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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Something to Share

I've been cleaning out my stash area and I ran across this particular quote and realized I should share it here. I find that it helps when I get overly self critical of my designs, and since I think that most of us tend to be more critical of ourselves than we should be, I think it will have meaning at one point or another in everyone's lives.

This was part of a letter from Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille:

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable it is nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU. Keep the channel open...

No artist is pleased...There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

October Frost, Finished

october frost done

Here it is! With buttons and everything blocked. To recap the details and changes I've made:

October Frost from A Fine Fleece, knit in Peace Fleece Worsted - Samantha Katya Pink on US 6's and 8's (4.0mm and 5.0mm). This is the smallest size in the pattern.

On the sleeve cuffs I reversed the rib halfway up so they would fold over nicely.

On the collar, I knit the first 2 inches on US 6's (4.0mm), then did an inch on US 7's (4.5mm) and finished on US 8's (5.0mm). A collar like this needs to be wider the farther from the neckline you get in order to lay nicely.

Those are the only changes I made to the pattern as written, and it's written very well.

I love the cables, I love the shape of it - oversized and comfy, and I love the way it looks. Now I just need a little bit cooler weather!


Monday, August 25, 2008

A New Beginning


Over the weekend I did finish October Frost, it's washed and is drying right now (this minute: drying). Once the needles were free, I was able to cast on for a new project! This is the beginning of my Basic Chic Hoodie, but I'm doing something to it (you know me, can't leave well enough alone).

Several years ago I saw a picture of a turtleneck with a really great stripe pattern to it (click the link for the details and a picture - scroll down past the armwarmers). I loved the stripes, but I didn't want a turtleneck (they tend to make me crazy by mid afternoon) and I didn't want to knit a pullover a 4 stitches per inch either. I printed up the pattern and put it in the notebook where my knitting patterns live (I now have 3 notebooks, but we won't go there). Periodically, I would take it out and think about it and then put it back away. Then a few weeks ago, Bonne Marie released her Basic Chic Hoodie and I knew at once that this was the pattern I wanted to use the stripes in.

I hit Elann for the yarn (Peruvian Highland Wool - love it!) and sat down to do some figuring. In the original pattern the row gauge is 5 rows per inch. In my own version I'm getting 6 rows per inch. There are 62 rows of stripe in the original version, which comes out to about 12 1/2 inches. At my gauge the stripe section would be just over 10 inches, so I knew I needed to add 13 rows. I made the decision to add these to the most obvious stripes, the dark royal blue at the bottom and the orange at the top, because of two reasons: I'm lazy and this was easy, and those two stripes were the most affected by the change in row gauge. The others will be far less noticeable. The other thing I had to do was re-write the stripe order because while the original version was knit from the bottom up, the Basic Chic Hoodie is knit from the top down.

What you see above is the beginnings of this sweater from the neck down. (You go back later and add the hood.) I did some debating about front bands- I could either knit them on later in red or I could add them to the front edges and work them in garter stitch in the stripe pattern. I decided to go with adding them on later in red. This will give a vertical red line at the front, but it will also camouflage all the ends from color changes and I'll be more successful at buttonhole placement doing them later (and vertical lines are good).

Once I get farther along and make sure the stripe section is working the way I want it to, I'll post about the changes I've made to it and give you the color numbers I'm using - just in case you care.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Ready for the Band(s)!

october Frost sewn

I got all the seaming on October Frost finished up yesterday. All that remains are front bands, collar, and buttons and it's finished! I'm so close to being done, I can taste it - well not really, but you know what I mean, my mind has totally moved on to my next project. I'm going to try to get it done today and then I'll get a finished picture sometime next week once it's dry from the finishing blocking.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

A long time ago, in a blog entry far, far away...

