Friday, December 31, 2004

Scarf fo

Yippee. I've finished my Kathryn Alexander scarf using my stash yarns. So the colors are quite different from those in the book. I used a lot of Brown Sheep sport wt and knitting wt but I used the 3.75mm needles in the pattern and I got t he gauge. I found that blocking helped a lot. I haven't added buttons as I'm not sure why one needs buttons on a scarf. Take a look at the pictures.

second half Posted by Hello

first half of scarf Posted by Hello

Saturday, December 18, 2004

coloroncolour scarf knitalong

I'm working the Kathryn Alexander scarf along with a yahoo group called coloroncolour. There may be a few problems along the way so it's nice to have a group project. The scarf was published in the Pam Allen, ed book called "Scarf style" and is probably the most exciting pattern in that book although there are several others I may just knit. I decided to hold fast to my yarn diet and therefore am using my stash for this one and besides I don't much care for the Paternayan persian yarns for this scarf. Because I'm using mainly Brown Sheep and some thin J&S and Rowan yarns, I don't have to struggle to make the Paternayan two ply or one ply but just knit along. I also don't have a colorcard so I'm winging it on the colors too. The fairisle ribbing section is shown in the two photos below.

So far I seem to be on gauge and working fast so maybe I can still wear it while we are having winter over here.

My son arrived with a box of beads from South AFrica and they are going to be used up in various projects. However, I do think the beads I find here are more interesting. However, the price was good as he refused payment! He's traveling around the world so I need to ask him about Bali beads as he'll be in Jakarta shortly.

I'm also working on the KF mystic stripes sweater and was going to give some hints about how to do this thing which has 170 rows of stripes before it repeats which is basically a new color with every row and a real pita. Anyway, after the scarf, I'll go back to the mystic. I did make an excell chart for it and keyed it to a colorcard by letter so it does make the whole thing much easier.

colorway project Posted by Hello

scarf Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 05, 2004

entrelac finished

This week I finally finished an old wip: an entrelac in two shades of purple from some long discontinued Israeli yarn and hopefully there'll be a photo sometime. So this encouraged me to try and finish something else and I've got about half a sleeve left on a Szabo aran called Teddy.
I had to frog the beaded sock from the Lily Chin book as I had knit it on size Amer 2 instead of metric 2 plus there is no ribbing at the top and the heel was done in something with short rows which left gaping holes on each edge.
But meanwhile Israel is asking for his cardi which has big problems as I changed the cable pattern after I'd already cast on and now it's pulling in too much to fit him. I will have to make the fronts wider to get the size.
Then I pulled out another wip: this time an AS from her Celtic collection and I promptly knit wrong about 5 rows so frogged that also. Some weeks it just doesn't work out.
Now for good news: my son is coming soon and he offered to buy me beads in South Africa so online people gave me a recommendation and the funny thing is that last night he was walking down the street and sort of ran into it. So he called today and I had a wonderful time as all their beads are online. Apparently it's a huge store and my son says he and it are smack in the center of Zululand.
The price seems good as well so maybe I'll order a bit more. I've been making a list of all the patterns in all my VK issues with beads knit into the sweaters. I've also ordered a few more bead knit patterns. Some pros are not fans of the great Lily so I want to try their patterns also.

Monday, November 29, 2004

big eye beading needle Posted by Hello

Handdyed,handspun raglan and beads

Below you see me wearing my new sweater made from yarn I bought 2+ years ago at the museum in Christchurch, NZ. The yarn was handspun and handdyed and it is just wonderful wearing it. Feels so comfy and warm. The lady who made the yarn doesn't want her name mentioned as she is not into publicity so if you want this yarn you'll either have to get to the museum or perhaps find it from them online if they exist. Not sure.

My daughter flew in for the weekend from Hongkong and we pulled out a bunch of new as yet unworn sweaters including this one. The pattern is just very simple and is one of my few raglans that I've designed. I do like doing raglans so have to do more of them. I use the J. Fee book as she has very good instructions for knitting it from the bottom up. I've also done it from the top down but I prefer it the other way.

