Friday, August 31, 2007

Beware the YO!

I finished my first repeat of the basketweave with much tinking. My problem: either an extra YO, or a forgotten YO. Easy to fix, but slows down the knitting rhythm. I did use beads, but they aren't easy to see. I think I'm going to regret going with the 16" circular, but I like the tips for lace.

Dyeing to get started

I've had a small set back in the yarn dept.
I planned on using KP Alpaca Cloud as I have 2 hanks in the same Peppermint color that Melanie used, but it didn't work out. I swatched with every size and type of needle that I own (and they are Legion) and never got a fabric I liked. I finally realized that it wasn't the needles but the yarn. I am not feeling the love for Alpaca Cloud.
This actually turned out to be a good thing because it meant that I Got To Dye Yarn. I love dyeing yarn...sigh!

I mixed up some Wilton's Icing paste in pink and some neon pink food coloring and handpainted some KP Bare laceweight. It's hanging up to dry now. I'll take some pics before and after I wind it.

I am undecided about using beads. I had beads in MS3, and the Secret of the Stole will have beads. I don't think I need beads in Everything. Do I? Naaah....

I'll either be casting on when the yarn is dry or waiting until Monday or Tuesday to get to the bead store.

Good Work Everyone - I'm with you in spirit!

I have already divulged why I'm a bad KAL host elsewhere, but I have made some progress. Pattern has been found and yarn purchased today (now I just need those darned beads...I may borrow a few from J....).

J. has thoughtfully posted below how to get started on our first week's "mission". She'll keep you going each week - she'll be a good leader. Me, I'll be bringing up the rear, but I'll be here all the same.

Happy Hanami Knitting.

Cherry Blossoms

I just love this pattern! Normally I don't like working the same pattern twice, but this one is different.

I'm doing the all Cherry Blossoms version and am about done with Chart C here - from now the yo's get more fun!

I'm using an unknown babykid mohair/silk blend (similar but MUCH softer than KidSilk Haze.) There's about 1000-1200 yds - it's a gihundo ball! (That word cracks me up.)

Another view to see the fuzz:

I'm not adding beads to this one like I did my first Hanami, because the yarn is whisper light and I really like that.

I can't wait to see photos of all of the other Hanamis!

The knitting has started

Here is the start of my Hanami. I love knitting it. I was going to add more beads like Cayli was but I think my beads stand out too much (in person they look more purple). I do plan on adding some before the ruffle but I haven't figured that out yet. I am using stitch markers between the repeats (haven't added them with the first and last three stitches yet) and it does help.
I am thinking of taking a few repeats out and making just the basketweave into a scarf and then I would add the beads. I have some Silky Wool in two colors that would be perfect and I may do that after I get done with the shawl.
I am using Brown Sheep Naturespun Fingering Weight in a Cherry Delight color on size 5 Addi Lace needles (love them).
Enjoy everyone.

Your Mission, If You Chose to Accept It....

Each week, T. and I will be giving you some guidelines as to how much we'll be knitting. My plan is to knit ahead so you can have some idea of what your week's knitting will look like before you begin. I will hopefully help you to avoid some pitfalls. Some other eager knitters have posted their advice which I know will be greatly appreciated.

Week 1

You're going to cast on doing that funky bead thing. I have never used beads and I found it a little fussy but once I got going I was fine. You'll want to sit somewhere quiet to do this. I'd hate for you to try to cast on with beads in a busy coffee shop or on public transit. Your beads will be everywhere!

Keep following the pattern. You will do 6 rows of garter stitch and then you're into the basketweave portion of the event. Melanie recommends stitch markers and I do, too. They are annoying sometimes because you'll have to move them but I found that they were helpful in keeping track of where you were in the pattern and may be useful in avoiding mistakes. For this week, try to do 2 pattern repeats of the basketweave section. You will have knitted about 70 rows by that point.

As always, feel free to knit at your own pace and do variations on the pattern as you like. I can't wait to see what you're up to. This is what I've been doing once my little one is in bed.

(You can't really see my beads but trust me, they are there.)

So Cast On and flash me your Hanamis, will ya?

Control, the mission has commenced.

I cast on and did the first garter stitch rows this morning.

It's very hard to get into any kind of a rhythm with this cast on, which makes counting difficult. I ended up marking every 10 stitches with a flat slide on marker. At least then when your bead doesn't fit, your stitch slithers away from you or you get interrupted, you can figure out where you are fairly easily.

Best of luck, cherry blossom sisters.

I accept the mission!

