theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 15, 2011

From Sally — A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Filed under: Crown Prince Shawl,Updates — surly @ 9:33 am

Unfortunately, however, I simply can’t seem to take a decent photograph of my newly finished Crown Prince Shawl (from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia).  I’ll share some of my mediocre shots in a moment.  First, a few details.

I love the shawl design, but looking back it was a slog to knit; the nupps, while not difficult, became a bit wearing.  Then there was the outer border.  It is knitted in two pieces and sewn to the center of the shawl.  I thought about ways of avoiding that for several reasons.  First, it sounded tedious and I am not a great seamstress.  Second, the reason for making it that way was traditional technique based on lack of circular needles.  But I have circular needles and know how to use them.  Third, I thought it would be more difficult to block the shawl.  I finally relented and did it the traditional way because I liked the border (and it would have been more difficult than it looks to turn the pattern upside down and knit it outward from the shawl).  My original fears were not misguided, however.  I just don’t think this border looks as nice as one knitted onto the shawl would have looked.  I’ll take ownership of that — I’m sure much of it is due to my poor sewing skills.

I love the color of the shawl.  As I said in an earlier post, the yarn is Spirit Trail Fiberworks Atropos Bombyx Silk Laceweight.  The color is Dragon’s Blood — deliciously appropriate after watching season one of Game of Thrones with my 19-year-old.

I’m still concerned that the shawl is a bit small.  It did block out to about 52″ square.  That’s close to the size the shawl was supposed to be.  I think my personal preference would be for a larger square shawl so I could wear it a bit more dramatically, the way I can wear my large circular shawls.  This size means I almost have to fold it into a triangle to wear — and if I am going to do that, I should have done half the knitting and just made another triangular shawl.  Again, that’s on me.  I knew the size when I started it.  It does also look nice sort of folded in half  like a stole, so all is not lost.

So if I were going to grade this project the way that my sister sometimes does, I’m not sure what grade I would give.  It’s very pretty (which you won’t be able to see from my crappy photos), but I am not sure how much I’ll wear it.  Le sigh.

Here is the border being sewn on.  The color here is fairly true:

And now some woefully sad attempts at photos:

June 17, 2011

From Sally — Is It a Handkerchief or a Shawl? That is the question . . .

Filed under: Crown Prince Shawl — surly @ 3:24 pm

While Susan rips through project after project, I am very slowly knitting what I fear will turn out to be a handkerchief rather than a shawl.  My Crown Prince shawl seems tiny.  Tiny.  I know it is only half-finished.  I know it will have an additional border going all the way around.  I know it isn’t blocked and should stretch.  But, and this bears repeating, it’s tiny.

Off to do some more knitting. I’m sure my sister will have another finished project within the next day or so.

P.S. To be clear, I am only halfway through the main portion of the shawl (before the border). So it will definitely be larger than it is, but I am not convinced it will be the large square shawl I was envisioning when I started out.

June 2, 2011

From Both of Us — Nuppified

Filed under: Crown Prince Shawl,Updates — Both Sisters @ 1:01 pm

Nuppified (rhymes with stupified): to be overcome by the desire to knit nupps; the act of knitting nupps; an incurable form of insanity

We have both been nuppified.  We are either in the process of or shortly finished with nupp-filled projects.

From Susan
In my convalescence, I have been focusing on smaller projects and have finished two of them.  I will share the second one first!  I stumbled upon a really lovely pattern on Ravelry (another freebie no less!) and thought it would be perfect for the gorgeous yarn given to me by sister, Sally, as a nice little present: Spirit Trail Fiberworks’ Atropos — 100% Bombyx Silk Laceweight, 550 yds/50 gm, Color “Dance the Orange.”  A stunning semi-solid orange that looks like the brightest color that copper can be.  This was one of Sally’s treasures from Maryland Sheep and Wool — she snagged a skein for each of us.

The yardage was enough for something smallish.  The pattern I chose was Fylleryd by Mia Rinde.  It has the advantage of being adjustable to any size, plus I liked that it had nupps.

I can’t get great photos and I should not have blocked it (too much time off the couch!).  I worked four repeats of the petit pattern and two of the blueberry — the third set of nupps is in the final chart.  All of 3 grms of yarn remained — whew!  I was sweating those last few rows!

From Sally
I’ve always had a special interest in Estonia because one of my close childhood friends was of Estonian descent.  Every Saturday, she and her sister  attended Estonian school to learn the language and culture.  Anne taught me several words in Estonian, which I still remember all these years later:  ema (mother), isa (father), and nupp (pain in the ass button).  I was casting around (knitting pun, please groan in unison) for something to knit out of the Atropos I had bought for myself.  Susan suggested the Crown Prince Shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. I had somehow missed this book when it first came out, but I bought it immediately and started knitting. Here is a photo of the shawl from the book.

Now, nupps have the reputation of being a bit of a pain in the button. They’re not difficult, but they can be fiddly; it is easy to miss a nupp loop when you are purling them together and it is also easy to accidentally catch the next stitch while reducing the nupp loops. But they are a hallmark of Estonian knitting and the effect can be lovely as the Crown Prince shawl shows.

Here is a photograph of the yarn I am using: Atropos in the shade Dragon’s Blood. (I just couldn’t resist the color even though I have so much red lace weight yarn in my stash.) The coppery orange skein tossed in is the same color Susan used for her Fylleryd.

From Susan: Sally’s picture captures the orange beautifully

And here is a photo of my Crown Prince in progress. It’s pretty tiny so far. I think I have more of a Baron or Duke than a Prince right now.

So you can see we are well into our nupps and demonstrating lots of sisterly cross pollination of knitting projects!

Stash Reduction Sale!!!

Susan’s Thursdays at 4 Knitting Group is hosting a stash busting sale this Saturday from 9a-4p.  All items are a third to half off and there are some fantastic yarns from which to choose!  If you are interested in the details, leave a comment requesting information and Susan will email you with the information.

PS: Yes, nuppification is very contagious!

PS2: Patricia mentioned two fabulous shawl patterns: the ever popular Swallowtail by Evelyn Clark and the Percy Shawl by Sanna Kalkman.  We have both made the Swallowtail and the Percy is stunning — must be added to queue!

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