Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Love Lace

Clearly I've sucked at this whole "regular updates" thing. In my defense, Real Life interfered a little. I was sick for a week and then I was busy due to interviews (job hunting is awesome fun, really) and there wasn't enough sun to take decent photos and then I had some other lame excuse...

So, lace. I love it. And I've made some progress since my last update a month ago.

The Faux Russian Stole has been placed on hold, about a third of the way into the first center repeat:

I'm wondering if I should start over with a slightly larger needle (2.25mm or 2.5mm, rather than the current 2.0mm) since the yarn has a bit of a halo and it looks a little dense. That's a little easier to see in this close-up:

I've made a lot more progress on Aeolian. The cake of yarn is looking considerably more squashy:
I'm all the way through the Agave motif and at roughly 70% complete.
The edging is about halfway done. I like the way the nupps are turning out with this yarn. They're nicely plump, like little figs.
I've been doing 7-stitch nupps, but I'm tempted to switch to 9-stitch nupps when they show up in the edging.

It's been nearly two weeks since I've made any progress on Aeolian, because I joined the Snow Queen KAL. This is my first Pi shawl and my first mystery KAL so it's been very exciting. I'm using red 100% merino 2/28 yarn from Colourmart and black beads, so I'm thinking of this shawl as the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. My progress through Chart D:
I've finished 7 of the 48 rows in Chart E and Chart F just got posted, so I'm a little behind. The rounds are still going fairly quickly (even with 288 stitches). Aeolian is up to 449 stitches and will have 755 before I'm done. The beading slows me down, especially the beaded decreases. Chart F of Snow Queen has a lot of beads, too, but they're all on regular knit stitches rather than decreases.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Origins of a Name

RiotPrrl. It's a rather silly handle for a blog about knitting, isn't it? Where did it come from?

We can start with a single panel from a 5-strip xkcd series. (Part 1part 2part 3part 4, and part 5. There's also a bit of a prologue.)

So now we know that "riot prrl" (note the capitalization and spacing) is a fictional movement of programmer-musicians. The name is a combination of riot grrrl, the musical subculture, and Perl, the programming language.

And what about RiotPrrl? The reference to riot grrrl still applies. I am a woman and a feminist; and I enjoy listening to riot grrrl bands even if I'm not much of a musician myself. The reference to Perl is also applicable. I am a programmer. I like writing code, both professionally and as a hobby. (I don't use a lot of Perl, but "RiotC++" wouldn't be as catchy.) Finally, I am a knitter. With a sneaky extra reference to the purl stitch, RiotPrrl is a concise union of three major aspects of my identity.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Aeolian and the Faux Russian Stole

Alternative Title: Current Knitting, part 1 of many. (I have too many projects and I plan to start more soon. I apparently cannot resist the siren call of pretty things.)

My progress so far on Aeolian, a triangular shawl with beads and nupps. I'm using Alpaca with a Twist Fino (70% baby alpaca, 30% silk) and US 4 (3.5mm) needles. I only have one skein of yarn, so I've been using a spreadsheet and kitchen scale to make sure I'll have enough.

This is a better representation of the color of the yarn. It's a beautiful soft grey called Silver Belle. I'm using silver-lined grey beads that are a little darker than the yarn.

I've done 8 repeats of the Yucca motif.

I worked the Agave motif once after I finished the transition chart, doing 7-stitch nupps. The final Agave chart and the edging will be about 65% of the work. I have a lot left to do...

Of course, I had to start something with the Jojoland Harmony (color HC04) that I picked up last week. I decided to use the Faux Russian Stole pattern (Ravelry) from A Gathering of Lace. I really like the geometric motifs.

This is the bottom edging and garter frame for the center motif. I'm ready to start the center, but I have to decide if I'm going to put in a lifeline now or gamble a little.

I had a lot of trouble with the bottom edging. The yarn is very fine and the edging is narrow, so it was easy to accidentally pull the needles (US 0, 2mm) out of the stitches without noticing. Things have gone more smoothly now that I have all of the body stitches to add a little more weight to it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


It's the start of a new year. Rather than make concrete resolutions, I have slightly vague 1 intentions for various things that I want accomplish in the weeks and months to come.

1. Publish a blog. This is clearly the first step in the process. In theory, publicly documenting my progress will push hold myself more accountable for my other goals.
2. Design and publish knitting patterns. I ought to be able to extend my inability to follow patterns without some sort of modification, however minor, to creating my own patterns.
3. Knit the Queen Susan shawl. I definitely need to work my way up to this 2 since I have very little experience working with yarn this fine and patterns this complex. I have a few projects in mind to help improve my skills before I attempt the shawl.
4. Start dyeing yarn. I like the thought of being able to pick the exact color I want for a particular pattern. I like semi-solid and variegated yarns, but I can get a little picky about color schemes. Once I develop a good dyeing process, I'd like to investigate selling it.

1. That is, mostly non-quantifiable goals that I can turn into plans with measurable results with a little work.
2.The skill level is given as "Very Skilled/Expert" in the pattern.