Sunday, April 30, 2006

Pics for Mim, as promised...


I promised Miriam that I'd model the finished Mountain Peaks Shawl. This was the best I could do (I'm feeling a bit camera-shy lately):


Now that I look at it, it's a little fuzzy, isn't it. Oh, well.

(Mim, you should be happy, I wouldn't put my bum on a blog for the world to see for just anyone.)

Every time I start a new project, I try to choose something that will force me to learn things I didn't know before. And, boy, did I learn a few new tricks while knitting Mountain Peaks! I got really good at tinking back, and then I got really good at noticing mistakes earlier so that I wouldn't have to tink back so far! Eventually I got to the point where I could tell when the knitting "just didn't feel right." I also learned how to read a chart, count, knit, think, and watch a movie all at the same time, which, for me, is quite something! And I learned that I REALLY enjoy campfire-orange (possibly even more than I would have enjoyed red!) Oh yes, and about that alpaca--it is good stuff.

Bottom line: I am still in awe of this design and how it all came together, and I think everyone needs to have their very own, made out of super-fine alpaca in their favorite color, whatever it happens to be at the moment.


aka Chef Messy

Friday, April 28, 2006

Here's my shawl before

Here it is blocking!

And here's a close up!

I'll take pics of me wearing it on sunday, so I'll share them then!

Thank you, Mim, for making this possible!! It's been sooooo much fun! (especially now that I know how to post pics!!)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I finished!

I finished my shawl this afternoon!! I took pics, but have to figure out how to get them from the camera to here. I can't believe how it blocked!! WOW! I'll work on posting pics tomorrow!

Mountain Stream Beauty

Mountain Stream is finished and has had her photo shoot. Run on over to my blog and see her in full glory!




Here is Mountain Peaks as a lace blob:

And here it is blocking!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I'm done! I'm done! I'm done!

I knitted like a maniac before work this morning and cast off the last stitch--ahem--10 minutes after I was supposed to get to work! (Hey, there are bad reasons for lateness, and there are good ones.)

Pics of the lace blob will come after work today, and then I just have to block. Hooray!

moving right along

I've been steadily plugging away at the MPS. Still loving it! I only have 5 repeats of the border body chart left! I've never blocked a shawl before, but I'm sure looking forward to it! I still haven't figured out how to post pics yet, so I'll work on that this week. How's everyone else doing?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

some scarf progress

Well it's been so quiet on the KAL blog I figured I would say hi and show the progress I have made. I have twice had to tink a couple rows, but mostly knitting has been in the positive direction. As long as I can keep counting accurately, I am doing fine.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Progress report

I am still in chart #1. Come see a pretty picture and some details.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Back on Track and Racing Towards Finish Line

Yippee! I finally (with Susan's help, putting chart vertical, and re-thinking the whole process) figured out what I was doing wrong and am finishing up the border for my Mountain Stream, although I am taking a few days' vacation and won't block it until I return later in the week. What a relief! Thanks for the support, Susan. I just posted my 300th post on my blog, and invite everyone to enter the contest I am hosting this week in celebration.

Cry for Help

Mountain Stream only needs a top border! I have turned the third corner, after adding in two extra pattern repeats to make the scarf longer, and am now stumped with the instructions. Maybe it's a left-handed person knitting right-handed but looking at instructions in a dyslexic way; I understand the concept of knitting the border rows and joining them progressively to knit together with the top stitches, but have tried a few times and run short of stitches to match the chart. Help! Throw me a life preserver, someone!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Chart 1 Repeats Finished!

I'm really enjoying this pattern so far, though I'm finding that my toddler counts better than I do! (Check it out--no lifeline. I like to live on the edge.)

I'm looking forward to moving on to another chart, even though I just FINALLY memorized this part of the pattern! (Sortof).

Read more here: Chef Messy

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mountain Stream winding down

I am so excited! I had been tooling along on Mountain Stream, and getting near the end of the 14th repeat, when I realized that, using a different yarn, I still had lots of yarn left, so I added two more repeats last night, then turned the third corner and am ready to work the top border. I hope to be able to finish this weekend and have pictures.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Update from Birdsong

I am so excited, I only have a few repeats left to finish Mountain Stream. I have fallen into a rhythm with this pattern and am very pleased, following Margene's borrowed mantra to admire my work often so that I can catch any mistakes. There have been a few. I am using a slightly thicker yarn, Garnstudio Silke-Woole, and also knit looser than most people, so that even with dropping down a size, have ended up with a scarf that is wider than the pattern. I also have enough yarn left that I may add a repeat or two; still debating, but at least the chance to wear this scarf before summer seems realistic, especially considering that it won't stop raining here in the Sierras!

Mountain Peaks is progressing too, although not as rapidly. On Sunday, I started a second version, using size 3 needles, and was much happier with the results. Here is a photo at the end of the top chart, just before inserting a lifeline, which I was extremely grateful for last night, when the yarn became tangled and I accidentally jerked part of the work off the needle... however I am much happier with this version, the stitches are sliding along like good little stitches, and I may even finish this year!

