Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ice Queen

Holiday greetings to you, regardless of what holiday(s) you celebrate. Perhaps every day you are able to knit is a day to celebrate.

I have been wanting to knit Ice Queen since it was published. It has two of my favorite features: lace and beads. I had one skein of my minty green mohair-silk left so it became Ice Queen. And it has been cold so a warm scarf-wimple was appealing.

  • Pattern: Ice Queen by Rosemary Hill, published on Knitty; version A (stockinette) with bead placement that is a combination of versions A and B and my own misreading of the pattern, which means lots of beads
  • Yarn: 1 skein Emmebi Silkid, 70 percent kid mohair, 30 percent silk, 220 meters per 25-gram ball, made in Italy but purchased in Riga, Latvia
  • Needles: US8 for the body, US for top bind-off
  • Beads: 8/0 silver-lined tourmaline seed beads

Friday, December 18, 2009

Doily with Spiral Variegated Version

Fear of variegated thread for doilies? Not me. The right colors and the right pattern can work together successfully. For example:

  • Pattern: Doily with Spiral from Yarn Over
  • Thread: Valdani 35 wt., 100 percent cotton, color Vanilla Sky from DS9 Designs
  • Needles: 1.2mm (0000) for start and first 8 rounds, then 1.5mm (000)
  • Finished size: 12.5 inches diameter
I have some more of these lovely threads; just waiting for the right pattern to find me.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


The deep freeze of the past 10 days or so is starting to thaw. It was perfect hat-knitting weather.

I was delighted to find Jared Flood's Turn a Square Hat. It is a great way to use leftover bits of yarn; in this case, Cascade 220, color 8408, 100 percent wool, and discontinued Brunswick Tweed, color Birch Bark, 50 percent wool and 50 percent cotton.

Monday, November 30, 2009


When I first started lace knitting, I spent many hours visiting Nurhanne's Web site, Yarn Over. I was especially enchanted by her collection of doily patterns and quickly became hooked. I still visit regularly and still knit doilies from Yarn Over.

In December 2007, Nurhanne offered Pay It Forward on her former blog. She offered a hand-made item to the first three people who signed on and agreed to make the same offer on their blogs. This was too good to pass up.

So, this week I was gobsmacked when I received this beautiful wool shawl, made by Nurhanne, based on a Marianne Kinzel leaflet.

It is so beautiful. That it is also one of my favorite colors is a bonus.

Unfortunately, only one person signed on for my Pay It Forward, and I had no way to contact her. So, Robin, if you are still out there, please make contact so I can Pay It Forward to you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wine Tasting

Wine has a big role in our household. We enjoy wine and my husband is a wine economist (I am the principal wine research assistant). So when I saw this pattern, called Wine Tasting — and saw it shortly before his birthday — it seemed like destiny.
  • Pattern: Wine Tasting from JoJoLand. I made some changes: I thought that some of the decreases were going the wrong way (wrong way for me, YMMV), so I changed them. Unfortunately, the pattern is not charted, and I did not take the time to chart it. Had I done so, I would have discovered the decrease issue before I started knitting. Oh, well, do-overs are part of the process.
  • Yarn: JoJoLand Melody in color MS12, 220 yards per 50-gram ball.
  • Needles: US4
  • Finished size: 9 inches x 57 inches

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Minty Fresh

Kid mohair and silk and beads — yummy.
  • Pattern: Scaruffle by Bess Haile, from Clara Parkes's The Knitter's Book of Yarn. I think the numbers in the pattern for the short rows are off, but the pattern is very forgiving.
  • Yarn: Silkid by Emmebi, 70 percent baby kid mohair, 30 percent silk, in minty green, made in Italy but purchased in Riga, Latvia. (Mint green is not always my first choice of color but the combination of color and softness-silkiness of the yarn makes it work for me.)
  • Needles: US4 and US10.5.
  • Finished size: Not nearly as long as the pattern but very wearable.
  • Beads: Silver-lined 8/0 seed beads in a color called tourmaline. I added five rows of beads in the neckline area. Tedious, but worth it, I think.

And, yes, the scarf is photographed on my Japanese lace leaf maple in its full autumn splendor red.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Mighty Fine

I had an opportunity to knit with a buffalo-merino blend from Buffalo Gold (I do not know if it is generally available yet). It is mighty fine yarn, in two senses.

First, it is almost cobweb weight, coming in at 400 yarns per ounce.

