Saturday, February 13, 2010


When I was once again hunting through Ravelry to find shawl patterns, I came across this one. It was written for a sock yarn, so I hoped it would be a good match for my single ball of Ty-Dy Socks in the Painted Desert colorway.
Undine Shawl 6
Even though the pattern is straightforward and easy to memorize, it helped me to calculate how many stitches I should have at the end of each chart, especially because the number of increased stitches is not the same in every row.

These are my totals:

Chart A - 43 stitches
Chart B - 259 stitches (4 increased in each repeat of row 13, and 8 in each repeat of row 15)
Chart C - 355 stitches (80 increased in first row, and 4 increased every rs row thereafter)
Chart D - 355 (no stitches increased)
Undine Shawl 2
I used size 8 needles for the bind-off, which left it nice and loose. I really stretched out the shawl when I blocked it, and I wondered if it would end up looking so holey that the pattern would be lost. Fortunately, I ended up liking it in the end. The striping of the colors in the Ty-Dy Socks worked out really well, and the combination of the colors and the drape of the shawl gives it a playful feel.
Undine Shawl
Now to decide what #4 is going to be! It will likely involve a grass green Zauberball. But first, I need to put my house back together after neglecting it for all of this shawl knitting!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shetland Green

My second project for 10 shawls in 2010 had a spur of the moment beginning. I was looking on Ravelry at the many versions of the Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style, when I came across athenablue's.
I happened to have 3 skeins of green Lion Wool, a crochet hook and some black leftover yarn sitting on my desk. Without giving myself a chance to think about it, I picked one up the crochet hook and the black yarn and started the provisional cast on for it.
The project took 3 days from start to finish and was a joy to knit. I now fully understand why this is such a popular pattern! The Lion Wool is not the softest yarn ever, but I think the product still looks impressive nonetheless.

I followed the pattern and did 8 repeats. Unblocked, it measured 46" x 24" and after blocking it measured 65" x 35".
I haven't decided what to do with the shawl yet, but I am currently leaning toward donating it to the silent auction at Bran's school.

Next up, Undine!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


This FO is a funny combination of selfishness and generosity. Seeing the Citron pattern on Knitty, I thought that it would be the perfect kind of project to make for the silent auction coming up at Bran's school. It is simple, elegant - but has pizzazz, and it would appeal to a variety of people. DSC_0045
So, with my good intentions intact, I went to Shuttles, Needles and Hooks in search of yarn to make the shawl. The choice of yarn was easy since the store had a number of small cones of Jaggerspun's Zephyr Wool-Silk, a yarn that I had wanted to try out for quite some time. The color choice was another matter. There was a beautiful garnet red, and if the shawl had been for me, I would have immediately chosen it, hands down. But I knew, even though I was there in the spirit of giving, that if I made the shawl in that red, it would be a lot more challenging to give it away. So I looked at the other available colors, and decided on a light pink called Ladyslipper for three reasons: 1) I thought it would be a good color for the design. 2) A lot of women I know like the color. 3) There was no way that I would want it.
That choice turned out to be an even better one than I expected. As I struggled with the tediousness of the many long stockinette rows with the lace yarn, I felt even more strongly that if I had used the red, it would be even more difficult to give my work away, especially because I have never been to one of the auctions at this school, and have no idea what the shawl will actually sell for. It is hard to put a price on this kind of work, but I would feel pretty bad if it sold for only $20, and even worse if it were something I would have happily added to my own wardrobe.
I'll admit that even in its pinkness I won't be thrilled if it only sells for $20 because I could also gift it to someone who would know the value of the work I put into it. But I still want to take the risk in hopes that a shawl like this will make more money for the school than G and I could give in cash out of our pockets. And, since I am new to the area, I also hope that seeing the shawl might get people interested in knitting, perhaps giving me an opportunity to pass on the hobby as I have always loved to do.
Regarding the pattern, the result is lovely enough that I would do it again, stockinette and all. Next time, I may add a repeat or two to make it larger, and it will most likely be red.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Happy No-Bloggingiversary

It has been almost a year since my last blog post. A lot has happened since then, and I have thought about trying to recount it all in one huge chunk of writing. But, the idea quickly became overwhelming, and when it comes down to it, I would rather fill my free time with new adventures rather than old ones. That said, there are large parts of the past year I would like to document, including the many knitting projects I crammed into it. So I hope to pull up some old bits as I discover the new.

The newest bit came unexpectedly. After seeing the Winter Knitty, I decided to make a Citron shawl for the silent auction at my son's school. Naturally I went straight to Ravelry and looked up all the already completed Citrons to get the low down and get inspired. While looking through, I noticed that some Ravelers had joined the 10 shawls in 2010 group, and something clicked in my head.

