30 September 2012

it's getting to be afghan weather

The evenings are getting chilly. It's great weather for snuggling up to watch a movie and knit. And I am working along on my Carson throw! It's superior tv knitting for this time of year. Warm, wooly, and wonderfully chunky! Of course, it was pretty fun lying on the floor with it too. Hee. :)

With all the fire weirdness going on, I haven't worked on it as much as I would have liked, but it's moving along nicely!

I am loving the subtle change of colors.

The colors are so close, that when you look at it enlarged as below, you almost can't see where one begins and the other leaves off.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Eco Wool?

And now we're to the portion of the throw that uses the Carson shawl pattern. Woot!

Rules:
1. This throw is knit in the round rather than back and forth, so all the rounds are RS.
2. The WS (even) rows on the Carson shawl will be worked with "opposite" sts (see key below) when worked on the Carson throw.
3. The edging on either side of each row on the Carson shawl will be omitted from the throw. That is 3 sts on the leading edge of each RS row, and 4 sts on the end of each RS row. On WS rows, that is reversed: 4 sts at beginning and 3 sts at end will be omitted. The 3 sts on one side and 4 sts on the other make the shawl symmetrical when worked as a semi circle, and add a garter stitch border that helps the shawl edge remain flat. When the pattern is worked as a full circle, there is no need to add an edging.
4. Disregard the number of repeats shown for the sts in [ ]s. Instead, repeat the sts in [ ]s all the way around the circle to the end of the round.
5. Carry the yarn behind the slipped sts loosely so that it won't pull the throw in.

Key to translate WS (even row) Carson Shawl instructions into RS (even round) Carson Throw instructions:
knit in Carson shawl pattern=purl on Carson throw
purl in Carson shawl pattern=knit on Carson throw
wyib in Carson shawl pattern=wyif on Carson throw
wyif in Carson shawl pattern=wyib on Carson throw
kfb in Carson shawl pattern=pfb on Carson throw

Here is an example of how the above key works:

Shawl instructions:
Row 77: (CC) sl3 wyib, [k1, sl1 wyib] 79 times, k1, turn (there will be 3 sts remaining on right needle)
Row 78: (CC) [k1, sl1 wyif] 79 times, k1, sl 3 wyif

turn into throw instructions:
Round 77: (CC) sl3 wyib, [k1, sl1 wyib] to end of round 79 times, k1, turn (there will be 3 sts remaining on right needle) 
Round 78: (CC) [k1, sl1 wyif] 79 times, [p1, sl1 wyib] to end of round k1, sl 3 wyif

Once you begin working the pattern rounds and that pattern is established, it will become second nature to reverse those WS rows on the shawl pattern to work the throw!

On my Carson Throw, I will be putting in an extra 4 rows in each section (in the garter/slip stitch area) before increasing. This will make the throw a little bit larger. And even though the increase pattern will not strictly adhere to Pi increases, I think it will stretch into shape properly as long as I keep the floats behind the slipped sts nice and loose. If they are too loose at the end, I plan on fulling the throw a little in the dryer to tighten it up.

I think I'll go knit a little now. :)

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29 September 2012

when you're a star, you're a star

I got the camera out today to show you some progress! But someone else had other ideas.

Really. What's this?

Is it for me?


And, most importantly, is it food?

You know I love you.

I would like a sausage. Please.

Why are you looking at knitting?

My profile is much more regal.

 Sigh. 

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26 September 2012

in, out, down, up in smoke

Whew. I really haven't been trying to maintain radio silence about all the things I'm working on. I want to share them, but the past few days have been insane, to say the least!

Last Friday as I was starting to do paperwork for my club (there are still yarn/pattern spots open!), the power went off. At first I thought that we had tripped a switch and down I went to check the electrical panel. Nope. Then we all noticed the smoke out the back window. Wow, was it close! Mr. Romi got in the car for a quick reconnoiter, but was turned back at the intersection of 395, and we were told to stay put. The wind was swirling and they didn't know where the sparks would blow. At least we now knewfrom the NDOT flagger that the fire was on the other side of the highway. But the kids were on the other side of the road block, and on the school bus to the swim center for their swim meet. We were supposed to be there to watch them and work the meet. Heh. Not! This is where I tell you how happy we were to have given #1 Son a cell phone, and how utterly desperate we became when he wouldn't answer it!

