Monday, October 30, 2006

Newbie needs help, please

I'm a first-time lace knitter and need advice as to yarn choice. I have a lone skein of Cherry Tree Hill Suri Alpaca Lace that almost exactly matches the yardage/weight of the yarn used in the original published pattern. It looks hopelessly thin and tiny though and, trying it on size 4 needles was a mess - perhaps I shouldn't have tried in on the city bus? Should it work if I just keep plugging away with it? How far into the pattern will I have to get before it becomes recognizable as anything garment-like? Should I try the CTH with a smaller needle? Should I just use some fingering weight (I've got sock yarn, boy howdy!) or maybe even heavier for my first lace project? And, just so I don't annoy you all too much - any recommendations for books for a lace newbie?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Second Swallowtail - Fire

Apparently I'm not the only one who loves this shawl enough to do it more than once. *nods to Abby*

Presenting.. My 2nd Swallowtail Shawl, hot off the blocking wires.

Spread out.

Folded together with Rosy, my first Swallowtail.
The initial plan is to knit Swallowtail Shawls for my good friends. I'm having 2nd and 3rd thoughts about that. What do you suggest? Go on with the idea (and make a total of 6 swallowtail shawls), modify the idea (make 3 shawls and do something else for the other 3 ppl) or scrape the idea totally? Advice will be most appreciated! Thanks in advance. =)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Working on my 2nd Swallowtail

I really love this pattern, so I'm making a second Swallowtail Shawl. The yarn I'm using is Regia Silk sock yarn and size 6 needles. I want the shawl to be big and I'm knitting 19 repeats of the Bud Lace section instead of 14 repeats. I have complete 16 of these repeats so far. I'm planning on wearing this shawl to a wedding at the end of November :)


A quick post to show the join on the Bryspun needle. The more that I'm using it with this slippery yarn, the better that I like it.

I'm amazed at how fast this shawl knits up. After the marathon of Icarus, it's great to see a repeat done in only six rows. Though, for some reason, I seem to daydream when I hit row three and make a mistake almost every time somewhere in the row.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ready to 'Go for the Nupps'

NUPPS UPDATE: I found a way (that works well for me) to do the nupps.
1. Purl with the regular needle until it's time to do the P5TOG
2. Pull the right (needle with the just made stitches) so that the stitches aren't near the point (so they don't fall off)
3. Using a small DPN (I used a US#1.5 INOX DPN - nice and pointy), insert it into the five stitches and purl
4. transfer the newly purled stitch onto the right needle
5. Continue stitching as usual

I can take some pictures and post if anyone is interested or needs the visual.

I just finished the Budding Lace 2 section and feel like I'm standing at the top of the highdive, butterflies fluttering all over the place... Thank you to Marsha for posting the Nupp Alternative!! I think I'll just dive right in and see how it goes.

I had already started this shawl when I found this KAL, but it's been great seeing all the finished shawls and particularly the wonderful 'purls' of information!

This is going to be a Christmas gift for my sister. I've had just a wonderful time knitting it (it's my first lace shawl) that I might make one for me, too!

I'm using Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in Iris on Addi Naturas US#4, and I'm really disappointed with the join of the needle to the cable. I typically use turbos, but at the join, there's a definite little...notch is the only word I can think of...that the stitches keep getting caught in. I just bought these yesterday (I fought with the Budding Lace sections on metal circs which were too slippery), and I think I'm going to return them.

Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a better wooden circ to use that has a better join?

Just getting started

Here's the beginning of my shawl. One chart in to Chart 2. It's been a while since I've knitted lace and I've already made a few mistakes. I'd forgotten that it always takes me a few tries before I get the pattern and repetitions into my brain.

The yarn is a silk wool from Rovings. The needles are Bryspun size 8's. I've never used them before, but the teacher in the knitting store recommended them as a good combination of the slippery cord from the metal circulars and a not-so-slippery needle point from the bamboo circulars. I'm liking them, so far. The needles are just resistant enough to keep the silk from sliding all over the place. And the cord doesn't kink up the way my bamboo circulars kept doing.

