State of the Knitting Basket, August 2009

Since I haven’t done this in a while, here is an overview of my current works in progress.

Kelly’s wedding shawl. This is the Lady’s Circular Cape in Shell Pattern from Victorian Lace Today. It is over due – the wedding was at the end of May. I would have finished it the week before the wedding, but the bride asked me to organize her wedding reception instead. It was a very nice reception. This is being knit in KnitPicks Gloss laceweight, with added seed pearl beads.

Wedding shawl

Travelling Roses scarf, for Carey. A beautiful lace scarf for my cousin, being worked in Malabrigo laceweight.

Travelling Roses

Alpaca afghan, for Moses and Stephen. Being worked in Joseph Galler Peruvian Tweed, 100% alpaca yarn. Also overdue – I had meant it to be a Yule gift for them last year. Maybe this year.

Alpaca afghan

Green socks, for Michael.

Green socks

Tesselating fish afghan. My slow project. Current fish count 15/150.


A periwinkle scarf. Plain, ribbed, warm, soft, lovely. Cascade 220.

Plain ribbed scarf

Stella Maris. I think this may actually be finished. I keep meaning to put a border on it, but since I’ve been meaning to put the border on it for about three years now, I may just block it and be done with it. It’s my own pattern, and the colorway is Tidepool — it’s a Knit Picks yarn, but I don’t recall which one.

Stella Maris

Bridget socks. That was a lovely orderly ball of wool, before the dog got to it.

Tangle and sock.

She really wants her socks!

Tommy and the Bee



The lace is mended. It took about 9 hours, spread out over three days, with the most amount of time spent figuring out how to mend it.

Here’s a final photo of the stitches picked up on my little circular before I rip back to re-knit them. This was the smaller error, and was, as I suspected, caused by the two dropped stitches I found. The dropped stitches were on the row I had to pick up.


Lace progress.

I’ve finished the first – and largest – repair. There was some kind of mistake between the fourth and fifth beads down from the needle in one section — the center line of pearls had gone off crookedly, instead of staying neatly in the middle of the 18 YO’s per row, and the YO count was off as well. I picked up the row of stitches just above the fifth bead (I chose that row because it had no YO’s or K2Tog’s in it) and then dropped all the stitches in that section.

The I just knit the whole section back up again, carefully checking each row as I knit it, and replacing all the pearls. It looks pretty good.


There is some minor laddering on either side of the re-knit section, which I will work out with a crochet hook at some point here. That will make a nice mindless afternoon or car travel project one day.

And I still have one more mistake section to take out — I’m not sure how far back I’ll need to drop the second section – it has two errors in it — some wonky beads, and a couple of dropped stitches. I suspect that the dropped stitches are what caused the bead wonkiness – if so, they should be on the same row I pick up, or close to it. If not…. I’ll just have to drop back to which ever mistake is deeper in the shawl.

Lace mending, illustrated.

Over night, batteries recharged,  and I was able to get the photos off my camera.    The lace mending is going pretty well now,  having figured out what it is I need to do and how.    Still awfully fiddly though.

Here’s the set up:   Bright lights,  dark fabric over the the cushion,   so I can pin the shawl down as need and still be able to see it.   That dark fabric?  One of my shirts.


The first thing I tried was just isolating the stitch with the misplaced beads, dropping those stitches, and then picking them up again.

Here’s the stitch isolated and ready to drop:

Then I pick up the stitches, drop the stitches that that the beads should be on, put in the beads, and pick it all back up again.

That looks like this, aka lousy:

Clearly no good — there’s an obvious jog in the bead line, and the stitches the beads had been on didn’t pick up well.

The next tactic is similiar — run a life line through all the stitches of the section involved in the error, and drop all the stitches down to the life line.

When done, that looks like this:

I now have a fear of tangles bordering on the traumatic.

At this point, what I am doing is going back to the chart, and just re-knitting each row that I dropped, using the corresponding loop of yarn. It’s working pretty well.

Now it looks like this:

Pretty good, pretty good. The only slight problem is some laddering down the sides of the re-knit section.

See, laddering:


This I’ll have to fix after all the re-knitting is done, by going along with a crochet hook and jollying the extra yarn along until it is evenly redistributed along the rows I’ve had to rework.

Now, I only have this section to finished, and the second error site to pick up and do, and I’ll be back to regular knitting.

Lace mending fiasco, take 1.

