, we went back to the show to collect my prizewinning shawl--I was able to show it off to Brenda (the dyer)--and then to the hotel for a rest and a very nice steak dinner.

This hotel is a little strange. It's part of a Christian ministry community called Heartland--group homes for youth recovering from addictions--that runs a dairy (if you live in Missouri you've seen their tankers driving around labeled "Jesus is the Answer!"), a couple restaurants, a general store, a Ford car museum, this hotel, etc. The employees of all those things are the aforementioned youth.

It's also built from cinderblock, with tiny windows, no TV, no tub (only a shower), and your choice of either very bright overhead lighting or extremely dim bedside lamps. But it's clean, the people have been friendly, no one has tried to stone us or burn us as witches, and the price was right.

At dinner we were seated next to a couple ladies that we recognized from the Sheep Show. They had been in a spinning class with Brenda, and we were sitting in the same area knitting while we waited for the end of the competition so I could retrieve my handiwork. We recognized the shrug one of them was wearing and struck up a sporadic conversation through dinner.
semperfiona: (icarus)
Saturday morning, we got a call. FOAF has a glass curio cabinet she is trying to get rid of, do we want it? Why, yes, we did...

While we were out retrieving the cabinet, we got a text from [ profile] tempesttea. There's a book cart needing TLC in the library dumpster but she can't get it out alone. Texted back that we would come help, but she decided she didn't want it (or couldn't fit it in her house, anyway). So she helped us get it instead. The only things wrong with it were a little dust and a broken vertical slat in the bottom half. Whoopde.

And the next day, Tempest and her mom came and took away our dust-gathering collection of inherited quilting magazines. So now that the knitting books are stowed elsewhere, we have a whole six linear feet of empty bookcase!

Sucker is heavy, but it holds all of our knitting books and tools. Just. So we can't buy any more. (Yeah right.)

semperfiona: (icarus)
I can haz Ravelry pattern store nao! Only one pattern, currently, but it's all set up and you can download my little pattern.
semperfiona: (icarus)
I hate blocking. Hate it so much that although I finished knitting Hanami last summer, it's been languishing unblocked ever since. I finished the knitting for Eerie tonight, and decided it was finally time to block.

Rosa's at Daddy's until Sunday, so I could use her beds. Climbed up on the top bunk and started stretching Hanami...when I finished, I climbed down via the dresser. And when jumping off the dresser, my left-foot baby toe got caught on the edge. Shouts of pain, worse with each step. I've got a big swollen purple spot at the base of my toe. I put ice on it, but it is only hurting more. I can't wait to see what it looks like in the morning. Not.

Nonetheless, I persisted and blocked the shirt pieces on the lower bunk. Now I have a sore back from all the bending, to go with my very ouchy toe.
semperfiona: (knitting)
All last week I've been saying, "I can't believe I'm seriously considering subjecting myself to Tim Ezell. At oh-god-it's-early in the morning, no less!"

Fox 2 News was doing a Stitch-n-Pitch promotion and "Tim's Travels" segment at Knitorious, and as one might guess, I went.

6:45 this morning, in our pajamas and bathrobe (as was suggested by the Knitorious folks), Chris, Tammie and I went to the knit shop. I had to sit at home with a puzzle and some coffee for about twenty minutes after Tammie left before I could face Outside, but the whole event was actually a lot of fun.

There was a large crowd, in fact: most of the usual Wednesday Night Knitters and quite a few other customers, as well as several of the other LYS owners in the area. The 30% discount didn't hurt attendance, of course.

Unsurprisingly, Chris got a moment of airtime. Big hairy man knitting in his bathrobe? Are you kidding?! I was sitting next to him and was probably also on TV; we'll check it out later tonight on the DVR. The green Sweater of Doom also made an appearance (and got about two rows closer to being completed; the finish line is in sight!) and was oohed and aahed over by the whole room.

