Monday, April 30, 2007

Finished Before I Started

I didn't get much of a chance to participate in this KAL since I finished the shawl so quickly. I started the shawl on April 12th and finished it on April 25th. Like many others, I had a few false starts, but that was more due to needle size and yarn choice. Once that was settled, I was able to really get into the rhythm of the pattern and zip away!

I used Jaggerspun Zephyr in Sage and size 3US Addi Lace needles. These needles made the nupps really easy to manipulate and were worth every penny. Here's a gratuitous close up shot of the lower body pattern.

The finished dimensions came out to approximately 61" wide and 21" long from the longest point of the shawl. I plan on giving this shawl to a friend and even though I had some qualms as to how tiny the shawl is, she's reassured me that it's the perfect size for her.

the Akamai Knitter

I finally started again

I decided to rip out my small start on size 5 needles and go for it on size 4s. It really wasn't that much to rip having only 99 or so stitches, but it was still a bit painful - lol. I now have about 83 stitches and I'm liking it a lot more on the smaller needles. I'm hoping to give it a lot more attention than I have been so I can make some good progress - I want to put beads on, badly!!

Hello from Liverpool

Hi everyone, I've just joined this knitalong. I live in Liverpool, UK where we are currently having the hottest April weather for 300 years. I have chosen my yarn. I am going to give the pattern a try in some undyed laceweight yarn, which is 96% blue faced leicester and 10% nylon. I'll probably also make the shawl in mohair as well but thought I'd try the pattern out with a smooth yarn first.


Sunday, April 29, 2007


Ok so after seeing this shawl I just knew I HAD to make it. I had some lace weight alpaca but just found out a few days ago that I'm extremely and horridly allergic to it. Sooo after a tip from Deb, I ended up buying some of the zephyr wool silk, even tho I'm on a yarn diet...actually I bought three different colors (teal, aegean, garnet). I justified it by the fact I'm going to be destashing all my lovely it's like a trade. :D

I plan on doing this shawl in teal, and am going to do beads instead of the nupps. I can't wait till my yarn gets here! I should have it by wednesday and then I'm diving in! All the pretty finished ones here are really inspiration and I can't wait to get started!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Made it to the 2nd chart!

Yahoo! - I made it to the 2nd chart. The last few pattern rows caused a little trouble for me - again, I don't know why. At any rate, I am putting in a lifeline before I start the new pattern chart in case my knitting handicap rears its ugly head again. Here's a pic of it so far, doesn't do it justice without blocking, but I do like the color and think it's gonna look great with the beads.

I have 2 colors of beads, unfortunately the battery on my camera died after taking this pic, but one is a pinkish purple color and the other is purple with an irridescent bluish cast.
When I get to that point, I'll thread yarn through both colors of beads and decide which one works better.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ditto on the Frustration

I'm with Deb in the frustration department. I have cast on and knit the first section of this shawl so many times now I could scream. My mother came home with a new froggy to decorate the deck for summer so I turned him ("Jeremiah" is the dubbed name of said froggy) into my Spring Things Frog Pond! I haven't liked the yarns, the needle size, the gauge, and most of all the 1st stitch pattern. Whew, there I said it! I confessed the truth. It looked great in Susan's pictures, but it's a stitch pattern I've battled with before. I just didn't realize that when I purchased the pattern. It's not difficult to knit, mind you, I just don't love how it looks up close >:-( (picky, picky, picky--that's me!)

So, what to do. Being a member of this KAL has motivated me to stick with it. The fact that I just finished my dissertation and completed my requirements for graduation just yesterday is a factor too. I'm so tired I look at *everything* cross-eyed right now. That's when tincture of time is the best therapy I suppose. Right now I have gone back to knitting the pattern as written (yes, I tinkered with that too) using some white Zephyr and Size 3.25mm needles. I'm up to 11 or of the 16 total repeats for chart A. I've decided to press on for now in the hopes that I will be happy with the next lace pattern. I really wanted a light weight white shawl to wear this summer, so I'm hanging in there along with Dab and any other lurkers who are finding unexpected challenges.

