Tag Archives: Tilli Tomas

If Your Name Is Jessica, Don’t Read This Until After Christmas.

Sorry, Jessica, but if you continue reading, you’ll ruin the surprise that is your Christmas gift.  The one that my daughter handed you in the cute little holiday gift bag at your Open House.  The one that your daughter took and placed under your tree.  So stop reading now.  I wanna show everyone else what I gave you.  Final warning.

Everyone who isn’t Jessica:  here’s one of the reasons why I haven’t posted in a while:

Fingerless gloves made with Manos del Uruguay's Silk Blend. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe 'em.

I can’t recommend this pattern enough.  This is Churchmouse Yarns and TeasWelted Fingerless Gloves, a very easy and satisfying project, perfect for that last-minute gift (which this wasn’t.  This was planned.  Yes it was, Jessica!) or for any reason, really.  This was my first time using Manos del Uruguay‘s Silk Blend, and it absolutely won’t be my last.  This yarn is just gorgeous, whether you’re referring to the color(s) or the quality or the hand or the stitch definition… and it’s a Fair Trade product to boot.

Ok, but these mitts only took me 2 days to knit.  So what else have I been up to?

I’m knitting another pair of these:

SWTC Tofutsies socks... again.

This 2nd pair of SWTC‘s Tofutsies socks is for my daughter’s best friend… because best friends should have matching socks.  That’s what my daughter told me, and really, I have to agree.  The trick, though, is to somehow convince the Great and Powerful Knitting God(dess) that if s/he allows me to finish these without running out of yarn, I’ll never ask for any other knitting miracles ever again.  Ever.  Again.

And if that weren’t enough, I’m about 85% finished with another one of these:

Really? Another one?

The second one is black, a la:

From Vogue Knitting's Early Fall 2011 issue... remember?

Here’s the story about this whole Lace Jacket thing.  When I first saw this pattern, I immediately thought of my friend Amy.  This woman is kind, generous, extremely intelligent, and gorgeous (and I should mention here that all of that describes Jessica, too.  Sigh… I strive to be in that club.).  I had wanted to knit something special for Amy for a while, and I decided that this would be it.

Then it dawned on me that there was another woman in my life who could be described the same way, who was equally deserving of a piece of knitted art.  Even though my mom’s an excellent knitter who could probably tackle this project, she’s been so busy moving into a new house that she hasn’t had any time to pick up her needles.  And I think she’d look great in this as well.  So when my SIL offered to order me some Tilli Tomas Symphony Lace for this project (she doesn’t stock ArtYarns, which is what the pattern calls for), I ended up ordering 2 skeins.  And then I knitted like a fiend to get both done for the holidays.  Now, I wouldn’t recommend this course of action to anyone, under any circumstance, ever, but… I gotta say, I kinda rock for gettin’ it done.

The last thing that’s been keeping me away from my blog… and often, my knitting, is this:

A present for my daughter, which turned into a present for me as well.

The Hanukkah present that keeps on giving… the XBox 360 250 GB Kinect.  I knew my daughter would love it.  I didn’t know that I would love it just as much.  Serious, serious fun… if you haven’t tried one of these things, go into your local Best Buy and try it out.  Don’t worry about looking like an idiot – no one cares because they all want a turn, too.

So… next on the list, I’m trying to set up an interview with an amazing bunch of students who are competing in the Fleece To Shawl Contest at the 2012 PA Farm Show.  I’m hoping to go visit them the first week of January, so stay tuned – it’ll be a great interview.

Gonna go knit now… stop laughing, Jessica, I totally hear you!

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And Here It Is…

… the Lace Jacket.

Sigh… not the best pictures, I know.  You can’t really get a sense of the light-and-airy texture, and you only get a small taste of the sparkly beads in that last shot.  What I wanted to do was get a certain friend of mine to model it for me, because then I’d be able to shoot it the way I really wanted.  But she and I have been so busy with other things, and I just couldn’t wait any longer to get something out here.

What I really would love is to learn how to take better pictures of my knitting.  This blog and this blog do it so well… what’s their secret?  Anyone have any tips?

 

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Random Thoughts.

Just some random thoughts today…

  • Still waiting on my special-order Symphony Lace yarn to start the Lace Jacket from Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2011.

    Can't wait to start this, but I'm nervous, too. This'll be the most challenging project I'll have attempted, to date.

    Well… it’s not the yarn I’m waiting for. Turns out I also had to order the needles since I didn’t have the right length circulars.  I finished my interim Norfolk Ramblers project, so… what to knit, what to knit… ?  Oh, I know!  How about… more socks?  This time they’re for my daughter – she asked for knee highs.  And I love this colorway.

    A simple sock pattern, knit with Cascade Fixation. I have no idea what my daughter will wear these with, but she's 6, she can get away with a LOT.