I've cast on and indeed the beads are a bit on the fussy side. I found that sometimes the yarn would simply not go through the bead. So I finally figured to give those beads the flick and not try to force it. I love the look of the beads I'm using - clear crystal. They look like droplets and pick up the colour of the yarn (pale pink). I intend placing a scattering of beads throughout the stole but I'm taking a less is better approach.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I've been diligently knitting away on my Hanami Stole this week and I cast-off the last stitch this afternoon. Yippeee! Well, I did join this KAL to motivate me to finish my Hanami and I guess it worked. Just a couple of insights now that I'm done: One, don't use laceweight slippery silk yarn for this pattern. I used ColourMart silk double stranded and my finshed stole is rolling like crazy. I know blocking will help, but I suspect it won't stop the stole from curling under along the sides when I'm wearing it. This yarn was too fine to knit this stole single stranded and knitting double stranded was almost murderous. I had to pay very close attention to every single stitch to make sure I caught both strands, and the casting off was just awful. OK, I made the cast-off harder because I added beads to the ruffle (I wanted the extra weight to counteract curling). Long story short: use wool, alpaca, cashmere, etc, but skip the smooth silk yarns for this one.

The next observation: the basketweave section demands careful attention to avoid mistakes. Even with attention, I did my fair share of tinking. Let's get real, I tinked many rows when I discovered I was off a stitch or two at the end. Now I consider myself to be an intermediate/advanced lace knitter and I don't usually tink much, so just know that you aren't a "bad" knitter if you have to tink a fair amount. The basketweave section *does* get better after that 1st 2 repeats and it *does* eventually come to an end. After that, a mistake here and there doesn't matter because no one will be able to see it (gotta love that not really random, random look to the cherry blossoms :-)

I'll post pictures once I get her blocked. Good luck to everyone casting on!

cast on and knitting!

I cast on today and am working on my first basketweave repeat. This is taking forever! I don't know if it's the yarn (fino alpaca with a twist), the needles (inox), or the pattern, but I can't remember ever knitting so slowly! Hopefully it will go faster as I memorize the pattern. It's a very pretty pattern, glad I decided to join in!

I'm using markers between each repeat as well as to mark the three stitch edge. Still, now and then I find I've made a mistake with the stitch count and have to tink. I'm not sure why, what I'm doing, but I hope it stops soon!

Extra Bead Placement

Hi everyone,
I know that a few people have talked about adding extra beads through out their stoles. I was wondering if anyone would care to share where they are thinking of adding them. I just bought my pattern and yarn, and still need to pick up my beads. So I haven't had much time yet to look at where to add more beads, and am nosy so I like to see what others are doing.

Knitting saved me

Yesterday my 67 year old mom's house was broken into. They just kicked in the back door and took mostly jewellery and booze. She was absolutely frantic when she got home (thank goodness she was out at the time). We went over to her place last night to lend a hand and give support. It's not the monetary value but the stuff had a lot of sentimental value which I think is worse. Luckily, as I was running out the door I grabbed my knitting bag (thanks to the Harlot) and took it with me. There's a lot of waiting at crimes scenes. It's not like CSI at all! I cast on a sock and began knitting to stay occupied and sane as my poor mom began to discover exactly what the bastards took. When she settled down I told her about the KAL and some of my fellow knoggers or blitters (whatever you get when you combine knitting and blogging). Thanks to all of you I managed to keep her occupied with all your names, stories and swatches as the cops dusted for prints and photographed the wreckage. So many thanks for being there for me and my mom. You will always be welcome!

Ack - start date is tomorrow?

Well I came over after being absent for a bit (crazy busy at work lately) just to check when the start date is, and apparently its tomorrow?

Well I've already made arrangements to do some painting tomorrow, but maybe I can at least cast on when I collapse at the end of the day. I've found that tired and lace knitting doesn't mix. But how much damage could I do with the cast on, right?

In case anyone is still yarn searching. I just saw some silk at Sundara Yarns ( ) that my first thought was, oh, that would be a gorgeous Hanami. If you click on "currently available" and scroll down, its the silk lace yarn called "pink porcelain over chiffon." I'm trying very hard to resist, so you could all help me by going there and buying it up!

Good luck everyone,
Mary in VA

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My beads arrived today.

A couple people had asked me how long the BeadWrangler took. I ordered Sunday night, they were here when I got home from work today (Wednesday). I'm in the Kansas City area.

Hope that helps others who are thinking of ordering beads for their knitting.

(Not affiliated, except as a customer.)

I'm ready!

