Saturday, April 28, 2007

Further along

The colours are a little different from that, but it's close. I'm very happy with it so far, I tried it on and it looks great.

There's just been one thing, and I'm not sure if it's me, or errata in the pattern. I'm doing the second smallest size, and when I joined and put sleeves on waste yarn, there were supposed to be 59 sleeve stitches on each sleeve. I got the right amount of stitches for the back and front parts, but the sleeves were 57 each. It's possible that I did something wrong, but if I did, I'm not sure what. Since that makes me 4 stitches short, I compensated by not doing the decreases in the first decrease row that comes after the first CC row.

I'm now realizing, of course, that we have a wonderful knitting community online, and there's a good chance that I can send a note to the designer, Wendy Bernard, and get a response when she has a chance. So I think I'll go do that.

FO: Eileen

Eileen Back

More Pictures and Info at my blog.


I'm new

Hi everyone, I'm new to KAL and blogging... my children are embarrassed with my computer skills, but they are in awe when I'm creating with fibre! My problem is that there are far too many beautiful projects everywhere and as I'm trying to finish a project, the next one grabs my interest and it takes forever to finish! I always have too many on the go. Your photos of work in progress are gorgeous.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Garter Stitch Border for Intoxicating

I'm ready to start the back of Intoxicating, and noticed that it's garter stitch border is done on smaller needles than the mosaic body. This surprised me because the front's garter stitch border was done on the same size needles as the mosaic. My garter stitch border rolled in the front, before blocking. I sent Kristi Porter an e-mail and here's her reply :

You have indeed found an error! Thanks for pointing it out.

The garter stitch should be done on the same sized needles front and back. Honestly, you can use larger or smaller without it making a huge difference -- it's a pretty small detail. So use whichever you used on the finished piece to make the unfinished piece :)
Ideally, they'd both be done on the smaller needles, but it's mostly there to prevent rolling rather than to provide any sort of fitted element.
Silk responds very well to blocking and it really makes a difference in how this top sits. I think you'll find that this will take care of the rolling.

I did block the front, done with the same needle size, and as you can see from the photo, it looks fine.

Because you asked, Jenna on resizing

Well, I didn't post this part of Jenna's email in my last post because I didn't think it would be that helpful to anyone. But because Stitch-ay Woman asked, I thought I'd throw this up there for every one to see.

Jenna on resizing Morrigan:
Aside from that, is it easy to resize? Hahahahaha. (Couldn't resist). Actually, if you played with the arrangement of cable panels, you might be able to increase or decrease the width slightly. But aside from that, adjusting the width would probably be hair-tearingly fun.
I figured that resizing would have to be done by adding cable panels, but I decided it wasn't worth it to me. (I'm between the two smallest sizes and decided just to go with the smallest size based on Jenna's advice.) What I AM doing, however, is not using the correct needle for my gauge. I got gauge on 3.0 mm needles and was only a tiny bit larger on 3.25 mm needles. I'm using the 3.25 mm needles in hopes of getting a slightly larger sweater.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Introduction and swatch

Hi! I'm Laura and I'm new to this KAL. I'm making Morrigan and I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one trying it. I've swatched and cast-on. Okay, I cast-on three times, but now I'm progressing swimmingly. :-)

Here's a photo of the two swatches that I made.

I contacted Jenna about sizing for the sweater and she sent me this information and gave me permission to share it with others:
A word of caution about ease: that bit you read in my blog was a
quotation from an e-mail I had sent to Amy early on, but that was from
the initial stages--I diverged from some of those ideas later on. Now
that I've seen the sweater on a live, moving body (thanks to YouTube--
if you look at the video embedded in Amy's blog right now
( about 1:00 in, there she is), I don't think 4"
of ease is appropriate. I think it's better if it's a closer fit,
maybe 2", if that. (The model--can't recall who it was--was wearing a
shirt, probably relatively thin, underneath.) If you're choosing
between two sizes, I'd probably err towards the smaller one, provided
it didn't have negative ease.

