Thursday, 26 March 2009

Finally - Some Knitting Content and More!

I have done a lot of knitting during my time here in south Texas. There's always time to knit while watching TV or in the car on the way to some interesting activity. Certainly on a 3200km trip each way, there is lots of time to knit.

I brought some projects to work on and have have tried out some different yarns and colours which I've ordered online. My current favourite book is Nancy Bush's "Knitted Lace of Estonia". It has about 20 lovely lace patterns as well as additional stitch patterns for the lace and the borders.

Probably my favourite pattern is the "Lily of the Valley" pattern. I've knit two scarves using this pattern.

This is what is will look like after blocking.

Another one I like is the pattern for Madli's Shawl.

I really wouldn't have use for shawls so I just knit them narrower and use them for scarves. I plan them so they're 12" wide after blocking.

I also did the Peacock Tail and Leaf patternbut got bored with it pretty quickly. I also used KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud yarn which was VERY thin and didn't particularly like it. However, after blocking, my opinion may change. It will definitely be more diaphinous than the scarves I've knit with the KnitPicks Gloss Lace yarn.

I have experimented with several needles and by far, I prefer the KnitPicks Harmony wood single pointed needles. They have really pointy tips and because they are wood, have enough 'grab' to keep stitches from just sliding off. Unfortunately, the smallest size they stock is 3.5mm. When I need needles smaller than that, it's pretty much a tie between bamboo and Addi Turbo lace needles.

When knitting an intricate pattern for the first time, I sometimes will use a lifeline. Frogging lace is quite difficult because of how the yarn overs just seem to disappear. Tinking (un-knitting one stitch at a time) is more effective but very tedious if the mistake is several rows back. A lifeline is a contrasting piece of smooth yarn (I use dental floss) drawn through all the stitches using a tapestry needle. That way, if frogging is required, you can easily frog back and pick up the stitches in the lifeline row. I will also use stitch markers between repeats so I can easily determine where I've mistakenly added or subtracted stitches. I must confess, I'm pretty picky about the lace looking good but I have been known to just K1 instead of k2tog when I'm one stitch short or vice versa.

Early in my lace knitting experience, I would knit a dishcloth using the pattern just to get the 'hang' of it.

I have also done some stitching during my time here. I brought this needleroll kit with me and finished it in only a few stitching sessions.

I really like all of the Victoria Sampler products. And most of the patterns have separate thread packs that can be purchased.

At Judy's Stitchery Nook in Harlingen, TX, I found a couple of kits that had been deeply discounted.

And I bought this one to make myself a souvenir of my winter vacation locale.

Little kits like this are perfect when I wanted to take a wee break from my lace scarf knitting.

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