I've got my Zephyr Wool Silk in the color Cassis, so pretty!
I've got my circular needle from Knitpicks, a size 3.25mm fixed circular, very nice, beautiful points and joins and mellow cable.
I am knitting without beads, cause I don't want to fuss with them and I prefer not using them, although I did very much like the beads in MS3 on other's stoles, it didn't inspire me to use them. I'm too plain of a Jane, and don't want to fiddle with them either.
I've re-read the pattern, and will cast on tomorrow or Friday.
I swatched when I got my sample yarn from Sarah's yarns and liked the resulting density, so I'm not bothering to swatch again first, I'm just ready to go!

Blocked swatch

Here's a picture of my blocked swatch. I was good and knit the swatch, but not really good to the extent of knitting a large, separate swatch of all the needle sizes I wanted to try.
Mainly, this is because I didn't like the size 3 needles (bottom part of swatch) right off the bat, so I didn't need to test bigger needles. I just knit the no-repeat part of the basketweave pattern until I felt I had enough fabric for a basic idea of the yarn/needle combination, then divided the same swatch into a new section with garter stitch and started in on the 2s.
I liked the 2s much better right off the bat (top part of swatch)-- and that is also when I realized that I was making the incorrect assumption about the left (right?) slanting decrease. (I always get the directions mixed up because as far as I am concerned, the top of the decrease is pointing in one direction and the bottom is pointing in another...Anyway, the decrease that is usually ssk.)
Obviously, Melanie used the sl1, k1, psso decrease for a very good reason, as you can see on the size-2 portion of my swatch, where the pattern is much more defined.
Even considering my flub on the size 3 portion, I still think that size 2 is a better needle for this yarn (Misti Alpaca lace). Any other thoughts/opinions?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

(almost) ready to go!

Thanks, Kristina, for getting on the blog - must have been something I did or didn't do (why should this be any different?). I'm very excited about this KAL, because this shawl is one of the most beautiful knitted things I've ever seen. I ordered my yarn from Canada - a company called Ocean Wind - a lovely soft shade of pink in silk and merino. Totally psyched! Now just have to get the beads, which I will do this weekend. So, while I will miss the official cast-on on Friday, I'll be just behind you (and really behind all those eager beavers who jumped the gun - wow!).

Vicky in Denver

Started Already

I have to confess that I already started. MS3 was done and I had nothing else I wanted to start but this. I am already through 4 repeats of the basket weave pattern and I love it. I have added a few extra beads and plan to use a few in the cherry blossom section too. Here is the progress so far.
Hanami Start
I am using zephyr that I dyed myself and the beads are some leftover opalescent pink from a beaded yarn I spun.
Glad to be part of the group...Cayli

One of the many good reasons to swatch:

While knitting a swatch to compare a few different needle sizes, I realized (after about 20 rows) that I was using the wrong left-slanting decrease. I was doing ssk instead of the sl1, k1, psso that Melanie wrote for the single left-slanting decrease, and WOW does it make a huge difference. (You'll see the difference later when I post a picture of my test swatch.) So, I thought I'd just put this out there as a friendly reminder to never assume you already know what the chart symbols mean-- until you're into the project, that is! :-)
Anyway, I confess that this is the main reason I always swatch. I like learning the stitch pattern on swatches; my frogging/unknitting frequency has decreased dramatically since I instituted this practice-- really!

Monday, August 27, 2007

General Comments

Hi Everyone!

I'm glad that folks are getting excited to start this KAL. I'm a cheater 'cuz I cast on my Hanmai months ago, long before MS3, but I'm using this KAL as motivation to help me finish this stole. Like many of you, I don't need any more UFOs/WIPs in my knitting baskets. I'm on row 173 of Chart F right now and zipping right along through the "cherry blossoms". At this point only the knitter can tell if you made a "mistake" adn the end is finally in sight :-)

Welcome SapphyreKnitter! I'm sorry I can't comply with your request to be flogged with ratty acrylic. I don't have much of the stuff myself, I'm certainly not going to dig it out and besides, we do not flog in this group :-) BUT, we will cheer you on in what sounds like trying times for you. You aren't planning on using that ratty acrylic for your Hanami Stole are you???? (wink, grin) your screen name! I just have one question.... What is a swatch???? Ah, live dangerously and don't bother. After all, this is a lace stole. If after 10 or 20 rows you decide things are too loose or too tight, just frog and start over--the 1st round will have been the swatch. Seriously, I don't really think gauge is important to this project as the design is very forgiving of a wide range of fibers and gauges. Knit on!

