Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Signing off... for now

Just a quick note to let you know that I'll be offline for the next week or so. The movers arrive in ten hours, and we're still finishing up the packing. The computer is next. So I'll be back when we've landed in Newfoundland and have settled in a little. Wish us luck!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Long time coming

Well, would you look what I found when I was packing. I finished this lace scarf over a month ago, but I never did take any FO photos. You'll have to excuse the less than idyllic setting of my balcony over the parking lot - my place is in a shambles right now and I don't have time to take a scarf to the park for a walk. I'm lucky that I can still find the camera to be honest!

Bramble Leaf Lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today, in SRK Collection Ovation, Purple Haze colourway. 4mm circular needles (I think).

This pattern is one of the many scarves with wide end borders in VLT - I think it's actually called something like "scarf with trellis border and bramble leaf insertion". As a very early lace project for me, I wanted to keep this simple so I left the border off and basically just knit the "insertion". I think that the first time that I try a knitted on lace border, I want it to be in something a little less frustrating than mohair!

Thoughts on this project... The yarn is really lovely and soft and I highly recommend it. It's a silk/mohair blend, very much like Kidsilk Haze but just a little thicker. Since I bought it from a bargain bin, it was much more affordable than its Rowan cousin. I used a little over two skeins and the scarf is just over 6' long. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, the pattern comes out a little different from the sample pictured in the book - this seems to be a recurring theme with VLT. The centre garter stitch panel is narrower in the photo.

These photos also highlight my need to obtain some good blocking wires. The pins that I've been using have made the edge all wonky. Perhaps when I finish my Mystery Stole, I'll get around to mail ordering a set. Suggestions for suppliers would be very welcomed.

I had a bit of a yarn adventure yesterday, but unfortunately none of us thought to bring a camera. Leanne and Nancy took me out to Wool 'n Things in Orleans for the first time. Wow. It's a very well stocked little shop. They carry the full line of Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Berocco, Noro, Fleece Artist, all the really good stuff that is hard to come by in my usual haunts. Highly educational, since I got to fondle a lot of yarns that I have often heard about but never seen in person. I have made some notes for future projects, and my wallet may have suffered some damage involving Jitterbug and a lot of silk. Photos tomorrow if I can find the yarn amidst the pile of boxes! Honestly, it was really fun to shop with other keen and excited knitters, and I think we managed to enable each other into buying stuff we really loved. I'm going to miss my Ottawa knitting friends and access to so many great yarn shops. But then perhaps my bank balance will be better for it!

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 16, 2007

The view from here

... is one of total chaos.

We've entered that fun stage of moving where we're trying to pack things, but not everything just yet, because we still have to live here for a while. So we get to discover junk that we didn't even know we had, and trip over boxes for the next week or two. Of course, it would help if the moving company would nail down the precise date that they're coming. My home being in a state of insanity is actually a good reason to spend a lot of time at the office, which is becoming more necessary all the time. I'm not allowing myself to even think about the new Harry Potter movie or book until my thesis is submitted. I really want to get it all finished before we leave next Friday. Eeek!

So, let's not talk about that anymore. Wanna see some knitting? I finally ripped out the Soleil tank and re-knit the top part of the front.

Soleil from Knitty.com, designed by

Not bad though over all. Other than the tinkering with the shaping, this was a pretty easy, fun knit, and is very economical. I made the 36" size and used less than 6 balls, for a total cost of about $13. Sonata is a pretty basic cotton, so for those who don't like the hard feel, or how cotton is hard on the hands, you might want to look for a blend. I love the lace on this top, but it really needs to be blocked out every time it's washed in order to keep the lace flat. At least it's machine washable.

Hopefully I'll have another new summer top to show you soon, if the Mystery Stole doesn't take over all of my knitting time!

Labels: ,

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sucked in

I had a lovely time at Knit Night on Friday, despite spending the last half hour ripping out everything that I had knit on my Brigit sock during the first two hours. Apparently complex cables don't mix well with conversation - who knew? I ended up with a cable twisted the wrong way, purls where there should be knits, and too many stitches on the needles. Argh.

Then I got to see a few versions of the Mystery Stole 3 in progress. I had seen Leanne's stole on her blog last week, and though intrigued, I thought that I had too many projects on the go already. Then the Yarn Harlot talked about the lure of the shawl, and I sort of considered it. But then I saw a couple of the shawls in person, got to pet them, and started considering the possibilities for laceweight and beads in my stash. Leanne talked me into it... "Just join the group, and then you'll have the pattern. You don't have to keep up with the group. You can do it later when you have time." That sounded logical.

Alas, I am weak:

This took a large chunk of my weekend, in between starting to pack boxes, and running a few errands. I didn't even go into the office on Saturday - I don't remember the last time that happened. I have completely sold my soul to the Mystery Stole project. So this is knit up to the end of Clue #2, and apparently I have to wait four whole days until the next clue is released. That's probably a good thing!

