Sunday, October 22, 2006

Knit With Love

A Shawl For Dee

: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark, from Wrap Style.
Yarn: Zephyr Wool/Silk from Halcyon Yarn. Yarn used double throughout. I started with 3 mini-cones of 600 yards each. I finished the first two cones right before beginning the "Edging" chart.
Needles: US Size 4, KnitPicks Options (My first project with these needles and I was very pleased.)
Date Started/Ended: October 2, 2006 - October 20, 2006.
Finished Size: 67" wide across top edge and 32" from center of top edge to bottom of point, after blocking. (Pre-blocked dimensions: 52" x 23")
  • Yarn and needle substitutions.
  • I added 8 extra repeats of the main pattern for a total of 16.
  • I left off the last two rows of the edging chart for a more subtly scalloped edge. This is how BrooklynTweed did it and I'm so glad he thought of it because I never would have on my own and it's perfect. Thank you, Jared, for e-walking me through it.

Thanks to Nick for the photoshoot at Mendenhall Lake.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

This Post Brought To You By Acme Welding

A week ago, as I was anticipating the shawl finish, I paused in my knitting and went on a quest for blocking wires. Someday maybe I'll order the real deal, but for now I was going to have to make do. A Google search led me here, to the idea of welding rods as blocking wires. Brilliant.

A search through the Yellow Pages and I was on my way to Acme Welding.

It wasn't hard to find.

Sherman, of Acme Welding, couldn't have been kinder. He stopped mid-weld to listen to my tale of knitting lace and blocking woe, and began pulling welding rods of varying lengths and widths from the shoulder high bins behind him. I was as indecisive as ever, and he ultimately sent me forth with two each, of two different width rods, and the assurance that I could come back anytime if I needed something else. All at no charge. He told me he had a soft spot for fiber/fabric minded women, as his wife is a quilter. Made me wish I had something that needed welding. Thank you, Sherman.

Fast forward to last evening when I finished knitting the shawl and was ready to put my welding rods to good use. First, the obligatory soaking shot:

I never tire of looking at other bloggers'’ blocking photos. They are so beautiful to me and I have been looking forward to showing my own. Alas, I finished pinning out the shawl well after dark last night and today is the darkest, gloomiest day we'’ve had since last winter. I resorted to using a flash because I a’m too impatient and so anxious to unpin and try on this shawl. I'm holding out hope that tomorrow we'll have a rain break so we can get a few shots with natural light. My desire for beautiful shawl photos is at odds with my desire to get the shawl to the post office on Monday so that it can finally be on its way to its rightful owner. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Word is spreading throughout the knitting blog community of a Yarn Industry Scandal. A cryptic post here followed by a more direct post here and a lively debate here.
I'm wondering, with mid-term elections so close at hand, can we find a way to blame this on the GOP?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Indoor Soccer

The indoor recreational soccer season has begun. Halleluiah. Two indoor soccer players times at least one game per week and maybe some time hanging around practices yields several hours of potential knitting time. Of course, I invariably get too wrapped up in the game to knit, or too wrapped up in the knitting to see them score a goal or block a goal or otherwise make me proud. But the possibility that I might get some extra knitting time is always there with indoor soccer .. making indoor soccer a very cool sport.

We had some knitting drama at yesterday's game. It was the first game of the season and no chairs had been set up, no bleachers available. We parents sat on the floor with our backs against the wall. To my right sat fellow soccer mom and knitter, Lynn. We pulled out our knitting. (Foreboding, foreshadowy music should be cued now.)

There are no boundary lines in indoor soccer. The players may play off the wall or whatever other obstacle they bump up against. Play often comes excitingly close to the spectators. More than once my chivalrous husband has deflected a ball from his lovely wife (that would be me) who, head bent to knitting, was blissfully unaware of impending danger.

Back to yesterday. It was the second half of a close game. Tension was mounting on the court. At the edge of the court, the knitters persevered, despite frequent interference. And then, in that slow motiony way of disaster, play moved closer and closer to the side-line knitters. There were many legs and much scrambling for possession of the ball. A player kicked and made contact, not with the soccer ball, but with Lynn's bag 0' yarn. Next thing we knew, her lovely ball of yarn was rolling out into the court. Rolling and rolling. Time slowed. (Here the music would get dramatic and crescendo-y.) For one brief moment, it appeared that a player's legs were actually tangled in the trailing yarn. And then, as quickly as it happened it was over. The players moved away, the yarn stayed behind. The ball was retrieved. The knitting and the soccer game continued.

In preparation for indoor soccer, I cast on for a portable project. These socks out of the beautiful Nature's Palette yarn that Hilary brought me when she came to visit last summer. She's working on these socks too, and I'm being a copycat.

My not-so-portable project is that blur off to the right. It's also my current obsession and true love. It's just not suitable for schlepping to sporting events. It is the lovely Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark, and here's a peek:

.. more soon, I hope.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tension Issues

Apparently I have them. That's the word from TKGA regarding my Level I submission. It came back to me a few days ago and I have four swatches to rework. Nick finds it curious that I needed to work all those little swatches in order to learn I have Tension Issues when he could have told me without my knitting a stitch. "Not that kind of tension," said I through clenched teeth.

Gratefully, none of the written work needs to be redone. I hope to redo the four tension-challenged swatches and resubmit them sooner, rather than later.


Motivated by Zimmermania, I got started on a Ganomy hat for Nick this week. I finished it this morning. I love the clever construction and utilitarian design of this hat. I've been wanting to make one ever since finding Jared's last winter. However, despite admiring his and the way it looked on its owner, I've had some niggling doubts about how it would look on Nick. But never one to listen to that inner voice, until it's shrieking at me, I forged ahead.

I don't know if it's the knitting, the pattern or the head, but I was right. Flattering? Not so much. However, it's luxurious and soft and it covers the ears. I predict as the mercury dips and the wind blows and the dog still demands to be walked, it will be worn - and appreciated!

Nick's Ganomy Hat
Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Ganomy Hat from Knitter's Almanac
Yarn:Noro (Again!) Cash Iroha
Needles: US size 7 circs and dpns
Modifications: Because I was knitting with a gauge of 4.5 sts/inch instead of 4, and because I needed a bigger finished hat, I cast on 108 sts instead of 80. That, combined with my desire for a more rounded, less pointy top, led me to a slightly modified decreasing strategy. If I make this again, I'll have to fine-tune the shaping, but this hat is DONE.

When the clouds lifted this weekend, they revealed fresh snow on the mountain tops. Nick may be wearing this sooner than I think..

A view to inspire the knitting of cold-weather wear ..

*SPECIAL THANKS to Chris for her "sidebar button" guidance!*