Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, May 02, 2010


The Bohus, she is done.
It's been done for several weeks, in fact. Even managed to find two occasions when it was cool enough out to wear it.
Here are the stats.
Rose Spetskragen
Started 1/1/10
Finished 4/15/10
Needle sizes: 2.75mm bamboo for the collar
2.25mm Addi lace for the body
2.5mm bamboo for the sleeves

Used a provisional cast and worked the entire piece in the rnd.
Added a few additional short rows after the collar.
Added an additional stitch on rnd 23 of the collar so the next set of patterns would mirror each other across the front bands.
Worked some short rows in the back of the body to avoid dreaded riding up syndrome.
Used baby cables instead of ribbing.
Worked a crochet steek.
Re-calculated sleeve decreases to lengthen sleeves.
Cast off with a combination Applied I-cord and Grafting.
Worked vertical button bands using the Sliding Loop technique.
Used Sally Wall's version of the EZ one row buttonhole.

I think that's all. Maybe next time I knit one I'll do it in a more traditional manner. But, I'm very happy with how this one turned out. Look at how the crochet graft looks inside. Very neat and tidy.Did I say the next Bohus? Uh huh, there will definitely be more of them.

Oh, look, here's some more Bohus knitting right here.
Anyone who has taken Susanna Hansson's Bohus workshop will recognize the class project--Blue Shimmer wristlets. Mine are waiting on threads to become gloves. Someday.

If you're a knitter interested in this type of knitting who hasn't taken Susanna's class, I highly recommend it.

Here's a pic of how the room is set up when we arrived, with examples of color combinations in various patterns.
For me, the highlight of the day was seeing the original Bohus garments she brought.

This is the Blue Egg. Various versions of the Egg pattern have been released as kits but not this one. Too bad, I love it!
The pullovers had this little keyhole opening at the back of the neck. A very nice detail.
And, this is New Azalea, a red version of the Egg.

Isn't this one gorgeous! Love that blue.
My very favorite of Susanna's garments--Green Wood. I wish, I wish they would reproduce this one.
And, lastly, the Red Edge. Rumor has it that this will be the next Bohus kit available.
It's one of the earlier examples and the more I look at it, the more I like it.

Lately there's been some lace knitting going on around here. Hopefully it won't take 3 months to finish it, either.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oh, Bohus

How the sight of you cheers me on a cold winters day.

The finished collar.
Remember, the white at the top are just holding sts and will be replaced with a band of the solid pink.

Yeah, you need a close up shot, too. I tried to get the purls to show up. These Bohus are amazing with color and texture all rolled up into one.
And, the Reeves (sans flyer) played model for me. As you can see, this is not the traditional way to knit a Bohus. I'm using steeks and am knitting the entire thing in the round. A traditional Bohus is knit flat after the collar and the cardigans are knit flat from the get-go with vertical buttonbands attached as you knit. Maybe someday I'll knit one in a traditional method just for the experience, but couldn't see a reason to this time around. Actually, these pictures are a couple of days old, I've finished the short rows (which drop the front neck down) and am almost finished with the raglan increases and preparing to split for the sleeves. Lots of tiny sts at almost 9 sts/1" but the yarn is so soft and pretty that it's a pleasure to knit every single one of them. So far, at least.

Oh, and there's FO pics, too. My Faroese shawl for everyday wear has been finished for a couple of weeks. Here's an ugly blocking shot showing the wingspan.
And, another showing the color and lace a bit better.
Design by Marilyn van Keppel found in Knitter's #48.
4 skeins laceweight Icelandic in sage
Size 8 needles
Measures 38"x 76"

And, one last pic for you. Since the monthly fiber clubs haven't been a big success for me, this year I decided to purchase something each month from one of the Etsy or other small vendors. First up was the highly recommended Corgi Hill Farms. My pics are a little washed out but the ones she posted were a perfect match for what I received. The batts are very nicely prepared; she includes a little mini-batt to practice with and even a few candies. I highly recommend her, too.
So, that's it from here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Acquisitions and Updates

How's this for a pretty flower picture to start off a blog post. Not real, of course, but ever so cheerful in the cold grey snowy landscape around here.

It's a .7 oz Millifiori spindle from Butterfly Girl. Such a sweet little spinner, too. With a short shaft it's perfect for sitting spindling. Look at the lovely little flowers on the shaft, too. So sweet.
She's sitting perched in the July Tactile club offering of Bamboo/Alpaca/Wool (49/28/23) which is a very pretty color but the fiber itself seems over processed as it's not soft at all. The color looks nice with the spindle, though. I may need to switch over to some white Angora/Merino from Toots LeBlanc which has been marinating in the stash for a couple of years since there may be a need for some shawl yarn.

