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Molly's Needles

My adventures in knitting... and a few other things thrown in for fun.

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Location: Massachusetts, United States

I got back into knitting because of the Harry Potter scarves and sweaters. Although I knit other items, replicating HP-wear remains my first love.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Still here

It feels like forever, though.

I wish I had lots to update about, but I really haven't touched my needles this past week. The Evil that is Kidney Stones reared its ugly head early Monday morning and has kept me in a semi-concious state since. I kept looking at my work longingly, but the disaster that was the Bird's Nest Shawl prevented me from doing any damage to things that would have to be frogged later- like the Quidditch sweater or several of the socks I'm working on.

I did do a bit of work on some simple garter stitch scarves for some friends, because how much damage can you do to scarves knit on size 19?

Shawl blocking was also put off, since I didn't think playing with tiny pins I could barely focus on was a good idea. That will be done tonight and I do promise there will be pictures.

Now that I am back to what passes for normal, I will be furiously knitting away to make up for lost time. Are we really less than 3 months from the holidays? Time to get cracking!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bye-bye, Banff

So last year I attempted to knit Banff from Knitty (sorry, to lazy to look up the link right now. My bad.), but I had major issues with the pattern. I ran seriously short on the yardage, problems with gauge, etc. In short, everything was saying I shouldn't knit this sweater. So it was stuffed in the "don't look at the unfinished work" pile and temporarily forgotten.

I really love the yarn, though, which is Cascade's Bulky Tweed in the Hot Pink, so I think I may frog it and do something simple with it. Like a basic pullover or cardi. Nothing fancy, because, really. When you are wearing hot pink, you don't need fancy. :)

This is also a response to my need for Autumnal items. I pulled my Hourglass Pullover out the other day in preparation of cooler weather and thought that I'd like another in a different yarn. Maybe a varigated (Wendy's version she's doing in Alchemy is gorgeous, but I just can't afford that!) or something a bit more fun. With all the new yarns coming out right now, I'm sure I can find something I like.

In the meantime, I'm still working on the holiday list, my sock pal's socks (really liking how these are coming. Hope she does, too!), and planning to block the Simple Garter Stitch Shawl this weekend. Pictures of that will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Let the knitting marathon begin!

Shannon, thank you for your praise of the Garter Stitch Shawl. I'll have to have someone take a picture in natural light once it is blocked; it's actually a bit darker and much richer looking in person. Sort of a royal purple heather, if that makes sense. But you are right that it is very cozy and soft!

I finally got my Sock Pal's socks started. Heather, I am so sorry for the delay! My main problem was that color preferences were listed as both earth tones and jewel tones. I had access to both and couldn't decide! I finally found a jewel tone that is sort of heathery, so I hope that covers all bases. :)

Also got a start on the holiday list last night. I'm liking this item very much and it's fun to knit. After the hols are over I will provide a picture spam of all these things, I promise. If I forget, someone please prod me.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Finished with time to spare!


All right, I still need to block (obviously), although it will mainly be to even out the bobble at the point and open the garter stitch up a touch. For all intents and purposes, once the ends are woven in (after blocking), it's done.

I'll do the blocking next weekend. I don't want to lay this out with the possibility of Blaze deciding to run across it. That still gives me a week to spare (the wedding is in two weeks).

Now, as stated earlier, on to the holiday items, which since several of the recipients have access to this site, will be spoken of as Holiday Gift #1, #2, etc. :D Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 16, 2005

Light at the end of the tunnel

I think I've got it figured out. How to get the finished size on my shawl, that is. I want a finished width of 72 inches across the top. I'm knitting at 3.5 st/inch and will block out to 2.5/inch. Therefore, I need a total of 181 stitches on the needles when I bind off (the pattern has an odd number of stitches, so I'm rounding up slightly). I've got 145 now, so that means a total of 36 rows remaining (two stitches increased every other row). If anyone wants to check my math on this, feel free. :)

I'm just into my fourth skein of yarn here (110 yds/skein), and not sure what the final total will be. But I have a feeling I'll have yarn left over. Maybe that will end up becoming a lacy scarf or something as an as yet to be determined holiday gift for someone on my list. I've got a few blank spots left to fill in.

Just had to say that I was happy with where I am. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Yay!

