Tag Archives: ishbel

Voilà Ishbel, encore

blue ishbel point

The blue laceweight Ishbel is done, finally. She took a little trip to Vietnam, had some good knitting on the plane over, and then completely languished during her time there. I was too tired in the evenings to knit, because I was waking up at 4:30 every morning due to the time change. I did a little knitting in Tokyo, but couldn’t knit Ishbel on the way home. I had a little scare with my circular brass needles with airport security in Vietnam, and didn’t want to risk having to take Ishbel off the needles on the way home from Tokyo. I finished here at home.

blue ishbel

Unblocked, the shawl measured 46″ x 17″

unblocked blue

This is the lace pattern that I was never able to memorize, even after finishing two Ishbels.

macro lace

Blocked, the shawl measures 56″ x 22.5″

blocking blue

So the sheep says.


Ishbel, pattern by Ysolda Teague
Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Silk Lace, color Deep Blue
Addi Lace needles, US size 5
Weight: 32 grams

Mods: I made the larger stockinette center, and the smaller border.

This shawl is beautiful. It’s extremely lightweight and ethereal. It is destined to be a gift. There’s more than enough yarn left (46 grams) to make one more, or I may play with some ideas from Evelyn Clark’s book, Knitting Lace Triangles. But not any time soon. Sock Summit is coming, and I have homework!

BTW, I did make Blueberry Boy Bait the other night, after buying more butter. (It takes a cup/half pound!) And it was delicious. The boys of the house were quite taken with it, and so was I. The only problem was that it was bigger than my largest platter, so the ends fell off. We ate them right away, warm, so it wouldn’t look bad. Altruistic, aren’t we? 😉

Travel knitting

I’m going away for a weekend with the Piano Babes. Too bad I haven’t played the piano very much this year. Oops. Knitting and blogging have taken up a lot of my leisure time! But I’ll try to resurrect the three Granados Waltzes from Valses Poeticos that I played this year. Wish me luck.

I’m trying to decide what knitting to take for the plane. I think my socks on dpns (poor languishing Kai-Mei) would be a bad choice because it’s so easy to drop a needle. Circular needles are great for plane knitting, because you can’t drop one! That means I should take the Ruffle Tank. Or my new Ishbel. Or both.

addi ishbel

New Ishbel? Yes! I was feeling sorry about not using that glorious blue Claudia Handpaint Silk Lace. It was a bit spendy, and I was feeling guilty. I bought some Addi Lace needles, and it has made all the difference. I also went down a needle size to a US 5. The silk glides along on the metal needles, and I’m a happy camper.

addi points

This doesn’t meant that I don’t love my Lantern Moon Ebony needles. They’re still my favorite. And they’re working great on the Ruffle Tank! I finished the back, and have cast on for the front. This is a great knit, just enough pattern to it that I’m engaged, but simple enough to knit while watching old episodes of Firefly. Mmmm, Firefly. I’m going to be sad when the 14 episodes are done!

Have a great weekend! What’s on your needles?

Ishbel, you heartbreaker

Heartbreakingly gorgeous, yes?


It’s been a bumpy road with Ishbel. First, I chose a yarn that I didn’t enjoy working with. Then I switched to a different yarn, and ran out before I was done. (Sooooo close. 1.5 rows, plus bind off.) After a rescue by KellyinTexas from Ravelry, I finished the knitting on Saturday.

Here it is unblocked.


unblocked close

I was pretty pleased, and started the wet block process. I bought blocking wires last year after making my Shetland Triangle shawl. These are a great invention. I love how easy it is to pin out points with these. But seriously, I am going to have to get a plain white towel for blocking. This cacophony of color is just too much!

blocking ishbel

What is it about a blocking shawl that is so attractive to cats?


As I was pinning the shawl out, I noticed this disintegrating section (without the needle in it, of course).

bad corner

I must have dropped a stitch during the bind off. I was devastated. But there was nothing I could do, until the shawl was dry. Which gave me time to think it through. There were bound off stitches on each side of the dropped stitch(es), so that meant the run was confined to a small area. After Ishbel was dry, I picked up all the live stitches I could see, and then removed the blocking wires. I tinked back the bound off stitches (luckily, this was near the end), and then proceeded to recreate the three rows that had ripped out. This took three tries to get the lace pattern correctly. I finished binding off again, and voilà!


See the second from the bottom motif on the left? Yeah, I fixed it. Due to the bit of curl, you can’t see the whole motif, but it’s there. It just needs to be blocked to bring out the point. But no, I’m not going to re-block the shawl right now. It’s just fine the way it is.

But I have a comment, and a question. I never quite memorized the lace pattern, despite the fact that the repeat section is the same in sections A, B, and C. Is it because I was fixating on the holes, and not the solid parts? Which is figure, and which is ground? The branching holes, or the solid parts that look like leaves on a vine? What do you see?

figure ground

Despite all the stumbling blocks, I’d love to knit this shawl again. But I think I’ll make the larger size with the smaller border, or the smaller size with the larger border, to make sure I don’t run out of yarn again! And this yarn blocks like a dream, and is soooo soft. I’m going to love wearing this!

Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague
Larger size, with larger border
Malabrigo Sock yarn in Violeta Africana, one skein plus a few more grams!
Size 6 (4 mm) needles (Lantern Moon ebony circulars)

Ishbel, interrupted

I must be loose. A looser knitter than Emilee, anyway. She finished her gorgeous Ishbel with less than one skein of Malabrigo sock yarn. That seduced me into thinking I could do the same. As I neared the end, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it. I weighed the remaining yarn and found that it takes a little more than one gram per row. I had 10 grams of yarn left. And 10 rows to go. And a bind off row. Ouch. I really didn’t want to buy another $20 skein for about 3 grams of yarn.


