Posts Tagged ‘crescent’

French Cancan

April 6, 2015

This poor little blog only seems to have been abandoned.  I knit feverishly … I just don’t give myself much time to post anything here.  There’s a veritable avalanche of things to log, to block, to photograph and write about.  There’s just the time continuum that gets in the way.

So I happily break my longtime silence today to talk about a pattern that comes with its own soundtrack.

As a sample knitter, more often than not, I knit patterns quickly and move on to the next.  Once in a while, I will encounter one so enjoyable that it’s worth knitting again to make a FO of my own.  Such is the case with French Cancan by L’Atelier de Mademoiselle C.

Edging detail

Edging detail

The pattern starts with a garter-stitch crescent and afterward, a cable suspended in lace mesh is applied around the edge.  I used 2 skeins of Spirit Trail Fiberworks Birte in the colorway Crete.  Although the pattern will take you to a crescent that has 201 stitches, you are only limited in size by the amount of yarn you have on hand, working with the ratio that you’ll need 40% of your yarn for the border.  With two skeins of

Fully laid out

Fully laid out

the same weight, there was precious little math involved: I knitted garter until I ran out of yarn – a garter section with 217 stitches.  I started the border with a new skein.  When finished, I had 32g of Birte remaining.

I did follow the designer’s note to slip the first stitch of every row knitwise to produce a stretchier border edge.

A note about blocking: I ran a crochet cotton lifeline through the last row of garter stitch before blocking.  Pinning this area  allowed me to limit the stretching of the piece to the mesh/border area without losing too much of the bounce in the body.  My final finished size was a 59″ wingspan and 16.5″ depth at the center point.

On display at Spirit Trail Fiberworks

On display at Spirit Trail Fiberworks

Now, about that soundtrack … the only downside to this wonderful pattern is that it comes with an ear worm.  You will catch yourself incessantly humming the cancan and picturing Toulouse Lautrec images.  A small price to pay for such a lovely final product.

This is a simple piece that delivers big bang for easy knitting.  I look forward to making up my own, and I’ll do it in Birte myself, because the yarn and project make for a terrific project marriage.



September 15, 2011

Alas, the hollyhocks of summer are long gone and the skies are decidedly autumnal today.  Even as I welcome the cooler temps, there’s something a little sad about it.  Summer 2011 went too fast.  I seem to have missed a lot of it somehow.  But a lot of big serious ugly things are behind now, and if losing a summer was what it took, so be it.

Alcea by Susanna IC

Because I dare say that this will be a reminder of summer wherever I go.  This is Alcea, another flawlessly written pattern by SusannaIC.  Alcea, as in hollyhocks.  It’s fair to say the colorway, Flower Studies #45 in Sundara Fingering Merino Cashmere, is the most

You want a close-up?

relentlessly cheerful thing I’ve seen in a while.  No blues allowed while wearing this little number 😉 I didn’t even really like the colorway, but when I went stash-diving for this pattern, it said, “Pick me!  Pick me!”

And so I did.

Okay, not THAT close

I knocked this out in the space of ten days or so.  Somehow, it took less than half a skein.  I’m still trying to figure that one out.  Because it finished at the right size.  I was blocking for wingspan, not depth.

SO – here’s the knitty gritty …

Finished size:  58″ wide by 16 deep at deepest point.

Project marriage score:  9.5

Projects waiting to be blocked:  2

Next up: a high-pressure two-day out-of-town work meeting that eviscerates my weekend.  No fun whatsoever.

I haven’t left yet and I can’t wait to get home.


July 7, 2011

While obsessively planning my travel knitting for a recent trip, I took along a skein of Sundara Fingering Merino Cashmere in the colorway Turning Leaves and Rose Beck’s Sugared Violets pattern.  Plenty of stockinette in this one-skein pattern suitable for picking up and putting down on trains, buses and the like.