  • My daughter is involved with a few extracurriculars, all of which are wonderful and challenging for her.  I think I like ballet the best, though.  Once a week, her class meets for a whopping 2½ hours to study ballet, tap, and jazz.  So for a whopping 2½ hours each week, while sitting in the waiting area, I get to knit.  Or attend a knitting group here.  Either way… bliss!
  • Like so many of us yarny-types, I take my knitting everywhere with me.  And lately when I’ve been knitting in public, I’ve managed to attract a bit of attention, not from like-minded adults, but from children.  I’m always so impressed when a kid bravely approaches and asks, “What are you making?” or “Is that knitting or crochet?”  And immediately I start teaching.  I show them the work, I explain what it’ll be when it’s finished, I ask them some fun yarny trivia questions… and they absolutely eat it up.  With that in mind, this Spring, I might have the opportunity to try my hand at actually teaching children how to knit, for real, in a sit-down type of environment and everything.  I’m really hoping it’s as fun as my KIP mini-lessons are.
  • Yikes, I’m missing #knitchat

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Another Successful KDO, Another Successful Heel Turn.

Day 2 of Knitter’s Day Out:

7:30 am:  Left the house an hour before my first class, fearing that I’d get stuck on I-81S again.  Thankfully, there was absolutely no traffic at that hour, which consequently made me 45 minutes early to campus.  Made my way to the classroom and thought I’d knit on the Norfolk Ramblers a bit, but instead, chatted with other early birds until class began.  Shadow Knitting was a lot of fun, and easier than I thought.  It might be a little tricky for me to create my own illusion patterns, but at least I’m more familiar with the technique now.

11:30 am:  Lunch!  Gotta hand it to the KDO Organizers, they treat their students REAL WELL.  The food was excellent!

12:00 pm:  Strolled the Market again.  Went back to some of the vendors from last night to chat with them and take some pictures:

Sweitzers Countryside Yarn Shop:

Beautiful display - rustic and homey, it just draws you in.

Sweitzers had their yarn in Mason jars... I love it!

Fluffy U Fiber Farm:

These artisans spin yarn from the fleece of animals on their farm. No artificial ingredients!

Don't believe me? All of Fluffy U's yarn was labeled like this. Personally, I love knowing exactly what kind of wool is in my yarn.

Dancing Leaf Farm:

DLF has the most gorgeously dyed yarn. Wish I had a LOT more to spend at the Market today...

Dancing Leaf also had these needle felted scarf kits... wow!

Alpacas of York:

This is Sheri from AoY, carding some alpaca fleece. At least I think this is carding. I never saw it done like this before!

Alpaca of York roving. Makes me want to attempt the spindle again.

I also had a picture of Gerry from Dyed Bright Here, but for some reason I’m having trouble downloading it.  We chatted as she spun some beautiful pink and gray roving that her daughter dyed.

1:00 pm:  2nd class, Crochet for Knitters.  It was so nice to be in a room full of smart, talented knitters who, like me, knew NOTHING about crochet.  Some of these crochet stitches were confounding at first, but I got a lot of practice during class, and I think I can single, double, and triple crochet with the best of ’em now.  Not planning on giving up the knitting needles for a hook, but VERY glad I took this class!

4:00 pm:  One last stop at one of Central PA’s most revered yarn vendors to buy some sundries, then… home.

All in all, a very successful KDO.  Many, many thanks to the organizers for all their hard work and dedication to this conference – I truly hope they know how much they are appreciated.

And now… back to the Norfolk Ramblers:

Since I refuse to allow this crazy heel turn to defeat me, I decided to do some research. Turns out that this pattern is describing a Welsh Heel, which creates a pocket that’s more square than the commonly-knit round heel.  The YOs in this case don’t create holes in the work, which is what I had assumed would happen because… that’s what YOs do.  Create holes.  Decorative ones, for lacey things, as I’m sure you know.  Maybe when I first tried this heel turn, I misread the instructions or something, because my 2nd attempt was much better:

See the cool "seams"?

So yay!  Moving on to the heel gusset… oh, and my Tilli Tomas Symphony Lace is on its way!

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Swatch Crazy!

Hope everyone’s having a nice long holiday weekend.  Here in Central PA, the weather’s been kinda iffy all weekend – maybe it’ll rain, maybe it won’t – perfect for… swatching!

Using my lovely Symphony Lace sample, my goal was to a) figure out whether I’d be holding the yarn single or double for the Lace Jacket; and b) get gauge.  Here’s a sampling of my results:

Swatch with size 7 needles, yarn held double:

Pretty, but missing some of the lacy-ness I'm going for.

Swatch with size 10 needles (!!!), yarn held single:

This is closer to what I'm trying to do... but my gauge is off.

Swatch with size 6 needles, yarn held single:

Nope, this one's NOT working for me!

I don’t think the pictures really show it, but there’s a definite difference between holding this particular yarn single vs. double.  I like both, but for this project, I’m going with holding the yarn single.  It creates a lighter, airier fabric, with nice drape, which is what I’m looking for.  The doubled swatch is surprisingly dense, and a little too warm for its intended use.

And the winner is... Symphony Lace held single!

As far as gauge is concerned, looks like I have to work on that.  Five swatches were created, with 5 different needle sizes, yarn was held single and double… and every swatch IS EXACTLY THE SAME GAUGE.  Seriously.  20 yarnyMarni stitches in this partial lace pattern = 4″, no matter what.  This is a problem when the pattern’s calling for 12 stitches = 4″.  I wish I could explain this.  Can anyone out there explain this?  SOMEONE please explain this!!!!

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