I got my new drop spindle in the mail yesterday! It's a Mini Rosa top whorl in tulipwood-cocobola that I ordered from Halcyon Yarn. It's so cute and spins so quickly. And what does this mean? Well, now I can start working on the fleece my dad gave me of the baby alpaca he had sheared this past spring! Woohoo! There isn't much because she was only a week old, but what is there is so soft. I'm hoping to get some fingering weight (or reasonable facimile) singles to make a stole or small shawl.

I also heard from my sock pal, so I'll be starting her socks this weekend. I have the yarn, I just need to find the right stitch pattern. Got a few ideas banging around in my head; I have to swatch to see which looks the best.

And I'm about half-way done on the Lana d'Oro shawl. I think. The original in the book was knit on size 8 needles and ended with 275 stitches across the top. I'm working on size 11 so my shawl is much drapier and more open, so I don't know if I want to go quite that large. I've got 115 stitches on the needle right now and have just started my third skein. I've got 10 skeins, so that's no problem. I'm still not sure how open I am going to block it, either. I guess this one is going to be a designed-on-the-fly shawl.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The joys of stash-diving

I've been preparing for holiday gift time, since it will be a handmade year. I am putting myself on a serious yarn diet, which means if it isn't in stash, it won't be knit right now.

That being said, I met my father's companion the other day. She's a lovely lady that I hope to see more of. Naturally, this means another item added on. The fatherly one said she likes softer colors. Yippee! Erin produces 7 skeins of Patons Decor in a light periwinkle color (left over from doing the Blanket from Hell, aka the Big Bad Baby Blanket last year). I'm thinking scarf. So now I just have to find a pattern for it.

Speaking of blankets, I've finally decided what to do about the young child's blanket made out of LB Jiffy. I'm going to do 7" squares in garter stitch and patchwork them together. I've done a couple and like the way the colors work.

Other than that, I am still working on the Lana d'Oro shawl (close to done) and will then be starting on the holiday list. If I don't come up for air in a week or so, someone please come rescue me! ;)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Everyone, please meet Trail

The color is a bit brighter in person, but we've all heard how I have camera issues.




I have 6 skeins of this, which I figure will allow me to do a monster-big square shawl or two large triangular ones. Decisions, decisions!

I do know the stitches I want for this, though. I mean, how could you look at this and not think "leaves"? And I found a gorgeous edging online of acorns and leaves that will work nicely.

It gives me something to think about and drool over while I finish the Prairie Shawl and Huffle Quidditch Sweater.

Wait until you see the other colors I got, too!  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Woohoo!

As I said yesterday, my Knit Picks order was waiting for me when I got home. Inside were 6 skeins each of Trail and Rose Garden and 3 skeins of Leprechaun, all in the new lace yarn, Gossamer. *wriggles in excitement* I can't wait to start working with them.

Also included was my color card for Palette. While I like most of the colors and would consider using them for a shawl or other large item, some are rather bright and should probably only be used in small doses or for smaller items, like gloves or mittens. On the whole I would say that the lightest colors were truest to the catalog. As you move into the darker colors (reds, yellows, blues, etc.) the actual yarns are slightly lighter and much brighter than the images suggest. In the neutrals, the nutmeg is a bit more pinkish than the picture and the cream is much less yellow. In fact, I'd term it to be more like a "winter white". But that's just my opinion.

One thing to note: in the catalog, the colors Fawn and Bark are listed under the wrong pictures. Just reverse them. My suggestion if you wanted to purchase any of these yarns for a significant project? Add the color card to your next order. Much better to spend $1.50 and know what you will be getting than to find out the 8 skeins you just received are the wrong shade.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I told you she would look better!

I did look for a live model to show off the shawl, but everyone I asked wanted to keep it for themselves! So I enlisted the help of the dining room table instead.




It's amazing what a soak and drying time will do. The finished shawl is slightly smaller than anticipated, coming in at 43" square, but still ample enough to wrap around the shoulders. I modeled it for several people and had no trouble keeping it on.

I have my purple shawl to do right now, but I will definitely be working this pattern again to have a version for myself.

Speaking of the purple shawl, I couldn't find a lace that I liked with the yarn, so I decided to let it speak for itself. I grabbed a set of US11 and am going to do the Simple Garter Stitch Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls. At that size, it should knit up in no time at all and will block out nice and open. Then I can move on to my next project, which involves the lace yarns I ordered from Knit Picks (and that arrived today!). But that's a post unto itself. Posted by Picasa

Shawls, shawls everywhere!

