theraineysisters knitting and so much more

September 17, 2008

From Susan — Lettie’s Big Day

Filed under: Aran Wrap Cardigan,Icarus Shawl — lv2knit @ 9:50 pm

Lettie — my headless alter ego — is used to hanging out alone every day, gazing out of the window as the world passes her by.  Not today, though!  Today, Lettie got to get out, see the world, meet new people, hold her head -oops- never mind!

Lettie was a lovely addition to the silent auction.  What a show stopper!  My shawl did about as I expected — it sold for $100, which was the low end of what I hoped it would bring in, but certainly not embarassing.  With the economy taking a nosedive, I know people are spending cautiously.  I met the woman who bought Icarus, and she was thrilled and knew she had gotten a bargain.  She will wear the shawl to a wedding over a black dress. 

“Isn’t this the same old picture she keeps showing of her $##$%% Icarus??”
“No, it just looks the same.  The background is different!”
“Oh, yeah, I guess I didn’t notice — are we finally done with this thing?”

Last night was the September Knitters Guild meeting.  What a fabulous evening!  We had at least 100 people if not more.  The room was packed.  There were probably about 20 (?) people who brought their items to show and share.  I was the MC and runway model (not), though I did walk the displays up and down the aisle so everyone could get a closer look.   It’s always great fun to hear what the judges have to say — we hiss and boo in all the right places.  We oooh and aaah in all the right places.  The knitting was inspiring and the knitters gracious and generous in their appreciation of everyone’s efforts. 

I received 5-6 shawls for the Wrapped in Care program and gave away two more free shawl kits.  Thanks, Shelley’s Mom, for donating the yarn!!  I ran into Dee today and she still cannot believe the generosity of knitters.  She has been giving the shawls away and they truly are appreciated.

Aran Wrap Cardigan

In response to Madeleine: Yes, we did not bind off and cast on for the armholes.  We left the sts live on the first half of the opening and did a provisional cast on the second half of the opening.  It is a half st off on the half with the provisional cast on.  It is only noticeable where there is a transition from knit to purl or vice versa.  It is there, and it is slightly noticeable, but we thought from previous experience that it would be okay.



PS to Astrid: congratulations on your many wins!  Woo Hoo!  I just keep my ribbons, but don’t really display them.  I have a small corkboard in my itty bitty sewing room that I used to pin them on, but now I just keep them in a basket.

June 21, 2006

From Sally — Icarus Shawl Completed

Filed under: Icarus Shawl — Sally @ 5:54 pm

It is finished — blocked and already dry! It is a beautiful pattern and the finished shawl feels light as air. Without further ado, here are some photographs of my Icarus.

Being cast off:

Being blocked:

Here it is being modeled (somewhat reluctantly) by my daughter in the garden:

We were having trouble taking good photographs because we had a “helper”:

Here are several closeups of the “point” of the shawl. The first was taken before it was blocked.

The second two were taken after blocking.

One reason I was drawn to this particular shawl, besides how striking it looked in Interweave Knits, was my long fascination with the myth of Icarus. As part of the feel free to scroll portion of the blog (now that you’ve seen the photographs of my finished piece), I’d like to share one of my favorite poems. It’s called Musee des Beaux Arts, by W. H. Auden. It was inspired by Breughel’s painting of Icarus falling into the sea (you can just barely see his legs in the water).

“Fall of Icarus” by Breughel

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

June 20, 2006

From Sally — Icarus Shawl update

Filed under: Icarus Shawl — Sally @ 11:43 pm

I’m finished. Sort of.

I’ve finished all of the knitting and have just started to cast off. It’s late, and casting off will take a long time. I think I’m going to go to bed and not worry about it until tomorrow. Otherwise, I’ll be up half the night (especially since I wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation of starting to block it).

I’ll post pictures tomorrow of it once it’s partway off the needle, as well as pre- and post-blocking.

June 17, 2006

From Sally — Icarus Shawl update

Filed under: Icarus Shawl — Sally @ 7:13 am

I’ve just started the fourth, and final, lace chart on the Icarus Shawl. It’s difficult to see the pattern in these photographs because the lace is not yet blocked and because of the fuzziness of the Kidsilk Haze (before blocking). It’s interesting how different the color looks in these two pictures. One was taken with a flash and one was taken in natural lighting. The true color of the yarn is somewhere in between. The fourth lace chart has more rows than the others and, with 500 stitches or so per row, it’s slow even though the lace pattern itself is relatively simple. I should, however, find the time to finish it within the next few days.

June 14, 2006

From Sally — Another Reason to Buy Extra Yarn

Filed under: Icarus Shawl,Knitting Tips — Sally @ 8:27 pm

Just the other day, I posted about why it’s important to buy extra yarn and I gave some reasons why. Well, I have another one. Just barely into my third skein of yarn on my Icarus Shawl, I have already encountered three knots. It’s unusual in my experience for this particular yarn; I’ve knit literally thousands of yards of Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze without ever finding a knot. So, finding knots in the yarn is annoying but something easy enough to deal with except . . . After one of the knots, it wasn’t the same yarn. I’m not kidding. It changed color. The fuzzy grey, instead of being plied with grey, was wrapped around black. I pulled out a number of yards before I found another knot. At that point, the color changed back to what it was supposed to be. Say what?

