Tag Archives: shawl

Two by two, hands of blue, cables make me want to scream

So, I am working on a Bigger on the inside shawl, to coincide with my watching of Doctor Who. It’s actually been going swimmingly, considering my propensity to get bored with what I’m knitting and walk away from a project for years on end.  A lace shawl finished in less than two months?! Inconceivable!

However, I’ve hit the first cables that make up the roofline of the Tardis and the instructions are so freaking unclear. Mainly this is because the designer doesn’t want you to knit these like regular cables, where you slide one stitch off, either to the back or front, and then come back to that stitch later. I can do that no problem. But her instructions call for keeping the stitches all on the same needle, and when I attempt that it comes out totally verkakte. This would all be made clear with a simple video somewhere, but does anyone on the internet have one? No. The best I can find use four stitches instead of two, or call it C2F instead of C2L, but a stitch dictionary I found online made it clear that these aren’t really interchangeable stitch terms, they are slightly different. Also, shouldn’t it be C4F if you are working four stitches, not 2? There is absolutely no standard for this term and so many “teachers” and “designers” online are using the terminology incorrectly I want to scream. Shoot me now. Also, I have a miserable cold so my patience is really low right now.

Ok, upon rereading the stitch dictionary I found online I discovered that the different between C2F and C2L appears to be that one version slips stitches and the other works them on the same needle, as this pattern calls for. Strangely enough, though, the term that calls for the stitches to be worked on one needle is C2F, while this pattern uses that definition for C2L. Do you see what I mean about no freaking standards? Makes me want to tear my hair out.

Thankfully, I did find an online tutorial that was a.) using two stitches for C2F, and was b.) knitting them the way that the designer for this pattern asks that they be knit, even if she’s using the wrong term according to others out there on the web. I’m sharing this video with all of you so that others don’t go through my personal torture. Now I’m going to go take another antihistamine.

UPDATE: Ok, so I tried to start the purl side of C2R and C2L and totally got confused. It was clearly way too late at night and I was too sick because I missed the directions entirely. Though the words didn’t really help at all. However, I found an obscure video about knitting 2-stitch Bavarian twists on the wrong side. At the end of the video, the teacher explains that these “twists can be turned into crosses” (aka C2L or C2R) by turning one knit stitch into a purl stitch. Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for. Though I did stop for a minute and think, “Wait, so does ‘C’ stands for ‘cross’ or ‘cable’? I’m so confused!” I personally followed Method A from the video and after doing it about three times along with the video I could remember it enough to do the two mock cables by myself. Just ignore her when she says to knit the first stitch – it’s always a purl stitch.

So the moral of this story? Sometimes in patterns, less is not more, more is more. After seeing those videos I could do the cables or twists all on one needle, no problem, but not being able to understand what I was doing was very difficult at first. Since these are pretty obscure techniques, in my opinion, more explanations upfront would have made this less of a hair-tearing experience.

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I Found Myself a TARDIS and Other Yarny Stories

Bigger on the Inside by Kate Atherley

This month a great indie pattern designer released the most amazing pattern on Knitty. Bigger On The Inside by Kate Atherley is a beautiful ode to Doctor Who and his fabulous blue box of a time machine, the TARDIS. I saw this shawl and knew immediately that I had to make my own. However, there is one important thing you must know about me.

I HATE BLUE. I like blue-green, like aquas, turquoise, and teal, and I enjoy blue-purple, like indigo, midnight and blurple. But plain old royal or cornflower blues? Gag me with a spoon. This could be a problem, of course, when you want to create an ode to a Blue Box. Yes, definitely an issue.

Don’t worry, however. I have already solved this highly traumatizing dilemma. You see, there have been many Doctors. And it is interesting to note that there have been almost as many different TARDIS machines disguised as vintage blue police telephone boxes from the 1960s as there have been actors playing the Doctor. Apparently the props department isn’t that good with continuity. Which works well for me!

You see, I fell in love with the Doctor during his more recent incarnation in the 2000s when I was in grad school, and that Doctor (or Doctors, since it was both 9 and 10) had a box that wasn’t so much as blue as it was a lovely dirty teal color. I believe it started getting this more authentic, dirty blue color in the 80s, and continued that way through the 2000s, when David Tennant had his grand run at playing Doctor Who. Currently the blue box has gone back to being a more shiny, clean bright blue color, but I choose to ignore that fact when watching the show.