Unblocked and waiting for a bath - or 3

Like a few other pretties, it’s been stuck on the runway waiting for blocking – but not for space issues.  I was waiting for a delivery of Synthrapol.  I wanted to knit the larger version of the shawl, and since most Sundara skeins tend to run “heavy,” I put in a couple of lifelines in case I ran short, and kept going.  (I am happy to report, I did not run out of yarn.)  However, my snow-white crochet cotton quickly turned pink.  The yarn was bleeding all over the cotton, and in some instances, my fingers, too.  Ruh-roh.

The last thing I want to do while preparing my knits for blocking is waste 100 gallons of water removing excess dye.  So I consulted the Oracle of Fiber and Dye for advice.  A hot bath in Synthrapol was prescribed.  I duly gloved up and dunked the shawl into the hottest water I could stand.  The bath turned into cranberry-juice cocktail.  I let it sit a good while, then rinsed in the same temperature water.  And thought I’d give it a little rinse in Eucalan for sake of a lavender scent.  That turned cranberry, too.

Sigh.  Here we go again.  Groundhog Day.

Finally out of the bath and pinned out

It took three wicked hot Synthrapol baths before the water ran significantly clearer.  And the final Eucalan bath yielded something close to chamomile tea in color.  Good enough.

Because this shawl did not have “points,” I inserted lifelines

No points on this edge!

in both edges that I then used to pin out the edges as smoothly as possible.  I find the thread makes this easier than just pinning out the wet fiber by itself.

It dried beautifully.  I suppose it lost about 10% of its color saturation

One more newel

along the way.  Better to lose it in a wash tub than on my clothing and skin!  So in this case, the lifelines had nothing to do with the knitting and everything to do with the Excess Dye Warning System.

Project marriage score:  9

Mods: None

Yes, I have been on a bit of a newel photography kick lately.  My satellite office has plenty of staircases and I’ve walked up and down them for years without noticing that they would be a helpful place for FO photos.

See, my employer has decided

that it is preferable for me to lose precious time with DB /spend hours in the car daily /spend my own $$ on gas than for them to pay minimal rent for my space.  I will soon lose access to them, so I am taking advantage of my surroundings while I can.   Until I have new digs.  That go along with a new employer.

Apologies if photos seem out-of-sequence.  They are. WordPress is not playing nice today.

My own

June 15, 2011

Although there is far too little knitting time in my full-time working mommy life, I do really enjoy test-knitting.  It allows me to test-drive a yarn I have not knitted with before for little commitment.  There is no pressure at all to make the right choice for project marriage purposes.  When it all works, the model sells yarn or patterns or classes.  And once in a while, there is a certain wistfulness that comes with packing up the project and sending it away.

Hawthorne II in Lyra

This was the case with my original Hawthorne.  The Spirit Trail Fiberworks Lyra knitted like butter and the project was over far too soon.  Things around here have been a little complicated lately, and I needed what Luann calls a “Break glass in case of emergency knitting” project.  So I grabbed up the leftover yarn, pattern and needles and cast on without having to swatch a stitch.  This is good.

Lace at one gauge, garter at another

While speed was in no way a consideration, I had the knitting completed in a week.  One week of decadently smooshy knitting. Ahhhhhhh.

Needles:  Signature circs, US 7, Addi Turbo US 8 and US 9

Yarn: Approximately 1 sk of leftover Lyra, colorway Appalachia

Modifications:  Knitted from the outer border to the neck edge, I worked the lace on US 7.  Four rows from the end of the chart, I bumped up to US 8 and on the last row, US 9.  This compensated for my tendency to knit lace loosely yet put the garter stitch at the desired drape.  I also added two rows to the top edge out of my greedy desire to use up every last bit.

Lifeline inserted before garter short-rows

Blocking tip:  After knitting the last row of lace, I inserted a thread lifeline.  This allowed me to block the lace portion below the lifeline more aggressively than the garter section, which I pretty much laid out without stretching.  Because of the silk and alpaca content (fibers which don’t have natural elasticity), I didn’t want to stretch the garter section.

Project marriage score:  10  ~ no real stretch since the pattern was written specifically for this yarn.

Call it a wrap!

It’s mine.  All mine.  And I don’t have to share it with anyone.

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