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Monday, March 31, 2008

Carding


Remember this project? Well, over the weekend I got all of the different wools carded in preparation for blending*. This is what they look like now. On the left is the Icelandic from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club - January fiber. In the center is the Cotswold Lambswool and Alpaca, and on the right is the green and blue finewool from Spinner's Hill. I blended the two colors of the Spinner's Hill batts a bit to make it easier to blend all three fibers together. Now I'm ready to start blending all of the different wools together into batts. I don't know for sure how many passes each batt will take through the carder, but I want a fairly well blended batt to spin from. This should be a drapy yarn with the Icelandic, Cotswold and Alpaca - the fine wools will add a little bit of bounce and some softness, without interfering with the overall drape of the finished yarn. Of course all this is theoretical. If I was smart I would sample before I did all this, but I don't want to sample - I just want to get it all blended!
*All of the fiber had been previously processed - the Icelandic and the Cotswold/Alpaca blend were both in roving forms and the finewool mix was in batts, but by running it all through the drum carder once (except the finewools, which went through twice to blend colors), I fluffed up the fibers a bit and got smaller sections to work with as I blend.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

New Spinning

After last weekend's spinning bender, I needed something else on the wheels. This is what I'm working on with the Symphony. I have over 2 pounds of this Targhee that I washed, dyed half of it (it came out darker than I wanted), and sent out to be processed into roving. (If you dye your fiber half at a time, if you get it too dark, just leave the other half white and card the two halves together - TA DA!) The roving is a bit neppy, which didn't surprise me too much since the staple length of this particular wool is pretty short, and the sheep clearly had a lot of fun being a sheep (I know this because I went through the raw fleece and saw what the sheep had gotten into - good times). I'm spinning this semi-woolen to keep it soft and lofty and letting the neps happen as they want to. It will be a 3 ply, which will help to make the neps less noticeable, but the finished yarn should still be more textured than my usual yarn. I'm not entirely sure what I want to use this yarn for, the finished yarn will probably be in the worsted weight range and it will definitely be next-to-skin soft. I had considered a twin set, but I think the finished yarn weight will be too heavy for the weight I like twin sets (personally, sport weight yarn is about as heavy as I want for a twin set). It might make a wonderful cabled pullover - something to toss on over jeans and just snuggle into, but for now, I need to get the yarn spun up.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Random Thursday

Yesterday I didn't get much fibery stuff done. I cleaned out the garage. Yes, you read that right. I hate cleaning out the garage because most of the stuff out there is lawn equipment and Mickael stuff, but I had an ulterior motive. For quite a while now, our garage door hasn't really been working properly. Actually, it's the IR sensors that keep it from going down when someone is standing under it that aren't working properly. For some reason, the garage door will only go down by remote when its overcast or the sun is behind a cloud. If it's sunny, I can't get the garage door down unless I stand in the garage and hold the button on the wall down. This is a problem because my car lives in the garage. When I need to go somewhere if it's sunny, I have to back my car out of the garage, get out, go into the garage and stand there holding the button until it's all the way down, then go through the house and go out the front door, lock it, and hop in the car and go. If there are clouds out, I can sit in the car until the sun goes behind a cloud, hit the remote button and hope the cloud is big enough to hide the sun until the door is all the way down. On a day like today (overcast and rainy) I can come and go as I please and I don't have any trouble at all. This is why I really don't want to hire someone to come out and fix it. First of all, I'm going to have to pay $100 just to get them out here, then it will be overcast when they come, so the garage door will work perfectly, they won't find anything wrong with it, and they'll think I'm crazy. Second of all, do you have any idea how long it would take to explain what's going on - again, with the crazy thing. My theory is that something is reflecting light into one of the sensors on sunny days, so Phase I of Fix The Garage Door was to clean out the garage, organize stuff and get it farther back from the sensors. The garage is now MUCH neater, cleaner, and there is a big pile of junk that will be hauled off tomorrow! Unfortunately, the garage door still doesn't work in the sunshine. Phase II of Fix the Garage Door will be to rewire the sensors. I don't think this is going to fix them, but the wiring looks funny, so it won't hurt to redo it and make it better. I don't know what Phase III of Fix the Garage Door will be yet, I haven't come up with that one yet.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fiber Club