Heather, I hope your cold is better now. Cold medicine doesn't make for clear thinking, for sure. Based on my experience knitting the Hanami thus far, I think knitting the stole with a small section of basketweave in the center and Cherry blossoms out to both ends would look fabulous. The difficult part is what to do at the transition point. You can sketch out a 2nd transition chart that will match up with the stitches on Row 1 and end in nice points. The easy way is to skip the transition chart on side 1 and just go on to the cherry blossoms. Use a provisional cast-on and knit 1 or 2 repeats of the basketweave chart, skip the transition chart and knit the 1st end as written. Then go back and pick up the stitches from your provisional cast-on (will replace the purl row) and work the cherry blossoms to match what you did one side 1.

And one final comment about using beads. I used silver-lined clear beads for my cast-on border thinking they would be the best choice against the celery green silk. The beaded cast-on was a huge PITA to execute IMHO, so I was quite unhappy to find that the beads were not visible unless you went looking for them. The pattern only calls for a few beads at the cast-on, and I didn't find it worth the grief to add them. If you do want beads, choose some that have high-contrast against your yarn. Silver-lining alone isn't adequate, esp. given the fact that the shiny silver softens over time (basically it tarnishes). A frosted or AB finish may be helpful. My other suggestion would be to add more beads as you knit. This could be done in the little squares on the basketweave or more randomly across the cherry blossom section. Adding more beads is the best hope for folks to see there are beads in your pretty stole.

These are just my ideas and others may have different suggestions. Good luck to everyone casting-on on Friday. I can't wait to see each one!


Flog me with ratty acrylic

Hi, I'm SapphyreKnitter and I've been a BAD 'alonger. First, I have even introduced myself. Second, I cast on this weekend, for a couple of reasons. I couldn't remember the exact cast on day, and for some reason thought it was Saturday. Also, I'm working on baby stuff for a woman who really shouldn't be having another kid, and it's starting to drive me nuts, so, I needed a distraction. I'm normally a multi-project gal, but I've been working on finishing lately, and I'm not allowed to make huge knitting related purchases right now as DH is out of work, so the disposable income is just not there. That's all for now, I think.

Can I handle the truth?

OK be honest. How many of you have actually swatched or are planning to swatch?

Just a reminder...

The Official Cast On will occur this Friday! T. and I will give you some guidelines for keeping up with the group. Please knit at your own pace and if you decide to knit all blossoms or latticework, we'd love to see your progress. We plan on taking 8 weeks to complete the project. I know that sounds aggressive but I think we'll be fine.

So, rest up! There are only 4 more sleeps until Hanami! (T., go get some beads, will ya?)

And we're off...

So, I cast on in the Malabrigo. Oh my goodness, it is PRETTY. Soft and pretty. I'm looking forward to my grey cloud-looking Hanami. This is my first time working a Real Lace Project in laceweight and all those stitches are freaking me out a little, but I did the garter stitch rows and the first RS/WS pair of the basketweave chart.

Off to bed now..

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Alteration Question

So, I'm finished (I think) gathering my supplies, and eagerly awaiting casting on this Saturday for Hanami. I've chosen a Mama-E laceweight yarn in "Suede" that's a good mix of pale, pale pink and darker pink to almost lavender - just like the actual blossoms. So now I'm happy with my yarn choice, and I'm looking over the pattern closely.

I think I want to knit the stole with only blossoms, no latticework. I'm kinda in the mood for randmomness, not structure, so that version seems appealing to me. The issue is - what if I wanted a single panel of the latticework in the center of the stole? Upon reading the directions, Melanie suggests just casting on the desired number of stitches and knitting the petal sections, then picking back up your cast-on and knitting them again. Would it be possible to knit a panel of the latticework that she's designed? I'm thinking either the transitional chart, then the petal charts both times??? Or maybe just the basketweave, then a break (of YO's or whatever), then the petals on both sides. But now I'm thinking - how would I get the YO's on the opposite side once I've picked up to begin knitting the second half? Would this work out "right"?

Am I making sense? I'm hopped up on cold medicine right now, so this may not be the best time to try to rewrite what a brilliant designer has done already! OY!

(see, my eyes are crooked from the cold medicine!)

Beads on my mind

Well, I swatched yesterday for my Hanami. I am disappointed in my beads, they are way too dull against the rose petal fino. So I've ordered some beads from the Bead Wrangler (Not Affiliated, except as a customer).

I ordered a pink and also two different crystal colors. Melanie suggested that the crystal beads would look like raindrops in the 'blossoms' part of the stole. I haven't decided if I'm going to bead the entire stole yet, but I like the concept.

