Monday, April 23, 2007

Penelope

I may not have hordes of suitors lined up outside my door (probably discouraged by my husband, 2 year old daughter and 8 months of pregnancy), but I certainly felt like Penelope this weekend.

Stress was high this weekend. My dissertation has to be done in less than 4 weeks, I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions with increasing frequency, the water heater in our building is out for a week and my daughter was running a fever. When I looked for solace in my knitting bag, this is what I found:
1. 4 inches of baby surprise jacket in knit picks ShineSport Cloud, complete with two dropped stitches in the decrease rows. While I love the ShineSport, it was already beginning to feel heavy and I wasn't wild about cotton in garter stitch. So, I frogged it.
2. My husband's endless sock in knit picks Memories on size 1 needles. Plain stockinette in size 1. That's 2.25 mm. Not as small as a synapse, but still not big enough to make me feel like I was making progress on something in my life. But, it doesn't have any dropped stitches and I've successfully navigated the heel, so its life was spared.
3. My snowdrop shawl. I thought this would certainly help take my mind off of everything. I had 30+ rows done, and it was gorgeous. Until I started looking closely. Apparently, when I'm nearing the end of a row, I get so excited about almost being done that I forget the last yo. I managed to salvage the last 2 or so inches, and a bit of my pride.

All in all, I frogged more than I knit this weekend. Penelope would have been very proud, indeed (yes, I know she was a weaver, but the spirit is there).

I dug around in my stash and patterns as much as time and energy allowed, but couldn't find anything compelling. In the end? I spun more yarn and placed another yarn order. If I have more yarn, I'll definitely have something to knit next time this happens.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shawls as Curtains


I am not a lace person. I don't like things that are fussy, frilly, or girly and, to me, lace falls in all of these categories. I like sporty, functional and even a little trendy.


That said... I wanted to knit something in lace. Really, I want to knit a little of everything, so I suppose this isn't a surprise. I keep seeing all these beautiful shawls in yarn stores, online patterns, blogs, etc, and I want one. Not for me, personally, but maybe for a dresser, or something...


Then it strikes me. Curtains! Shawls as curtains. Okay, I know Mason-Dixon knitting said that this was improbable, but I'm not looking for something that will give me complete privacy. I want to knit a lacy shawl to hang above my pretty, luminous white curtains.

But what pattern? The 'Here Be Dragons' pattern is gorgeous. Beautiful. But, is it a good first shawl pattern? It looks really, really complicated. The yarn harlot's snow drop shawl is pretty, and so it knit picks faroese peaks shawl and I love the way it looksin variegated wool. Suddenly, I'm dying to do one in variegated yarn, if I can find the right colors (you know, blue, green and grey. Like everything else in my house.) Leprechaun and blue jeans are nice. It would require for skeins, at 440 yds/$4 each. I also really like Memories (Yukon, Fly Fishing, even rocky mountain dusk) but it's fingering weight. Could I substitute?


Googling faroese shawls brings more problems. They all seem to have neck shaping, which makes for a more comfortable shawl, but silly looking on a window. And, I don't want to have to alter the pattern. I know, I say this everytime, but I mean it. No alterations (See, it's documented in writing now).


My Google travels led me to another sidetrack.


It's gorgeous. It's beautiful. It's from the Pacific NW. It looks really, really, really hard.


Maybe a practice shawl would be a good idea.


So, I bought that pattern, and downloaded the snow drops pattern. I've decided to do the Snow Drops in undyed Knit Picks merino lace weight as a Christmas present for my husband's grandmother (don't worry, she won't read this, she doesn't like blogs).




Then... the Pacific NW shawl.


I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Inaugural Post

I have been saving the inaugural post of this blog for a major event. I have plenty of major events coming up in my life; my PhD dissertation defense, graduation, a new baby, an imminent move. All of them beautiful blog fodder. But, today, something happened that destroyed all of my patience and drove me to blog prematurely.

That's right, boys and girls. I knit while I walked to work. It's 3.5 miles that have been giving me a lot of trouble during the third trimester because my hands swell painfully while I walk. I feel silly just walking with them held in the air like a surgeon that's just scrubbed in, so I've been trying to think of something to do with them. Last night, a KnitPicks order arrived, bringing sock yarn!

Now, this sock yarn is destined to be my first (Fourth? Who told you fourth? Dirty liars) pair of socks. It's merino and terribly soft and I spent all night winding it into a ball, prompting my mom to threaten me, once again, with a ball winder. These socks, once I've helped them realize their glory, are for my husband. Apparently my ploy of turning the heat off all winter, while he wasn't looking, has worked as he's agreed that it might be nice to have some thick, hand knit socks after all.