Friday, November 4, 2011

fo: abyssal

I whipped up this little shawl in a couple of weeks this summer. I was losing my head to lace-shawl madness, having lost one shawl and abandoning two other projects that were looking catastrophic, and I desperately needed something to knit on the plane back to Paris, and I just wanted something simple to toss off. This little knit fit the bill. As you can see, it's tiny, despite the fact that I knit the larger version of the shawl. I think I misunderstood the pattern for the decrease/bind-off section and decreased too many stitches at a time, resulting in many fewer rows than I should have had. Ah well.

They're pretty much terrible pictures. This is what you get when you have about 10 minutes to try to do self-portraits in the rapidly fading November light with stereo speakers and bookshelves standing in for a tripod.
This is the shot where you can best see the shawl. It's mostly stockinette and I haven't yet blocked it, so it rolls ferociously (unless I'm clutching it as shown above.) The lace edging was very simple. Here are the stats:

Pattern: Abyssal by Karen and Karyn
Yarn: Isager Strick Alpaca 2 (came with kit for Clara dress, just over 1 skein.)
Needles: US 6
Began: August 23, 2011
Finished: September 6, 2011

The obligatory mirror shot. I actually love how this scarf goes with the jacket I'm wearing here. My toasty wristwarmers would also perfectly compliment the outfit, but I seem to have lost them after wearing them only once, and before I could take pictures.
Side note: This is how I wear my hair for at least some portion of every day (unless I have a pounding headache.) As soon as I get slightly warm or my hair starts blowing in the wind or I get bored, the elastic comes off the wrist and my hair gets unceremoniously bunched on my head in this blob that looks more like a rat's nest than an updo. I bought some special pin things this summer to do a slightly more elegant loose, wispy bun, but do I ever use them? Not at all.

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Pictures of an Old FO

I finished this sweater over two years ago and but the pictures I took of it then were hideous. Here are some I took on my balcony today. Stats on the project (Liesl by Ysolda) are on a blog post from May 2009.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Pattern: Triinu by Nancy Bush
Needles: 5
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace (merino wool) just over 1 skein
Began: September 13 2011
Finished: October 19 2011
I fell in love with many of the shawls featured in Nancy Bush's book Knitted Lace of Estonia. So when my knitting group here in Paris decided to do a shawl-along and picked Triinu, I was happy to jump on board. This was my first time knitting nupps, but otherwise it wasn't too challenging. This is a very late birthday gift for Celine!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Summer Shawl Knitting

This has been the summer of the shawl. I started two: Anthemion, pictured above in progress, which I have since abandoned but not yet frogged (I like the pattern but don't care for how it looks with this yarn) and Clapotis, which I was knitting in a gorgeous emerald green silk/bamboo/rayon yarn from La Droguerie which they seem to have discontinued now, and which I lost before I could finish or document. I spent months on these two failed projects. Then I knit up a speedy little version of Abyssal (finished in a couple weeks, thank goodness, but no picture yet.) Then, since the Clapotis was to be a belated birthday present for my roommate, and I was too discouraged to reknit it and plus I couldn't picture it in any other yarn than that which I had already used and which I could no longer buy, I started another shawl for her, this time the Triinu, seen below, which I had already started in the spring in a sock yarn and again, liked the pattern but hated how it looked with the yarn. But it looks pretty good in this Malabrigo lace:
And finally, tiring of plowing through Triinu (I'm a little over halfway there) yesterday I started a scarf for a certain gentleman who is wary of, if not downright frightened by, my knitting habit but, being French, will not refuse an opportunity to wear a scarf around his neck. (Actually, he rarely wears a scarf, which is odd because he is French AND a singer. So that's doubly anomalous. But he did request a scarf, for some mysterious reason.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

fo: Maisie's Dress

Pattern: Clara by Karin Vestergaard Mathiesen
Needles: size 3
Yarn: La Droguerie linen/bamboo, 175 grams

Began: April 1
Finished: May 1

Gauge: 22sts per 4 inches

I co 200 stitches instead of 220 for the small size since my gauge was a little off. I had to modify the number of stitches picked up for the sleeves, and I split for the head opening earlier than the pattern calls for, but otherwise no modifications.

I still need to sew on my buttons, but this is otherwise done and will head to its recipient across the ocean next week with my parents.

This yarn was super splitty and the color is very bright, but I'm still pretty happy with the finished product. I can't wait to see my niece wearing it this summer!

Monday, April 4, 2011

fo: Half-Pi Shawl

Yarn: Classic Elite Fresco, 4 skeins
Needles: size 10

There was something funky with one of my skeins of yarn. The angora content seemed to be missing and the color seemed darker. It makes a marked strip along the bottom part of the shawl. I almost tore the whole thing apart because of this. But I was convinced by my knitting group that this stripe looks cool, so I kept it.

I'm not actually as unhappy about it as I look in these photos. I can't quite tell if I like the shawl or not. As usual, it doesn't measure up to the garment which inspired me to knit it--my friend Jenny's version of this shawl (she was wearing it the first time I met her after not seeing her in about 10 years, and in fact it's what made me want to start knitting again after a hiatus of about the same amount of time....) Anyway, it's done, and since spring is sprung in Paris I guess I'll have to wait til fall to see if I wear it.

