Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Then, Janina has not been feeling too well, so not much knitting was done. Besides, the poor soul is still waiting for her Zephyr to arrive! Let's all send some good karma her way!
Now, some exciting news. Quite a few of us have made some progress. But before we get to that, I'd like to introduce Colette's new blog to you. It is still very new, but she has already put up photos of some of her beautiful knits ... wonderful projects indeed. Besides, she is now halfway through Tier 10:
Alison has been very excited about her first toe-up sock. I love knitting socks toe-up too, BTW. She has not ignored her FPS, though:
Anne M has been out of town for a week and has just returned. She is now ready to start on Tier 5. Photo will come when she gets more done.
Beth found it very hard to concentrate on the lace knitting when 2 little kids and one big kid were always around trying to talk to her! So her progress has been slow:
Dawn thought that she would be lucky if she could get a tier or two done in a week:
Dorothy is now at Tier 6:
Finally, Heather was extremely excited over completing Tier 2, despite interferences from innocent cats and kids:
Ooops, I almost forgot to add in my progress:
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Don't most knitters have a stash of needles similar to their yarn stashes? Not at
Meg's house! She has one needle with TWO laceweight shawls clamoring for equal time!! Now that's frugal Meg! You had better finish that Clapotis soon or we're gonna have to have a fundraiser for your poor FPS!!
Valerie has had some sad news but she's keeping her hands busy with her FPS to comfort her. She's already on tier 9!
Finally Laura's got a meager beginning because her needles finally arrived but more importantly she's got a stunning new sweater that she's not 100% happy with...go see if we knitters can lend her a helpful suggestion or two!
Opal has a "one shawl at a time" rule but her resolve to stick with Hidcote is getting harder and harder.....come on girl, finish that Hidcote, your FPS is calling!
Kris has her FPS in time out - nupp issues, dontcha know? But she's headed out to her knitting group tonight where hopefully she'll get some nupp support!
After all of Melanie's troubles last week, she too has but her FPS in a time out while she knits pretty socks and a pretty sweater to "keep her sanity". Go take a peek!
I'm still recouperating from my juvenile FPS's untimely demise but the good news is I've chosen a new yarn (third time's the charm, right?) and I'll be debuting it soon. It's green, it's "safe" and it's lovely so things can only get better from now on!
Have a great week everyone and let's see some progress pics next week!!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
In the past week, we had much of the pattern errata woes resolved ... I hope! It's a good thing actually ... the sooner we discover these suckers, the better. Hopefully, we can all sail through our knitting from now on.
Last week, Anita sent me an email saying that she was confused about the instructions for picking up stitches. To answer her question, I read more closely into the pattern ... and voila! that's when I discovered how a big inattentive nitwit I am! I have been reading the instructions the way I thought they were ... not exactly what they are!
First, to clarify Anita's confusion:
For odd-numbered tiers (the knitting from right side to left) - pick up the stitches on the RS, insert needle from back to front, wrap the yarn around needle as if to purl
For even-numbered tiers (the knitting from left side to right) - pick up the stitches on the WS, insert needle from front to back, wrap the yarn around needle as if the knit
In both cases, you'll have the selvedge edge appearing on the RS of the stole, serving as the divider between the lace panels. This is where my nitwit part comes in ... I did exactly the opposite as instructed so all my selvedge edges are now on the WS! Thanks to Debi, I now know I have been doing a totally different thing! On examining my mass of lace, I thought that the difference between the selvedge edge on the RS or the WS is not that significant ... at least to me. So, I am not going to start all over again.
Now, let's see how the others are doing.
Alison was annoyed by turning the piece after knitting just a few stitches ... and who isn't, actually? So she put up a really really cool tutorial on knitting seed stitch backward. Go check it out and see if it helps you.
Anita should be on her vacation trip now. She sent me a photo to show how she organizes her lace charts and progress chart ... really cool. That handy red thing was a plastic folder she got from a past meeting. Instead of a pad of writing paper, she slid a magnetic board and it became the coolest chart reading board you can hope for:
Beth experienced a brief moment of panic when there were 7 stitches left waiting to be picked up on the left side needle ... and then discovered that she hadn't come to the end of the lace pattern yet! Still 14 more rows to go ... so the numbers added up. Isn't this a familiar scene to you?
