A Little Snow Indoors

Happy New Year! I know, I know–I’m a little late. I’ll blame the weather. I’ve had on my list for the past week,  “blog post about snowflakes,” but the weather hasn’t been cooperative: I wasn’t able to get a decent picture until today. While yes, late sunrises and early sunsets play their share in the difficulty, this past week was also complicated by real snow–I spent a couple extra hours on commuting this week thanks to the snow on the roads. (Which seems always “conveniently” timed to the morning drive in–has snow never heard of “midday?)

So you’d think I’d be sick of snowflakes–and of the real stuff, I am–and it’s still the first half of January! But I still like my thread snowflakes.

Tatted Snowflakes

 

These are more of the tatted snowflakes that I’ve shown off in the past. I think I’m going to count this project as “done” now. For one thing, it’s the sort of project that could go on indefinitely–how many snowflakes on a tree is too many?–so if I don’t call an end point it will never be done. For another, I’d really like to cross it off my list. But I might still continue to make some of the small ones–they go fast.

The patterns come from a variety of sources–I don’t even remember where I found the small snowflake now; it might have been an old issue of McCall’s Needlework. The big star shaped one, which probably took the longest was from a book of my Grandma’s. And the large square one–which wins the “most fiddly” award–comes from a back issue of Piecework (Nov.-Dec. 2004). If you look closely, it doesn’t want to lie flat–there’s simply too many knots too close together for it to do so. The picture in Piecework lies flat, so either I didn’t quite make it correctly–knots bunched too closely together perhaps, or the pattern as written and the picture shown aren’t quite the same. Given that the pattern leaves a bit to the tatter to work out (it doesn’t actually specify the number of repeats, for instance), it really could go either way. (The large star-shaped doesn’t lie flat at the moment either, but that’s a storage error.)

To finish the snowflakes I soaked them in a 50/50 water and white glue solution and let them dry. I can’t wait to add them to my snowflake tree next year!

(And yes, I did see Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s knitted lace snowflake–I was briefly tempted, but the fiddlyness is more than I want to attempt….um…I hope!)

Finished Object: Rock Island

As I try to get back into the swing of things blog- and knitting-wise, it seemed the easiest first thing to do would be provide some updates on projects previously featured. First (and best) up, the one project I managed to finish last year (2013), Rock Island.

Rock Island Blocking

The obligatory blocking photo. I hadn’t realized ’til I went to block that the top edge isn’t actually straight across.

Finished Rock Island

I always love how delicately lace shawls block out. They can feel so lightweight afterwards, that I almost feel as if they’ve shed pounds in the bath.

Finished Rock Island

Finished Rock Island

Rock Island Closeup

Rock Island Closeup

I did love knitting this. The pattern was a simple repeat, but delicate enough–and at a loose enough gauge–that attention still had to be paid to the knitting. The yarn, which I believe is no longer available, sadly, was a joy to knit with. And as usual for me, the biggest hurdle to a finished object was weaving in the ends–it’s not that I mind the actual weaving in so much, but where do you put them in a delicate lace?!

Pattern: Rock Island by Jared Flood
Yarn: Fibre-Isle Niji [Ravelry link]: a lace / 2 ply of 70% bamboo, 15% bison, 15% cashmere
Needle: US 3 (3 25 mm)

Finished: Swan Lake

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This is a project that seems plagued by languishing. Started in 2007, then left alone for two years before a frogging and restarting, making it further the second time before being left alone again. I finally picked it up again this summer and made great progress, finally finishing in early October. At which time it was forced to wait over a month before I was able to block it. Once blocked, I was thoroughly stumped by how to photograph it. Every stole I’ve knit before is symmetrical, which I find much easier to take pictures of: you only really need to worry about one half. This, not so much.

Of course, I finally worked out how to get some pictures and then I proceeded to let them sit on my camera for a week. It’s looking like my New Year’s resolution will need to be “get things finished in a timely manner”!

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Pattern: Swan Lake by Melanie Gibbons
Yarn: The Alpaca Yarn Co. Suri Elegance
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) for the body and US 0 (2 mm) for the “wing”
Modifications: none

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This was my first (and only, so far) beaded knit. You can just make them out in the following picture. I’m still on the fence as to whether I like beads in my knitting, but I didn’t have any trouble adding them here. I have no idea what beads I used; they were some I picked up at the local craft store.

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Overall, I’m very happy with this project. (And happy to have such a long-standing WIP finished!)

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Inching along

Swan Lake is complete:

DSCN9725Blocking later this week, I hope. As it turned out, I had plenty of yarn (nice change of pace from some recent projects!)

Rock Island is coming. The lace border has turned out to be a really easy pattern, essentially two rows, staggered. The yarn (Louet Mooi, although mine is branded Fibre-Isle Niji) is lovely to work with. I’m almost disappointed that it appears to no longer be availabe, if it weren’t for the price!

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Of course, as soon as I took this picture, I dropped some yarn overs! The problem with knitting triangular shawls from the outside in with slipper yarn: it’s really rather easy to drop stitches right off the ends of the needles and watch them go running. Rest assured, everyone is back in their proper place and I didn’t mind in the least the chance for some extra time with this lovely yarn.