"official" start date?

Is there an official start date? I have my yarn, silver fino, and gunmetal beads. But I want to get to a certain point on a sweater before I put that down and work on the hanami. I thought I would have reached that point a few days ago, but the sweater is taking a bit longer than I anticipated.

I've never knit with beads before, is the cast on hard to learn? Looking forward to this knit, I like a challenge!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Waiting for yarn

Well I am waiting for the yarn. It is in transit through Canada Post 2day so hopefully it get's here soon so I can start my new project. I have no idea where my beads are in the postal system. I can't wait.

Friday, August 24, 2007

About 1/3 done

I am in the last days of summer vacation, so lots of time to knit. Unfortunately, I lack focus, so I'm knitting about 5 things. But I did spend some concentrated time on the Hanami. I decided to go with an all-cherry blossom version, so I did my (first) provisional cast on and I've made it through charts A-F. I've been scattering beads in as well, and the effect is great!

I'm going to add some extra rows (maybe another couple chart A variations?) in the middle when I pick up the provisional stitches as I want this to be rather long.

My worries are:

1. about the color - I chose a rose pink zephyr yarn as I didn't think the recipient was a pale pink person, but this is just so . . . pink. Really pink. Paler might have been better. Or white. But it is too late now.

2. about my yarnover holes in the early sections, where they are few and far between. I don't know if it is too loose purling on the reverse side, or a quirk of my yarn overs, or what, but they don't look too good. The stitches immediately above and below each hole are also quite wide sometimes, but not consistently. I think I'm going to have to rip out at least the chart A and do that over or it will bug me forever. Maybe chart B as well. Once the yarnovers get close together the effect seems to disappear. Is there something I'm doing wrong? This is only my 3rd lace project, and I didn't see this in MS3, but maybe because the yarnovers were grouped?

yarn chosen, ready to swatch

Hi folks,

I have a cone of 2/14 alpaca/silk in burgundy that I almost used for the MS3, along with the raspberry colored beads I chose to go with it. I think it will be perfect for Hanami. There were a couple of other yarns in the stash that I completely forgot about. I'll have to remember to "shop" the stash more often! Anyway, I have about 4 rows left of MS3 that I hope to finish tonight, then I can swatch for needle size over the weekend. I also signed up for a KAL of the icelandic shawl Thordis. That one seems pretty straightforward, so I think (hope, anyway) I'll be able to keep up with them both.

all ready to go!

I've got yarn and needles and pattern at the ready! I s'pose I need to swatch now, right? I'm just trying to decide which yarn to use..a trip to the LYS yielded Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb in a gorgeous almost coral-pink, which is more what I think of when I picture cherry blossoms than pale pink. It is SO SOFT, too. I also succumbed to 2 skeins of Malabrigo laceweight in Polar Frost, a gorgeous gray blue. After seeing AJ's white Hanami, though, I'm thinking a pale one in the Malabrigo would be gorgeous. Decisions decisions!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm ready to go

I did my swatch today and practiced my beaded cast on. Very pretty. Had to go up one needle size to a 4. Am using the new Skacel lace circular needle. Very smooth. This is my first real lace project and I'm very excited, but fear I may not be able to keep up. I'm not a fast knitter and have a lot of projects going (who doesn't, right?) but I'll do my best.

Silk and Pearl Hanami

Well, I finally swatched for the Hanami KAL. I am using 100% silk 2/18 in a beautiful pale Azure blue silk from Colourmart. I am using it doubled. I could kick myself because I should have had Colourmart twist the two strands together, but, I'll manage. This yarn has the most beautiful sheen and soft feel. It isn't very slippery, which is what I was afraid of. I didn't want it slipping off my Crystal Palace Bamboo needles. I am going to use Swarovski glass pearls for the beads. I figured, Japanese inspired design, I'll go with silk and pearls.

I am still working on MS3. I am stalled on Clue 4. I was tinking back more than I was knitting so I had to put it down for a little while. But, now that the Hanami KAL is so close, I have to get my tail in gear! Southeastern Wisconsin is wet, wet, wet, and humid, humid, humid. I can't wait to start Hanami. Lace knitting has taked over all of my thoughts. I am totally in love. My husband is starting to see my lace knitting as my "bit on the side". LOL

Treading water like crazy here

My yarn arrived! Yesterday I arrived home with a stash enrichment covertly stuffed in my bag only to find a box from The Knitter. I was on a high for quite a while. But now I've read some of your posts and I'm beginning to feel inadaquate. Maybe its yarn envy? It's something I'll have to discuss at the next stitch n bitch. Thank goodness I have 2 YGs within reach.

