Monday, February 26, 2007

When something is right, you know it

When something is wrong, it slaps you in the face like a dead flounder! Much like my Forest Path Stole in the *wrong* yarn slapped me.

I've been mourning the untimely demise of my FPS so I haven't blogged plus as an aside, Comcast (my ISP) has upgraded their McAfee Security Suite and it caused all sorts of mischief on my computer which left me unable to blog/comment as freely as I usually do. I think these issues have been resolved so I'm baaaaaaack :)

Anyway, thanks for all the imput (and sympathy) on the ill-fated Handmaiden Lace Silk and my FPS.

As gorgeous as the Lace Silk is, the minute I saw the yarn in person I knew it wasn't right for the Forest Path's the dreaded brown! The brown was just too stripe-y and really competed with the lace! I knew it and I should have listened to that "little voice" once again but alas, stubborn - FKD is thy name! Without the brown, I think the lovely pink with subtle shots of green would have worked but who knows? I know someday I'll want to make the FPS again so I'll continue my quest for the perfect "rose garden" yarn that I see in my head....subtle cream laceweight merino with shades of pink and soft spring green - oh yeah! Hey at least now I have a *mission* !

The good news is I think the Lace Silk will make a lovely, simple shell or a very simple shawl/stole. A commenter mentioned the
Fiber Trends Landscape Shawl and I think this simple yet attractive shawl might be the perfect showcase for the amazing Handmaiden Lace Silk.*** Something to comtimplate for the future but for now, my thoughts have turned back to the FPS!

Yes, I've chosen yet another yarn! Third time's the charm, n'est ce pas? God, I *hope* so, my knitting psyche can't take much more!

For take 3, I went with safe and time tested reliable yet equally Mr. Juniper Zephyr.....

Isn't he handsome? It's a lovely bluish green color that reminds me of blue spruce Christmas trees. The zephyr is wonderful to knit with and shows off the lace really well. My only surprise was I found my *usual* favorite lace needles, Aero Teflon/Inox Gray, really sticky and grabby but once I switched to Addi Natura bamboo, everything was smooth sailing. I realize I'm just starting out (tier 2 of 23!!) but I'm having a good feeling, finally!

Maybe now I can resume my KFYS 2007 as long as it doesn't include the glorious ORANGE Trekking I got as a Valentine's Day present from my good friend
Judy or the amazingly soft and beautiful ORANGE cashmere/merino blend sock yarns I got as a *just because* present from my generous friend I a lucky ORANGE lovin' gal or what? Just look....

Must be because of reading Claudia since I discovered blogs, all the ORANGE love has rubbed off in a big way....or it could be my resident ORANGE....

Some ORANGE love for all the Florida Orange fans since I know you guys miss him when Mom doesn't post! Now if I could just find a Florida GREEN with a pink nose and pink jelly bean feet, all three of my very favorite colors would be covered, hee!

On a much more sobering note, one of our own and a "neighbor" (she's close to Orlando) has had a serious medical crisis befall her so please send
Catherine good healing vibes and virtual hugs!

Happy Monday, hope your week is full of your favorite colors too!

***I have listed the Lace Silk yarn for sale
here if you're interested!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In the harsh light of day

Reality is a bitter mistress.

Curses, foiled again! :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

You help me, I'll help you

Citizens of Knitbloglandia, I need your help!

Remember that beautiful Handmaiden Lace Silk I broke my KFYS 2007 to buy? Remember the glory of that stunning new yarn and the promise of a breathtaking Forest Path Stole? The anticipation of a long planned project in the *perfect* yarn?

In reality....perfect? Not so much......

I've knit thru the border plus two tiers of the entrelac and I'm not sure how I feel about the results which is why I need the help of the collective consciousness that is Knitbloglandia! Tell me what you think.....

Under an Ott Light, completely unretouched

Unaltered, in daylight

as always, click to embiggen for a closer look

I didn't choose a "pretty" black background to highlight the lace nor did I block out the lace to it's best advantage for these pics because I wanted an ordinary representation. Also because the yarn is pure silk, even finished it will not block as dramatically as wool does.

So my friends, tell me what you think and please feel free to be brutally honest!

For the part where I return the help favor, I've found two great products I simply must share!

It's finally back to sock knitting here at Chez FKD after knitting TWO pair of the orange cabled wristers in the yummy Cashsoft DK. Here's my current sock in progress....

This is the new Panda Cotton from Crystal Palace and I think it's a WINNER!! It's a super soft bamboo/cotton/elastic blend that is very bouncy and pleasant to knit with. It's composed of four strands plied together so it can be a bit splitty but not enough to make for a bad knitting experience. I'm using the colorway Fern, the color is anything but subtle but I love *assertive* footwear :)

I want to see just how far the yarn will take me so I'm knitting toe up socks (plus I get to use the Turkish cast on, woot!)

I'm using the Elfine Socks pattern designed by Anna Bell which is think suits the colorway perfectly.

