Tuesday, August 23, 2011

That Damned Tulip
I thought it was going to be the death of me. I've learned to add lifelines more frequently. I've only used one skein of Setanova so far and I'm through row 46 on the Half Pi. All set up for the Heart motif. Baby steps, JB, baby steps.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Works in Progress

The top picture is a front for the cardigan I'm knitting in Venezia. I wish I had a better camera to show the beauty of the stitch definition. As it is, I'm wondering if I'll wear it right side or wrong side out. This is great knitting for the bus--portable and easy pattern to follow (K3, P1).

The next picture is the Half Pi destined for my sister. She's going to celebrate a milestone birthday in a few days and she gave me a fantastic party last year for mine. I hope this gift makes her as happy as the party did me.

This Pi started when the talented Shaina Bilow wrote the pattern for a full Pi for me based on design elements I chose. Each is symbolic of some part of my sister's life.

I started out strong, but then it was slow going. I happened to have started a half Pi separately and started thinking I could adapt the full Pi to a half and that the half moon design was probably more practical.


This is Setanova on size 4 needles. The first two sections are regular stockinette then the following sections are the Trinity stitch, because she is one of three and the Little Shell Stitch because one of her loves in life will always be the beach. I'm working on a section of tulips--when we were young, she added a tulip to every picture she drew and it became her signature.

After that, there will be a row of hearts which represents her love and life with her husband and then a row of Shamrocks which are symbolic of her children.

I'm not sure how long this will be and whether there will be room for additional sections. My options are paw prints for their dog, Noelle, or diamonds, because that's what she said she wanted for her birthday. Big Fat Diamonds.

I had ordered Swavorski crystals to add in certain sections, mostly to separate the patterns in longer areas. They turned out to be the perfect color but the hole isn't large enough to string on the Setanova. Now I'm thinking gray pearls. The search continues!

Ode to Silk Blend Knitting

I was able to purge a great deal of yarn from my stash and donate it to a local charity in Bergen County. I was pleased to be able to put it to good use because I wasn't going to get to it any time soon and there were some projects I had lost interest in after a few inches of knitting. I hope there's a lot of warm and cozy people in Northern NJ as a result.

During this process, I decided that I don't like working with cotton. A significant portion of what was donated was 100% cotton. However, I've been working on two projects lately (among the many, I haven't gotten THAT disciplined) that contain silk. I've worked with 100% silk before and although I loved the feel of it, wasn't crazy about the fit/drape. Silk blends appear to be the way to go for me.

One is Setanova from Lana Grossa--it is 60% silk and 40% cotton. I love everything about it. The way it feels in my hands, the drape, the stitch definition. I'm using this for a half Pi shawl for my sister's birthday.

The other yarn I recently discovered I love is Cascade Yarns' Venezia. I started a sweater for myself in it and then had read in Big Girl Knits that plus size women shouldn't use bulky yarn, so I set it aside for a while. I love the color and rediscovered my stash during the purge and felt like I needed to do something with it, especially since I found some great buttons at Creative Knitworks in Westwood, NJ.

I found Sally Melville's With-A-Twist Turtleneck in Book 2: The Purl Stitch and with heavy modifications, began a cardigan in Venezia. This has the same wonderful properties as the Setanova: great hand feel, great stitch definition and the bonus is that because it is a bulky yarn, it's moving along quickly!

A word about Sally--I love her patterns and the fact that she includes notes like "Shorten or lengthen here" to encourage customizing the patterns. How great is that?