The great thing about being in a fiber club is that fiber shows up on your doorstep once a month. Of course the problem with being in a fiber club is that fiber shows up on your doorstep once a month. If you don't spin it, it can pile up. So, last Thursday, after I finished up with the Merino/Angora/Silk singles, I grabbed the February club fiber (I'm in the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club) which was sitting there and started spinning. It's called Think Spring and it's South African Fine Wool. I have no plans for this fiber, I just decided to spin it heavier than I usually do and as you can see in the finished 3 ply above, it's a chunky, bouncy yarn. It weighs 8 ounces (I get double the fiber each month from the club) and I have 255 yards of it. If I were to knit it up, I would probably get around 12 stitches over 4 inches. I plied it over the weekend and finished it with the Merino/Angora/Silk and it turned out, it was just in time because on Monday, I got this in the mail:
This is half of my 8 ounces of Merino and the colorway is called Mud Season. I haven't started spinning it yet, but I think it's telling me it wants to be spun pretty fine, Navajo plied, and knit into a stripey, soft pair of socks. I need to work on my Navajo plying because I'm not as happy with that as I am with a true 3 ply, so this might be just the thing to practice on.

I had a comment on Monday complementing my finished Merino/Angora/Silk yarn. The commenter said that most of the handspun yarns she sees are more lumpy, bumpy, novelty types, not a smooth, more consistent type of yarn. The great thing about handspinning is that you can make the yarn anyway you want to. You can make a novelty yarn, and there are many books available on different novelty yarns and how to make them, or you can make a more even yarn that closely resembles commercially spun yarns - it's all up to you as the spinner and learning how to set your wheel up and how to do the actual spinning. Don't think that handspinners can only do novelty yarns - handspinners can spin almost every type of yarn there is and for centuries handspinners only spun the more even, tightly twisted yarns because those were the yarns that would wear well. The handspun novelty yarns have only been around for a fairly short time in the history of handspinning because prior to spinning mills (the Industrial Revolution), handspun was the only type of yarn there was.
ETA: In the original post I mistakenly referred to Navajo plying as Andean plying, but I have corrected the post. (One of the downsides of blogging uncaffeinated.) Navajo plying is using a single and chaining it like a giant crochet chain while spinning in the opposite direction from the way the singles were spun and technically isn't plying at all, but a chained single. It gives you the look of a 3 ply, while keeping colors in order and together instead of barber poling. Andean plying is a way of wrapping a bobbin or a spindle's worth of singles around your hand so you can use both ends of the single and ply it together in a two ply. Theoretically, it helps to keep things from getting tangled like they would if you just wound a center pull ball with the singles and plied from both ends at once. In my own (admittedly limited) experience, the only difference between Andean plying on your hand and plying from both ends of a center pull ball is not the tangled mess - that happens to me both ways - but the fact that with Andean plying I have the tangled mess on my hand and invariably this is the time the phone rings, the doorbell rings, Caleb spills a huge amount of food on the floor and Finn goes berserk from all the excitement. For a better explanation of either technique, I suggest Googling.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Terra Incognita, Take Two

As I've said before, since feet come in pairs, socks usually do also. This is the second sock of my Terra Incognita design from the Earth Socks Collection. Obviously, I'm just getting started here, but it does go pretty quickly when I take the time to sit down and work on it. I'm already starting to design the Fire collection, which will be the second in the Elements Sock Series. I'm hoping to sit down later today with graph paper and a pencil and get some ideas out on the new design. In the meantime, I just have to finish this sock and then I'll be ready to start the new designs.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Finished Spinning


I spent a lot of the weekend spinning, so I'll have several things to show you this week! This is the finished yarn from the singles you saw on Friday. It is from the Merino/Angora/Silk top and I started with 4 ounces. After plying it together, I had a fingering weight, but then I washed and fulled it (I let the washing machine agitate it while I stood over it watching nervously) and it's now a DK weight and the angora is starting to bloom. I have 255 yards of the finished 3 ply and no definite plans for it. I'm thinking about making myself a new pair of fingerless mitts with it, because my current pair of white angora mitts is looking a bit sad. They're still warm, but they look matted and sad. I could then use the old pair for walking Finn (holding a leash with angora mitts is just asking to get your mitts yucky looking) and the new pair for non-Finn activities.
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm back!



