November 28, 2005


river 'n me

Murkyriver  Riverswag

Oh yeah, she's done!

First off...a public apology to all those I took down with me on this one. Oh my, this was a boring knit. Yes it was a very long repeat...but guess what? Every row was pretty much the same -- just off by a stitch at a time. Ugh!

The results, though, I'm quite happy with.


Pattern River by Sharon Miller in Rowan 38
Yarn KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud 100% Baby Alpaca in Tidepool. Approx 350 yards.
Needles 5mm (US 8) Bryspun circs
Mods & Thoughts

  • The needles -- I wanted to like them, I really did. The cord is amazing. I could sit and play with the cord, bending it this way and that. It's a great tactile experience. I even really like the way the needles feel in my hand. Their points are nice -- not too sharp, not too dull. But, I don't like their lack of weight. Would I use them again? Probably not.
  • Number of repeats I did 14 or 15 repeats instead of 11. I could have done 1 or 2 more but I just wanted this thing to be over!
  • Yarn This is very nice yarn, and for the price this is amazing yarn. It gets a tad fuzzy -- sorta like a mohair halo -- and is wonderfully soft.
  • Blocking This was so quick to block! It went from a big puddle of yarn (pic on the left) to a lovely undulating lacy thing (pic on the right) in just a couple hours. The hardest part was finding a place to pin it out that had a fan and could be Isabella-free until it dried. In the end a spray bottle of water ensured the latter. poor Isabella

I sub'd a non-mohair yarn because I wanted to make something that I could wear everyday. I think I succeeded. In the pic above I'm wearing it with my denim jacket. I know you don't see the intricacies of the lace but I'm OK with that. I'm not a traditional lace-wearing sorta girl. I like knitting lace though, so this is a perfect compromise. I get to knit it and wear it.

I could have picked a color with more contrast (maybe one of the light blue shades?) but green is my favorite color.

I finished this thing just in time. This weekend is was windy and in the 30s, and my lacy alpaca scarf was just the ticket to keeping me warm without feeling like a bundled up kid during the first snowstorm of the season.

KALers -- how ya doin?

I stopped the weekly posts because the progress slowed down a lot. Drop me a line or leave me a comment when you're done and I'll link to you in a post!

November 28, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (46)

October 30, 2005

River Update


  • Anmiryam is thrilled to get this one off the needles.
  • Cambria is done too. When do we get to see a pic?
  • Ev finished as well. Judging by her pic I think she did over 20 repeats!
  • Kate is done too, and looks great in her pic with a matching top.

Getting Started

  • Marisa cast on and is wondering if she'll be able to add any repeats and still do the knot. Those of you who used KSH and knit the knot, did you have any leftover?

As for me, I have 14 or 15 repeats done.

River Close Up

Knitting this on US 8's instead of 10.5's makes for a lot more repeats! Here's another shot showing its full length. It's about 2/3rds the length of my couch now -- and that's unblocked!

Even though it's so long I keep on knitting because I hate leaving a mini-ball of yarn at the end of a project. I can't seem to throw it out, and yet there's virtually no use for it! I can probably do another 3 or 4 repeats but I've lost steam. Now that it's getting cooler I'll probably pick this up again soon (nothing like actually being able to wear a project to motivate you to finish it up!)

And finally, if you asked to join recently and I haven't added you to the sidebar please let me know. I've been trying to keep up but I'm pretty sure I missed a few of you!

October 30, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (8)

October 02, 2005

River Update -- Week 7

We have some FOs this week!

Brenda finished her beautiful white river!

Diana finished up her longer version and includes some great pattern notes.

Melissa finished a couple weeks back but somehow I missed her post! She used Kid Silk Night and shares her thoughts on how it worked up.

What to do?

A couple KALers our there want our input:

Kate is trying to decide if she's knit enough.

Kellee has ripped again and is trying to decide what needle size to use this go round.

Casting On

Nancy cast on this week with the blue shade of Kid Silk Spray. She has a nice closeup of the slightly variegated look this yarn is giving her River. Very pretty!

Need a Raft?

A couple of your fellow KALers have emailed me saying how frustrated they are with this project.

Jacqueline has ripped several times and is wondering why River is causing so many problems (she knit Birch just fine!)

Jackie is also not feeling the love and is unsure of her color.

October 2, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (7)

September 25, 2005

River Update -- Week 6

I missed a week of updates and wow do we have a lot of FOs!


