it had to get personal . . .

Posted on 56 CommentsPosted in lace/shawls, Uncategorized

ok, i’ve got practically nuthin’ today (or for the past few days for that matter . . .). all i’ve been doing in my knitting time is—think hard, now—trying to finish the bee shawl.

so we’ve been keeping pretty close company, and i thought you might like to have a peek into “a day in the life of”.

most of the time it sits like a big blob (and i DO mean big) on the coffee table

but since it’s been warm, we also get to spend some time working out in the porch

or it gets dropped off near the spinning wheel for a little girl-time

and then there is the bench outside the back door, where we somtimes take a break for a change of pace or just some fresh air.

a closeup shot would fit in nicely here. i am about 12 rows from the finish, i think here
(that would be 12 lo-o-ong rows).

i am about one-third of the way through the bottom edging and i’m hoping-against-hope that it will be pretty, because seriously, a do-over is not really an option. at least, not to my mind today (you never know, though . . .)

i ran in for some cool refreshments (it’s gotten awfully hot here), and when i came back there was the bee, chatting amiably with the coleus and the painted begonia.

so i thought, let’s go gossip with the lettuce patch while i pick a few weeds, what the heck?

i went to get the hose to give them all a drink, and when i came back it was practically throwing itself at the the tomatoes.

so i took it back inside; the last thing i need is a hybrid bee shawl . . .
i dropped it off in the office on my way inside, and went to get a glass of water, and when i came back, i caught it winking it’s eyes at david.

now to my mind that is drawing a line in the sand. i can forgive the tomatoes, but it can’t have david. period.
and when i moved around the desk to assert my territorial rights, and saw this

i pulled the plug. only I get to hold hands with david. and toying with his keyboard??
now that’s just too much.

summer fun sock

Posted on 21 CommentsPosted in patterns, Uncategorized

do you see golf tees? or ice cream cones?
or maybe you’d like to work toe-up and watch the Eiffel tower emerge from your needles . . .
that’s the fun—this pattern is whatever you see in it, and even qualifies for the man lace series
(but we won’t tell; we know that’s just for our fun).
sized for everyone from baby to adult, the airy pattern offers a trim fit that lets the breeze in, and features a slip-stitch heel that will take the wear and tear of summer activities.

Summer Fun Sock
shown here in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, colorway, Khaki.

  • pattern price: $5.00US (ohio residents please add $.30 sales tax)
  • payment method: please visit our pattern shop!
  • Suggested Yarns: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, Fearless Fibers Classic Merino Sock yarn, Briar Rose Grandma’s Blessing, Woolen Rabbit Merino Superwash, Koigu KPM, Fleece Artist Merino Sock, Socks that Rock Light, GGH Merino Soft, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, or any sock yarn which has approximately 425 yards to 4 ounces.
  • Notes: A summery sock in five sizes with an openwork pattern that extends down the leg and over the top of the foot. Whether construed as a motif of golf tees or ice cream cones, this airy sock is perfect for summer when knit in a fine yarn. Easily converted to toe-up construction, the pattern reverses to reveal a motif of tiny Eiffel towers.
    Note: the openwork stitch creates a fabric with a little more give; thus the finished size of this sock is slightly narrower than normal, but will stretch more to fit. Stitch count may be adjusted for in-between sizes (see pattern notes).
  • Finished Size: XS(S, M, L, XL), to fit feet measuring up to 4.5(6, 7.5, 9, 10.5)�?
    finished sock measurements = 3(4.5, 6, 7.5, 9) inches
  • yarn requirements: 200(250, 300, 350, 425) yds of sock yarn which has approximately 425 yds per 4 ounces
    note: heavier yarn and larger needles may be used; adjust choice of size to compensate for larger gauge.
  • Gauge: 32 sts and 48 rows = 4�? in stockinette
  • Needles: DPNs size 1 (2.25 mm), or size to obtain gauge

patterns will be emailed in PDF format once payment is confirmed or eCheck has cleared; please contact patternsATknitspotDOTcom for information about wholesale orders, or payment without a paypal account.


on page 1, the row-by row openwork pattern does not match the chart, and is missing row 2! the pattern should read:
Begin Openwork Pattern (see page 4 for charted pattern)
Rnd 1: *p1, yo, p2tog, p3* repeat from * to * around
Rnd 2 through 6: *p1, k1, P4* repeat from * to * around
Rnd 7: *p4, yo, p2tog* repeat from * to * around
Rnd 8 through 12: *p4, k1, p1* repeat from * to * around

i owe you . . .

Posted on 31 CommentsPosted in Uncategorized

will this make it up to you? it’s the first lily bloom of the year, and i opened this morning.

sorry for such a quiet week. actually, i can’t believe four days has gone by. ach, whaddaya gonna do?

i’ve had hardly any time to knit this week either; it’s been dry here and everyone is talking about watering . . . i know i’ve been getting up extra-early each day to do mine.
i think i’m tired.

i finished the golf sock but i don’t have a picture—david said he would model it tomorrow for me.

i’ve been working away on the bee shawl late at night and i finally picked a finish for the bottom edge, but i haven’t started that last part yet, so no pix of that either.

last night we had a little rain so this morning i did not have to water. but since i was up early i did something i’ve been meaning to get to for a while. i’ve had some samples sitting here from the spinning class i took at wooster over memorial day weekend that needed plying and washing.

it gave me a chance to use this skein winder that i picked up used from another blogger recently

how did i ever live without this thing?? it makes such nice skeins AND it counts the yardage as i wind them. this is a far cry from what i had been doing—i was using my yarn swift mounted sideways on the leg of my work table. it was a pretty good system, but i always worried that it would break some day (i tend to crank really fast, and it’s not really made for that).

i never got used to using a niddy-noddy for skeining—it’s so awkward and i’m just a klutz with it. plus, i usually have several (or more) very full bobbins to skein at once, so it is also inefficient for me.

but the skein winder—wow.

anyway, the plying. he-he. i don’t usually wait long to ply yarn—i like to ply it while the active twist is fresh. and these samples were sitting around for a while, slowly losing their twist. ugh—i was afraid.

i set to work trying to ply the singles so that the fibers ended up straight. only i couldn’t SEE the fibers that well; the yarn was fine and white, and let’s face it, my eyes are aging (oh boo-hoo!). i knew this would result in seemingly overplied yarn, so i went with my gut and overplied to the extent i thought necessary.

you can see here that they are twisting severely to the left, which means they have too much plied twist. the sample on the left is my worsted sample, which i couldn’t get to take as much twist as i wanted. it’s hanging straight—which already tells me it’s not plied enough.

the point here is that after a good long soaking, and a spinout in the washer, they will regain their active twist and hopefully be balanced.

i also had one full bobbin that i spun up just the other night in a class i was teaching. that was fresh, and i just plied it normally.

here are all the skeins after washing

as you can see, i achieved mixed success. the fat skein in the middle was the fresh one that i did not have to fiddle with, and it looks great. the others are all now twisting severely to the right, which means they are actually underdone.

so my guess was right, but i did not compensate nearly enough in my plying work. i can run them through the wheel again when they are dry, to learn some more. what really jumps out at me though is how much twist i was putting into the samples in class. i’m not usually so . . . intense in my spinning.

in my default style, these would not have nearly so much twist (the one on the far right is an example; i spun that while the teacher was talking for the first couple of hours).
but because i was “trying” with the others (the two on the left), i overworked them a bit. especially that worsted sample—my gawd.

i don’t generally spin worsted—i’m not fond of the technique and the yarn is generally too dense and heavy for what i want to knit. i love long draw—i love to stretch out the draft really long and watch the fibers get sucked in. sometimes i modify it a bit, or used worsted-prepared fiber with the long draw, but i rarely stray from this method to do short draw. too small and crampy for me i guess . . .

the update on claudia’s ride is that she is surely going to make her new goal, and it’ all because of YOU. thank you to everyone who has contributed and continues to do so, either with dollars or with any number of supportive actions fighting MS (don’t forget the collective karma effort . . .). our reader total as of now is over $7300—wow. that is over 15 times what we raised last year .. .

i need to make one small amendment to the rules of the drawing. i suddenly realized that having it end on sunday, the 24th would mean that i would somehow have to coordinate the fulfillment of the prize awards on monday, which is a real no-go with such an extensive prize list. so i am making the cutoff date saturday the 23rd. this will enable me to notify winners and pack boxes that day, instead of during the week.

well, that’s really all i have today; i promise tomorrow will be better . . . it’s friday after all!

i can show you what teyani sent me though, as a good closer (you should go see her morning glory, it’s beautiful!)

some gorgeous alpaca/merino yarn to design new socks with, and some laceweight yarn to fool around with, too. both are things she sells at her store crown mountain farms, and there are new colors.
this sock yarn is incredible. just what i’ll need for those chilly winter floors.

i got your back

Posted on 62 CommentsPosted in lace/shawls, projects, Uncategorized

ok, i can’t remember for the life of me which one of you wanted smutty pictures of unblocked bee fabric, and i can’t find the email, sooo

that’s the wrong side . . . and here’s some right-side action

(and i put another one or two at the end of the post for you too).

i feel REALLY foolish that i can’t track down that conversation in email. sigh—sorry!.

and while i was changing to a longer needle today, i took the opportunity to spread the shawl out as flat as i could get it for a couple of shots

and here’s one that’s a little closer

i had high hopes of finishing this weekend (ha! whatever was i thinking?), and although i made quite a bit of progress, i didn’t even get close to being done. or picking an edging (must do that next).

it’s that time of year when other demands intervene

like eating. our freezer stores of ready-made meals were getting low, so i spent the better part of saturday in the kitchen. and it was worth it

here we have (front row) black bean chili, and (back row) ribollita. mmm. made with fresh greens and herbs from this year’s garden, and the last of the tomatoes from last year.

i has planned to spend the whole of saturday afternoon spinning and bonding with my new wheels, but only got to sit down with them for a couple of hours last night. i spent all that time just with the reeves, finding i had to adjust a few things seemingly over and over. i also had to play with the tension a lot . . . it’s a new tensioning system for me and i’m not sensitive to its nuances yet. but i did spin some samples and found that, even in my stumbling on this unfamiliar wheel, i can spin a very fine and consistent yarn. i didn’t take a picture of the singles, but here’s one of the two ply

this is some superwash merino. i thought that i was way overspinning and then overplying it, but as it turns out, no . . .

it hangs nice and straight. if anything, it could have been more tightly spun AND plied. i need more time with it to get it right; and i’m left wanting to shut myself in and just spin for days to do just that.
i am happy with the resulting fineness of the yarn though—

(ok, so i don’t dust my mail scale—now you know my dark secret.)

60 yards from 0.3 ounce. that would be roughly 200 yards to an ounce; not bad, especially since those extra-fine laceweight yarns are harder for my eyes to work with lately. my preference is usually for something more in this range or a bit heavier.

but i do want to work on getting the twist right—i’m not so happy with it here. my goal for the immediate future is to spin this wool and some silk as a two-ply blend (one ply of each), and to do a batch of it on each wheel.

alright now, a few parting shots of bumpy/cushy bee back.

and what would the backshot be without a full frontal view?