It's OK! We made it safely back from the DMV. I don't think I told you, I took Caleb along for the adventure too! I had him get a book, so he grabbed a smallish book and said, "OK Mommy, I'm ready!" I looked at the book and told him to get a chapter book. At this point he gave me a look that clearly said wherever we were going was looking less and less fun, but he went back to his room and came out with two chapter books (Magic Tree House). I guess he figured he'd rather have too much to read than not enough. So we set off, for what could have been an epic adventure. We were in and out in about 20 minutes after renewing my driver's license (no more corrective lens restriction, thank you) and renewing the plates on my husband's car. I'm beginning to think I'm not being fair to the DMV here, because this was the second time I was practically able to walk in and out painlessly. On the other hand, the first time I went there, right after we moved in, I was sent back home because I didn't have enough of all the stuff they needed. Some of the 9/11 terrorists had Virginia ID's so the state freaked out and put all sorts of new rules into effect about what you have to bring in to get a driver's license. You need all the regular things most states require (birth certificate, proof of residency), but also you practically need a DNA test, your most recent CAT scan, tax returns for the last 12 years, and a soil sample so they can verify that you do in fact live in Virginia and don't just pay electricity or gas bills there. I thought I had gotten all of the forms together, so off I went to the DMV, ready to get a brand new Virginia Driver's License. I got in line at the information desk (this person is essentially a bouncer for the DMV - they keep out the riffraff that doesn't have the necessary paperwork) and was promptly sent back home. Do you remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld? His brother was working the DMV information desk that day. I can't remember exactly what my transgression was, but I think I had brought in the wrong type of utility bill or something. No License For You!


Anyway, it was clearly a traumatic experience, but I did eventually get the DL and got the car registered.

Oh, you're probably wondering what the bobbins of singles are in the pictures and wishing I would shut up about the DMV already! Those are the finished singles of the Merino, Angora, and Silk that I started a while back. I finished up the last two yesterday. I think they will finish as a fingering weight, but the angora will bloom and they could end up as DK weight, when all is plied and fulled. I don't really have a plan for the finished yarn, but it was fun to spin up. I've already started spinning something else that doesn't really have a plan. Aimless Spinning - WHeeeee!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

No Pics Today...

...because you've already seen the sleeves this week. I'm actually to the sleeve cap shaping and I should get them finished today. Then it's into a bath with them and the body of the cardi, off to be blocked and sew it all together! Hopefully you can see the finished sweater next week.

So other than finishing sleeve caps today, what am I doing? I'm going to the DMV! (Try to say it like it's a wonderful, magical place to go.) I have to renew my driver's license, which I should be able to do by mail, but I noticed something on it - if I'm reading it right, they've got a restriction on it for me to have to wear eyeglasses to drive. I have better than 20/20 vision and quite frankly, I have no idea why my driver's license would say this, but I have to go to the DMV to take a vision test to get that removed. We won't discuss the fact that I've been driving around with this particular license for 4 years now and never noticed that. So, wish me luck, and if I'm not back tomorrow, send out the cavalry - but of course they'll have to take a number and wait once they get to the DMV. This is going to be SO much fun!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Verrrrry Interesting...

OK, remember last week I discussed the huge problem I had had with superwash wools? (Huge being the operative word.) I finished knitting up the swatch of Dream in Color Classy (Cool Fire colorway), washed it really well, and since someone commented that the trick to superwash wools was to toss them in the dryer to get them to go back to shape, I tried that too. Here's what happened.

gaugeswatchunwashed


First of all, let me show you the unwashed swatch. I used three different needle sizes, separated each section with a purl ridge and, while you can't really see it in the photo, there are purl bumps at the lower right corner of each swatch, telling me which needle size that swatch was (4 bumps for the US 4's, etc.). At the bottom of the swatch, I used US 4's (3.5 mm) and my unwashed gauge was 6 stitches per inch and 8.5 rows per inch. The middle section was done on US 3's (3.25 mm) and it's pretty small because that size needle just wasn't comfortable for the yarn. My gauge came out to be 6.5 stitches per inch and 9 rows per inch, unwashed. At the top, was US 5's (3.75 mm) and my unwashed gauge was 5.5 stitches per inch and 7.5 rows per inch.

