Knitted Yarns has moved to http://KnittedYarns.net

Dead End-Knitted Yarns is now at http://knittedyarns.net

Knitted Yarns has moved to http://KnittedYarns.net

KnittedYarns has moved!

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Thanks and happy knitting!
Knitted-Yarns Editor-in-Chief.

Blue Textured Shrug with 4 Modifications

I was inspired to knit Stephanie Japel’s Textured Circle Shrug by the knitted sample in the Lion Brand Studio in New York City. I am impressed by the innovative activities that Lion Brand and its studio are offering. They have made the Textured Circle Shrug into a Knit Along (KAL) run by Stephanie Japel. While  I’m late to the party which hasn’t deterred me in the past, it’s a great reference for understanding how to approach this garment.

To see the 4 modifications and the rest of the post, please click on this link:

http://knittedyarns.net/2009/blue-textured-circle-shrug-with-4-modifications/

Fushia Nightsong Shawl Runs Out of Beads-FO

Nightsong Shawl with Beads Detail

Fushia Nightsong Shawl with Red and Pink Beads

Adding beads to my Fushia Nightsong Shawl made it a knockout knitted object and gave me a new appreciation for the work involved in beading.

While adding the red glass beads to my shawl, I realized that I had been more ambitious about beading than a realized. What looked like a small decorative addition was a significant amount of work (related four letter words, at least at first).

After my third row of adding four clear red beads per pattern repeat, I realized that since the holes of about a third of the beads made them unusable I was going to run out of beads. Unfortunately, I had purchased the last tube of clear red glass beads from Bruce Frank Beads. I used size 6 beads with a size 10 crochet hook.

With my shawl tucked in my bag, I returned to Bruce Frank Beads and found a pink bead that sparkled and coordinated with the clear red beads and my fushia-purple yarn. I bought a tube of these beads.

Since I had already put a lot of work into the beading that I had done and I was afraid that undoing the knitting and beading would weaken or make the yarn unknittable, I decided to modify my design for beading so that it looked like I intended to add a second color bead all along. My advice for those who considering adding beads to your work–over estimate the number of beads that you will need. Like extra stash you can always find a place to add them. Also, include a percentage for beads that are poorly made.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

4 Hints When Knitting With Beads-Nightsong Lace Shawl

 

Bruce Frank Bead Shop - West 83rd St, NYC 10024

Bruce Frank Bead Shop - NYC

The Nightsong Shawl is a great pattern for a skein of sock yarn. (The fact that it’s a free pattern encourages it’s use!) It creates an oblique triangle so that the shawl is longer than it is deep. As a result, it goes around the wearer’s neck allowing enough length to grace the front of a jacket.

 

Having made a Nightsong Shawl this summer out of cashmere lace weight for a friend, I was eager to make one for myself. While at Tess Yarns in Portland, Maine this summer, I bought a skein of wonderful fushia and purple sock yarn. I wanted to buy more than one skein but alas that’s all that they had. So the Nightsong Shawl was the perfect project. I loved the way that the repeats organically grow and diminish with this pattern. Working in sock yarn was much quicker than the laceweight cashmere! While knitting a second shawl shortly after finishing one can be boring, the knitter does have a good feel for the pattern repeats which adds to the speed and satisfaction of knitting.

Not being one to leave a pattern alone, I decided to add beads to this shawl. While in Margaretville, I purchased some tiny headed, old crochet hooks despite the fact that I don’t crochet. I planned to use them to place beads on my Fushia Nightsong Lace Shawl.

Living in Manhattan, it’s possible to find just about anything that you need within a subway’s trip away. I was in the west 30s, also known as the garment district. I used the opportunity to check out the strip of beading stores which have cropped up along Sixth Avenue from 39th to 35th Streets.

While I had my shawl in progress tucked in my purse, I didn’t have a clear idea of the bead size that I needed. I learned that bead sizes can vary significantly and the larger sizes are difficult to find. The larger the bead hole, the smaller the number. The array of beads was confusing so despite 45 minutes of shopping, I was still without any beads.