Bead Mania!

I managed to make a HUGE deal out of going to a special bead shop to buy my beads -- and what a crack-house that was! Soooooo much eye candy -- dangerous! I left with my $3.98 tube of beautiful, silvery beads -- and $45 worth of stuff to make myself a red coral necklace, a friend some chicken earrings, etc. .... * sigh * I swatched up my Zephyr and practiced the beaded knit cast-on - no problems! I'm so excited to begin.

Hi from Sweden

The MS3 is my very first lace project, so I am still working on clue 6. I think I have learnt a lot and feel ready for the Hanami. It is such a lovely pattern and I am looking forward to start next week, when I hope my MS3 will be ready. Thanks for letting me join the Hanami Kal.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Have pattern, have yarn--ye olde standby, Zephyr. Just waiting for beads to arrive--with luck they'll be here by Friday. Can't wait to start!
Amy in ND

Hanami, finished!

I finished mine! I totally wanted to knit with the group on this, but it was such an exciting knit that I couldn't put it down. (Except when I was working on MS3.)

I want to make another one, but this time I'll do just the cherry blossom part on both ends. So I'll still be in the KAL!

Pattern: Hanami, Melanie Gibbons
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace, Natural White, 2 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbos, US 3, 32" circular
Started: August 4, 2007
Finished: August 21, 2007
Dimensions: 17" w x 65" l
Modifications: Added beads to the body, one fewer pattern repeats of the basket weave section, repeated the last 12 rows of Chart F twice , only knitted Chart G two times, and did a beaded bind off instead of the ruffle.

The reason for these modifications were that I got bored with the basket weave, I wanted the cherry blossom section to be fuller, and I don't care for the way all those repeats of Chart G look so I did as few as possible.

I'm very very happy with this! I'll probably wear it more as a lacy scarf than a stole. I plan to do another in all cherry blossoms.

What a great pattern!

If you want, you can see some more pics here on my Flickr.

Hello from Chicago!

Hey all, Mandy from Chicago checking in. I have my yarn sitting around here -- bought the Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint. I haven't taken a picture yet...sorry. Anyway, I picked it out before I even realized that it's the same thing that Melanie used, because I thought it would be perfect for cherry blossoms. Yay! It's sooooo soft and beautiful. I cannot wait!

Is there anyone from Chicago out there who is reading this and would like to get together to do this? I am thinking of starting a group -- meeting at the Starbucks at Clark and ? -- Balmoral I think -- in Andersonville. Alternatively, Kopi might be good. Anyway, thoughts would be appreciated and I'd love to get together with some of you!

If you're interested, email me: Or, you can post at my blog, though I'm not sure why you'd do that: -- unless you're dying to learn about my European vacation and random yarn purchases while there. :)

Yarn in, hook purchased, beads found (sort of)...

I received my yarn in the mail on Monday. Much to my delight, the pink was lighter-colored in person than it looked on my monitor when I bought it, and thus was closer to what I really wanted for this stole. I got a couple of teensy steel crochet hooks at the LYS today (both fit really easily through my beads-- sizes 0.8 and 0.75 mm) and I already have some beads that will be perfect for the stole. I've been holding onto these beads for a while because I just hadn't found the right project for them yet, there are 50 of them and they look perfect with the yarn. (Don't they really look like raindrops?!)
My only issue is that I want to enlarge the stole to 22" x 90", and although I should have plenty of yarn for this, I think I might end up a bead or two short for the cast-on. I'm doing the math tonight, and then if I need to I will hit the bead store tomorrow to find a close-enough substitute. These beads are not all that unusual, so I should find something that will work if I need to.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Yarn came today!

I ordered pink Cashwool from Jimmy Beans wool. I have never worked with it before, but I'd heard good things about it so I decided to give it try. The color is beautiful and it's super soft. I really can't wait to get started now! I'm still waiting on my beads, though, and I do have a couple of UFOs (including the Swan Lake stole a.k.a. MS3)that I need to get finished before we cast on so that I don't get overwhelmed by my WIPs.

Happy knitting!

Can't touch this ...