Dawn's knitting lamp was broken thus making it really hard for her to knit with the teeny tiny cobweb lace. But don't worry, she has lots of other projects going on which are not cobweb weight. :)
Denise/CT has been playing with her silk lace weight from Colourmart. She will decide if this is the yarn she wants to use for the stole after the swatch dry out. Besides busy finishing her Hanna Falkenberg Diva jacket, she will also be busy entertaining guest this week, so it seems not much would be done on the stole.
Dorothy has progressed to Tier 4:
Gail is on the 18th tier! 18! WOW! She would also like to share with us that instead of using stitch holders or dpns to hold the idle live stitches, she uses pieces of waste yarns. This way, there is no sticks or needles getting in the way of the knitting and no danger of stoppers getting loose.
After much fiddling and frogging and starting again, Heather finally got her base triangles done and kept them safe from the kids and cats! Hide them well, Heather! She seemed to be struggling a bit with the lace patterns, especially the nupps. But that's the way it is ... you'll get better and better along the way. I'm sure you'll still be young and beautiful when you get to wear the stole, Heather!
Janine has finished her Kiri and now has time to focus on the FPS.
Janina is still waiting for her Zephyr to arrive. But when working on her Swallowtail shawl, she suffered some serious doubts of her own knitting because she thought the stitches were just too wonky. Then one package in the mail changed everything! She received her Bryspun circular needles. Test-driving the new tools, she immediately noticed how the right needles changed her knitting life:
"The stitches were even, and with the scoop tip there wasn't a fight to maniuplate the decrease manuevors. The join isn't perfect, but it isn't half bad, either. And the cord-- oh the cord! It doesn't twist, it doesn't kink, it just stays pleasantly put in a smooth, flexible, agreeable circle. The larger cord diameter keeps the stitches more in shape. I like these needles!"
How about the rest of you? Are you knitting with the right needles?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Here we are at week two and it seems some of us have made progress, some of us have made decisions and some of us seem to have dropped off the face of the earth, or at least don't seem to have the FPS on their radar at all.
Here's where you can read about my own personal heartache :)
Now Polly is a dedicated knitter and completely committed to knitting an FPS! She's so dedicated in fact she flew all the way from England to New York to pick up her yarn! Just kidding, she's in NY visiting with family but she did order her yarn while there so she's hoping it arrives before her return to the UK!
Look at Valerie's stunning Basil Zephyr stole!
She's already past tier #5, must be her ingenious way of keeping track of her progress that makes her so productive!
Peggy was all set to begin when she discovered she had the wrong needles! Luckily her wonderful hubby took her to a new LYS where she found not only the right needles but some cool new sock yarn too! She started the shawl and has worked the border and the base triangles but she didn't have her camera! Don't ya know we love the pics, Peggy?
Go give Leslie a big hug! She's hurt her wrists and can't knit right now but hopefully some rest will get her right back in the game! Feel better soon Leslie!
After a few pretty amusing false starts, Kris is now the mistress of her knitting! Look at her lovely beginnings...
Keep up the good work Kris. I knew you could do it!
Melissa has sadly decided the FPS isn't for her. It's a smart knitter who recognizes when her knitting isn't making her happy! We'll miss our Melissa but she's agreed to stay on as our official cheerleader! YAY!
Melissa has discovered cobweb lace isn't her cup of tea. She's ditched her first go and has now set her sights on a truly scrumptious yarn that will make her knitting much more enjoyable. Good for you, grrlfriend!
Finally we hear from Rochelle and isn't she a tricky one? She's knitting her FPS from LINEN!
You are a brave and bold knitter, Rochelle, that linen can be quite fractious but I'm sure you'll tame it for a fabulous stole!
Sure seems like that sage-y, basil color is a popular one around here!