I consulted a friend who suggested trying Bruce Frank Beads on West 83rd Street between Amsterdam and Broadway. This time, I brought my crochet hook and project with me. I found beautiful clear red beads from the Czech Republic that contrast with the yarn.

Being new to beading, I limited my use of beads to the edging. I selected the floral pattern where there are plain knit stitches which makes placing the beads easier. I used a highlighter to mark where I was going to place beads. Remember,  if you’re first starting out, beading will significantly slow down the process.

Here’s what I learned about knitting with beads:

1] If possible, test placing one bead on your yarn. While you can buy a wonderful looking bead, it may not reflect the light the way that you anticipate. In my case, the wonderful red glass beads where too similar to the yarn to be seen.

2] Where bead size matters, use Asian made beads which tend to be more consistent in the size of their holes. About a third of the red glass beads had holes that made them impossible to use without hurting the yarn.

3] Consider how the knitted piece will be used, since beads, glass ones in particular, limit how the item is washed and worn. It’s more fragile as a result. Also, it may have an impact on how the lace blocks out.

4] Place loose beads into a small container so that they are easier to nudge onto the crochet hook and stay in one place rather than flying all over your knitting area.

Polly’s Pink Recycled Cotton Sweater Finished!

 

Eloise Sweater in Lion Brand Pink Recycled Cotton

Polly's Pink Sweater

Despite being a small child’s sweater, the Eloise Sweater took longer than anticipated to knit. Perhaps it was the fact that I tend to knit cotton on smaller needles since cotton has a tendency to stretch. For a child, this may not be a bad thing since the sweater could grow with the child. For Polly, I made the 2 year old size in hopes that she would grow into it. I think that my tight knitting made it more of a 1 year old size.

 

The Eloise Sweater pattern from Lion’s Brand is a bottom up pattern where you knit the back and two front panels and sleeves. Once you get to the yoke, you put all five pieces on a circular needle and knit a seamless yoke. Unlike a top down raglan sweater, there are seams to be sewn which can be a drawback for some knitters.

I  recommend this pattern for those of you in search of an easy child’s sweater. As a child’s garment, it  can be worn all year round. It’s a good carry around project since it’s small.

As for the Lion Brand recycled cotton, I thought the fact that it’s made from t-shirts cool. Also, it contains about one quarter polyester so that it can go through the washing machine which is a must for any child’s garment. I didn’t like the fact that the threads can come apart so that it occasionally results in pulled threads.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

 

Labor Day Knitting With Hudson River View

Hudson River View from High Line

Hudson River View from High Line

To mark the close of summer, my husband and I took advantage of the good weather to watch the sunset over the Hudson from the new High Line Park.  Three flights above the westside of Manhattan, the High Line Park has been created from the remains of the old railroad tracks. It runs from the middle of the West Village to West 20th Street. The landscaping has integrated the sense of the old tracks.

The path snakes along and is covered at places with cultivated wild flowers. It includes limited seating with a good view of the Hudson River. We watched the setting sun as it sank into the New Jersey skyline melting into an orangey puddle of color.

I brought my Fushia Nightsong Lace Shawl and added some length to the piece. It’s a great project in terms of portability. Since it’s the second time that I’m using the pattern, I have a sense of the lace repeats.  In general, I try to stick with more mindless knitting for my portable projects.

Due to the brisk air, my husband donned his wedding sweater. It was more of a decoration than a garment but hopefully you can see the pattern.

Jean Moss Inspired Wedding Sweater

Jean Moss Inspired Wedding Sweater

Nightsong Shawl with Hudson River View

Nightsong Shawl with Hudson River View

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Good-bye Purl By the Sea-Another Local Yarn Store Closes

Overcast weather on Montauk beach

Overcast weather on Montauk beach

Despite the forecasts for heavy rain, my husband and I took off Friday and headed out to Montauk for one last visit to Purl By the Sea before Nora Franzetti closed its doors. Ever since we first discovered Purl By the Sea nestled behind the main drag in Montauk, it’s been the bright spot in our visits to the beach. It’s always been welcoming and friendly circle of knitters. Women who live in the area combined with those who vacation there regularly. Further, it had a great assortment of yarns including low priced work horses such as Lamb’s Pride as well as unusual high end specialty yarns. To add to the allure, Nora kept an amazing selection of knitting books.