...I started blending these batts. One of the Spunky Eclectic club fibers from early this year was Icelandic. It was from a gray sheep and it was dyed dark blue and teal green. I love those colors, but the fiber was NOT soft (after squeezing Icelandic at MDS&W this year, I'm pretty sure what I have is all tog - the outer coat). I felt like it would make a nice outerwear sweater that would stand up to all kinds of things, but 8 ounces wasn't enough to do much with. So I went stash diving and found an undyed creamy white Cotswold lambswool and alpaca (both would add drape and softness to the blend as well as lighten the color a bit) and some leftover finewool batts from Spinner's Hill in both blue and teal green (these add a bit of bounce and softness). I carded each of the fibers individually first before blending them together. What you see above is half of the final blending. (I still have do the second half.) I only ran the blended fibers through the carder twice because I want the spun yarn to have some personality and not be thoroughly blended. I'm hoping to get the second half finished up this weekend before I forget how I did the first half, but I'm not sure when I'll start spinning it up. I feel like I haven't spun in ages and I want to get back to it soon.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Seam, Sewn.


All of the pieces of October Frost are blocked and dried, so now I can begin sewing them together. This is the first saddle shouldered sweater I've done, but I don't think it's going to be hard to sew up. On the left is the left front and the left sleeve is on the right of the picture. I have to sew this same kind of seam up 3 more times, then it's just a matter of side seams and sleeve seams before I do the front bands and the collar. I may take a couple of days to sew this sweater together just to make sure I get the seams all smooth and flat. I'm really excited about wearing this sweater this fall - I think it's going to be great!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008



OK, to be perfectly honest, half the fun of this project is saying the name - which I'm pretty sure I'm mispronouncing (I'm saying wobben shawl), so my apologies to Germans everywhere. I found this pattern after MS3 was over last Fall and really liked it. I went to Colourmart and found some DK weight silk to knit it in, put the pattern and yarn away and kind of forgot about them. After finishing up the Atlantis pattern last week (thanks for all the complements), I pulled out the cone of yarn and the pattern and started working on it.

The yarn I'm using is a DK weight silk that's basically 5 strands of 3 plies each loosely twisted together. When I started the Wabenschal (see, it's fun to say isn't it?), I began with big needles, but I was afraid that I might snag a strand of the yarn at that gauge. I frogged it and went down to US 5's (3.75 mm) and I think it's going to be much less easy to snag this way. The pattern has you work the point until you have 5 repeats of the honeycomb, but I want this to be a wide scarf/narrow stole, so I have worked up to 9 repeats. At this point, I'll work it even (without getting wider) until I'm ready to add the last point. The stitch pattern biases and when I first saw it, I was reminded of Clapotis a bit.


Monday, August 18, 2008

October Frost Back - Finished!

October Frost Back done

In a monumental fit of knitting on Saturday, I finished the back of October Frost. It was bound off before Phelps took his 8th medal (Woo Hoo!) and now it's blocking along with the fronts. I love the cables in this design, the way they all fit together and twist over the surface of the pieces. It looks like I will only need 7 skeins of the Peace Fleece to finish this cardi (the yardage called for 8 for the smallest size) but I don't mind having a spare skein - maybe I'll make some heavy duty dog walking mitts.

Once it's blocked I will sew it all together and add the front bands and collar. Then I'll wash it once more (to get the yarn to bloom and soften on the bands and collar), sew on buttons, and it's ready for a crisp Fall day!


Thursday, August 14, 2008


If you've never knit lace before, it can seem a bit overwhelming. Don't worry about getting lost, Atlantis is the perfect way to get a feel for the exciting world of lace knitting. The stitches ebb and flow like an underwater landscape with the traditional Shetland wave edging knit on at each end. Worked in fingering weight yarn instead of laceweight, it's easier for new laceknitters to get a feel for the stitches and charts without adjusting to a tiny, threadlike yarn. A repetitive lace pattern becomes intuitive to knit and works up quickly, building confidence and a desire to continue to explore the world of lace.
Experienced knitters will find that Atlantis is perfect for a quick project or to make as a gift. Due to the simple lace pattern, Atlantis will work well with the more multicolored or hand dyed yarns that tend to overwhelm more intricate lace stitchwork. Notes are included on adjustments for those who wish to knit it in laceweight yarn or downsize the stole to a scarf.
Stitch patterns are given both in charted and text format, and if you've never knit from a chart, there is a Chart Tutorial included at the end of the pattern to help you transition from text to charts.

