Wednesday, November 26, 2008


D'oh. The reason I was having so much trouble with row 37 of the doily I'm knitting(Rav. link) is because I magically skipped row 35. Brilliant.

Luckily it only meant that I tinked back the same 90 stitches 3 times. Tinking sl1 k2tog psso using blunt size 0 needles is not my favorite passtime. Forward motion has now been reestablished.

Oh, and that red cuff? Ripped out. Wasn't enjoying the Patons Kroy sock yarn. So instead I cast on two different socks using fancier yarns. Some Trekking XXL in greys and J. Knits Superwash Me Sock in Amesbury, a lovely pink and grey.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Red socks

Well, work is looking like the next 5 months are going to be a freaking madhouse. So I have changed my sock knitting plans. I cast on 68 stitches last night with the intention of knitting the Child's French Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. But, given that the drama llama is rearing its head (can we shear it for the fiber?), I decided I wanted something a little less fiddly.

Mystery Cuff

So I checked out my Ravelry queue (which I use to store any pattern I like and might want to knit ever - my sock tab is 3 pages long) and found these socks - Rovásírás-sukat. Mostly very simple with a dash of interesting thrown in. Just what I'm looking for. And knit over 64 stitches, so it's easy to fudge it from the 68 stitches I had on the needle.

Yay socks!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

FO: Shetland Tea Shawl

Pattern: Shetland Tea Shawl by Dale Long. From A Gathering of Lace
Yarn: Blackberry Ridge Silky Merino in Samarkand Blue. 1.75 hanks.
Needles: Size 4 Clover bamboo circs
Started: April or May 2007
Finished: November 8, 2008

Shetland Tea Shawl

This is a beautiful pattern. I didn't have any trouble with it (my edition is revised and the pattern is updated: earlier editions have extensive errata for this pattern). I didn't make any intentional changes to the pattern, although I think I may have made a couple of errors in the edging. And I believe I may have dropped a stitch at the very end of the edging where it's grafted. This error is the only clearly visible one, and I will repair it eventually.

The yarn is fantastic. I did encounter a limited number of places where the yarn was slightly slubby, but not often enough to bother me, or slubby enough to cause me to break the yarn. The silk content makes it very nice and crisp, and the wool content made it possible for me to splice a new ball of yarn in when I reached the end of the first ball.

The sheer size of it may be intimidating to a beginning knitter, but I don't think there's anything in the pattern that can't be overcome by perseverance, practice, patience, and maybe just a little bit of cursing.

Preblocking. Doozer for relative size.
Shetland Tea Shawl

During blocking. I soaked the shawl in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes, and wrung it out prior to pinning. I used all but two of my foam alphabet blocks for this one. And it's not a precise circle, but I am content with the approximation. I used individual t-pins for most of the points, but also flexible blocking wires for two sections.
Shetland Tea Shawl

Post blocking with doozer for relative size:
Shetland Tea Shawl

Detail shots:
Shetland Tea Shawl
Shetland Tea Shawl
Shetland Tea Shawl

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Knitting the pieces back together

I was going to wait to post about this, since this is a new blog and this is a little bit heavy and a lot personal, but I've been thinking about it more of late. So now is the time.

As most who know me know, my mother was killed in a car crash in July of 2007. My brother was injured. The other driver was drunk. She was only 54. She was in Wisconsin, I was in Seattle. I got the call from a doctor at the hospital and the world crashed down around me. As I waited for someone from the hospital to call me back, I tried to understand what this meant to me. She wouldn't be there to see me in my new professional life. She wouldn't be there at my wedding. She wouldn't call me on my birthday. And it wasn't until I listed "I'll never knit her that sweater for Christmas" that I really started to understand what this late night phone call had meant. The sweater was so tangible, so close to my heart.

Just over a month earlier, my mom had flown out to Seattle to attend my graduation from my Master's program. It was a whirlwind visit; we had a day on the town. We went to the Pike Place market, visited the Seattle Art Museum, had lunch at that restaurant that was in Sleepless in Seattle, and stopped by the Weaving Works where we picked out three hanks of Henry's Attic Alpaca from which I was going to make her a sweater as a Christmas gift. Something crew neck, probably with some simple cables. A warm, soft sweater. Like a hug.

Ravelry 044

I haven't done anything with it. I'm not sure what I'll do with it.
As I was going through her things in the month after her death, I found a gift I had given her a couple years earlier - yarn and needles. I had just started knitting and had learned that she used to knit. So I bought some pretty yarn and needles and gave them to her. She cast on as many stitches as would fit on the giant size 15 needles and started a garter stitch lap blanket. She hadn't finished.


I brought it home with me. Back to Washington state. I've knit on it some. I finished the first ball of yarn and started the second. But I haven't finished it. In a way... I don't want to. I feel like I might be losing something if I do. Her hands worked it, my hands have worked it. I know which parts are hers. I'm not ready yet to finish it. I'm not sure I ever will be.

Kathy - Athenian Inn, Pike Place Market, Seattle June 2007

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote, knit, knit, vote.

I voted. My county is entirely vote by mail - you can't even go to the polls if you wanted to! I was a little disappointed by that, but made up for it by walking my ballot down to the county courthouse on Halloween.

I'm excited about this election. Hopeful even. But I'm almost expecting to have all of my hopes dashed, even if the numbers are with my candidate, because sometimes the world seems to work that way. I'll be watching the returns tomorrow night and trying to finish my Shetland Tea Shawl.

No new photos of the shawl - it looks much the same as it did in the last post. Although I realized that my math was astoundingly poor in that recent post where I tried to calculate how many edging repeats I had to do. But I'm close now; the shawl is visibly close to done. Not sure I'll actually be able to achieve doneness tomorrow, but I'll give it my best.

What's really getting me is how small this shawl looks. I think it will block out to a respectable size, but unblocked it seems like a child's shawl. Photos another day.