Second, it is mighty fine to work with. It is extremely soft and luxurious. You want to fondle it, as well as knit with it.
  • Pattern: Glorianna, from Elizabeth I by Jolene Treace.
  • Needles: 3mm. I used plastic needles with a little "drag" to them. The fineness and softness of the yarn did not work well with my slickest needles.
  • Finished size: 7 inches by 60 inches.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Patron of the Arts

The Museum of Glass is one of my favorite places to hang out. The museum Hot Shop, where you can see artists making glass, is one of the few places where I can't knit because watching the artists is so interesting.

I am especially interested in the museum's Kids Design Glass program. The first Kids Design Glass exhibit opened this weekend. Museum supporters were offered a chance to sponsor one of the pieces. This one, by 10-year-old Meredith, is the one I chose.

It is untitled but the artist's notes say that it is a chicken-turtle with big lips. Makes sense to me.

Some of my other favorites are Pepper and Green Guy.

Use the Kids Design Glass link above to see more of the collection and the original drawings. Better yet, visit the exhibit.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall Landscape

Evelyn Clark's Landscape Scarf is one of my favorites because of its versatility. My standard Landscape Scarf differs from the pattern because I alternate only garter and stockinette. I make it as big or as small as I want based on the amount of yarn available.

This one is extra-special because I used yarn dyed by my friend Naomi. She says the yarn is Knit Picks Palette, originally in a variety of colors intended for a Fair Isle project. She over-dyed it all to these beautiful fall colors. Naomi has taken to dyeing yarn in a big way, with great success.

I knit the scarf on US6 (4mm) needled. The finished back neck length is 16 inches.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Week Full of Lace and Learning

The annual Boise lace knitting retreat brings together about 20 lace knitters for a week of teaching, learning, sharing and fun — and a little shopping. This year's retreat was as rewarding as previous retreats. Classes on incorporating lace into sweaters, designing doilies, geometry of shawls and short-row doilies gave participants much to think about.

The show-and-teach sessions each day allowed participants to show off their beautiful knitting, such as:

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Commission

A few weeks ago, my friend Annika asked for a knitted blanket for Fluffy, her hamster. I had never made a hamster blanket before but if Fluffy needs a blanket, then Fluffy needs a blanket. Annika expressed a preference for red.

I knit a plain square; garter borders, stockinette interior. I nixed lace because I was afraid Fluffy would get her feet caught in the lace. And, I thought it should be machine washable and dryable. Fortunately, I had some red tweed Wool-Ease in stash, which met all of my criteria.

Annika and Fluffy appear to be happy with the results. Annika always supervises Fluffy when she is in her blanket so Fluffy doesn't chew it.

Annika is a great girl — a good student, math whiz, student leader, friend to animals, very articulate, and lots of fun. I am glad she is my friend.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fancy Feet

It has been a while since I knit socks. The last socks I knit — actually, all of the socks I previously knit — were top down, knit on double-pointed needles. Then three events came together:
The result was a pair of toe-up socks, made from Patons Kroy Socks FX in Cascade Colors, knit on US1 (2.25mm) needles.

I am a convert to toe-up, Judy's Magic Cast-On and knitting socks on two circular needles. That is a lot of change in one pair of socks.

Just in time as the weather starts to cool down.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Four Blue Ribbons

Each of my four entries in Lace categories at the Western Washington Fair in Puyallup won a blue ribbon.

My Flutter Scarf won in a category for beads, and even won a Judges Craftsmanship Ribbon (the pink one attached to the blue one, below). I have never won that before so I am really excited.

Mandenblute doily, in the large doily category.

Coronet doily in the small doily category.

And Weeping Willow shawl in the garments category.

Additionally, I won a red ribbon (second place) for a vest in the Knitting section. I usually threaten that Mike has to wear the ribbon when he wears the vest. An idle threat, as it happens.

And an honorable mention for my Lily of the Valley lace scarf, also in the Knitting section.

I am pleased that the judges liked my knitting. The fair attracts so much fabulous knitting of all sorts that judging must be very, very difficult. I would much rather knit than judge.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vested Interests

Turns out that sometimes plain, stockinette knitting is just the right choice. That was the result for this vest for my husband.

