Monday, July 20, 2015

Working through the Double Brioche Scarf

I know its been a while, but I had a question about the Double Brioche Scarf pattern. It can be hard to answer questions for something as visual as knitting, so I thought I would do a quick post to show each of the pattern repeat "rows". For these pictures, the green yarn is my DC (dark color) and the blue yarn is my LC (light color):

After 1a
After 1b
Turn
After 2a
After 2b

I hope these pictures help clarify what each row should look like as the scarf is knit.


Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been so busy recently that I haven't had time to write. I have much knitting to complete. I have been weaving towels, working my way down to 8/2 cotton yarn as practice for CNCH (Northern California Handweavers Conference). I've been trying to organize my studio. And of course its tax season. (yuk!) On the plus side, I have managed to put a bunch of yarn up for sale on Ravelry; a positive side effect of studio organization.

I don't see an end to this for a while. I will try to put something together, but my posts may be hit or miss for a while.

In the meantime, enjoy the start of spring.


Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter, weaver and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. .

Monday, March 2, 2015

Stitches West 2015 - On the Market Floor

As usual stitches was a wonderful event. However for the first time, we had to compete with an event at the new 49ers stadium as well as some other events in the neighboring hotel. These events made parking challenging at times. That aside, lets get into the details.

I have to say I was worried that I would over buy at stitches like usual, but the social experiment came to my rescue. I found that I just wasn't as interested in buying more yarn as I have in the past. I ended up with two yarn purchases (I didn't even fill a shopping bag). The first was a skein of Katahdin by Miss Babs in Coffee Break. I was searching for a skein of Berlin, but the one they had didn't have enough grey. Instead I found this skein. I may try for berlin again next year. Hopefully I'll remember to ask miss babs well in advance to include berlin.

My second purchase was some silk for weaving by RedFish Dyeworks. I picked up 7 colors of 20/2 silk for use in a future weaving project. I am just at 5/2 cotton, so I have a while before I'll be able to weave with this lovel yarn.

So thats it for yarn. I did indulge in some other purchases. I needed some shawl pins and in particular, I needed something that would work with my Indian Summer shawl. I bought this lovely spiral from Romi Hill at A Verb for Keeping Warm.

I also bought quite a few shawl pins from Gita Maria. I love enamel and I just couldn't decide so I didn't.

I also picked up a couple of weaving shuttles from KCL. A friend raves about them, so I thought I would try them out. I bought both a regular profile and thin profile shuttle.

I stopped by Slipped Stitch Studios and picked up a couple of bags.

I also picked up a bag at Fresh from the Cauldron. I have wanted to try a zippered bag for a while, but never found one I liked. I saw this 50's retro fabric and bought it. The bag is by Second Avenue Swag.

I also bought another shaker box from the Saw Dust Company. I think I'll buy one from them every year.

And finally, I found this lovely necklace at Ride Um George

 
Not buying yarn freed me up to investigate other vendors.  
 
 
 
 
 
 


Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. .

Monday, February 23, 2015

Knitting up a Viajante

I have been toying with the idea of knitting Viajante for a long time. I am not a tall person and I was concerned that the point would be dragging on the ground. Enter Renata8, a friend from Green Planet Yarn. She knit Viajante using MadelineTosh Prairie. I tried her's on and I loved it. I decided to knit one up using Renata's Viajante as a guide. We measured here gauge of 28 stitches / 4" and 32 rows / 4". US 5 (3.75 mm) needles get that stitch gauge. My row gauge however is 36 rows / 4". If it comes out a bit shorter thats ok by me.

I started knitting viajante per the pattern instructions, using a needle size one smaller than used for the body, a US 4 (3.5 mm) needle. There was a lot of controversy over the increase method used in the pattern, so I tested it out. I didn't like it and i ripped back and started again. I knit my triangle as follows: R3: KFB, K to 1 before M, KFB, SM, KFB, K to 1 before end, KFB; R4: K *. I knit about halfway through the triangle. I measured it and discovered that it would be too small. I ripped back again and knit the triangle using a US 5 (3.75 mm) needle.

I started the body. Again, I needed to make some changes. I didn't like the way the two decrease stitches met, so I added a stitch between the SSK & K2tog. I also continued with my changed increase and knit the body as follows:

Round 1: Join to work in the round, k to 1 stitch before M, KFB, SM, KFB, slm, k to end of round, PM, M1, PM. (the M1 is a standard M1 and it is an extra stitch that I will have to deal with later).
Round 2: SM, SSK, K to 1 before M, KFB, SM, KFB, K to 2 before M, K2tog, SM, K1.
Round 3: SM, K to 1 before M, KFB, SM, KFB, K to M, SM, K1.

There is a lot of knitting here. The "tube-o-doom" (nickname fondly used while knitting), just keeps growing. I knit 253 rounds of stockinette before starting the netting. I stopped a little before 20% yarn remaining. I figured I'd make it up in the netting section.

I completed the netting section with 10 repeats + 1 repeat of rounds 1 to 3, 475 stitches on the neefles and 5.6 grams remaining. I bound off using a US 7 (4.5 mm) needle with the k2tog tbl bind off.

I have to say, I really like the results.

I now want to knit another one. I'm hoping to use Miss Babs Katadin or Kiliminjaro in the Berlin colorway. This yarn is a substantially different weight than MadelineTosh Prairie. This will present some challenges in getting a good fit. I think I'm up for the challenge.


Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. The "Viajante" pattern copyright by Martina Behm. .

Monday, February 16, 2015

Getting Ready for Stitches West

Stitches West opens this week at the Santa Clara Convention Center, so its time to get ready. I am taking 5 classes this year, three of which requires homework in addition to supplies.

I have no classes on Thursday, but I'm planning on showing up for the market opening. If you take classes, the Thursday night market opening is for you. I need to carefully plan my purchases so I can stay within the restrictions of my Social Experiment. My first step is to acquire "The Map". What is the map? Well every year Erinofthemap takes this stitches floor map and instead of numbers, places the vendors names on the map. This makes it very easy to make a plan. I downloaded the map for my ipad. I've highlighted my choices.

My first stop this year is Miss Babs. I want to buy a skein of Kilaminjaro or Katadin to knit up a second Viajante (more on my first Viajante later). I also want to check out White Birch Fiber Arts. I have seen their store online and was immediately attracted to their self-striping yarn. I missed Apple Tree Knits last year, so I want to take a look at their gradient yarns this year. My final targeted stop is Dragonfly Fibers. I saw a beautiful skein at my Tuesday knitting meetup, so I want to take a look. I am also looking for a skein of silk in a color similar to MadelineTosh Gossamer. I will keep an eye out. If I don't see anything, I will just order the skein from my LYS.

That covers the direct yarn purchases. I also plan on visiting weaving oriented booths, such as the mannings. I will visit hiya hiya and pickup some sock needles and knitters safety pins. I'll stop at knitifacts to pick up some markers and slipped stitch studios to look at their project bags.

If you want your own map, various versions can be accessed from this ravelry post.

My class prep includes:

  • Surprisingly Special Techniques with Anna Zilboorg. I just need some yarn, so I'll grab a ball of cascade 220.
  • Introduction to Double Knitting with Alasdair Post-Quinn. I need two colors of yarn. I'll grab a couple of cascade 220 balls for this one.
  • Zip Me Up! with Michelle Hunter.I knit a 7" swatch for this class and had to pick up a zipper, thread and needles.
  • Steeking:3 ways with Janel Laidman.I knit a swatch in the round for this one.
  • Demystifying Set-in Sleeves with Margaret Fisher. I knit several swatches for this class. My concern is that the instructor was very specific about gauge. Gauge doesn't really matter for swatches.
  • I'll report on my experiences after stitches. Who knows, maybe I'll tweet! (You can find me at pwknits on twitter)


    Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

    Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. .

    Monday, February 9, 2015

    Setting Up a Design Station

    Sorry I'm late with this post. I have been going back and forth between my Windows Desktop environment and my IPhones and IPads for some time. Each device is good for some things, but not all things. A friend of mine (tygerknits on Ravelry) recently purchased a Microsoft Surface to use as a computer when it dawned on me that a Surface might be the solution. So I've been setting up a surface with all of my windows applications, including knitting and weaving design software as well as other design software such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Once complete, I'll work on finding some necessary items that I use on my IPad and I'll see where it goes.

    I'll report later on how this is working out.


    Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

    Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. .

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    Knitting the Sari Shawl

    Several of us at Green Planet Yarn decided to do another knit-against. This time we are knitting the Sari shawl by Kieran Foley. This shawl uses a color progression of 16 colors for the background, a color progression of 8 for the diamonds and the border/ diamond stranding (these run in opposite directions) and a color progression of 8 for the stranded stripe. You can do this on your own or just go to ColorShift Yarns and buy the kit. I decided to go for a custom kit and I changed out the background colors. The colors used for this shawl are:

  • Botanical Green to Clay Color Bridge
  • Clay to Earth Color Bridge
  • Warm color Parade
  • Cool color Parade
  • Erica Heffman, the owner of Colorshift helped me by providing a picture showing how the colors would work. I ordered the kit and it quickly arrived.

    Before I could start knitting, I wound all of the yarn, giving each a tag showing the position of the color in its progression. The parade colors received labels from 1 to 9. The Color Bridge skeins were numbered 1 through 16 starting with Botanical Green. I used these numbers to keep on track when switching colors.

    We started knitting on December 26. I have recorded the stages of the shawl as I completed each background color. There isn't much to say about each step, but its interesting watching the shawl grow.

    I blocked the shawl by running wires through the points and through each end then blocked aggressively. My gauge was tighter than called for in the pattern, so I wanted to get as much size as possible.

    I love our knit-againsts because they encourage all of us to knit interesting patterns that can easily be perceived as difficult. Knitting in a group with friendly competition is an amazing motivator. I think I could knit just about anything under these circumstances. As it turned out, the pattern wasn't as difficult as I initially thought and became much easier due to the pattern repetition.

    The pattern is a 16 row repeat that is easy to read once you become accustomed to the pattern, but it does take a bit of attention. The pattern was fun and I've already queued another one. I just need to figure out my color combinations.

    I also used this as an opportunity to try my new Heavy Metal interchangeables from DyakCraft. Given that the pattern used two-sided lace with p2tog tbl and I'm a tight knitter, this was a good test. The needles were nice and slippery (not for everyone, I know) and will take some getting used to. It was nice to be able to get my needle into those p2tog tbl stitches.

    My sari can be seen at Indian Summer. Once everyone has completed their Saris, I'll post pictures as they are all very different.


    Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry;

    Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits. The "Sari" pattern copyright by Kieran Foley. .