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Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

Periodic Table Sweater

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 28, 2018

Periodic Table Sweater

After nearly 20 years, I decided it was time to update the Periodic Table sweater. So here it is, with elements 111-118 included. It required 10 balls of blue Cascade 220 Superwash wool (8 blue, 1 purple, 1 cream). It took me about 3 weeks. I knitted the letters without charting, so some are not identical. The lines are intarsia and the letters are stranded. The body was knit in the round and the sleeves were steeked. Finishing the ends on the inside was a nightmare because the cream yarn was not carried all the way around in the first two rows. I see an error in the grid, which I will fix right away.

Periodic Table Sweater

25/365: Periodic Table Sweater

The original Periodic Table sweater was meant as a joke. First, the colours are really ugly because the yarn was a gift (Woolease, which wasn’t available in Israel at the time). One sleeve has names of bacteria and the other has names of fungi. Since no one ever showed much interest in the sleeves, I didn’t bother repeating the feat.

Periodic Table Sweater

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“More is More” Shawl

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 24, 2013

More is More Shawl
After I got back from Prague, I caught a cold. One day when I happened to be at home during daylight hours and felt well enough to crawl out of bed, I photographed a shawl that I finished a couple months ago. Its name, “More is More” shawl, is tongue-in-cheek, because it started out as a Less is More shawl. However, I quickly grew bored with counting to four (four rows stockinette, four rows seed stitch, rinse and repeat) and started improvising. The shawl is knit with Aade Lõng Artistic 8/2 in “lamb.” The yarn is actually a bit darker than these photos appear. I should have shortened the exposure a bit (when I have time, I’ll fix them and replace these photos). It was much softer than the “rainbow” colourway. The shawl starts at one corner, increasing along the top edge, and worked to the opposite corner. Below: a row of eyelets, some random welts, an embossed heart pattern, couple bands of seed stitch, and directional eyelets.

More is More Shawl

More eyelets, an Orenburg-inspired diagonal peas pattern, more welts, and a picot cast-off.

More is More Shawl

More is More Shawl

<More is More Shawl

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A Little Knitting: Two Shawls

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 20, 2013

Rainbow Garden Path Shawl

Occasionally I even manage to finish some knitting projects. 🙂

Yarn is Aade Lõng Artistic 8/2, in “rainbow.” Pattern is Garden Path Shawl, a free Ravelry download, designed by Shui Kuen Kozinski.

I started the shawl on 4mm needles and found that the shawl was a bit denser than I liked, so I started over with 5 mm needles. The yarn has a coarse texture. I don’t recommend it for a garment worn next to the skin, but it is superb for outer wear, like shawls and cardigans. Knitting is a lot like photography. If you want interesting results, you have to bend/break the rules occasionally. Conventional wisdom says to use the needle written on the yarn band and not to combine colourwork and lace. But if you’re not getting the result you want, start over with a different needle. If this yarn were very soft, like Merino, it would probably not be able to support the more open texture created by the larger needle size. Happily, the yarn has enough body to hold its shape.

The pattern was modified somewhat. I didn’t have enough yarn to do the entire pattern (but the shawl is large enough for me) and I’m not fond of pointy ends in stripes, so the bottom edge is cast off as a straight edge, after the second-last rose repeat.

Orenburg Honeycomb Shawl

Orenburg Honeycomb Shawl, from Piecework, May/Jun 2010. Yarn is JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 and a ball of knitting-machine yarn, doubled. This shawl took a long time because both yarns are very fine and I was using 2.5 mm needles.

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Rainbow Shawl: Farewell and New Beginning

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 19, 2012

Last look at Rainbow shawl

Call me the Frog Queen (unraveling is called “frogging” on some lists because you “rip it, rip it”). Or call me Penelope…. 🙂

I’m starting over. I was worried about not having enough yarn for this shawl and the texture seemed a bit dense. Aade Lõng Artistic 8/2 is a springy, somewhat coarse yarn. Some people try soaking it in conditioner to soften it, but, hey, the sheep is what it is! And this sheep is no merino. A yarn with this texture holds up beautifully for outer garments and pieces that don’t require soft drape. The pattern is Garden Path Shawl, free from Elann yarns.

New beginning of rainbow shawl

The photo above shows the original shawl, worked on 4 mm needles, and the new swatch, on 5 mm. (I could possibly go a little higher, to 5.5 mm, but I don’t want the yarn-overs to look stringy.) I think the larger needle diameter suits the yarn better. The pattern will have a bit more defintion and the yarn is not going to start pilling or sag out of shape.

