Archive for the 'Shawls' Category

More craptastic photos and uninspired text

December 3, 2010

The RNK and I got back a few days ago from a trip to visit my mom for Thanksgiving. Since mom’s birthday is December 7, I took her birthday gift with me: two shawlettes from Romi Hill’s 7 Small Shawls.

I gave her the Maia Shoulderette and Celaeno. If you’ve been reading, you’ve seen pictures of Maia and you’ve heard the trauma that went along with that knit. You haven’t seen Celaeno.

My mom seemed to like Celaeno best. She squirreled both shawls away as soon as she unwrapped them. I wasn’t sure how to interpret that. I had hoped she would put at least one of them out where she could use it when she watches TV. Her television is in a finished basement room and in spite of a gas fireplace near where she sits, it can get cold down there in the winter. Hence the whole idea behind the gift.

I had a hard time getting her to bring the shawls back out so I could photograph Celaeno. I knit this shawl with a skein of “sparkle” yarn and when it was finished, I dyed it black with purple overtones. The pattern calls for beads. There was no way on earth I was going to complete a beaded shawl in time for the trip, so I hoped the sparkles would help add the bling the shawl needed to tie it together with Romi’s design inspiration. Stars. Constellations. To be precise, “the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters of Greek mythology — nymph companions of Artemis turned into stars to save them from Orion’s pursuit.”

(Pardon the pink rug in the background. It’s hard to find anything in my mom’s house that doesn’t have a pink background.)

I also completed a red scarf in brown for the Red Scarf Project. I had hoped to get two done as car knitting; but, made a miscalculation on the amount of yarn needed. Enough yarn for one scarf and only part of a second. I had taken another project with me and I cast it on instead. More about this project after Christmas. After getting started on this project I realized it was a good thing I didn’t try to fit another scarf in anyway or the secret Christmas knitting would never get finished on time.

I wish I had a more inspired post for you, especially since it’s been so many days since I last posted. I am just not feeling the love for anything right now, this in spite of the fact the life is moving along rather smoothly these days. I don’t know what it is. Do you ever feel out of sorts even with things are going well? How do you break the funk-mood?

I wish I could turn this blah mood into inspiration as gifted writers so often are able to do. But no; no gifted writing here. Major suckage instead.

Meanwhile, if you see my muse, send her home. We miss her very much.

No dramas

November 9, 2010

The Holden Shawlette was a lovely undramatic knit after all the trauma with Maia. Just a few nights of knitting and voilà:

Sorry about the incredibly bad photography today. I’m in a funk and it seems to be coming through on everything I do today. Thank goodness I am not working on any knitting or I would be frogging tomorrow. Guaranteed.


This is one of those projects that looks totally uninspired on the needles. It doesn’t really take on any allure whatsoever until you get it blocked and around your neck. Then, little Holden takes on a life of it’s own and begins to shine.

I know better than to try one of those mirrors shots to show you what I mean. At least today anyway. You’ll have to use your imagination. Or better yet, just grab the free pattern from Ravelry and cast on.

Designer Mindy Wilkes tells us the story behind the pattern name: Holden Beach in North Carolina. I didn’t really think much I picked up the skein of Sheepaints Bamboolaine that I had tried to use to finish Maia. It was wound, it was sitting there, needles were sitting there and the pattern was sitting there. I just picked the yarn and needles up and started knitting without much thought. Serendipity.

The yarn I used, even though my craptastic photos don’t show it, has all the colors of sea foam on the beach: some green, some medium blues, some pale blues but not enough of anything to overwhelm the knitting. It really was a lovely choice for this pattern.

I had enough yarn to do one extra half pattern repeat without excessive worry during the bind-off. I have a tiny little ball of yarn left. Perhaps, a Minor Minion is in my future.

What’s next? I should be finishing Rosarie in Blue. But, maybe another shawlette will fall onto the knitting needles and stab itself. Or maybe a red scarf. Still time to get one or two done. Any suggestions? What should I knit next?

Next up,

September 28, 2010

the fill-in knit. I was having difficulty concentrating on the pattern for Maia, the small shoulderette I was working on during the move. The pattern isn’t difficult; the move was.