My newest project is finally on the way. I've been buying beads for the last few months. I took a few lessons in making jewellry with them but haven't learned much. However, I really wanted to knit and crochet the beads so I have also bought a few books on the subject and the one I find most useful currently is the Lily Chin book: Knit and crochet with beads. My biggest problem was how to get the 400 or so beads onto the yarn. I pulled out a skein of light pale blue which luckily for me was also cotton sock yarn so it's very strong which is good as the beads really take it out of the yarn as I move them back and forth preparatory to knitting. So I started last night on her sock pattern which is fun and simple as you purl one stitch, move up a bead next to it, and purl the next one. The purl sts keep the bead in place an d it's really fun. DD has requested she get the socks.

In order to get the beads onto the yarn you need a needle. I have something here made in the US called Big eye which has a very big opening right in the center of the metal piece with two sharp points on both edges. (Have to be careful with those points). So the yarn is supposed to slide in and down towards one end and with the other end you start picking up beads which is great fun. However, I managed to bend the needle in half because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it. Then I checked my other needles looking for another way just in case. I found a Clover long beading needle which has a very tiny hole so I put a sewing cotton thread in that and knotted a square knot a few inches down with the thread doubled. That made a loop and into the loop I inserted the yarn end and pulled it around. Then voila, I put a bead on the needle and it went down too. I was so happy. At last I think I can do it. I will attempt some photos soon.

Christchurch yarn Posted by Hello

Friday, November 19, 2004

more wendy aran Posted by Hello

Wendy aran Posted by Hello

RE: new aran pamphlets and some ufos

I just opened an order from Knitwell. They're very fast and sent me a catalog although everything is also on their website. Above are the front and back covers from the Wendy aran leaflet which is 24 pages and has 12 aran patterns in aran wool. Not all of the designs are on those two pictures. The patterns are all written with no charts or schematics unfortunately. I also got Patons leaflet PBN0000 which has 3 aran patterns using aran yarns, and one aran from Sirdar using donegal tweed dk, #8455.

I spent the morning running around collecting food, more knitted hats for the soldiers (have to write about that some time) and then since it was Friday, I felt I could risk driving into the lower part of Tel Aviv to the bead center. This consists of about 7 little stores all selling just beads and supplies. I found a lot of nice ones that I didn't buy like the Chinese beads and larger beads. I wanted just to buy useful beads for my class assignments. I found a parking lot which is rare and so now it'll be easier for me to go again as I won't have problems with parking. The best way to go would be by bus but my grown up children absolutely refuse me this one.

Then I was checking out the latest Dale patternbooks online and found #138 and 144 that interest me greatly. Haven't decided though. 144 is just aran patterns.

I've been knitting lately on a new project; a cabled cardigan for Israel in some Jaeger dk wool I bought years ago at Liberty's. I spotted it on the floor having just been put on sale and for 1.20 pounds a ball it seemed very good to buy it. I really had no idea then just how nice the Jaeger yarn is. I think it's probably about the best of the English dk yarns as it has so much spring to it. This design is entirely my own as I started doing a cable and then began to play around with it so it became something else. I would like to make it a raglan but Israel says he doesn't like raglans so it's going to have fitted sleeves.
I also got back to work on another Jaeger dk wool in a rosy pink which had been set aside for some reason at least a year or more. I can't figure out for whom I planned to knit it so it's sitting again waiting for my daughter to take a look at it.
Then yesterday I decided to re-inventory a section of closet cabinets and there I found a pattern from VK 1998-9 winter,#21. It's by Venishnick and I used the same Wensleydale yarn in the pale green. But I had very little of my own notes to go by so it took a long time until I finally figured out that the body is done and it just needs two sleeves which go up into the shoulders. So this one has to get back on the needles pretty soon also.
Pictures will be added.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