The whole thing was dumped into the washing machine with the pink load (yes, I have enough pink clothes that I can make a washer load with them, but to be fair, I also include reds too), given a full washing and tossed into the dryer until it was almost dry.

gaugeswatchwashed


Here is the washed swatch. As far as differences to the eye, the yarn bloomed a bit and softened up some. I can tell from looking that I wouldn't want to go with needles bigger than size 5's because I think the fabric would be too loose and there would be pilling.

What are the numbers after washing? The size 4's washed up to 6 stitches per inch and 9 rows per inch. The size 3's washed up at 6.5 stitches per inch and 10.25 rows per inch. The size 5's washed up at 5.5 stitches per inch and 9 rows per inch. So what changed? The stitches per inch stayed the same, but I now have more rows per inch than I did when I started! This being said, I'm willing to bet there would be less change on the rows per inch in an actual garment because of the weight of the thing, but there was enough of a change for me to think I might add a bit to a hem or cuff - the lower edges of a garment have less pulling on them than the tops of the garment, gravity pulling down and all.

Overall, I'm shocked at the washed results. Clearly, throwing superwash into the dryer does make it bounce back. My original pattern plan for this yarn was written for a gauge of 21 stitches over 4 inches, and while it's close to the swatch on the 5's (22 stitches over 4 inches), I really don't want to make the stitches any bigger. I personally prefer the look and feel of the swatch on the size 4's which gives me a gauge of 24 stitches over 4 inches, so I'll be looking for another pattern for this yarn. Since I haven't finished the sleeves on the berry lace cardi, I've got time.

Finally, thanks for all the get well wishes. I do think I'm going to live now, so that's always nice!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sleeves

berrylacecardisleeves3


The lack of much progress on my cardi sleeves and the witty title of today's post should be a hint as to how I'm feeling. By Thursday night last week, I was pretty sure I was coming down with a cold, but by Saturday afternoon, I realized it wasn't a cold - it was pure, viral evil. I think this morning though, that I am going to live, and I hope to have the energy to knit again fairly soon (yes, it was that bad). I've done more than half of the sleeve increases - they're 3/4 length sleeves - so I don't think I've really got that much more to do on them.

There was a question about knitting them both at once the last time I showed them to you so I'll explain. By knitting both sleeves at once on the same needle(s) with two balls of yarn, you (or at least I) have a better chance of having them match. If you are working increases, you'll probably remember to put them on the same row on both sleeves at once easier than if you work the sleeves separately - even if you keep copious notes and use a row counter. I think this has something to do with the fact that we don't knit in a vacuum, real life continues all around us and it's easy to get distracted. By knitting two sleeves at once, if I'm distracted and forget to increase on one row, I can put the increase on the next row (if I don't want to go back) and both sleeves are still perfectly identical. I use this same technique for fronts of cardi's (when they aren't knit in one piece with the back), as well as neck and shoulder shaping. It's so much easier to remember what you're doing if you do it to both sides at once.

Tomorrow, I will show you gauge swatches! Try to control your excitement.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Earth - Pattern I of the Elements Sock Collection

Pink Lemon Twist introduces the first in a new series of sock designs based on the Classical Elements - Earth. Each of the patterns from the Elements Sock Collection will have two sock designs: one quickly memorized, and the other more complex. Top down construction, stitch patterns in both charted and written out format, and thorough directions make these easily accessible to all.


ridge and furrow


Ridge and Furrow Socks is a simple design with an easy to memorize stitch pattern. It was inspired by the act of growing things and the care, planning and preparation involved. By digging in the dirt, we are able to feed both our bodies and our spirits. The stitch pattern naturally creates a ridge and furrow texture down the leg of the sock and the lacy holes of the yarn overs remind me of seeds, carefully placed in the earth in the hopes that a plant will sprout there. The regularity of the stitches and simplicity of the lines means this design will work well in both a more multicolor yarn as well as any of the more monochromatic hand dyed or solid colored yarns. Shown in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Serengeti Colorway (8 stitches per inch in stockinette).


