The KAL is dead, long live the KAL …

Fickle-Zen clue #2
Fickle-Zen clue #2

Clearly there is only one thing better than knitting – knitting in a group!

And since my job and it’s sometimes crazy hours, in combination with my general tendency to be a bit shy to just show up for meetings, make it difficult for me to join an actual knitter’s group (though I haven’t quite given up on it yet), obviously a virtual knitting group is the next best thing.

And by “next best”, I mean absolutely bleeping brilliant. I had such a blast with the Susanna IC KAL that even while it was still going, I started looking for another one.

Enter stage left: Roxanne from Zen Yarn Garden, who generously offered for me to join the Fickle-Zen KAL very last minute. The yarn, travelling all the way from Canada to the UK, took it’s sweet time, but arrived in time, and is absolutely gorgeous.

Choices were between Lemongrass green, Marigold yellow, and Raspberry purple … I was in the edge to go with the Lemongrass, as purples seem to be taking over a bit at the moment, but then couldn’t resist the stunning colour, and I lurve it!

The whole project, so far, is just a joy – the group is great, the chatter pleasant, the yarn a joy to work with, and after the latest fine lace, knits up quickly, and the pattern looks great and is easy to follow.

I == happy bunny.

Fickle-Zen close up 1
Fickle-Zen close up 1
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New lace: Fickle-Zen Mystery KAL

Since I’m having such a blast with the Susanna IC Mystery KAL, I was more than happy to jump onto the bandwagon when offered the chance for another one.

This one is hosted by Michelle of Fickle Knitter Design & Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden.

It started with a bit of nail-biting, as the mail with my yarn took aaaaaages, but finally arrived yesterday. So after a feast of sushi, I raced home, wound the yarn into a ball and started knitting immediately. Of course, I had to rip once to start over again (this seems to be a bit of a theme with me and the lace shawls, lol), which was in no way the patterns fault, just my usual “oh, so this reading thing is actually required to understand instructions?” approach.

Here’s a pic of the finished clue #2:

Fickle-Zen Mystery clue #2
Fickle-Zen Mystery clue #2

Susanna IC Mystery KAL – Update

Susanna IC close up
Susanna IC close up

It’s nearly done – short rows have been knitted. What a deceptive name, short rows. They do start short alright – but before long, you find yourself knitting longer and longer rows, until one is back to the “does this row ever end” feeling which I have come to believe is part of a lace shawl.

And it’s okay, really. At least there’s no counting involved, it’s rather mindless “knitknitknit” or “purlpurlpurl” – well, if you use stitch markers, that is, which I did.

So now I’m eagerly awaiting the last clue for the lacey top edge, and then off to the blocking … which I’m not at all sure where to do. I don’t have those professional blocking mats, I do not have any carpet in my house … the bed? Guess it will have to be.

Susanna IC - short rows done
Susanna IC - short rows done

Susanna IC Mystery KAL update

Susanna IC Mystery KAL clue #2
Susanna IC Mystery KAL clue #2

Clue #2 came in this morning, and I decided that one load of laundry would be enough work on a Sunday.

So I settled on my couch, with my beloved half-granny-square-half-log-cabin blanket over my knees – yes, fall’s here, no doubt – and happily knit away at this lacey beauty.

I did miss one set of yos, but I missed the full row of them, and managed to pick the missing stitches up in the next row, so even if it’s not entirely true to the pattern, it looks good enough for me to keep. No, that decision has nothing to do with the absence of a lifeline. Really. I also hate ice cream …

Beads, more beads … okay, stop beads now.

Beaded meandering vines
Beaded meandering vines

After beading for the first time in my life on the Susanna IC Mystery KAL, I found myself slightly obsessed with this new technique.

So I had to start something RIGHT THIS MOMENT, something that had beads on it.

As it happened, I had some dark green sock yarn in my stash, and I had these oxblood coloured beads. I thougth they’d go great together. So I started a variation of the Meandering Vines Shawl.

And then I looked at it again in daylight. And thought to myself, my, this looks very chrismassy … people I asked for their opinion didn’t think it’s too christmassy. One particularly kind knitter said it’s a shame that we’re so conditioned to think of green + red = christmas, and I could not agree more.

However, the seed of doubt has been sown. What do you guys think? Alright, or too christmassy?

Braided join and the Queen Anne Cardigan

I have learned a new technique: the braided join, and now I don’t know how I ever managed without it.

Find the join
Find the join

Continue reading “Braided join and the Queen Anne Cardigan”