We arranged for the kids to stay with another swimming family and then the question was whether we should go through the mountains and back down to the meet - much longer drive, but possible. No - we thought. If 395 wasn't open the next morning, we'd never get them back in time for the meet (I am still amazed we were thinking this dispassionately; Mr. Romi and I tend to be very calm in the face of terror). So we dug the candles, candle holders and battery powered lamps out of boxes while it was still light, and went to get a bite to eat down the road where they still had power. The road was still closed at our street when we returned, so we went back home and lit the candles. It was very very quiet. No humming of power, no cars, no crickets. I guess they didn't like the smoke. Early in the morning, the power came back on. We set our clocks and got up to go to the swim meet. As I'm writing this, it seems fairly surreal! But out we went to the car as dawn was breaking. The road was open with pilot vehicles. I video-taped some of the drive through the fire zone. Devastation. But reassuringly farther away from us than we had supposed.

There were still areas burning and all was black and ashy. But the firefighters had saved Every. Single. Home. I almost cried when I saw the homes standing in the middle of that burned out area, completely untouched.

It was beyond wonderful to see the kids. They had been pretty freaked watching the fire from school. I guess it looked a lot worse from town than it did even from here. And I worked the meet all weekend (for other swim parents who know: Meet Manager software). Our ISP has been up and down ever since. They had radio towers along the fire route and, well, it still isn't back to normal. In fact, I am writing this on my Verizon Jetpack (thanks be for that!). I've been able to do some paperwork online while the ISP was up, but...it's down again and I am almost out of bandwidth.

I wanted to pop in though, and say hello. The hotspots are still flaring off, but things are getting better, thanks to our firefighting heros. They think the fire was caused by a cigarette thrown from a group of motorcyclists smoking on the side of the road - on their way to the Street Vibrations rally in Reno. I can't even begin to comment on it, or write about what I think or feel hearing that.

And now? I think a little knitting is in order!

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24 September 2012

monday's musing

"Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart's tears can dry at their own pace." -Vernon Baker

21 September 2012

pique peak peek

Sneaky peeks.

Of yarny goodness from Sweet Georgia via Jimmy Beans.

Of a little leaf.

Of some picots.

And some yummy

cushy garter stitch.

Relaxing knitting is happening here.

And there's still more fun to come!

Home is Where the Heart Is, pattern #2!

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19 September 2012

alternatives

I've uploaded alternative Geshcenk charts! These are meant to be used in conjunction with the Knitty pattern, but they are charted in my usual style: symbols are noted as you are to work them, not as you would see the pattern from the front. IOW, WYSIWYG!

So go on over and download them! I think they are much easier to follow when you're knitting lace with patterning on both sides. :)

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18 September 2012

gifted

The new Knitty is up! Congratulations Amy and the rest of the Knitty crew on your tenth anniversary! And...I am so honored to have a pattern in this issue!

Introducing Geschenk, German for "gift."

The pattern was inspired by a gift of spindle spun lace weight silk from J├╝rgen, a German Ravelry friend.

In his note, he mentioned that it would be nice to have a pattern for small amounts of hand spun yarns.

Of course, I needed to pass his gift forward. Right?

All it takes is one special skein of yarn.

Geschenk is very adaptable.

I love the way my gorgeous model, Shele, is wearing it here. (Her shoes are fabulous too, aren't they?)

She doesn't really wear shawls, but she loved it as a sarong.

Or as a scarf.

And it works for many different yardages and weights of yarn.

This is some lovely cruelty-free mink/cashmere yarn from Great Northern Yarns. It's got such a great halo and it is super light and soft.

It's a dk weight, and this one is a completely natural color.

It's a beautiful taupe that goes with everything.

And this one is a fingering weight.

A lovely lovely suri alpaca from Little Gidding Farms in the Lucerne colorway.
Blocking pics anyone?

 You can work the chart until you run out of yarn!
All of the skeins were gifts, and now I hope I've given a little something back. Enjoy it! And pass it forward. :)

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17 September 2012

monday's musing

"Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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16 September 2012

a little clubbing, anyone?