Here's my current wip, inspired by French Press Knit's blog post about this pattern named Clara....I had to order this kit on the internet from an American shop and my dad scanned and emailed me the pattern, and I bought yarn (a bamboo/linen blend) from the Droguerie here in Paris. Started just about 1 week ago.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This is not a newly finished object, but I wore my summer shawlette for the first time today (at church) so when I got home I finally took some decent pictures of it.I got lots of compliments on it and think I'll actually wear it (unlike most of the sweaters I've made. I think I'm swearing off sweaters forever...)I have ALMOST finished my half-pi shawl. This is sad. Do you see how many stitches remain to be bound off?Only about 20 of almost 500 stitches on the finished edge. And I'm out of yarn. I already cut off the ends from my joins and used those scraps, which accounts for the last 40 or so bound-off stitches. So this will languish til I can find some yarn which is a close enough match to finish.I have some new yarn purchases though. After about a year-long yarn-diet, I finally broke down and bought some yarn in Paris. I went to the Droguerie near St. Eustache on Friday and finally had enough time to wait in the hour-long line to buy yarn. I got this bamboo and linen blend to make Clara (which I ordered online and will have to have my parents send to me from the US) for my new niece! I also bought a gift there for my dearest knitting friend in the US and it will be making its way to her soon....Then I went to the L'oisivethé today in the Butte aux Cailles and bought some more yarn for me. These will be shawls. It's hard to figure out what I want to make when all of my knitting books are in my parents' house across the ocean, but I guess I'll be poring over ravelry this week to get inspired!

Friday, March 18, 2011

fo: Cobwebby Shawl

After knitting a worsted weight version of Ishbel, I decided I wanted to make a lace-weight one, too. This shawl has been a long time in the making--I bought the yarn about a year and a half ago, I believe. I cast off about a month ago, and finally got around to blocking it last week. I didn't do the greatest job of blocking (since I only have two towels here in Paris, I had to make do with one and when I wasn't able to pin the ends of the shawl, I just let them hang.) I'm a little disappointed in my blocking job. The stitches aren't nearly as even as I'd like and there are some flaws (caused by I don't know what) that are still super obvious to me.Yarn: Fiesta ballerina (alpaca and tencel), 1 skein (925 yards) with some left.
Needles: 6 (I think, anyway. I have the worst time remembering what needles I used only a matter of minutes after finishing projects.)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


My slinky ribs sweater is no more. There were just too many problems with it, and it was too big. My closet space in Paris is at a premium, so I couldn't have an unwearable garment taking up space in it, not to mention the fact that this yarn was really too expensive to waste. So last night I stayed up until 4:00 am turning it into this:If I get motivated today maybe I'll de-kink the yarn so I can start knitting with it soon.On the train from Stuttgart to Paris, I made some good progress on my Ishbel shawl (not that you can tell anything from this picture.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

fo: ribbed baby jacket

I started this sweater for a friend's baby about two weeks ago, but had to rip out and start over twice because I hadn't gotten gauge and it was coming out way too big. I started the final version the day before I left to see my friends and the majority of it was knitted on my 3.5 hour train ride to Stuttgart.Pattern: ribbed baby jacket from Prima July 2005 (free download)
Yarn: Knitpicks Main Line cypress, a bit less than 4 balls
Needles: 8 (5mm)
Size: ultimately the 3 to 6 month size, even though Anton is 13 months!
Gauge: couldn't really tell you, even though I swatched. Something significantly less than 4.5 stitches per inch.The only modifications I made (other than blatantly ignoring the recommended gauge and just knitting several sizes smaller than the desired size) were to not bother going down a needle size for the collar (since I didn't have a size 7 needle with me) and instead picking up fewer stitches than called for along the neckline. I think I picked up about 100 stitches instead of 120.
And I also knit a buttonhole into the ribbed edging since I thought it would look good with a single big wooden button closure. Unfortunately, we didn't get the button before I left town so Anton's mom is going to have to get one and sew it on herself.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

knitting again

After all the crafting in Wellesley last week, I'm back in the groove. I started these felted slippers (which would have been done for my mom for Christmas if I had gotten home on time) on the plane back to Paris yesterday, and finished the tops and straps today, so now I just have to knit the bottoms. I'm not sure how the felting in my strange French washing machine is going to go. I might have to put that step off until I'm home in June, which will make Mom's Christmas present 7 months late...

Monday, January 3, 2011

fo: four-patch baby quilt

I went ahead and finished off this baby girl quilt this weekend, along with my pinwheel quilt. Finished measurements: 33" square. Width of print fabric strips: 4". Width of sashing strips: 3.5". I backed it with just about 1 yard of pink fleece and bound it with pink polka dot flannel. Both quilts have gone off in the mail to their recipients (for babies coming in March and April!)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

star blocks

In the midst of my quilting this week, I started to make some star blocks with some scrap fabric. I actually love how these blocks look individually, but I don't like them together. I initially thought I might make a quilt top with lots of different star blocks in reds and blues, but after seeing these two together I scrapped that idea. I don't know if I'll use these blocks for anything, but I'm happy that I'm learning how to make some slightly more complicated quilt blocks.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

fo: pinwheel baby quilt

I started this quilt yesterday and finished it at 11pm tonight. That might be a record for a quilt for me. I learned how to make pinwheel squares and sewed all nine of those yesterday. I used 4 inch squares to make my triangles and ended up with finished blocks of about 7.5 inches. Today I added the sashing and pieced together the whole top (using 3" strips of sashing.) I backed it with baby blue fleece instead of a batting and backing, and instead of quilting it all over I simply stitched in the ditch. Then I bound it (sewing the binding by hand onto the back of the quilt is the most tedious part) and it was all done! The finished dimensions are just about 30" square.