30 April 2007

Questions and Answers

...but not necessarily in that order. :)

First, thank you all so much for the kind comments on Sweet Nothing!

Several of you had questions. Sally asked if I would make her one. Absolutely! In fact, I will knit several for you if you will knit my Beadwork cardigan for me. Not only will you have cool knitted jewelry, you will have my undying devotion, as well. I even have the yarn in stash. And I'll provide the materials for the jewelry too! What a deal, eh? ;)

She-Knits asked if the choker was quite fragile and needed to be bent back into shape. Hmmmmmmm. It does bend, as the wire is a small gauge, but as long as you don't crumple it, there's really nothing to worry about. The fact that it is knitted makes it quite flexible. I have had mine kicking around for awhile and I haven't had to bend it back into shape at all. (p.s. go look at her cool felted bag!)

Kathy was concerned that one needs courage to knit with wire and beads. Not at all! The wire I used is lightweight. As long as you don't pull hard on it and don't try to keep a tight tension, your hands will survive quite nicely. Try it! It's fun!

Susan asked if we are twins separated at birth. Yes. Yes, I do believe we are!

Now for my question! I have put aside Peacock Feathers for the moment in solidarity with my twin Susan, who, at last report, has not received her yarn. Of course, while I'm waiting for Susan's yarn, I'll need to knit something summery. (Hey! Quit laughing! It's a perfectly reasonable story!) I think I've decided on Campanula, but not on the color. Here's the problem. I lerve this pattern, but I'm not a very frilly person. Jewelry is about all I do to pay homage to my girlieness. I have a sample of a great copper color and want to use that, but I think it would look best in the cream, which might look too frilly for me. I'm not sure that I would wear it in cream. Then there's the dark purple.... What do you all think? Is the copper too out of character with the pattern? Here are the choices all lined up next to the pattern picture.

Another possibility is CeCe by Bonne Marie Burns in peach (with 3/4 length sleeves).

I'm not that much of a peach person, though.

The last possibility is Sitcom Chic (another pattern by the amazingly talented Bonne Marie), in this strange green yarn that I love.

It's almost screaming yellow. Perfect!

What to do?! Limited knitting time but so many possibilities. Of course, two of these (Sitcom Chic, CeCe) I could knit from stash. You know what that means, don't you? I'll have to knit Campanula!

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27 April 2007

This Just In

We interrupt today's previously scheduled eye candy post to bring you this special recipe.

Using a medium-sized dining room, combine:

One (1) deadline knitting project
One (1) pair scissors
One (1) 4 year old

Leave ingredients for 10 minutes.

View result.

Breath in.

Breath out.

Take picture of yarn scraps for blog.


25 April 2007

Sweet Nothing

I feel terrible that it has taken me so long to get this pattern up, but here it is finally, just in time to celebrate spring and summer! If you have any questions about it or corrections, please let me know. If you would like tech help, come on over and join my baublesnbeads group at Yahoo, and ask away! Enjoy! :)

a knitted wire and bead choker by Rosemary Hill

Measurements are taken after pulling fabric into shape; exact gauge is not critical for this project as the finished fabric will be stretched to measurements given. Measurements below are for a piece three stitches in width and 56 rows in length.

Width: 2 cm/almost 1 inch
Length: 30 cm/approx. 11.75 inches

Beading wire, 34 gauge [24 yards/22m per spool]; silver: one spool

1 set 4mm/US #6 needles Bamboo or birch are recommended, and you may find it easier to use two double-point needles rather than long straight needles.
6mm glass beads: 56 (buy a few extras in case you drop some)
size 11 seed beads: 280 (buy extra!)
12mm by 6mm glass teardrop beads: 2
organza ribbon - 12 mm/0.5 in. wide: 1.22 meters/1 yd + 1 ft (provides for a little extra)
super glue (for ribbon ends)

I used two double pointed bamboo needles because they are short and not very slick, and I found it very easy to manipulate the wire. I had no problems losing stitches. You can use any needles you like, though.

Beads are placed at the end of each row. To place the beads, knit the last stitch of the row, turn the work and then slide beads up the wire until they rest against the last stitch worked. Start the next row.

To make working with the beads and wire easier, you can place the spool of wire into a small ziplock bag, approximately 2 x 3 inches and close the top around the wire. Do not use a larger bag, as this will encourage the wire to kink.