The vibe in this store is wonderful and it’s closing is real loss to the knitting community. I feel very lucky to consider myself a part of this circle of women. They were very welcoming to my husband who tended to quietly take up residence on their husband’s rocker in the back corner.

We thought that we would be able to beat the rain. But by the time we got to the beach, it started drizzling and after an hour of camping out beneath our rain gear, we decided to head for Purl By the Sea.

Since it was our last visit, we spent most of the day there. It was the beginning of the 50% off sale and stuff was flyingout of the store.

I bought the last two Barbara Walker stitchonaries (Volumes 3 and 4). I also bought a 47 inch Addi in case I make another Hemlock Ring Blanket. Of course, I couldn’t resist at least one more addition to my stash. I bought a few hanks of Blue Sky Baby Alpaca to make a scarf which should be very soft!

Since the weekday trains back to Manhattan are scarce. We walked around Montauk in the light rain and headed back to the beach for a last look at the cloudy sky.

We treated ourselves to East by North East, a fancy local restaurant, which serves pan Asian cuisine. It was a nice way to cap off the day. Of course, our train didn’t get back into Manhattan until about 2.00am…

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Botanica Medallion Vest Travels (Straight into the frog pond)

Botanica Medallion Vest on the beach in Malibu CA

Botanica Medallion Vest on the beach in Malibu CA

Every season, I find that there’s one project that I feel is a must have item. This summer it was the Botanica Medallion Vest. It was the Vogue Summer Knitting cover piece. I liked the idea of using the doily-like center to make the back of the nest and to add a wonderful shawl collar that made the front of the vest.

Based on the pattern, I decided to use a range of colors in Tahki cotton. I bought some aqua and forest green to coordinate with some white that I already had. I swatched and knitted the center a couple of times. The border with its combination of stitches was an unusual way to create a circle which gets larger on the edge.

I brought this project to Los Angeles with me and I even got some knitting done on the beach. But as I knit, I realized that I didn’t enjoy making it. The work with the triple wrapped edge stitches was driving me crazy so after lots of thinking and knitting time invested in this project, I am letting it go.

I have learned that sometimes you just have to take a deep breath with a project and send it to the frog pond. Knitting is a part of my life that should bring joy and relaxation. It’s an area to be creative and sometimes the bravest step is to admit that a project is just not happening for you.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Yarn Shopping in the Valley – LA Bound with Yarn

These days, I try not to travel without making at least one stop for yarn. It allows me to expand my stash and gives me a great souvenir from the place. Since I  was headed to Los Angeles for  a long weekend with my sister and her family, I checked on the status of some of my favorite Los Angeles based yarn emporiums and was disappointed, although not surprised to discover that they had closed. Fortunately, one of the members of my Upper Westside Knitters group had relocated to the Los Angeles area and visited our group earlier in the summer. She recommended a store in Burbank which is part of “The Valley” called Unwind. Also, Megan who had worked at The Point had recommended another store in Studio City called the Stitch Cafe .

These two stores made a great afternoon knitting expedition which was relatively easy to accomplish since the stores are close by Los Angeles standards (i.e. less than a half hour away.) The fact that my sister lives in one of the neighboring suburbs was an added bonus (translation: limited driving to get there.) Please note that if you’re in Los Angeles and decide to visit these shops which I strongly recommend that you do, make sure to check the addresses. The stores blend with the other retailers in the neighborhood so that they can be difficult to spot if you’re driving and looking at the same time.

