theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 9, 2009

From Sally — Slow Moving River

Filed under: River Run Shawl — surly @ 10:41 am

I’ve been working on my River Run Shawl, but progress has slowed considerably. One reason is that my elbow has been bothering me for some reason so I’m not doing much knitting (or gardening or bicycling or . . . .). The other reason is that I’ve finished the body of the shawl and moved on to the edging, where progress seems glacial.

This is a knitted-on edging that uses up the live stitches of the shawl. It takes two rows to bind off one live stitch and each row has about thirty stitches. Throw in the beads (the edging will use about 850 beads) and you can understand why it’s slow. (Thank goodness I only have 424 stitches in total to get rid of, but that’s still over 800 rows.)

As is the case with most lace before it’s blocked, my shawl isn’t very photogenic. It’s also tricky to get any accurate shots of the color. The sheen of both the yarn and the beads seems to disappear. Here are some not great shots to give you an idea. The shawl looks distressingly tiny in these photos, but I’m hoping it will block out to the appropriate size.

Here’s how much (or little) of the border I’ve managed to finish:

The requisite artsy shot to try to show the yarn and beads in detail:

I know. Not very exciting. Well, then, how about this? Inspired by my sister, I knit my very first dishrag.

My husband was horrified when I picked it up and started cleaning with it. He couldn’t believe I’d do that to a piece of hand knitting.

June 13, 2009

From Sally — A River Runs Through It

Filed under: Knitting Tips,River Run Shawl — Tags: , , — surly @ 11:48 am

For some reason, I like to knit shawls in the summer. Maybe it’s because the yarn feels lighter in my lap than a heavy wool sweater does. In one of our recent posts, I showed a picture of this yarn and accompanying beads:

Today I’ll show what I’m working on. Some of you guessed this was destined to become an Aeolian Shawl, which is a very pretty shawl from Knitty. But that’s not what I’m making. At least not yet. I’m currently knitting the River Run shawl from a kit I bought at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival from Just Our Yarn. (I can’t find a photograph of the finished shawl to show you, so you’ll have to wait.)

Lace in progress never looks all that great, but here’s a photo anyway:

The photograph doesn’t really do justice to the richness of the yarn’s color or to its beautiful silk-like sheen. It really is gorgeous yarn. It’s Almaza, which is tencel, not silk. The idea of knitting with tencel gave me pause — but I couldn’t resist the color. It’s a bit tricky to work with. It’s very slippery, and I don’t think it will have much stretch in blocking so I’m knitting it a little more loosely than I ordinarily would so that the openness of the lace pattern will be knitted in rather than blocked out (if that makes sense).

It’s a fairly simple and easy lace pattern because it’s repetitious and very regular. I don’t need any markers to show pattern repeats because of the regularity and because the beads themselves serve as markers.

Simplicity doesn’t mean one can’t make mistakes, though. Somehow, I frakked up one of my yarnovers. See the odd-looking shape in the middle?

Now, I kept noticing it and thinking I’d “deal” with it later. Finally, I realized that it wasn’t going to go away. By that time, I had knitted another 40+ rows. It was late at night and so of course that seemed the perfect time to rip back forty rows. Was I tired? Check. Was it dark? Check. Had I had at least one glass of wine? Check. Yes — the perfect time to rip back forty rows of lace.

After I ripped it back, I had a few moments of panic. It wasn’t quite as easy to ladder back up the yarnovers as I assumed it would be. I felt like Bones in that one Star Trek episode in which he’s transplanting Spock’s brain and forgets how everything is connected partway through. Fortunately, the shawl and I both survived.

It still looks slightly funky, but I’ll even out the yarnovers when I block it. Whew.

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