April 24, 2010

Two Steps Forward ... Pause

Happy Earth Day!  I want you all to know that this year, for the first time, I really did turn off the lights.  I cheated, though.  I had the TV on because stumbling around here in the dark by myself was creepy.  I thought I could take a nap and miss it all, but no luck.  I sat around trying to knit by TV and candle light.  No luck.

I hear the cat creeping around here, but I don't know exactly where she is.  Here's the thing, I take a step, she takes a step, I take another step and I hear her jump down from somewhere.  Creepy!  When I turned on the lights I expected to see my ball of yarn wrapped around the dining room table.  Mercifully, that was not the case.

I've been working on the Spring Trellis shawl and besides the fact that there are hundreds of stitches from the start to the end of the row, the yarn is as thin as my eyelashes and it's more hairy than Big Foot's butt. 

Now usually I don't mind mountains of yarn for a project, and normally hairy yarns don't scare me, BUT with this shawl I've hit the trifecta: big, hairy and it has nupps.  Oy!   A little red scarf with a hairy hat would have been easier.  Still I plod on.  Chart 3, row 8 of 17 is where I am now, and after chart 4 (20 rows), I'm done.  Who knew it would take this long?

To take my mind off my misery, I decided to take a little spin break and loaded up the Lendrum this morning with a BFL batt from Copper Moose:

It's pretty nice, but kind of boring, so I decided perk it up with some merino/tussah silk that I bought at Rhinebeck last year:

Both of the yarns are gray, but the BFL is gray/green and the mystery merino is gray/blue.  I'm having second thoughts, so I'll probably ply a little, see how it looks and if it's bad, I'll have two new skeins of navajo plied yarn.  It's a win/win.

So now, I can continue to knit, go downstairs and spin, or I can warp up the loom and weave during my knit breaks.  Or I could do laundry and dishes and maybe mop a floor around here.  Either way, knitting will happen.

Oh, and I tried to describe my Prelude to one of the ladies at knitting circle on Thursday, but a picture is better, I think.  Here's what it looks like:

Well, back to the knitting needles.

April 14, 2010

Spring Trellis Shawl

Well, shawl number 3 is well under way.  According to the rules, I must make two shawls that use 546 yards, and this is one of them, the Spring Trellis Shawl (free pattern available on Ravelry).

At first I thought there were 2 charts, then I thought there were 3.  I was comforted thinking that I was at the end of the shawl journey.  I was so close ...

Then I found out that chart 3 has to be repeated twice and there are nupps which make it very slow going:

And there I was, jumping for joy - until I found chart 4.  Oy!  The good news is that this shawl will fill the requirement to make two large shawls.  The yarn is lovely to work with, but thin, thin, thin!  It's from Sarah's Yarns, and it's called ruby spice.

My only concern is that this shawl, so far, doesn't have a home.  It's not as bright as as a harlot's fancy red go to church bloomers, but red enough.  It's hairy and has a nice little halo going on.  It's soft as a baby's bottom, though.  I'm quite surprisd that the hair hasn't been flying and that my clothes are not covered.  Maybe it won't shed.

Either way, I'm mostly done and the shawl is coming out very nicely.

So there we are.  I'm proud of myself for being faithful to this project, but I can't wait until it's over.  My next shawl is going to be one chart, one stitch, no nupps and I'll be able to make it blindfolded!  Hah!

April 03, 2010

Red Hot

When I signed up to participate in 10 Shawls for 2010 on Ravelry I thought it would be a cinch.  My first shawl was Multnomah which is quick and easy, so easy I made it twice (but only once for the contest).   I had a skein of my own handspun, Dried Flowers,  which I was so happy to see go out of my stash I nearly did a happy dance - which, let me tell you, is not pretty.

My second shawl was Percy where one too many yarn overs had me pulling my hair out.  But it turned out perfectly (after I unknit about 20 rows).  It turned out so pretty I was tempted to make it twice, but I'm all about forward motion so Percy II will just have to wait.

And so we get to my third shawl - a mystery shawl.  I purchased some yarn from Sarah's Yarns called Ruby Red, it's 60% kid mohair and 40% silk.  Mohair is usually kind of rough, but the silk toned it down a lot:

It's kind of a berry color, and really, really hairy which means no ripping back.  Fortunately for me, I chose a pattern that is relatively simple:

I cast on tonight and, merciful heaven, there's only 2 charts to follow. Yay!  The pattern says to repeat chart #1 as many times as I want, which in my case means I can knit the chart until I start looking for the gasoline, or until I think the shawl is big enough.  That's great news for me.

My only concern is that the shawl is red and hairy and I won't know if I really like it until I'm well into it.  It's going to need a home because I can't think of anyone who wants to wear a red, hairy (but soft) shawl.  Where does one wear a red shawl anyway?  Do I make it and give it away with a Christmas tree shawl pin?  I can't think about it right now, but I'll find someone whose favorite color is red and who will wear a shawl.

Since I must have some angst in my life, I'm giving myself two weeks to make this shawl because I want to make something besides a shawl this month.  I need more hand knit socks, and I have a baby item on the needles that I need to get done before the baby outgrows it.  You hear that Anonymous T?

Since my plate is full again, I'd better get started.