Cat's Paw has been blocked and I will take a picture of it tonight when I get home. I am very pleased with the way it turned out. As you may know from earlier posts, this was intended for wear at my cousin's wedding down at the beach. However, after reading about Give A Little, I decided it would be better served there. So I offered it as a donation and Margene and Susan have graciously accepted. Again, I can't say how much we all appreciate what you ladies are doing to organize this. You rock hand-knit socks! :D

In the meantime, I still need a shawl for the wedding. Since I am short on lightweight yarns right now (and don't have the patience to order something) I went stash-diving. Lo and behold, I rediscovered 10 skeins of Lana d'Oro in a gorgeous royal purple-heathery color. Well, you all know how soft that yarn is, right? So I'm thinking a simple triangular shawl with garter edges. I just have to settle on the lace pattern for the center. I was going to do a 3x3 leaf or St. John's Wort, but neither are open enough to show against the dark color. Maybe a Butterfly? If anyone has an idea, please offer. :)

Last night I went to a friend's house for scrapbooking. At least, they cropped while I swatched the Lana d'Oro. And I brought Cat's Paw to show off. Everyone ooh'd and ahh'd over it and I had to keep a close eye to make sure it would end up going back home with me! It's always so nice to see your work appreciated, isn't it?

One last thing: I just have to put this link up where it will be seen and not hidden in the comments area. Jennifer made these for her brother's birthday recently. The box is from a pet store to carry hamsters home. She turned it inside out and created the Weasley label. She used the pattern I posted a while back, but I have to say that I love the google eyes much better than the variations I've used. I may have to steal that, Jennifer! Anyway, they look like a happy family of Puffs, don't they?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

She's done!

I just took her off the needles and wanted to share. Of course, I do need to weave ends in and block, but I'm so happy about finishing this that I couldn't wait.




Please be patient. She will look much better after a bubble bath and stretching out to dry. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 02, 2005

Let's do our bit

While browsing my daily reads, I came across two ladies who are organizing to help those in need from Katrina. Check out the posts by either Margene or Susan for all the details on how you can help.

Basically, what they are asking is that you donate to The American Red Cross (any amount you can afford). Then, send an email to this address with your name and the amount in the subject line. They will have a tally list of all donations received. Plus, you will be entered into a drawing for items donated by people.

If you would like to donate a prize, send an email to the same address, putting the word "Prize" in the subject line and they will get back to you on where to send it. You can send some yarn, books, handmade stitch markers or something you have knitted. You get the idea. There is a blog set up that maintains a list of donations already received. And an auction will be set up for some extraordinary items.

Watching the news everyday has been heartbreaking. Here's our chance to do a little bit for those people.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Finished with the Cat's Paw center!

What I thought was an error last night wasn't. It was just me being tired. I am finally done with the Narrow Cat's Paw pattern that makes up the center of my shawl. I love the stitch, but I am ready for something different.


I have one more row of the transition area (the stockinette stitches right near the cable), then I'll be moving into the Old Shale, which is the border and edge of the shawl.

I'm making this out of Knit Pick's Palette in Mist (and by the way, I just got word that my order has shipped of the lace yarns I wanted, as well as a color card for the Palette. I'll post on how I think the colors compare to monitors and the catalog once they arrive- probably a week or so.), and am not quite halfway through my second skein. I have a feeling this will be another case of not needing as much yarn as she said in the book. Not a problem, as I like the yarn and can think of things to do with any extra skeins.

When not working on this, I've been pondering my first shawl design. I know the stitch pattern I want- Snowdrops- and have narrowed the border patterns down to a few. Originally, I had thought to do a triangular shawl, but I really love square shawls. There's something about being able to wrap up in them that I prefer. So I think I'll do a square shawl with the snowdrop in the center transitioning to either fir cones or something similar, and then a simple shale pattern for the outside. I need to pick up some sharper-pointed needles, as mine do not have near enough bite to get into the stitches.

But, as I said in the last post, once this is done (and well before the wedding, too!) I will be heading back to Hogwarts to finish my poor Quidditch sweater. Oh, and the Ravenclaw scarf. I'm afraid that has been languishing, too. Good thing it is still far too warm to worry about wearing it! Posted by Picasa