Terra Incognita


Terra Incognita, words usually followed by a warning of sea monsters or dragons on ancient maps, is a design that pays homage to the mysteries of our planet. While technology and space exploration have given us information beyond what our ancestors could have ever imagined, we are still learning about the Earth and the way it works and balances itself. The richly textured stitches of this design will have your needles dancing. Despite having a more complex overall stitch pattern, the individual elements of the pattern are no more difficult than the stitches in the Ridge and Furrow Socks. I recommend using either a solid colored yarn or an almost solid color for this design to show off the stitch pattern. Shown in Apple Laine Apple Pie sock yarn in the Dark Chocolate Colorway (8 stitches per inch in stockinette).


$6.00




Please be sure to check out the other four patterns in this series:




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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gauge Swatches, Superwash Wool and A Lesson I Learned the Hard Way

I started working on some gauge swatches last night, as you can see in the picture. On the right is the Berry Cobbler A La Mode handspun that I recently finished. I knit it on size US 4's (3.5 mm) and I'm getting 23 stitches over 4 inches. I like the hand of the knitted swatch right now, but I'll have to wash it before I decide if that's the needle size I want to use. I don't expect it to grow any after washing, but I'll find out for sure either way.

On the left is the Dream In Color Classy (Cool Fire colorway) also knit on size US 4's and at the moment I'm getting 6 stitches to the inch (24 stitches over 4 inches). I plan to knit a section in size US 3's as well as US 5's before washing this swatch. Why? Because it's a superwash wool.

If you aren't familiar with superwash wools, I will explain. If you've never knit with them, pay attention - mine is a cautionary tale. (Man, I need dramatic background music right there, don't I?) The wool fiber, if you look at it in a microscope, is covered in scales. These scales all point towards the tip of the fiber and, as far as the sheep is concerned, probably help to keep it clean (sheep can't scratch if they get a sticker burr against their skin, so their fleece, and it's oils have to keep them clean). When you felt wool, you are actually causing these scales to lock together, to form a cohesive fabric, rather than just being loose fibers (or yarn). This is why you wash your wool sweaters very carefully, without agitation, and you dry them flat. If you didn't, they wouldn't be your wool sweaters anymore - they would be your teddy bear's wool sweaters. As a reaction to the easy care of synthetic fibers, the wool industry developed a way to make wool washable, and easier to care for: superwash was born. Now occasionally you will find someone who thinks superwash isn't really wool - it is, it's just been treated to resist felting. There are two different ways to make superwash wool and both deal with the scales on the wool fiber. The first way is to coat the fibers in a polymer, filling in the scales so they can no longer grip each other. The second way is to put the wool fibers into an acid bath which burns off the scales. Wool can handle acid pretty well (it's happier in acid than it is in alkaline solutions). Sometimes you'll find a superwash wool that feels harsh or artificial. I suspect, but I'm not sure, that those yarns are the polymer treated ones, although it's possible that different polymers do different things to the hand of the wool. Most superwash wools are extremely soft (after all, the scales are removed/covered making the fiber smooth) and you can find superwash merino pretty easily. (You can also get superwash fiber to spin if you want to.) There is a downside to superwash however, and I will tell you a story about my own personal experience.

Once upon a time, many years ago (or about 6) the Pink Lemon decided to knit her brother a sweater for Christmas. (The Pink Lemon's husband did not want one - it turned out that this was a good decision on his part.) After consulting with her sister in law and getting measurements, the Pink Lemon began knitting. She chose a superwash wool so it would be an easy sweater for her brother to care for. She knit a gauge swatch. She did not wash the gauge swatch. She did not know that sometimes yarn is tricksy and does things you don't expect when it goes for a swim. (Cue dramatic music.) She knit the sweater. She knit and she knit and she knit some more - her brother is very tall and has the gorilla arms. (It's OK Rick, you'd look like an idiot without the long arms.) When she had completed this epic amount of knitting, she washed the sweater. She pulled the sweater out of the washing machine, realized it was roughly the size of Greenland and sat down and cried. She threw it in the dryer. It got bigger. She cried again. At some point, she sent it to her brother, not knowing what else to do and not needing a house cozy. To this day, she does not know if her brother still has it or if he located a medium sized giant and has regifted the sweater - she cannot bear to ask. The Pink Lemon did not use superwash wool for anything but socks from then on.

