A Slice of Romance

Summertime brings a lot of knitting during conversation.  Out and about – be it at the park, or coffeehouse, or waiting for the movie to start.  With summer I need something light to knit – so it is socks and shawls it is!

I have a lot of nice sock yarn – too many hanks or balls for just socks, and the hand dyed yarn just begs to be knitted into something a bit more flirty.  That is what a shawlette is all about.  And small shawls are great for cool offices and chilly movie theatres too!
romance

I searched around on Ravelry for small shawls and shawlettes and found Citron.  It is a pattern from Knitty.com I love Knitty because the instructions are usually full of nice photos – different than magazines where they pose things to hide mistakes and are going for art vs. showing us what the finished product really looks like.

I had a hard time at the beginning because I was assuming that the pattern was perfectly symmetric and it isn’t at times.  So if you knit this one up, watch out.  I might not have noticed it except that I very big on getting exact counts.  I finally quit assuming and read the pattern – OH!

After that it was just a matter of using my stitch markers to help me count once the rows got really long, and marking off my rows on my pattern. Citron is very peaceful knitting – counting the increases was fun and very easy.  The yarn changes kept me amused and it was just nice to have something that didn’t take a lot of concentration.  I didn’t rush on this one…started it up on the 20th of February and finished the 3rd of July.

I set out to block it right away.  My friend Wally was coming over to help me celebrate the 4th and since he likes to see my crafty creations I wanted him to see how I block a shawl.  It didn’t take long to dry, even though it was plenty moist out.  But I did end up putting the fan on just to be sure it was bone dry so as not to get stinky.  It looked so pretty all laid out but even prettier off the foam blocks I use for blocking.

The colors are (to me) romantic, and so I posed it with the flowers that Wally gifted me – so sweet!  It seemed appropriate to name my flirty shawlette my  “Slice of Romance”.

Peaceromance2

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Even more reasons to keep up my afghan craze

I went to the Minnesota Knitters Guild Yarnover event to knit and chat with my friend Kerry. The plan was we weren’t going to spend any money, just window shop, not spend any money, visit, get a little work done on my projects, not spend any money, kick back, and not spend any money.

Walked around and see what’s new at a lot of stores I don’t normally get to, and I picked up a brochure about an afghan drive through Cornerstone. The afghan drive is called Project Little Lambs. A great cause and a really good reason to just go all out crazy at making some small afghans/blankets just because I can. I hope to be able to donate at least 8 afghans by August 1, 2008. Maybe more because they only need to be 28 by 32 inches. Small and cute!

All the Yarnover vendors had terrific stuff, kits and yarns and books so I had a lot of fun looking. I walked past the table for Candace Eisner Strick’s patterns and yarns several times. Then I went closer and started touching the project samples, squeezed the yarn (mistake!) and started to daydream about which colorway was the prettiest. That was hard, they are all very beautiful.

Bottom line is that I just couldn’t resist the small kits – I think Renee helped to nudge me off the cliff. So very beautifully colored, sinfully soft yarn, great patterns. You have to spend money to save money – right? No need to drive around and hope I could get what I wanted from one of the Minnesota yarn stores that carry the kits (stickwear.com is wholesale only) and the kit came in a bag (extra value) and I could buy patterns without the yarn and, and, and!

By purchasing the small kit, I was given the choice of patterns that could be made up with that amount of yarn. I chose the one on the left to go with my choice of colorway=rose garden.

strickwear

After that purchase I thought I had better leave before I really let my pocketbook loose. Headed back home and crocheted on my chakra circles to hexagons afghan.

hexagon-ltblue

I am loving this afghan so much! The circles were fun to crochet, and making them into hexagons while connecting them is fun too. I think I may do another using my stash of cotton-ease for one or maybe even several of the donation afghans. I hope I can get started up on those by the weekend.

~ Peace

Tried to finish

I really tried to get myself to finish my mother’s vest (promised for last Christmas). I managed to knit up to the 2nd armhole, but then I used the excuse of having to wind more yarn to quit.

I hate this recycled sari silk yarn. It is rude to work with – feels greasy and is murder on my already abused hands. But I will plug away at it, a bit at a time.

Andrea will try on that 1st Welt Fantastic sock tomorrow, so I may be back to socks, with a few rows of the Swallowtail Shawl from the Fall 2006 IK every now and then.

I chose Misti Alpaca Lace (suggested in the pattern even!) in color no. 8105 – from the website it is called periwinkle blue which it is, but it’s very light for periwinkle blue. When I picture that color in my mind’s eye I remember the Crayola crayon version – my favorite color. Now in checking the Crayola site it looks like the yarn is the exact same shade. I remember a darker color – memories are squishy, aren’t they?

Here is the yarn:

Man, that Crayola website is cool! Check out the link and you will see their periwinkle blue. It says there that periwinkle blue was added in 1949, etc. Personality Traits: serene, purity, infinity. Cultural Meanings: In China, blue is associated with immortality. How very Zen.

Here is the shawl. It is very lovely and only uses one skein of this yarn – such a deal!!!

Peace!

Cocoon

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!

Peace!

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.

Peace!