The details:
  • Pattern: Combination of Classic Knitted Vests for Men and Women by Nancy Wiseman and The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd
  • Yarn: Brunswick Berber Tweed (discontinued); 50 percent wool, 50 percent cotton; 250 yards/100 grams; color Birch Bark
  • Needles: US5 for body, US3 for ribbing (yes, I am a "relaxed" knitter)
I tried adding cables and other flourishes to make the knitting more interesting, but the yarn color is so complex, almost a ragg-like quality, that any additions got lost. So plain stockinette was the default. Though it was rather boring knitting, I am pleased with the result. Brunswick sure made some nice yarns back in the day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Hat

I haven't posted recently because I haven't finished anything recently, except for a hat. But I think it's a pretty hat. It was a bit of a challenge, because I had only one skein of the multi-color green yarn. I opted for a top-down hat, figuring I would knit as much of the green as possible, then switch to something else for the ribbing. Finding a complementary color and weight was harder than I thought it would be.

The details:
  • Pattern: Karlchen
  • Yarn for top of hat: OnLine Linie 50 (discontinued?), viscose-cotton-linen blend, 50 grams, 88 meters
  • Yarn for ribbing: Pima Tencel, cotton-Tencel blend
  • Needles: US4 for top, US2 for ribbing

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One Doily Twice

Same doily (Marianne Kinzel's Coronet from her "First Book of Modern Lace Knitting"), same needles (US0, 2mm), different threads, different results.

The thread on the left is Clark's Big Ball, size 30, color 158. The thread on the right is Cebelia, size 30, color 799. Interestingly, the green and pink doily blocked slightly larger than the blue one, which may be a result of the thread, the blocker (me) or both.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two-Color Doily

This is one of the few doilies I've seen that is designed to be a two-color doily. Unfortunately, older pattern books do not give credit to the designer. I think this designer incorporated the lace and color in a pleasing manner.
  • Pattern: Knitted Two-Color Doily from Star Doily Book #104
  • Thread: Cebelia size 30, cream and 799 blue (I love this color)
  • Needles: 2.0mm (US0)
  • Rounds: 82
  • Finished size: About 12.5 inches diameter

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fluttering Again

Did I mention that I am crazy about the MimKnits Flutter Scarf? This is my second, but probably not my last, one.
  • Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr, approximately 500 yards (left over from my Weeping Willow shawl), color Elderberry
  • Needles: US4 (3.5mm)
  • Beads: Japanese 8/0 seed beads
  • Finished size: Approximately 75 inches long
Meanwhile, my garden is doing well. The colors are always a source of inspiration.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Small Doily

Back in the day, variegated thread was common. While it does not work for many doilies — usually the more complex ones — it can be used more or less successfully for simple doilies, such as this one.

  • Pattern: Small Doily from Nurhanne's yarnover site (a resource treasure for doily knitting fans). It is 42 rounds. The pattern directs you to purl rounds 36-38 and 40-43, but I knit them.
  • Thread: J&P Coats size 30 crochet thread, small ball of 150 yards, color 19. The fact that it is J&P Coats means it is pre-1952 thread; J&P Coats and the Clark Thread Company merged in 1952.
  • Needles: 2.0mm
  • Finished size: about 8.5 inches diameter

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Square with Diamonds

The Lacy Knitters Guild (and as a group on Ravelry) is an amazing resource for lace knitters. The newsletters are chock full of information about lace knitting. And, each issue contains patterns from the Lacy Knitters Collection, such as this one:
  • Pattern: Square with Diamonds, Kunststricken 1637
  • Thread: Cebelia, size 30, yellow, color 745 (this is an older thread, judging from the label)
  • Needles: 2.0 mm (US0)
  • Finished size: approximately 12 inches x 12 inches

I made this doily for my friend Debbie as she begins her new job and new adventures in Vancouver, Washington. I've known Deb for 23+ years both as a work colleague and as a friend. She is definitely a doily-worthy friend.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weeping Willow

I greatly enjoy the shawl patterns from Two Old Bags. This one is Weeping Willow. Details:
  • Weeping Willow Shawl from Two Old Bags
  • Yarn: Zephyr, 50 percent silk/50 percent merino, color Elderberry (wonderful yarn, wonderful!)
  • Needles: 4mm (US6)
  • Finished size: 35 inches center back
I added 8/0 Japanese seed beads to the center of the diamonds, along one of the chevron and at the tips of the edging. The beads are nearly the same color as the yarn because I wanted to add a bit of sparkle and weight but did not want the beads to overwhelm the pattern or the yarn.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two Unrelated Cool Things

Cool Thing No. 1: My friends Nancy and Michael framed the doily that I knit. Nancy selected this one, Egeblad, as a housewarming gift for their new home in Tucson. I like the way they framed it. I feel like my work is hanging in an art gallery.

