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August 30, 2005

A Good Motivator

I've been dutifully working on my projects with due dates ever since I wrote that post last week. I'm now halfway done with Sockapal2za sock two.


I'll definitely be done before the end of Labor Day Weekend -- a solid 2 weeks before the due date! Very excited -- I'm never this well-behaved.

I am still thinking a lot about Kepler. I ordered a color card from Chester Farms for their Cestari DK. I remembered seeing them at MDSW but I didn't have a need for them so I kept them in the back of my mind for just the right project.


I'm still not sure if it's the right yarn for this project, but I am positive I'll use this yarn at some point. It's a minimally-processed, lanolin-rich wool -- exactly what I had in mind. I'm just not sure if they have a color I want. I do like the blackberry color (in the center of this closeup). The pic is darker than it should be though, and it didn't pick up some of the pinky-reds that are in the yarn. This colorway has great depth and color variation.

I'm also strongly considering Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK. Again, a lovely yarn, great flecks of color, but the shades aren't grabbing me.

I'm not complaining though. I know the right inspiration will come, and I'll have more of these deadlines off my mind at that point.

August 30, 2005 in sockapal2za, socks! | Permalink | Comments (7)

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 25, 2005

A Little One

After I wrote that post with all my "current" WIPs I realized that it was silly to be putting off that little sock. So I cast on and in what seemed like no time at all I was done!


I can see why baby knitting is so exciting to you all. You can start AND finish things sooo quickly.

I can cross the first item off my list, and the second (although I never listed it) which was to write up directions for the class to follow.

What's next? Sockapal2za sock #2. I don't know where my toe-up notes went though so I'm going to have to reverse engineer the pattern by looking at sock 1 (this is why I've been procrastinating). If I can force myself to get through the toe (the only part that's hard to figure out) it should be smooth sailing.

August 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3)

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 23, 2005

It's a Disease

All I did last night was look around online for Kepler yarn. Am I crazy? Look at this pile of WIPs (most with deadlines!)

  1. Red Raglan My short row bust top down square neck raglan. It's got to be over 90% complete. And I haven't touched it in over a month.
  2. An almost finished first knee high. I still need clear elastic thread to go any further and contrary to what you all think, my Joann's must suck because none of them near me carry clear. So I have to place an order from Patternworks, and I'm trying very hard to not order a bunch more stuff to somehow justify the crazy shipping charge I'll have to pay for one bobbin of clear elastic thread.
  3. Drop stitch shrug - I have been working on this one, and I really enjoy it. It's been getting more of my attention than anything else.
  4. A ball of Gems to make a single small sock for display at the yarn store I'm teaching the toe-up sock class. Since the class starts September 17th I best get this sock done soon!
  5. One Sockapal2za sock. One to go. Once I actually cast on I think this will go quickly. I vowed to myself I would not be hastily knitting on this the night before I need to mail it. Go ahead -- laugh.
  6. 2 balls of yarn I bought at Stitches 2004. I have promised myself that I will knit at least one more thing from Stitches yarn before I attend this year. I picked these socks since I think I'll get alot of wear out of them (I may even be able to wear them to Stitches!)
  7. Zipo done almost to the armholes. And since it's in the round that means I'm not that far away from a completed body.

So let's see. I here are my deadlines:

End of August Sock for sock class (must be!) and drop stitch shrug (because I want to wear it!)
Sept 1st Cast on for River. If I'm hosting the KAL I damn well better cast on on time!
Mid-Sept Sockapal2za and Stitches socks
Early Oct Zipo

So I ask you -- if I have all these projects going on, why am I starting a wrap, thinking about November birthdays, and dreaming of a cabley sweater?

August 23, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (11)

August 22, 2005



Kepler is such a gorgeous pattern and Emily has done a wonderful job on it! And did you see -- she even included a chart! For free!!!! I really want to knit this, but at a tighter gauge. I've learned from Rogue that I just don't like heavier-gauged sweaters.

I love the look of Peace Fleece DK but it only comes in 6 colors!!!! So I'm looking for other options.

I want something homey and earthy like Peace Fleece, with flecks of other colors, but a fuller color selection. Any ideas?

August 22, 2005 in Kepler | Permalink | Comments (13)

Shrugging Along...

one arm's almost done
but is it?

It's really hard to tell exactly how long to make these sleeves. There's so much stretch to this lacy stitch that the proportions already look whaky. So I decided to seam it up and try it on (you know how much I like try it on as you go).

I'm glad I did because I realized 2 things:

  1. I still need about 2 inches before the sleeve is the proper length to my underarm
  2. I don't like the full length sleeves

So what am I going to do? Well, after a big internal battle of "Is it really that bad?, It's black, you'll wear it in the winter anyway, and Great, I'll just unseam a little and be done with it!" I admitted to myself that the sleeve was not wide enough to look good when pulled further up my arm. The drop stitch pattern looks best when it's only partly stretched.

I'll keep knitting this shrug across my back and back down the other sleeve and use that to determine the length (I think it'll be somewhere near that red line). Then when I've found the perfect length on that arm, I'll take out my scissors and cut cut cut!

And even though it would have only been noticeable to me the insanely picky a select few, both cuffs will now end the same exact way -- with stitches being bound off.

Y'all can breathe a little easier now.

August 22, 2005 in accessories | Permalink | Comments (4)

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)

August 20, 2005


I swear I didn't mean to do it. I was just browsing at Loop when I realized they had it. THE yarn. Blue Skies Alpaca Sport.


When I saw the pattern for the Turkish Wrap in VK Fall 05 I immediately liked it but I didn't like the colorway for me. I thought I'd change around the colors but I'm not a fan of picking out colors online. I also wasn't sure if I wanted to shell out the bucks for this wrap in Alpaca.

But once I saw the yarn at Loop I decided I had to have it! After about 45 minutes of swapping out yarns I picked out these colors. All in all I've cooled down the palette, removed the bright reds, and replaced them with greens. I hope I picked out good colors. My last color-choosing experience wasn't so fruitful.

I'm off to cast-on now so it shouldn't be long before we know how I did!

August 20, 2005 in Turkish Wrap | Permalink | Comments (14)

August 18, 2005

Gifts for a Non-Knitter

So, I have a friend's birthday coming up in November and I'd like to knit something for her. She's a non-knitter and I'm really torn about what to make.

My first thought was a pair of socks -- but I'm not sure if she'd "get it". Would she think "Greeeeeat a pair of socks"? She's seen me working on socks but has never taken more than a casual interest in them.

So then I got to thinking maybe I should make a scarf. In something really really soft (cashmere? alpaca? silk?). Something luxurious that would feel great next to the skin. The scarf choices are pretty open. She wears a black leather jacket during the winter and a denim jacket for more casual days. But I'm really at a loss for something that would be both cool from her perspective and interesting from mine.

I've always thought Becky's pink cables and lace scarf was pretty. But would it have enough flair for a non-knitter?

I also considered a Clapotis because I think they're really wearable. But would she? I just don't know.

I'm taking any and all advice on the topic.

With one caveat -- I don't want to resort to the "she'll love whatever I make her because I made it for her". I want to come up with something she would have bought herself, or something she always needed but never knew it til now.

River-Along Update

OK I think I got all of you in the sidebar. If you're not there can you drop me a comment and I'll be sure to get you in. I'm also working on getting everyone's yarn and color choice in there. It's been fun to see some of the similarities and differences among the group. Surprisingly I think I'm the only one considering NOT using a mohair yarn. The blasphemy!

August 18, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (29)