Monday, April 23, 2007


After 2 weeks, I finally got my yarn! But the pattern was giving me fits - I have no idea why, it's not difficult, but I had to tear it out and begin again at least 3 times. I kept ending up with the wrong number of stitches, not enough to complete the pattern for a row. I tinked so many times I was almost in tears. I was using the Zephyr yard in a beautiful pink Ladyslipper color. I suspect that the stitches were melding themselves together and that's why I was having the problem, I was missing or accidentally knitting 2 together in spots.

Anyway, after almost getting to the 2nd chart and finding that it was horribly messed up again - I ripped it off the needles and started all over again with Zephyr in Lilac this time. Same needles, same yarn, different color.

Completely different results - it's now going smoothly and beautifully! Go figure. Picture coming soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Help - which beads?

I feel like the little engine that could. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I've finished the first chart (A) of the Spring Things Shawl. I'm still behind schedule but I still hope to make it.

Now I just have to decide which beads to use. The young woman for whom I am knitting the first one of this shawl (I've already got plans for at least 1 more) for her wedding has square crystal beads on her wedding dress. I hunted a while back (somewhere around repeat 3 of Chart A) and couldn't really find the "perfect" crystal bead so bought three "not perfect" ones and tried them today in a sample of the first section of Chart B. I can't decide for sure which I like best.

If you have an opinion, please share it. The cubes in the middle are, I think, closest to what is on the wedding dress but I'm not sure what I think about them in this shawl. I think the clear with silver on the right is out but I'm not sure between the pearlized rounds on the left and the crystal cubes in the middle. The cubes have a nice opalescence or something which isn't showing in this photo (and this was the best photo) and they match the dress beading more closely I think. But I have to admit if it were for me I'd go with the pearlized rounds.

I'm going to cogitate for a few hours while I do something else and then if anyone has offered opinions I'll read them before deciding what to do. It's tempting to leave the sample laying around and see what the young lady herself says since I'll see her tomorrow but I kinda wanted this to be a surprise when all finished. Plus I'm not sure I can delay until tomorrow night since I am already behind and I think it's going to take me several hours per repeat of Chart B (and C and the edging at this point) to knit the rest. Which makes it unwise to dawdle much. Or be indecisive for that matter but somehow that isn't enough to make me just grow up and pick one.

Started Last Night

I came across this pattern being knit up for the first time on On the Needles and couldn't resist getting a copy. I had the perfect yarn in my stash already so I cast on last night. I am using two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill in a Blues/Greens potluck colorway. I plan on putting beads on it since I think the variegation of the yarn will hide all the loveliness of nupps. So far I love the pattern and the yarn. I can't wait to see everyones progress. I love how differently a shawl can look just by being knit in different yarns.

- Michelle

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nupps Schmupps

Who's afraid of the big bad nupps?

Not me.

Nupps are easy. And in saying that I mean that nupps are just as easy or just as hard as any other stitch you might be asked to do in knitting. They are really no "harder" than anything else.

And this is probably also an instance of how hanging around in blogland has really helped me with my knitting. On the one hand, I learned that nupps are often feared, despised and shunned. On the other hand, I learned a few tips for dealing with the dreaded nupps.

I'll share them with you!

First Tip - maybe obvious but it bears repeating - get yourself some pointy tipped needles. I used my Knit Picks Options needles because they are the sharpest tipped needles I have. They worked out fine for me but I probably would have appreciated having some of those new Addi Lace needles which are even sharper. (In fact, I think I'll go order some after I finish this post.) You really need the sharp point for digging under all - in this case five - of the sections of the the nupp.

Second Tip - splitty yarn will probably drive you into nupp despair. I didn't have this problem with the Hand Maiden Sea Silk so this is just an observation.

Third Tip - and this is probably the most important - when you are forming the increases that make up the nupp, make them VERY loosely. More loose than you would ever think you might need. This will help you to have the room to be able to get in under the stitches when you are purling them all together on the back side. It will also give the nupps a nice, fat fullness which makes them look good.

Another observation - let's call it the Fourth Tip - it seems like the middle stitch of the increases for the nupp (in this case the third stitch out of five) seems like it is the most difficult to pick up when you are purling them together on the back side. This may just be due to my knitting technique but I don't think so. So the tip here is - watch out for that middle stitch. Make sure you are actually getting under ALL of the nupp stitches. If you miss one it could get ugly. And chances are it will be that middle stitch that you missed.

So there you go - armed with these Four Tips, go forth and conquer The Fear Of Nupps.

