Category Archives: Pink Nightsong Shawl

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

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Sunset on a Knitting-filled Fire Island Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

Good bye Fair Harbor Vacation

 

The end of vacations is always bitter sweet, especially summer ones on Fair Harbor’s car-free beach. While the weather wasn’t sunny and bright every day, it allowed us space to re-charge our batteries and get away from the everyday routine. 

One great advantage of vacation knitting is that you have a tangible reminder of your joy-filled hours of sitting by the beach adding stitch after stitch to your projects.  As I mentioned earlier, I like to have a few different projects to keep me busy and depending on other factors some may not be appropriate. For example, I brought the Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl which I’m making out of Malabrigo sock yarn. It was too thin to knit in the oceanside wind. (So much for finishing it on vacation!)

Some of the sunsets we experienced during our vacation. Sunsets in Fair Harbor are spectacular even if the weather has been poor. The third sunset occurred miraculously between thunderstorms.

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Fair Harbor Bay Sunset

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Sunset on Fair Harbor with Sailboats

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Post-storm Sunset in Fair Harbor June 2009

Here’s the progress that I made during our Fire Island stay:

– Black Malabrigo Fountain Pen Shawl – Using  Malabrigo Sock Yarn bought at The Point NYC.  Source: Interweave Spring 2009. Finished 6 out of 10 repeats. Although given how the yarn is being used, I may add 1 or 2 repeats (if I have the stamina.) This pattern is relatively easy with only one nupp per 16 row pattern. It borders on being boring.

– Carnation Pink Nightsong Shawl – Using cobweb weight cashmere yarn from Silk City Fibers and a free online pattern. The pattern is interesting in that there is no center spine. It is probably better done with a single YO in the center but I decided to keep mine consistent. I like the way that the patterns expand and squeeze in. If the yarn wasn’t so TINY, I would probably be done with it. It hurts my eyes to do.

– Hemlock Ring Blankie – Using the pattern by Brooklyn Tweed, I am having fun with this project (although it out grew the needles while I was on vacation!) It turned out to be the perfect yarn for the weather. Thick enough to with stand the wind. I had fun changing colors. I finished 6 out of the Feather and Fan repeats. I think that it will look good once it’s done. It lays flat (unlike the sample in The Point).

– Heirloom Doily Placemats– I finished 1 1/3 of the Liz Snella Heirloom lace pattern using Cesari Wool. I think that this wool will hold up for this use. I find it rough on my hands. Also, since it’s not a very processed wool, there are bits of stuff that haven’t been cleaned out of the wool. (The plus for those who want to wear the yarn is that it has lanolin which helps for rain protection. (I also finished 1 1/3 of the Two Color Lace Doily which I frogged.)

-Green Mitered Tank Top – Out of a 100% cotton with a slub (which is great for those of us whose knit stitch isn’t perfect!) It’s a hospital green that seems to be in all of the windows along Fifth Avenue this spring/summer. The pattern is a Norah Gaughan from the Vogue Knit Summer 2009. It’s an under rated pattern since it is great for all types of figures. I finished the main knitting portion (I didn’t do any sewing, etc. on vacation.) I was very proud of myself for making the increases in the front following the mitered corner to look like darts. 

– Long Sleeve Linen in Grey, Beige , White – I think that I finished the front of this long sleeved ribbed sweater and plotted out the sleeves. It’s been taking WAY to long to finish but I’ve lost interest and keep plodding along. 

Do you keep track of your vacation knitting? Do you find that it gives you special joy? Please let me know in the comments section.

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

 

 

Creative Knitting Supplies-Stitch Marker Alternatives

Corliss on the Bay-Fair Harbor General Store

Corliss on the Bay-Fair Harbor General Store

In preparation for our vacation, I had stocked up on knitting supplies but I underestimated the number of stitch markers that I would need. With 4 lace projects going at the same time, additional stitch markers are a necessity! Unfortunately, I underestimated how many I would need.

When you’re away from your LYS, knitting supplies can be difficult to come by. This is particularly true when you’re on a beach vacation in an island town that only has a food store and a general store which focuses on household supplies and beach goods. 

We went to Corliss on the Bay, Fair Harbor’s lone general store. A couple of years ago, I had bought some attractive paper clips that I thought might do the trick. But alas, they were out of stock. The helpful clerk brought me over to a sewing section (which contained about 7 items) where they had a massive box of safety pins. Since I’m working with fine lace weight yarn, I didn’t want it to get ripped on the safety pin coils which has happened to me in the past. I examined the children’s beading section in hopes of some alternative without luck.

