April 21, 2010

This is a Big One

Today I turned 40. I wish I was one of those thoughtful, eloquent bloggers who can philosophically reflect on the meaning of such an event with touching insight. But instead all I can think is, "Holy shit, I'm 40!"

In other very big news, I finished Girasole last night.

Here is Wes holding it up for me. He's 5'9" so you can make your best guesstimate how big the blanket is. This is pre-blocking. I have it soaking now but couldn't wait to show you all.

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February 7, 2010


Younger son is still sick. We saw a doctor today to confirm that he doesn't have strep or an ear infection. But still feverish and sore throat and definitely not happy. I am feeling much better than on Friday but still not 100% either.

But that gave me a lot of time to work on Girasole.

I have 640 stitches in aran-weight wool on a 32" circular. It's slowed my knitting to a crawl. I had to make a run to the shop today and get myself a 60" circular. It should make things start moving better, literally.

I also realized that I need to swatch to be ready to cast on for the Ravelympics next week. I'm going to make Lloie's Cardigan in Felted Tweed. I'm changing the shaping and the colors. I'm going to simplify the color scheme to just a main color, yoke background and yoke foreground color. It's very subtle and quiet and I like it very much.

I've never knit with Felted Tweed before and I suspect I will need to go down many needle sizes. I started a swatch last night that just kept getting wider and wider and wider. I ripped it out and have started on fewer stitches on a US3.

Madrona is in just a few days. I really crept up on me this year. I'll be there Wednesday through Sunday, setting up our booth and taking classes. I'm looking forward to seeing friends, spinning, knitting and relaxing.

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February 5, 2010

Sick Ward

I have been to more doctors' appointments in the last month than I have in the last several years. It turns out that I have high blood pressure and a chronic small sinus infection that's been around for years. I'm on all kinds of medication right now and none of them are making me feel any better. In fact, they may be making me feel worse. Today is my day off and I'm joined by my younger son who has a slight fever and a little cold. He is currently very upset with me because I found him in his room last night at 12:15(!) playing on his Nintendo DS! It's been confiscated. The little sneak...

All this feeling crummy has given me a lot of knitting time. I started Girasole on Monday night. I'm using Rowanspun Aran I bought over four years ago. I kept thinking I'd use it for a sweater. I might have. But it's making a lovely Girasole blanket. And I definitely have enough to finish the project.

Right now it looks like some kind of sea creature.

This pattern is working up really quickly. All of these shawls I've been working on lately have been such pleasant, effortless knitting. I love lace knitting.

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February 3, 2010

Bertha Lace Shawl

Pattern: Bertha Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Mystery Shetland/Kauni-ish yarn, 105 grams, 500(?) yards
Needles: US6 Addi Turbo Lace
Notes: I made the the medium size of the Textured Trellis Lace Border Shawl. The pattern three variations on the shawl in three sizes. The instructions are excellent and the charts are clear and easy to follow. Now my only regret is not to have continued the Spider Lace for longer. But at least I didn't run out of yarn on this one!

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February 2, 2010

Bertha's Blocking

And Girasole has begun!

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January 31, 2010

Bathtime for Bertha

This one was really fast.

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January 29, 2010


Pattern: Haruni by Emily Ross
Yarn: Timaru in Grass
Needles: US4 Addi Turbo
Notes: When I completed the 12 "stems" called for I thought I had enough yarn to do another repeat. Then as I was nearing the end of the final chart I realized that I was not going to make it. I skipped the penultimate pattern row and its purling back row and did double decreases in the final pattern row. Then I ran out of yarn during the cast off. I dyed a little to sort of match. Then I ran out again. I dyed more. I finished the bind off. Whew. I didn't do the greatest job at blocking. I didn't have the patience to pin out every little loop in the cast off so I just ran a blocking wire through them all to pull them out.

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January 25, 2010

Really? Really??

The yarn I dyed to match the shawl matches really well. And it ran out when I still had at least five more inches to cast off. That crocheted cast off takes a lot of yarn. Shit. I dyed more again tonight. I don't even care anymore if it matches. I will finish this shawl, damn it.

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January 24, 2010

Too Bright, Too Light

I tell you, under the artificial lights in my kitchen last night, while the yarn was wet, I thought I had a pretty good match. But in the light of day...

Yowza! That's bright. The yarn I tried last night was 100% wool and the yarn I'm trying to match has bamboo and nylon in it. So these were never going to be a great match anyway even if I did a better job with the color.

I found some merino/tencel in my stash that's much closer to the Timaru. I tried again but I think I was a bit too hesitant with the color. So it's looking too light.

I'm going to wait and look at it dry in natural light before I throw some more dye on it. I'm sure I'll just keep fiddling with it until I lose patience then just use whatever I end up with.

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January 12, 2010

Finishing and Starting

Clothilde is done and blocking so I started Haruni last night. I shuffled my yarn selection a bit and am using Timaru from Lisa Souza that I originally planned to knit Echo Flower with.