Sure, nupps will slow you down a bit and you do have to pay attention to what you are doing but that doesn't make them "hard" to do. In fact, I kind of thought they were fun and a clever little technique.

As an aside here - I had a couple of emails asking me if I thought two skeins of the Sea Silk would be enough for the shawl. Well - I have completed through the first repeat of the second chart and I still have a little less than half of the first skein left. I think (knock on wood!) I'll be fine.

I'm such a slacker

I have not knit another stitch on my shawl since I started. I want to knit on it, but I just have no time! Also, I just looked at the pattern where it says if you use the Jaeger you may want to use size 4 needles - I didn't see it before and I'm using 5s. Now I have to decide whether to frog or keep going, what a dummy!

Monday, April 16, 2007


On a whim, I picked up several skeins of the Karabella mohair in exactly the color used for the pattern picture. When I came across the pattern while searching for a project for a summer wedding, it seemed like fate to give this one a try. I'm fairly new to lace and looking forward to this challenge. So far, so good...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Here's my shawl....

Hand Maiden Sea Silk in Glacier:

The Spring Things Shawl in situ:

The Spring Things Shawl in close up:

Ahhhh, Spring!

Waiting for yarn to arrive

What a beautiful shawl, can't wait to begin and join the fun! I'll be using Zephyr, and since I couldn't decide on just 1 color, I ordered 3, and 2 different colors of beads.

I have 3 wonderful daughters-in-law, and I'd like to knit a shawl for each of them. Perhaps 2 with beads and 1 with the nupps. I love knitting lace and prefer working from charts, so I'm looking forward to beginning.

Hurry up, mailman....bring my yarn!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shawl Progress

Here's a pic of the progress on my shawl . For some reason , I had a few problems at the beginning ; either not enough stitches or too many . Once I was able to " read " the pattern it all seemed to fall into place. It's been smooth sailing and I've almost completed the repeats for Chart A . Thankfully I'd decided to knit this with the Zephyr as I think tinking mohair yarn would have driven me to drink !

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Please wish me luck

Thanks for welcoming me into the group. I'm working away at the shawl. I started the shawl on the same day as Kate, I think. But I'm nowhere near done. (Kate, you were fast!) I've just finished the 8th repeat of those last 5 rows of Chart A. I think I can manage to finish the shawl in time but that "each row takes longer than the last" thing is making me very nervous. I'm making the shawl as a bridal gift so I need it finished before last time I see the bride before the wedding (which is at the end of this month) so I'm knitting as fast as I can.

But I find if I don't take the time to count stitches every row, something happens and I end up having to fix a mistake. I'm not sure why I keep making them, because it's actually a very straightforward pattern. Apparently, I can't walk and chew gum though. If I try to do anything else, except maybe listen to music, while knitting I invariably make a mistake. At least I'm catching them sooner now. Any suggestions for how to keep from making mistakes? I've gotten to the point where I won't even acknowledge an interruption until I've finished the 5 stitch repeat I'm on. Am I the only one who has to pay this close of attention this far in? Or, you know, at all? I'd hate to find out I'm lace-impaired. I love lace shawls and I have plans to make lots of them.

Monday, April 9, 2007

I'm Ready for Spring

After enduring the coldest Easter on record here in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, am I ever ready for it to be Spring for good! And I can't think of a better way to celebrate spring than to knit a beautiful lace shawl. I'm delighted to be joining ya'll in knitting this great design--this will be my first time knitting one of Susan's designs. I finished knitting Miriam's Hidcote garden shawl several weeks ago.

My name is Kristina and in addition to being addicted to lace knitting, I'm currently on the home stretch of finishing my dissertation. In a few short weeks I'll be graduating with my PhD in Nursing after *many* long years of work. Tatting, beadwork, and knitting have kept me sane through it all :-)

I'm still playing with yarn ideas for Spring Things, but am leaning towards using a pretty butter yellow cashmere/wool blend called Gentle purchased from the YarnPlace in CA. This yarn is really a cobweb wt. so I'll be doubling it for this project. I swatched with a size US5/3.75mm needle but I thinks it's a bit too lacy for my taste so I'll go down to my favorite for lace size 4 needles. My size 4Addi-Lace needle is on a WIP that has only 6 rows left to go, so I'll knit that off before I cast on for Spring Things so I can use my new favorite needle for this shawl too.

