Monday, July 31, 2006

Purl 2 tog tbl

Okay, I said there must be an easier way to do this so I Googled it and found this. This looks like a knit 2 tog tbl to me. Then Imbrium sent me a link to this, which is how I've been doing it but is a royal pain in the ass. They are, of course, completely different.

Further searching lead me to The Irish Ewe who said to twist each stitch and then purl through the front. This sounds good. You would go into each stitch from the back and turn it, then put them back on the left needle and purl.

A little further on I came to this from wiseneedle:

"The conventional way is to take your right hand needle and stick it through the back loop of the next two stitches on your left hand needle. But stick it through such that the points of both needles are headed in the same direction. Then wrestle the yarn into place and make a pseudo-purl motion to work the two stitches together, ending up with a decrease that when viewed from the back, is analagous to a SSK (slip-slip-knit decrease).

There's a cheater's way to do it, too. You need a DPN or cable needle. Slip the next two stitches together and purlwise onto the DPN or cable needle. Now pretend the DPN is a giant helicopter rotor. Rotate it 180 degrees clockwise. Now slide the two stitches from the DPN back onto your left hand needle. Purl them like you normally would, ignoring the weird twist you've just made in them."

This is the same thing that The Irish Knitter said except you use a cable needle. I will try both this method and The Irish Ewe's and see which works best for me. I have a lot of experience at cabling but I'm not sure I want to fool with another needle.

Thanks, Imbrium, for the help.

Progress on Mountain Peaks

Mountain Peaks Shawl by Miriam Felton
Jaggerspun Zephyr in Sage
Inox #5 24" circular needle

I started on Friday, July 28, and did some work on it over the weekend. I think it's going much faster than Icarus because the needles are two sizes larger. I also am much more confident about knitting it (thank you, Miriam, for getting me over the lace hump). I'm almost finished with my first trip through chart 1. The only problem I'm having is the "P 2 tog tbl" or "purl two together thru the back loop". Those things are a killer. I'm going to do some research today to find an easier way to do them. If anyone has any tips or techniques for this stitch they'd like to share I would be muy grateful.

On a sad note, the baby kimono may have to be scapped. Claudia sent Susan some skeins of Freesia but it was much lighter than the one I'm using. Susan said she would call Claudia again and ask her if she had any of the darker dye lot left. OK, lesson learned; never start a project unless you have all the necessary yarn in your hands.

I went to my first social knitting night at Susan's on Friday. Wow, what a great group of women! I hope to go back again on the 11th. She has it on second and fourth Fridays of the month. Next time I hope to take pictures. I can't get over what an amazing group of women and they made me feel so welcome. I am a reserved person when you put me in a group of strangers; very self-conscious and jittery. But I relaxed and knitted on Mountain Peaks and the two hours just flew by. I can't wait for the next time!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lace Madness

I just purchased Miriam Felton's Mountain Peaks Shawl and Seraphim Shawl patterns. Now I have to decide whether to use the Sage JaggarSpun Zephyr for The Mystery Stole 2006 or one of these shawls. This fasination with lace reminds me of an old song by Jimmy Webb called Watermark.

How delicate the tracery of her fine lines,
Like the moonlight lace-tops of the evening pines.
Like a song half-heard through a closed door.
Like an old book when you cannot read the writing anymore.

I think it will be Mountain Peaks. It looks interesting. The stole is a lot of stockingette and Seraphim looks a lot like Icarus, which I just finished. I may start tonight.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Latest Projects

Baby Kimono by Kristin Spurkland
Interweave Knits Summer 2005
Claudia Hand Paints Fingering Wt. - Freesia

God, I love this yarn! It's the next thing to cashmere and the colorway is perfect for a little girl. I wouldn't ordinarily make a baby gift out of hand wash only yarn (I know it says machine wash delicate but I don't trust it) but since it's outerwear (and so incredibly beautiful) I made an exception. I'll include a bottle of Eucalan with it when I give it to Heidi. With proper care, her daughter should be able to use it for her own daughter someday. Isn't that a nice thought?

Feather and Fan Scarf (I don't have the pattern with me so I'm not sure who to credit)
Claudia Hand Paints Fingering Wt. - Blue Terra Cotta

I love the way the colors are working out. Isn't it interesting? Even boring garter stitch is made a little interesting by some exciting color changes.

I'm still trying to decide on my nest lace project. I'm considering Kiri by All Tangled Up, Mountain Peaks and Seraphim Shawl by Miriam Felton, or Leda's Dream by Melanie (Pink Lemon Twist). What do you think?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Overwhelmed by your kindness!

