Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dear Deer Deer

Last Thursday, the cats and I were mesmerized by this baby deer who hung out in our back yard for several hours.
It was accompanied by its mother, a considerably larger creature!
They were amazing to watch.

Their ears swiveled with the slightest sound, and they stood still as statues. The cats were very intent on watching them, and so was I. Eventually they ran off , and I could finish my sweater:

Now I have to block, obtain a zipper, sew it in and all will be well!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Swatch

St Margaret is coming along nicely. I decided to try the braid cable on the bottom, and figured I'd have enough yarn with my last skein....drats! FOILED AGAIN!
I started the edging with an I cord cast on of 17 sts, then began working braid cable, attaching it by SSSK on every RS row. I was moving along pretty well, but ran out of yarn 8 inches before the end! Luckily Ravelry has a stash feature, and generous folks who want to sell or trade their orphan balls sometimes list them in the database. So, I got really lucky, and found someone kind enough to trade a ball of yarn ( same dyelot! Joy!) for a copy of my Ingrid Cardigan now I wait until it arrives...
Meanwhile, what to do? I finished Cosmos Cardigan.
I decided to cast on for The Summer Swatch Me Sampler, hosted, created and devised by my friend Andrea of Bad Cat Designs, who blogs at . This is an amazing knit- along, with a sampler stole as the focus of a 9 week extravaganza of lace. There is a Yahoo group for it here:
So I collected all of the laceweight and sock yarn I had and petted it and thought about what I wanted to knit. But, knowing me, I would never really wear a stole, nor a shawl. I'm currently focussing on sweatery things, as you know....So, what if I knit this as a sideways cardigan, and added sleeves along the way? I found 2 lovely skeins of Great Adirondack laceweight Egyptian cotton that I bought last summer. 1000 yards in total.That might be enough for something lacey...So I cast on provisionally as directed in the project , thinking 5 horizontal repeats on a size 5 needle might give me enough width for something useful. Three vertical repeats ( 25 rows) into the lovely pattern, however, I had about 14 inches in width and 2 1/2 inches in depth.Even with a deep border, this wouldn't be enough to make the 24 inches I'd need for a sideways cardigan.So, would be enough for the back of a top-down, set in sleeve sweater, however. I pondered this idea, not wanting to cut the yarn, as each skein was 500 yards and the knots would be difficult to hide in laceweight. And if it didn't work out, I would be sad to have cut the yarn...
So, here goes craziness! I put in a lifeline, and picked up 12 sts along the 2 garter stitch edge, which brought me back to the provisional edge. I picked up 25 live sts along the provisional edge, being careful to capture the stitches, and leaving the provisional yarn in place in case I need to rip the whole thing back to the lifeline.
Now I worked 25 rows, following the pattern, but adding a stitch at the outside edge, and increasing every 4 rows at the neck edge, so when I was done with the 25 rows, I had 12 edge sts already picked up.This left a bit of a lacey edge, which in retrospect I probably shouldn't have done, as I could have just picked those up, but no matter. I placed an orange marker, and knit across the 24 edge sts which formed the top of the sleeve, around to the back, worked across the back, and then picked up 12 along the other side. Then worked 25 sts across the provisional cast on, and so forth. Voila! Now I had 2 fronts and a back, and sts picked up along the top of the armholes. Not exactly symmetrical, but one row extra isn't going to matter much in this busy yarn and lace pattern. Now, I proceeded to add one stitch on each side of sleeves every RS row, and one every 4 rows to each front, keeping the stitch pattern when possible. Here are some views  to row 48:
I am having too much fun! On a hot summer day, playing with cotton lace is wonderful. Thanks, Andrea!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wild Life

We have had a lot of visitors to the back yard lately! One morning we awoke to the sound of crows cawing, and looked out to see this beautiful red fox in the yard:
And of course, it is deer delivery season
This was a very wobbly speckled baby, and it was adorable to watch it try to follow the mother, until you think of the devastation of the gardens and the rampant Lyme disease in our area...Sigh. What is one to do? Knit!
Here is progress being made on St Margaret, which will be ready for publication on Ravelry by the end of the month! I can hardly wait to wear this cardigan especially since I thought it needed pockets. I used an I-cord cast-on across the held 30 sts, and it looks like a continuation of the cable, so I am pleased with this result.As I only have one skein of yarn in the right dyelot left after this one, I will use the non-matching dyelot for the inside of the pockets so I can get as much length as I need.I'm still mulling over whether to put a braid cable around the bottom or finish it with ribbing. I love the top down process, where I can adapt the knitting to my wishes!