My point to all of this backstory is that I have found the MOST PERFECT color of blue to make my own TARDIS shawl! It will be, naturally, an ode to the dirty teal-blue TARDIS I adore, and I think it will look very nice on me. If only I was more of a nerd and had a Comic Con or scifi event I could wear it at. Alas, I am not so once I make this shawl it will be a nice winter scarf to wear with my black pea coat, and only those “in the know” will get my tongue-in-cheek grown-up joke about the Doctor and the TARDIS.

Anyways, now that I’ve tracked down the two skeins I need for the shawl I can reveal the yarn to you, since it is no longer a state secret. I have purchased two skeins of Vampy Karma Sock in Midnight Cowboy, which matches my favorite Doctor’s box PERFECTLY. And I like that the name happens to coincide with 11’s penchant for hats.

Stash image courtesy danirobins on Ravelry

Fibres by Vampy is a lovely little indie dyer from the UK who was a fellow swapper on Ravelry. She no longer dyes, which makes this yarn even harder to come by, so you can only imagine how tickled I was to be able to locate two of the same skeins! I really love her yarns – I have a pair of socks knit out of one of her bases – and so I can’t wait to knit this latest yarn up into a proper TARDIS shawl.

I must confess that since Doctor Who finished up its season last winter,  is not on tv right now, and won’t be back until the fall, I’ve been going through a bit of withdrawal. The solution, is not, as you might think, to rewatch old episodes of Doctor Who that you have seen multiple times by now. Oh no, that is a very bad idea, in fact, because it only makes you miss the show more. Much like if you have an addiction to alcohol it is most likely a bad idea to go sit in a bar and watch other people drink it.

Time and Relative Dimensions in Space

So instead, I am feeding my little pining over the Doctor with some new creatively made projects, like the aforementioned shawl. My other project was some new Doctor Who stitch markers, which I really am quite in love with. meet Exchanging Fire‘s brand new Time and Relative Dimensions in Space set, a simple set of iridescent fire-polished glass beads that are reminiscent of the colors of the TARDIS as it must look spinning through the universe and streaking between comets and clouds. If you saw the episode of Doctor Who called “The Doctor’s Wife” you’ll understand the conversation below perfectly:

Idris: Time and Relative Dimension in Space. Yes that’s it. Names are funny. It’s me. I’m the TARDIS.
The Doctor: No you’re not! You’re a bitey mad lady. The TARDIS is up-and-downy stuff in a big blue box.
Idris: Yes, that’s me. A type 40 TARDIS. I was already a museum piece when you were young. And the first time you touched my console, you said—
The Doctor: I said…you were the most beautiful thing I’d ever known.
Idris: Then you stole me. And I stole you.
The Doctor: I borrowed you.

Joining the Westknits Mystery KAL-athon

Ok, I’ve got my colors picked out for the Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL and I’m absolutely in love with them. This is the first time Stephen’s ever run a mystery KAL and this is my first time participating in one. I hope that by doing the shawl in little pieces it will make me motivated to actually keep knitting, instead of dropping the thing halfway through when there is no end in sight, as I am wont to do. I think Stephen is pretty excited about this to, given the crazy shawl-only photoshoot he did for himself (there’s not much underneath those handknits)!

Westknits Mystery KAL 2011: Earth and Sky, image courtesy Westknits

There is, however, one little problem on my end. The mystery shawl I am knitting requires three colors. Out of the three glorious colors I have this lovely silvery grey handpun yarn that would make a wonderful subtle backdrop for my more colorful skeins. However, there are only 85 yards of it – definitely not enough to make it the main color. Stephen West recommends that your main color be a semi-solid or solid, so while I have plenty of the Yarn Pirate Superwash BFL in Rain Shadow, that should remain an accent color. The other accent color is Fibre Company Canopy Fingering in Fern, and I also don’t have enough of that to make it the backdrop color (nor do I really want a non-neutral to be the backdrop color).

My question is, does anyone have any suggestions for a silvery-grey fingering yarn that resembles either my Yarn Pirate or Fibre Co. yarn in terms of texture?

My Mystery Shawl yarns

Mie – The English Translation

Design: Rachel Søgaard

This shawl is knit in the softest merino, with no purl stitches, sideways, using short rows to form the ruffles.