During this same time, I went in to the Yarn Gallery and Kim gave me a lovely present, a US 5 Signature cable needle. WOOTT!!! I was admiring the needles, looked up and across the room, there was a blue skein of yarn in one of her “odd lot” baskets that screamed out to me. I went over to pick it up, and weirdly, it was a skein I had asked her to consign for me. Serendipity. It went back into the knitting bag and on the drive back up to the house we were moving out of, I started playing.

No pattern, no stress, just easy knitting. After I got home, I ended up starting over with a clearer vision in my head. A few rows into it, I grabbed one of Walker’s stitch dictionaries and found a simple pattern stitch. A few days later, I grabbed Nancy Bush’s Estonian Shawls book, and saw a couple other stitch patterns I liked. I sort of mimicked one of the shawls in the book. The result:

It’s extremely small for a shawl, but it works well with a pin holding it closed and it will look cute with my winter coat. I’m pleased. Less pleased with Maia. I discovered the trauma of the move had affected me more than I initially thought. I had difficulty counting to four.

I thought I was following the pattern: four repeats then start the edge. I had enough yarn for four repeats. Unfortunately, in spite of checking over and over and over, I knitted five repeats. I looked on Ravelry and decided I might have enough yarn anyway and I forged ahead with the edge pattern.

As you would suspect, I ran out of yarn just five rows short of completing the entire pattern as written. At least the point of the leaf/arrow shape was finished and there was, I thought, enough yarn left for the a single bind off row. So, I decided just to end the pattern there. But, as you would suspect, I ran out of yarn just after binding off half of the shoulderette.

I was cleaning the house for another showing (yes, we are trying to sell this house too). While in the yarn loft trying to straighten things out a bit, I took a peek in a sock bin to see if there was something similar. A pale blue merino/bamboo fingering matched the Panda Toes well enough in color to try it. However, I’m not very happy with the results.

What do you think? Leave it and try to block it so that the bind-off doesn’t show as much, block it and gift it to a non-knitter, rip it back a full repeat and try again, search for a better match and finish the entire pattern, rip back with the yarn I have and alternate between the two different skeins and finish the entire pattern, or just burn it? So many choices.

Citron and Clapotis

June 25, 2010

Amid my anguish at the oil spill, disgust at the U.S. political system, fear of our current Supreme Court and attempt to keep all of that in perspective by engulfing myself in the enjoyment of summer, there has been knitting. First, another Clapotis. Then, Citron.

Knitting one Clapotis wasn’t enough for me. I know some people report taking months, if not years, to complete the scarf. However, as soon as I finished the first one, it occurred to me that there was not, anywhere in the universe, a better vacation knitting project. Simple. Rewarding. Easy to pack. Easy to pick up and put down on a whim.

I started a week before we left on our two-week vacation. I wanted to get through the increase section so I could weigh out the yarn and set the same amount aside on the other end of the ball for the decrease sections. On this second version, I twisted the stitch on either side of the dropped stitch on both the knit and purl sides of the pattern and I think it made a crisper line. On both, I purled the dropped stitch in lieu of markers.

I decided to block it much less severely than the first. I thought it would be nice to have the two variations. After it dried though, I wasn’t sure I liked this version and was planning to reblock it — until today. I took it out to the bench in the courtyard to take some photos for you.

While I was photographing it, I made a discovery. No matter how it falls, it looks nice. I have decided to leave it as it is. See:

I finished it the day before we came home from our trip. I cast on for Citron that same day. If you’ve read any of my prior posts, you know that Citron and I didn’t get along so well. I misread the pattern a few times. I think of mine as Kelp —

with Bubbles.

Obviously, there was a little misinterpretation with the m1. That and a miscounting error that resulted in slightly wider ruched bands which then required a longer ruffle. I still like it. And indeed, it would have been too small without the extra rows I accidentally added.

What’s next? Probably finishing a pair of socks, then back to Rosarie in Blue. Or, can you suggest something that I might enjoy better for summer knitting? The idea of having a lap-full of wool doesn’t hold much appeal on a warm summer day.

That damn Citron of mine.

June 21, 2010

Or perhaps I should be calling it Kelp. Because of the colors and the bubbles. It’s a cute little free pattern from Knitty. Should be quite easy. I took it on our vacation as mindless knitting.

