around n round she goes

A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Location: Texas

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Whatcha Reading?

Meme swiped from My Middle Name is Patience

1. Whatcha reading? Stiff by Mary Roach
2. How much of it have you read so far? About 1/3 so far.
3. What’s it about? The curious lives of human cadavers.
4. What does the title refer to? ...uh, dead bodies?
5. Would you recommend it? It can get gruesome in places but I have a certain morbid fascination. There's a lot of interesting history and it does emphasis all the good that's been done or discovered by using those bits of us that we don't need anymore.

We shall return with knitting content when we have knitting...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bigfoot shawl - comfort at last!

Project: Bigfoot Shawl from Wrapped in Comfort: Knitted Lace Shawls by Alison Jeppson Hyde
Yarn: 1100 yards 2-ply handspun fingering weight merino by Mary Hoge at Woolen Webs (bearspinner at yahoo dot com) - colorway Rose Quartz
Needles: Addi Natura circulars 5mm (a really long set)

I don't think I've ever had a big project come together this quickly - 2 1/2 weeks from start to finish.

I love the pattern, it's just what I wanted. I love the yarn, it's delicious.

Wore it at work today - it's perfect. Not too long (doesn't catch in everything), not too short (I like to keep my arms warm), and it stays on without pinning, tying, or adjusting every five seconds. The yarn so soft and combined with the lacy pattern, provides just the right amount of warmth for the office.

It blocked out to about 24 1/2 inches along the center back. Just right.

It reminds me of the cape that Irene Dunne wears near the end of 'I remember Mama'. I watched the movie (again) not long ago and loved the fit of that piece.

Aaaahhh.... comfort.

Now - back to my comfort bedjacket. I finally picked up the stitches for the first sleeve and am back in the running.

Shawl blocking with cat assistance

How to block a lace shawl with cat assistance:
1. Spread clean sheet over the dining room rug. Scamp is a tough inspector.
2. Scamp adjustment #1
3. Scamp adjustment #2
4. Scamp adjustment #3
5. Scamp gets to go play in the garage for a while.
6. Damp shawl gets pinned out with blocking wire along the straight edges.
7. Bonnie demonstrates the proper cat supervisory position.

8. Twenty-four hour cat guard - another sheet over the blocked shawl with lots of heavy objects to keep Scamp from removing it.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Reading my knitting

The nicest thing about a gentle, repetitive lace pattern is that it is relatively easy to figure out when you've messed up. My continued inability to count constantly amazes me. After all, I'm an accountant - count is even in the name, for goodness sake.

How can I end up with nine yarnovers in a place where there were eight before? Obviously I didn't include sufficient decreases in the prior knit row. Of course, after I posted about my counting difficulties last time, Alison mentioned that she's done a version of this shawl that doesn't involve as much counting. Oh well, a bit too late for that and I think I prefer this version anyway.

I'm still loving it. The yarn is wonderful and the pattern is restful, which is just what I need. The nine yarnovers became eight again, through some judicious use of decreases in the next yarnover row.

I'm glad I chose this pattern. Anything busier would have been overwhelmed by the color variegation in the handspun. I've never liked that phrase 'knitting is the new yoga' but I do find projects like this very peaceful to work. You have to pay sufficient attention not to end up with ever-increasing fans, but you don't have to constantly refer to a pattern or chart either. I've got almost sixteen inches (unblocked) so far and there's still about 300 yards of yarn left. That will add probably another 5 inches. Blocking will add even more.
I showed Mary Hoge (the maker of the handspun) my project when I went to guild Tuesday night. She was excited - she tells me she hasn't seen anyone make a big project with her handspun yet.

Scamp is addicted to the yarn fumes coming off this thing. She jumps on my lap and dives face down into it. Since the knitting makes a bag-like form on the needles, she digs herself into the bag and tries to force her face through the mesh. I have to move quickly to save things but I'm usually laughing too hard to do much.