My husband went to the owner and asked about washers and other plumbing related supplies. The owner showed him a plastic box filled with various sections filled with different sized black rubber o-rings. When I saw them, my eyes lit up. They were perfect! I hope that no one in town needs any in the near future since I cornered the supply of small sizes. 

 

o-Rings as Stitch Holders

o-Rings as Stitch Holders

 

O-Rings as Stitch Markers on Nightsong Shawl in Pink Cashmere

O-Rings as Stitch Markers on Nightsong Shawl in Pink Cashmere

It’s funny since one of my knitting buddies bought up the supply of black stitch markers from a merchant at MDSW. These black rubber beauties were equally good!

When I got back to my knitting, I found that these rubber o-rings were better than the hard plastic stitch markers since they gripped the metal circular needles and helped keep my stitches in place. I am so happy. I’m planning a trip to Home Depot when I get back to NYC! 

Submitted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief

Planning Vacation Knitting

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

Overcast skies at Fair Harbor Beach

This year, we’re going to Fire Island for a beach vacation where we both get to indulge in our hobbies. My husband wind surfs in the bay and I knit on the ocean beach.

In preparation, I plan out my knitting, especially since there aren’t any yarn stores on Fire Island in case I run out of yarn or supplies or get bored with my current project(s).  To this end, I like to bring a variety of projects that involve different types of knitting and materials. 

For me, beach knitting is great for zen knitting where you get into the knitting zone without having to think. I find that it allows me to relax. This can be good for complex patterns such as lace, long projects that require lots of knitting which would take months otherwise, quick projects that you can finish in an afternoon on the beach or more simple minded projects requiring little thinking. 

When it comes to vacation knitting, I  tend to over pack since I like having the option of changing projects. Vacation knitting is a great way of having a memory of your vacation in terms of the finished item. 

This year, I’m  bringing a combination of pieces. Since I’m looking to reduce the number of WIPs and my stash,there are some stash buster projects in the queue. Here’s what I’m bringing with me:

1] Fountain Pen Shawl (Source: Interweave Magazine 2009)- This project has been planned for outdoor summer knitting since I’m using black Malabrigo sock yarn that I bought on sale at The Point. Alyssa, the manager, inspired this project. After knitting the Shetland Lace Scarf, I had promised myself not to make any more black lace pieces until my choices for the Malabrigo sock yarn were been black or white (and I have tons of white yarn from last year’s wedding projects!). 

2] Nightsong aka Gail (Source: Free Online) This project is already in progress using a free pattern that I found on the internet for free. I used the comments on Ravelry to help me. I’m using a cobweb weight lace cashmere. Between the fineness of the yarn and the complexity of the pattern, it’s taking longer than expected to finish. It’s a present that’s due on July 1st which is definately going to be late.

3] Hemlock Ring Blankie (Source:  Brooklyn Tweed). I’m planning to knit this project in a cotton, wool, silk blend made by a small producer. The yarn looks more interesting than it is to knit with. Usually, I’m not one to jump on such a big internet trend like the Hemlock Ring Blanket but lately I’ve been bitten by the lace doily bug and wanted to use a tried and try pattern to better understand how to extend a doily. This project is a gift.

4] Mitered Top (Source: Vogue Knitting Summer 2009). This is a Norah Gaughan pattern which should have a broader audience given it’s great line. It may be the mix of yarns that turns some people off. Given the way that the top gets more fitted may hurt its following, at least on Ravelry. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

5] Grey-Beige-White Long Sleeve Top. (Source:  Basic seater top.) This sweater was started back in March since I wanted a hand made sweater for the spring. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it finished in time. The colors were perfect for the spring in an Anny Blatt/Bouton D’Or linen blend called New Jeans. I am knitting it in a reverse 3/1 rib with a v-neck. The project is crawling towards completion. (Part of NaKniSweMoDo)

6] More knitted doilies. (Source: Online) Using Ravelry’s search function, I’ve been collecting a variety of patterns to test using scraps and swapped yarn. (Recycle projects to use up yarn while creating something useful.)

When I started this list the Botanica Medallion top on the cover of the Summer 2009 Vogue Knitting and my Estonian Lace Shawl were in the queue but I decided to cut back a bit.

In addition, I’ve made sure that I have hard copies of all of the patterns and put them into plastic sleeves to protect them. I  also fortified my knitting notions to ensure that I have enough stitch markers and highlighter tape to keep my projects straight.

Of course, this is more knitting than I can do in this period of time but I believe that it’s better to be overstocked with projects than being bored!

What do  you do for your vacation   knitting?

Sumbtted by Knitted Yarns Editor-in-Chief