Of more concern is the length. I'm 5'2" and have a bit of an ingrained
bias that way, plus I was banking on the sweater stretching a bit with
wear, despite the fact that Calmer is bouncy. But I don't think the
sample Morrigan has been worn enough by anybody for this to happen
yet! If you're concerned about length, it's easier to alter than the
width; you might want to use the instructions for the larger sizes
(can't remember which, haven't got the book in front of me) because its
length is longer, and use those instructions (so far as length goes)
with your size--you'll be working a longer repeat for the central cable
panel. You can also tweak the length a bit at the very hem, where the
garter stitch edging is.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Shawl Update

This is about one weeks worth of knitting progress on my Sea Silk Tuscany shawl. Each row is growing and getting longer to knit. I love how you can see the lace pattern without any blocking so far. Abby

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I'm Intoxicated

This pattern is so fabulous. I was smitten the moment I saw it. I has the right mix of color & pattern to keep me interested. It works up fast too.
I'm using Cascade Pima Tencel . I had some difficulty picking the colors. My sister recommended the yarn and picked the blue and green from her available colors. I finally chose the deep orange. It needed the right intensity to make the mosaic visible. Thanks, Kristin!

Morrigan: Calmer vs. Elastico

The verdict is in... for me, the Calmer worked out better than the Lana Grossa Elastico for this patter. (I shouldn't be surprised, given my constant war with my pocketbook re. yarn choices):

The orange sample is the Rowan. The two yellow samples are the Elastico (the one to the left was done on 3.25mm needles, like the Calmer - the top sample is done on 3.00mm needles).

For more photos/information/blather, see my blog:



Saturday, April 21, 2007

Tomato- Take 1

I'm posting my progress so far on Tomato. I'm still loving the Rowan Cotton. This is my first garment, outside of a hat, so I'm very excited to participate in this knitalong. I'm just having trouble finding time to work on it. I hope to have more done over the next week or two and will post Take 2 then. Gotta get on it if I plan to wear this sweater soon.

Oh... I forgot to put the contrasting color, yellow, in the photo. I'll put it in on the next one.

First Rows

I'm about 20 rows in, but I thought I'd show the first part:

I like how the k1tf&b makes that neat line. I always wondered how this was accomplished, and though I've used that stitch in Clapotis, I didn't realize that it also did that.

Unfortunately, making the stitch is little hard on my hands. You do one, move marker, then another one, and that second one is harder to do since it's tight. Now that my piece is much bigger, I have longer stretches of time between it, but I still have 10 more increase repeats to do.

Oh, and there have been no fluffy bits in Periwinkle so far, unlike Stone. Maybe it's just certain balls.

Friday, April 20, 2007

half a geek...

Do not try this at home!!!... oops, I meant the subway.

Re. the Morrigan sweater pattern : this is my (rather lame) attempt at a "geek swatch" to see whether Lana Grossa Elastico would be a decent substitute for the Rowan Calmer called for. I say "lame" because last night I didn't have the patience to stick out the entire 6 inches. So - this tension sample is 60 stitches across by 16 rows high. The measurements worked out a bit wide (6.4 inches) and the right height approximately for the number of rows (1.4 inches).

In part, I aborted the exercise because I got the (rather silly) idea to buy a ball of each of the Calmer and Elastico in solid colours (complementary to this variegated one I had in the stash). My theory is that I will try the full geek swatch with both samples, then knit a tank top with the leftovers. In practice, this means that I will end up after all acquiring the Calmer (and taking a pay advance to do so...).

This pattern (taken from the R3 chart as suggested) was quite a bit simpler than I had thought it would be - or maybe my brain was functioning better last night than it is this morning! It will be a fun sweater to knit, I think... (but ask me again halfway through!)

I also, out of stubbornness, tried a sample with Super 10 mercerised cotton. I gave up after about 5 rows. I think it would work for me if I upsized to 4mm needles - but this would result in a sweater which would be way too big with me to wear, and I suspect, too saggy.

