Archive for December, 2007


Twelve inches of the Venezia pullover, done. Another few inches, a whole ‘nother sleeve, and the body still to go. I haven’t done any complex Fair Isle work before, so this requires my total concentration. Given that my husband is prone to jumping up and down on the couch and yelling at the television whenever either football or hockey is on, total concentration has been a bit hard to come by in the past few weeks, so I’m quite pleased with my progress so far.

Before I ordered the yarn for this sweater, I did a search to see what other knitters had to say about the pattern. Everyone said the same thing, and I’m joining the chorus: The colors won’t photograph well. On the computer monitor, the look totally different from real life. When I get a bit more done, I might try taking some photos with my SLR film camera that doesn’t oversaturate the colors so much.


My next Fair Isle sweater, all ready to go. Once again, the colors aren’t showing up right. Frustrating. They really do look very nice in person. That orange skein in the middle, for example, is more of a heathered topaz. One of my friends thinks that I need another light pattern color, but I think that the project is complicated enough. These are for the Owl Eyes Fair Isle Pullover, from Sweaters from a New England Village.


Simple socks, in a plain dark green, for my husband, who is neither simple nor plain, but likes his socks that way.


And, last, an early Christmas gift for me, courtesy of some early Christmas money from my mother. My knitting no longer will be carried around in a beat-up old freebie convention tote!


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Pattern: Wing-‘o-the-Moth Shawl

Materials: 3 oz Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight (see below for color)

Needles: US size 5 32″ circulars (or maybe 4s?)

Cast-on: November 21, 2007

Finished: December 6, 2007

Wow, was this a fast knit! I cast on over the Thanksgiving holiday and never really worked all that hard on it, but somehow it was finished the first week of December. Usually, a lace shawl takes me about 5 weeks of fairly intensive work. I think that this went quickly because the pattern repeats were easily memorizable. The last 50 rows or so were very long, taking 20 minutes or more each to knit, but the patterning was simple enough that I could take it everywhere and work amid almost any distraction.

Simple did not translate to dull: almost every stitch is shaped, with only a few channels on the border going straight up-and-down. Both the shawl-in-progress and the finished piece were visually interesting, and I received tons of compliments on the work both before and after I blocked it.


Pre-blocking, I thought that it looked a bit like the egg-carton foam that you can buy to put on your mattress.


The pattern called for a size 6 needle, but I have worked with Zephyr before and knew that I would not be happy with the lace on that large a needle. I started out on 5s, decided the lace was still too large, ripped back and started in again with 4s. It was a good decision. The lace motifs looked nice, and the finished shawl measured 68″ from tip to tip.


I made two small changes. The more obvious change is in the bind-off. The pattern calls for a regular, straight-edged bindoff, but I decided to try a crochet chain bind-off. It is a bind-off that I have used before and liked. It is nice and stretchy, a bit less tedious than my normal stretchy bind-off, and complemented the shawl edging. I also substituted a purl stitch for the K1tbl stitch that was specified for the center channel of the return rows. I think that the K1tbl stitch is supposed to draw in the YO stitches in the center channel, but I found that for me it made them look loose and sloppy. I’ve never had that problem before, so I decided to forget about the twisted stitch and go with a straight purl. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

I’ve knit with Zephyr before. It’s a nice soft cuddly lace yarn with just a bit of sheen from the silk content. I wound the yarn off of a cone that a friend bought, so I don’t have the color name. Maybe she will leave a comment and tell us what that color name is? I thought that the gray was quite flat, but many of my friends have commented that the color was interesting and had depth, so perhaps we are perceiving the color differently.

One last item: I’ve noticed that I get a lot of hits from people who Google the names of the projects I’ve written about. I know that when I do a search before starting a project, I want to see good clear detailed pictures and know about any pitfalls in the pattern, so I’m trying to write more about those things. Is there anything else I should include? Are the photos clear enough, or should I do more close-ups? I’m open to suggestion!

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