Galadriel // Finally A New Pattern

Galadriel

I finally found the time to sit down and put together this pattern.  The Atlanta Knitters Guild Secret knit-a-long took place in June, 2009.  Since starting back to school I have not had time to do much designing or editing and so now it is November and the pattern, somehow, is complete and ready for sale.

Galadriel

I have another pattern in the queue and one in the head, so maybe I can stay motivated to get them out for you all soon.  The next Secret of the Stole Knit-A-Long will probably be next year sometime, but I have no idea when.  The two patterns that I have coming up are more narrow in theme and are really not suitable for a “world-wide” knit-a-long.  There will be another one, I just don’t know when.

Here are the links to Galadriel:

Patternfish and    

I hope you enjoy it.  Fair Winds, DK the Nautical Knitter

Productivity And New Challenges // What I did this week…

I have been enjoying myself so much this week I haven’t had time to stop and tell you all about it.  My classwork has slowed considerably since I am down to one class and next week is the last week of the Summer semester.    So, I have been a knitting/sewing fool the past week and a half.  Here are some things I learned how to do this week and some other things that I have either started or finished…

First up, I learned to do fair isle this week.  I have only tried this on my own once (winging it) and it turned out nice, but this time I am working from someone else’s pattern and am actually going to produce a pair of socks to boot.  The pattern is Elika, by Heatherly Walker.  The yarn I am using is knitpicks essential and kroy socks.  The pattern is bare bones and basically assumes you already know a lot about knitting socks.  It also includes instructions for a short row heel, which I have learned that I DO NOT LIKE!  The fair isle, on the other hand, is great!!  I can see more fair isle in my future!

Elika

Next up is a pair of gloves/mittens.  I have never made gloves or mittens before, so I figured I would make both at once and learn both at the same time.  The pattern is easy enough, but contains errors.  Actually, I expected better instructions in a pattern from Knitty.com, but free is free.  The concept of the fingerless glove covered by a mitten cap is great!  If you want to make a pair of these I suggest these notes as they helped me out tremendously!  So, now I give you the left hand of a pair of Broad Street Mittens by Janis Cortese.

Left Hand Back

Left Hand Glove

Left Hand Mitten

Left Hand Mitten

About a week or two ago the secret knit a long that I put together for the Atlanta Knitting Guild ended.  I designed an original lace pattern for them to knit so they could enjoy the experience of a knit a long and have a pattern (free) to call their own.  The KAL was done exactly like the Secret of the Stole KAL’s, but exclusively for the guild members only.  Here is the resulting pattern.  This pattern will be for sale as soon as we get the photos done this weekend.  If you would like to be notified when the pattern is available please join the Nautical Knitter Designs Yahoo Group.

Blocked and ready for the photo shoot this weekend.

Blocked and ready for the photo shoot this weekend.

As if knitting wasn’t enough, I also did a bit of sewing this past weekend.  This top is from a Butterick pattern (#4684) and apparently I am a smaller size in Butterick than in Simplicity.  Who knew?  So, this top came out a size or two too big for me.  I do like the pattern though and the next one should fit just right.  This one is being gifted, if it fits and she likes it …

Butterick 4684

The mail held some wonderful goodies this week as well.  I received 3 new books on my newest interest, socks.  Remember the socks that I just finished that were too short?  Well, I traded them for some awesome hand dyed sock yarn which also came.  Unfortunately, the US Postal Service has not delivered the socks to her yet and I fear that all that hard work may be lost.  If so, I will have to do something to compensate for this lovely yarn she dyed for me.  Snail mail stinks!

Can you tell what is on my list?

Can you tell what is on my list?

Well, if you made it this far in the post you deserve a treat, so for those who have been patiently waiting I can officially say that I have begun test knitting the Secret of the Stole IV!  YAY!  It is probably the coolest pattern I have done to date and I can’t wait to share it with you all.  The yahoo group is not open yet, but you can join the Nautical Knitter Designs group to be notified when it is.  Until then, here is a teaser:

Could it be?  Why yes, it is, SOTS IV in progress!

Could it be? Why yes, it is, SOTS IV in progress!

There you have it, my last week or so in a blog post.  I hope your week was just as productive.  Until next time, Fair Winds

Blocking the Secret of the Stole III

The Secret of the Stole III, like all of our previous stoles, has a very unique shape.  Sometimes, a uniquely shaped knitted piece can present quite a challenge during the blocking process.  This particular stole has rounded edges on each end so traditional blocking wires that are very stiff will not work well for this type of blocking.  Instead, we suggest the use of either thin blocking wires, thick fishing line (almost like weed whacker line), or even better, stainless steel welding rods of .30″ in thickness.  Here is how we did it:

We soaked the stole in clean warm water and a little bit of knit wash.  You can use baby shampoo, mild detergent, or even nothing but water.  Without agitation, we made sure the stole was thoroughly wet and then laid it out on towels, which we then rolled up to keep the stole moist.