You see, this arrived at my door yesterday.
The English version of Haapsalu Sall. Haven't had a good read through the history section yet but the stitch patterns are so inspiring. Unlike Nancy Bush's book on the subject, there are no actual knitting patterns included, but there are many lovely photographs of finished lace pieces. Interesting that she is listed as consultant and editor for this English version. The book includes a technique section showing how the shawls and scarves are constructed and finished. The stitch patterns are divided into sections: celebrity named patterns such as Crown Prince, Greta Garbo, etc., Lily of the Valley, Pasqueflower (my favorite), Leaf, Twig, Peacock Tail, Paw, Head of Grain (another favorite), Butterfly, Diamond, and other named patterns some of which are traditional and others which are newer, and of course, edgings. The swatches and charts are very large and easy to see which is good because you really won't want to have your nose pressed up close to the page as the ink used is one of those smelly ones--probably it's only downside. I predict there will be many happy hours spent with this book.

In other lace news, I was prepared to tell you that I'd reached the halfway point on my Faroese shawl and snapped this pic of the lace section.
Hmmm, what's this I see...a big 'ole mistake right in the middle of it? Looks like I repeated a row or skipped a row or something. Out it came. No whining, please. I knit because I like to knit and now I just have more to knit.

In Bohus news, I left those first rnds as they were. After threading it on another needle to lay it out and take the photo last week, I pulled it over my head, and don't think I'd like it any smaller around. So, on we went.
Doesn't look like that much farther but this shot was taken with the macro setting on my camera so those sts are quite small--the gauge is probably going to end up being closer to 9 sts/in. One major increase has been done and another coming up in a few rnds. Those rnds are getting long. But I'm loving every minute of it!

Spindling, Knitting, Shawl Designing...looks like this week is going to be busy.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year--New Post

It's a brand new year. Have to start it out right with brand new knitting projects.

There's a Ravelry group doing a 10 shawls in 2010 challenge that I was just going to watch from the fringes, but at the last minute got sucked into. I may not even try to get ten done but it is fun to make up a list. And, really, it's not my fault, see how much I *need* a new shawl!
This is the second time I've completely worn out my daily workhorse Faroese shawl. It's difficult to look at--bigger holes are quickly growing across the back. But, it's the perfect weight and style to wear around the house in the winter as the tails can be tied behind the back and with the shoulder shaping it will stay on if it's just left open.

The design is by Marilyn van Keppel from an old Knitter's, also included in their compilation Shawls and Scarves book, and is being knit without modification. Lots of garter to start with--this batch was mostly knit during a trip to the movies on New Year's day.The yarn is Laceweight Icelandic in a sage-y green heather. It's starts at the lower edge and works up so these first rows are l-o-n-g.

Don't worry, even with some new shawl projects in the works, I've not forgotten my list of sweaters. Here is the start of my Rose Lace Bohus but I'm wondering if I should restart and take the gauge down a tad more. It's slightly tighter than the pattern states (I'm not worried about sizing--I know how to deal with that). What concerns me is how sloppy the purl sts look and general unevenness in the fabric. What do you think? I'm using a 2.5mm needle now, and could go down to a 2.25mm. The white garter at the bottom is what I used for a provisional cast on since it's easier for me to start stranding when there's some knitted fabric below the needles and not just a piece of scrap yarn. The borders are going to be baby cables.

And, I've been trying to keep up with another of my New Year's goals to spend some quality time with my spinning wheels and spindles. This is about 1.5 oz of newly spun 3-ply sock weight yarn. The roving is from River's Edge Weaving Studio and fiber content 60% superwash Merino/40% Seacell impregnated with silver.
It is soft and slippery with lots of sheen. This batch is slightly underplied but I think it will knit up okay. If not, it'll be fixed by shooting it back onto the bobbin to add a little more twist. It's kinda a different color for me, too, don't you think, it looks slightly darker in person.

So, that's it for this week. Be sure to let me know what you think about the Bohus.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Lloie Cardi All My Own

Last July at Knitting Camp, the sweater knitting urge took over. Really, how could it not when all of EZ, Meg and Joyce's sweaters are right there, available to try on and wear when the air conditioning gets cranked up. This is the sight of the tables after a day or so of camp.
One sweater in particular caught my eye--the Lloie cardi from last year's anniversary Woolgathering #79. It was wrapped around my shoulders so much I think some of the campers thought it was mine.

Well, now I do have one of my very own. Even though it's kinda unlike me to make a duplicate of the model, the colors of Lloie were so perfect that no changes were needed. The only different touch I made was to replace the regular ribbed borders with a lacy stitch pattern which reflects the colorwork at the yoke. It's also edged with a 2 stitch applied I-cord which gives a nice finishing touch.
Lots of different needles were used. Regular Addi turbos in size 3mm for the body section. Boy, how I've forgotten what it's like to knit inch after inch of St st in the rnd--the turbos give the speed needed especially with the stickiness of the Shetland yarn. The yoke was knit on Crystal Palace Bamboo needles in size 3.25mm. I like doing colorwork on wood needles as the stitches stay put when they're spread out and my tension stays even. And, my stranded st gauge tends to be tighter than my St st gauge, hence the need for a slightly bigger needle. The sleeves were knit on Addi turbos in size 3.25mm, just slightly larger than used for the body. That's because my small circumference gauge is tighter than when knitting a large circumference. Joyce Williams told me to watch out for this and when Joyce speaks, definitely listen! Yeah, it took me half a sleeve to remember that but once I did and checked gauge, out it came and reknit with the larger needle.