Another year has flown by! It's time again for Pins and Lace Club sign-ups! 2013 will be the fourth year of my club. So difficult to believe!

It's a little different every year, and this one is no exception, though it is very similar to last year. I'm afraid I am discontinuing the fuzz-free yarn option. I found that it really limited my ability to choose some new and interesting yarns because I couldn't find a silk, cotton or bamboo version that was comparable. This will free me up for some fun! Like last year, 2013 includes a pattern only option, and, for those of you with too many shawl pins, it also includes a yarn and pattern only option. :) In response to those of you who have had trouble getting to the computer on time due to work (really - work? It cuts into knitting time!), I am opening sign-ups in the evening this time and at noon for the second period. Here's how it will work. There will be two sign up periods on my site beginning Thursday September 20, 2012 at 8 pm Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -7) and another Saturday October 20 27 (changed so that Rhinebeck visitors can participate!), 2012 at noon, Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -7). There will be 4 shipments of 100 shawl pins and 300 skeins of yarn available overall. (I had to limit the pins - I can only handle so much!) Half will go on sale in September and half in October. Those include a pattern, as well, of course. :) After all of those are sold, I will open pattern only club sales on Ravelry. Because of the different options and the need to plan in advance in ordering yarn, club sign-ups will be for the full year only - no half year options will be available. The 2013 patterns will all be delivered via Ravelry as an eBook - much like my subscriptions. Pattern only sales will close at a time to be determined. Clear as mud? Don't worry; if you don't quite get it ordered the way you want it, just write to me and we'll get it all sorted out! The idea is to make you happy, so no stress!

Note that yarn weights will vary! It will not all be lace weight. For planning purposes, here are the options and prices! Please note that there will be a pattern fee of $20 added to your total in addition to the option price chosen below. The pattern only option will be priced at $36 for the year, and the patterns will not be released to the public until 2014. (There will be a fun little extra too, btw!) I will try to put up an option so that you are able to pay in two installments. If I fail (very possible!), I can do that by special arrangement. Just contact me!

Romi's Choice: $320
Each shipment includes yarn from a different indie dyer, a shawl pin (copper, sterling and 2 nickel for the year) and an original pattern.

Pin and pattern only:
Romi's Choice of Metal: $160
Copper only: $140
Nickel only: $145
Sterling only: $210

Yarn and pattern only:
Romi's Choice - Yarn only: 4 shipments - $180

Whichever option(s) you choose, please note that there will be a $20 pattern fee added to the total. Regular shipping to the US or Canada is included in prices. International shipping and priority mail shipping will cost extra.

I do hope this all makes sense! If I am not making sense, please let me know! And remember: you have another chance in October. :)

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13 September 2012

ready? set?

Before we cast on, there are a few details to clear up! First off, the Carson Throw is basically the Carson shawl, but it is knit as a full circle rather than a half circle. We will be putting together two shawls, and you will need the shawl pattern as we progress through the throw. The Carson shawl is a half Pi shawl; the throw is a full Pi. Two, you can use as many or as few colors as you wish, but I suggest at least two for contrast, like the shawl. I had several colors of Ecowool in stash (three: one partial cream, two full taupe and one full brown), so I decided to augment those with a few more: one rusty red, one intermediate color between the cream and taupe, and one dark brown. I plan to use them all, from light to dark with red thrown in, and you will see my scheme as it unfolds! Three, I estimate that the throw will need at least 5 skeins to knit as a double shawl. I am planning on adding some garter stitch border if I have extra yarn after completing the shawl pattern. Four, I am looking at this as a great stash busting project! That means I have a color scheme, but it's an overall idea and it has some wiggle room so that I can use up the maximum amount of yarny goodness. If you want to follow my exact color scheme (totally not necessary), you will have a partial skein of the lightest color left over.

Onward! :)

Everything starts on double pointed needles. I used bamboo needles because the yarn stays on the needles better than on metal ones. Do you have your US 10s ready? Your Ecowool (or other yarn)? I do suggest a little swatch, btw, to make sure that you like the fabric you are getting. Or you can just swatch with the first few rows like I did! I am planning on possibly fulling the finished piece a little (aka a little bit of felting), but when I finish, I may change my mind and keep it the way it is.

