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
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
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
My Hemlock Ring Blankie is finished. What a sense of accomplishment I feel. My husband is amazed that I’m willing to give it to our friends as a house gift for their relatively new cabin in the woods.
Unlike other lace pieces, I am not blocking this one using wires and pins. Instead, I am using an iron and wet cloths to steam it. I am concerned about the space and time required to allow the blanket to dry fully.
My suggestions for others setting out to make a Hemlock Ring Blankie are:
- Think about how big the piece will get. For most knitters, this means that it will not be a project that you carry around with you.
- Consider whether you want it to be one color or not. My color palette was determined for me. I had gotten 5 skeins of the handspun wool at a yarn swap. As a result, I needed a way to make the colors go together. The pattern lends itself to changing colors with each ring of the feather and fan repeats. You can use a larger variety of colors. My constraint was that the lavender colored yarn didn’t go with the red colored yarn if they were placed next to each other.
- Make sure that you have needles, either using multiple sets or a set of interchangeable ones to be big enough to hold the stitches. Otherwise, you wind up spending time moving the stitches.
- Test or swatch before starting to ensure that the center of your ring will lay flat when you’re finished with the piece.
- Have fun with it.
Here are some photos so that you can see how it turned out.
Hemlock Ring Blanket Finished-It's more even than it appears
Hemlock Ring Blanket- One petal of detail
Submitted by Knitted-Yarns Editor-in-Chief
Knitty- Inspired Thermal Scoop Neck Sweater in Alpaca
My Knitty-inspired Thermal Scoop Neck Pullover is finally finished! It came out wonderfully. The knitted pattern gives the sweater the sense of soft alpaca long underwear albeit sexier with it’s side shaping.
The biggest hurdle with this sweater was the thin alpaca yarn that I used. I had bought it at Silk City Fibers where it was a special sample Unfortunately it required a small size 2 needle. (UGH!) As a result, this pullover took about 7 weeks to complete despite almost single minded knitting focus. Since I use a row counter to ensure that the front and back of the sweater match, this sweater had more rows than any other including the sweaters for my husband and dad.
I guess you could say that it contained a lot of love in terms of the hours of knitting.
First FO (aka Finished Object) of 2009 is the Dreaming in Orange Ribbon Lace Scarf for my sister-in-law. This scarf took longer to knit than anticipated and I was lucky that our holiday celebration was postponed due to snow. As a result, I will be able to give my sister-in-law a finished, blocked scarf.
Dreaming in Orange Lace Ribbon Scarf Blocked Out
Showing off the Dreaming in Orange Lace Ribbon Scarf
Knit in Noro Lily, a combination of 70% cotton and 30% silk, the scarf grew quite a bit in the soaking and blocking process. It’s finished dimensions were 72 inches by 10.5 inches which was significantly more than I had expected when I knit it!
While gazing at the blocked piece, I realized that, despite swatching for the Leaf Lace Kimono to determine my gauge last summer, Noro Lily grows significantly. For a scarf which can be wrapped around your neck in an elegant fashion, this growth can be acceptable. But for a top, this is unacceptable and explains why I haven’t been happy with the Leaf Lace Kimono. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan to knit another one since it’s not a shape that I usually wear.)