Agnes finished hers a couple of weeks ago, but now she's thinking about seaming it into a shrug. I like it! Go tell her what you think.

Christine is done and ready to block!

Estee is done but she's waiting for her trip to Venice for a photoshoot. Poor Estee!

Felicia finished up too!

Kirsty WH is done!

Marichan finished up as well!

Yahaira is done and blocked as well.

Moving Along

Anmiryam decided on US 7s as well, but got a little off on one of the repeats and needs to frog.

Brenda is almost done!

Diana would be done except she decided to keep going until she finished up both balls of KSH. She's at 17 repeats and counting!

Kate has done several repeats and is plugging along.

Getting Started

Alison is starting for the third time. Go wish her better luck.

Audrey also likes her River now that she went down a few needle sizes.

Cambria also re-cast on with smaller needles and likes it better too.

Jessica re-cast on and modified the pattern to be stockinette stich lace rather than garter.

Julia is back at it again and is happy with the way it looks this time!

Kim re-cast on and is doing a single repeat instead.

Chart Update

When I made the chart I was supposed to flip it when I was done -- but I didn't. So the chart I posted is inverted. Sorry guys! Here's a new one. A special thanks goes out to Diana for bringing this to my attention.

September 25, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (8)

September 11, 2005

River Update -- Week 4


Agnes finished hers and it looks wonderful. Can you believe she knit this in a couple of weeks and it was her first lace project?

Moving Along

Brenda is about 4 repeats in now. You can see the rivery pattern emerging.

Felicia has done about 5 repeats. She's using the elusive Holz & Stein needles and shared the link where she bought them from -- Thanks Felicia!

Marichan's purple River is coming along nicely.

Melissa is making good progress too. She reports she's getting bored with it though and might plow through to finish it up quickly.

Just Starting

Amy got the hang of the lace cast on and started this week .

Audrey cast on too but might have to tink back. Tinking back KSH -- wish her luck!

Cambria finally got her yarn and cast on immediately.

Chrissy also cast on and will be working on River on the train ride to Boston.

Christine just received some KSN and is considering starting her River over in it.

Diana cast on too. She's using Addi Turbos and noted a sharper point would really help.

Eklectika cast on as well and changed up the decrease to better mesh with her knitting style.

Estee was 3 repeats in when she discovered a dropped stitch and had to frog. Go give her some support!

Gabby is past the setup rows and happily reports she hasn't had to tink back yet!

Jessica cast on and is using smaller needles too. Like me, she's planning to use it more as a scarf than a dressy stole/shawl.

Julia's camera shy River will be taking a trip to the frog pond. She's going to go down a couple needle sizes and add a repeat to keep the width.

Kellee tried a little too much multitasking and might have to frog her River too.

Kim cast on too and is really happy with her progress after just a couple hours.

Kirsty WH subbed a heavier weight mohair and is wondering if she should go UP a needle size.

Yahaira cast on and reports that she really likes the Clover Ivory needles she's using.

KALer News

Go congratulate Jessica if you haven't done so already. Her sock pattern -- Falling Leaves -- was published in Knitty this week! Go Jessica!

September 11, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (3)

September 05, 2005

River Update -- Week 3

It's been a slow week for the KAL -- I'm sure partly because of the Labor Day weekend in the U.S.

Here's my progress this week -- I've knitted through the setup rows.



The needle comments just keep rolling in! With all this talk about Bryspun I was really curious to try them. Jessica warned against the circs having a bad join and coming apart so I decided to buy some straights.

Then on Saturday I noticed one of my LYS started carrying Bryspun circs. We're pretty friendly so I mentioned to her that I had heard there was a problem and they had been discontinued or recalled. She said she just received the shipment a few days ago. Hmmm.

I walked around the store a little more and she popped back over and offered to give me a pair to take home for free to try out. If I like them and they stay together, then just come back and pay for them (I'm in there at least once a weekend anyway, plus I'm teaching a class there in a couple weeks), and if I don't like them or there's a join problem just bring them back and let her know.

So I took them home and cast on for River. I knit the entire setup rows without a hitch. Then I stretched out the lace and bam (no, the needles didn't break apart!) the lace was HUGE. Those YOs were almost the size of quarters. They looked like holes rather than eyelets.

I've had this happen before. Usually I'm a right on gauge knitter (the recommended needles seem to work for me) but every now and then the combo of needle and yarn completely distort my gauge.