Beads will slip around on wire when piece is finished. If you want to prevent this (I didn't), grasp the beaded loop and give the wire a twist.

Pre-string beads on wire in this pattern: *5 seed beads, 1 6mm bead* repeat between *s until all beads are strung.

Piece is knit in garter stitch (knit every row).

Using the Backward Loop technique, cast on 3 sts. Turn and knit one row. *Turn work. Slide 5 seed beads and 1 6mm bead into place against last stitch worked. Knit row.* Repeat between *s until you have knitted 56 rows. At this point, the fabric will probably be shorter and wider than specified. Stretch it to given measurements and check that it is the proper length. If you are happy with the results, bind off and cut the wire. Weave in wire ends, being careful to wrap the ends around themselves and trim close.

Stretch rectangle to proper dimensions, if you have not already done so. Weave ribbon through center stitch of piece down entire length of choker. Try choker on, tying the ribbon to secure. Cut ribbon to desired length, plus 3 inches on each end (used to work easily when tying knots below teardrop beads). Remove choker and string one teardrop shaped bead on each end. Secure each bead with a knot in the end of ribbon. Trim ribbon close to knot and saturate with super glue or other fray check.

The fine print: Copyright 2007 Rosemary Hill. This pattern is for personal use only and may not be sold or knit for profit. Thank you and enjoy!

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22 April 2007

Happy Earth Day!

Do something nice for your mother. :)

And the Interweave Knits preview is up! There's some great stuff there.

Another random note of interest: did anyone else see fellow orange lover Anne's post about ceramic yarn? It's supposed to be cooler on your skin and she says it almost exudes coolness as she knits with it. Good for summer tops or space shuttles. ;)

21 April 2007

Saturday Smorgasbord

Edited to answer Susan's question "Great looking "fix!" Could you elaborate more on the slipped st and the cables??": The panels in between the cables were three stitches in width (of reverse stockinette) and the middle stitch was slipped every other row, something like a sock heel reinforcement. So, IOW, row 1 (right side): purl; row 2 (back side): k1, sl1, k1. Repeat. It's cool! The other Susan has had the sweater for years and years and it hasn't stretched even though it's cotton. I had never thought of doing this, but I'm going to try it! :)

It's grey and rainy here today, supposedly the last storm of the year. A perfect day to sit and knit at the lys! A group of us have started getting together every Saturday morning at A Good Yarn in Windsor to knit and chat for a bit. (10:30 if you'd like to join us!) Susan is knitting her first sweater and she's doing great! She finished the back and was concerned that it might be too long. Last weekend we held it up to her and thought she could be right. So today she brought in her favorite sweater to compare: 3 inches too long. This is her smiling (on the right) as she rips it back below the underarm bind-off:

She has a great attitude towards it all, doesn't she? And there's Carol sitting beside Susan in the flying needle action shot. She's knitting that mitered top from the latest Knitter's Magazine, Tie-dyed Boxes. It has a really interesting construction, and I love the yarn she's using. She's also wearing this gorgeous soft and fuzzy sweater she knitted. And she let me fondle her sleeve. Yum!

Dana, the amazing sock class teacher, is working on...a sock. :)

And so is Therese, who has a great new haircut that I unfortunately cut out of the picture (oops).

While we were comparing Susan's favorite purple sweater to the sweater she is knitting, she discovered a run.

So I set about to fix it. The sweater is machine knit of cotton and employs an interesting slipped stitch pattern between cables that I assume is designed to make it stretch less in length. It's a cool idea! I think I will try it on my next cotton sweater.

Here's the action shot with crochet hook:

And the mended area after I darned in the stitch along the seam.

No one could find the fix later, so I was happy! What everyone needs is little 5 minute projects for a sense of accomplishment! ;)

The day wouldn't have been complete without enabling some poor, unsuspecting customer. Last time I saw her, I gave her the laceweight alpaca bug. Today, we moved past the gateway drugs
alpaca into the hard soft and fuzzy stuff: Kidsilk Haze and
Victorian Lace Today. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. She says she'll be selling all of her acrylic yarn now. My work here is done. :->

Here's the sky today, looking out over a brand new vineyard that hasn't yet been planted.

Like I said, it's grey.