When I was in university my good friend Karen came to school wearing "MC Hammer pants". You know the kind I mean. Pleated front, baggy and a little on the short side. The were this gawd awful purple colour. Of course, being her best friends we murderously teased her despite the fact they only cost $19 CDN. Well worth it for the amount of cruel pleasure we derived then and have continued to recount over the last 15 years. Aah, the good old days! Now it turns out MC Hammer himself is coming to Edmonton! Yes, my friends, straight from his debut on the Surreal Life he's performing at the River Cree Casino for only .... (you guessed it) $19CDN! Should be a great evening - I'm taking my knitting with me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My yarn

is the Ariel silk flamme from Natural Dye Studios in a dusky purple color (I think it was called "Heather"). I know it's not very "cherry," but it's a great color, and I think the slightly bumpy yarn will look nice in this pattern. I still need to get my beads, and I'm thinking about adding more to the pattern (so I'll be looking here for someone who has already figured it out to do the work for me!)

I'm so jealous!

OK I haven't received my yarn yet -and I'm getting pissed. I can feel the excitment building and I long to be apart of it! I did get my first set of circular needles and stitch markers this weekend. The nice ladies at River City Yarns thought the pattern was beautiful but had never heard of it before (and they thought they were all that!). I also picked up some sock yarn (like I need more) in a variety of colours. It seems that colour and name have a lot to do with my choices. Much like when I choose wine - which I'm sure I'll be needing a lot of to get through this knit along. So cheers, dear knitting friends, try not to spill!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Teh yarn, it is purchased!

I picked Fino laceweight silk and alpaca in a lush 'old rose' color. It's probably a bit dark for cherry blossoms, but I wanted to try this yarn and the pink was just a bit too, too 'baby pink' for me.

Slightly belated introduction here. I am loving lace. Hanami will be my fifth shawl or full stole. There have been some smaller lace projects in there, too - cowls and scarves and socks and such. I am working on MS#3, on Clue #4 - but I'm being torn as to whether to 'wing or not wing'. So work on it has slowed to a crawl as I decide.

I have no other lace OTN at this point (I really try to be somewhat one or two projects at a time.), but in the 'queue' are the Bee Fields Shawl, the Bee Stole, Eunny Jang's Print o' the Wave in gossamer. AND I am looking at yarns and patterns for a wedding veil for my future daughter in law!

I still need to find the beads for this. I think the irridescent grey beads that I got for MS#3 will also look good on the Fino. I can't wait for us to start!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Got my yarn!

My yarn finally arrived! Zephyr in Pewter! I think it'll be really pretty. T. and I are going to head to a little bead store next week so get some matching 8/0s and then I think we're set! It's so exciting! I just have to finish off my MS3. Shouldn't take too long as Clue #7 is quite short. See you in a couple of weeks for a casting on party!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I got my yarn today at Dublin Bay Knitting Company in Portland Oregon. It is Fleece Artist in rose. It is hand dyed and so beautiful. I'm not doing the beads. I am anxious for the KAL to begin.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Can't wait to start the Hanami---

I downloaded the pattern yesterday and I already ordered my yarn from Webs-- I picked the pink Misti Alpaca lace, which is one of my all-time-favorite yarns. I got an extra ball (total of 3) so I can make the shawl a little wider-- and I guess I have until the 31st to look at the pattern and figure out what will be needed to make the repeats come out even through all the charts! Not sure if I will be lengthening or not-- but this pattern is so pretty that I am sure I will actually wear this one so I want to be happy with how it drapes. I think lace shawls are beautiful but I haven't worn the ones I have made so far-- this shawl is way more my style.
It should be fun to see everyone's progress.

Hi folks!

I just joined today. Hanami has been on my list for quite a while, may as well jump in. I have gone KAL crazy this summer for some reason. I'm almost done with clue 5 of the Galveston shawl (large triangle version), halfway through clue 4 of Mystery shawl 3, and blocked Neibling's Blatterspitzen doily over the weekend. I also have a few other things on the needles, including the Scheherezade stole, a lace doily from Burda, and some fingerless gloves with lace cuffs.

With all 3 kids home all day for the summer, my DH in a cast (and not driving) and all the chaos and running around that entails, sitting on the couch with charts and an iced chai after they all go to bed is my sanity time. It's about the only time of day I can pay attention to something for more than 5 minutes at a time. I suppose it's become my meditation.

I hope to finish at least one of the KAL's before this one starts, but I'm not going to rush in order to accomplish that. Looking forward to it!

Linda F

Thornton, CO, USA

Hanami on Flickr

Hi everyone!

I've created (with Melanie's consent) a Hanami-knitting Flickr group, which you can access here (

So far, it's just my own pictures from Hanami #1 -- I'm making one for myself, as the pattern was originally designed, and then I'll be making a second Hanami in the blossoms-only variation for my sister as part of this knitalong.