The yarn comes in a very long skein (over 900 meters). I divided it into three balls and wound them on a ball winder, carefully numbered so that I would knit them in sequence. The swatch (light blue) is worked from the outside of the third ball. The plan is that I will knit the yarn in reverse order — the third ball from the outside inwards, and the rest of the yarn directly from the old shawl itself. That way I bypass the stage of unraveling, skeining, and rewinding into balls, not to mention finding the splice where I joined the yarns.

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Good-bye, Orenburg Shawl (= Starting Over)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 11, 2012

Last look at shawl

Here’s a photo of the shawl before I ripped it. Why did I decide, in the end, to rip it instead of repairing the hole? I was extremely nervous about the fact that (a) the hole was close to the start of the shawl and (b) this has never happened to a project of mine before. It occurred to me (and a friend suggested it) that the yarn may have weakened over time. I’ve had this cone of lace-weight wool for close to 20 years. So I ripped out the entire shawl (took several hours, believe it or not!) until I reached the hole, only about 3 inches from the start of the first edging. Sure enough, the yarn was slightly brittle. I reeled and tested, reeled and tested, until I got through about 20-30 yards. When the yarn seemed to be reasonably sound, I cast on and started knitting again. So far, 10 teeth of the edging. Another 26 teeth to go, before I turn the corners. This is truly a long-term project!

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Ruffle Mesh Scarves, or “We Are All Individuals”

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 28, 2012

Kartopu Fancy Lace Yarn

I’m going through another lemming phase. Is there any corner of the world that hasn’t been hit by Ruffle Mesh Scarf Frenzy? I thought it was an isolated event, perhaps an English thing, because the first ruffle mesh scarf I encountered was knitted by the English mother of a coworker. Here’s Elana’s black and grey scarf worked in Samba yarn:

Elana's Scarf

I thought I would have to order yarn from the UK, until I happened to see ruffle mesh yarn in Yetsirah in Talpiyot (HaUman Street) and bought a couple balls from their wide selection of Kartopu “Lace”, a Turkish yarn:

Ruffle Mesh Yarn

The next day, I walked into Ahuva’s room at work and … she was wearing a ruffle mesh scarf that she had made. She doesn’t even knit! The store owner in the shuk taught her how to “cast on” six stitches and work back and forth until the yarn was used up. She used an Israeli version of this yarn manufactured by Teddy. (Photo below: Ahuva, multimedia wiz and Gur hassid — not a combination you encounter every day):

Ahuva with her Scarf

Just for the record, Ahuva thought the Teddy yarn was too limp and fine. She ended up casting on 8 stitches and skipping meshes in order to get a fuller ruffle.

Here’s my first finished scarf. Subdued little critter, ain’t it? It makes my brightest sweaters look muted.


Ahuva passed on a useful hint. This yarn gets very twisted when it comes off the ball and you spend a lot of time untwisting the yarn and spreading the meshes. It’s much easier to work if you wrap the ball of yarn around a piece of cardboard.

Mesh yarn on card

You need 100 grams for one scarf. Prices vary between 24 and 26 NIS (and if you’re thinking of making a killing on Etsy, you’re about three months too late!). The technique is not true knitting. It’s a looping technique that uses knitting needles. I had no idea how these scarves were made when I bought a couple balls in Yetsirah on my way to a wedding at Yarok be’Ir in Talpiot. I asked the saleswoman what size needles I needed and she insisted on showing me when she realised that I had never knit it before. She cast on 6 stitches, knitted a row, watched me knit a row, and slipped the stitches onto a paper clip. Here’s a video that explains the process. One difference is that I was taught to tie a knot in the yarn at the beginning. The knot doesn’t show. After I cast off, I pulled the tail through the last loop, tied a knot, and cut the tail off. It seems to hold well and doesn’t require sewing.

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Orenburg Square Medallion Shawl – Approaching the Halfway Mark

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 12, 2012

Orenburg Shawl

Update (Feb. 16): As Isabelle and others have noticed, there are mistakes in the pattern. Fortunately, Mairi has written corrections on her Ravelry page.

I just realised that I’m long overdue for an update on this project. The pattern is the Square Medallion Shawl from The Gossamer Webs Design Collection: Three Orenburg Shawls to Knit. I was starting to despair of this shawl ever being finished.

I started knitting this shawl in linen and realised that linen isn’ t stretchy enough for Orenburg shawl construction, although it would have been fine for a Niebling doily. So I ripped it out and started over, using a lace-weight off-white wool (Botany Bay, probably a knitting machine yarn).

Then I found a hole:

Hole in Orenburg shawl

It was too large to ignore, so I ripped back 60 rows. That was painful. The wool was so springy that picking up yarn-overs proved tricky. In the photo below I ran a 1.5 mm circular needle through the stitches. Even working under a magnifying glass I still ended up with half the stitches from one row and the other half on another row.