Now we're talking lace!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Stage 1 complete

Top chartI finished the top chart and this is what I have. The color is pretty true, too.

Time to insert a lifeline!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

need help!

I'm ready to start chart 3 on the MPS. I need to know if the repeat marker moves or something? I've got the first repeat marker 18 stitches in from the garter stitch border, and then they're 12 stitches apart. However, chart 3 has only 13 stitches between the repeat marker and the garter edge..... where am I losing 5 stitches?? HELP!!!!! I've had a blast knitting this shawl up to this point, I wanna get done!!! ( oh, and no to worry anyone, I knew I would be a while in finishing this, so I started a week early....)


Monday, April 03, 2006


Progress on Mountain Peaks is slow, since I have to very carefully watch every stitch. Lace is still challenging enough for me that the moment my attention strays, it all goes bad.

I'm halfway through the first repeat of Chart 1 now. All the red you see are either lifelines that I keep in until I'm completely done, or repeat markers. Trust me, these are completely necessary for me.

Ready to go!

Whoohoo, my yarn came Saturday, so I'm ready to get going on Mim's lovely shawl!

I'm using Knitpicks Shadow in Campfire. (It's the one in the middle. Ignore the other yarns. They are just trying to hog the picture.) It will be perfect for this month of Project Spectrum!

My name is Kim (a.k.a. Chef Messy). I live in Lexington, Virginia, but I used to live in Utah, so I'm good friends with Miriam (Love you, Mim! How's the trip to Philly going?!). I also adore Susan, and think she's wonder-woman for having time to knit, let alone design all these great patterns. I knit her Branching Out scarf last year and it was a joy!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's Mountain Lace projects!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

one repeat today

i started my new Mountain Stream on the bus on the way to work yesterday. Finished the first repeat of the body today in between a lot of fidgeting with the finishing touches of spruceing up my room.
how come i didn't see the oopses until now? good thing it's lace weight mohair which will cover up some of the untidyness.

A Tale of Two Laces

As you can see, I have not gotten very far on the Mountain Peaks shawl; the yarn is an enticing Knitpicks baby alpaca so that is not the reason. It has something to do with my not being able to "see" the pattern unfold; I am good at charts, but also need to see in my knitting what's going on, so this morning I pinned out the work, only about a fourth of the way through the first repeat of the first chart, in order to see if there were any errors. The flaw in this process was that some stitches fell off the needle on one side, creating an error, which I had to tink back one row to fix; note the pale yellow lifeline - it's my insurance policy that I luckily didn't need to draw upon this time. I can tell that knitting with laceweight yarn is going to take longer than any of the other knitting I have done over the years, and require a greater leap of faith than any other too... I won't be able to pin this out as I get a bit further along, and will have to rely on "keeping the count" and matching the chart, and hoping I don't make some ghastly error that won't show up until blocked. I won't spend much more of our communal space waxing philosophical; more on my own site.

In response to my painful slowness, and my "G is for Green" post a few days ago, I finally capitulated to the siren song of this lovely dark green Garnstudio Silke-Woole, and started Mountain Stream yesterday evening while the rice finished steaming for our Moroccan Chicken supper.

I was just amazed at how differently my mind/body connection responded to this pattern. I whizzed through the bottom border, was able to converse with my DH, and even take a slight peek at what he was watching on the toob last night. Here's Mountain Stream, photographed early this morning, after one repeat from the body chart. I have managed to get in another this afternoon. I do heartily believe in having projects that provide different levels of learning and satisfaction, while not necessarily abusing my hands in exactly the same way, so will be working on these two interchageably, and probably still making my way up to speed on my shawl long after the rest of ya'll finish.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Knitting Mountains in Flat Toronto

Hello, fellow mountaineers! Here's my fuzzy lace foothill, which I'm making out of Alchemy Haiku, colourway "Forest Waltz." It's slightly variegated greens/browns and I'm hoping it'll make a pretty shawl. This is my first laceweight lace project...for the Olympics, I did Kiri (loved every stitch) in a worsted weight, and I now realize my yarn choice was the equivalent of knitting training wheels. I might need a Sherpa this time. But I'm game! Will be climbing/constructing from the blog, and I'm looking forward to reading about everyone's progress.

One question: what do people use for lifelines with yarn of this weight?

14 rows

I just cast on and knit the first fourteen rows of the Mountain Peaks Shawl and it looks like a little green blob of yarn barf. Good thing I ws already told that lace looks like crap until it is blocked.

Contest List

Hi all Mountain PEAKS knitters! Since today is the official start of the knitting if you want to be eligible for the yarn, I need everyone who's participating and starting today to comment to this post so I have a list. That way I won't confuse someone who already started the pattern with someone who started today when I award the yarn.