1st edition – March 2011 © Filcolana A / S

Materials:
fingering weight / 4 ply yarn yarn in three coordinating colors: main color (MC), contrasting color (CC) and edging (ED)
Suggested yarn: Filcolana Arwetta ekstra fin merino (100 grams in colorway 516, 100 grams in colorway 1061, and 50 grams in colorway 243)
Circular needles sized 4 mm (6 US), 60 cm (24 inches) in length
Crochet hook 4 mm (size G)
1 stitch marker

Dimensions:
Length 160 cm (63 inches)
Width (at widest point): 43 cm (17 inches)

Gauge:
22 sts and 44 rows in garter stitch on size 4 mm needles (6 US) = 10 x 10 cm (4 inches square)

Increasing:
M1 – Knit through the back of the loop in chain between the space between sts, as it suits.

Color Changes:
To get a nice edge along the top of the shawl (where there is not a crocheted edge) cross the yarns the same way, every change of color.

Shawl:
Knit all rows (back and forth on circular needle).
Cast on 16 sts with MC.
Row 1: Knit 2 sts, PM, knit 14 knit sts.
Row 2: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 3: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 4: Knit 16 sts
Row 5: (CC): 2 knit sts, M1 before the marker, slip marker, knit 14.
Row 6: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 7: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 8: Knit 17 sts.
Row 9 (MC): Knit 17 sts.
Row 10: Knit 10, turn.
Row 11: Knit 10, turn.
Row 12: Knit 17 knit sts.
Row 13 (CC): Knit 3 sts, M1 before the marker, slip marker, knit 14 .
Row 14: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 15: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 16: Knit 18 sts.
Repeat rows 9-16, each time increasing at the row 13 and therefore 1 st more before stitch marker.
When increased a total of 75 times (= 91 sts, ending with 16th row), knit rows 9-12, then again the 9-12 rows with ED, so with MC and again with CC.

Now dec where before you were to inc:
Row 1 (MC): Knit until 2 sts before the stitch marker, k2tog, knit 14 sts.
Row 2: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 3: Knit 10 sts turn.
Row 4: Knit all sts.
Row 5 (CC): Knit all sts.
Row 6: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 7: Knit 10 sts, turn.
Row 8: Knit all sts.

Repeat row 1-8 until there is 17 sts left. Knit rows 1-3 once. Cast off.

Finishing:
Crochet an edging along the edge of the ruffle with ED. Crochet 1 dc in each garter stitch.
Weave in ends.
Soak shawl, gentle spin and lay flat to dry.

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Thanks goes to out to Svipser on Ravelry, for looking over my translation and making final corrections. If anyone has any additional corrections to make to the translation of this pattern, please contact me by email and I’ll be happy to make any necessary changes.

My Swappy, Scrappy, Oversized Scarf

So once upon a time I saw this fantabulous scarf that a friend had knit in the linen stitch pattern. It was thin and long and highly variegated and looked like it had been woven and she had knit it out of a ton of fingering weight scraps. I was enchanted. So enthralled, in fact, that when she offered the scarf up in a swap I claimed it in a snap. But though I loved it, I wanted more. The thin scarf wasn’t enough to whet my appetite, and as winter approached, I decided I needed to make one of my own.

So come January, after a few weeks of collecting yarn scraps, I started knitting my shawlscarf. Linen stitch and knitting lengthwise was a completely new territory for me, and I vastly underrated (or overrated, depending how you look at it) how much yarn and stitches I would need to complete this scarf. So in my enthusiasm, I cast on 600 stitches. I know. I am insane.

There was a definite learning curve, and I certainly had to frog early on, but I kept plugging away. Part of the reason this scarf just never stopped is because I am meticulous, and wanted my colors to blend properly. And so I found myself with A LOT of yarn. I worked off and on for 12 months to make this scarf. There reached a point where I knew I should stop but I wanted to fit in all of the awesome yarns I had accumulated, so I didn’t stop!