Until now.

I am doing a little experiment and we'll find out if I'm smarter than superwash wool, now that I know it's tricks. Because of the superwash treatment, it tends to grow when it's washed - by "tends to grow" I refer to the fact that superwash wools can make Kudzu look like a well behaved ground cover. I use this to my advantage when I knit socks - knit them small and after a couple of washes they fit perfectly. The Dream In Color Classy is Superwash. It is also very soft, bouncy, and handdyed in really amazing colors that don't pool. So, I'm going to give it a try. It's marketed as being an Aran weight (18 stitches over 4 inches), but if you knit it that loose, it's definitely going to grow on you. My theory is that if I knit it tightly (easy to do because of the bouncy factor), it won't be able to grow very much. I'm shooting for a finished gauge of 22 stitches over 4 inches and I think that the swatch above, on size US 4's (3.5 mm), with 24 stitches over 4 inches unwashed, just might get me there. Like I said though, I'll be trying one needle size smaller and one larger as well and I'll wash the swatch - three times - just to be sure I know what it's going to do to me. I would love to be able to use this yarn, but first I must beat it, I mean knit it into submission.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

More Sleeves!

berrylacecardisleeves2


I didn't get much done over the weekend that I can show yet, but I did get some done on the sleeves for my cardi! I'm now almost past the lace parts of the cuffs and only have to do the stockinette sections. I still have no buttons for this cardi, but I'm making myself wait until after I've got the new sock pattern finished before I go button shopping.

Berrylacecardidetail


I mentioned before that I had replaced the bobbles as the pattern had called for with knots, so I'll give details now, since clearly I am not knitting on this very fast. Knots are basically small bobble relatives that will give a similar effect, only not quite as "bobbly" - I think they look a little more grown up than the standard bobble does. These are really simple to make, although there are probably more ways to make one and get a similar effect. When you get to the place where a bobble goes (according to the chart), you just make a knot as follows: (K1, P1 - 2 times) then pass the first 3 stitches made over the last stitch made. You'll need to pull your yarn tight on the next stitch and on the following row, make sure you work the stitches tightly and pinch the knot from the right side to keep it from trying to hide on the back of the work. That's all there is to it. No knitting back and forth over an area, no freakish little growth-like looking things, just a small, tasteful bump.

Finally, there was a question in the comments about Mystery Stole 4. There are plans for a Mystery Stole 4, but I am not going to be the designer this year, I will be one of the moderators. My mother, Georgina Bow of Georgina Bow Creations will be the designer and List Mom for this year's KAL. We are also planning on running it later in the year than previous Mystery Stoles. I and my Co-Moderator from last year both have kids and it's just easier to devote the amount of time the MS KAL takes when kids are in school. So, our plans at this point are to open signups towards the end of Summer, with the first clue going out after the Summer Olympics wrap up. We realize that this probably isn't as convenient for teachers who have participated in the past, but keeping up with 400+ emails a day just isn't possible or fair to our families during the summer months.

The next question always asked is, "How will I know when sign ups are open for the KAL?" There are two definite ways to find out about sign ups: you can either read this blog and I'll let you know when we open the group, or join Pink Lemon Knits and you'll get an email when signups are open. Pink Lemon Knits is my Yahoo group used ONLY for announcements (no discussion on the group, so if you sign up, please sign up for regular mail announcements - not Special Notice Only or No Mail*). I use it to announce new pattern availability as well as new Mystery Stole KAL's. You will probably get fewer than a dozen emails a year through this group, but it will keep you in the loop about goings on around here at the Pink Lemon. For more information, or to sign up, CLICK THIS LINK.

*If you are already a member of Pink Lemon Knits and are set up as No Mail or Special Notice Only, I strongly suggest you change your settings for this group to Individual Emails or Daily Digest. There are so few posts per year (I'm the only one who can post to the group) that it would be easy to forget to check around sign up time and miss out on the cut off date, and in order to send notices to Special Notice Only people, I have to check a box at the group's site when I send a post to the group. If I send the post through regular email or if I forget to check the Special Notice Box (I tend to work online in an uncaffeinated state), you'll miss out, which pretty much defeats the purpose of signing up for the group in the first place. Like I mentioned, I am the only one who posts to this group, so you don't have to deal with the kind of email madness that the Mystery Stole group generates.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

While I'm showing you things without actually showing you anything...


