Monday, July 6, 2009

PROJECTS: New & Ongoing... Knitted Shawl & Road Less Traveled quilt

This is the latest block for the Road Less Traveled quilt I've been working on. I'm still deciding on the final corner squares. . . I may just leave what I have and not change them [u/left corner]. . . not every block can be a star. . . ya?!

This is the beginning of a new shawl. It will be circular in shape -- I've always made them square before. Even though the shawl is knitted, it begins with a crochet hook. This is often called "Emily Ocker's" beginning: make a loop & put desired number of single crochets into the center of loop -- I'm using 9 stitches. Transfer to double point needles & begin to knit. It may feel a bit fidly in the beginning, but after a row or two everything will settle down. Later, the little 'tail' can be given a tug and the beginning circle will close -- no one will be the wiser as to how you began! Isn't that neat?!

This shawl will be made from unspun Icelandic wool that I get from here . Unspun Icelandic comes in several nice natural shades and a couple of 'dyed' ones, like this rose color. It comes on a "wheel" rather than a hank or skein. It is a delightful yarn to knit with. I'm using only one strand so the shawl will be very light, but this yarn will also make it quite warm!

Pic to the right is the beginning, which is now on four double point needles. I've decided to use size 10.5 US size. This will make the stitches large enough to be 'lacy'.

And to the left, it is moving to a 16" circular needle. I don't bother to 'transfer' the stitches, but simply begin knitting with the new needle. Soon it will be on a 24" circular which should see me clear through to completion. I'll post updates as the knitting progresses.
Oh, in case anyone's interested, I'm using the geometry of Pythagorus: the relationship of a circle's circumference to its radius will double in progressively doubling rows. What this means to us knitters is. . . begin with nine stitches and knit one row; next row double the stitches by YO, K1, repeat all around [18 stchs]; now knit 3 rows plain; double the stitches again [36 stchs] and knit SIX rounds plain; repeat same doubling & also double the number of plain rows of knitting in between the stitch increases... now knit 12 rows [72 stchs]... etcetera. I was reminded of this theory of Pi from high school days, by Elizabeth Zimmerman when her "Knitting Workshop" program aired on PBS back in the 1980's. BTW, if you never purchase any other knitting book, get her "Knitting Workshop" book as it will take you from a beginner to a master knitter in 12 lessons. In my view, EZ has been the most influential person in the knitting world. Her daughter Meg now carries on EZ's business, publishing & teaching.
This pi shawl is a good carry around project as the shawl creates its own 'knitting bag' once it's on the 24" circular needle... I just tuck it into my purse along with one wheel of yarn and I'm all set to knit anywhere, anytime. . . like today where I will be spending at least one hour waiting to have new tires put on my car.
Have you noticed the cost of new tires lately? OMGosh, the amount of yarn and fabric I could buy for what these tires are gonna cost just staggers the mind! lol.
All for now. . . thank you for stopping by,
Note: As always, just click on any picture to enlarge it. Also, the little blue 'pin' is used to mark the very first stitch. It's a good idea to place a marker at the beginning of the round and slip it on each successive round. . . use a coiless pin or yarn in another color, that way you always know where you are. *g*.


Miriam said...

I am really looking forward to seeing the progress of your shawl. I am fascinated by the relationship between knitting and geometry you described. Amazing! I am going to see if I can find that book here in Australia. Thank you for the information. :)

Crispy said...

Hmmm, I've never heard of starting a knitting project with crochet, very intesting.


Cattinka said...

Your new project looks neat! To how many stitches will you increase? And will you decrease stitches once you passed the middle of your shawl?
Have fun knitting!

Terry said...

I have never learned to knit, but I so enjoy seeing others projects, they always amaze me. I am looking forward to following your project progress. Your start is beautiful, love the color. Love the quilt block too!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your blocks for your" Road Less Traveled Quilt"...yummy fabric! Can't wait to see the top all together!

Knitting projects always amaze me...they are so gorgeous! I never got the "hang" of stitches would not come off the needles, way too tight!

Thanks for sharing,

Hugs, Elaine in SLO,Ca

Scrappy quilter said...

Can't wait to see the finished shawl.

Elsie Campbell said...

I'm a national traveling quilting teacher, but I love to knit, too. Love the way you've started this shawl. Is it a published pattern or your original? I'd love to try it myself, it looks like so lacy and delicate of a pattern.