Thanks for the help with choosing a needle size. The teacher suggested size 10 or 11; she likes a very open lace. So I met in the middle between her recommendation and the advice I got from other bloggers and went with an 8.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

blocking beauty

It is blocking now! I'm very pleased with the results. I'm already planning the next and like many here want to make it in a larger size. It's blocking smaller than I expected. I usually have to decrease needle size 1 or 2 size down to get gauge but apparently not in this case. This is a gift for my mother who is petite, so it's perfect. In natural light, the yarn appears much more green and reflects the blue that you see in these images.

Yarn: KnitPicks Alpaca Colud in Tide Pool
Needles: #3
Depth: 25.5 inches
Width: 52 inches

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm just starting Swallowtail and am looking for some advice on needle size. My yarn is a silk-wool from Rovings, a fingering weight of 823 yds to 5.5 oz. What size needle do you think would work best for this pattern and yarn?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Adaptations ?

I'm working on my second Swallowtail, and am considering doing a few extra repeats of the main body to make it a little bigger. Has anyone done this, and do you have any advice on a good number of extra repeats to make the pattern work smoothly?

You can see my first attempt here.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I finished my shawl in navy Monarch sock yarn. It's on blocking wires now. The top picture is before blocking, then the lower picture is on the wires. It's pretty large since I used a heavier yarn.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Open Invitations : Pending Status

I have 3 invitations on the pend. So ladies pls check your emails. Thanks




Swallowtail Finished

I'm really pleased with it. I love it!!

And what a difference blocking makes! I'm so glad I invested in blocking wires although it still took me ages to get it all stretched out.

The colour is actually more pinky than the slightly orangey-red the photo shows. It's Handmaiden Seasilk colour Berry.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

three lilies

My swallowtail shawl is done. I am very pleased with my results. Hope you like it too.

I did three repeats of the lily charts and used 2 plus skeins of kp Gloss, one of their new yarns, on size 6[US] needles. More details on my blog.


Rosy Swallowtail Takes Flight *wink*

Long after other fellow swallowtails had done that.




More pictures over here at my blog.

Swallowtail Finished

Here is my completed shawl. On the grass here, it looks ready to go and fly away. I'm really happy with how it knitted up. I used Classic Elite's Inca Alpaca (4 1/2 skeins, worsted) and size 7 needles. I plan on making this shawl again sometime but using different yarn. I love looking at everybody's shawls and getting ideas on what type of fiber to use next. I have a few more pictures on my blog :)


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Making nupps easier

I read this tip somewhere and it works nicely. If you are having a hard time doing the purl 5 together, you can do it this way:

Slip 2 stitches purlwise, purl 3 together, pass the slipped stitches over.

Amazingly it comes out the same. If your yarn isn't very stretchy this can be a lot easier.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Swallowtail Redux

Today while at work I started the second Swallowtail Shawl. I'm using JaggerSpun Zephyr in Ebony.

If you're interested in JaggerSpun Zephyr Sarah's Yarns has excellent prices and service. NAAD - just a satisfied customer.

Question on the Lily of the Valley chart

I just started on the first "nupps" section. I sped through the beginning section and now I'm up to the first Lily of the Valley section with its nupps. I finished row 4 with all the p5tog just fine. I didn't use markers on the budding leaf section because they had to be moved so often and I could see the pattern so well. I used markers on this section to start, and now I'm confused. On row 4 the nupp moves one stitch to the right so it comes out over the YO from the previous RS row. That works out. Then I should have2 stitches left before the marker but I have 3. Does the marker move over one stitch to the right on every RS row?


Finished Swallowtail

OK, here it is. I couldn't model it because there is no one here to take the picture, so I tried to find something dark to lay it on so it would show up. This went so fast! There's a bigger pic on my blog.

Alterations: none
Yarn: Alpaca Cloud laceweight in Sand color
Needles: Size 4

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mine's blocking now!

I had to hold the camera over my head at a weird angle, so it looks long and pointy but really it is much wider than it is long. It is pinned out to 48 x 27 inches. This is with no extra repeats, lace weight yarn, size 4 needles.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Finished but not Blocked

My shawl is finished - in record time for me and I'm very pleased with it so far.

But now I come to the blocking. What is the best method for this?

On the only other shawl I made I used lots of pins and a back breaking job it was too. I'm womdering whether to invest in some blocking wires. What do you think?