That’s a new one on me.

June 12, 2006

From Sally — Icarus Shawl update

Filed under: Icarus Shawl — Sally @ 8:50 pm

A quick update. I’m through with Chart 1, which means I’ve finished all of the main body of the shawl. I’ve done a few rows of Chart 2. There isn’t enough of the lace border to warrant a photograph yet; I haven’t gotten far enough. I’m about to finish up my second ball of yarn and start on a third; as usual, the yarn starts being eaten up quickly once you reach a critical mass of stitches. I’ll put up a progress photo as soon as there is something to see.

June 7, 2006

From Sally — Icarus Shawl update

Filed under: Icarus Shawl — Sally @ 4:28 pm

I finally used up the rest of the magic ball of kidsilk haze sometime during the fifth repeat of the first chart. I have now started the sixth repeat. I don’t think I’ll need to add a repeat, which is nice. I’ll make a final decision in ten rows or so.

I would be a little bit farther on this project if I hadn’t made an error. This part of the shawl is mindless knitting, but there is mindless and then there is mindless. Here is a webcam shot (bad photography for the lazy) of the center of the shawl.

detail of Icarus

As you can see, there is a single knit stitch with a yarnover on each side. (The little red dot you can see is one of my beaded silver ring markers.) Unlike the other similar “lines” that radiate out from the center, there are no decreases that correspond to the yarnovers. That makes sense because those yarnovers (without decreases) are helping enlarge the shawl. Well, at some point last night I actually looked at my knitting and realized I had inadvertently performed a decrease after one of the yarnovers. About 10-12 rows earlier. My nice straight center line had taken an unexpected detour west.

In order to fix the problem, I had to let the center stitch, the yarnovers, and about three stitches on each side “run down” to the mishap. I then painstakingly laddered them back up with a small crochet hook, moving the center stitch back to where it was supposed to be in the first place. I say painstaking because kidsilk haze likes to stick to itself (because of the mohair) at the same time that it likes to slip and run (because of the silk).

It was a stupid mistake — easy to fix (although tiresome) without ripping back. However, if I had been paying attention I wouldn’t have had to worry about it at all.

This is a busy week for me — my son’s graduation from 8th grade is Friday. He’s been at the school since he was four! Even so, I hope to get to the lace border sometime this weekend. That’s the fun part and I’m looking forward to it.

June 3, 2006

From Sally — The Icarus Shawl and the Sunrise Circle

Filed under: Icarus Shawl,Sunrise Circle Jacket — Sally @ 8:20 am

I’ve been knitting on my Icarus Shawl, although this week hasn’t been kind to my knitting time — I’ve been doing a lot of gardening. I’m in the fifth repeat of the first chart and am still on the first skein of my kidsilk haze. I think it’s a magic ball of yarn. Now that the rows are much longer, I think it will finally run out soon. I’m not sure it’s worth posting a photograph because it doesn’t look too different from the last one. It won’t look different until I get to the lace border. I still haven’t decided whether or not to add one or more repeats to my shawl. I’ll decide when the sixth repeat is finished.

I’ve also started my Sunrise Circle and am about to block the first sleeve/front. I’ll put up a photograph when it’s dry. I am making the 37″ size, but I’ve decided (pending a quick basting together of the sleeve so I can slip on the first front) that I may add five or so extra stitches to the back to give it a little more ease. We’ll see. I’m going to knit the back before I do the second front because the back is sort of boring knitting in comparison. I’d rather finish with the other front.

May 28, 2006

From Sally — Icarus Shawl

Filed under: Icarus Shawl — surly @ 1:21 pm

I found out today that there is a knitalong for the Icarus Shawl. If you would like to join it, the link is:

Icarus Knitalong

There are some lovely photographs that show the back of the shawl in more detail. It’s worth a click even if you don’t feel like joining the knitalong.

shawl details

May 21, 2006

From Sally — Icarus Shawl update

Filed under: Current Projects,Icarus Shawl,Updates — Sally @ 10:11 am

As promised, here is a photograph of my Icarus shawl in progress.

As I said, I substituted Rowan Kidsilk Haze for the Suri Elegance alpaca that was called for. (I’m using color 589.) While at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, I saw the Suri Alpaca. It looks as if it may be slightly finer than the Kidsilk Haze and it has less “hairiness.” I think it’s a pretty yarn, but I prefer the kidsilk. It’s light as air and is a beautiful yarn to work with.

I’ve almost completed four of the six repeats of Chart A (the chart you work before the lace border). I’m still on the first skein of yarn. I plan on doing 1-2 extra repeats for a slightly larger shawl. Chart A is so easy and mindless that this is a wonderfully portable project. That may change when I get to the lace border.

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