I just bound off my Go Tell the Bees shawlette, KAL version. It’s blocking in the shade of the bamboo in the backyard.
So pretty! I’m using flexible Inspinknity Ultra-Fine Blocking Wires for the top curve, and pinning out each point. I measure to make sure the points are the same length as they are paired (center two, next two out, etc). I suppose I could run a wire around the pointy edge, too, but if I’m measuring out each point, it seems like it would be redundant.
I love how quickly blocking dries outside. But precautions are necessary.
It’s not too late to join the KAL; it runs through July 10. Prize drawings for participants every week, and a special drawing for finishers at the end.
It’s also not too late to snag the discount for newsletter subscribers on the pattern, and on Fierce Fibers’ gradient yarn. Both of those discounts run through the end of June. (Hurry!) If you’d like to subscribe to the PDXKnitterati newsletter, let me know in the comments. It’s not the same as subscribing to this blog.
I’m making progress on my KAL shawl, too. I spent a very pleasant few hours in the air with a free movie (thanks, Alaska Airlines!), prosecco, and knitting. Because it was the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book, I chose Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and was amused that there was a Dumbledore knitting reference in it! ⚡️
I’m finished with my short rows, so it’s on to the top edging.
My favorite view flying is Mt. Hood and the Cascade range. Here are the views outbound last Saturday
And inbound last night
I love the blue sky and the peaks of Hood, Jefferson, and the Sisters, but the texture of the clouds with Hood and Jefferson is even more interesting.
We had a great weekend celebrating mom-in-law’s birthday, and now I’m back home knitting, knitting, knitting. Designing and deadlines!
The Go Tell the Bees KAL is underway, and we’re having a grand time chatting over in the Ravelry thread. It’s not too late to join the KAL; we’re knitting at our own pace and just having fun. Some of the tips that have come out of the cast on thread are particularly helpful, so I thought I’d share them here.
I chose the cable cast on for the beginning of this project, which starts at the lower edge. Why not use a long tail cast on? Because the cast on is huge, 350-400 stitches. I’d hate to run out of yarn just before my goal.
Why not use the two ended long tail cast on? Because I’m using a gradient/ombre ball of yarn, which means that the other end is a different color. I thought it might be pretty that way, but I tried it and it wasn’t at all pretty.
Also, the first row after a long tail cast on is the purl/bumpy side, which is part of why it wasn’t pretty, for this particular pattern. The first row after a cable cast on is the knit/smooth side, which is what I wanted.
The tip for any long cast on is to use markers to help you count. You can place them after every 20, or 50, or whatever number of stitches, and then not have to count all the stitches at once after you’re done. Much better than long counting, and coming up with a different number several times.
If you think ahead while you’re casting on, you can place the markers at your stitch repeats. Figure out how many stitches are outside the repeat and add them to the first section, then place the following markers to note your repeats.
A very common error is either missing or dropping a YO. You don’t notice until you’re on the next right side row, when you don’t have enough stitches between markers to work your repeat. I posted this in the last post, but I think it bears repeating. Here’s how to fix it:
I once took a class in fixing mistakes, and that teacher said you should count on the WS rows to make sure you have the right number and kind of stitches. Me, I’d rather relax on those WS rows and deal with mistakes on the next RS row. Both ways work, but I use those WS rows for reading or chatting!
I’m going to be teaching two of my favorite classes at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September. This year’s festival runs from Friday Sept. 22 (classes only on Friday) through Sunday Sept. 24. The theme at OFFF this year is lace, and you know I love that!
I’m teaching Tink Drop Frog, Fixing Mistakes: Lace Edition on Saturday Sept. 23 from 9:30 to 12:30. We’ll be learning ways to fix lace mistakes when you’ve noticed them in the same row, a row or two later, or even later than that! This is an empowering class; you are really the boss of your knitting when you can use these techniques.
I’m also teaching Be Manipulative, Elongated Novelty Stitches on Sunday Sept. 24 from 1:30 to 4:30. The honeybee stitch from Go Tell the Bees is just one of the stitches we’ll be practicing. If you like the lacy look of these stitches, come learn them with me!
I’ll be knitting with this Knit Picks Stroll Gradient cake in Ice Sculpture; it’s my Go Tell the Bees KAL knitting. (Click for Ravelry link)
And I’m having a a Go Tell the Bees KAL party at Pearl Fiber Arts on Sunday June 11 from 1 to 3. Fierce Fibers dyer StaceyKok will be there with some of her lovely gradient cakes, too. Again, if you’re local, come knit with me! (RSVP to Cindy at the shop; space is limited.)