This is fiddly fiddly work.   I’ve got everything set up on the table,  a shop light set up so I can see well,  a dark back ground set up,  and I’ve tried and failed one mending technique (drop the stitch involved, remove beads, pick it up,  drop the proper stitch, replace beads, re-pick up).        The yarn overs make it to tricky.

So I moved onto mending technique two — put in a life line over the section that needs repaired,   drop the stitches across that section, and re-knit.   I used a small long circular as the life line,   picked up the row I need to drop back too  (16 rows back, horror!),  and dropped out the stitches across the section.     That all worked well.

Then I started re-knitting,  and kept having count errors,  until I realized I was looking at the wrong row on one half.    Then I corrected the count errors,  and got to the end and realized I still had a great lot of unused yarn that had come out of the row,   but not disappeared back into it.

That could be a real problem,  if it happens again.   It turns out I was re-knitting on a size 2 needle what had originally been knit on a size 6,  so my hope is that one I re-knit using the correct needle,  I won’t have the great lot of yarn left over.

So,  I need to pull back the one row I’ve mended mostly correctly,  and re- knit it again.

And to top it all off,  in the middle of all this my camera died,  so I can even show you what it looks like.   *sigh*

Wedding Shawl Photos

Here are some photos of the wedding shawl.  It’s about a third finished — there are still about 40 rows of body length that need to be knit,  and a border that will be picked up and knit after the body is finished.

Here is an over view of the body so far — you can see the provisional cast on at the top of the shawl. It’s pretty bunched up, even on a 40″ circular.

Wedding Shawl WHole

And here is a detail shot of one of the scallops stretched out a little bit. After blocking, the lower edge of the shawl should have a nice curvy drape to it.

Scallop detail

This is the Lady’s Circular Cape in Shell Pattern, from Victorian Lace Today, by Jane Sowerby.

I am knitting it on a US6/4mm circular — I started out on a 24″, and moved to a 40″ as the width of the shawl increased. The yarn is KnitPicks Gloss Lace, in the dye your own Bare line. 70% merino, 30% silk, 440 yards to a 50 gram skein. I’m not sure they still make it in the laceweight, though they do seem to have the wool/silk fingering weight yarn. I overbought by about 800 yards, so even if it is discontinued, I should be okay.

The beads are 3mm cream  Swarovski Crystal Pearls. – I’m estimating I’ll use between 800-1000 of them on the shawl.  It depends how I decide to bead the edging.

Some wedding shawl statistics.

The wedding shawl starts out with 60 stitches cast on.

The pattern increases from 4 stitches per repeat to 56 stitches per repeat over 46 rows.

Thus, rows 47 thru 81 are 684 stitches apiece.

And this point is where my pitiful math skills fail me,  leaving me utterly unable to comprehend,  much less figure out, how many stitches there will be total in the body of the shawl.

I can tell you that it is now taking me about an hour and a quarter to knit the plain rows on the shawl.   The patterned rows and beaded rows take longer.


It’s been a busy week or so here – we’ve been decking the halls (I now share my living room with an 8 foot pine tree),   enjoying the half foot of snow that’s fallen,  variously being sick and taking care of the sick, and generally living life if not to the fullest, at least to a solid two thirds full.

I’m nearing the toe on the first of my second pair of socks — this one I am knitting from the top down on a set of Lantern Moon dpns that I got for my birthday.   Lovely rosewood needles make working on dpns more acceptable,  but I think I’ll go back to the circ’s on my next pair.   I quite suddenly am a sock knitter, complete with a respectable sock yarn stash (thanks in large part to my dear friend Melanie, whose gift sense is exquisite).

I’m becoming quite fixated on lace recently – I’ve got one lace project on the needles right now (the forever-taking SnowDrop Shawl – perhaps I should oh, say, work on it)   and plans to knit a wedding shawl for my future sister in law.   That there is time for – the wedding will be in ’09.  But all the pattern browsing I’ve been doing to find a good pattern for her is turning up dozens of patterns that are not appropriate for her,  while so gorgeous I must perforce fall utterly in love with them.   The Frost Flower and Leaves Shawl,  the Celtic Knot Stole,  the Shetland Tea Shawl, and and and…..

For a bit of fun,  check out the DROPS advent calendar!  I love it – I wish I were a codemonkey who was actually paying for WordPress so I could make a widget that would go up in the corner and link the current day automatically.  Being a frugal non-codemonkey though, I suppose sharing the link and extolling its praises is the next best thing.