20 April 2007

Friday Eye Candy

I like Scout's Friday eye candy posts so much that I thought I'd do my own! :)

My friend Steph (who is the absolute *best*) sent me this gorgeous Fleece Artist Sea Wool:

It is exactly the colorway I would have chosen for myself: the color range to which I have been so drawn lately. I needed to take the label off to get a picture of it in all its true glory, but it comes with a little sock pattern, too. I think I'll be knitting some socks soon!

And then a harbinger of spring from my backyard:

It's been an odd year weather wise, but I cannot complain. We've had an unusually mild and dry winter, especially after last year's torrential rains and floods. Here's hoping that everyone's weather woes will even out and you all can enjoy the spring!

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19 April 2007


Check it out! My blog was nominated for the Blogger's Choice Awards! How cool is that?! I am totally honored. Thank you for nominating me! So, if y'all are inclined, go on over and vote! :)


17 April 2007

Insert Interesting Title Here

Sometimes a thing happens that is so overwhelming that it knocks you upside the head. Yesterday's shooting at Virginia Tech was shocking and horrifying. Staggering. Sickening. And I'm embarrassed at how grateful it has made me feel for my own problems. They are all so minor. So mundane and small compared with the finality of the death of a loved one. I've had a few experiences lately that have reminded me how very very lucky I am. May you all have great and good luck. My heart goes to all of those who have lost loved ones and friends.

I've been working on Peacock Feathers, but really, lace is so uninteresting to see until it is blocked, that I am tempted not even to blog about it! Alas, I have nothing more interesting, so here goes: an attempt at artsy.

Doesn't quite work, does it?

Here's a close-up of the shrivelled mess. *g*

I am now up to chart 4, and working away on it. I love watching the pattern emerge! :)

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15 April 2007

Eye Candy!

Yesterday was a very grey day here. It was raining when a package from Scout arrived. Honestly, when I opened it, the room immediately brightened! The colors were gorgeous! I grabbed it and took it with me to my Saturday morning knitting group for all to fondle and drool over. :) But I had to wait until today to take pictures of it, because, really, it needed a sunny day to show off properly. Isn't it gorgeous?!

And I couldn't resist another beauty shot:

Scout and I did a trade: I knit her a custom Bauble (the pattern is on Knitty) and she sent me a skein of laceweight yarn and a small hot pink GoKnit pouch. I love them both! Thank you so much Scout! The yarn is 1,000 yards of laceweight Zephyr wool/silk in the Puesta del Sol colorway. It makes my heart sing. And it's just perfect for this month's Project Spectrum!

Scout rocks.

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14 April 2007

Peacock Feathers!

I did it. I finally cast on for my most favorite shawl. I had to do it, or I would have spent another couple of years trying to decide upon the One Yarn for it. It is one of those designs that stands perfect in my mind. Maybe you have had the same experience? A design you love so much that you spend forever trying to decide which yarn to use? And then never get around to knitting it because you can't decide which would do it justice? There is a sweater, St. Brigid by Alice Starmore, that also stands perfect in my mind. And I have started it several times in different yarns, but I haven't found the One yet.

Since I keep track of my progress on the charts using a highlighter, I began by making a working copy. I found my stitch markers (neon colored plastic drinking straws cut in small rings) and cast on with cobweb weight silk from Colourmart and US 4 needles. What gorgeous yarn! And what an unmitigated disaster! The silk was really much too fine for the pattern. Below, you can see the first few rows of chart number 1:

And here it is stretched a bit:

The character of the shawl was lost completely. So back to the drawing board. I ran upstairs and grabbed the yarn I had originally bought for the purpose (a couple of years ago): Zephyr wool/silk in marine blue. The Colourmart silk was put away for a pattern to be knit on US 0s (when I am feeling masochistic, which happens more often than you'd expect, actually).

I cast on again and joy! It flew. Here is the shriveled little mess that is charts 1 and 1a:

Here it is stretched out a bit:

I am very happy with the Zephyr. And I'm already entertaining the idea of knitting a miniature version of Peacock Feathers on US 0s and using the silk. Or perhaps lengthening the entire shawl. Hmmmm....

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10 April 2007


Look at what I got in the mail today!

It's Terri's new book! Woooot! Isn't it beautiful?! And look! She inscribed it for me!