Almost ripped back

After ripping out thousands of stitches (60×200 rows or so), I put away the project for a while. I resumed it after the pain of ripping out all those stitches had faded.

Have you tired of my knitting posts yet? 🙂 I was housebound for two weeks, so there wasn’t a lot to photograph. Now I’m back at work, with less time to knit.

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Channeling My Inner Hobbit (Finished Cowl)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 7, 2012

Finished Cowl

Finished Cowl

I wanted a really fast knitting project to use up some of my yarn. I was very surprised to find this bulky roving-type yarn in my closet because I almost never knit on needles larger than 4 mm. It must have been someone’s stash cull. It’s not the sort of thing I would buy. I have no idea of the yardage because there’s so little information on the label (Tsemer haHasidah “Berber”) but the entire piece took 430 gms of yarn. The pattern is called GAP-tastic Cowl, a free download on Ravelry.

Yarn order arrived

I haven’t purchased yarn for years, unless you count the small quantities to make kippot (yarmulkes) for the menfolk in my family. Someone told me about Esse, a site that sells Estonian yarn, so I bought 150 gms of Aade Löng Natural 8/2 in grey and Aade Löng Artistic 8/2 in “Rainbow,” along with some circular needles. The order was shipped within two days and arrived two days later by registered mail. I’m very pleased with the service so far. It seems to be located in Haifa.

The stock seems to vary from week to week (I couldn’t find the same grey yarn when I checked the site today) and is limited to Aade Löng wool in 3 weights, various Grignasco cottons, and a large selection of Addi needles and crochet hooks. Wow. When I came to Israel in 1989 it was nearly impossible to find lace needles, circulars in different lengths (other than 100 cm), and very thick or thin needles. It’s unbelievable to see how much is available nowadays.

Dust Storm, Maale Adumim

Today is my last day of sick leave. The stitches were taken out this morning and I’m wearing normal shoes again. I had hoped to run a few errands but the country is in the midst of a severe dust storm. A strong, bone-chilling wind is blowing sand and dust everywhere. The sky looks yellow. Normally you can see buildings on the hillside across the wadi. I took this photo from my balcony.

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Orenburg Honeycomb Scarf

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 3, 2012

Honeycomb Scarf

I need another knitting project, right? Actually, I had a problem — I have two balls of lace-weight yarn (blue Jaggerspun Zephyr and a ball of purple machine-knitting yarn), not enough to make a scarf individually, but together they will be sufficient. I’ve alternated two rows of blue with two rows of purple. I wanted another lace project, one that I could carry around and wouldn’t require a chart.

I found the gauge to be a little “off” from my own. I am using size 2 (2.75 mm) needles and cast on 106 stitches for a 19″ wide scarf or shawl. The original pattern called for 130 stitches, which produced much too wide a shawl. If I had access to more of this yarn I might have knitted it as a stole, but I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough yarn to complete the project.

The “Orenburg Honeycomb Lace Scarf to Knit,” by Galina A. Khmeleva, is published in PieceWork magazine (May/June 2010). At the moment, this back issue is still in stock. It’s their third annual lace issue, with an article on Herbert Niebling and a pattern for the lovely bag on the cover.

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Mosaic Knitting: Color with Slip Stitches

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 30, 2012

Handspun Jacket

I knitted this mosaic jacket aeons ago, using my lumpy-bumpy beginner handspun. Apart from the experience in mosaic knitting, it taught me a valuable lesson about cleaning VM (= vegetable matter) out of fleece before spinning it. If you skip this step or card in a lot of burrs, leafy bits, and other debris, you will end up picking it out of the sweater for the rest of its life. I have whiled away many a boring meeting by picking bits of twigs out of this sweater. It’s a less thrilling diversion than it sounds.

Handspun Jacket

The central panel on the back is from Melanie Falick’s Knitting in America.

Mosaic knitting a name for working colours with slip stitches. It has a couple advantages: because it doesn’t require bobbins or carrying yarns along the back, the tension is very easy to control. The technique results in a slightly denser fabric than ordinary stockinette or garter stitch, which is desirable in outerwear.

Mosaic Knit Baby Jacket

I knitted this baby jacket for my son about 17 years ago. At the time I thought the pattern was my own invention, but it’s found in Barbara Walker’s Mosaic Knitting book, which shows that there’s nothing new under the sun! The background is a grey fingering-weight acrylic. The design yarn was a ball of lots of leftover yarns tied together. It’s an easy way to use up leftover yarns, as long as you’re careful to weave in the ends as you go. If you haven’t mastered the knack (not rocket science) you will go mad trying to darn in all the ends afterwards.

Want to give this a try? Here are some resources:

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