I look forward to meeting everyone and knitting and blogging with you. I'll be blogging here and on my own blog at as I go. Thanks for welcoming me!
{{{hugs}}} Kristina

Now I can Start ....

I have been welcomed to join this group and am so thankful! The shawl is gorgeous and now all I have to do is purchase the pattern . I have lots of lace that I have spun myself or purchased. I am thinking of some spring green (turquoise is what I was expecting) easter egg dyed fingering yarn - just need to check and see how much yardage is needed for this shawl.

Love seeing what others are doing!
Vanessa in Upstate NY

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Gosh, I'm finished

This one is big, but it is beautiful. The yarn is a mohair/acrylmix, from Coats Schachenmayr. I used needles no 5, and I feel really satisfied right now. So now I guess I have to knit socks. The colour is blue with some beige, purple and green in. I'll take a better photo outside tomorrow, in the snow. There are a couple of more photos in my blog.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

My shawl in progress

This shawl is a beauty, and so funny to knit. I'm almost done at chart B.

That was quick!

Following Susan's link to Fluffy Knitter Deb's how-to on crocheting the beads onto the shawl, I went to Beadwrangler's shop to get my crochet hooks and a few more beads. I ordered on Monday and got them today! So I guess I would have to highly recommend the Beadwrangler - I love fast shipping :)

I started too

I decided to use the pale green with cream Artyarns silk mohair with my new addi turbos lace needles size 3.75mm. I love these needles, they're great with the mohair in my yarn. This is such a pretty lace pattern, very soft. I had to go out last night, so didn't get much done, but I hope to knit on it today. I put the chart on a magnetic board to make following it easier, and I also inserted a small coiless safety pin in the center stitch to help anchor me. Is anyone else using aides?

Casting on Today

Thanks Lauren for setting this up . I bought Susan's pattern as soon as she'd posted it . I've knit her Forest Canopy shawl . That was only my second completed lace project. It was gifted to my aunt , who just loved it . Unfortunately my brains had left the building and I sent it off without taking any photos . The yarn I'm using for this shawl will be Zephyr wool silk in a copper colour.This time I'm the recipient and there should be some photos .

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I started last night

And I think I made it to about 100 stitches. I'm really liking the lace pattern so far, it is simple enough but keeps my attention - I really like that the repeat is only 6 rows :) The cone is added for scale. I'm using the size 5 needles, white Jaegerspun Zephyr, and I will for sure be doing the beads rather than the nupps. I just hope my beads and crochet hook get here soon enough!

I've started

Of course i didn't finish the socks, a true knitter begin with a new project, hi hi. I knitted and knitted, and had to frog 6 rounds, that's how it ends when one is to eager. Tomrrow I will post a photo.

Button and beads

Hey all, Susan sent me this picture of the shawl with more of the beading shown. I love it and I'm going to do beads on mine. Thanks Susan!

She also has a cute button ready for blog usage that I'm adding to the sidebar, feel free to save it to your computer and use it on your blog.

Hi there!!!

I bought the pattern yesterday, the yarn is also ready. But, I have to finish one pair of socks before, or do I have to do so....................
My name is Kate, and I'm from Norway.

Just joined this KAL

Hi everybody, I want to say how much I am looking forward to knitting this lovely shawl. I'm trying to decide on the yarn - I have zephyr in several shades of spring, and enough Rowan Kidsilk Haze but it's in grey. But then I found 5 skeins (225 yrds each) of Artyarns Silk Mohair in a beautiful light soft green and cream blend. Yum! I think this may be it. What's everyone else using.
Shirley, in PA

I made it here!

Now I have to decide what color I want the shawl to be. I have a light purple and a sky blue color. Opinions?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Hey there! This is Lauren of Is it Time to Knit Yet? Even though I already have Icarus in progress, once I saw Susan's new pattern I knew I just had to knit it! If you've knit Susan's patterns before, you know just how fabulous they are. It's pretty simple, just join in and knit along - email me at wabbit64 at comcast dot net to join. For added motivation and because I'm feeling generous, the first person to post a picture of their finished shawl will receive a skein of Jaegerspun Zephyr. I know I'm not the only one who will be knitting this shawl, so hurry up and join me - I'm excited to see everyone's finished shawls :-)