She did an amazing job, and I am so blown away at the wherewithal she has in taking on this massive project, finishing it on her own deadline, getting it reviewed (great reviews on the back of the book!) and self publishing it. Wow. What a project. What a cool book. You should all go out and get one! :) The mittens are little works of art. And she thanked me in her acknowledgements! I was really *really* touched. Terri rocks. Big time.

In other news, I scored a copy of Rowan's Vintage Style and am now in love with Aimee. I'm thinking jelly kidsilk haze, 3/4 length sleeves and a little bit longer than shown. Or look at the gorgeous Pimlico shrug that Steph is making! I may have to do that one. Then there's Peacock Feathers. *drool* But I'm feeling brainless and not quite up to tackling it yet. My cold has been hanging on and on. The brain does not function properly under congested conditions!


08 April 2007

I did it!

I finished something. Whew! Maybe this will break the finishing log jam. :)

Pattern: Linea Rossa booklet (edited to be knit in the round, with top down sleeves)
Yarn: Jaeger Shetland Aran, 7 1/2 skeins
Needles: US 8

And look over at the Rainey Sisters' blog! Susan, sweetheart that she is (or maybe she was feeling guilty for being a shameless temptress? *I'll* never know *g*) posted a little blurb from Knitters Magazine about my pins. It's particularly cool, because I have yet to get a copy! And did you read over on the Yarn Harlot's blog that she was starstruck by Susan when they met? Is that cool or what?! :)

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06 April 2007


I've made some progress on the orange sweater, I am proud to report. I have a little more than half a sleeve done.

But I am hearing the siren song of the Peacock Feathers Shawl. Susan, absolutely shameless enabler that she is (and don't you deny it! *g*), has been steadily wearing down my resolve, and I am afraid that I am in grave danger of once more abandoning my solid and staid orange sweater for the heady pleasures of silk lace. Oooooooooh. Did you see her sister's finished Peacock Feathers Shawl? Yes, it is divine, is it not? *sigh*

I think I may eat my dessert first. Just this once. ;)

03 April 2007

I've been good

Really I have! In a strange burst of responsibility, I have been working on the poor, lonely orange sweater. It's only fair, since I ran off with some mohair for awhile, that I pay attention to the orange sweater again before knitting lace all summer. But the laceweight is beautiful, isn't it? It's 100% silk laceweight from Colourmart in the Sky color. Steph and Therese wouldn't let me buy any more acid green (the tapestry green), and really, they do have a point. :)

But before I go on, look at this gorgeous Bauble!

It's done by JerseyKnitter as a gift. She did an awesome job! I love it. :)

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Awhile back, BB asked me about Japanese short rows, and since I am working on the other sleeve of the orange sweater now, I've taken a few pics of the technique I've used. For those who didn't read the first time through, I'm knitting the sleeves down from the shaped armscye using Barbara Walker as my guide. I didn't want to wrap the short rowed sleeve cap, so I'm using Japanese short rows. Here's a great reference, btw, if I lose you in the middle of my explanation.

In Japanese short rows, stitches are not wrapped. You knit up to the turning point and place a safety pin on the yarn like this:

Knit or purl your row. Then work back to the safety pin. On returning to that spot, pull the pin and put the loop of yarn onto the left needle. It will look like this:

Remove the pin and work the loop together with the next stitch, like this purled stitch:

Repeat. :)

Some of you may remember that I was getting a ridge on the sleeve. I hated it, and I also didn't want one showing up on the front of this sleeve. I decided to work the sleeve so that the ridge (which seemed to be inevitable after some swatching) would be less obvious. So instead of picking up stitches all around the armscye, I only picked them up two thirds of the way around and picked up the others while doing short rows. This presented a bit of a problem, because there was no stitch with which to knit the loop (I hadn't yet picked them up). So I improvised. Instead of working the loop immediately, I put it on the needle:

picked up the next stitch and placed the pin again:

and then purled the two together on the way back. Unfortunately that picture did not at all turn out, but the process itself seemed to work fairly well. Here's how the short rows look up close.

You can see the little ridge, which I really don't mind if it's right at the edge of the armscye like this. It took much less time than the first sleeve. Maybe because I didn't have to rip this one out four times!?

I'm going to go fondle my silk now.

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