So there you have it for another week....the stoles all look wonderful, the companionship a real morale booster, especially when things aren't going *exactly* as planned!
Have a wonderful week and just keep knitting!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
This was a correspondance that took place between Melanie and myself tonight. She asked me to post it to see if anyone else was having the same difficulties and to prevent anyone that hasn't started yet from having them....
Here ya go Melanie! I'm gonna go post this too so we can get additional feedback from the group!
HI Debbie, It's DEBI actually :)
First off I am so sorry that you had to frog your shawl. How heartbreaking! But, I think you will be happier in the long run. thanks for your support!! A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!
Second, I am having difficulty with the pattern. I bought mine individually from the Alpaca Yarn Co..and I think it has some errata. Did you check the alpaca site for errata, you might also send them an email if it's not posted!
For example, on the last row of the lower border it has an additional (K6;K2tog) twice. I know that is a mistake because that would require 16 extra stitches totalling 157 stitches..and there are only 141 stitches for the row.
So now, I am working on the bottom triangles. The first triangle has you start on a WS row. On the WS rows you slip 1 wyf, purl, purl 2 togs, and do the M1's. On the RS rows, you slip wyb, knit (or moss stitch.), and thats it.
Ok, so now I am on the 2nd triangle and this is what the pattern says to do.
Row 1 (RS) Sl1 wyb; m1 (2 sts for the 2nd triange; 20 sts are left for 1st triangle) turn.
Row 2: Sl1 wyf; p2tog (2 sts): turn. Ok as far as I can see your pattern is wrong! for the base triangles ALL odd rows should be on the WS and you start each triangle on the WS!!
Ok that part is clear..I am guessing that my m1's will now be on the right side rows, and now my decreases will be k2 tog instead of purl 2 tog..or are the decreases still on the WS of the work?? YES, the decreases (p2 tog) will all be on the WS
But then after these 2 rows of instructions, this is what the pattern says.
"Work as the first triangle starting with Row 3 until you have 21 sts on the needle and proceed to next triangle."
So..according to what I just did (see pattern above) row 3 should now be a RS row..but if I follow the first triange instructions row 3 looks like this: No, your pattern is wrong, ALL ODD ROWS WILL START ON THE WS!
Row 3:Sl1 wyf; m1; p2tog (3 sts) turn
and then row 4: Sl1 wyb; k2; turn
The above 2 rows are correct according to my pattern but again row 3 should be a WS row
See? my RS/WS rows are switched...and I am decreasing on the RS (and into the first triangle).
I am not sure what to do..I have done a smidgen of entrelac before, but this is a little "chewey" for me.
I am wondering if you or anyone else in the KAL has noticed this (has the single pattern) and know how to fix it? Or maybe could explain how to do it correctly? It's very odd, beacuse others are using the pattern from the Alpaca company yet I haven't heard of this error before. Vicki did note the discrepancy with the border like you so maybe some patterns have been corrected and some not?
Could you maybe post this? I would have but I cannot..=( I will after I send it back to you!
I am now worried that there will be more errata in my pattern. I have barely gotten started and have already found 2 mistakes. GRRRR!
P.S. there is also a possibility that maybe the pattern is correct here..and I am a big dodo head..but I am quite confused no matter what! =) You're not the dodo, don't worry :)
Hope this helps!!! Debi
Any comments? Anyone else having any difficulties? Jump in ladies! Thx!!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
A few more from the group have started the project and it seems that things are going pretty well. However, I did have a little bit of mishap during the weekend. I used the KnitPicks dpns as stitch holders for the idle stitches ... BIG MISTAKE! The needles are extremely slippery ... and I forgot to put the stopper back ... oops, several stitches slipped out and became unravelled. After some unsuccessful attempts to salvage the damage, I resolved to frog ... and you know how the rectangles and tiers are related to one another. I ended up having to frog 4 rectangles. But I still count myself lucky as I don't have to frog the whole thing! I have almost thrown the dpns into the trash bin ... now I am using bamboo dpns.