But finally, after almost a year, I came down to the end. I cut myself off, I chose an end yarn, and I finished it. It. Is. Finished. Stick a fork in it. My Swappy, Scrappy Oversized Scarf used over 2,000 yards of fingering weight yarns (not all are listed, as some were unknown) and is absolutely perfect. Wide enough to cover my ears, nose and throat but with a thin enough fabric to scrunch when I need it to. As I was knitting it, I wasn’t sure if I was crazy or inspired, so to have the finished product be exactly what I wanted makes me inordinately pleased. I started this Jan. 29, 2010 and my goal was to finish it up before it’s one year anniversary. I did it, finishing while visiting a friend on Jan. 15, 2011. Yey!

I must say that this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever knit. I’m not one for wildly variegated colors and crazy, off-the-wall fabrics, or anything like that. But I just couldn’t stop knitting this. I love it. 🙂 Oh! The crazy teacup pin was a Christmas gift and comes from this off-the-wall Etsy shop called TillyBloom.

It is done.

My mother is going on a cruise through the Mediterranean this spring. When she and my father stop in Rome, they plan on seeing the Vatican. There, to get into it, women need to be modestly dressed, by hiding their knees, bare arms and even covering their heads with handkerchiefs and shawls and the like upon entrance. I thought a small shawl, knit out of some gorgeous sea-colored yarn I owned would be perfect for her. Something about the romance of wearing a hand-knit shawl in the holiest of holy places (according to some) struck my fancy. Plus, I figured it would keep her warm in the air conditioning on board the ship at the very least!

The yarn I used was Skein Queen Elegance, a sport weight blend of merino, silk, bamboo (rayon-based) and nylon. This yarn was luxurious to work with, and while it had a mild tendency to unply itself if you worked it too hard, in all it was a great experience. The finished product has a subtle silken feel to it and the dye job is simply divine. I decided to knit Carol Feller’sCentrique Shawl with it. After my first lace-shawl-knitting experience went horribly awry, I thought sticking to a more simple pattern might be the trick. And Centrique was perfect. Well, almost. My mother is taller and longer-limbed than I, so I wanted to make the shawl as big as possible Therefore, in order to stretch my yardage, I knit it with the larger-sized needles and decided to make the larger version. Oops. I ran into problems near the end. I’d miscalculated and realized that I should have knit the small, not the large, as I was 7-8 rows short of yarn. I decided to scrap the little eyelets that extend out past the triangle and just end the pattern early. I actually cast-off once and discovered that my binding was so tight it was ridiculous, and when I tried the lovely stretchy bind-off recommended for the Cleite pattern, I ran out of yarn before the halfway point! Sigh. I had to tink back two more rows, to the very tip of the last triangle, and then I had plenty of room for the cast-off edge. The Cleite edging was used again in the final piece, but I think it might have been too stretchy. Ah well. Third times the charm, right?

There were also some minor knitting problems. While I was incredibly proud of myself for figuring out how to successfully pick up dropped yarnovers several rows later, in blocking I discovered that my first k1, yo on the RS rows were horrible loose, which made blocking painful. It took two whole hours crawling around like I was praying to Mecca before I had hidden the nasty looseness, and then only somewhat. I found that pulling out my yardstick and using that to help me block helped immensely. The cats were, of course, greatly intrigued – every time I turned around they were closer to me, lying there half-asleep like they hadn’t just crept closer to investigate. The room was blocked off for the night. I could only imagine what sort of grand temptation that would be for them.

I finished this shawl just in time for Mother’s Day! My mother cried when I gave it to her. She knew I was knitting it and was just so overwhelmed that it was for her. Win! Then she used it as an example in her Children’s Story in church. She held up the shawl to explain what children can do for their parents. While the congregation was oohing and ahhing, little Bella, precocious as ever, piped up in a voice that could be heard clear in the balcony, “It has holes in it!” The congregation roared with laughter. Not to be outdone by a 3-year-old, my mother quickly replied, “That’s because it’s a holy shawl!” It was a hilarious morning.We photographed the shawl in my grandmother’s garden, and then when it got too cold to stand out there, we ran inside and I tricked my mother into a photograph. Ha!

I’m exceedingly proud of myself for finishing my first lace shawl. While I’ve done some lace, nothing has been on this large of a scale and this finished product is making me itch to cast on another large lace project! I think I’m addicted. If you are interested in seeing all of the oodles of photographs I took of this pretty thing, you are welcome to check out my Mediterranean Arias project page on Ravelry. And yup, you can follow the link even without an account, since I’m sharing it with the public. Ravelry is so awesome.