I had been looking for ways to budget my time, i.e. cut out the countless hours I spend on the internet looking at Ravelry and Facebook. At the beginning of 2010, I decided to do an experiment and seriously cut down my time on Facebook and Ravelry. The Facebook was easier than I expected, but the Ravelry part was more of a challenge. How can I pass up seeing the beautiful creations of so many super-talented people? So when I saw the shawl group, I thought that participating might help me to cut back my time on Ravelry, since I would only be actively searching for shawl patterns. Well, of course I have now spent countless hours on Ravelry looking at every shawl anyone ever made - the gorgeousness is addictive! But, I feel myself slowly going into the zone, spurred on by the challenge of knitting the 10, and also the desire to appreciate the life going on outside of the internet.

And yet here I am attempting to resume blogging. What can I say - life is complicated.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Getting There

I took the boys to get retested for strep, and it turns out that Bran is clear, but Abe, the carrier, is still a carrier. They put him on Cleocin, which is a very strong antibiotic with scary contraindications. I hate having him on such a strong medication, but hopefully he won't have any bad side effects and it will get rid of the strep.

As far as knitting goes, I am still chugging along on Old Penny's sleeves. I always do two at once when they are not in the round, but it has been a while since I last did sleeves this way, and it sure seems to be taking a long time! I am looking forward to moving on to the front bands and collar, and seeing how it all comes together. The pattern calls for snaps, but I may add buttonholes instead. I have also thought of making i-cord loops and using toggle buttons.

Here's an FO which I finished a while ago, but didn't want to post photos until I gave it to the recipient. This is the ubiquitous Lace Ribbon Scarf, made with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in a lovely purple mix colorway for my purple-loving friend Kim as part of our secret pal gift swap. I bought the yarn at Bliss Yarns when I was in Nashville for my gig with Orchestra Nashville this past June. I'd like to get a picture of Kim wearing it, but for now, here it is, sans model.
And a closeup
Bliss Yarns has a beautiful collection of yarns and was among the friendliest yarn shops I have ever been to. The only thing that bothered me about this shop is an issue I had with Nashville as a whole - so many people smoke! I had to repeatedly bite my self-righteous, vehemently anti-smoking tongue to keep from sharing my views on the topic. I am more understanding of people who started to smoke and got addicted before it was discovered how freaking bad it is for you, and everyone around you, and the environment. But when I see young people smoking I have a lot of trouble keeping my mouth shut. No one smoked inside the shop, of course, but two of the people who worked there, who were so nice that I wanted to talk to them even though they were smoking, sat outside on the rocking chair area in front of the shop. Rant over.

The latest issue of Interweave Knits came in the mail the other day, and I was happy to see that there are a few projects I would like to make, and I may actually have yarn in stash for some of them!
I have been craving some lace knitting lately, so I could easily see casting on for the Fountain Pen Shawl later this week.

And lastly, I can't forget to document this year's edible valentines, requested by Bran, who helped melt the candies and put in the sticks.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

New Debbie Bliss Magazine

I stopped by my LYS the other day to pick up 32" size 3's for Old Penny's button band and collar. G gifted me the KnitPicks Options for the holidays, but they only include sizes 4-11. Am I the only one who often seems to have every size needle except for the one I need?

While I was there, I checked out the sale yarn, and the sock yarn. I am on a strict yarn diet, but after seeing all of the amazing knitted socks on Ravelry, and realizing how limited the store-bought sock selection is, I couldn't help but look and dream.

In the end I managed to behave, at least when it came to yarn. This ended up in my bag along with the needles.
Normally, I would be cheap, and wait to go to AC Moore or Michaels to buy a magazine like this with my 40% off coupon. But, with the economy being what it is, I decided to give the money to my LYS, since I would like it to stay open!

The magazine has 36 patterns, and there are quite a few sweaters that I think I would actually make. In an effort to share some of the issue with those who haven't seen it yet, and also to help me remember it when I am looking for my next project, here is a sampling of my favorite designs.

I'm not sure I could make it through all of that stockinette stitch, but there is something about the simplicity with a twist of this one that I like.
This one needs a better photograph, but from what I can make out, the textures and the tapered cut look interesting.
Simple and versatile.
If I made this this in a comfy yarn, I could live in it.
This is lovely, but as with many of Debbie Bliss' patterns, I would be tempted to work it in the round and leave out sewing the side seams.

These next patterns look extremely familiar - probably recycled from other Debbie Bliss pattern books, but I like them nontheless.
There you have it. Hopefully I can find some yarn in my stash that will work for some of these.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Strep Carrier

Bran had scarlet fever 2 weeks ago, and took Amoxicillin for a full 10 days. Therefore we were a little surprised when he was sent home from school today with a low-grade fever and a sore throat. The doctor tested him for strep, and sure enough, it came back positive.

Abe, who seemed completely healthy, was also with us at the doctor's. We thought it was strange that Abe never caught the scarlet fever from Bran since it is so contagious, and the boys share a room. So we had Abe tested for strep, and it turns out that he is a strep carrier. This means that he can have strep but show no symptoms whatsoever, and he can pass strep to people around him without anyone having a clue that he is infected. Needless to say, both boys are now on antibiotics. Hopefully this will be the end of strep for the year.

I did mange to finish the left front of Old Penny, and hope to get something done on the right front this evening. The directions leave much for the knitter to decipher.