Posts Tagged ‘susannaic’


October 19, 2012

No, we don’t have icicles here yet.  A killing frost and appropriately chilly mornings, but no icicles.   Whether it was the change of season or the vacation (yes, Mr. Owl and I checked out for a bit), the reset button has done its job.

The knitting mojo is back, and not a nanosecond too soon.  Count on a few skeins of Birte to cure whatever ails you.

In the meantime, I am attacking the runway full of projects waiting for blocking.  Which brings us to the icicles:  the Oslo Walk Shawl

Oslo Walk Shawl by Susanna IC

from Susanna IC.  The yarn is special.  It is my friend Nancy Zeller of Long Ridge Farm‘s first attempt at semi-solid dyeing.  Her results on this 100% silk were spectacular.  All she needed was a nice piece to show it off.

The shawl was

Miyuki 8/0 beads

originally featured in a spread in Interweave Knits about contrasts in knitting.  I went a different direction, using this finer cobweb silk and 8/0 taupe lined crystal AB Miyuki beads from Twisted Sistah Beads.  The breeze and sun co-opted my efforts to capture them

A shallow beaded crescent

winking on the edging.  Use your imagination:  Ice crystals on pewter.

Project marriage score: 9

Modifications: none

Needles:US 7 for CO and BO, US 5 for knitting, .5mm crochet

Use a .5mm crochet hook for these

hook for beading

You’ll find the shawl and the yarn at the Long Ridge Farm booth in Building A at Rhinebeck this weekend.  Scads more of my knitting will be at the Spirit Trail Fiberworks booth, also in Building A.  Maybe you’ll find me there, too.

Keep your eyes peeled for owls  😉



June 18, 2012

Yes, dear friends, I am still here.  It’s just that I am so very far behind at everything that I can see my own backside!  That includes correspondence, mailing prizes (for wont of packaging), laundry, organizations I purportedly lead, gardening and anything but the care of one Darling Bebe.  On the other hand, there is some packing, straightening and staging accomplished, so the ledger isn’t completely unbalanced.  It’s just that priorities are restacked and jumbled at the moment.  And somehow my employers have failed to notice that it is summer, when things are supposed to slow down.  Not so.

Polaris, a mystery KAL

I can’t claim any significant knitting is happening.  Nope.  By the time I pick up needles, I pretty much doze off sitting up straight in mid-stitch.  But some long-completed FOs are finally getting the attention they deserve since there is an invitingly pristine guest bed available for blocking.

Spirit Trail Fiberworks Nona

This is my first attempt at a KAL, or knitalong, as part of the Susanna IC group on Ravelry.  Today, you know the pattern as Polaris.  But at the time, participants were rationed portions of the pattern  every couple of weeks, and dutifully kept each other company knitting in our respective places around the world.

Beads? Can you see beads?

I liked the concept a lot.  The problem with the “mystery” KAL for someone who lives and dies by the success of project marriage is the great difficulty in choosing the right yarn – and more difficult – beads – for the pattern when you don’t know what the finished project looks like.   In this instance, the yarn was easy – Spirit Trail Fiberworks Nona.  I used it to make an enormous and dramatic Phoenix Rising for STF, but had nothing of my own made with Sunna’s skinnier laceweight sister.  Time to use the skein from the 2011 Holiday Club in a colorway very similar to STF’s Aquitaine.  (Most accurate in top photo)

Modification: I-cord bind-off

I know that Nona is marked “heavy laceweight” but as someone who’s knit several football fields’ worth of it, I would quibble with that.  Nona takes an 8/0 bead via crochet hook just fine.  Because of her fiber composition (50% merino, 25% silk, 25% cashmere), she has a bit of “grab” that laceweight yarns without cashmere don’t have.  Once soaked, Nona blocks out hard and gets thinner.  I would not hesitate to use Nona for just about anything calling for “laceweight” unless the project specifically called for 100% silk.   And if you are new to knitting with laceweight yarns, I would recommend Nona specifically because of that bit of grabbiness you might like.

Look – see there are beads, really!

Choosing the beads was another story altogether.  I had some 8/0 dark amethyst AB seed beads, but in swatching, they seemed kind of lost on the dark yarn.  So following some advice from Bead Queen Sivia Harding, I went with a lighter, clear bead I found at a local shop.  They do pop a bit in plain natural light.  Admittedly, they are rather subtle.  I’m not one for too much bling.  But next time, I will try to go with a triangle or hexagonal bead ~ one with facets that flash a bit more when picking up the light.

