Thursday, June 28, 2007

Swatching? Check!

I've worked on three swatches for Mystery Stole 3. I'm pretty sure I know the smallest and largest needle sizes. Unfortunately, I don't know which swatch I love.Maybe tomorrow I'll take a picture and post it.

The first swatch was on US4 and was so loose that it was hard to even tell it was knitting. I didn't even finish one pattern repeat of that.

My next attempt was US3 (3.25mm). it's ok. I stopped paying attention to the chart sooner than I was ready to so the swatch isn't really right. I didn't want to tink it back. It seemed like there was nothing to be gained.

Finally I swatched with US2 (2.75mm). When I was knitting it, it felt right. But when I look at it next to the larger one, I have doubts. I'm wondering if I shouldn't try a US2 (3.00mm). I have one coming.

I'm going to wet them down, pin them out, then go to bed. Maybe in the morning light, the right choice will be obvious.

At this moment, I'm planning to cast on with the 2.75mm needles. I intend to reverse my normal routine and get ready for work as soon as I get up so once the clue is posted I can cast on before I leave for work.

Do I sound impatient? Aren't you?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cotton Candy, Anyone?

While I was winding my yarn and despairing of ever getting to the end, my husband observed that it looked like cotton candy. He was so right.

I did get to the end. Now to the swatching.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Winding Laceweight

I started winding my yarn for the mystery stole tonight. I am so grateful that I sprang for a proper swift last month. This yarn would be even more scary without such a tool. I can just imagine the tangled mess I would create with the warping loom I had been using.

It is beautiful and soft, but it seems so fine and delicate. I have been experimenting with using an electric mixer as a ball winder, but I think I want to practice that on something more durable like bulky weight or rope, maybe.

Instead, I'm winding it by hand onto a drift pin. It seems to be working, but it is taking a very long time. My goal is not speed but a consistent job without cutting the yarn. I'm hoping that slow and steady will win the race.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Third Time is the Charm?

Knitalongs and I have not done well together. My first attempt was the Sweaters from Camp knitalong. I really never got through the cast-on. My life was too busy for a sweater that I wasn't going to be able to knit a single row in a night. I did manage to teach myself the i-cord cast-on for it. I really liked the way that looked, but I didn't connect that if knit stitches aren't square, there wasn't going to be a one-to-one relationship between the i-cord and the number of stitches to cast on. I should have caught on when it looked big enough, but well... I went ahead and cast on exactly the number of stitches I needed. My husband and I could have both fit in the resulting sweater and rattled around. That was pretty much the end of that. It's packed away. I still want to knit it, but the KAL is over and I think I need more practice.

So, I moved on to the Beadwork KAL. It is a beautiful sweater with no color work. The group was really nice and supportive. Even though I was feeling guilty about my poor vertical stripes pullover, I really did want to knit Beadwork. All I needed was a pattern and yarn. I made some efforts to find a pattern, but I wasn't going to bid an outlandish amount for it on ebay. I went to Rhinebeck with the intention of buying yarn if I found the right thing, but I'm not sure I knew what I was looking for so I left without it. I still haven't scored a pattern by reasonable search methods. I'm sure that I will someday and then I will knit the cardigan. But I won't be knitting it for the KAL because that is winding down.

So I'm signed up for my third one: The madness that has become Mystery Stole 3. Unlike the other two, a lace stole is something which I've successfully completed before. And I know that I really will use a white lace stole when cruising around in the Model T. I really just checked into the group to watch, but I was sucked in.

I had some white Skacel Merino Laceweight in my miniature stash. I ordered lovely, crystal, triangular beads from Earth Faire (a really great vendor). I'm ready to start. I have a set of Lantern Moon ebony needles in size 4 and Addi Turbo lace needles in sizes 3 and 4 so I have choices. I need to wind my yarn without tangling it (that's a scary thought) and swatch. And find a better place to take photos.

And maybe, just maybe, this one will be the charm. I really want a lace stole.