Any thoughts, suggestions, etc. appreciated.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Geeky Thing

First, the yarn:

I'm really pleased with the colours. I didn't get to see them in person before ordering, just pictures online. And even the pictures here aren't quite what it really is - it's not that shiny or bright. But I love the Periwinkle, which will be the main colour, and Stone, the contrasting colour for the pattern.

It's a roughly 6" x 6" swatch, and that's 1x1 ribbing in the middle that I did because it occured to me that I don't need to do stockinette for the whole thing. I hand-washed it with cool water and a few drops of cold-water Tide, and it's still drying. It looks pretty good, though, just a little fuzzier. The yarn is incredibly soft, I love it.

I didn't *quite* get gauge. With 7US needles, I got 19 stitches for 4". I wanted 18. But I did the math, and that's actually okay. It would mean around 1.5" extra, so doing the second-smallest size, I'd have a 37" bust, which is what I wanted. 35.5 would be too small, 40 would be too big.

Edit: I realized I made a typo. 35.5 is the size, not 34.5 like I had earlier.

yarn substitution - Morrigan

Hi all:

As an aside, I'm amazed at the beautiful work I see below. Itching to start something (after I finish the Samus cardigan from

I am loath to ask this question as I realise a great deal of work was put into determining the right yarn choice for Morrigan. However, it is rather too expensive for me to buy (at $15.95 cdn per skein) especially as I confess that I don't know whether I can stick out the whole pattern or not! ;)

So - I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about substitutes. I have come across one cotton blend yarn (which I've used previously) with the same weight (50g = 160m, 96% cotton, 4% polyester) - Elastico by Lana Grossa. I don't know if it's suitable or not - I can tell you that the finished fabric in past projects has been rather stretchy (I've seen patterns for bathing suits call for it, for example). The Elastico is about 1/2 the price of the Calmer where I'm at.




I finally got my yarn yesterday! I had a small problem at first, since I didn't have a ball winder and thought that the store clerk had done it before sending them to me (I'm not sure why I assumed she just would, I didn't ask and I should have). So I got my husband to help, and eventually I got the off-colour for the pattern into a ball to knit my geeky thing.

The yarn, Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton, is great. I get a fuzzy to pull off every once in a while, but it was great to knit with otherwise. Now I have a decent-sized geeky thing, and no time to measure, wash, and take pictures of this morning. Tonight, though, there will be pictures.

I did the swatch on my new Denise Interchangeables, which were great to work with. I usually prefer bamboo needles, and was surprised at how nice the plastic needles were.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Hi All - I've been admiring all of your beautiful knits! Isn't this a great book?! Can anyone suggest a place to get the Handmaiden Silken in the US? Thanks.

Another FO: Tuscany!

Sandra started this just after I spoke to her guild a little while ago. Look how beautiful! It's done in Seasilk (also by Handmaiden).

Starting Tuscany

Hello all, I just joined the KAL! I wanted to knit something pretty with my 2 skeins of Sea Silk and thought Tuscany would be perfect. I'm a little farther along than my picture shows. The colorway is Paris and I love how it is knitting up. Plus I'm using my new addi lace needles which are great. I think this shawl is going to be nice to wear this spring and summer. Abby

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


A very dear friend of mine will be undergoing chemo starting next week, and I'd love to make her a cap. I have 4 skeins of Eden Madil (100% bamboo) left from another project. It's so soft and silky, but I'm not sure how well it will work for a cap. Can anyone offer any suggestions? Email me at
catnurse (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

The "other project" with the bamboo is a gorgeous large gauge summer sweater, knit cuff to cuff, I can't wait for it to be warm enough to wear!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Surprises - Don't Like Them

I also don't like swatches. I realize, though, they're necessary sometimes. Case in point: I am seeking a substitute for the beautiful but obscenely high-end Classic Temptation 100% silk used to knit the "Sweet Indulgence" robe. It's for my daughter and needs to be college-proof.

One yarn didn't make it past the gate. This is "Oh My!" by Plymouth.

No stitch definition whatsoever.

For the rest, instead of measuring the swatches I traced them, labeled the tracings, then sent the swatches off to The Laundry.

I feel guilty about loading a knit-along with pictures, so here are the rest of the results from my first round of experiments.