I kept knitting. Now I have three rows left to knit, plus a bind off row. This tiny ball of yarn isn’t going to make it.

Luckily, there is a Ravelry group called Malabrigo Junkies, and they have a forum thread titled “ISO/FT/FS.” In English, that’s “in search of/for trade/for sale.” Since I only needed a little, I posted there. Within a couple hours, I had a reply. KellyInTexas is my hero!

I love a happy ending, don’t you?

Ishbel exorcism

Mmmmmm. Malabrigo! I bought this purple Malabrigo Sock yarn, color is Violeta Africana. I really wanted blue, but Twisted didn’t have any, and I needed to cast something on in a hurry. My knitting mojo was at stake.


Looks like this will work just fine. It’s the color of grape soda. The camera can’t quite catch the fizzy goodness; it’s not as blue as you’d think from the picture. But I’m knitting, and I’m happy. One of the problems of not having many projects on the needles is that when one project stops, there aren’t many alternatives. I’m still looking for a good mindless knit project. Right now, Ishbel can be it, until it gets to the lace.

I’m hoping that my next project doesn’t require a yarn change, because I’ve just had two in a row. Ouch.

In other knit news, Sock Summit registration opens on Tuesday at 10 a.m. I still haven’t decided what I want to take, but now the pressure is on!

And in non-knitting news, the Adult Beginner Forum’s quarterly recital went live on the 15th. I haven’t been playing much, but I had this worked up in March before I fell off the piano wagon, and it came back pretty quickly. It’s another waltz from Valses Poeticos by Enrique Granados. This is vals no. 6, also called Vals Sentimental. I love how melancholy and sentimental this is. I envision a woman looking at faded photographs of her long ago love. She goes into quite a reverie in the second half of this piece. But it’s so over, baby…just like I’m over that silk Ishbel.

Ishbel update

I just finished Ishbel‘s stockinette stitch center. There are 221 stitches on the needle.


Not much to look at, is it? The vine lace edge and the blocking had better make this thing sing!

macro ish

Speaking of singing, I just signed up for this term’s community choir. First meeting was Monday. It’s nice to be back.

Rough start for Ishbel

I started Ishbel last night. I started Ishbel last night. I started Ishbel last night. I started Ishbel last night. I started Ishbel last night. Yes, I started Ishbel five times.

The first three times, I used my beloved Lantern Moon ebony circulars, 4mm/US6 as specified in the pattern. The problem was that the needles are nice and slick, and that wasn’t a good combination for me with the slick 100% silk. I decided to try my Lantern Moon rosewood needles, because they have a little more texture to them. But I only had them in US 5. After working the beginning again, I realized the 5’s were too small.

I went to my needle stash looking for bamboo, and I had a size 6 circular. Just one. Where are the rest? Whatever. I really wanted to start, so I did, even though the needle is 40 inches long. Looks ridiculous, and is a bit cumbersome!


Feeling a bit desperate, I called my friend Liz to see if she had a shorter circular. Yes! A Takumi Clover 16 inch circular. I transferred over, and after a couple rows I realized that the needle was grabbier than the long HiyaHiya, and I didn’t like it. Transferred back to the HiyaHiya and worked a couple more rows, just out of sheer stubbornness. But I think I really need to go buy a shorter needle tomorrow. I like this needle for this project. It’s slick enough, but not too slick. And the join between the cable and the needle is exemplary.


I guess no one needle is perfect for everything. It’s good to have options.

also rans

Blue, blue, my yarn is blue

I taught a fun class over at Twisted on Thursday night. “Tink, Drop, Frog: How Do I Fix This?!” It’s aimed at relatively new knitters, and has a lot of hands on practice. We put their swatches through their paces! All the students had taken a class on knitting in the round with me, so it was like a reunion party. I think we all had a good time, and they came away with some new skills. I’m teaching this class again in July, and already looking forward to it.

Before class started, I bought a little something.


One skein of Claudia Hand Painted Yarn, Silk Lace 20/2, 100% silk, 1100 yards/100 grams in Deep Blue. I had to wind it by hand; apparently silk tends to slip off the swift at the shop. Cathy helped me at knit nite, thank goodness; 1100 yards is a lot! I wound most of it, found myself in a tangle, wound another ball from the other end and got most of the rest. One section was beyond my patience that night, but I don’t think I’ll need *all* of the yarn for my project. What project? Ishbel, a lovely shawl by Isolda Teague. I saw this knit up on several other blogs, and it called my name.

The yarn is so much finer than the worsted weight mitered square I’ve been knitting. It will be a shock to the fingers! But the needles aren’t tiny (4 mm/US 6), so that will help!

Here’s my completed mitered square. I used leftovers from the stash: Plymouth Galway in navy, Crystal Palace Taos in a blue variegated.

square one

Isn’t it interesting how subtle the Taos looks when it’s surrounded by navy? Much different than it looked in Athena, where the colors were concentrated in entrelac blocks instead of strung out along a long row.


Unfortunately, I was a little too confident of my gauge, and never re-measured after the first two color stripes. Gauge for worsted before was with KnitPicks Wool of the Andes and Lantern Moon Ebony needles; this square is slightly heavier Plymouth Galway and Clover Bamboo needles. Two variables that I didn’t take into consideration. The 10 inch square measures 11 inches. Since you can block knitting bigger, but not smaller, it’s back to, um, square one! This was a very soothing knit, and I think I just needed to do it for the quiet joy of it all. More joy to come.