I'm knitting with black 3-ply laceweight merino on 3 mm needles. The yarn is from China, so I can't really read much of the label. I bought a big lot of it on eBay a while back, and it's very nice to work with aside from a few knots that I've encountered. I'm using dark blue seed beads, sort of a frosted metallic colour. They're hard to see in the photo, but they show up better in person. I still have no idea what the theme of the shawl is based on this little bit.

Registration for the Mystery Stole is now closed - sorry to tease you! But I think the pattern will be available for sale later on, after the knit-along is finished.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 06, 2007

Designing again

Proving yet again my inability to focus on any particular project longer than three days, I just had to dive into the new pile of yarn that I bought last week and start swatching and dreaming. Nevermind that my Soleil tank still needs fixing, or that I have a cardigan and two pairs of socks on the go - I can't seem to get beyond the new yarn smell that draws me to make a decision on a project.

Browsing through past issues of Interweave Knits, looking for possible summer tops in finer gauge, I came upon this ad for Nashua Handknits:

I don't know why I never noticed it before, but I really like this. I have a couple of store-bought tops in this style, in stretchy lycra fabrics, and I like the way they look over a tank top. I love the idea of a lacy summer top, and I think the shape will look pretty good on me. Rather than go looking for this particular pattern, I decided to try to design something similar myself. I'm still new to this whole designing thing, so I could use the practice.

Since I don't have much in the way of a stitch dictionary (I really should invest in some), I started browsing lacy patterns to find something that I could adapt. After swatching a few different variations, I settled on a lace stitch that I borrowed from the Convertible pattern at Knitty. So far so good:

I'm going to knit the bottom without any shaping, as it will be kind of loose and drapey, and then decrease for a garter stitch band under the bust before working the top. I'm kind of dreading the shaping for the top - it's probably going to take a few tries to get it right.

So far, I'm loving the yarn. It's Polo by Zitron, which I believe was recently discontinued, but is still widely available on eBay. It is so soft that it feels like chenille. It's a cotton-acylic blend, and is machine washable. The swatch that I washed came out looking exactly the same with no shrinkage, and the lace blocked nicely. I have five balls of this colour, but if that's not enough, I have the option of doing the top part in blue. I'm pretty excited about this project. I hope I can get it to come out the way I want!

Tonight is my last trip to our monthly neighbourhood knit night. I wish that I had discovered the group a long time ago, as I've only been to a few events and now I'll be moving. I must try to find something similar in St. John's. I can't find anything official online, but I hear rumours that there's a weekly knit night at The Ship Pub... I'll have to look into that. We bought a pile of boxes last week, and plan to start the packing next week. I'm getting stressed out just thinking about it, and in the meantime, I still have a thesis to finish. So on that note, back to work!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Swatchy swatchy

Something new is in the works....


Monday, July 02, 2007

Another sock-filled post

There has been a bit of a sock-knitting binge lately here at Hedgehog Knits. I tend to go through moods with socks. Sometimes I find them incredibly tedious and boring, and I let second-sock syndrome take over. I can let them languish unfinished for months on end. And then at other times, I have three or four pairs on the go at once and want to knit nothing but socks. I think it has a lot to do with having a fun pattern and a nice yarn. When I get that perfect combination, I just don't want to put them down.

This pair, just completed, is a rather simple, quick gift for a friend:

Basic 3X1 rib socks with stockinette foot. 68 stitches on 2.25 mm bamboo dpns, in Garnstudio's Fabel Superwash.

This is the first time I have knit with Garn's yarn and it's a really nice sock yarn - very soft and fairly squishy, and for a reasonable price. I really wish that it came in more solid colours, because like many people, I really have gotten over the jacquard patterns by now. The company's website only shows three solids, in beige, brown, and grey, amongst a wide range of jacquards. I will definitely check out their other yarns in future. This particular pair of socks is going to be delivered to my friend D who is spending the summer doing field work in the mountains of British Columbia. When I was doing bush work, I always loved to get letters from home delivered by the helicopter pilot, and a care package of little luxuries was the most exciting thing ever. I'm sending the two things you can never have enough of in any field camp - wool socks and chocolate!

And then there's this odd pair. I suppose I should get to work and make another pair just like it.

Bayerishe (left) and Brigit (pdf; right).

Peg mentioned in the comments that I seem to be buying a lot of solid yarns lately and wondered if I was tiring of handpainted yarns. I can't say that I'm tired of them really, since I haven't actually knit with a lot of handpainted. Partly that's because my LYS's don't really carry much in the way of handpainted options, except for the locally made Apple Laine, which as I've discussed before, I'm not particularly happy with. I know that there are plenty of mail-order options out there, but the other factor is price. Most of the beautiful handpainted sock yarns that I really covet, I find on US e-tailers' sites, where of course I would have to deal with exchange rate, international shipping rates, and the possibility of paying duty at the border. And then there's the fact that I like to knit socks with complex cabled and textured patterns, and though I see a lot of people knitting such patterns with bright variegated yarns, I really think they show up better in solid or semi-solid colours. Ditto for lace shawls. I think that I'll probably try dyeing my own sock yarn sometime soon. I like the idea of graduated shades of a single colour.