They were a surprise.


Hello Everyone! I've already started knitting the cute Tomato sweater. I'm using Rowan cotton in lilac for the main color and a soft yellow for the contrasting color. This yarn is absolutely FABULOUS! I enjoy every single stitch. If you haven't tried it out yet, you must. I haven't taken any pictures of my progress yet, but I will put one up soon.

Thanks for letting me join this knitalong. It's a first for me.

River Rock Scarf

Here is a picture of my just started River Rock Scarf
I am using Handmaiden Silken in color Paris for this, the beads are from
I really like the way it is coming out, it was just a guess since the colorway used in the book is quite different from this one.

Eileen with a V

I think it turned out pretty good. I am pleased.

Eileen V-Neck

Look for an FO in about a week or so.

I have a few more details in my blog. I had to re-write the short-row shoulder shaping and I have a picture of the hem.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

being geeky & a cotton blocking question

Sometimes I get in a mood - a very non-commital mood mind you - when all I want to do is make swatches - lots and lots of swatches for potential projects or just a new yarn I think is gorgeous/exciting/fun. The book sugggested creating a notebook which I did & I love - now all my geeky swatches are organized & such. Here are a few pages from my book. Love it. :)

I also just finished knitting clapotis (my favorite knit to date) and had a question about blocking - I used Ella Rae Silkience - (6 balls) it's 41% cotton, 39% modal, 12% silk, 8% rayon - 108m/50g. Love the yarn - you should try it. So how do I block it? I've never blocked cotton, modal, silk, or rayon so do I soak it then pin it or pin it then spritz it or what? I don't have a stellar iron so steaming it isn't really an option. I don't want to post pictures of it big & finished until I have it blocked & gorgeous so here is a teaser:

Thanks & happy knitting!


Friday, April 13, 2007


I recently made Tuscany in a lovely Bamboo Ribbon by Makalu yarns. It turned out beautiful, I'm giving it to a friend for her belated birthday present.
I made it a bit smaller because she's a tiny person so I didn't do as many pattern repeats. It took two skeins almost compleatly, I'd imagine two and a half would do the whole shawl in the large format.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Well, I have had to restart tuscany 3 times, mainly because I am a knitting moron. First I dropped a stitch and when I fixed it it looked horrible, then the second time I realized I had been misreading the chart wrong every other row, then I realized when I wrote out the chart I read every row left to right instead of reading every other one right to left. ARGH. Although, I will admit it's not so bad because the yarn is so nice. Hopefully this time I will do it right. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Amy on Breakfast Television in Canada

I've never had the chance to meet Amy in person (I was pregnant last year during all the knitting shows and missed out on the opportunities to run into each other). But I already feel like I know her so well, and today I was treated to this interview she did on Breakfast Television in Canada, the local morning show in Toronto that broadcasts throughout the country via satellite.

She did an AMAZING job and it was so fun to see the No Sheep for You sweaters in action by local knitters/amateur models/bloggers Rachel H, Jacquie and Julia.

You can watch the video clip here:

Making a Mod to Eileen

I'm going to be changing up the neckline. I want a v-neck instead of the crew neck.

This is my first time changing up a pattern like this. I did some maths. It's going to be great!

Eileen V Neck Shaping

Monday, April 9, 2007

Tomato sweater completed

Hi, all! I just joined this KAL as a new contributor just in time to post about my first finished object from No Sheep For You. I chose the Tomato sweater for a nice spring garment, since most of my sweaters are wool and too warm for Southern California already. I used Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton for the entire project, and I love the feel of this sweater when it's on. If you're interested in more of the project details, you can read my summary on my blog here.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

silken for tuscany

I received my silken for the tuscany shawl a few days ago, but I didn't start knitting yet. I wanted to finish a baby blanket for my cousin before I started the shawl, and believe me it was hard to resist the lure of silken. The colors are so pretty and the yarn feels so nice in my hands. However, I was able to resist, and finished the baby blanket this morning. The means that I will start Tuscany this evening. In the mean time, here are a few photos of silken in "paris."

