Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Solar Flare

I'm really excited!

I'd like to introduce you all to Solar Flare. I know many of my friends have seen it in person already, but I am extremely happy to have finally finished the pattern. I had some wonderful feedback from my test-knitters and I think together we were able to put together a really nice pattern.

Solar Flare is a semi-circular shawl. It is knit from the center towards the points and has a 3-stitch garter border along the top edge. The increases in the pattern are carefully incorporated into the lace. If you look very hard, you might find them! But otherwise they simply hide in with the rest of the pattern allowing it to grow organically.

Solar Flare
I know my friends had great fun watching me puzzle out the math on this one. I didn't make it easy on myself. The pattern repeats seven times. I found out that the shawl needs to grow an average of three stitches each row. These two numbers are distinctly incompatible, but I was finally able to make it work!

Solar Flare is now for sale on Ravelry.

Monday, May 30, 2011

May Recap

Here I am, still trying to keep up with my resolutions from the start of the year.

This fiber is around 72g (about 2.5 ounces) of GREAT GOOD HEAVENS!! awesome fiber that I received in a swap. It arrived in perfect time to be matched for the Spindler's Challenge theme of the month, Time Travel! So it was the first thing on the books and I spun it up into about 230 yards of 2-ply yarn using a Bosworth Midi spindle in cherry-wood (my first "real spindle" and still my favorite).
Spindler's Challenge - May
The book is Broken Time. It's what I would call a "fluff" novel. It's fairly solid SciFi (and a bit light on the Sci, really). I'm not sure if it's the author's first novel, or if she writes under other names, but it's the only SciFi novel she has under this particular pen-name. I enjoyed it enough to keep it through several down-sizing efforts on my personal library, and enjoyed re-reading it again while working on this yarn. It touches on space anomalies, pockets in time, and serial killers. An odd mix, but it works.

I knit four ounces of handspun into a shawl called Caliz (Ravelry link). But sadly, this shawlette was not long for this world. It is a lovely pattern and I would recommend it... provided you actually use the yarn for which it was written and the gauge that was intended. I tried to squeeze a slightly smaller version out of slightly more robust yarn and it kept trying to choke me. I did the difficult thing and frogged this poor shawlette and threw the yarn back in my stash for another time. (Yes, that's right, knitters. You can finish something, hate it, and get rid of it. It doesn't have to live out the rest of its life as a forever-not-quite-right-object. Toss it back in the yarn bin. It can live again on another day!)

Alpaca - Silk single
I have also completed 1000+ yards of singles of alpaca/silk blend. It will probably come out being just under 500 yards of finished 2-ply yarn. I did briefly debate leaving it as a single, but I simply spun it with way too much twist for it to hang around happily in this state, even accounting for the fact that neither silk nor alpaca has a whole lot of memory wanting to SPROING back to its original shape. The twist is simply too active to be happy without the counter-twist of plying. I'm not sure I'll finish this by the end of the day (hahaha. Okay, I'm sure I won't finish it by the end of the day.) but I'll have it done pretty soon and if you add it with the spindled yarn above, I think I can safely say I've managed my four-ounce goal for the month.

I did not weave anything. I have planned on weaving, but the loom simply didn't come out. I did work 4 ounces of millspun, but you're just going to have to take my word on that. It's going to go up in another post!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Radio silence

Sometimes I feel as if I'm quiet on this blog for far too long. Sometimes I actually am. Most of my posting is directly driven by what I have finished lately, or at least something on which I have made significant progress.

What gets me are stealth projects. Half of these stealth projects are the little things (like gifts) planned for people who might actually read my blog. The other half are sooper-top-secret-planz... such as a pattern I have worked on for quite a while that I submitted to a publishing company, or a really lovely piece I have in the works right now that I can't wait to unveil but need to do it at the proper time.

So, I have pictures. I have thoughts I want to share and they're burbling around in my head, trying to make it noisily explode with excitement, but they just have to wait.

Instead, we'll just have to last through a little radio silence together from time to time.

At least I'm not abandoning you here with elevator music, instead!