mohair Posted by Hello

New acquisitions

Just working on wips these days. I pulled out a mohair pullover (see above photo) from some nice yarn bought 2 years ago in Auckland. I don't like mohair. I don't like to knit it and especially I hate to wear it; but this color just got to me so yesterday I finally finished the back and decided to keep going and so today I might finish the first half of the cardigan front. Picture above. I have changed the design in many ways but basically decided to make it a cardigan of about 21" in length but not with that collar which I detest. So I will make the neckline rounded and probably between 3-4" deep as I don't enjoy having that mohair so tight around me. On the other hand, it's a warm yarn so I do want it to keep me warm hence the higher neckline. My color is a really lovely variegated blue.

Israel came over and told me he wants a gray sweater but I don't think I have the right gray for him. I'm not buying any yarns as I've declared a moratorium until I finish the new purchases from the far East whenever that is. However I continue to buy patterns and books and several have arrived, to whit:
McTague, Fiona, Knitted toys. Looks really nice. Only drawback is mainly done in Rowan yarns but it looks like they can easily be substituted.
Allen, Pam, ed. Scarf style. The Kathryn Alexander one is the most interesting. It's interesting in that up until this past year there were no scarve books at all. I think it's good they've arrived as why should we just think sweaters all the time. Ditto for the poncho which seems to be following after the scarf. What's next? as the new knitters get more confident.
Habibur-Rahman, Hajera and her two sisters, Gorgeous knitted afghans. Knitted afghan books are pretty scarce as compared to crocheted afghan books. I think I have all of them and they don't take up much room on my shelves so this is a welcome addition. Nothing especially grabs my needles just now but it's a good solid book.
Luters, Ginger, Module magic. This is definitely a thinking book which needs to be read first so ...
Stauffer, Jeanne, ed. Knitting in the round. Nice asssorted collection of small items plus sweaters and afghans done by the usual Knitter's mix of good designers. Nothing I must do though.
Sabrina, Strickmuster. good charted collection of knitting patterns with some details in German.
New magazine additions: Verena winter 2004/5, Anna Extra Strickmuster, VK holiday 2004, IK winter 2004, Woman's weekly Knitting and stitching special 2004 (has two exciting aran patterns), Sandra Oct 2004, Sabrina, Nov. 2004, Cast on Winter 2004.
The Knitwell catalog for 2004/5 arrived and I've ordered a few items from it mostly arans.
Koigu patterns: Magique and a shrug and 3 shawls.
Lisa Lloyd aran patterns including her new aran poncho.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

cotton aran Posted by Hello

IK complaints

Yesterday the latest Interweave Knits arrived. Winter 2004. Except for one sweater, they all have extra long sleeves or the models have short arms, one or the other. Only Veronik Avery's sweater fits the model well. The gansey for the man by Ann Budd fits the worst. Looks like the top of the sleeves are way too big for the armcycle and the neckline is too wide. The small items are ok but one doesn't buy a magazine for a hat and a pair of socks. Despite my comments, I feel that IK is the best knitting magazine around these days and has been for some time.

I've finished two cotton tops and finally the Szabo aran for myself (see just above. model is my friend Israel) . The aran had to be redone at the neck 3 times until I was satisfied as the pattern called for 124 sts in ribbing. It was wrong so I dropped off 12 the next time around and still too much so another 12. This is now pretty much how I like it. The sleeves are a good fit by the way. I asked Janet about adding afterthought pockets and she thought it would be fine, so in the forthcoming photo, notice the pockets. Normally I only do pockets in cardigans but this is going to be a favorite sweater to wear anytime it isn't that cold for wool as it's made of Cantata which is 90% cotton and 10% nylon. The pockets are on the sides where the mistake ribbing is.

