Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Europa Crescent

Indeed, it doesn't look like much until...
The blocking!  No fibers were touched by an iron.  Just wet blocked with pins at the points.  The inner edge held its own without the help of pinning.  A perfect crescent.
I love the color, the crescent shape (it hugs my shoulders), and it's soft.
The nupps are a disappointment, but I've forgotten the angst they created a few weeks ago... and I forgive them.  They are what they are.  

The pattern: Europa  by Kieran Foley  from knit/lab
The yarn: Angel lace by QuilteHuset Lace / 2 ply 70% Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere, 1312 yards / 100 grams  (Used 49 grams, like spiderweb silk!)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Lesson Learned?

Five years ago I knitted an excruciatingly complex shawl.  "Europa" Crescent...tiny needles, lace weight yarn, nupps, double decreases, you name it... it's all there!  And I loved that shawl... even though I wore it mostly bunched up around my neck under a jacket where the lace features couldn't be appreciated.  And I lost that shawl.  I looked for it at the end of last year just as I wanted to pack it with me to Norway,  and I was SURE it was going to shake out of a sleeve or hanger.  But it hasn't, and I began moping...
No more than two minutes after completing my Mosaic Cardigan I went to my stash, and pulled out some lace weight I've had for YEARS, and I cast on---all 643 stitches for Europa Crescent II.
What have I learned from my past teeth-gnashing?  The cast on has to be loose to get "points".  So I dutifully used two needles, and so far...

looks like it worked.  And don't forget the "lifeline"!
After the pointy section of Chart A, I remembered why there was teeth-gnashing five years ago.  (Remember, Pattie?  I had Europa I on the Pacific Ocean.)  Nemesis chart B:  Nupps.  Since then, I attended a class with Nancy Bush, and she patiently showed us the beauty of nupps, and I swear I paid attention and I don't remember saying to myself that I would never do that again... however, trying to stick my needle through 4 stitches and 3 yarn overs to make one purl stitch umpteen times in the first row, I was having flashbacks of throwing a certain project overboard somewhere near the International Dateline.  
By the time I was halfway through the second row of nupps, I recalled that I had resorted to a tiny crochet hook which would "more successfully" do the trick.  I was still picking up stray loops, and picking up new (to me) vocabulary.  But I persevered until the LAST row of nupps.  
(Aside:  Looking at the above photo, I don't have the capability of putting in a giant ARROW to point to the many nupps...and the thought crossed my mind--WHY was I putting myself through this pain when I really didn't see them?  The truth...I remembered thinking the same thing 5 years ago, and when blocked, I could see them.  I don't know if anyone else could but...)  
So back to the last row of nupps.  Another thought... I wonder if "lace" tip Addis are made just for this type of knitting...?  And I went to my closet, pulled out the lace tip Addis, and... DANG!  It worked.  Now maybe, if I had started with lace tips, I wouldn't have thought of this as such an epiphany, but they sure made my LAST ROW of nupps less painful.  Will I remember?  Will I ever venture into nupp territory again?  I hope I'm quicker to use "the right tool".  Needles: 2.5 mm

Nupp:  Into one stitch k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1.
Next row: Purl all 7 together to make one stitch.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

At Last...

So many people say I knit quickly.  I say I knit a lot!  And the truth is somewhere in between.  However, certain projects just take awhile because I get interested in something else, or another project seems more important, or more suitable to the time of year... At last, I've finished one that has been lingering in a bag, and on the couch, and in view in the living room since last August.
Purchased in September 2012 at the Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) Knitters' Fair, I should have been more eager, but somehow, it lingered.  And it's a beauty!
I've never knitted so much mosaic!  That's where you knit a garter ridge of one color, and then another garter ridge of the other color.  Modifications were made.

  1. I was undecided about the size.  Bought the L/XL kit and made the smaller size on tighter needles for the body only.  Large for the sleeves.
  2. The collar seemed unnecessarily tall.  I knitted it one-third the height of the pattern.
  3. I used a zipper.  It was supposed to overlap by about 4 inches, but it didn't.  And I really had a hard time imagining that it would hang nicely with only a button at the neck.  Now I'll never know.
I'm delighted to feel how stretchy it is, yet not shapeless.  AND the colors are beyond all expectations. (Colors: Salmon, raspberry and pumpkin. A feast!)
Thanks for the encouragement to use the sleeves and not make it a vest.  The sleeves were knitted first, before the body, and it was a good thing!  
You might want to have a look at my "Finished" page (see in the column to the right) to get a grip on what I've been doing since August....
Don't forget that blankety blank  time change this weekend!  It's especially cruel for someone with an 8 AM commitment on Sunday mornings.


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