Unrolling it a little at a time, we laced the welding rods through the very edges of the stole all the way around, using a new rod whenever needed.  For each rounded edge, we used only one rod per end so that the edge would not have a point or jagged look.  After “installing” all the rods in the edges of the stole, we then removed it from the towels and placed it on our blocking mats.

Blocking the Secret of the Stole III

Working on the straight edges first, we placed pins into the boards in a way that would hold the wires apart, stretching the lace to the proper width.  This is something that can be greatly manipulated in this type of lace, so you will want to make the stole the width that looks right to you.  After the straight edges are “straight” and pinned down the proper width apart, we curved the end wires out and pinned them down as well.  This is very easy to do, provided you use one wire.

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After you have the entire stole pinned out you will want to go back and adjust the pins and the width and length until it looks good to you.  Let the stole dry in this position and then, when dry, remove it from the boards and weave in any ends of yarn.

For more information on blocking lace in general, visit our previous post on blocking a stole or shawl.

Finally, wear your stole with pride and don’t put it away in a drawer.  You worked very hard on this beautiful piece of lace, show it off!  Enjoy.

Guinevere Has Dyed

Technically, she has been dyed. Originally, I knit this stole in Dye Your Own Lace Weight Yarn from Knitpicks. I wore it in the natural color for a while and decided that the color was too beige for my skin tone. So, since my son is getting married in 10 days and the colors in the wedding are cream and chocolate, I decided to dye it a chocolate brown. The hardest part of this entire process was lowering it into the dye pot. Here are the results.

Before:

Guinevere as knitted.

After:

IMG_0093dyepot

IMG_0094guineveredyed

How to read a knitting chart – New Video

I finally got a video done on chart reading.  It has taken so long and it is not the most “hollywood” production, but I hope it gets the idea across on how to read a knitting chart.

If you are interested you can see the video below.  This is the first of several that I hope to do.  Enjoy and leave me a comment, please be gentle…HAHA…

Secret of the Stole III KAL Officially Opens for Members

Secret of the Stole III KAL

This is the day I have been working toward. All this lace knitting that I have not been able to share with you is finally complete and will be revealed within the next two months. The Secret of the Stole III KAL group is now open for new members and now the work really begins. I really love this part though, because it keeps me very busy and invariably learning new things.

If you would like to join the group click on the image and sign up. See you there…

Secret of the Stole III – The Beginning

A few weeks ago I officially began charting the next Secret of the Stole for the knit a long that will be beginning in August. The theme and name have been selected and the design seemed to flow onto the chart effortlessly. Which is not unusual when the muse awakens and stirs my imagination. Things were going so smoothly.

Secret of the Stole III RunawayThe test knitting began in earnest, and then everything came to a screeching to a halt! The chart was not right, something was amiss. Time to rip and rework from the beginning.

Five times I went through this process, one time was not the fault of a chart in error though. It was the fault of being on the boat and not paying attention to the stitch that was running down the ladder like a freight train without brakes! Blame it on the dolphins that were playing nearby!

Anyway, apparently the sixth time is the charm and now the chart and the test knitting are steaming right along. Whoo hoo! The issue I was having with the chart was due to pushing the limits of my knowledge and trying to learn more about design.

One of the reasons I work on these knit a longs is so that I can challenge myself and continue to figure out why a particular pattern is working out the way it is, or is not. Learning new things can sometimes be painful, but most of the time it is well worth the effort.

Here is a photo of Sots and the Secret of the Stole III in progress. He is happily cruising along now.

The BeginningWhat’s that you say? You say you can’t see it? Hmmm, I guess you will have to wait until the knit a long in August to get a better look….

Sign-ups are not open for the knit a long yet, but if you would like to be notified when sign-ups begin for the Secret of the Stole III KAL, please join the Nautical Knitter Designs Yahoo group.

Happy Knitting…

Was that me I just passed in the hallway? Why yes, I think it was…

One thing I love about traveling is the ability to procrastinate for a valid reason. You see, I have been able, for the past three weeks or so, to put off doing many of the things I needed to do at home, because I was not “at home”. Ahh, but it always catches up with me and here I am swamped to the gills again. Somehow, it feels natural to me though. I am not sure it would be normal to not have “too much to do”.