I'm doing Magic Loop on a 40 inch US#1 (2.25mm) which brings me to my next great find!! Magic Loop, while not being my favorite method for sock knitting, does have it's selling points (Turkish cast-on!) especially when executed with a smooth needle with a flawless join like an Addi Turbo. Unfortunately, Addi doesn't manufacture a *true* size #1 needle, their "1" is 2.5mm, not 2.25mm and the resultant fabric is just too loose for my taste. Enter the Hiya Hiya Needle! Pointy tip, smooth nickel finish, slick joins that don't snag yarn, 40 inch length, VERY flexible cables, about half the price of Addi's and a true size US#1. This sock knitter is a happy camper and now you can be too :)

The P-Man thinks all this helping is exhausting but he wants to know.....

If you'll be his Valentine? Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday sky

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ask and ye shall receive

I usually don't post all the specs/info on a project until it's an FO but I had so many compliments on my cabled wristers in my email and comments, ALL clamoring for the pattern!

So I hurried up and have a FO just for your viewing pleasure :)

with flash

sans flash - the actual color is somewhere in the middle


Fingerless Mitts (thanks Petra!)

Just over 1 skein of RYC Cashsoft DK in Clementine (uber yummy yarn, thanks Rowan!)

US #2 (2.75 mm) Aero Teflon DPNs

Mods: I had this pattern in my files but I really took notice when I saw them in all their tweedy goodness over at Dave's In fact, I liked em so much I *borrowed* his mods and modified them even more! (thanks Dave!)

The original pattern has the cabled motif over the wrist but I preferred Dave's idea of having the cables on the back of the hand instead. Instead of starting the thumb gusset 15 rows into the motif, I knit an additional 10 rows of the 2x2 rib (40 total) then worked the thumb gusset as written when I began the cables

When the cable motif was complete I knit an additional 15 rows in 2x2 rib and then one additional decrease row where I k2tog 8 times evenly spaced to prevent flaring of the bind off. I then bound off in knit which I prefer to binding off in ribbing.

I picked up 2 additional stitches for the thumb (19 stitches total) and knit 14 rows of stockinette before binding off.

I also slightly upsized the wristers for fluffy hands by using DK weight yarn rather than the sportweight the pattern suggests.

Clearly, it takes a village to knit *perfect* wristers! :)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

F to the O and new beginnings

Sorry to have stayed away so long, did ya miss me? I've been down with the bug that seems to be going around. Never fear, even tho activities other than sleeping and taking Nyquil have been minimal, there has been knitting!

Add to sickness the omnipresent cloudy, gray skies we've been having and photo ops have been few but we persevere here at Casa de FKD.

Without further ado, my first finished sock of 2007!


Oblique Openwork from Sentsational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch

Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Evergreen, US #1 (2.25mm) Aero DPNs

Mini-gusset yo short row heel

Bearfoot is one of my very favorite sock yarns! It's supersoft, the colors are glorious and it makes some of the warmest socks you'll ever wear! Plus it's superwash! I love the slightly beefier heft of Bearfoot too, the only drawback being the mohair content doesn't give the fabric much sproing...but a nice rib like the Oblique Openwork saves the day! I hope these socks like their new home in a much chillier climate!

ETA: Speaking of socks, if anyone has unsuccessfully tried to obtain my free sock patterns, the links are now fixed, help yourself!

February heralded the start of the Forest Path Stole-a-Long and here are my humble beginnings...

I've never knit with pure silk before and this Handmaiden Lace Silk is just dreamy! It's a challenge to knit because it is very slippery but the color, soft smoothness and drape are pure heaven, no crunchy silk here! I'm using Aero Teflon circs, size 3.0mm (a US 2.5) which I found the easiest to tame the slick factor after swatching with Crystal Palace bamboo, Bryspuns, Addi's turbos and Addi naturas - thank god for needle obsessivness, right ? :)

I love how this is starting out I can't wait to get to the actual entrelac!

The FPS has absolutely NO portability at the moment (will it ever? hee!) so the on-the-go project is of course, wristers! (bet you thought I was gonna say socks!)

I'm using RYC Cashsoft DK in Clementine and US #2 (2.75mm) DPNs. OMG, if I ever entertain the notion to knit underwear, THIS is the stuff I'm doing it with! Don't worry I'll spare you that FO but this yarn is so so soft with such fabulous stitch definition it's hard to resist! YUM!! A most hearty thumbs up!

I leave you with a "sort of" action shot of the P-Man enjoying one of his favorite activities....our roof is finally being repaired a mere 16 months post Wilma (you know we don't say the H word around here. Ever.) and the construction has disrupted what is apparently an entire pigeon village! Pumpkin loves to watch the pigeons land on my balcony and window sills all day. When he spots one his tail swishes furiously and he runs to the window, leaps straight up almost 5 feet to the sill and paces back and forth wishing he could join in the pigeon fun.

I took this pic just as he was about to leap for the sill -- P-Man the flying wonder cat!

Hope your week is full of comparable fun! :)