Friday, April 28, 2006

Halfway to Kiri

I've almost completed the 8th pattern repeat on Kiri. It's approx. 42 inches by 21 inches. I'm in the middle of the second ball of yarn, which means I'm probably about halfway done with the shawl, perhaps even a little more than halfway. I'll want the shawl to measure at least 60 inches in width (my armspan). Still got a ways to go!

Today I took Amtrak up to Albany and back, and knitted the whole time. It was a beautiful ride along the Hudson. I made lots of mistakes in my knitting, partly due to too much sunlight! It was so bright I couldn't see the sparkly white stitches very clearly against the white Denise needle tips. Most of the mistakes were pretty easy to fix, but towards the end of the trip home I really botched up one of the leaves. I realized I wasn't going to be able to fix it on the train, so I stuck safety pins in the stitches I had unravelled so they wouldn't drop any further. When I got home i had to rebuild the leaf loop by loop. That actually wasn't so hard, and it seems to have turned out okay.

I've been leaving in two lifelines at all times, just in case I notice a mistake way back. So far I haven't had any mistakes requiring me to use a lifeline...knock on wood!

Here's a closeup:

And now, back to knitting!

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Kiri redemption

Last night I made some alterations to my mother's 39-year-old bridal veil, which I will wear at my wedding ceremony. I removed the large flower decoration, which is lovely but a little overwhelming for the hairstyle I will be wearing. I then sewed on some bridal loops, which my hairstylist had suggested instead of attaching the comb directly to the veil. I slipped the wire comb into the loops and tried on the veil. Altering the veil was something I had been starting to dread, since my sewing abilities are rather limited, and I was worried about damaging a family heirloom, but it seems to have worked out just fine.

Sailing on the sense of accomplishment from the veil, I decided to attack Kiri again. I tuned my mp3 player to a relaxing podcast (Irie Knits), ripped out my wangulated runt of a Kiri, took some deep breaths, and started again.

So far, so good.

I completed the cast-on and startup rows, then put in a lifeline and began the first repeat. I took my time and made sure to do a thorough visual check after each completed row. I marked off the rows on the pattern and made tally marks, while also using the post-it to keep my place in the chart. Perhaps most importantly, I put down the knitting when I started feeling tired. It's still not back to the point it was at on my first attempt, but it looks much better this time. The stitches are more even, and so far there are no noticeable mistakes. The lifeline is a piece of orange Bernat Super Value, and I'm a little worried that fibers will stick to the Kidsilk. This weekend I will try to pick up some smooth cotton, which seems to be what everyone recommends for lifelines.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Clapotis triumph; Kiri woes

This is the finished Clapotis. I did 4 repeats of the increase section (the pattern calls for 7) and a full 13 repeats of the straight row section. It's very drapey and the soy silk feels soft and smooth against the skin. The ends are weaved in but I haven't blocked it yet. Blocking probably isn't even necessary.

What a lovely, relaxing knit!

Started: April 1
Finished: April 13
Pattern: From Knitty
Yarn: South West Trading Company's Oasis, 2 skeins, Parrot
Needles: US 8 circs (Addi turbos)

Kiri, on the other hand, is causing me nothing but grief!

I knit up this mini-Kiri to familiarize myself with the pattern, to see how the Kidsilk Night would knit up, and to try out a little beading along the edges. I had no major problems with the swatch. The beads are subtle and I like the way they complement the yarn and the pattern. I haven't blocked it yet, but I'm happy with how it came out. I would totally wear this shawl if I was 18 inches tall!

Then I started the actual grown-up shawl. I got halfway through the first repeat and realized something was amiss. One of the leaves was all mangled, and unfortunately it was several rows down and not worth tinking. I had only spent a few hours on the shawl at that point, so I decided to rip it out and start over. I then endured several false starts (butchering some of the yarn in the process) before I came up with an acceptable cast-on, and it still wasn't perfect. But the mistake wouldn't be noticeable to anyone else so I proceeded onto the startup rows. I was knitting along nicely until I noticed that once again there's a yarnover in the wrong place, way down near the beginning! At this point I became too frustrated to deal with it, and I put it away for the night.

I'm not sure what the problem is -- perhaps I have gotten overconfident, and have not been referring to the charts as diligently as I should be. I've been knitting in cars and in front of the television. I haven't been tallying my row count (and I don't have a row counter that fits the needles) and was only using a post-it to keep track of my place in the chart. I guess I'll have to combine the post-it with a written tally. And I'll have to use lifelines.

I will not be defeated!

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Busy time to blog

I don't have any pictures to show right now, but I have been knitting! Right now it's all about my wedding, which is happening at the end of May. So sadly John's raglan zip cardigan is on hold, as are many of my other projects.

I swatched for Kiri, which if all goes well will be my bridal shawl. Went on eBay and ordered three balls of Rowan KidSilk Night in Starlight from Jannette's Rare Yarns, and the Denise Companion Set from Woodland Farms Fibers and Yarns. You know you are knitting too many simultaneous projects when you run out of Denises! I'm thinking of adding some sparkly beads along the scalloped edges of the shawl.

There is also a modified Clapotis on my needles, close to being finished. I'm using South West Trading Company's Oasis (100% soy silk) in the "Parrot" colorway. This Clapotis is about 13" tall, just over half the height of the standard Clapotis, so it's more of a scarf and less of a stole. I'm liking it! It will be a bridesmaid gift, so hopefully she'll like it too. If nothing else, she will like the fact that it's eco-friendly and cruelty-free, since she's a vegan.

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