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Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Oregon Shawl # 2

Last week I all of a sudden became obsessed. As my family and friends can tell you, I ignored and neglected everything and everyone one. I had decided that I could get Oregon shawl finished before I saw the friend who I was knitting it for this week. At that time I still had about 12 hours to knit, some stitches to catch and secure, and of course washing and blocking to do. And I will remind you that I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old who are with me at all times. So… This was going to be a challenge!

But, on Saturday, I finally finished knitting:

And the corner detail, my favorite part of this shawl:

And on Sunday, I washed and blocked it. Blocking really does make lace from a pile of wet noodles into a wonderful project. 😀 I think especially the detail picture of the corner shows what a difference blocking can make, if you compare it to the one above.

Of course I also took some detail shots, one of my favorite part, that corner I talked about before:

And the side:

It took a day or 2 to dry, and then it was ready to be returned to it’s owner, my friend Patti. She was quite delighted with it. This made me happy, because I know it got a good home, where it and my work are appreciated. Of course I forgot my camera, so no pictures of the happy recipient. And of course it is still a bit warm here, too warm to wear a shawl.

Now, what is next…

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Three quarters of the way

I hit another major mile marker on the Oregon Shawl that I am working on. I have finished 3/4 of the number of rows for the sides. This is what it looks like now:

I have just started the 5th repeat of the sides, and unless I discover something odd, I will be doing 5 and a half repeats of that pattern. So… I also finished the last full (as in 16 row) repeat of this pattern. And on the corner I am working on the last branch of the pine tree. Until now I had been working on 2 branches at a time, but I just finished off the one to the last. After this there will be only the trunk. (and of course 125 repeats of edging…) The end is in sight, and my mind has already been working on new ideas (beyond the cardigan for DS #1).

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Enough is enough

I consider myself a pretty reasonable person. I don’t mind a knot in a skein of yarn once in a while. After all, the mill making the skein/ball of yarn winds the yarn from a much bigger quantity, and will occasionally run out, usually not at the same time as the time that the ball is finished. I would rather have them tie a new one on, if that is the only method they can come up with for re-attachment, then have only half a skein. But then I started a new ball of Universal Yarn “Star Light” earlier last week.

Now, I know that my rounds are not short, as this is the yarn that I use for my Oregon Shawl. This means that there is just shy of 900 or so stitches on my needle. But I have had to re-attach this ball of yarn now for the 5th time. Just so we are clear, this is because I have run into 5 knots, within 3 rounds… It is like they emptied the bin of cone ends into this one ball. To be completely fair, this is the 3rd ball of this yarn I am knitting, and I don’t recall any knots, or maybe just one, in the previous 2 balls. And no, I am not taking this ball back, because I am finishing Oregon for a dear friend, and she gave me the yarn she was using. I just really hope that this is going to be the last time I have had to attach this yarn. If you would like to know the rest of my opinion on this yarn, I invite you to look at my post about it in early May. I just read it over again, and was actually surprised to realize my opinion of it has not changed significantly, provided I won’t find a lot more knots… 😉 If I do, you can be sure I will let you know.

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Where I live we have hardly had any rain since June 21st, and it has been HOT! As in over 100 degrees hot. Makes you not really want to knit, and makes you beg for some rain. But last Saturday, we woke up to the most wonderful sound, even if it was 5:30 in the morning. It was raining. We got all of about 30 mm/1.27inches, but still, it was wonderful, slow, and lasted for several hours. Because I have been looking for something else to knit on (sometimes only having Oregon shawl to knit on is really getting a little…. tedious), and because, even though it is very hard to believe, winter will eventually head our way again, I have cast on a new project. Here is what I have to show for a lovely, grey, dreary Saturday:

When I started out, I was thinking I would knit the famous Tomten jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. (It appears pretty difficult to find a picture/page of the pattern, without having to scroll down a ways. If you are interested in the pattern, you can check here, about one third of the way down.)

But when I actually started making a gauge swatch (I am using some old Sears Wintuk from my stash, the same I used for my son’s sweater last year, though that was blue, and this is white), I also started thinking about the cardigan. I did a gauge swatch, because I really didn’t like the material I ended up with last year. The needle suggestion on the yarn was quite a bit larger then what the pattern for the sweater had suggested, and as a result the material was rather stiff. So, this time I used US 10/6mm needles, and the material is much nicer. But, I didn’t really want a zipper, or knit garter stitch for ever. So, I decided to add buttons, and of course a buttonhole band, I decided I wanted stockinette material, rather then garter stitch, and I wanted to add a cable on each front. And because of the gauge I was getting, I would have to change the stitch counts. And I realized I have actually ended up with a completely different pattern! One I will be designing myself… Oh well, worse things have happened, right?

And it was apparently exactly what I needed, because Oregon Shawl has also made more progress. I actually finished the second skein, and have at the same time done about three and a quarter repeats of the sides:

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Last week was my birthday, and my husband and children surprised me with a wonderful gift:

I had mentioned at some point that one of the reasons I was not designing as much was that I could not play with yarns, see how they behaved with lace or cable patterns, feel what they feel like on which needles, etc. They decided to remedy that quite successfully. 😀
And a little progress was made on Oregon, I almost finished the second repeat of the side, and this was the end of the first skein I have used. As you might remember, I started this after the center was finished, but aside from picking up the stitches, I think the skein had just been recently started. I was quite surprised at how much could be knitted with just one skein. We are talking 700 or so stitches a round!