I got about three and a half of the body repeats done on the trip. Have been slowly working on it here at home. I was on the 14th row of the 5th, and last, repeat when I found myself idly wondering yet again, “I wonder why the yarn overs don’t show up in the pictures on the pattern.” Idle wondering, knitting, more picture looking, knitting. And then it hit me. After completing 13 of the 14 increase rows in this pattern.

There are no yarn overs in Citron. The pattern quite clearly calls for “m1.” Oh well. Mine has bubbles. Kelp. It was, after all, a vacation by the sea.

It all goes to show, it’s pretty easy to delude ourselves. Here it was, right in black and white in front of me, clear as day. I read “m1” and “yo” not once, not twice, but dozens and dozens of times.

Is this human nature? Are we unable to see the world through the fog of our minds? How many other things in the world don’t I “see” because my brain is programed for a different reality? We share a lot with the ostrich in this regard, the ability to put our head in the sand and pretend the tough, scary things aren’t really out there. Not that m1 are so tough and scary. It seems fair to extrapolate though, if what’s going on in this country is any indication.

Curious, isn’t it?

Show and tell

November 9, 2009

1. The trade. I definitely came out on the better end of this one! I traded the cardigan for this lovely shawl.


I love shawls. I have tons of shawl patterns and yarn for knitting them. I knit a shawl. Once. But for the last year or so, I just can’t seem to get off my sweater/sock kick to knit another.

This shawl is the perfect size for me. It fits around my shoulders and keeps the chill off my neck when we watch movies and yet it’s not so big as to be overwhelming. Absolutely perfect. It folds down into a very small little bundle which will make it excellent for traveling. The workmanship, Claire’s, is impeccable.


2. The slippers. They felted up OK. I still need to redo the elastic for the button strap on the left slipper. It shows too much from the outside. There’s a fine line between getting the elastic buried enough so that it doesn’t rub on the foot and getting it too close to the outside. I missed that line.


If you look back to a previous post, you can see that they felted down quite a bit. Same ruler. Felting is pretty weird.

3. Socks. We went to Santa Fe for the RNK’s birthday on Saturday. We ate at Cafe Pasqual’s and had a lovely dinner. On the way down, I got to knit in the car!


I took “More Sensational Knitted Socks” with me. In the end, I just winged a pattern, alternating a K6P2 ribbing a bit because I love this yarn and I didn’t want the pattern to detract. I can’t remember the name of the color, but it’s Socks that Rock lightweight. So far, I am pleased. The heel is a bit funky. I have only done one other short row heel with wraps. I hope the other sock turns out a bit nicer.

4. Opal. She’s such a bright spot in our lives. Always entertaining. Today, she had a chipmunk trapped under a flagstone walkway.




Chimpmunk lovers, don’t fret. No chipmunks were actually harmed in the making of this blog post.

I haven’t been posting because

June 22, 2009

I was getting ready for a major trip, and then I left for that trip, and now I am away on that trip. Now that I am here — here being close to Carlton River, Tasmania, Australia — I have time to do things like work, knit and perhaps post on the blog again.

I am house sitting for a woman who owns 80 acres out in the country. She has a very nice home with a wood stove (an important item because it is winter here) and lovely ocean views off in the distance. I am caring for her dog, her pet mouse and her two horses. There is a nearby neighbor who I see occasionally, but, she’s working nights now.

Here’s my view:

And the mouse, and the dog and the horses:

He's a sweet little fellow

He's a sweet little fellow

Also a very nice guy to be around

Also a very nice guy to be around

They thought they could push me around, but I've had none of it from them, especially the little mare. She's so mare-like.

They thought they could push me around, but I've had none of it from them, especially the little mare. She's so mare-like.

And here’s the nearby beach, where the neighbor took me the other day. Lovely.

The weather has been fantastic, especially for winter!

The weather has been fantastic, especially for winter!

The resident non-knitter is back in Colorado caring for our two horses, two dogs and our cat. He’s handling all the lawn care, house upkeep and the like. Thank goodness it’s him on that end! I got my fill of those duties when I was there and he was here. It’s the only way we could do the house sit, swap turns as it were. It was a lot more work on that end, and not only because I was preparing for the trip. There it’s summer and there is grass to be mowed, weeds to pull and all my work right there.

