Tag Archives: lace

The Secret Code of the Librarians

Back in April 2010, one of the Ravelry groups I belong to started an -along. There are lots of knit-alongs or crochet-alongs or spin-alongs out there – a group of like-minded people work on a particular project or kind of project at the same time, and cheer each other on. In this case, the Friends of Abbys Yarns (started as a fan group for Abby Franquemont’s work but continuing as a community as well as a fan group) started the Friends of Abby’s Yarns Spin and Knit Along for Lace, FOAYSAKALFL for short. The goal was to have spun yarn and knit it into a finished lace project by the end of 2010. Only, you know, the rules weren’t really that hard and fast. I’m still knitting.

I had some batts that Abby had made just sitting around, and so I thought it would be apt to use those. I decided to use my two Backwoods batts that I picked up at Sock Summit 2009 (photo was taken in late afternoon, so the color is off):

I finished my spinning and plying during the Tour de Fleece 2010 and ended up with about 595 yards of laceweight:

So, what to knit? At first I thought of making a cowl, but that ended up not appealing. Then I hit upon a brainwave: why not encode something meaningful to me? A significant source of numbers for me is my job: I’m a reference librarian. So I figured out the right numbers, worked out a way of encoding them (I had to leave any zeros out, unfortunately), and then started swatching. Some things needed adjusting, but the original numbers are still where they belong, which has the extra benefit that I can tell even more easily when I’ve gone wrong with my knitting.

I was lucky in that the two numbers I used each had their digits fit nicely in a 27 stitch wide pattern, though I can see some other ways to play around. I will have a blog post after I reveal the secret about how I worked things out.

In the meantime, here is a photo of my work in progress as of yesterday. I blocked it gently with steam from my iron. This is one corner of what will be a crescent-shaped shawl or scarf (depending on how far my yarn goes):

What’s in the works

I am theoretically rewriting my free pirate baby boot pattern.

I am also theoretically deep in the throes of designing and knitting a shawl. That’s going pretty well, but it’s being more finicky than I expected. I got about a quarter of the way, then frogged the whole thing. Then I charted a lot, and did some samples, and then started again with lots of life lines. Thank goodness for that, because I got more than halfway and had to frog another large chunk of it. Not only that, but I dropped down some stitches from there and worked them back up again (but at least I didn’t have to frog another eight rows). I’m making good progress on it, but I’m feeling a little beaten up by the whole thing. I’m charting and taking notes as I go, which is a good thing. I can tell I would never remember what I did otherwise.

I am also spinning for the FOAYSAKALFL (Friends of Abby’s Yarns* Spin and Knit Along for Lace). The idea is to spin a bunch of yarn for knitting something lacey, all to be finished by the end of 2010. I haven’t even finished spinning the yarn for the FOAYSAKALFL, but planning the design started to consume my brain today. I’ve even been sampling the stitch patterns for that and seeing if I can make them flow well. So far so good, and I’ve even been improvising some stitch patterns, which pleases me.

I like using stitch dictionaries, but there are some gaps in what I need for this pattern. Not going into great detail, but I need five different stitch patterns with a particular overall character, and with five different repeat numbers. I found one that was exactly what I needed, two more that just needed slight modifications, and have worked out the fourth. This gives me confidence that I can come up with the fifth on my own. This is all very satisfying.

And then, of course, there’s all my other works in progress. I periodically need to sit down and unravel the things that just aren’t going anywhere, so as to clear out the backlog and free my brain a bit. I have a suspicion that the time is nigh. (Interesting that this seems to happen in the spring or early summer.)

*a Ravelry Group.

Pinion hat pattern!

I’ve just posted a new pattern on Ravelry, the Pinion tam:

Pinion Tam blocked on a plate

I will donate all proceeds for Haiti Relief (after PayPal fees are deducted) from sales of this pattern through the last day of February. Money will be split evenly between Doctors Without Borders/MSF, Partners in Health, and the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund. Thank you very much for your help!


This lacy tam is worked from the center outwards. The design spirals outward and flows into a ribbed brim. It looks more complicated than it is–if you know how to knit in the round, purl, knit two together, knit three together, and make a yarn over, you can make this hat.

Both charts and written out instructions (in abbreviations) are provided, along with suggestions for modifying the brim size to fit.

Other materials required include a darning needle for working in ends, about a yard of smooth, thin yarn for making a lifeline, and a plate for blocking (about 10 inches or 25cm in diameter).

You shouldn’t need a Ravelry account to buy now.

Thank you!