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A quick update

I have been very busy knitting. But I realized that I did not share much about this. So, here is a quick update. A dear friend of mine had started Oregon Shawl, but because of several reasons does not think she can finish it. So.. A couple of weeks ago she asked whether I could please finish it for her. She had finished the center, and picked up the stitches for the sides. Being the friend I am, and because I think an unfinished project with no chance of completion is one of the saddest things in the world, (and the compensation she has promised me doesn’t hurt either 😉 ) I said sure. She was making Oregon in a lovely looking white with a shimmer yarn, called Star Light by Universal Yarns. So, last week, she handed me the yarn, the shawl on the needles, and the pattern, and it came home with me. I knitted a gauge swatch to try and match her tension, at least somewhat, and I was off to the races. I did have to go down a needle size, maybe should have gone down 2 needle sizes, but I did not feel like knitting a shawl on US 2’s (2.75mm), so 3’s (3.25mm) it is. . I have been working almost exclusively on it, and this is what I have done so far:

That is 16 rows, or one repeat of the pine cone pattern that is on the sides of the shawl. The composition of the yarn is 56% acrylic, 6% glitter, 19% mohair, and 19% nylon. The yarn is not bad to work with, though I have found that the glitter thread tends to cause the other yarn to bunch up, or is just plain broken here and there. This is not a big problem, as it does not make up the main body of the yarn, and won’t ravel, because the other 2 plies are still very much securely knitted in place. Those 2 plies are rather loosely plied together, which I thought might cause splitting, but so far I have not had an issue with that. It is actually fun to knit on, as I have quickly re-memorized the pattern, and only need the chart for the corners. I have enjoyed knitting this in front of the television this week. It is VERY soft to the touch.

This means that my other project I had been working on has been mostly put aside for now, though it still lives in my travel bag. That would be Hippo Gnu Deer, the shawl that I started less then a month ago.

I have finished chart 1, and discovered only one minor issue. The pattern starts with Cast on 8, knit 1 round. The the chart starts with the first round being a yo. After discussion with MMario, I assumed this meant that there was a dividing stitch between the 8 panels. But I am now starting to think that is not the case, as the number of repeats changes, which would leave a dividing stitch between some repeats and not others. I think the round 1 of the chart is actually the cast on round. I have not asked Mmario’s opinion about this yet, and will let you know what all the official changes are when I get a chance to finish this. The pattern is easy, and at this point knits up quickly. The yarn is turning out to be quite nice to knit with. It is Palette, from KnitPicks. It has not split on me, it feels relatively soft, and shows pretty nice stitch definition. I am very curious how it will block out.

I guess my quick update is not as short as I expected, I guess I had more to talk about then I thought. 😀

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Alright, here is the promised review post. 😀 I am going to try to list all the things that I finished last year. Mind you, a lot of the year was spend knitting Oregon Shawl, and I think the rest of it was primarily smaller projects? We will see.

In January, I started and in February I finished the Limberlost Luna shawl, designed by MMario. It was a great KAL to participate in. MMario is a very generous and prolific designer, the link above will take you to his Yahoo group, where he posts all his designs, most of which are untested, and where we get to play with them, ask questions to MMario himself, and have a lot of fun with the other knitters in the group. MMario is very good at responding to questions, and will come up with most corrections quite quickly. When the patterns have been tested they are often listed on Ravelry, but they also stay available for naught on this Yahoo group. If you like to knit lace, this is definitely a group to join. But they are chatty, be forewarned. Of course you don’t have to receive individual e-mails, MMario will be the first to suggest to go web access only if the avalanche of e-mail is too much for you.

Next, in March, I finished a very cute hoodie for my oldest son, it had been in the works since October. It is officially called Sweater with hood and pockets in Eskimo, a pattern from Drops. I made some adjustments, like no pockets, and a little less long, as well as different closure. I was going to add a zipper, but my son decided at the last moment that he wanted buttons after all. So I added crocheted button hole loops. I am not entirely pleased with those, but c’est la vie.
Next were a couple of dishcloths/afghan squares. The first one is called Columns of Greece. It apparently took me about a year to finish, but I swear it seemed longer then that. It was not the pattern’s fault, it was a pretty simple pattern, and easy to remember. But I used it as my take along knitting, but with 2 little children I just didn’t have much time to actually go somewhere and knit. Before you ask, if you have to wait somewhere and you have 2 little children, knitting is almost impossible.
And then a square I designed for a baby blanket. There is a yahoo group I belong to, called Lone Star State Knitters, and they knit a blanket worth of squares for each member who is about to have their first child or grand child. Someone asked for a 1,2,3 square, as we already have an A,B,C square, and since I couldn’t find one, I offered to design one. It was fun, and maybe I will actually offer the pattern sometime…
I believe then we reached the summer, and I started knitting on Oregon in earnest, I was determined to finish it in 2010. But in August I did design this little thing, after a friend of mine asked for a napkin ring and I discovered that one can hardly find any that are not knitted flat.
Which in turn lead to designing this coaster and place mat to match, and I am very proud to say that the pattern for this set of three has been used as one of the patterns for the Holiday Mystery Gifts group on Ravelry.
In September the designing bug bit once more, and I adapted this cute little guy from a crochet pattern.
In October, Oregon was finally finished, it took me 2 and a half years, which is really not bad if you realize how much I have done in the mean time.

After I finished Oregon, I started 2 more projects, but they were not finished in 2010, and therefore do not belong in this post. 😀 If you managed to read all the way to the end of this post, I greatly appreciate it. I love sharing my love for my hobbies, and appreciate any comments you might wish to leave.

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