Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I haven't managed to get a new pic of the Leaf Lace Shawl, but I am working on the 8th repeat of 10 (or 11, depending on how much yarn I have left). It is going great. I failed to move my lifeline on the last repeat (it's too short now, anyway) but am doing really well. I am able to find mistakes pretty quickly and then I tink back only 4-7 stitches to fix them. Love this pattern. (it still looks like cat barf and likely will until it's blocked)

I did a little on Mom's 2nd sock and a few rounds on the Tahki blue cotton sweater.

And... am realizing that while my stash is still spiraling out of control a bit, there is always someone with a way huger stash and someone with more projects on the needles. Although I would like to finish several of mine and move on...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

What I also did yesterday

I got a great start on the Leaf Lace Shawl I've been threatening to make. I got all 29 setup rows and the first 10-row repeat done. And I remembered to put in the lifeline (light purple in this pic). It's challenging but also fun!

What I did yesterday

Not bad for a few hours' work, eh? I bought this sweater at Goodwill for $2.99. Incredibly soft Italian merino wool. I have drawn the line at luxury fibers in general (silk, cashmere), but this was so nice that I got it. It was marked $3.99 but had obvious mothholes, so I asked to pay $2, but the most she would give me was $1 off.

What you see is the back and two sleeves, with a fair amount thrown away (threads that were too short to be worthwhile making into a ball). The front had three or four large, well-spaced moth holes.

It was kind of fun! 147 grams should be more than enough for one pair of socks.

Small F.O.

I did mention this, but wanted to jot down all the details.

The 3-way scarf: the idea was to make a scarf like you can find many places already. A friend at work has one.

If you stretch it lengthwise, it's a regular neck scarf and can be wrapped around your neck at least once, if not twice. If you stick your hands inside the tube, and stretch it widthwise, you can wear it as a neck cowl (and not worry about the ends flying). If you pull part of it over your head, it's a cowl/head covering and neck warmer. (I thought it would look dorky this way, but my coworker thought it would be elegant with the right coat.)

Simple details:
Clover 16" size 15 circulars
N.Y. Yarns "Fluff" in black (couldn't find what I wanted in my LYS, so had to go to Beverly's! It was painful.)
Cast on 25 stitches VERY loosely. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Knit for a bazillion years, till you're just tired of it and the stretched length is acceptable. Cast off VERY loosely (I used my size 50 Speed Stix). Tie off ends (it sure as heck won't show!).

I am unreasonably pleased with it. No photos as I'm sure it won't photograph well at all, being black.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Calming realization

I realized I wanted to do Branching Out to have a small scarf for Asilomar, as it apparently is chilly when the wind comes in off the sea.

And then I was looking over my UFOs on this blog and realized I was not far from finishing my black 3-way scarf! I finished it last night, but the bind-off (even though I used my humongous size 25 needle) is too tight. I'm having to rip it out (holding it close to the Ott Lite--black fuzzy yarn, ugh!) and will re-bind-off with one of my size 50s from Sue and Sarah. (Glad I have them! They are thick red poles. So odd.)

And that frees me up to start the Leaf Lace Shawl, guilt free. I'm bringing Mom's sock, the Tahki blue cotton sweater (I am SO making up the pattern), and the Leaf Lace Shawl with me. I plan to knit through every meeting, only stopping to eat and pray. Yeah!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Getting off the pot

Two chemo caps going out in the mail today (or tomorrow, if I missed today's pickup). Phew. Nice to finally get that done.

Mystery project that will be revealed anon is in the final few rows. Why are the final few rows so painful, sometimes?

I cannot WAIT to start the Leaf Lace Shawl. I wound one skein into balls yesterday/last night. I was worried it would be such a big ball, but for naught: there were two, count 'em, two, knots in the skein. So one large ball (whose start is eluding me, for now) and two smaller balls from this skein. I'm a tad annoyed that one 300-yd skein has 2 knots, but I think it's OK in the end.

But I really should knit up Branching Out so I have something for Asilomar, weekend-after-next.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oh, too bad.

I had really been looking forward to making the Leaf Lace Shawl with the Waikiki yarn I got at Skein Lane. Did a swatch in it--and emailed Crystal Palace yarns. Would the lace pattern show up? I asked. They responded quite quickly, but not positively. They said folks had contacted them, complaining that lacework didn't show up well in that yarn. Rats.

Why did Skein Lane let me buy this yarn? They knew it was for that shawl.

I remained hopeful for about an hour, then chucked the idea. I'll make a simple garter-stitch shawl or a very simple knotted shawl like the one I just got from Elann.com.

And now I have an idea for the red skeins I got at Stitches West. At 600 yds total, it's exactly enough for a small LLS. And I still adore it. I just better not freaking run out of yarn!

Dang, it is really hard to switch gears. But the Waikiki yarn has slubs and no bounce at all. I have no idea what it'll be like to knit with. So different from wool.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

FO! Shedir is done, and--frogging candidate?

I finished Shedir! She's freakin gorgeous. I think I'll block her, because the top is a little pointy. She's really big on my head, so that should mean it fits my friend well, as my head is curiously small.