It has been a nice respite so far. I’ve been asked a number of times what I do with myself to occupy my time. Well, this morning, I talked to the RNK on the phone three times. Granted, this was a bit unusual, but he was setting up Skype to make unlimited phone calls to the land line here. Normally I only talk to him twice.

I called one of the Tasmanian knitters I met on Ravlery, and who I did a magic yarn ball swap which I will post pictures of someday. Haven’t quite gotten them off the phone and onto the computer yet. I spoke to the sister of the woman who owns the house. I talked to my mom.

Meanwhile, I’ve been trying like the dickens to get this post finished so I can get on to work. Several projects in the running right now and I just realized, I need to have the RNK check my cell phone messages for me too. I’ve got two web pages to build, two to update, a feature article to write and a newsletter to layout. Hopefully, I’ll get much of this out of the way before I have to start on the newsletter for my gorilla client right after 6 July.

When I’m not working or caring for animals or myself, I’ve been knitting. I’m working on a very subversive project. A pair of socks that were confiscated by not one, not two, not three, but four Qantas flight attendants. I pointed out when they challenged me over this terrorist act of knitting on the plane, that I was in fact using size 0, bamboo needles and a toothpick would be more deadly. With a straight face, the lead attendant, a man, replied, “yes, it is the very size of the needles that is so worrisome.”

I’m still pondering that one. I just can’t, for the life of me, figure out what is worrisome about a set of bamboo needles that are so fragile that I was in fear of breaking them as I worked. Stick them in a flight attendant’s hand as she passed me my beverage? Hold a fellow passenger hostage with a knitting needle at their neck? In either case, a sharp brush of the hand would have rendered the implement useless and I would have been disarmed. Oh yeah, there are five needles. It would take five swats to completely disarm me. Maybe six if they missed once. And it could be muscle under all my fat. I could be a deadly assassin, hidden by the demeanor of a slightly overweight, flabby, middle-aged woman who looks out of breath even while engaged in the strenuous act of sitting in an airplane seat.

neon Opal and Charlene Schurch's book, "More Sensational Knittd Socks" which coincidentally, has about the same color scheme as the Opal yarn in the title

On the other hand, perhaps it was the color of the yarn they found offensive. I picked up this Opal Neon on sale a while back for $10.50 a ball. The colors are brighter in person than they were on the web site. I was a bit shocked when I opened the package. It will be a garish pair of socks. Not for the squeamish. Dangerous stuff.

Perhaps the enforcer steward feared I was going to flash the completed socks at the pilot and blind him. No worries. Wasn’t there a flight en route to the UK just the other day on which the pilot died of a heart attack mid route? I think the co-pilots carried on and the flight attendants continued to serve beverages and meals and not one of the passengers was any wiser until they saw the ambulance greeting the plane. Garish as these socks are, I think the co-pilots would have had the good sense to avert their eyes and carry on with the flight.

Ah well. I will carry on with my subversive activities. Hope to finish them soon and them move on to a tamer project. Cromarty* anyone?

* From Alice Starmore, “Fisherman Knits” or some such title. Ravel it. There are some lovely examples out there.


September 26, 2007

After an extremely rocky start, I finally am able to post. It turns out, it was a matter of turning off the visual editor. There are some excellent support people (volunteers none-the-less) who are available to help people like me. I appreciate this greatly because it would have never occured to me to turn off the visual editor. In fact, I really wasn’t actually aware that it was on–or even what it is. Duh.

I am one of those odd-ball knitters (I presume this from what I read on other blogs) who feels compelled to have no more than one work in progress. Right now, I am breaking that pattern with two projects on the needles: a pair of socks and a shawl that l I started in a lace knitting workshop taught by Myrna Stahman this past weekend.

Well, there are a couple other small projects that I just haven’t gotten around to frogging (Kerry Blue Shawl in a Faroe Island wool from Sirri). I used the Sirri yarn to knit Icarrus (Interweave Knits) and although I like the way it turned out, one shawl from that fiber is plenty for me.

Icarus Shawl


Icarus closeup

Also, I started MS3; but, the pattern just didn’t grab me as much as I like and there are SO many things to knit out there. So, off the needles it will come. I just have to find time. This will be a bit more tedious to frog because of the bead retrieval.