Mystery Knitalong Update

Posted in knitting, WIP by tchemgrrl on September 11, 2012

I’ve made some progress in the Trapeze Knitalong, although unblocked lace being unblocked lace, and unblocked lace in a linen yarn being even more unblocked than usual, one gets the impression that I’ve made some very poorly wrought dishrags:

Trapeze KAL

The instructions for the first few sections asked us to knit three of these shapes. I got through two and then had a baby sweater emergency. (Emergency, I tell you. It certainly had nothing to do with getting tired of stockinette quadrilaterals.) The next clue–Huzzah! Involved only two of the previously-knit doodads, and also involved beads which I’ve been excited to try. So I skipped ahead, a little. If I start knitting zippily, I might be able to catch back up to the correct clue soon.

Here is my yarn and bead combination. Since I was working with a uniformly-colored yarn, I thought I’d go higher-contrast on the beads. I wanted the beads in my first beaded project to be obvious!

Trapeze KAL

Two beaded rows in now, and am really happy with how it looks. I’m also really happy with the setup of the pattern. Laura has relatively short pattern instructions that are perfectly understandable for experienced knitters, but with links to very detailed video tutorials. I haven’t knit with beads before, and I knit the first row of beads in without watching her video, and got really confused when I got to the next row, because I’d arranged the beads in an odd way. Her video was clear enough that I was able to flip all the beads to their correct position without tinking and felt totally solid on what I was doing after watching the video. I’m about 20% through this beaded section and have had no trouble since.

Without a Net

Posted in knitting, WIP by tchemgrrl on August 21, 2012

It seems that this is a year for doing things I don’t normally do, craft-wise. I knit two of one pattern, I shed some old unpleasant possessions, I did a ridiculous amount of knitting and spinning for various games this summer.

And now I’m joining a Mystery Shawl Knitalong.

This is usually not my style at all. I like having lots of control over what I’m making (if this organizational picture doesn’t convince you, nothing will.) I’ll join a thing like the Tour de Fleece and then noodle my way independently through, teamless. So this is a stretch for me; hopefully the good kind!

The mystery shawl in question in Laura Nelkin’s Trapeze. Laura’s a local, and I love the look of her beaded patterns but just haven’t ever gotten into beads before. And really, that was about all the analysis I put into this. “Hey, I like Laura, and her patterns, and here’s a wacky thing she’s doing. Okay!”

Again, very unlike me.

A little stash diving brought up this yarn, a cone of Louet Euroflax linen yarn:


I’ve ordered beads but they haven’t come yet; they’re a sort of amber color that I think will be a nice contrast to the slate blue.

Here’s a bit of clue #1:

Trapeze Clue 1

Casting on took a few tries; smartypants me brought it to the Saturday knitting group for socializing. Mmm-hmm. Laceweight linen with an unfamiliar cast on and slippery DPNs while chatting. Right. Fortunately, Laura happened to be there this week, and helped me limp along. For this particular yarn and pattern, moving to Magic Loop was definitely required. I’m now a little more than halfway through the first clue, and at this point it’s perfectly straightforward. Fingers crossed that the other bits will go as smoothly.

Games Day 12

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on August 8, 2012

Hanging at home today with a sick-but-improving little dude, and am nearly done with the sweater knitting. Just have a few more rows of the hood, another inch or two of weaving, and then the finishing. Yippee!


Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on August 5, 2012

Hokay, so sleep training now out the window because little dude has a fever; doesn’t mean that mommy’s getting any more sleep. Pictures, but little commentary, because I’m going to go to bed early in preparation.


As you can see, I finished the yoke (and was WAY off on my yarn estimates, worse than any of the other ones, but at least it was overestimated and meant I didn’t have to knit as much pink). I’ve just barely started on the hood. All is progressing as it should and I just have to stop knitting and admire it every few stripes.


A) this was me playing with the new camera–it seems great so far. B) I like how you can see the different colors of the individual plies in some parts of this one.

I continue to be way ahead of schedule–something like 2.5 days, now. The sweater’s getting a little big to transport on the bus, and my little niece is going to be showing up any second now (they’ve already gone to the hospital only to have labor peter out), so I gotta finish her vest so she knows it’s okay to come out. Sympathetic magic, y’see.

Games Day 8

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on August 4, 2012

Omigod this is the best sweater in the world. I might need to knit one for myself.