Friday, October 29, 2004

autumn Posted by Hello

Winter is a-coming

Even though the weather is still hotter than usual for this time of year, I no longer can wait. It's time to knit wool. So I've got a few new projects on the needles finally. There's a Nancy Wiseman diamond type cardigan bought at Stitches East in '98. Yarn is Noro Kureopatora which is 100% wool and is a worsted wt. 50 gram ball=110 meters and needle size is approx 4.5. I'm using 4mm. People have been telling me that this is just another modular kit like the Horst Schulz stuff, but to me it's not more of the same. The whole idea is to CO an uneven # of sts (I's using 21 sts) and you dec 2 sts in the center on every knit row by sl 2, k1 and psso. It's fun and fast. When you reach just one stitch left you put it on a safety pin and continue picking up more sts from the row below. In order to make sure it comes out the right size I begin with a sleeve as now my DD has told me she likes it. I recall buying 2 extra balls just in case she wanted it.

Monday, October 18, 2004


I'm really busy at my knitting. I've got the Crosscountry aran designed by Janet Szabo (Twists and turns, vol.1, 2001) finished with just the sleeves to go now. This is done in Reynolds Cantata which is a cotton yarn with some nylon and now discontinued (sigh). Great yarn with such wonderful spring to it. I bought it in offwhite and also in a periwinkle blue. The sweater won't show up well with a picture. I am knitting it according to the instructions from the neck down having done the saddle shoulders first. Now I'm supposed to pick up the sts from the saddle and also additonal sts from the sides and start knitting it down. Of course, I managed to mess it up because I picked up from the bottom also where the sleeve is supposed to be sewn so have to restart.
Since this bothers me, I pulled out another stalled wip. This from Knitters fall '96 called Skill-building entrelac designed by Bette Ann Lampers. The big reason I stalled on it before was because it is written for a 13 stitch entrelac and I'm doing the medium size of 14 sts so each section has to be thought out in order to get it right which means there's an extra stitch to work in on each row and two extra rows for the entrelac section. Maybe having finished a few more entrelacs in the meantime it's now easier for me.
I also wrote to May Hagiwara and she read my scan of the Japanese yarn labels and told me what they're made of. I also started a new project with the Kanebo Mogol which I found to be the most puzzling one of all the yarns as the swatch in st st looked pretty awful. I ended up being happy doing it in garter stitch. So that's on the needles. I never do just one project at a time. What? finish them? are we supposed to?

Thursday, October 14, 2004



Entrelac vest

Tonight I finished the back for a vest for myself from yarn I bought some years ago at John Lewis in London. This was Novita alpaca made in Finland and it is very good quality and soft. Originally it was meant to be fairisle, but when swatched I saw it would be much too heavy and warm so I switched to a plain entrelac. I always check the entrelac instructions in the Harmony books. This one is a 10 stitch repeat and the back is about 22" wide and about 20" long. I may decide to add ribbing. I really wanted to make it into a v-neck cardi but discovered tonight I don't have enough of some of the colors so it will become a pullover vest. Neckline most likely a modified v-neck.



back of entrelac vest Posted by Hello

Novita Alpaca Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Dayana in Kureyon (my design) Posted by Hello