Alison hasn't made much progress on the stole ... but she's been busy finishing her second snowman vest (a wonderful fair isle project) and a tutorial on making polymar clay buttons on her blog. If you want to learn something new, go check out her post.
I was over-excited over the idea of vacation trips, others' vacation trips, that is ... hahaha ... Anita told me that she hasn't left for vacation yet! She has started and is trying to get the base triangles finished before leaving.
Anne M was frustrated when she switched out 2 of the rectangles and ended up having to frog. She was happy to report that everything has been fixed now.
In Beth's own words, "all is going well, just like molasses". This is because she said that she was slow in seed stitch but she has finally got all the triangles done.
Colette is working really hard on another enormous lace project - the Unst Stole! So progress on FPS has slowed down a bit ... she is now on Tier 10. She has a plan ... to complete one tier a week among other knitting projects she is working on. Can you tell she is a multi-tasker?
Dawn has just completed her first tier and would have updates on her blog every other week. See if you can spot her FPS here:
Denise/CT just got home from a vacation in FL (Is everyone going on vacation here? *sigh*) So, her first priority right now is the laundry and groceries. Afterwards, she has a decision to make - a lace weight silk in a soft pink or a lace weight cashmere in a pale blue. Let us know if you have decided, Denise.
Dorothy enjoyed the knitting of a Debbie Bliss sweater so much that she had hardly worked on anything else.
Gail has found a way to keep track of her work: "make a photo copy of the layout diagram, take 4 different colors of highlighters or colored pencils. As you complete a square, color it in. The 4th color is the border triangles. This way I can see at a glance where I am and how far I've yet to go. It also makes it easier to see the diagonal set up of the different squares. I also colored in the diagrams below the chart of each leaf so I could see at a glance that green was fern, blue was birch and orange was lily of the valley." Sounds like a very useful tip ... and I am going to do that! :) Thanks for sharing, Gail!
Heather was very excited because she not just received everything she needed for the project (it's a birthday present from her husband, by the way. How sweet!), her swatch came out perfect and she was very happy with her choice of yarn. She is going to do garter stitch for the border. She is also planning to challenge herself by knitting through the charts instead of written instructions. Well, it's really not that difficult, Heather, and I'm sure you'll feel like so many others once you are used to it ... charts all the way!
Heidi has done some serious calculations before starting the project in order to get a size that's good for her. Instead of casting on 141 stitches, she did 96. This means fewer triangles and rectangles per tier ... would that translate into faster FO?
Janine couldn't resist the temptation of the stole anymore and started ... she has finished the seed stitch part and will be moving into the lace patterns. But for the moment, she has to put the stole down and come up with a hoodie for her 10-day old great nephew.
Janina is still waiting for her yarns. Her hands are not idle, though. She is working diligently on her introduction-to-lace project, the Swallowtail, and is half way through the bud lace pattern in the center of the shawl.
Katrina just got past the base triangles and started on the Birch lace. She had to frog the first attempt because she forgot to do the ssk at the end of the rows.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
So where are my girlz at?
Yours Truly has, like many of us, "slogged" thru the seed stitch and is about to start tier 1. Does it count as extra sloggy if you're knitting with ultra slippery pure silk? I think so! :)
Laura hasn't started yet but she does have a much bigger surprise - she's a new grandma!! Go congratulate Oma La!
Our Meg is quite the lace maven! Not only has she gotten thru the border and triangles in her gorgeous Merlot Misty Alpaca, she's simultaneously begun a beautiful wine colored lace Butterfly camisole. Of course it's summer in Meg's part of the world so the more lace, the better!
Another lover of the green, Melanie says her Inox circ and stunning Emerald yarn are making her a happy knitter!
I think Melissa is dreaming of spring, cause she's knitting a beautiful Rose before she walks down the Forest Path.
Three times is the charm for Melissa ! Look at this stunning first tier! And in her own handspun too!
Nancy's waiting for her yarn to arrive...I can't wait to see the silk/alpaca blend in teal she plans to use. So, no FPS for Nancy yet but if you want to see an amazing quilt and a "real" Forest Path, go pay her a visit!