...I thought I'd show you the yarn I'm using for the second sock design. This is Apple Laine's Apple Pie yarn in Dark Chocolate. This sock is the first time I've ever used this sock yarn either and yummy is about the best way to describe it. It's a combo of wool, silk and mohair and while there is less elasticity than 100% wool would have, it's so soft and drapey and really feels nice to knit with. At some point, I really must learn not to knit pattern socks in dark colors, because showing color accurately and detail well at the same time is not easy. For pattern photography purposes, I'll sacrifice on color accuracy to show stitch detail, but ideally, I'd get both.
I'm going to try to finish this sock this weekend and get more done on my lace cardi sleeves. When I get the cardi finished I'll give details about changes I've made to the pattern so for those of you interested in the knots, hang in there. I'd love to get that cardi done this next week so I can wear it!
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Socks I've Been Working On


I thought I'd show you a picture of the socks I've been knitting for the new pattern. Oh, it looks like I didn't get the socks in the frame when I took the picture, ooops! Well, here is the yarn I've been using for the socks I've been knitting for the pattern I've been writing. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Serengeti colorway. This is the first time I've used this sock yarn and I'm very impressed - it doesn't pool! The yarn is also soft and knits up nicely, so I'll definitely be using this brand again.

I actually finished the second sock last night and have started knitting the first sock of the second design, so hopefully I'll have the finished pattern available sometime next week.

Just a note, if you ever purchase a pattern from me and don't get a download link within 24 hours of the payment clearing (if the funds are in a PayPal account or on a credit card the funds will be processed almost immediately; if the funds are in your bank account, it will take four business days for the funds to clear your account and be processed by PayPal), PLEASE drop me an email - just use the email address on your PayPal receipt. Put the name of the pattern (or one of the patterns if you bought more than one) or Pink Lemon Twist patterns in the subject line so I know it's not spam and I can see what's going on and email the pattern files to you. I do use an automated file delivery system to send out download links but occasionally it gets caught in a spam catcher, blocked by a firewall or just doesn't work the way it's supposed to. Fortunately, it does work about 90-95% of the time just fine, but if you don't get a pattern that you've purchased, just let me know and I'll be happy to help you out. I want to make sure you get the pattern just as much as you want to get it!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sleeves!

berrylacecardisleeves1


I've been working on the socks a lot lately - the ones for the new pattern, so blogging might be sporadic for a few days. I did get the sleeves for the cardi cast on and started yesterday so hopefully I can get them worked up pretty quickly. Since they're just 3/4 length, they'll be faster than full length sleeves. Here's another link to the pattern in case you're interested, I realized that I haven't linked to it in a while. The yarn is Cascade 220, but I don't have the ball band by the computer so I can't tell you what color it is - sorry.

There was a comment the other day, asking about how to leave an email address. If you have a question you'd like me to reply to, you do need to leave an email address for me because Blogger doesn't tell me who is leaving comments. That does mean you'll need to leave it in the actual comment and yes, all the world can see it. I recommend that instead of leaving it as knitter@notarealaddress.com you leave it written as knitter AT notarealaddress DOT com or some variation thereof. The general school of thought is that the first way is very easy for spammers to just copy and paste your address while the second way takes some effort to be used for evil and most spammers aren't going to take the effort. Also, if you do have a question and you leave your email address, if you want me to delete the comment once I get the question, leave a note about that and I'll delete your comment, which will protect your email address also. Hopefully this will answer any questions!

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Lace Cardi Body

Berrylacecardi3


I completed the body of the lace cardi this weekend. It was pretty fast to do - I just wasn't knitting on it every day. I haven't cast on the sleeves yet, I'll do them both at the same time, but once I do they should go pretty quickly too since they are 3/4 length. I'm thinking this cardi will be perfect for this time of year so I want to get it finished up so I can wear it. Oh, and if you're wondering what the little green markers are that are sticking out - they're there for button placement. Since you knit the front bands at the same time as the fronts, I just put one of those in the left front every row I made a buttonhole in the right front. Obviously, the whole thing will need blocking before seaming up, but I'll do the sleeves and the body all at once.

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