And here’s a recipe that I’d like to share; we had this on Memorial Day. It’s a family favorite. (Hey, look, chicken that’s not YARN CHICKEN on the blog!)
Vietnamese Chicken Wings or Drums
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce) I use 3 Crabs brand. Red Boat is also good, and it’s gluten-free if that’s an issue.
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup rice vinegar
2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
1 rounded tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 large flat of chicken wings (about 20 wings), cut into 3 sections, discard tips, or 1 flat drumsticks (about 16)
2 tsp cornstarch, combined with 2 tsp cold water
1/2 bunch cilantro
In a quart-size jar with tight-fitting lid, combine marinade ingredients. Seal and shake until sugar is dissolved.
Marinate wings/drums in sauce about 4 hours in refrigerator.
Grill wings/drums on medium-low temp to brown and cook through, turning every 5 minutes. Drumsticks take about 25-30 minutes. I’ve never used wings, so you’re on your own for timing. They’re traditional, though.
While grilling, put about half the remaining marinade into a sauce pan and bring to boil.
Add cornstarch/cold water mix to thicken a bit, I used about 2 teaspoons of corn starch.
Chop up fresh cilantro.
When wings/drums are done, put in large bowl, pour in some thickened glaze and stir. Arrange on platter and garnish with cilantro.
And we’re live! My Go Tell the Bees pattern is now available through Ravelry. (If you’re a newsletter subscriber, don’t forget to use your coupon code for 20% off. If you’re not a subscriber and want to be, let me know in the comments.) This shawl was inspired by the title of the upcoming book in the Outlander series, “Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.” I’m not sure who’s gone, but the title is highly evocative.
This crescent shawl begins at the lower edge and features lacy honeycombs and bees. This is the 645 yard shawl version above.
And this is the smaller 430 yard version. You’ll definitely want at least 430 yards; I used nearly every scrumptious bit of mine.
The pattern has been tech edited and both sizes have been test knit. We’re having a KAL beginning June 11; you can sign up for the KAL in my Ravelry group here. I hope you’ll knit along with me! I’m having fun picking prizes for it already.
If you’d like to use the same yarn I did, you can order Renai in many colors from Fierce Fibers. This is a lovely single ply fingering weight yarn. Stacey is offering it at 10% off through June 30, 2017 with coupon code MICHELEBEE10.
I’ve been very impressed with the color and non-kinkiness of Stacey’s gradient yarns, so I asked her about her process. Here’s what she had to say:
I started looking at the various decisions a dyer needs to make in order to create a good quality gradient. The obvious requirements were that the color change can’t be abrupt, there can’t be white spots and there can’t be any kinkiness to the yarn. Solving these problems really fired up my inner engineer and after months of development I started releasing a small set of gradients in the fall of 2016. I dug deep and bought the best equipment I could afford so I can make my own knitted blanks. This means I can make any yarn into a gradient and I’m not limited to blanks from a manufacturer. I can make my blanks to any yardage, any gauge and any width I choose (which if you can believe will affect the “fade” of your gradient).
Getting rid of the kink took considerable work. Frogging the blanks immediately while wet is a whole other set of possible failure modes that had to be solved. I also discovered that after some time, no matter what you do, certain yarns just have too much memory and can’t be straightened without herculean effort. Anyone who also spins knows there’s just a point where the yarn you’ve made, can’t be undone. So believe it or not, my blanks have a “fresh by” date!
Here’s Saigon Cinnamon just after dyeing, before drying and being wound into a cake. I thoroughly enjoyed knitting with Stacey’s yarn for these shawls.
It grew up to be this shawl. This is Go Tell the Bees. It was inspired by the title of the upcoming book in the Outlander series, “Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.” I’m not sure who’s gone, but the title is so evocative, I had to do something with it.
This crescent shawl begins at the lower edge and features lacy honeycombs and bees. It is knit with either 430 or 645 yards of fingering weight yarn.
Here’s the smaller 430 yard version. Why yes, those are the ends hanging out. I should sew them in soon!
The pattern has been tech edited and is being test knit. I’m planning to publish it on June 1. We’re having a KAL beginning June 11; you can sign up for the KAL in my Ravelry group here. I hope you’ll knit along with me! I’m having fun picking prizes for it already.
If you’d like to be notified when the pattern is published, subscribe to my email newsletter. You’ll get a special discount on the pattern, too. Just let me know in the comments, and I’ll add you to the list.