Opal just finished a stunning Shaped Triangle and has a Hidcote on the needles but her FPS has yet to make it's debut.
Her FPS on hold for a bit, Rebekah is using her time to help a friend and fellow knitter out - go visit her blog and see how knitters can bring a man to tears!
Valerie must be a speed knitter! She designed and knit a cool pair of socks celebrating Mardi Gras and is beginning her first tier in her lovely green yarn! That's a lot of knitting in a week, girl!
Vicki is having some computer issues but has cast on and will keep in touch as much as she can!
Haven't heard a peep out of blogless Lotte, Miriam, or Roseanna. Come on girls, show us what ya got!
Don't forget to check and add to the comments here for info or questions and have fun visiting with your fellow FPS-ers!
Have a great week, knit lots and I'll see you next Thursday!!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Since Heather had problems logging into her Blogger account, she would like me to thank everyone who shared their experiences with her.
My reponse to Janina's question: I didn't do the rectangles on dpns ... I just put each set onto one dpn for the sake of taking the photo. I actually put ALL the idle stitches onto one stitch holder (made from a dpn) and then do the knitting on circulars. I know some people just used one circulars for holding the idle stitches as well as knitting at the same time. :)
Okay, we got loads of updates from you ladies this past week. But before reporting on that, I'd like to recruit some help for our newest member, Heather, "Do you think that casting on using a size bigger needle gives a loose enough cast on for this shawl? I haven't done lace before, so I started knitty's "Branching Out" and after 6 tries to cast on loosely, I gave up and used a size 8 needle to cast on and am knitting with a size 7. It seems that edge is plenty loose, but not sure about the FPS." Any thoughts to share?
Beth has just finished a gorgeous weaving project, which you should all go and check it out, and she is working on the border of the stole.
Anita did a Lily of the Valley swatch with her alpaca silk blend from Webs:
Anne M just told me this morning that she decided to use Zephyr in creamy white, though she was strongly tempted to get the lettuce Suri Alpaca. She is now in the middle of the triangle rows and can't wait to get into the actual lace patterns (who isn't?).
Dawn felt the lighter lace yarn (2300yds per 150g) was a bit scary but I think she has been doing very well. She got past the triangles and did the first rectangle here:
Dorothy experienced the "got it" moment and is heading towards the end of the first tier:
Janina finally decided on using Zephyr in vanilla instead of the Artisan Lace, which she would save for the Swallowtail Shawl from the Interweave Knits of Fall 2006. She is awaiting the yarn and some Bryspun circulars to arrive.
And now, you should all hop over to Janine's and admire her latest FO, the sexy shrug ... which I have been drooling over since I saw hers. She is going to use a luxurious merino/cashmere/viscose blend in a cool silver grey colour. I can't wait to see Janine knitting up this lovely yarn.
Heather is very excited about starting the project and she is going to use KnitPicks Shimmer in Maple Leaf colourway.
For me, I spent four days working solely on the stole ... with the most knitting done during the weekend. I am now done with the second tier:
Nice work from everyone! And I can't wait to read Debi's updates on the other half of the group. For those of you who can't start right now, don't worry or feel bad ... there is no need to! It's a long time project and there is always time to catch up.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
It's so nice to see the diversity of choices everyone has made for themselves yet it's more than cool to know that almost 50 (woot!) knitters from around the globe are working on the very same project at the very same time....the miracle of the Internet and proof of how small our world really is!
Yikes, all the Nyquil has me waxing poetic :)
Agnes and I have an announcement for the future. Because the FPS is a rather long term project we thought it would make things easier to posts updates with a schedule.
Starting next week, Agnes will post updates for her group every Tuesday and I will post updates for my group every Thursday.
This will enable each group to anticipate our updates and post to your blogs/and or contact your hostess accordingly. Plus there will be enough activity on this blog to keep everyone's interest without any pressure to meet "deadlines" of posting daily.
So I hope everyone has a great weekend full of even stitches and smooth needles! See ya next Tuesday!