Kureyon cotton sweater pattern

How did I do this? Arghhhhh. I knit this sweater by starting off with 20 stitches and apparently never bothered to write down my own instructions. We snapped it just before I left for the airport heading home to Israel. Doesn't she look great? Anyway, here's what I recall doing:
Finished sweater: 48" chest.25" length. Arm length 19" and 19" width at top. Need 12 balls of Noro Kureyon. 50 grams=100 meters. col: 16. Circ needles #4mm and 3.75mm (for ribbing) Gauge: 4 sts=1 inch.
I took #4mm needles and CO 12 sts. I worked st st and at the beg of every row slipped the first stitch kwise or pwise (for back). I did a total of 140 rows which came to about 20". Using the same needles, I picked up every slip stitch on the left side (70). This number is very important as you need to pick up the same number every time. At the bottom I cast on 20 sts and began the next strip connecting it to the first one. Again each row begins with a slip stitch. But on the rev side you p2tog using the last st on your row and the last stitch you picked up from the first strip. Continue as on the first strip until you have run out of sts. You can put the sts at the top on a holding yarn at this point.
For the third strip you can do a different multiple. I just kept on doing 12,20, etc. I decided to make it 24" wide and when I had my finished piece the whole thing was put on a waiting yarn.
The next piece is done the same way except that I wanted to match the back and front stripes at the shoulder so I had to reverse them so that they would match at the top.
Third section is the 3" at the top. I started by deciding I wanted my neck to be 8.5" wide. So the stitches for the front are now put back on the needle in this way:
After you decide how many sts are for the front neck, divide the remainder into two sections plus approx 1/4 of the center neck sts. Beginning with the right shoulder I knit the sts on the first row and started my gradual neck dec continuing until I had it 3" in length. do the same for the left shoulder. The front neck sts can remain on a separate thread.
Back neck: Knit the sts on the left shoulder and CO for the back neck 8.5" worth of sts or whatever width you need plus the number of sts cast off on the front neck decrease. Continue the row by knitting the sts from the right shoulder first casting on the decreased sts on this side. Now knit for 3".
3-needle bindoff: The back (first strip piece knit) is now put on a straight needle and a standard 3 needle bind off is done with those and the sts coming from the neck you've just finished. You must have the same number of sts on each needle.
Neck rib: I knit up my neck picking up sts from the front and back and usually one stitch for every row along the sides (use smaller circ needle)
sleeves: CO 10-11" worth of sts and gradually inc until about 19". My sleeve was also 19" long (looks too long in the photo; hmmm). I decided not to have any ribbing but just have the bottom roll in.
Body rib of sweater: This is the final section. Pick up sts from the bottom on front and back pieces and rib for as long as you want. Swatch first to see how many rib sts you want.
Sew in sleeves and side seams.
I still want to sew in beads as I found some great beads in Hongkong but found them after I had already done most of the sweater.
cMarian Poller. Not for commercial use.

dim sum Posted by Hello

Dim sum

I just got a photo taken last week at a Dim sum restaurant in Hongkong with Eva, Marjorie and Siowchin (left to right).After that we shopped in Kowloon at 3 LYS and then on to the bead center one last time. We said our goodbyes for now and I hope we will be together again. All three are great knitters and bloggers.


Thursday, October 07, 2004



Eva,me, Marjorie and Siow Chin  Posted by Hello

inside Hongkong beadstore Posted by Hello

Hongkong bead store Posted by Hello

Hongkong journey

I just got home from a month visiting my daughter in Hongkong where I had a great time adding to my stash and making 3 new girlfriends. We also went to Tokyo and to Beijing. I was able to find yarnstores everywhere and mostly bought yarns and equipment I'd never seen before. I'm also getting interested in beads so I found bead stores everywhere and I think what I bought is definitely superior to what I bought here before my trip. I'm hoping to return in a year after I get through my stash additions!

I made 3 knitting girlfriends in Hongkong: Eva, Marjorie and Siow Chin. We spent many hours together exploring the yarnstores in Hongkong and Kowloon and the delights of dim sum and tea shops. We found a common interest in our knitting as they are all avid knitters and they asked me to help them with fair isle which is of course my very favorite type of knitting.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Thursday, August 26, 2004

my own design Posted by HelloThis sweater was published in "Sweaters from camp" with full instructions. Yarn is from J&S in Scotland. The sleeves are a bit wide but I recall changing the instructions for that. Your choice if you make it.

Marian Posted by Hello Background here is a small section of my mysteries which is the type of reading I most enjoy after Knitting books, of course. The vest is made in Fantasy naturale from Plymouth yarns and I think the instructions for it can be found online. Google for my name and that one plus other free patterns will pop up.