I know you can see the beads here.

As for the pattern, it was the usual clear Susanna IC crescent.  I thought it was fun to knit with other folks and to get the pattern in installments.  Until the lights went out.  And stayed out in the aftermath of the October Snowpocalypse.  (Which tells you how long ago all this started.)  It’s one thing to knit lace by candlelight.  Beading by candlelight?  Nope.  Unh-unh.  No way.  Sorry.

Eventually, the poor little shawl was finished and relegated to the blocking pile.  It has waited and waited and waited.  But now you get to see her.

Yarn:  Approx. 410 yards Spirit Trail Fiberworks Nona

Pattern:  Polaris – “Susanna IC Mystery Crescent KAL”

Modifications:  Because of the tendency for the top edge of these crescents to roll in stockinette, I chose to use a two-stitch I-cord bind-off using a US 7 needle.  If I had it to do again, I would have bumped that up to an 8.  It gave a very nice edge to the top that I think it needs for stability.

Needles:  US 8 (C/O) and US 5 Addi Turbo circulars

Project marriage:  Yarn – 9.5  / Beads – 6

Somehow, I’m afraid that if I resurrect the KAL thread on Ravelry, I’ll be in for a lot of hazing.  I guess that’s what happens when you are the de facto caboose.


April 9, 2012

As I took my skeins of the new Spirit Trail Fiberworks Verdande out to wind, I could hear Carly Simon warbling in my head, “Anticipation … anticipa-a-ation, it’s makin’ me wait.”  I had waited a good long while to put this new yarn through its paces.


Spirit Trail Fiberworks Verdande

Verdande did not disappoint.  The worsted-weight big sister of Birte, Sunna and Nona, Verdande is pleasantly plump.  The twist makes the yarn well-rounded and Verdande doesn’t think about splitting ~ not even for a nanosecond.  For my test, I used plain old slick-finish original Addi Turbo needles.   The pattern is Susanna IC’s Geada from Twist Collective.  I liked it for a test knit because it

Colorway - Tuareg Blue

incorporated cables into the lace, allowing me to do different things within the same project.  As is my habit, I do not use a cable needle, increasing the occasion for splits in the yarn, if a yarn is so inclined.

Verdande knitted up like the wind,

Geada blocked

wicked fast.  The entire project used two skeins plus 40 grams of a third skein, leaving plenty of yarn for a set of mitts or a hat or whatever other accessory you might like.  Like all of Susanna’s patterns, it was written without so much as a comma out of place.  The I-cord bind-off will prevent any rolling of the neckline in the finished piece, and it provides a tidy edge that makes my obsessive heart go pitty-pat.

Even in harsh noontime sun, it's BLUE

I confess that I do have a tendency to block lace a little ~ ahem ~ aggressively.  This is why I appreciated Susanna’s schematic of the finished dimensions, which allowed me to block this shawl to the precise desired measurements without over-blocking it into some enormous flapping pterodactyl thing.

Yarn:  520 yards Spirit Trail Fiberworks Verdande, colorway Tuareg Blue

Pattern:  Geada

Modifications:  Zilch

Blocked measurements:  11 in at side edges, 17 in at center point

Project marriage score:  9.5

Utterly gratuitous backlit shot

I loved knitting with Verdande.  I would next want to use it in a less lacy shawl – something like Terra, Ashby or Barbara W, perhaps, to take advantage of its lovely drape and warmth that come from its cashmere and silk.  On the other hands – plural – some nice mitts would be cozy, too.  Or a cowl.  Or … you get the idea.  Good thing I have my own skeins in the stash to play with soon.


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.


June 23, 2011

Alcea in the garden

‘Tis the season for hollyhocks.

Here, in the garden this morning, where they have self-sowed and come up annually …

… and this year, on the needles, in this fun little crescent-shaped shawl from the talented Susanna IC.  Her pattern is called Alcea, the Latin name for hollyhocks.

Inspiration comes in many forms, and rather than questioning my yarn choice, I just went with my gut.  It is Sundara Fingering Merino Cashmere in Flower Studies #45.  Sort of a Crayola

Flower Studies #45 starring in Alcea

orange meets pink and coral.  Frankly, I didn’t really like it much.  If someone had wanted to buy it from me, I’d have been happy to sell it.

I don’t know that I see myself wearing a screaming coral-and-orange shawl.  Maybe it will become a wardrobe staple.  Maybe it will become a gift.  At this point, I haven’t a clue.

Just a compulsion to knit this yarn into this project.  Away we go.

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