So I went back on Sunday and exchanged them for a much smaller size (4.5mm/US 7). I've again knit through the setup rows and it's looking much nicer. And the joins still seem fine.

I will say that the tip on the 6.5mm/US 10.5 was not quite as sharp as I would have liked. But it's a pretty big needle (and how often are you knitting lace on that large a size?). The 4.5mm point is quite nice.

As for whether or not I'll knit other lace with these needles -- I'm not sure. They're OK. They're certainly not crap. And I actually like the cable alot -- more than my Addi's. Why? It's made of a flexible rubber that doesn't kink and relaxes as soon as you take it out of the case. Yes I can boil my Addis to make them relax, but still, every now and then, the cable gets a little funky and needs to be dealt with. This Bryspun cable has none of that.

My perfect needle would be Addi circs with the Bryspun cable. Heaven.

As for the problem with Bryspun circs -- caveat emptor. I'm not sure if I've gotten lucky or if a new batch recently came out. So be careful! It'd be horrible to be knitting away on lace and have the needles fall apart.


Brenda has also completed the setup rows.

This is Estee's first lace project. She had one false start and has re-cast on. Go give her a little encouragement!

Heather was motoring along when she realized she was doing half of the repeat incorrectly and is probably going to start anew. I think Heather needs a little TLC too.

Kellee also cast on this week. I think she's about halfway through the setup rows (it's always hard to tell in lace). She's using the autumn colorway of Alpaca Cloud -- very pretty!

Liz also completed the cast on rows. She's using KSS and the subtle variations look gorgeous for River! The yarn is a perfect match for this pattern.

Other FOs in the KAL

A huge benefit to hosting a KAL is that you get to visit ALOT of blogs. I try to checkout everyone on the KAL at some point each weekend and note who's made River progress. This week I came across 2 non-River FOs that are really worth mentioning.

Marichan finished her Union Square Market Pullover. The sweater is great. You really have to look at all the details -- she's done a FABULOUS job making all those edges look so perfect.

If you love lace you'll flip over Melissa's amazing shawl. It's nothing short of stunning.

Non-bloggers in the KAL -- how are you doing? Leave a comment so we know, and feel free to send me pics to post.

September 5, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (11)

September 01, 2005

Start Your Engines!

Today's the official kick off of the River Along. I know many of you have started (and at least one of you has finished!) but I still couldn't let the day go by without mentioning it.

Our numbers continue to grow and we've exceeded the 50 mark. I still have a few participants to put in the sidebar.


The needle discussion over the past week or two has been interesting. I'm not intrigued enough to try out some Bryspuns but I'd rather stick with circs. I've read they had a manufacturing problem with the glue at the joins and I've had problem tracking down Bryspun circs. Anyone have a suggestion for where to find them?

Another Blocked River

Hazel has blocked her River and wrote up a nice entry summarizing her experience. She gives some good tips for new lace knitters as well as another pic of that crazy beaded scrunchy holder thingy. Go take a look.

Katrina Relief

And finally, I can't end a post today without mentioning Margene's and Susan's hurricane relief drive. Donate money to the Red Cross or donate a prize for them to give away. So many people need our help, so please do whatever you can.

September 1, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (8)

August 28, 2005

River Update -- Week 2

As the official kick-off date nears our numbers keep growing -- we're almost up to 50 KALers!

Note: If you left a note asking to join and you're not on the list please reply to this post. I'm so sorry but it means I somehow missed you!

I got my Knitpicks yarn in this week and I'm very pleased. It's going to be light and airy and wonderful as a more casual day-to-day type scarf. I'm hoping once I wrap it around a couple times it will even be casual enough to wear with a denim jacket. I'm not a frilly girl but I love knitting lace -- if I can pull this off I'll be thrilled!

Beads in the Shawl Too?

UPDATE: Agnes heard back from Rowan and there are no beads on the shawl itself. Only the holder.

Julia left a comment that she thought there were beads in the shawl itself and that Rowan missed putting them in the pattern. Julia -- I don't see them in the pic in the magazine, but it's a horrible pic so maybe I'm missing it. Can you let us know why you think there's beads in the shawl?

New Beginnings

Hazel cast on and has also contacted Rowan about the possibility of beads being in the shawl itself. Last I heard she hasn't received a reply yet. Once I hear back I'll be sure to post it here so everyone knows.

