Friday, July 03, 2015

Bigger Begonia Swirl

Some knitters have been asking how I made the Begonia Swirl bigger, so my project tips are below.

I decided to enlarge the shawl, and added one begonia per each section (went from 22 to 33 begonias). I used 1,980 glass Miyuki seed beads, rose bronze color, size 8/0.

The delightful yarn from Violet Lynx was hand-dyed in Russia and shipped to the US quickly (about two weeks).  She has some great colors and lots of yardage for bigger shawls. The gradient is all from one skein.

I would recommend about 1,200 yards of laceweight, if you decide to increase the size like I did.  I ran out of yarn on the last four rows, so I used a similar yarn to finish. I think it outlines the flowers.   I’m happy with the result.

Overall, it's lovely work for when you are relaxing, until the flowers! Then much concentration is required -- especially if you are adding beads. It’s not difficult for a lace project, and the gradient yarn produces spectacular results.


The construction is a little different than you might expect. You start out with 11 repeats. Then, when you get to the edging, each repeat splits into two begonias - so you have 22 edging repeats (begonias). This is the way it’s written, but I wanted it larger.

To get the larger size, three begonias per repeat, I had to have more stitches at the start of the edging chart. This took some calculating, but it’s not so bad. What you need is 20 sts per begonia at the start of the edging chart. Don’t count the selvage stitches.

To add that extra 20 sts per repeat, you need to keep increasing at the same rate (yo, k1, yo, k2, yo, kxx, k2tog). It gets a little tedious with all that stockinette, but it’s worth it.

When the stockinette (the kxx) is equal to 60 sts, you have enough for three begonias per repeat (33 begonias total). Then start the edging chart.

I would not recommend increasing faster, as this would make the spiral twist too much. I don’t think it would hang right.

I highlighted the stitches on the chart to make adding the beads easier.  These I added with a  size 10 steel crochet hook.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Stanwood Ball Winder

For decades, I've wound my yarn from skeins into balls by hand.  That's right, by hand.  I love how the yarn feels as I'm winding and that I can customize the shape and feel of each ball.  I guess I just love yarn!

Well, after much research and hesitancy, I finally bought a ball winder.  Even though I do love a good Zen session of hand winding, this ball winder will help me wind faster, and spend more time knitting and less time thinking about knitting -- even though, thinking about knitting is pretty good, too.

This is a Stanwood Large Metal Ball Winder. I ordered through Amazon, because I get free shipping.  You can order directly from Stanwood, and the price is lower, but add shipping and tax and it costs about the same as Amazon.  The large size will hold about 10 ounces of yarn.  I like that it's a little larger and more heavy-duty than smaller plastic ball winders.

Setting up took about five minutes, with easy instructions that were included.  I've found that it's not very noisy, like some metal winders, due to the nylon gears.

More on this as I get some experience using it.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Filigrane Spitzendecken

What luck! 

Occasionally, I shop on The Book Depository website for lace knitting books, and this one popped up today. I hadn't seen it before. It's a new release of a Niebling pattern folio, as of March 10 2015.

Filigrane Spitzendecken

Filigrane Spitzendecken

Publisher: Buchverlag Fuer Die Frau
Language: German
Publication Date: 10 March 2015
ISBN 13: 9783897984790

Collecting Niebling patterns is somewhat of an Easter egg hunt -- it's very exciting to find one you haven't seen before.

This may have been out before, and I just never saw it, but I doubt it. I would appreciate hearing about any upcoming publications of Herbert Niebling patterns.