Sunday, August 30, 2009

And The Winner Is...

...Damson, by a landslide. I did not work on anything else during my National Parks trip, other than this wonderful little shawl. I cast on as we headed West, knit it by our evening campfires, and finished it just as we got back into my home state of Wisconsin. And I am so in love with the results:

I bought the yarn from handdyer Knitting Notions during last year's Wisconsin Sheep & Wool and was so in love with the color that I have been saving it for something special. When Ysolda came out with her latest shawlette pattern on the day before I left for vacation, I knew right away that I had finally found the project for this green yarn. This is one of those projects that I adore so much that, once it is done blocking, I cannot take off for at least a week.

I should say that it was not a completely smooth ride to get to this point. I was within 5 rows of finishing with the pattern as-written, when I realized that I probably did not have enough yarn to make it to the end. After thinking about all of the possible solutions to this problem, I ended up frogging the lace section and reknitting it to save yarn. Here are my notes if you want to reproduce what I did:

- Omit the last 4 rows of garter stitch.
- Remove 2 stitches from every row of each lace repeat, one on either side of the double decrease. This means that you will knit 2 less rows in the lace section.
- Fudge the double yo border row. I think I knit 2 st instead of 4 st before starting the yo pattern and everything worked out fine.
- Work everything else as written, with the exception of omitting the stitches in the lace repeat.

FYI, the tag on this skein said it had 420 yards while the pattern calls for a 440 yard skein. I was working with the recommended size 6 needles, though I don't know how my gauge compares. I'm really not sure why the yardage was such a big issue but I will probably not be the only one with this problem, so I thought I would share my notes.

Besides the little hiccup with the yardage, the project went very smoothly. It was really nice to have something to knit in the evenings, mostly because I wanted to sit down and give my tired feet a rest! The trip itself was wonderful; husband and I went on several awesome hikes, enjoyed high tea in Canada, and took over 600 pictures! As promised in my last post, I'm sharing some of the best ones with you:

A double rainbow over Badlands National Park

A panoramic view of the Badlands

St. Mary's Lake in Glacier National Park

A mountain goat in Glacier Park

Left to right: Grinell Lake, Grinell Falls, and Grinell Glacier

A bighorn sheep on our hike up to Grinell Glacier

The sunset over Glacier Park on our final night

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Vacation Crafts

I'm spending the week in Montana at Glacier National Park, but all you get is this post on the crafts I took with me. I promise there will be beautiful pictures when I get back!

My main project for the road is a cross-stitch portrait, done in three shades of gray. I'm not going to tell you whose potrait I am stitching until I at least get the face done, but I will give you a clue that is a Nobel Laureate. You may now call me a geek.

I've also packed a knitting project because I always take a knitting on the road, ever since I discovered that I could knit in the car without getting carsick. Socks or a sweater are usually a good choice for this, but I'm going to make another Ishbel. I really enjoyed knitting the first one and absolutely love wearing the finished product around the house. I just hope that this new one won't permanently smell like campfire.

Last-minute edit: Ysolda just came out with a new shawlette, Damson, which is just beautiful. I'm throwing another skein of sock yarn in my bag and will make up my mind about which to knit first when I'm on the road.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Change Of A[d]Dress

I'm blogging a little earlier in the week than normal because I leave for vacation tomorrow. Husband and I are road-tripping out to Glacier National Park, via Badlands National Park, to spend some time in the great outdoors and celebrate husband completing grad school. I've got a post lined up for when I am gone describing my vacation project (because I simply cannot go on vacation without bringing my crafts with me). But in the meantime, I've got another dress to show off:

I'm really on a roll with these shirred dresses! Probably because you can whip one up in a couple hours, with minimal cutting and fussing, and you only need one and a half yards of fabric. I made this one a little longer than the first and added a slit along the back seam to give my legs more room than the 45 inches dictated by the fabric. Between how easy it was to make and the bold print, I'm really smitten with it!

Sunday, August 09, 2009


I'm proud to show off my first knitted FO of the summer!

It wasn't until sitting down to write this post that I realized the last time I finished a knitted item was May! For all of the crafting I've done and creative ideas I've had this summer, hardly any of it was knitting. And as much as I love embroidery, needle felting, and sewing, it still feels nice to knit.

Part of the drive towards completion was due to the great pattern, Ishbel. Not too simple, not too large, interesting and beautiful enough to keep my attention during these warm summer months. Done in kettle-dyed Araucania Ranco Solid in mauve, the resulting scarf is really lovely. If it wasn't 90 degrees outside, I would consider wearing it all week.

I hope that you enjoyed this little knitted item, because next up on this list is cross-stitch then sewing! I'll be back next week to show off what I'm working on, even if it is not on my usual type of needles.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


As mentioned in my previous post, I have recently discovered the joy of embroidery. I've been wanting to learn this craft for quite a while, but did not know where to start. Luckily, a friend recommended the Stitch-It Kit from Sublime Stitching. This kit comes with a how-to booklet, two blank towels, many transfer images, in addition to needle, hoop and thread. The instructions made this kit worthwhile, as they were very clear and covered enough information to show how easy embroidery really is.

I already burned through the two towels, making them true tea towels with the addition of a teapot and teacup. They will likely make an appearance at my next tea-and-knitting date with friends. With the towels done, I soon turned my sights on something a little more personal:

These are two pair of panties that I embroidered for a friend's bachelorette party. It was a kind of weird idea, but I really like how they turned out. And the bride semed to like them too, particularly the boy shorts that say 'Mrs' on the bum.

So now I am looking for something else to embroider. I was thinking about adding some detailing to a few shirts, but, after stumbling upon the Phat Quarter Flickr group, I've had my eyes opened to all of embroidery's possibilities. I'll keep you posted on any future projects!