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January 9, 2010

Still a Little Bitter

Bitterroot had a lot of drama. There was the whole rip out Chart B to knit another repeat of Chart A. Then when I was knitting Chart C I realized that I was right the first time and had knit one repeat too many of A. But I wasn't going to rip again so I left out the last eight rows of C and the first two of D and kept going. But the yarn was running really low. Then I was stuck at home with a sick kid and didn't have a small enough crochet hook to bead. I used dental floss instead. Thread it through the bead then through the stitch then back through the bead then tug the stitch through the bead. Boy, does that get old fast. I set it aside. I just couldn't stand it anymore.

I started Clothilde. I'm using the other skein I got from Butternut Woolens. It's Superwash Merino. Clothilde is easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. I'm starting Chart 3 which is supposed to be the final repeat for the small size. It looks like I've got plenty of yarn so I might try to get in two repeats. I'll weight the yarn and see how I'm doing when I get to the end of the chart. I wish I had weighed the yarn for Bitterroot before I started.

I got a #10 crochet hook at work on Thursday and finally finished Bitterroot last night. I ran out of yarn with only two rows to go. I thought my Miss Babs 3-Ply Sport was a good match for gauge and color. It didn't fit through the beads as easily making that final row and total pain in the ass. I had to go back to dental floss because the yarn doubled plus the hook could not fit through the beads. It's blocking now and I think that little bit of contrast on the very edge is quite nice. I don't think I'll be adding beads to anything else anytime soon.

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January 5, 2010

Putting the Bitter in Bitterroot

Bitterroot is a complete joy to knit. I've hit a few snags though. I accidentally knit one too less repeat of Chart A than I should have. I didn't realize it until I had nearly finished Chart B. I ripped it out and reknit it. Then last night as I was nearing the halfway point on Chart C it struck me that I didn't have as much yarn as I thought I should. I weighed it and found that I would not be able to finish at the rate I was going. I decided to cut out the last 8 rows of Chart C and the first two of Chart D. Still doesn't look like I have enough yarn! the label says 6 oz. and 465 yards. I have only 30 grams left and 16 rows to go. I still like knitting it though. I get to start the beads on the next row. Until I run out of yarn...

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January 3, 2010


The new year has been pretty busy so far. We celebrated a quiet New Year's Eve at home with the boys. They got to stay up late to see the fireworks which makes them feel very mature. On New Year's Day we had a brunch at our house with a few friends. It was a really nice way to ease into the new year. On Saturday I went to the St. Distaff Day spin-in hosted by the Northwest Regional Spinner's Association. There was a very big crowd with lots of great vendors. I spent a lot of time spinning and catching up with people. It was very relaxing. I can't believe the kids are going back to school tomorrow. And I am heading back to work.

I've been working on Bitterroot for the the 10 Shawls in 2010 challenge. It flows along so nicely. Not quite mindless but still very simple to knit. The yarn is from Butternut Woolens, one of the skeins Shelly sent to me. It's wonderful and I think very well suited to the pattern. I also picked up some beads at the spin-in that I hope will work well with the shawl.

I hope your 2010 has been treating you well so far.

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December 30, 2009

Not Quite There

I have been working furiously on a gift project that is a) overdue and b) not working out. In the meantime I've been working on my linen stitch scarf and planning for 10 Shawls in 2010. I just found out we can start when it's New Year's in Oslo so that means I'm starting really soon. I wound yarn and printed patterns for my first three shawls--Bitterroot, Clothilde and Echo Flower (.pdf). This should be fun!

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December 16, 2009

Tunnel Vision

As NaKniSweModo progressed this year I found that suddenly I only saw sweater patterns. Browsing on Ravelry socks or shawls didn't even register with me. Now that I've completed the sweater challenge I'm a little sweatered-out. What will fill the void? 10 Shawls in 2010, of course! I've had a serious lace jones lately. Damson didn't really help with it since that project had its own issues. Ulmus didn't help because there was barely any lace to it. Now I'm trolling Ravelry and queueing lace shawls like they're going out of style. The rules for the group are simple.
The minimum requirement of meterage is 250 meter (ca 273 yards) for 8 of these shawls, whereas 2 must use at least 500 meters (ca 546 yards) of yarn.
There are no upper limits to meterage if you want to knit 10 big shawls :) Any shapes will do - and you can even be your own designer!

The plunge starts at January 1st and ends 31st of December 2010. NO WIPS count!

With these puny yarn requirements this challenge will be over for many participants around mid-February. I'm fine because I still want to do Knitting Everest too. My goals for that challenge are to finish my Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan and Frost Flowers and Leaves. Then make Celtic Dreams and a Starmore--most likely St. Brigid.

This seems doable. Seems. Excuse me I'm off to queue another few dozen shawls.

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