But despite my serious misgivings about Tim Ezell (I have always hated his segments -- something about the forced enthusiasm and bouncing-off-the-walls flaky behavior) he was quite pleasant and personable when he wasn't on air. Appears all that is a shtick for the program. Whaddya know.
semperfiona: (knitting)
I subscribed to Knitting Daily. The recent discussions have been about shaping, which is fine, useful and interesting. But I'm being aggravated by the writer's continual cutesy references to breasts as The Girls or The Ladies. Never does she use the word breasts. Grrr!
semperfiona: (knitting)
My fingers feel the need to work on a different project, and I think I want to do lace. Which is weird, really, because I am also feeling like I need a project that's an easy pattern with big yarn with big needles (relatively: everything I've got going right now is either complex or needles smaller than size 5, or both).

I'm trying to convince myself that rather than start a totally new project (Hanami is calling), I should wake something from hibernation.

    Currently active, I have:
  • Japanese Diagonal Cabled Tank
    reverse-engineered design based on a photograph
    DK weight yarn at a very tight gauge (for me); due to that I can only work on it for a couple inches at a time
    about 1/6 finished

  • Red River Socks
    personal design
    sock yarn at a loose sock gauge
    about 3/4 finished--currently mid-heel on the second sock

    Hibernating projects:
  • Sweater of Doom
    personal design not fully defined
    enormous sweater of allover cables in worsted weight
    about 3/4 finished.
    *sigh* I really need to make progress on this but it's daunting me

  • Hello Kitty Scarf
    I could just knit to the end already and get it done--Rosa would be pleased--but it's annoying acrylic yarn and I've no enthusiasm for it
  • Mystery Stole 3 (Swan Lake)
    given that I want to do Hanami, I really ought to finish this first, since it's by the same designer, and is also asymmetrical in design, though symmetrical in shape. But I have little enthusiasm for it at the moment.
  • Smile sweater
    one of Tammie's projects, but she'd be happy for me to finish it
    bulky yarn, size 15 needles
    only needs 1/2 a sleeve.

I've got yet another partially-designed project in mind (Double-knit worsted weight! Big gauge! Biggish needles!), for which I've swatched, but it's not in a state to be cast on yet. I still have to chart it fully, and test-felt some white and natural yarns as well.
semperfiona: (icarus)
A couple months ago, someone posted this picture on a Ravelry forum. I was very taken with it. I spent some time poking around trying to find a similar pattern, to no avail. There's a link to the original magazine on that page, but not only is it in Japanese, it's out of print.

Some folks on Ravelry have been trying to reverse engineer it from the photograph. I spent an evening doing that myself, but could not make sense of the tossed-off "I did it with short rows" that was given as the method. Finally someone else on Ravelry made a clearer summary of their method, and I was off to the races. Five or eight swatches and about six sheets of knitters' graph paper later I finally had a harmonious combination of needles, yarn and "pattern" and started in on the left side.

I had been worried about how I was going to know when to do armhole shaping, and had obsessively held the little piece of fabric up to myself, but yesterday brought another brainwave. I have a lightweight pullover of about the shape and fit that I want, so I'm using it as a template.

semperfiona: (Default)
I checked the waiting list this morning, and there were 42 people ahead of me. The next time I checked my email, there was my invitation.

So as of five minutes ago, I'm semperfiona on ravelry. Tammie and I will be sharing the account for the foreseeable.
semperfiona: (Default)
I have just finished one Jaywalker sock in Regia color 5399 (rainbow striped). I ran about three yards short on yarn and had to pull out a few yards from another skein to finish the toe. If I'd done four or six fewer rows of ribbing at the top, it would have come out at exactly one skein.

Started last Saturday, I believe, and worked on intermittently all week. I like the stitch pattern a lot; it's well suited to a wide-striping yarn like the Regia 5399 and is also an easy pattern to remember/read from the previous rows.

It fits very nice and snug but not overly tight.

Hopefully I will not fall victim to Second Sock Syndrome: I want to wear these!

Knee socks

Jan. 28th, 2007 03:36 pm
semperfiona: (maple)
I made this pair near the end of last year.

Pattern: Invented myself. The stitch pattern goes
Rows 1 & 2: k2 p3 around
Row 3: 2st cable, p3 around
Rows 4 & 5 as 1 & 2
Row 6: 2st cable, yo, p3tog, yo around

I worked over 65 stitches, starting on size 1 needles and then changing to size 0 at nine inches. The heel is a German heel (instructions on page 17 of Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush) over 41 sts. I decreased as if for the instep gusset almost all the way to the toe.

