I started the Cocoon vest/shawl thing from Meg Swansen’s, A Gathering of Lace, maybe about a month ago and then discovered that laceweight has a very wide range. The merino laceweight that I was using was about 1/2 the weight/thickness (whatever) than the yarn used in the pattern.

I am wondering why most laceweight patterns are using icelandic laceweight? One, it is not very lacey – almost a fingering weight yarn, and two (and this is all 3rd hand) kind of scratchy.

Enter KnitPicks Palette yarn. Okay, so it is a true fingering weight and therefore slightly thicker/heavier (whatever – again) but because the pattern I am using only comes in 2 sizes, and I am still on the larger end of the spectrum – I decided to do the smaller, because it will be bigger because I am using "bigger" yarn, but not so big as the largest size because that would be upscaled as well, and then too big. (breath)

Here’s a photo:
cocoon vest from folk vests

Okay, so it isn’t a great photo. I put the Dali Lama’s photo in there because I was carrying him around, looking at him next to my pattern whenever I knit yesterday (Knitting for Peace). Gotta tell you, just looking at his photo is very peace producing. I highly recommend it.

Back to knitting. I took this photo mid row, so it is hard to see, and add to it the fact that I must-must-must get serious about getting a new camera. But this yarn is a really nice red. Kind of on the cherry side, just my color. It knits up nicely. The pattern is going well and this project will be done up quickly. That is my plan anyway.

I also hope you had a peaceful knitting day yesterday and today too!


Positive Thinking does work for some things though…

When I wrote my other post, "Natural Laws Trump Positive Thinking" – I was getting ready for this post.

I really do believe in the power of positive thinking, peaceful activities, less drama, neutral response, stepping back and just Being.

Randy Sklaver, who describes himself as, " – an American knitter living in Sweden who believes that peace is possible." wrote me an email asking if I would like to participate in a Knitting for Peace day.

Become Another Knitter for Peace.

You’re going to knit anyway on March 21, so why not dedicate your work on that day to peace? Join this grassroots movement and tell me what you (and your friends) are doing to knit for peace on that day, and I’ll post it here.

He has a group blog and more info at KnitForPeace. Please go check it out.

With ZenKnit, I am always knitting for peace, meditation, healing, relaxation and fun. To me, why knit for any other thing? Sometimes knitting can be a crankifying experience, but then I turn my attitude toward making that as peaceful as I can.

Anyway – thanks to the other knitters who brought my attention to the KnitForPeace thing too. I think it is a good thing because group focus can be/is very powerful.

Back to more substantial knitting content: I finished my Weeping Willow Shawl but don’t want to show you until it is blocked. The edging turned out great! The knitting goddess was kind, and the edging worked 100% – no fudging with the numbers needed. I need to purchase some welding rods to make some blocking wires. Up to now I have been just winging it, but I haven’t had something so fine to block.

I started up on a pair of socks, to teach myself the two handed fair isle technique, then switched to regular socks because my technique is bad and I would be better learning on worsted weight. So that sock (just a puny begining) needs to be ripped back. I started another sock using one of my KnitPicks Sock Garden colors. It is nice, but I am feeling kind of sad not having a shawl project, so another one will probably be started soon. I did try a couple of times to get another project started, but I was trying to start it up during my Wednesday Coffee/Knitting/Beads day, and that just doesn’t work – too many distractions and I made a few errors that couldn’t be fixed, so was ripped back too.

Saturday is MN AK day – yipppeee! Can hardly wait to see what everybody is working on.


Natural Laws trump Positive Thinking

Positive thinking doesn’t trump a long-standing belief of High School tournament time=major ice and snow storms either. So, I guess I called Spring too early. Because this is what I see out my back door this a.m.

That is not a sprung green willow tree, but my neighbor’s snow laden maple. Here is our Minnesota sky:

Maybe if I broaden my definition of spring to include this type of weather. But I just can’t seem to do that. My version does include chunks of dirty snow and a lot of mud, kind of like how it looked on Saturday.

and smiling dogs that are really trimming down

smiling dog
getting skinny!

I am feeling very positive about my Weeping Willow Shawl edging. I have turned the corner and am on the home stretch. I would share that I haven’t had to fudge the edging numbers but I don’t want to tempt the smack-down from the knitting goddess, so let’s just not talk about that right now.

weeping willow shawl

Even though Spencer doesn’t really care,

spencer, not willow

it means a lot to me to be finishing this project. Back to the trimming down of the big dog — I figured that since I am home during the day, we could feed him 3 times a day instead of just a.m. and p.m. It has really made a difference and very quickly! Being hungry makes people and dogs hang on to fat. He will never be a totally trim dog, but every little bit helps.


I’ve Decided

I’ve decided that it is Spring now. Today the air is warmish and the sun is shining and I have just decided that I don’t want to wait until it is official.

Some of you have been wondering where I have been lately. Knitting on my Weeping Willow shawl!…not that you would know that because I think I re-cast on and knit a bit way back in September/October 2005. Then it was just waiting until the time was right.

Once I finished those two small shawls I felt like I should work on good ol WWS and so that is what I have been doing. Along with a row or two of mom’s vest (still unfinished).

So, here’s a pic of my progress, looking wrinkly and weird, like all laceweight objects do prior to blocking.

weeping willow shawl

I have finished the body of the shawl (triangle) and will be starting on the lace edging (for the 3rd time). Unless I am really out of it, the directions want to have me start on the wrong (private) side, and that makes for a backwards edge, so I will restart again again. So far, I have used 1 1/4 skeins of Misti Alpaca laceweight. I should be able to finish using 2 skeins, and that means I will have one extra. I can’t see knitting up another yellow toned green object using the 3rd skein I have. Another knitter expressed interest in purchasing it, so all is well.

Back to Spring. WT and I have a tradition called Sprung day. That is the day when there is enough leaf buds to make most of the trees look yellow green, but just before they really leaf out. We try to make that day a play day, and go driving around looking at the trees and such. It is way too early for that, but that yellow green color is what my shawl really looks like. Willow green, Sprung green, yellow green.

More to come.