Come get lost in the world of knitted lace!

Finished size as shown: 20 inches wide x 72 inches long
Shown in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Geisha in the Raven Clan Rook-y colorway on the left, and in Rowan Kid Silk Haze in the Trance colorway on the right.
  • Requires 750 yards/ 686 meters fingering weight yarn
  • Size 7 or 8 US (4.5-5.0 mm) needles

I would also like to express my thanks to my mother, Georgina Bow, for knitting the Kid Silk Haze version of this design as shown above.


Look At The Dog!

Because I haven't been knitting! I've been watching the Olympics!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Second Sock, Second Sock, Finished Little Second Sock!

fireside sock done

I finished my second Fireside Sock last night and I've actually barely begun my second Lava Flow Sock - soon I'll have complete pairs of both, which I've found is really quite nice! If you've ever wondered why people block socks, take a look at the photo above. This is Fireside unblocked. Below you can see Fireside blocked.


Now personally, when I make or wash a pair of my own socks, I don't worry about blocking them. I just pat them out into shape and let them dry (also, I only have one pair of sock blockers - got them from the Loopy Ewe). Anytime I knit a pair of socks for a pattern or for a sock swap, like Sockapalooza, or as a gift, I block them. They look so much more finished and so much more properly sock like. Of course once I get the photos for the pattern finished, I wear the socks and then they don't get special treatment after washing anymore. Poor sockies, a minute in the limelight, the rest of their lives on my feet, stuffed in shoes.


Monday, August 11, 2008

October Frost Back!

October Frost Back

Yes, it's true, I've finished the fronts for October Frost! As you can see, I'm zipping through the back pretty quickly (more than halfway done, thank you very much) and I think I'll have this cardi finished fairly soon. It's really nice to be to the point where I'm not juggling two balls of yarn and two knitted pieces, I know, it's my choice to do both fronts at once and both sleeves at once, but otherwise I'd never get complete sweaters and I wouldn't have matching pieces. Of course, with me trying to get the back done soon, that means you might have to look at the back a couple of times this week, but maybe I can get Ramius to pose on it once.

Tell you what, you bear with me on seeing the back again this week, and I'll have a surprise for you on Friday! (No, I didn't buy you all ponies, you'll just have to wait and see.)


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Broken Heart Blues and Message Socks

Presenting the Message Socks and Broken Heart Blues Socks from Georgina Bow Creations Patterns!

Broken Heart Blues sock 1

Broken Heart Blues detail

Two fun, fast sock designs make up this pattern collection from Georgina Bow Creations. The first design, Broken Heart Blues is a lace broken heart. The lace design is charted, making this sock a great way to get your confidence on charts if you've never used them.

Message Socks

Message Socks detail

The second design, Message Socks, have a beaded "secret" message, near the top of the sock. The best part? You get to design your own message! The small amount of beading is easy and fun.

Also included is a basic top down sock design. This will give you a generic template for any yarn and any foot.

Anyone who loves socks will enjoy these fun designs, and if you've been thinking about doing the Mystery Stole or any other design that involves lace and beads, but are unsure about either, these patterns will give you a small sample of each.


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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Second Socks Are Just As Important As First Socks

Fireside sock 2

I'm working on the second Fireside Sock from my new pattern Fire - Elements Sock Collection II. Of course, once I finish it, I'll have to knit the second Lava Flow sock from the same collection. Everytime I write a sock pattern, I tell myself to do the full pair for each design before publishing the pattern, that way I can start on the next pattern immediately, but since I have the pattern written after I've knit the first sock, I don't see any reason to wait. So here I am again, finishing pairs for a previous pattern, when the yarn for the Water socks is taunting me, waiting for me to get started on those designs. Thankfully, both of these designs worked up pretty quickly on the first socks, so the second socks shouldn't take TOO long.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

October Fronts, again

october frost fronts 3

Yes, it's all excitement, all the time around here. I'm still knitting on the October Fronts. I have made it past the arm hole shaping at this point, but unblocked, the pieces look like skinny strips of cables. I think I've only got about 3 or 4 inches to go before I bind off (there is some neckline shaping in there), so there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the fronts. Then I'm off and running on the back and I'll have a cardi! Of course now I've got to go wind some more yarn - I'm almost out of the skeins I wound to begin the cardi.