It's a public group, so please, feel free to join in, add in your pictures, and browse through the photos that others have shared. There are several other Hanami stoles being knit right now, with great pictures on Flickr, so I'll try and recruit those knitters to share their pictures with the group too.

Can't wait to knit along with all of you this fall!

AnnieBee (Flickr user: TheBees)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Joining in on the Fun

I'm one of the slow MS3 knitters - just finished clue 3 two nights ago and haven't made much progress. I've considered not joining this since I have so many other projects, but who am I kidding? I'm trying to get my friend to join so we'll see how that goes. Nice to 'meet' you all!


Map thing

Hi, the map by frapper extends into the posts on my browser. Is this true for anyone else reading the blog?
Is there a way to place it somewhere else on the blog so that this doesn't happen?
It could just be my OS (mac OS 10.9.3) and browser (Firefox) so it may not be happening to the majority of those using this site.

Ravelers our there??

Anyone out there on Ravelry? Let us know (by leaving a comment) - thought we'd link the KAL to Ravelry and get the 'message out'. If you're not on Ravelry yet, don't worry - we promise you won't miss anything. Everything you need to know will be right here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hanami stalker

I like to think of myself as more of a stalker than a lurker - that's probably because I have very little knitting experience and am terrified I'll get left behind. I have my yarn I just need to get my needles and try them out (I'm a circular virgin). Bring on the competition I say! That competitive spirit just reared it's ugly head ....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Counting Down to the Start

More invites were just sent out - make sure you let us know if you haven't gotten one yet. Also, check your spam filter - sometimes we're put there!

Remember - The official start date is August 31st. We'll let you know more details closer to that date (especially regarding the prizes...).

Good luck finishing your wing if you're with MS3 and otherwise we'll check in soon regarding any last minute info to pass on before we start.


Saturday, August 4, 2007

what yarn is everyone using?

I was planning on using KP Alpaca Cloud because I had some in my stash. I thought I had two skeins, turns out I bought 4. That's enough for the Cap Shawl from VLT. So it looks like I need to go shopping!

I was thinking Alpaca with a Twist Fino. That and Zephyr are the only two solid lace yarns my LYS carries right now, and I think the Zephyr will be too thin. LYS is getting new yarns in soon, in a week or so.

So what yarns did you pick?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Revving up for the Hanami

Thanks everyone for the comments to my earlier post thinking about adding more beads. I've decided that I am going to do it, as I love the look of the beads in the knitting, but will swatch and pick the best placement first.
Now time to think aout the yarn. I've decided that I'd like the color to shade as the pattern changes from one end to the other. Going from a deep pink at the basket weave to a soft pink, almost off white at the petal end. Or vice versa. Hmmm... probably vice versa.
I do know how to dye and am comfortable with that idea. I'm assuming that I'll have to dye it after knitting it as I can't think of how to dye a skein so that it morphs from one end to the other. Unless I re-skein it into three or four connected skeins and dip each one after the other.
Hmmm... any dyers out there with better ideas?

MS3 - me2 group get-together in Mississippi

The MS3-me2 group will be meeting at Border's in Dogwood Market (Flowood) this Sunday afternoon, 8/5, from 3 - 5 pm. If you are in the area and would like to join us, feel free to meet us in the cafe!

Don't mean to be off-topic, but I know we have some interest from some knitters on this KAL. After MS3 is finished, we'll probably be knitting on the Hanami together! What fun!

Chanda - you can email me offlist at davidchanda2 AT yahoo DOT com

Thursday, August 2, 2007

First KAL

Hanami Purchaser

Just a note from Melanie...

Is there a Deb involved in the KAL that emailed Melanie about purchasing her pattern twice? If so, please email us at and I'll put you in touch with Melanie for a refund.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I can hardly wait (but I think I will have to!)

I found out about this pattern from the MS3 (for which I have two stoles currently knitting). I did a trial carding of a combination of fibers to spin for the yarn. I space dyed it and steamed it. The yarn is fine, the color too bright for me, but the pattern in the sample - what a delight, and what a good feel! I look so forward to this KAL. Jeri on the Coast of Southern Oregon


This Friday marks Clue #5 and the big theme reveal for MS3. Given that there will only be 2 clues after that AND we said we'd start 2 weeks after MS3 finished....

We will be casting on the Hanami on AUGUST 31! That still gives us some time to get our acts together. If you've already started, keep going and give us some heads-up for the hard parts.

We'll let you know each Friday what rows we will be knitting that week. If you can't keep up, that's ok, too. The point is to do the best job you can and to be proud of your work.