I received a wonderful swap package from my friend Kimberly in Berlin. Here is the booty.

Swap with Kimberly from Berlin

What a wonderful swap partner! She sent me wonderful sock yarn in two yummy colors, a German knitting/crochet magazine, and loads of little goodies, including a sheep cookie cutter. The cream of the swap, however, was the rare as gold skein of Wollmeise yarn and the truly thoughtful double point knitting needle case that she made for me! I also especially liked the stitch markers she and Alida, her daughter, made for me. I put the needle case to use right away. I filled it with all the double points I could find in my office and then rolled it up, tied it with the pretty black velvet ribbon, and put it away. Man, what a wonderful gift! I was going crazy with my double points all over the place and not having enough time to make myself one of these wonderful organizers. Thanks Kimberly, et al!

Double Point Needle Case

We have been so busy lately with traveling and the Secret of the Stole II KAL (and our day jobs) that it has been impossible to find time to do much of anything else. I did manage to finish one of the sleeves for my father’s costume while we were on the boat last weekend. This sleeve will be attached to the tuxedo shirt that I took the sleeves off of a while back. It will be gathered at the shoulder and the scalloped edge you see at the bottom will be finished off with black satin stitch. Hopefully all will go well with this project and I can move on to my skirt and all the vests I have to make. Look for lots of posts on the progress of the costumes coming up, because the festival is at the end of May and there is so much to do still.

Dad's Sleeve Finished Another finished project is my Secret of the Stole II. About half way through the Secret of the Stole II KAL, I decided to redesign the shape of the stole. This meant, that I needed to chart the changes, keep up with putting them on the group site every week, and knit an entirely new stole to reflect the new pattern design. I have been knitting like a madwoman (hence the lack of blog posts) to get the revised stole completed before everyone else and so that we can go do a photo shoot for the pattern cover this weekend. I am happy to report that as of today the revised shape stole pattern has been completed and blocked.

The original stole yarn requirements were lace weight yarn and size 3 needles. When I decided to knit the new version of the pattern I wanted a larger, thicker, warmer stole so I went with dk weight yarn and size 5 needles. The stole blocked out to 93″ x 24″. It is alpaca and luscious. This one is all mine!!!

The original pattern will be sold under a different name and will be similar to this one, but the shape is different. Right now, (until March 21) we have both patterns for pre-purchase on the Knitwith.us web site for $10. After March 21 the price for the patterns will be $7 each. If you would like to pre-purchase, the links to both patterns will be sent to you on March 21, 2008.

SOTSII-blocking

I mentioned that we were on the boat last weekend. It was so pretty when we arrived that Mr. K was able to pressure wash the boat while I sat on the dock and knitted. Right about the time he completed pressure washing and began peeling the vinyl letters off the side and stern of the boat (we are changing the name of her to Island Zephyr) the wind began picking up. By the time he was finished with the last letter the weather radio was reporting gale warnings for the next 24 hours. They weren’t kidding! We slept on a rockin and rollin boat that night. It was really pretty cool!

The next day when the seas subsided, we had two very special visitors into the very narrow channel of the marina. We think they chased schools of fish into the channel and had a feast. Afterwards, as they were leaving, we believe they were mating! Too cool!

Name Change

Gale Warning

Dolphins

Well, that is about all I can think of to tell you guys right now. More frequent posting should be on the way since the knit a long is just about over. As if there isn’t enough to keep us all busy and just in case you didn’t know already, Spring Knitty is up…..

Fair Winds, D

Where Are We Wednesday – 02.29.2008

Welcome to Las VegasYes, I know it is not officially Wednesday anymore. I couldn’t let the leap year date pass by without posting though, so this post is officially changed to “Where We Were Wednesday – 2.27.2008″.

SOTS on the planeThe trip to Las Vegas began last week, on Thursday 2.21.2008. We piled all the book orders, luggage, dog, and of course my knitting projects into the car and left the house. Dropping these things off at their proper places along the way we finally made it to the INSANE “terrorist free zone” affectionately called the Atlanta Airport. Don’t get me wrong, stripping for a crowd would not have been so bad, if I was getting paid for it. Ahh, the pleasures of 21st century travel. At least I was able to take my knitting on the plane. Sharp, metal needles with a long nylon cord are ok, unopened water bottles in plastic containers, NOT ALLOWED! We went through the exact same “security” process on the way home as well and needless to say, I did not feel any safer, just more exhausted. I love my boat…

BreakfastSudokuKeeping up with the Groups

Mr. K was able to work on the ever frustrating Sudoku puzzle on the plane and we shared a breakfast of champions provided by the flight attendants, after the initial hour of riding through turbulent thunderstorms had ended. No kidding, I actually saw the plane flexing in the middle, like I was on a roller coaster ride.