Cool Thing No. 2: We spent two days in East Wenatchee, Washington, bottling wine for Fielding Hills. We helped bottle about 200 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon during our first shift and about 200 cases of the Tribute red blend during our second shift. No photos of the bottling line because we were working.

We enjoyed good company and hard work in a beautiful orchard setting.

And good meals with plenty of Fielding Hills' excellent wines.

Monday, May 04, 2009

One of My Favorites

The Fiber Trends Versatile Scarves pattern is one of my favorites because it is so — well, versatile. Any weight of yarn, any amount of yarn over about 200 yards, solid or variegated — whatever suits you. The pattern has three versions: triple eyelet border, basic garter and eyelet lace.

The particulars of my scarf:
  • Pattern: Triple Eyelet Border from Fiber Trends Versatile Scarves
  • Yarn: Unique Designs by Kathy Withers; kid mohair, shetland, angelica; 270 yards/2.8 ounces
  • Needles: 4mm (US6)
  • Finished size: 14 inches back neck length

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fluent Steps

From time to time, I was at the Museum of Glass when artist Martin Blank was making the pieces for his work Fluent Steps. The work was installed and dedicated earlier this month. I love this piece.

Learn more about Fluent Steps here and here.

Yes, I am still knitting. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Garden Party

Back to knitting. Concurrent with working on the garden, I finished the Garden Party Shawl from Two Old Bags (coincidence?). What's great about this shawl is that the shoulder shaping gives a U-shaped neckline so the shawl stays on better. And I really like the ruffles.
  • Pattern: Garden Party Shawl by Two Old Bags (the picture on the front of the pattern does not do justice to the pattern).
  • Yarn: Black Water Abbey two-ply fingering organic wool in Dark Welsh, 400 yards/3 ounces; approximately 720 yards total.
  • Needles: US5
  • Finished size: 23 inches center back.

Mooch supervises both the garden and the knitting, but participates in neither.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Time for Gardening

We interrupt this knitting blog to talk about the garden. It is finally warm enough to plant in my new planting boxes. This is very exciting. I planted lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, and Chioggia and golden beets. I also planted English peas and sugar snap peas in another part of the garden. Potatoes will be planted soon.

I usually wait until late May or early June to plant tomatoes and peppers. Our summer really starts after July 4.

The other edible parts of the garden include a Royal Anne cherry tree, a Gravenstein apple tree, a purple plum tree, lots of raspberries, three blueberry bushes, a few strawberry plants, and a lot of herbs.

We are fortunate to have several excellent farmers' markets nearby for plants and other food. At the first market of the season, we bought some blackberry honey and some hummus made with garbanzo beans and Riesling grapeseed oil.

I'm hungry now. Back to knitting.

Friday, March 20, 2009


The first time I saw a picture of this scarf, I knew I had to knit it. It is the Flutter Scarf from MimKnits.
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Lace, 470 yards/50 grams, 1 skein. Can't remember the color name.
  • Needles: 3.25mm
  • Finished size: 7 inches x 60 inches
It was fun to knit and looks like a scarf that will get a lot of wear (and compliments). I probably will knit this pattern again and again and again.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Another Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley seems to be a popular motif, from Niebling (see previous post) to Nancy Bush. This is Nancy Bush's Lily of the Valley scarf from Knitted Lace of Estonia. I want to knit everything in this book. Everything. All of it. Even with nupps and even with having to Kitchener the body to the border.

The yarn I used is very, very slippery, which made the nupps more of a challenge, but the I think the yarn and pattern are a good match. The secret to nupps — clearly stated in the book and elsewhere — is to make them very, very loose.

The details:
  • Yarn: Naturally Dawn, 50 percent wool, 50 percent silk; 171yards/25 grams; 3 skeins; color Creme
  • Needles: 3.25mm
  • Finished size: 8 inches wide x 65 inches long

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lily of the Valley

Doilies are fun to knit. This one is Lily of the Valley by Herbert Niebling from the new Anna Burda magazine.

  • Thread: Kordonnet 80, made in Slovakia, purchased in Prague a few years ago
  • Needles: 1.5mm
  • 94 rounds
  • Finished size: Approximately 18 inches in diameter