Yarn: Trekking
Needles: as mentioned: Boye sizes 1 and 0

I really like the way the socks look, but I'm disappointed in the way they fit. They slouch down around my ankles. I think my gauge was too big and the stitch pattern doesn't have enough take-up to really hold its shape. Also, my Kitchener stitch attempts failed. We have subsequently found good instructions here at

Knee socks

Jan. 28th, 2007 03:24 pm
semperfiona: Conversation hearts on the keys of a piano (piano hearts)
Just finished twenty minutes ago.

Pattern detail:

Pattern: Gentleman's Sock with Lozenge Pattern, from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot, color "Crazy Woman"
Needles: Boye size 0 double-points
Modifications: Really I only took the "lozenge pattern" and the foot shaping and heel construction from the book; I sized these to fit my legs as full-length knee socks. Four sets of the rib pattern (3-3 rib for nine rows, then a row of purl) over 96 sts. Then decreased to 90 sts by k2tog after 14 sts six times on the next row (an all-knit row). Two sets of the 10-row lozenge pattern, then decreased to 80 st over the next 10 row pattern, one pattern even, another 10-st decrease over then next pattern, two patterns even, 10-st decrease pattern, two patterns at 60 sts and start the heel working over 30 sts (rather than the 41 recommended in the book).

I should have used 31 sts for the heel, however, because I failed to keep in mind that the lozenge pattern would not be symmetrical without dropping one stitch off the end of it. Oh well.
semperfiona: (Default)
I finally blocked the Icarus shawl I (otherwise) finished in October. Part of the reason it's taken so long is that I had no flat surface of sufficient size anywhere in the house. Or there were a couple of beds, but the cats are in the habit of sleeping there, and I didn't want it full of fur. Sandy at Knitorious told me I could use the empty storefront next door, and Sunday afternoon I stretched it out on a sheet on the floor.

For blocking wires I used standard 14-gauge plastic-coated electrical wire from Home Depot, cut approximately to the outside measurements of the shawl, plus a bit for overlap and stretch. They worked great, and I highly recommend that choice over the expense of buying actual "blocking wires".

Here it is!

Detail of the edge:

Yarn and pattern details:

Pattern: Icarus, by, from Interweave Knits Summer 2006
Yarn: Something German I forget the name of. It was quite scratchy while I knitted but softened up considerably in the blocking process (ETA: The yarn is called Kauni Effektgarn EQ.)
Needles: Addi Turbo size 3 circulars
Modifications: After the first dark blue section, I used alternate skeins (2 rows from each) in order to lengthen the color blocks.


Jan. 11th, 2007 10:29 pm
semperfiona: (rosa crowned)
The first project I've completed this year.

And their proud owner...

These are the mittens from Not Just Socks by Sandi Rosner, size extra small. Knitted on size 0 needles with Regia Bamboo, at a finished gauge of 15 st 18 rows to 2 inches; pattern otherwise unmodified.

Total time about 8 hours.
semperfiona: (tigger)
"Did you hear the tiny little snapping sound as I broke the thread?

"That was the sound of victory."

The Big Gay Wheel of Cheese shawl--aka the Icarus shawl, aka the peacock shawl, aka the rainbow shawl--is done. Well, all right, I still have to block it. But I have finished all 251 rows of knitting. Pictures forthcoming when it's been blocked.
semperfiona: Conversation hearts on the keys of a piano (piano hearts)
So apparently, the big gay wheel of cheese wanted to become the Icarus shawl from Interweave Knits Summer 2006. I'm forty rows in or so.

Also, my knitting-fu is mighty tonight, and I have successfully taught Tammie to knit without making twisted stitches.
semperfiona: (sleepy rosa)
T'other night I was looking at a cardigan pattern, and it specified different placement of the buttonholes depending on whether the garment was intended for a boy or a girl. So I got curious as to why buttonholes are placed differently on men's and women's clothing. The general upshot? Nobody knows. We do know that the convention developed in the late Victorian era There are some theories, but no proof.


semperfiona: (Default)

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