Unwind-Burbank, CA Yarn Haven

Unwind-Burbank, CA Yarn Haven

Unwind Yarn Store WIndow All Dressed Up

Unwind Yarn Store WIndow All Dressed Up

Heartland Shawl Inspiration at Unwind

Heartland Shawl Inspiration at Unwind

Yarn greets shoppers at Unwind in Burbank, CA

Yarn greets shoppers at Unwind in Burbank, CA

Comfortable seating at Unwind, Burbank, CA

Comfortable seating at Unwind, Burbank, CA

Unwind is a relatively large store from my New York City perspective. It has a specious feel to it and there’s a big table in the back that was filled with women working on various projects including Stephanie the owner. The store was friendly which I can’t say about all of the shops that I’ve visited in Los Angeles. It had a great selection of yarns and there was a variety of projects that were knitted to entice all levels of knitters. I was inspired to make the Heartland Shawl based on the sample in the window.

I bought a skien of a locally dyed sock yarn by Pagewood Farm called Chugiak with the intention of making a small shawl. The color had the wonderful name: Mardi Gras. It was a pinkish yarn with bursts of green and dark blue.  I must admit that sock yarn makes a wonderful souvenir purchase since it’s large enough to create something without making a dent in either your budget or your stash. (Note to self consider becoming proficient at socks.) I would have loved to stay and knit but I wanted to make another stop before returning home.

Stitch Cafe in Studio City, CA-See the knitting needles?

Stitch Cafe in Studio City, CA-See the knitting needles?

Yarn colorfully arranged at Stitch Cafe in Studio City, CA

Yarn colorfully arranged at Stitch Cafe in Studio City, CA

I also stopped at Stitch Cafe in Studio City which is a cozy little yarn shop where the yarn is tucked into overflowing containers. It has a big table in the center of the store where a knitter was getting help with her work. There were some yarn brands that were new to me and some wonderful Malabrigo sock yarn. I loved the feel of the store and believe that if I lived in the vicinity that I would become a regular here as well. Unfortunately, my sister called to let me know that she was on her way home so I cut my visit short.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

4 Factors to Consider When Making Nightsong Shawl-Another Finished Object

Nightsong Shawl in Cashmere lace weight from Silk CIty Fibers

Nightsong Shawl in Cashmere lace weight from Silk CIty Fibers

I finally finished the Carnation Pink Nightsong Shawl. I felt particularly inspired after seeing the cashmere lace shawl at Mountain Fibers which had a 3 figure price tag. My husband insists that I undervalue my knitted work. It’s not a matter of how it looks but rather the fact that I often knit while I do something else whether it’s visiting with friends in my knitting circles or watching television with my husband or commuting.

For those of you considering making the Nightsong shawl, I strongly recommend it. Here’s my list of its strengths and weaknesses. Of course, how you view them depends on the level of your lace work and goals.

  • Nightsong is a triangular shawl which is relatively shallow. As a result, it gets long enough to wrap around one’s neck quickly. It can be used for a skien of sock yarn with 450 yards. (Please note that this is an estimate! Your results may vary.)
  • Nightsong is a free pattern available online. The pattern is the same on both the left and right sides. There are several ways to follow the repeats. If you read through the entries on Ravelry, you can make an educated guess as to what will work for your project based on the size  shawl you want and how much yarn you have.
  • Nightsong shawl, unlike many triangular shawls doesn’t have a center stitch or spine. At the center is a double yarnover where you need to knit and purl. If you’re not careful, the holes can be large.
  • Nightsong shawl repeats grow organically getting bigger and smaller which helps make it interesting for the knitter and if you’re like me and use stitch markers to denote the pattern repeats, there’s no need to move them!

On the whole, I enjoyed the Nightsong Shawl pattern and would make it again. I am not alone as you’ll see if you check it on Ravelry. I found the very fine cashmere lace weight a challenge. It required good light and I found that I needed to rest my eyes periodically.

Once I soaked the shawl (it’s a good idea to sock lace shawls for at least a half hour. I use hair conditioner which relaxes the yarn.) and pinned it out, the cashmere really softened and the lace blossomed. Since I bought this yarn as a mill end at Silk City Fibers, I have no idea as to how much I used or the true price.

Have you tried the Nightsong Shawl? If so, what did you think?

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief