Monday, June 29, 2009

To Block Or Not to Block

Well ladies our learn to knit lace classes are officially finished and I think that everyone did a great job and is well prepared to experiment with more detailed lace patterns.

As we saw tonight, lace does benefit from being blocked. Here is a picture of my scarf on the blocking board. As you can see one half is blocked and the other is not. Whether you block your finished items is a personal preference but if you do take the time to do the blocking it will open up the lace pattern and it will help even out any uneven stitches. As we talked about there are different ways to go about blocking. I usually pin out my item dry and then used a spray bottle to wet it down and let it dry. If you are washing an item either by hand or in the machine, you can spin it in the washer to get rid of the excess water and then pin it out on the blocking surface to dry. There is a method using steam from an iron as well but I have not tried that method. Another option to just using pins are blocking wires. They are long thin wires that you slide up the outside stitches of your knitted item to hold the edges straight. (If you look at the picture, you will see that I should have used more pins to hold the scarf edges straight so that they do not look pointed) and then you put in a few pins to hold the wires in place on the blocking surface. We can play with these sometime over the summer!

Have a great week and happy knitting :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Is Here

Has everyone been managing to stay cool over the last few days? With this heat I am really glad to be knitting small projects that don't add to the heat. I am working on the new shawl and the mitered squares for the afghan star block. The squares should be finished today. Even though I am eager to sew them together I am going to take the time to block them. The yarn is acrylic so it won't block perfectly but it will take some of the curl out of the edges and make the seaming easier. I also think it will make the finished square look less bulky where the seaming is done.

In my attempt to find a cool knitting place, Ella and I ended up at the beach the other night. I love the beach. I could sit and listen to the water for hours. We had a nice walk on the beach and then of course I sat a knit for a while. This is a picture of one of the mitered squares. This one sadly ended up begin frogged as it was too small but it was still a nice, quiet, relaxing knitting evening.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lovely Knitting Ladies!!

Congratulations, your first lace projects are finished or are very close. You should be very proud of how your scarf or shawl turned out!

If you are not lace knitted out, I would suggest trying the Falling Leaf lace pattern. Speaking from experience, I would suggest slowly working your way up the lace knitting ladder. This pattern is still very easy to follow but it is a 16 row repeat with every other row being a lace row. You can find the pattern at

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A New Shawl

Today was a good knitting day. I started the day by getting up really early to knit while everyone else was still asleep. I finished knitting my feather and fan scarf. I really enjoyed knitting both the shawl and this scarf and I love the finished product, but I am ready to move onto another pattern. Something like this. This is the falling leaf lace pattern. As I was knitting the dishcloth version of this pattern, I kept thinking that this would look great as a shawl so this is how I am ending my day. I am staying up really late while everyone else is already asleep starting a new shawl. I am using 4.5mm needle and have cast on 99 stitches to have a 9 pattern repeat. The yarn is a fingering weight acrylic Pingouin Perle fin. Blue isn't usually a colour that I would pick but it looks summery and reminds me of the beach. I have broken my own rule about no lace knitting late at night but so far so good. No mistakes...yet:) Here is the start of my new shawl.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

World Wide Knit In Public Day

Yesterday was a great day. We had a great turn out for Knit In Public Day. The weather was great for spending the day outside visiting with our knitting friends, knitting and snacking. It was fun to see what everyone was working on and of course to see what new and exciting shawl or scarf patterns Rebecca had found since we had last seen her! Our youngest knitter was Carol's granddaughter who was learning how to spool knit and our most reluctant knitters were the four young men that sat and had their picture taken holding the needles. Brian was actually knitting a row on my scarf. (Brian, you did a great job there were no mistakes yahoo! Doralyn, watch out for your stash).

I didn't work on my scarf as originally planned but I did get my last 6" square finished to complete the rail fence block for the sampler afghan class that will be starting in July. I am excited to start on the log cabin square today and will, with any luck, have more than one square done by the end of this week. There
will be a total of 6 squares for the summer project. Keep checking Carrie's Quilting and Knitting Store to see the squares as they are finished.

Congratulations Nenagh, you are the winner of the skein of alpaca from Alpaca Acres that was our door prize!

I am heading outside with my knitting to sit and relax for a while. Hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend. Happy knitting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

World Wide Knit In Public Day Is Tomorrow

Hi there,

Are you all getting excited about World Wide Knit In Public Day tomorrow? I am. I can't wait. We will meet at Carrie's Quilting and Knitting store from 10-3. I have big plans to finish my scarf tomorrow as we sit in the sunshine, knit, chat and eat cookies. Sounds like a perfect day doesn't it. (Plus there will be some yarn to win!)

How are all of the lace knitters doing with their projects? As of Monday night everyone looked like they were doing great! Since our focus Monday was on how to solve lace knitting problems, I thought I would post some pictures of what we talked about.

When knitting the feather and fan pattern, most of the time your problem of having too many or too few stitches happens on the lace rows when you are doing your YO.

If you have less stitches....

Check that after you have done your 6th YO you have not knit 1 stitch before you begin your last set of 3 knit 2 togethers.

If you have, unknit the one stitch and begin your k2tog right after your 6th YO.

Check your lace row on the pattern repeat below. Do you have 5 or 6 eyelets? If you only have 5, you have forgotten a YO causing you to be one stitch short.

You will have to pull out your knitting. Either right back to the lace row or to the row above (row 4) and you can pick up the horizontal bar. Using the left needle, pick up the strand from front to back. Picture 1.

If you have too many stitches....

Again, check the lace row on the pattern repeat below. How many eyelets do you see? If you have more than 6 this is where your extra stitch came from. Picture 3

To fix this you can drop the extra YO off your needle and gently pull your knitted fabric back and forth to work in the extra strand of yarn.

One last word of warning. Even though I have said over and over again that the feather and fan lace pattern is the best pattern to start your lace knitting adventures with, don't knit lace when you are tired. Look at this (pictures 2 & 4) a hole!!! The crazy thing is that I didn't even notice it until 16 rows after I dropped the stitch and somewhere along the way I picked up an extra stitch without realizing that either. My new rule is only garter stitch after 10 pm.

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yarn Rescue

Look at this! This is five large boxes and three garbage bags worth of yarn that was, you might want to sit down for this, thrown away. A great guy that I work with rescued it and brought it in for our knitting club at work. I am still in shock that someone would just throw it away!!! I just had to sort it out to see what all was in those bags and boxes. There was a lot of everything. Christmas yarn, sock yarn, baby yarn, worsted weight, chunky weight, mohair blend and roving. Here are pictures of the front and back of the pile. I was in for another shock when I saw what was in the bottom of the box with the rovings. Yup, needles too!

Then....we also had another yarn donation to our knitting club. So, just for fun I added it to the pile. This is almost all of it. Some of it wouldn't fit on the table. My dining room table has been covered in yarn lots of times before but this is definitely the most at one time.

This yarn will be used for our charity knitting projects and knit into hats, scarves and blankets. Thanks very much for all of the donations!