Since the body is steeked, but is a solid color, I wove a contrasting thread up while knitting to mark the beg/end of rnd figuring that it would make it easier to stay on track when crocheting the steek. Worked like a charm for these old eyes!
It's been five years since I've knit a sweater for myself and I'm, ahem, a different size now, so it took a bit of measuring to decide the proper size. Seems I miscalculated the length because when the yoke was finished and I tried it on (before the steek was cut), it seemed too long. What to do?

Well, perform some surgery.
I placed my needle through one side of the sts and snipped and unraveled a a thread as one would do for an afterthought heel. Then unraveled the requisite # of rnds and grafted back together.

You can still see the grafting line a bit here but a little steam works wonders.
Crocheted and cut the steek, applied some I-cord and voila, a finished Lloiecardi. It still hasn't been blocked in this pic. In fact, I even wore it to church this morning in it's unblocked state because the weather turned cold and it was just too fun to have a new handknit sweater.
Here's a close up of the yoke. I added more short rows at the top than specified in the instructions as the pic of Meg's sweater looked like it was done that way.
Besides, I hate when sweater necklines pull up and love how the white petals sort of get elongated.
Right here is where I should have a pic of me wearing it to insert. Maybe one of the knitters at Knitnight can take one of me this week.

Many more sweaters are in the works around here now so it definitely won't be another five years before another is finished. The sweet siren song of St st in the rnd, with a fun topping of stranding for a reward at the end is too strong to pass up. In fact, I'm thinking about always having a yoke sweater on the needles as a take along project.

Yoke sweaters--the new socks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fractal Socks

This summer I completed one spin to knit project. A pair of three ply handspun socks.
The roving was from a Blue Moon Sheep to Shoe kit purchased at Madrona last winter. It's pretty darn bright!
But, the colors cross the color wheel so I figured it would tone down once it was spun and plied. Spun as a fractal; it's a true sock weight 3 ply. To get the fractal effect, the top is split lengthwise into three sections, one bobbin is spun back and forth across the top to make long runs of color. The piece for the second bobbin is split lengthwise three more times and spun end to end to make medium runs of color. And, the piece for the third bobbin is split lengthwise into six very skinny strips and spun end to end to make color runs that quickly change.
2 oz.
316 yds.
Turned out to be just enough for a pair of socks (and I really mean "just" enough as there were two small butterflies left of about a yard each). The pattern is my basic sock recipe
Toe up
Afterthought heel
Graduated ribbing
Gauge 10st/1"
No, they are not a perfect match, can you see me twitching. ;) But, the roundness of the 3 ply makes them so comfortable to wear. Still have 6 oz of roving left so I'm going to spin the next batch as a navajo ply to see how that compares.

Okay, that's all for now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Tale of Two Shawls

This summer I knit two shawls. If you remember, one was the Indiski from the spring Piecework; more on that later.

But in July, one of my friends hit a rough patch and I wanted to make something bright and sunny to cheer her up. The night I heard her difficult news, I looked around for the perfect yarn and there it was. The Weld Angora/Merino handspun from Tactile.

The pattern was a natural, too. We used to joke about how we were the last two knitters on earth who hadn't knit a Flower Basket shawl--well now I've knit one and she has one so that's taken care of. During the knitting of it, I hummed every song with sunshine as part of the title or words. Looks like blue skies are heading her way now as she came through surgery with flying colors.
Flower Basket shawl by Evelyn Clark
Worked 13 repeats of the main pattern and a couple of extra rows in the edging so as to use up every bit of the yarn.
Size 4 needles.
Here it is being modeled on my wheel.

We have a much better model for the Indiski. All along I planned on making this for myself. But, from the moment the yarn arrived and every single time she saw me working on it, my little mom asked about who it was for, always reminding me how much she loved blue. Yeah, I like blue, too. But, the writing was on the wall, and I knew this one was fated to be a birthday prezzie for her.

Presenting, the Indiski.
ColourMart cashmere 3/28
Size 2.5mm needles.
1,056 yds
Rosemary's new nickel bluebird pin looks perfect with it.
And, here she is, the birthday girl. It probably wouldn't be nice of me to mention her age....but it ends in a 0. (*whispering* and starts with a nine)
Join me in wishing her many more returns of the day!

And, because I've been absent, it's only right to give you a peek into what I'll be knitting next.
This box arrived with some very pretty stamps.