Heather G has determined that she can get a whole repeat of River done in less time than the full playlist from her Rufus Wainwright CD. Impressive!

Jackie cast on this week and gave a rave review of the Pony Rosewood needles she's using.

Liz cast on for River and decided to use beads on the cast-on row. But since it's 103 degrees out she's decided to put it aside and wait for slightly cooler weather. I don't blame you Liz!

Norbu has cast on and knitted most of the setup rows. That new blushes color is beautiful!

A Finished River

Update: Our first KALer is finished! Tracy is done! and it is gorgeous. It's blocked and everything. Beautiful work, Tracy, and you finished in no time!

Hazel finished her earlier this week. It's gorgeous! Go on over and take a look.

More Needle Talk

Yahaira plans to use Clover Ivory.

Jackie is loving her Pony Rosewoods!

Jessica prefers Crystal Palace Bamboo for mohair. She reports they have super pointy tips and are polished so they have a nice glide. She did note that the join can be a little obtrusive though.

Dawn ordered some Bryspun needles for her River.

and Julia mentioned that she prefers Bryspun straights for her mohair projects.


If you're in the KAL and don't have a blog, feel free to email me progress pics and I'll post them with the regular update. We'd all love to see your progress too!

August 28, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (18)

August 24, 2005

A Little River Help

It seems there are 2 things that are troubling some of you, so I thought I'd post a few links here.

What's this lace cast on?

I'm not positive of the origins, but it may be a British term (please someone tell me if I'm right). I've only seen it listed that way in Rowan books myself. The lace cast on is the same as the knitted on cast on.

If you're not sure what that is, here's a good illustration.


After my post earlier in the week a few of you left comments with some beading links (thanks!). Here they are:

Deb's tutorial for knitting with beads without pre-threading them onto the yarn.

Tutorial for knitting with beads by pre-threading

August 24, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (8)

August 21, 2005

River Update -- Week 1

Wow we've grown quickly! We're almost at the 40 mark. I hadn't read much about River in blogland so I wasn't sure how much interest there was -- clearly I was wrong!

Since most of us haven't started yet I thought I'd tackle a couple of questions that seem to be popping up, and invite comments from everyone.


It looks like almost everyone is using KS (Haze, Spray, or Night). I'm really interested to see how the 2 new ones make up. I've heard one of my LYSs will be getting them in next week (yeah yeah, you girls across the pond have already seen them).

Since about half of you have yet to pick a yarn I thought I'd mention a few other potential substitutes.

Julia emailed and suggested Douceur et Soie, and fellow KALer Denise (no blog) is using this in hers. This one has the same fiber content and KSH and is a couple USD less expensive too.

Julia also suggested Karabella Lace Mohair, but mentioned that there's no silk in it. The fiber content is 60% mohair/21% polyester/8% wool. It's a great buy though. For a couple dollars more than KSH you get more than twice the yardage! One ball of this would do River.

Another option is Imperiale. It's about a third less expensive than KSH, also has a great color palette, and similar to Karabella is missing the silk. Its content is 80% mohair/20% polyamid.

Fellow KALer Donni is using Crystal Palace Kid Merino. At about a third of the price of KSH it's a nice alternative too. Its fiber content is 28% Kid Mohair/28% Merino/44% Nylon.

Of course, you don't have to do this in mohair (I'm not!). Knitpicks has some great Laceweight yarns to choose from. I went with Alpaca Cloud in Tidepool (dontcha love that name for River?). Once I get my yarn I'll swatch it up and let you know what I think.

As for colors -- pink is winning bigtime. Between Blushes (softer pink) and Candy Girl (shocking pink) 6 of you have opted for a pink River.


Evangeline had asked in the comments about needles. I typically like to stay with bamboo when knitting mohair, but my normal Addi Naturas just seem a little dull for the job. Any suggestions?

Knitting with Beads

A couple of you have mentioned that you've never knit with beads before. I had wanted to include a good link for you to visit but I cannot find one! If any of you know of a good online tutorial please let me know. I was hoping to find one with pictures.

Another River WIP

Hazel left me a comment that she's almost done with her River (in Dewberry). The link is to her latest post which shows it just shy of the halfway point. Pretty!

Yarn Swap?

Jessica mentioned in the comments that she has some leftover KSH in Toffee from her Birch that she'd like to trade with someone. Any takers?

August 21, 2005 in River Along | Permalink | Comments (14)