This is the perfect size yarn and needles to learn how to cast on a circular start, if you have never done it before. I used Emily Ocker's Circular Cast On for this throw. For her method (made famous by Elizabeth Zimmerman), you will need a crochet hook, and I used a big old red plastic one - size E. Here is a great youtube tutorial of the cast on:

Carson Throw Directions

Start by casting on 9 sts with your master color (MC). In my case, I used the lightest colored yarn. Distribute sts evenly among 4 dpns.
The following shaping is based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Shawl in the Knitter's Almanac. All of the following rounds are worked in the master color.

Round 1: knit
Round 2: [YO, k1] to end: 18 sts
Round 3: [k1 tbl, k1] to end
Rounds 4 & 5: knit
Round 6: [M1, k1] to end: 36 sts
Rounds 7-12: knit
Round 13: repeat round 6: 72 sts
Rounds 14-25: knit
Somewhere in this area, you will be able to switch to a circular needle. Yay!!!

Round 26: repeat round 6: 144 sts
Rounds 27-50: knit
Round 51: repeat round 6: 288 sts
Rounds 52-76: knit

The above instructions will take you up to the point where your second color comes in! From this point on, you will need to refer to the Carson Shawl pattern. I used my lightest color until it ran out on row 60, and then I switched to the next darkest color in my series and that became my master color.
The center makes for great tv knitting!

Stay tuned for the next batch of instructions - late next week. And have a great Friday!

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12 September 2012

ready to rumble

Remember I was saying I needed to supplement my Ecowool stash? (Any excuse, right?) I piled my yarny goodies into the car and off I went to Jimmy Beans Wool, where they have an even larger Ecowool stash than I do. And they let me fondle it and pet it to my heart's content. I am Very. Very. Lucky.

I came away with three more skeins: two Ecowool and one Eco + for a little dash of excitement.

I really love the color combination now; it's filled in exactly where it needed to be.

And then there's a little bit of rusty red. YUM!

I now have six full skeins of Ecowool with a partial (Mr. Romi is tall with broad shoulders and he is very very interested in the fruits of this little labor of love). I also have a plan: light to dark, filling in with a little red here and there and some edging.

True to my promise, I did put up a project page for everyone on Ravelry, and I am about to go add mine! I am really excited about this. Are you ready to cast on? How about tomorrow?! Fall is in the air!

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11 September 2012

visitors

Knitfriends in the house!

Knitting.

And laughing. :)

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10 September 2012

monday's musing

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." - Maya Angelou

I am so excited that you all will be knitting along with me on my Carson Afghan! Stay tuned for more info tomorrow. I will have a project page up and more notes. For now....
I've packed up my Carson afghan in a Bongo Bucket (my favorite!) and it's ready to accompany me anywhere.

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08 September 2012

nesting

It's what I've been up to lately. I still can't quite believe we are actually here and unpacking all the boxes. It feels good. Really really good.

Between unpacking those boxes, I weighed the yarn from my ripping project the other day. I wanted to get an idea of how much yardage I have so I could figure out how many skeins there actually are. And I might be a little anal retentive about it, too. It's the neat side of my split personality coming through. So I labeled them all before stapling snips to each Post-it. I can be a little OCD about my yarn.

Not a bad start, but I need some interim colors as well. No matter though, as I know I want the lightest color in the middle and I am not going to get a color any lighter than the lightest one I have. Which means, of course, that I successfully rationalized casting on because I couldn't resist!

Can you guess yet?

Monika mentioned the other day that she wished there were a full circle version of Carson. And Teresa, test knitter extraordinaire, chose gorgeous earthy natural colors for her shawl. It came together in my mind as a circular Carson afghan! And I am hoping hoping hoping that I can entice some of you to knit along with me. What do you think? Who will join me? If anyone is game, I will even put up a Ravelry project page for us. I will post modifications to the shawl pattern on my blog as I go. Since I am using up stash, I will also sketch out my color scheme and notes. At the end, I will add the pattern to the eBook. I am loving it so far (I do sooooo enjoy Eco Wool and it's been so long since I've knit with it!) I needed this. :)

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