March 31, 2010

I'm a Genius!

I spent more time knitting the Percy shawl than any shawl I ever knit in my life.  I suffered angst, sadness and disappointment, not to mention that I spent as much time knitting backwards as I did knitting forward.  It was a mess.  I was about to give up (no I wasn't!), but I carried on.

And then, almost without notice, I was on the last row.  Well, how did that happen?!  I was thrilled!  So I present for it's debut, Percy:

In all my shawl knitting life, I've never made a more pretty shawl!  I love it!  Just look at those patterns!  I'd keep it, but I can't.  It was supposed to be done in December, but I digress.

Isn't it pretty?

Even the nupps came out evenly.  I'm impressed and I would have run up and down my block yelling with joy, but it's probably not safe, considering I'm in my pajamas and it is pretty late at night.

Not all was a bed of roses, though.  While I was blocking the shawl, I noticed a little 'error':

Oops!  Apparently in my rush to finish I must have dropped a stitch!  Yikes!  But, I pulled out my handy sewing needle and a small crochet hook and I went to work - sweating bullets the whole time.  Victory was mine, though:

And so the saga of Percy ends.  I'm glad it's done, it's beautiful and I'd knit it again (next year - maybe).  This makes shawl #2 out of 10.


Whew!  Now onto the next ...

March 17, 2010

Percy Schmercy!

I've been working on the Percy shawl for weeks and I'm sad to report that it's going so slow that I'm all but ripping my hair out in clumps!  Every row causes me to stutter, ga ... ga ... gaso ... gasoline!  I've searched the Ravelry forums looking to see if anyone is stuck in the same place that I am, but so far no luck.

Admittedly, I am bad at math, and truth be told, I've been known to miss a yarn over occasionally.  And further to that, too many yarn overs make me want to wind the yarn around my head (to cover up the bald patches).  I got this far (halfway):

It's hard to tell where I am based on the picture, but I'm about halfway - and stuck.  Makes me want to gas my head in the oven having to continue reading the chart.  All I can say is that I am going to finish it and it's going to be beautiful and then I'm going to gift it and then vow never to torture myself like this again.

That said, I needed a break from kntting.  All that trying to be faithful to one project is driving me nuts.  So I took a short break and warped my loom with some white cotton and wefted with some varigated green cotton and made myself a dish towel:

It's not much to look at, and there were a couple of mistakes because I was overconfident:

And the it was wide enough, but not long enough and my hemming skills could use a little work.  It would have been perfect if the warping peg hadn't been pulled off its perch so many times.   Next time I'll try harder to make it secure.

Ultimately, it's going to hang in my kitchen for the next week and my son has been threatened repeatedly about using it.  He can use it after his hands are clean!  You know how boys can be: wet hands, shake off water, wipe dirt on dish towel.  Oy!

Now I have to grunt around here looking for something else to keep me from knitting on Percy.  At least for now I can look at my flawed dishtowel and know that I can start and finish something.

I'm going to put a sign on my front lawn that says "beware of flying purple objects" just in case I end up throwing Percy out my bedroom window.  Of course, when it's done I'll be dancing (and bragging, no doubt).

Off I go - back to Percy.

March 08, 2010

Spring is Coming!

Yep, the weather is finially taking a turn for the better.  The sun has been shining and much to my surprise, on Saturday when I went outside and looked at my poor dead grass, I saw this:

That's the start of my day lilies which come up every Spring thanks to the previous owners of my hut house.  Every year the bright pink flowers come up and cause me to sneeze like there's no tomorrow.  Still, I forgive them because they're so pretty.

Since Thursday I've been working on the Percy shawl.  It's so pretty, but I didn't do what I tell the ladies in the knitting circle to do before they start any pattern - read the instructions first, to make sure you understand what the designer wants you to do.  Did I do that?  NO!  If I'd known there was a lace pattern to knit on the knit and purl side, I'd have done something easier, but you know how I love a challenge.

Still, the shawl is pretty and it's coming along (slowly):

This is shawl number 2 of my 10 shawls in  2010.  I wish my camera took a picture closer to the true color of the shawl which is a lovely lilac, not the blue in the picture.

I haven't touched my mother's sweater since the first day of the Olympics, but I'm going to get to that as soon as I do this shawl.  Maybe.  It's an awfully big project.  Hopefully I won't get distracted by some other pretty little thing.

Don't forget that on Sunday morning, when you wake up, it'll be an hour later than you think.  Spring is when we move the clocks forward - and lose an hour of sleep.  But we'll wake up to sunshine and for some of us, it means we'll get out of work in the sunshine too.  Yay!

March 02, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I'd first like to thank all the people that wrote to make sure I was fine and that I would be returning to blogland.  I am fine, thank you, and I'm here ... with next to nothing to show.  Sorry about that.  But before I go into it, let me tell you what happened today at Barnes & Noble, where I went at lunchtime.

The escalator was not working and I needed to get to the third floor, so I decided to wait for he elevator.  When I got to the elevators, there was me, another woman and a man who was pushing his 2 year old in a stroller.   There are two elevators there and one came, the indicator light said it was going down, so the lady and I stood our ground.  The man, however, used his stroller to stop the doors from closing.  The doors closed on his child's stroller with his child in it, and the doors bounced back open.  The man in the elevator said it was going DOWN so the man pulled the stroller out of the path of the elevator doors.  I'd rant if I had the energy, but is it just me?  Or is it New Yorkers in general?  I saw a woman try to use her stroller to stop cars so she could cross the street!  Holy moly, people! 

OK, onto other non-knitting related matters.  Did I mention that I have water and a new water saving faucet?

I did manage to finish David's socks (size 12), longest pair of socks I ever made.  After three attempts, two of them failed, I ended up with basic socks:

I used Lion Brand Sock Ease in whatever colorway that is, 1 skein and US #2 needles.  They took two weeks to make and I was grateful for the mindless knit.  More importantly, David likes the socks and he's already worn them.  Whew!

You may remember when I spun Dried Flowers and ended up being upset that I didn't have the yardage I needed to make the shawl I wanted:

Not that it isn't pretty yarn, but it wasn't the look I was going for.  So, to make sure that it goes far away I made another Multnomah with it:

The only difference between this one and the first one I made is that I blocked this one with points instead of scalloped edges.  This shawl is a cinch to make, if you watch your yarn overs and put your stitch markers where they belong.  I made this shawl with US #4 needles, and I used all 437 yards to make it, except for the last set of repeats because I ran out of yarn.  Still, it's a nice size and Mrs. Baker is going to like it, hopefully.

The shawl is #1 of 10 for my 10 shawls in 2010. Yay!  At least something got done during my hiatus!

I'm already looking for the next thing to cast on my needles. I have so much yarn and I'm thumbing through the new Interweave Knits magazine that came yesterday.  I'm going to cast on another shawl, but it's a secret.  I'll let you see it as I go.

Happy knitting to you all.