(Camera arrived today! Is charging. Good pictures tomorrow! Sleep training toddler=overtired, bad-sentence making momma.)

Games Day 6

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on August 2, 2012

More inkle-weaving, more progress on the back of the sweater, and finally did something a little different than what I’ve done for the past 4 pieces–I put T’s initials and the year on the inner hem of the sweater–a little hidden message for him.

Games Day 5

The thing that inspired this was a retrospective on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s work at the University of Wisconsin that I saw a few years ago (I believe the occasion was the 50th anniversary of Schoolhouse Press). The gallery had a wonderful variety of things, including correspondence, bits of patterns she’d written with many scribbles and codes, clips from her PBS show, and of course tons of knitted objects. Some were knit by her, others were her patterns knit or interpreted by others. There was one example of a sweater that she knit, in the round (of course), with a hemmed bottom so as to avoid purling (of course). They displayed the sweater with the hem flipped up so that you could see that she had knitted the year in a contrasting color yarn. The notes next to the sweater said that she often did this, and it’s a charming detail that tells me a lot about he as a person.

I’ve done similar things on a few other projects, now, including knitting my husband’s initials in moss stitch into the gussets of a gansey I knit for him, and incoporating my initials into the sides of a Fair Isle sweater I knit for myself. It’s a little thing that feels very important when I do it. People try to express their individuality through their clothing, and yet their clothing isn’t individualized–chances are, it was manufactured half a world away in batches of thousands. Lots of people make beautiful things that lool like many other beautiful mass-produced things, because the aesthetic in our culture is for a relatively mass-produced type of style. (Sometimes I do, too; I’m not calling anyone out here.) So it feels very important, in a deep-down hard-to-verbalize place, to make a small addition that explicitly says “this thing belonged to this particular person, at this particular time. Every bit of it was made just for them. Other people might wear it in the future, but this fact will never change.”

Games Day 5

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on August 1, 2012

I warped the inkle loom and wove a bit for the edging of the sweater. I’ve finished the fronts and decided to take some time to weave in ends now (partly because I couldn’t find my size 4 needle before the bus came this morning). And I’ve cast on for the back of the sweater.

My original schedule for this sweater was for the sleeves, fronts, back, and yoke of the sweater to take 3 days each, and the hood and finishing to take the final few days. I’m one day ahead of schedule if I don’t count the inkle weaving and the start on the back. Not too shabby. I probably won’t get much done tonight though–the Toddler had a rough, Mommy-requiring night last night, and I’m bushed.

Games Day 3

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 30, 2012

A conversation with my son:

Scene: The living room. I’m knitting the rainbow sweater, sitting next to Th and lending an occasional hand while he makes Duplo towers.

Th, pointing to knitting: Eh?
Me: I’m knitting a sweater for when it’s cold outside. It’s going to look like a rainbow.
Th: ‘Ainbow.
Me: Yeah, a rainbow. This is the front of the sweater. Do you like it?
Th, nodding vigorously: Mmm!
Me: That’s great! Because it’s a sweater for you.
Me: Yes, for you! When it’s all done, will you wear it?
Th, nodding: Yah!

So my greatest fear on this sweater, that he wouldn’t like it and would refuse to wear it in a mercurial toddler way, may be unfounded.

(Finished the first sweater front, started #2. My calculations on the sweater fronts overestimated the yarn amounts by a little bit, but I was able to compensate without much trouble.)

Games Day 2

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 29, 2012

Olympics Day 2


Got about half of one cardigan front done so far–not much progress for a weekend day but this was an Accomplish Everything Sunday kind of day, so there wasn’t much sitting around. Some minor fudging will be needed on the cardigan fronts but it’s going fine.

Games, Day 1

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 28, 2012

If you’re a person who suffers from their trips to Sleeve Island, I have a solution:

Knit the sleeves first.

I can’t guarantee that this will work for the whole sweater, as I’ve only done the sleeves so far. But check this: It’s the first day of the Olympics and I’ve already knit two sleeves.

(Still no pictures until I get a hold of my husband’s phone, but the short version: It’s working! It’s working! OMG it’s working! *happy dance*)

I’ve also decided to do a simple one-color inkle-woven band for the cardigan edging, so I will probably get started on that soon, because it will be much less portable than the sweater itself so I’ll only be working on it in little bits of time at home. So far I’m off to a great start.