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Thank you, thank you, thank you

I can't believe that it took me so long to notice this, but I finally realized last night that the patterns are all sized into the plus sizes! I feel like I have totally hit the jackpot. Thank you, Ms. Singer, for incorporating this feature into your book-- now nobody needs to be left out. And the patterns are all styled so well by the designers that they will look great on a wide range (pardon the pun) of sizes.
Anyway, now I know that I am going to tackle Morrigan. Why not?!

Friday, April 6, 2007

I found Fake Sheep

Where have I been for the last two years? I discovered today the Fake Sheep blogger--who has been posting about her vegan knitting adventures since January 2005. She has compiled a fairly comprehensive directory with reviews and sometimes pictures of vegan yarns, in the categories of cotton, silk, linen, hemp, bamboo, soy, banana silk, synthetics, and "other"(although note that not all are available in the States). She also lists some other great yarn resources and bloggers that are also assembling directories of vegan, eco-conscious, or otherwise nonwool yarn. Check out her blog or this page for her listings.

"Fake Sheep" writes about these other nonwool yarn resources
non-wooly sock yarns
vegan yarn - vegan yarns referenced by fibre and weight.
michelleknits - sidebar of vegan yarns
knitter’s review yarn reviews - listed by fibre
green choices on the environmental impacts of fibre production.
tips for substituting yarn from knitty.
fiber burn test - figure out the fibre content of mystery yarns.

Brilliant! And if my camera was working right now I'd post a photo of the snow outside my window! How crazy that it is snowing on my tulips here in the South, and it's April 6 already!

Help with yarn

I'm going to make Tomato, but not in those colours (as pretty as they are, I'm not an orange person). I wanted to do a blue like this (Cobalt) for the main and silver or grey for the design. Unfortunately they don't have silver or grey, the closest is this which is a variegated, and I'm not sure how it would look. Does anyone know of a brand that has the colours I want?

I would like to do bamboo or soysilk yarn, but it has to be ordered from an online store, preferably one in Canada. I thought about the Blue Sky Alpacas cotton blend that's recommended, but I can't find an online store for that, and I don't know if they have the colours I want.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

spotted: Tuscany in progress

Look at the gorgeous Tuscany shawl Sandra is knitting! In Seasilk, no less. Yummy.

Yarn Profile: Cascade Yarns' Madil Eden

This summary is from the March 2007 issue of Yarn Market News:
Cascade Yarns' Madil Eden: 100 percent Bamboo

(16 solids, 6 prints; 109 yds/50g) is a silky bamboo that slides across your needles or hook. Whip up a baby sweater with this heavenly DK yarn; it's machine washable.

Wool-free Yarn Profiles

Hi KAL members, Are any of you interested in trying to add to this blog/KAL a master directory of wool-free yarns available on the market? This may be a bigger undertaking then I imagine, but I'm willing to give it a try if we all get involved. What I have in mind is that week by week I'll add a new "Yarn Profile" to the KAL, and anyone who has tried that yarn could post comments about their experience with it in the comments section, and if you have an FO or UFO using the yarn, you could post photos/comments in a separate blog entry. Everyone is welcome to contribute their own yarn profiles--they don't just have to come from the moderator (me). Once we get a few of these going I'll add a directory column on our master page with links to all the yarns' websites. I'm open to suggestions on how we might make this most functional and useful for everyone. And if you're participating in the No Sheep Secret Pal Swap event, this might give you good ideas for yarns to send to your pal. Cheers, Jaime


Hi, I tried using the e-mail address you gave but the message came back with an error. Is the address correct? Thanks!

Monday, April 2, 2007

So Excited!

I had such a wonderful pal during last summer's One Skein Exchange - I can hardly wait to get this one started!
Any suggestions for a quick summer bag?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Eileen Tank Back Finito!

Short rows are easy. After finishing the back of Eileen, I can see how it shapes the shoulders. Very cool. Click on the photo and you'll be taken to my Flickr page, where you can view a much larger version to see the lace detail.

Eileen Back

Am I posting too much? My take is that posting often keeps the KAL blog alive and happy. :)