The top is just wonderful:

And here's what I have so far on Branching Out. I think I hate it in this yarn. I think I'll restart it on CrackSilk Haze, since I've mastered the pattern having the correct stitch counts and the use of a lifeline. Votes? I like the yarn and will probably save it for baby booties or something.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I'm on row 58 of 83 of Shedir, and... I'm running out of yarn! It honestly never even occurred to me to buy two balls. The pattern says one ball, it's a complex hat but not thick or anything (but it is deep, as it is a chemo cap)... oy!

Bless Yarn!, as they have another ball in the same dye lot. I'll pick it up tomorrow.

Still loving the pattern, but I did come across a row that was not dead easy. That threw me for a bit, as the others have been completely simple to memorize and do! It is fascinating, though, as the cables are coming together for that fantastic twining that happens at the top.

Must finish soon! My friend is losing her hair already!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ordered the yarn for Birch

Made it to the yarn store today, and got to ogle all the colors of Cracksilk Haze in person. I'm so glad. This is a great reason to patronize your LYS--so many yarns are just plain different in person than they are online. One was very brown in person, and had looked quite purple online!

I ended up agreeing with Janis that the dark colors would really not work for Birch. She didn't have Smoke in stock but she had (yeah!) a color card for them. Smoke is freakin' gorgeous. It's a medium grey, but the silk gives it an absolutely lovely glint. She's going to order 4 balls for it (since some are running out after 3) and it'll be in in 3-4 weeks. I can wait.

I think.

Oh, and she was very sweetly appreciative of Shedir. It really is a pretty hat. And I'm still loving the red-coral color.

Unfortunately, with this Branching Out obsession, it still looks like it did below.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

UFO Update photos

As promised, I retrieved my camera from the car and took a few photos.

First, childHood (details in sidebar). One back, one front, one sleeve, one partial sleeve. I pinned out the front because otherwise, it curls like a mofo and looks about 4 stitches wide.

Next, Shedir, where I'm on the 6th repeat of 6 of the main twining cable patterns. After this, I get to start decreases!

And close up. It's not actually as shiny/plasticky looking as this in real life. And it is SO SOFT.

Finally, Branching Out in the leftover Claudia's Handpainted, full view that's blurry (ugh) and close-up that's not, but whose colors are a lot less true (too purple). Note the lifeline (oh, yes).

Important omission: Yes, still working on mom's sock. It looks like the last update (about 4" from the toe) but narrower--the same width as the other sock, this time.

Branching Out will not defeat me

I'm on the 6th repeat of the main twisted-vine pattern in Shedir and was feeling a little bored. (Photos to come, as Shedir and my camera are never in the same place at the same time.) So last night, I put down Shedir and picked up the Branching Out pattern. (Let's recall how thoroughly my CrackSilk Haze spanked me when I last attempted this pattern.) Went to my yarn basket (I adore having a yarn basket) and found the leftovers from my Knitting Olympics socks. Exactly what I was looking for--a nice fingering yarn that isn't lacy/mohairy.

I don't think it'll be lovely in Branching Out, but it will work well for me in conquering this pattern so I can pick up my Cracksilk Haze again.

And... after several false starts (including going straight into pattern stitch without doing the 5 rows of garter st AND starting the pattern with 1 too many stitches, only catching it on row 3), I have completed (ta da!) one full pattern repeat. And it looks right. And yes, yes, yes, I have done a lifeline. (But I need to buy unwaxed floss, as Glide's "lightly waxed" is already leaving a bit of wax on my yarn.)

Very proud of myself. Thanks for suggesting I use my KachaKacha on this one, Dharma.

Woo hoo! I've got progress bars!

I found some % bars in another knitter's blog, and she was kind enough to include a link for them. Sadly, the link didn't work, but I searched on "percent bars" and finally got some hits (wonder what I searched on before).

So yay, I've got progress bars! Do you want some?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Score at Goodwill

So what did I do when foiled by Yarn! for buying yarn? I toodled on over to Goodwill, around the corner, and checked out their sweaters for unraveling.

Shoo, what a score. I got one all-cashmere sweater for $4.99 (in an unfortunately vibrant blue which I hope to overdye with a red to make a lovely purple), one very soft all-silk sweater for $4.99 in a lovely French-bluish color, and a soft merino wool sweater I couldn't put down in a gorgeous heathered brown. This last had a rip in the collar (who cares?) and two mothholes (I care), so I managed to get it for $2.99. It'll be interesting to unravel it. I hope to make a few pair of socks out of it.

I know, I know, Dharma. I'm insane.

Bzzt, try again... again

Today, I went home, left the car, picked up Shedir-so-far, and biked down to the yarn shop. Was so excited to show my progress on Shedir to the shop owner, as I bought the yarn and had seen the hat for the first time there. (I was also hoping to see some of the colors of Kidsilk Haze aka Cracksilk Haze that I'm interested in for Birch.)

Imagine my shock, and then laughter, as I saw the Closed sign. She is always closed on Mondays. When will I learn?

(update photos on Shedir and childHood to be posted soon.)