Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bruised Ribbon Complete!

Well it took about 4 months to complete, that's a really long time for me, but it was because it was on size three needles. The other attempts at lace that I've actually finished were done on size nines. I did also put it down a couple of times in favor of quicker projects, because I was sick of looking at it, but still.

Ok so the pattern is Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery and it was published in the Spring 2008 issue of Knitty. The pattern calls for 2 skeins of Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox but since I'm on a yarn diet in preparation for Sock Summit and OFFF, I decided to use BMFA STR lightweight in Knitters without Borders that I'd gotten from their 2008 Earth Day event with The Yarn Harlot as guest speaker. Don't have any pictures from it though as I hadn't started blogging yet, and wasn't obsessively taking pictures of everything.

I used the backward loop method to cast on so it has a pretty stretchy end. I'd say that if you haven't attempted lace in the past because it just seemed too complex or the repeats too hard to memorize, this would be a good one to try. The repeats were very easy to memorize, which if you look at the pattern notes, is what the designer was aiming for. Another great thing is that there are written & charted instructions, so you can use which ever you're more comfortable with. Personally I do better with the written directions, I don't know why but looking at all those little boxes with symbols in them make my eyes go nuts.

So while the pattern isn't all that complex and I think the instructions are clearly written it is inevitable that I made many mistakes that involved ripping the sucker out to my last safety line, so I could make sure it was properly fixed. I seemed to have issues with remembering to do 2 yarn overs. As it was I ended up with 2 mistakes that I didn't notice until I was a good 12 inches past it, and so I left them there because they weren't going to run, and I really didn't feel like doing all that work over again.

It was after one of my frogging sessions that I decided to take a timeout and test knit this cabled scarf. The Pattern is Christina by Adanna Smith and is available as a free download on Ravelry. The scarf was designed to go with the Evangeline fingerless mitten pattern by Michelle Szeghalmi that at the time was free but it now costs $3.00 CAD through the Ravelry store.

The pattern called for Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted, but I've used it before and I don't really like how it wears long term, and that's probably due to it being 75% acrylic. Instead I used the BMFA Worsted Ware(discontinued) I'd picked up at the Barn Sale before Christmas. I didn't knit any farther than what in the picture and frogged it, because I wanted to make the gloves to go with it first, so I could just keep going on the scarf until I ran out of yarn. I was also toying with the idea of adding more of a border so the scarf would be wider.

I'd gotten to about here when it was pointed out to me by a friend's girlfriend that it looked like argyle. Up to this point I'd just been seeing it as pooling with a zigzagging heathered effect.

Yeah, observant that's me. I'm going to claim though that the reason I hadn't noticed it, was that I wasn't spending much time stretching it out and ogling it. I was too busy actually working on it...

So to celebrate finishing off the 1st skein of yarn, I decided to test knit mittens!

Ok, so I think it should be pretty clear by now that I am not a one project woman. I'm pretty good about getting distracted by other ideas and at any given time I have between 3 and 8 different things in progress. This ensures that my living space is perpetually cluttered with partially finished THINGS.

Anyway, these little guys are the Pointy Mittens by Adrienne Ku, last I checked she hadn't made the pattern available publicly yet, it's still in testing. I sent her my final feedback on it in the end of February/early March though, and haven't heard from her since so I don't know if maybe there were some issues that came up. Pattern not available as of 5/16/09

As for the pattern, it went fast though I think I need to do it again with better yarn. In my quest to burn my stash I used some mystery black yarn that I think was Caron Simply Soft, and I can tell it wont hold up long term, but I like the pattern.

After the mittens I decided it was time to really get serious and finish the scarf because if I didn't I'd still be working on it in May. I actually managed to stay focused long enough to pull it off too.

Ahh, what a nice evening it was, with a big pile of damp wool in my lap, and the painstaking task of gently weaving the wires along the edges.

And then stretching and pinning the sucker out, in revenge!

It turned out really pretty though, one of these days I'll have to nab a person to model it for me.