A Bit of Lace

I found a gorgeous crochet lace shrug pattern on Ravelry last week.  I mean, this thing was jaw dropping.  And everyone I’ve showed it to since agrees that it is fairly stunning.  Of these people, Caitlin agreed, and even asked for one.  This makes me happy, because Caitlin has been watching Ellette for some of my training days, and asked for no payment other than hand knits.  The hand knits she wanted – socks.

Now, we’ve already established that I’m not really a sock knitter.  I’ve made socks, for sure.  I want to try everything, but I don’t really like making socks.  I’d much rather shave my fingertips off or inflict silk burn on my spine than spend tedious hours churning out a pair of the knee high socks she covets.  And it made me feel like a terrible friend.  I should just suck it up and make her a pair of socks or two.  Instead, I’ve been hinting at other possible projects – scarves, arm warmers, etc.  So, when she asked for this, out of yarn she had previously purchased (for socks), I was ecstatic, and started as soon as I could.

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The pattern is not particularly difficult, it’s just not well written.  Following the charts is making more sense than the written instructions, which is saying something because me and crochet charts have a long and bitter history.  But, once I got over the fact that the designer and mathematics must have had an equally long and bitter history because the numbers just weren’t adding up, I was flying through the pattern. (And I ask here humbly that you forgo the “I-Told-You-So’s” if it turns out that I’m just an idiot who cannot add)

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I’m finished with the back and one armhole, which leaves one more arm and the neck edging, and it’s done!  Super easy, maybe 5 hours of work so far.  I’m going to wind another ball of fingering weight and take it on the plane on Thursday so I can work on one for myself in Austin.

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No More Center Stitches

My lunch hour today saw the frantic knitting of someone eager to reach the end.  I can feel it.  Just at the very end of my allotted chow time, I decreased that last little stitch.

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Now, I just have to finish and join the leaf motifs and the knitting will be done!  I am too excited for this.

Butterflies and Lace

Tonight, I reached the part of the Bosc pattern that reminds me of butterflies.

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I feel like I am knitting my way towards Spring. It’s been difficult to put down.

Hey Knitters! HELP!

Yesterday, I cast off the neck edge for Ellette’s vest, held it up, and groaned.  The neck is not drapey – not at all.  It rolls and looks heavy and old-lady-ish.  Not at all what I had in mind for the birthday vest.  I want something flowy and fun and summery.

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I stretcehd the neck as much as possible, pulled it in toward the center, stared at it, asked the others in the house what they thought, wondered if I should wait until I see it on Ellette before I make any decision but decided that would sort of ruin the birthday surprise.

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The back, at least, turned out exactly the way I wanted it.  The diamond lace pattern is gorgeous.

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But the front?  No way! So, all of you knitters and crafters out there – what are your thoughts?  What would you do?  Should I steam block and hope the fibers relax?  Should I rip it out entirely and do a different stitch pattern?  Should I rip back only a few inches and add increases in key areas?

I have 3 days left!  HELP!

Swatch You Looking At?

Ellette’s birthday is quickly approaching, and I have been occupied by other things.  With money being as tight as it is around here, I thought long and hard about what to do.  The big expense was for her party – we are seeing the Actor’s Gymnasium’s production of Skooled with about 12 other kids and renting a room in the facility for cake and presents afterwards.  That left little budget to work with in regards to a present.

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Luckily, I have more yarn than I need at the moment, and Ellette is the kind of kid who loves the fact that I knit, and lo, I knit for her!  She wants to show off everything I make and tries to take care of it.  I know that every moment I spend making her things is cherished.  So, I did a stash dive and came up with several balls of Cotton Painte in this beautiful blue.  Ellette is really into layering her clothes, and I want something she can wear into the hot summer months, so I decided a flowy vest would be perfect.  I swatched the above lace patterns before realizing how similar they are.  Trust me, they are different!  Still, I had a good laugh at myself once I set the swatch to block and measured my gauge.

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A bit of math and a couple false starts later, and the vest is flying by.  I started the second ball and measure 6 inches.  The only shaping involved is going to be for the arm holes, and then I will add a drape-neck collar with whatever yarn I have leftover.

