October 3, 2010

Wooly Weekend

I spent this past weekend buried in yarn. It was fabulous. Lots of peaceful knitting time, listening to an excellent audiobook,* with a couple of breaks for important things like a good movie and some cookie-baking. Want to see what I worked on?

Predictably, the Sprig Mittens:

These things reproduce like rabbits.

Knitting Fever (distributors of Araucania) has fantastic customer service...when I messaged them about the wonky skein of navy they quickly arranged to have a replacement sent to me. Yay! I officially love them. Their yarn rocks pretty hard too. And the gauge of the replacement skein is spot on (see the two mittens on the far left).

Since that photo was taken I've finished the thumb on that second navy and tan mitten. I just have to weave in the ends and I'll have a FO to show you! But I am so easily distracted by other projects. For example...

The Forgotten Shetland Triangle

did you miss me?

Geesh. I just checked Ravelry and found out that I started this shawl in October of 2007. At the time I wanted something fancier, so I started a different one in silk thread and left this plainer Cashsoft 4 Ply version to languish, assuming I'd frog it eventually.

Fast-forward to this summer when I pulled it out just to have some simple lace to work on...I've been working a few rows here and a few rows there...nothing intense...until yesterday I realized that it was actually getting pretty large. So I got busy with the edging and I worked the last row of the chart last night before bed. All that remains is the bind off and a nice blocking. You'll be seeing this one soon!

Grove Mittens


At my current rate of a few rows a day, maybe these mittens will be finished by the time the snow arrives. I love this pattern but I just can't seem to memorize the charts, hence the slow-going. But they're so pretty that I couldn't resist throwing in another picture.

Lemongrass socks


My current toe-up Plain Old Socks. If you've been around for a while you may recognize the yarn as the stuff I originally used to cast on for a pair of ill-fated Jaywalkers. The yarn was a tad too bulky though...much better suited to some plain socks. And plain socks are the ultimate movie-knitting. Especially when subtitles are involved.

I switched to 1.5mm dpns for the calf, which is why the striping on the yarn changes further up the leg. I'm still trying to decide if it was the right choice. But I'm assuming that the recipent of these socks will just squnch them down, so it really won't matter.

That's it for my weekend! I hope yours was as nice as mine! How's that fall knitting going?

*The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins. Fall is for listening to mysteries!

January 28, 2008

Finished: Mum's Blueberry Shetland Triangle

Welcome to our next installment of Christmas Presents on Parade! Today our subject is none other than She Who Bore Me, the Mother of Elliphantom herself! Seen here modeling her Christmas Shetland Triangle:

This is my Mum

You may say to yourself “didn’t we just see a Mother-in-Law modeling a blue shawl designed by Evelyn A. Clark?” What of it? The matrons in my life like their blue triangular shawls. Who am I to argue?

The Specs:
-Pattern: Shetland Triangle, by Evelyn A. Clark, from Wrap Style.
-Yarn: Blue Moon Silk Thread, one skein in the color “Haida,” knit doubled.
-Needles: Size 6 circs.
-Start to finish: November 29, 2005 - December 16, 2007.


My first attempt at this shawl was all wrong. Mum had requested a navy or black shawl for her Christmas gift and, come October, I found myself traveling down the uncomfortable road of “this yarn is not quite what I had in mind…” with 4 balls of navy Cashsoft 4 Ply. It was so soft. It was so squooshy. It was so…blah.

Wendie gets full credit for pointing me in the direction of the silk thread. She and Mr. Wendie were visiting (Thunk and Señor One-Ply-Short share an enormous passion for boy-type nerdly pursuits) and I was woe-is-me-ing my little heart out to Wen-Wen about the all-wrong-ness of the Cashsoft. Thank goodness for knitterly friends with an eye on the hand-dyed yarn market, is all I can say.

The Pattern:
A typical Evelyn A. Clark pattern with an easily memorized pattern repeat. To sum up: no problem-o.

I inherited all of her good qualities.

The Yarn:
I really like the Silk Thread…it’s lovely and silky and drapes like a dream. My only complaint is that the dye didn’t penetrate the entire skein, leaving little undyed patches here and there, which is not so nice in a super-dark colorway. I was on a tight schedule though, so I didn’t have time for complaining and exchanging. It looks fine knit up (the white just looks like a little extra shine on the silk), but I’ve definitely become a center-of-the-skein checker. Heed my wisdom born of experience and go and do likewise.

I knitted an extra six lace repeats. I agree with the Bigger is Better philosophy of shawl knitting. It’s difficult to sweep around looking fabulous if you have to keep adjusting your wrap. Make it big. Make it enormous, if you must. The worst that can happen is that it’ll look dramatic.


Final Verdict: Lovely, lovely, lovely.

December 5, 2007

19 days

Christmas knitting is in full panic mode here at Chez Elliphantom. If there were a virtual elli-cam you could witness me flitting between projects and not being able to finish any of them because I keep distracting myself with something else I should be working on. I totally love the holidays. So productive. Too bad it makes me all twitchy. Here's our sampling for today:

First up, Mum’s blueberry-flavored Shetland Triangle:

Hello. I am silky and blue.

This project hasn’t managed to make it onto the blog yet for various reasons. Back in October I knitted almost an entire one of these in navy Cashsoft 4-ply before I decided that it wasn’t up to snuff (read: too chunky and blah-looking). So that version got sent to Project Purgatory to await its fate, and I ordered up a hank of Blue Moon silk thread in the Haida colorway. Much better. I’m knitting the shawl with the yarn doubled and it’s turning out just exactly as I’d envisioned. Hooray!

Ho there.

The Chicago cardigan for my sister Rae is on the home stretch. All parts are knitted and the main body of the sweater is assembled. Still left to do: picking up and knitting the neckband and buttonbands, weaving in ends, and sewing on all those dinky little flowerlings. Anybody want to come over and help with that? I’ll feed you Christmas cookies and homemade hot cocoa! Anybody? What, no takers? Darn.

The current Plain Old Socks:


The usual recipe. Knit with the rare and wonderful Cookie A. Handpainted Sock. Kricket has claimed this pair already and, since she’s worn the heck out of the last pair I gave her, I have no qualms about sending these her way. We’ll see if they get done by Christmas. They get lower priority since she did get a birthday knit this year.

In other knitting, the Argyll vest knitting is on hold until I get Chicago and the Shetland Triangle finished. More projects planned. Stay tuned.

p.s. those of you drooling over the fishie bobbins from the last post...I regret to inform you that I found them at the thrift store. I do recall that they were made by Phildar, and it looks as if they have some similar ones for sale on their website. I have no idea what shipping from France costs.

p.p.s. no links in this post. I have to get back to my knitting.