Bleeding Hearts Stole, yay!

  • Pattern:  Anne Hanson’s Bleeding Hearts Stole, from Interweave Knits Spring 2008
  • Yarn:  The Painted Sheep Jasmine, 50/50 merino/silk laceweight, dyed by my friend Kris Gonzalez in the most beautiful, subtle variegated browns
  • Needles:  Knit Picks Harmony, US size 4 (3.5mm)
  • Mods:  I did not switch to a larger needle size for the bleeding hearts portion of the stole. Partly, I was too lazy, and partly, because I thought that flared ends might look nice.  And I did not knit two equal halves, as detailed in my previous post.
  • Ravelry link here

I am completely in love with this stole, partly because it took over a year to knit (with interruptions), but I love the design, and it was fun to knit.

To block the stole, I put it in the sink with some cool water and Soak Wash (I had a sample of the Citrus fragrance, mmm!) for about 20 minutes, then put it on a towel, rolled it up, and went across the rolled towel with my knees.  Then I used blocking wires to go through every little point on the edging – that was really a pain, but at least I had blocking wires!  It would have been much worse with just pins.  Then, I stretched it out and pinned the wires in place on some interlocking foam tiles I have.  At first I stretched it really long and wasn’t able to stretch it as wide as I wanted, so I moved the ends closer together and was able to stretch out the width some more.  Here’s what it looked like blocking – not much, since it’s brown yarn on black tiles..

Blocking the Bleeding Hearts Stole

But it gives you an idea of the process. I didn’t have quite enough blocks for the whole length of the stole, so I had to improvise. This gave less than ideal blocking for part of it, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable in the end.

Blocking Bleeding Hearts Stole, the less than ideal part..

It took about a day to dry, and then I got this:

Bleeding Hearts Stole, blocked

Here’s a closer look:

Bleeding Hearts Stole detail

Aaaah..  I love it!

Aah, the return of real knitting content!  I started the Bleeding Hearts Stole over a year ago, and just finally managed to finish the knitting yesterday.  This evening, I grafted the two parts together.  Here’s the “before” picture.

 Bleeding Hearts Stole, two parts

I am a real novice at Kitchener stitch, since I have only done it for a couple of socks, and I prefer to do toe-up socks in order to avoid it..  Because I was not confident in my grafting skills, especially in lace, I moved the graft off-center so it wouldn’t be featured so prominently on my back – I did 14 repeats for one half, and 6 repeats for the other, instead of 10 and 10.  For guidance on Kitchener stitch, I used this Knitty.com article, which has excellent step-by-step photos.  The grafting itself went rather easily, but the hard part was evening up the tension so it would look nice.  What made it harder was that in this lace pattern, the graft line is zig-zagged!  Here is part of my graft, done losely at first:

Grafting losely

With much effort and strain on the eyes, I managed to get it looking somewhat even.

Evening the stitches

Below is the “after” picture.  The grafting turned out better than I thought it would, but it’s still obvious, so I’m happy with my decision to move it to the side, where hopefully my arm will be covering it somewhat.  

The join

Tomorrow, blocking!

I hope everyone at Rhinebeck is having a wonderful time!  I didn’t go because of my stupid appendix.  I am pretty much recovered, but the festival is so big and overwhelming, I didn’t think I’d have the endurance to make the 2 hour drive worth it.  Plus I have too much yarn and spinning fiber in my stash anyway.  😦  Next year I hope to be there!

So I’ve been knitting instead.  Recently, I resumed working on my hubby’s sweater, which I put down when the weather turned warm last spring.  I already had the body done, so I cast on for the sleeves, using the percentage system from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears.

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Apparently, Elizabeth Zimmerman never knew anyone with arms as large as my husband.  The cuffs are appropriately snug, but the sleeves are way too tight around his forearms!  Wah.  So these will be frogged, restarted with more cast-on stitches, and I will increase less frequently than she specified.  For now, they are sitting in the corner.  Bad sleeves!!  I picked up my Bleeding Hearts Stole instead.  Here is what I have so far, looking rumpled.  I have finished 13 repeats of the center section.

Bleeding Hearts Stole, in progress

The pattern is designed to be cast-on each end, knitted toward the center, and grafted together, but I don’t like the way it looks that way, plus I am not confident in my grafting skills.  So I have knit past center, and will try to place the graft where it will be covered by my arm as I am wearing it.  I have cast-on the second half using yarn from the outside of the ball, and will figure out where to graft the two parts together.

Now for some Timmy pictures!  Over Labor Day weekend, we went up to MA to see Baby Andy and to attend A Day Out with Thomas together.  We got to ride a train pulled by Thomas himself!  Here’s Andy on the train, with his parents Pat and Rob, and Grandpa!

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Here’s Tim, Chris, and me.

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After the ride, we got to take photos with Thomas!  I love Tim’s little crooked smile.

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There were also carnival type rides there.

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Also, we saw the most gigantic bug I have ever seen.  I think it is a praying mantis.

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There was an indoor play area, where the two boys ran around like crazy.

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Fake tattoo!

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There was a guy telling stories and singing songs. Here’s Auntie Pat telling a joke!

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It was a fun day!

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I had a couple of quiet hours during Tim’s nap to work on the Bleeding Hearts Stole today, so I made some nice progress, reaching the transition section where the leaf pattern changes to the bleeding hearts.

Bleeding Hearts Stole progress

I thought I was concentrating pretty well on it, but I somehow made about 3 mistakes in the same row, so I decided to tink back a row and a half to fix them. It took me about half an hour, but turned out fine. Then I noticed this:

Ugh.. a dropped stitch

Ugh!!!  A dropped stitch in the border!  I can fix dropped stitches in stockinette without a problem, but the border is double-sided lace.  Fixing that is beyond my current skill set, so I will have to frog back.  Thankfully, I put in a life line at the start of the transition section, but boy that is painful.  Especially after I spent all that time tinking and fixing mistakes in the main body of the shawl that were going to end up frogged anyway.  Blegh…  😦

I’m just starting the third month in my new job, and I’ve gotten sick again, for the second time. Blegh.. Darn those little kids and their germs!! Just kidding. They’re adorable, and can’t help it if they cough in my face while I’m trying to look in their throats!  So I had a sick day today.

I finally wove in ends of Helen’s Baby Surprise Jacket. I went to sew on the buttons today and decided that the buttons I bought a while back are just too big. I wasn’t feeling well enough to go buy different ones, so it’ll have to wait.  Anyway, here is my fancy i-cord shoulder seam.

BSJ i-cord shoulder seam

Details on how I did it are in my previous post. Here’s a front view.

Close-up

I am really impressed with this technique! It looks so nice and neat. Here’s a back view of the jacket. I didn’t run the i-cord across the back of the neck because I didn’t want it to be too constrictive for the baby.

Back view of BSJ

I’ll post a picture of the front after I get new buttons and sew them on. 🙂

In the meantime, I cast on for a new project — the Bleeding Hearts Stole from the Spring 2008 Interweave Knits.

Bleeding Hearts Stole!

I’m using merino/silk Jasmine from Kris, The Painted Sheep. It is a gorgeous semisolid brown which gives depth without detracting from the complex lace pattern. Mmmm!

Beginning of Bleeding Hearts Stole

More details to follow..