The actual time we spent in Las Vegas was wonderful, as always. We stayed at Sam’s Town just off Boulder Highway. This is a place that we love to play, but we had never stayed in the hotel before. The room was much better than others we had stayed in on previous trips and this will probably be our hotel of choice for future trips as well. The room was an “inside” room, so our view was of the waterfall and gardens that they have created within the courtyard area. roomview

There were plenty of places to eat and none of them were on the list as healthy establishments, for sure. We enjoyed burgers at Fatburger and wings at my favorite wing joint, Hooters. Our favorite place to eat in all of Las Vegas, however, is a little place tucked away in the ***** * just off the strip. The place is called Ellis Island and is the best place in all of Nevada to get ribs and a beer. The beers are micro-brewed on site and are $1 each. The full plate of ribs is $7.99. Ribs, beans, and corn on the cob are the only thing they serve. There are no menus, but if you get there too late (after 4:00pm) the wait time for a table is minimum of one hour. We have waited 3 hours for a table before. Believe it or not, it was worth it! The Krispy Kreme doughnut shop inside the Excalibur resort is fun to watch, and it is even more fun to eat the hot doughnuts right off the line. We ended our stay by getting cheesecake take out from the Cheesecake Factory. Yum, Yum!

FatburgerHooters Ellis Island BreweryKrispy KremeKrispy KremeCheesecake Factory

Since we had rented a car, we took a Sunday drive out to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. Crossing over into Arizona and back again into Nevada we were able to get a good look at Lake Mead and the new bypass bridge that they are building to divert large trucks and heavy traffic off the actual dam structure. We were amazed at how much the lake was down since the last time we had been there. In the photos below you can see acres of bare land where there should be water. The marina tow boat was busy moving sections of their docks further out into deeper water in order to keep the boats floating.

Welcome to NevadaHoover Dam Bypass

Lake MeadLake Mead

There is never a shortage of things to do or things to see in Las Vegas. We visited some of our favorite casinos. There are very few that we prefer to play at, but several that we enjoy visiting for the scenery. The Bellagio has an atrium area that is always being reinvented for the current season or event. We really enjoy the Christmas display in this atrium. Since this was February, the display had been changed to the theme of the Chinese New Year. All the plants in the atrium area are living and they always smell so wonderful.Bellagio

Bellagio

We also took time to walk the strip again, taking in the sights of New York, NY, the Venetian, and the brand new Palazzo. The Venetian has a waterway running through the mall area and you can take a ride in a gondola for a price. This one came complete with a singing gondolier (oarsman). She could really sing! The white statue in the photo is actually a living person. It was fun watching the “statue” scare people who were approaching trying to figure out if she was real or not.

New York, NY Venetian

Palazzo statuePalazzo

Off the strip our favorite place to play is the Palms, four of a kind seemed like the hand of the week. Our game of choice is video poker, Jacks or Better. We hit several four of a kind hands each, but the royal flush remained elusive this time around. The Rio is another place we like to visit for the atmosphere. In the afternoon and evening they have a carnival show throughout the casino where they throw beads and dance. Makes me want to visit the real Rio!

Four of a KindRio

One of the best parts of the trip was meeting new friends and Secret of the Stole Sponsors. Below from left to right is Susie Rose, me, and Beverly. They met me at a local yarn shop called Wooly Wonders and we had a really wonderful visit. Susie Rose taught me how to use my spindle which I have owned for about 5 years now and not touched. Thanks Susie Rose! Beverly is a member of the Secret of the Stole groups and both of them are super new knitty friends of mine!

New Friends

Last, but not least, is Robbie of Ruby Vegas designs. You will have to look very hard to find a more genuine, friendly, and energetic person than Robbie. She is the Secret of the Stole shawl pin designer. I finally got the chance to meet her in person and it was a thrill!

Ruby Vegas

We had a wonderful trip (not counting the lovely airport hassles). Now that we have had our annual Las Vegas fix, it is time to refocus on the Caribbean. Perhaps the Florida Keys????…or beyond…stay tuned.

Secret of the Stole II KAL

The secret is in the mist…

Check out the Nautical Knitter KAL page to find out more about this new knit a long that will be beginning in January.  Please join up and don’t miss out on any of the fun!  In addition, feel free to snag one of these cool new blog buttons Mr. K made for the new KAL.  He is so awesome!

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