Sorry about the picture today, I know it's hard to see the cables, but it's really dark here this morning (must check weather, looks like rain) and the flash wipes out the cables.

I did have a bit of an adventure yesterday involving fiber and Finn. As I've said before, Finn tends to want to inspect and wallow and roll in anything fibery. I was blocking a stole yesterday (new pattern coming soon, hint, hint) and Finn really wanted to help. He was trying to be good, but the wool and mohair was calling to him and he's sketchy on "Stay" on a good day (unless you're trying to get him into the shower, then that dog is glued to the floor) so he keep ooching and scooching. Have you ever seen a big dog try to move without looking like he's moving? Yeah, it was interesting.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Finished Mitts

Merletto mitts done1

Over the weekend, in between working out the last few bugs on the MS4 launch and wondering when the blog would be cleared as Not Spam (Blogger had an incident over the weekend - the timing was perfect to delay the post of the announcement of MS4 sign ups opening), I finished up the second Merletto Mitt and did the thumbs. You'll just have to take my word for it that there are 2 of them - I had to hold the camera with my right hand. They probably only took about 2 evening's worth of knitting time all together, which is one of the things I really love about mitts. Here's another shot, so you can see the stitches a bit better, but as dark as the yarn is, it's pretty hard to see much in a picture.

Merletto Mitts done2


Friday, August 01, 2008

Mystery Stole 4 - Sign Ups Are Open Until September 12, 2008!

Mystery Stole 4 2008

What time of year is it? IT'S MYSTERY STOLE TIME!!!!

Mystery Stole 4 is now open for sign ups! Yarn! Beads! Lace! Oh Happy, Happy Day!

Never done Mystery Stole before? Don't have a clue what I'm talking about? Well pull up a chair and I'll tell you about it.

For the past 3 summers I have hosted The Mystery Stole Knit Along. The mystery is that no one (but me as the designer) has known what the stole looked like that they were knitting. Each week, a clue gets posted to the group and members download it and knit that part of the stole. At the end of the knitalong you will have a finished stole! The designs are only available in the mystery format through the Knit Along. Once sign ups close, you can only get the design in the traditional pattern format when it is released. (Leda's Dream, Scheherazade, and Swan Lake were the Original Mystery Stole, MS2, and MS3, respectively.)

Georgina - July 2008

This year's Mystery Stole Knit Along has been designed and will be hosted by my mother, Georgina Bow! She lives in the state of Colorado and has been knitting for over 40 years. She has written several patterns including three stoles, and has more patterns in the works! To see examples of her designs, please see Georgina Bow Creations Patterns or check her out in Ravelry - her Ravelry ID is GeorginaBow!

But wait, that's not all that's new! This year, due to popular request by our participants, we have a brand spanking new Mystery Stole 4 Store! We've got mugs, totes, and more - oh, my! The best part is, all proceeds from this store will go to Genesis Women's Shelter, the Official Charitable Cause for Mystery Stole!

Before you all run off and sign up, there are a few things you might like to know first:

  • The group opens today, August 1, 2008 for sign ups.
  • The first clue will be posted on September 5, 2008 (you should have plenty of time to get your supplies together)
  • There will be 6 clues total, posted once a week on Friday mornings, with the final clue going out on October 10, 2008.
  • On September 12, 2008 at midnight Mountain Daylight Time, the group will close to new members.
  • There is no charge to participate in MS4 and members will have the opportunity to purchase the traditional pattern format of the design at a discount for a limited time upon it's release. (Many people like to keep a copy of the pattern in their files or just like to purchase one as a "Thank You" to the designer, but you are under no obligation to purchase anything.)

So if you're ready to sign up for Mystery Stole 4, follow this link to our Yahoo Group and be sure to tell your friends! After September 12, the group will close to new members!