Thanks to all the readers who offerred such nice compliments on the shawl. I really appreciate them. But the real compliments should go to Miriam Felton who created this work of art. Thanks again, Miriam, for making it possible for an inexperience lace-knitter to make something so lovely.

So now what? I signed up for the Mystery Stole 2 KAL but I don't feel like making it right now. I will collect the clues and make it some other time.

I think it's sock and glove time, my friends. I have started a pair of gloves out of cashmere for my husband so I should work on them some. I also promised a pair of socks to one of my co-workers out of Trekking XXL. I also hve two skiens of Claudia Hand Paints Blue Terra Cotta waiting for me to decide what to make with them. I bought them for socks but I have decided that the yarn is simply too yummy to put into shoes. I want to make a lacey scarf. I'm thinking of Branching Out on the Knitty site but I'm not sure how that lace will look made from a variegated yarn. It's by Susan Pierce Lawrence, and I just now realize that I read her blog everyday. Small world.

You know what, I just went to the Claudia Hand Painted Yarns site and the picture of Blue Terra Cotta doesn't even faintly resemble the two skiens I have. What I have doesn't look like any of those samples. Here's the colorway of mine:

  • Deep, almost Black, Brown

  • Brown

  • Sienna

  • Bright Orange

  • Dark Red

  • Deep Merlot

  • Salmon

What's going on here? You know, I wondered why it was called "blue" terra cotta when there isn't a hint of blue in it! Oh, well. It doesn't matter because it is beautiful.

Monday, July 17, 2006


(cross-posted on the Icarus KAL)

I finished Sunday afternoon.

As I've said before, this was my first lace project. This was also the first time I've used blocking wires. I got a set at my LYS Y2Knit. I had heard people talking about how expensive blocking wires can be so I was a little apprehensive but they were only $25 for a complete set.

Susan, the owner, and I looked at my remaining yarn while I was there and she estimated that I wouldn't have enough to finish. She gave me another ball and told me to bring back what I didn't use. I ran out a little over half-way through the bind-off. I did a combination of the a spit and a russian join. It held during the blocking without any trouble so I think it will be fine.

I didn't have to stretch it to get to 72" wide and 36" down the center. It was plenty big. There are a few mistakes and twisted stitches but all-in-all I am very, very happy. Thank you, Miriam for creating this beautiful pattern and thanks to all the knitters in this KAL for all their advice and encouragement.

Icarus Shawl
Pattern by Miriam Felton
Published in Interweave Knits - Summer 2006
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr 50% merino/50% silk, approx. 880 yds.
Started: May 21, 2006
Finished: July 16, 2006

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I'm back, Baby!

I'm back in new territory again on Icarus. I had a 10 row set-back on Sunday but I have managed to get past it. I'm almost finished row 11 of Chart 4 and I am so happy!

I haven't started the Mystery Stole yet because I want to finish Icarus first. I stopped at Y2Knit last night to pick up an extra Inox US3 24" circular so that I can work on both ends. Susan told be that she had just got in sets of blocking wires. That will be my next purchase. While I was there I signed up for a needle felting class that she is hosting on Sept. 26th. It's being taught by Anne Boyer of Fanatica Fibers. Doesn't that sound like fun? I've watched felting being done but never tried it for myself. I fear I may be allergic to the wool but surely this small project won't kill me. Will it?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I was on row 10 of chart 4 when I discovered that I had made an unforgivable error a few rows back. I spent about a half hour trying to fix it and finally ripped back to my lifeline at the beginning of chart 4. Disgusted? You bet I was. Ten f*****g rows!!!! But I knew I had to do it.

Meanwhile, others have started their Mystery Stoles and many have even finished the first chart. The second chart comes out Friday and I'll still be knitting Icarus. This vexes me! Vexes me!

I am learning acceptance. Acceptance of life's little ups and down. Minor setbacks. Yada, yada, yada. Blah, blah, blah.



AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! (Running in circles screaming with clenched fists.)

Okay (pant, pant), I feel a little better now (gasp, pant). Hand me my knitting.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I'm making progess

(Cross posted on

I've finished chart 3, row 6. I can't believe I've come this far. I am hoping to finish this week and have devoted myself to this project. I've knitted most of the day Sunday and Monday and plan to begin again as soon as I eat something. I have to go back to work tomorrow but I have my evenings free. I love the way the pattern is working out. It's almost like magic!