Fabric

I have been wanting to buy some nice fabric, and this week I finally made it happen. I was looking for some black silk to make a Wiksten Tank and a Henrietta Maria top (my favourite black top died a month or 2 ago, and I have missed it terribly). I went to Mary Jo’s cloth store in Gastonia, NC – a little over an hour’s drive from where I live. You walk into the store and realize it is more of a fabric warehouse, and where do you begin?

Unfortunately the store didn’t have any black silk (apparently they are recovering from prom season), so I resorted to Plan B. I bought a black wool crepe to make the Henrietta Maria in,

wool

And this orange beaded silk for the Wiksten tank.

silk

As soon as I saw the silk, my heart belonged to it. I tried to leave it behind, but it wouldn’t let me go.

both

I have now washed the wool crepe in preparation for cutting and sewing. Has anyone made the Henrietta Maria? The pattern calls for 8″ of positive ease, and that just seems too much to me. I think I’ll make the top a few sizes smaller for 3-4″ of positive ease.

Here you see my lovely cat assisting me in cutting an altered pattern piece for the Wiksten Tank. I love the pattern, but my shoulders are just a wee bit wider than most, so I’m adding a bit of width.

cat

Isn’t he sweet?

Change of Plans

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley
~ from To A Mouse by Robert Burns
Yesterday I wrote about my Raindrops and Wildflowers cowl that was not quite done.
Today I write about the selfsame cowl, fully completed.
I originally planned to knit the cowl with 1/3 of the length in silk hankies and the other 2/3 in mohair. As I was knitting the mohair section I was distressed to see that I was using up my yarn much more quickly than planned. So I changed my plan, ripped out the mohair, and bound off in the silk. Thus my cowl is done and I couldn’t be more pleased!

I’m writing the pattern as we speak, so if you are interested in testing, leave a comment with your Ravelry username and I will contact you.

There’s a hole…

I am knitting my first lace! I cannot tell you how excited and terrified I am right now. Let me tell you the whole story.

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about the yarn shop my boyfriend found for me and how he waited patiently as I took far too long inside? Well, I bought this beauty.

Laceweight silk. Yum.
Laceweight silk. Yum.

Isn’t she wonderful? She is 400 yards of handpainted 100% silk from Venice. It was love at first sight. How could I say no? Why would I want to say no?

So I bought her and took her with me to her forever home. At first I wasn’t sure what we would do together. It’s always interesting getting to know a new personality, but I was not surprised to find that we got along perfectly. There was a slight bump in our relationship when I realized the pattern I had picked for her (which was going to be perfect and which I still hope to knit someday) required more yardage than she had. But I’m not the kind to shame a girl for being too short, so after a bit of a pout I started looking at our other options so that we could have a long and fulfilling partnership.

I searched and searched and pulled up gazillions of tabs on Ravelry, but nothing seemed quite right (also, I had to pay for all the patterns I found, and I tend to be a bit of a cheapskate am on a budget). But then as I was reviewing the notes for a promising pattern I had a realization: I don’t need to buy a pattern. I am a smart and sensible woman. I can make my own!

I decided to knit a half pi shawl inserting this lace pattern once I had finished the first few increase rounds (also, starting with only a few stitches and increasing means I don’t have to swatch. Sounds like my kind of knitting).

Cookies Knit
It reminds me of dragon scales

I started off excitedly increasing in the correct places and for 1 glorious hour I thought my stitch count and my lace pattern were going to dovetail perfectly. It was with sadness I realized life was not going to come together quite so gloriously, but I am soldiering on. I have tinkered with stitch counts and lace charts. I even made a spread sheet! This lace is going to happen by hook or by crook!

spreadsheet
I have a spreadsheet! What could possibly go wrong?