And, before you ask, I am taking meticulous notes because I do want to make one for myself.  Thankfully, Ellette is at an age still where matching her mother is kind of cool and not embarrassing.

On The Deviousness of Lace

There is a baby in the future.  Not mine, no – but a very close friend of mine is having a girl who will become my god child (I’m ridiculously excited about this).  I want to do the baby and the mama justice by knitting a blanket fill with warmth and hope and as much magic as I can possible invest in it.

I found this really beautiful doily pattern that I thought I could enlarge for a lovely swaddling blanket.  There is a small amount of lace in the middle that extends into this fun lace edging.  The color is “Fairytale” from Knit Picks in Comfy Worsted.  I’m using US size 6 needles.

My predicament:

I reached the end of the body as written in the pattern, and decided the body wasn’t nearly big enough to wrap around the baby, so I needed to continue knitting.  Doubling the pattern entirely would produce a blanket much too large (and I wasn’t sure I had enough yarn or time for that) so I counted the beginning number of stitches for the lace pattern and increased to a multiple of that number (11, for anyone who is interested).  The problem lies in the fact that, while the first lace pattern is a mulptiple of 11, it ends in a multiple of 10 and the second lace pattern is a multiple of 30.  I didn’t realize this until I nearly finished the first round of the second lace pattern (because there are no charts, just written instructions) and couldn’t finish.  That meant I had to tink back 320 stitches so I could think about my next move.

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There is no way I am ripping out the last twelve rows and knitting to double the pattern size so the numbers will match up.  The baby is due on October 27th, and I need time to block, weave in ends, and get to the expectant family.  So, now I have to devise some sort of lace pattern that fits in with the traingle motif that is already there and that adds about three or four inches.  I am looking at it, thinking the inverted traingles could easily become leaves with a feather and fan motif to separate and add a neat ruffled edge.  Or, I can combine two triangles with a descrease to create a large heart motif with diamonds between them.  I have to remember that I am knitting a flat circle, and that means increases need to be placed in strategic places to continue the “lying flat”-ness I require.  Or create some sort of crazy ruffle.   I haven’t qutie decided which.  Thoughts?

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In the meantime, I almost sold out of pumpkin hats last weekend, which means that the majority of my knitting this week will be making more.

A Finished Item

Due to the mundane activities of molding, wrapping, painting, and tying that is happening here at chez pixie, I have decided to show you the finish Cecilia Chemise.  Believe you  me, the groans, wire cuts, fights with tulle, and spills of paint are not something you want to hear about until I have the sense enough to laugh at my own poor scheduling skills.  Instead, I bid look.  It’s pretty.

Many thanks to my darling daughter for obliging her dear mother with photography.

She said she’s proud of herself because she’s getting the hang of it.

 

She only caught a bad face once or twice.

The pattern: Cecilia Chemise  (cropped version) by Stitch Diva Studios

The yarn: Firefly by Classic Elite, color is Hyacinth.  This yarn is a beautiful linen viscose blend with fantastic drape.  It was a bit splitty and I often pulled out bits of grass and hay that had been spun in, but the yarn feels nice and has a wonderful sheen.

This was such a quick project.  The body is knit in a rectangle, pretty much, with simple bust shaping that really works.  I think the line of the cropped version is very slimming, but you can adjust the length to suit your needs.  the lacy edging and sleeves are a nice, feminine touch, and the lace is not at all complicated.

The one problem that did crop up for me was those blasted straps.  I made them too long, got them sewn in before realizing this, and had to rip them out and remove several repeats.  Started sewing them back in again, only to realize I had sewn them in on the wrong side.  Before ripping them out, realized again that they were still too long anyway.  Ripped them out, ripped out several repeats more, and sewed them back in.

I wore this in DC, and the straps continued to stretch, and are again about an inch too long.  *whimper* I do not want to rip them out again.  I am thinking of giving this a warm bath, and once it is dry and the stitches are tight again, weaving a pretty satin ribbon through the straight edge of the strap and sewing it in place.  This project will have to wait until next week, since I have the Custer Street Fair to look forward to this weekend (and pull my hair out over throughout the next two evenings.)

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