PS - thanks for all the well - wishes, I plan on nothing but sleep, tea, chicken soup and Nyquil all weekend, with maybe a stitch or two thrown in!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Ok enough hyperbole, let's get to the good stuff!
Valerie has chosen her yarn, swatched and finally the perfect needles have arrived but she’s busy designing a sock right now and she’s torn between sock design and FPS! Which will win?
Laura’s chosen her beautiful yarn but the needles on hand leave something to be desired so she's off to the LYS for new ones and will be starting soon.
Rebekah is super organized and ready to rock and roll! Look she’s even got a cute little container for her pretty gray yarn!
Peggy originally started in 2002 when the pattern came out but she wasn’t thrilled with her progress…..she’s frogged her first attempt and she’s ready to try again with a lot more experience under her belt!
Leslie has her yarn and has gotten gauge to perfection but she’s not really happy with her needles. She feels she’ll be happier with bamboo but she does love her yarn! Show us what that pretty Lettuce alpaca looks like grrlfriend!
Linda’s using some stunning pink alpaca called Rosebud, perfect for February, the month of love!
Poor contaminated Kris She’s swatched with her gorgeous autumn colored yarn but her little girl is sick which makes seed stitch on tiny needles next to impossible! Feel better soon AG, and stay healthy Kris!
Melissa got an early start but realized that she doesn’t have enough yarn. She's planning on a smaller shawl to accommodate the yarn she has and will make a shawl that will be more wearable for her!
Melissa had a bit of a hairy start but she's calm and collected once again! We know you can do it Melissa!
A great beginning ladies, I can't wait to see everyone's progress shots!
Gail started the project 5 months ago and now has 5 more tiers to go. She is using basil green Zephyr in cone, so the project is limited to be a home project. I think she has been doing something we are all going to do: "This pattern is so beautiful and I just drool whenever I spread out my progress and look at the stole thus far."
So it seems Zephyr is the one most favourite yarn among us. I think it would just be spectacular when we put the photos of our stoles, all in various colours, together! So, Happy knitting and wonderful weekend, everyone. :)
After such long waiting, the KAL finally and officially started. I started after midnight last night ... well, kind of ... as a gesture, you know. I casted on and knitted 3 rows of seed stitch border and decided that it was time to go to bed. But I know that some of you have made much more progress than me already.
Alison is using an alpaca silk blend from Webs in forest green. She started the project back in July 2006 and it soon became an UFO. To prepare for the KAL, she dug the project out and here it is:
Anita is also using an alpaca silk blend from Webs but in creamy white.
Barbara is going to use Zephyr either in jade green or aegean blue ... both are gorgeous colours.
Carine joined the KAL for moral support while she is already on Tier 5 of the stole ... I think we can all give her some cheers on this. She is using KnitPicks Alpaca Clouds in a creamy white colour.
Colette has been impatient and started already (we can all understand that, Colette!) and is now on Tier 7! Wow! Impressive progress:
Dallas is still in the process of deciding on the yarn ... a process she told me she enjoyed ... good for you, Dallas.
Dawn has made a swatch using a heavy lace in blue from Colourmart UK:
Dorothy is using Zephyr in Ladyslipper, a pretty pink/rose color. Actually she started a day before and is now on the base triangles. For those of you who are not sure if you understand the pattern, here is what Dorothy has to say, "I'm on the base triangles and it's
making perfect sense. Just have to follow the directions!"
Heidi is using a 50/50 silk/merino blend called Solsilke in natural colour, but she is considering to dye the yarn into purple or burgundy.
Janette will be using Zephyr in white. She has also kindly given me a good tip in knitting with black lace - keeping a white towel on the lap to provide contrast! What an intelligent trick ... thanks, Janette.
Janina is waiting for a back order of Artisan Lace by Margaret Stowe (lovely!) before she can start.
Julia is using Briggs & Little 1 ply wool in washed white.
Katrina is going to use KnitPicks Alpaca Clouds in peppermint pink for her second stole.
Finally, our other hostess, Debi, is feeling a little bit under the weather today and she may not be able to start. Let's all wish her a quick recovery!