Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Blob Grows

This shawl is going to be big! As of yesterday, I've completed tworepeats of section three and, when stretched, it's already about 4 feet.



It's an enjoyable knit. At this stage, the knitting is almost rhythmic, soothing. In the words of the McDonald's ads... I'm loving it!

Tuesday is Canada Day (akin to the american 4th of July). I've got Monday and Tuesday off. My daughter and granddaughter will be arriving here within the next couple of hours and we'll have the chance to spend some time together before she goes camping with her stepmom on Wednesday. Life is good!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This and That

I'm certifiable. I'm addicted to lace knitting, no question about it. Either that, or I have knitter's ADD. It doesn't really matter, does it? At least, I'm creating something beautiful.

So, what did I do now? Well, I finally cast on (for the second time) the Orkney Pi Shawl. A few months ago, I joined a knitalong for this shawl, started it in laceweight hemp, made a mistake somewhere, couldn't find it, frogged it and put the yarn back into the stash. This time, it's progressing very well and I'm really enjoying the process.



Right now, it doesn't look like much. It's a blob. It's going to be a large blob. One woman blocked hers out at 9' across. That's a big shawl! The yarn I'm using is, once again, the Jarbo Garn Gastrike Lace 1 tr (ply). For shawls, I really love this yarn. It's almost like a handspun; you can tell by feeling it that it's wool, but once blocked, it's quite soft, with lots of body. This is the third shawl I've used this yarn for (Icelandic shawl, my Evolution Pi shawl, and now this one).

If you'd like to see what the Orkney Pi shawl will look like when finished, click here. This shawl was designed by Liz Lovick of Northern Lace, and is comprised of traditional Orkney motifs. The lace itself isn't as open as most because these shawls were meant to be worn and used by the Orkney women. They were functional, rather than dressy. I like that.

This morning, someone on Ravelry posted an interesting link to a turn of the (previous) century publication that's been scanned and posted to the worldwide web. I've read through a few pages and intend to spend more time exploring this document; it's fascinating. It's meant for the ladies of the time, and contains knit and crochet patterns and information, as well as recipes for their toilette (or as is written, the toilet). Check it out here. Pretty cool!

And finally, I have a list of blogs I like to read and one of my favourites has got to be Franklin Habit's "The Panopticon". This past week, he wrote a post about this obsession that is knitting (at least, it's an obsession for some of us). It's a post worth sharing and I would direct you to this post. Click here. Share it with any golfers you know (read the post!).

See you next time. I'm off to create something beautiful.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Buried Treasure or Fool's Gold?

When I left work today, I popped into the Bibles for Missions store in the same complex as the shop. I went straight for the section where all the craft stuff is located, and found this....


What is it? One pound and 5.75 ounces of cobweb weight yarn. The colour? eh! Not the prettiest, but that's easily remedied, right? So, what does cobweb weight really look like compared to other yarn? I'll show you.


The green yarn is the KnitPicks Shadow Lace, regular lace weight yarn. The light coloured thread is the cobweb weight. It's like thread, sewing thread! We're talking FINE in all caps!

The best part of this find, though? (Incidentally, this next pic is closest to the actual colour.)


Fifty cents. Half a dollar. Treasure? Or Fool's Gold?

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Swatched! I Swatched!

It's not something I do often (shhh.. don't tell the knitting police). For the second Swallowtail shawl, though, I wanted to know how the beads will work with the yarn. Would they be too heavy? What combination of beads would work best?

So, I swatched.

I worked two pattern repeats. On one, over the 5 nupp pattern, I incorporated 3 medium beads and two small beads. On the other, I used two large beads, two medium beads and one small bead.


Here's what I've decided so far. First, these beads aren't glass, so weight doesn't seem to be an issue. The swatch has been blocked and holds up quite nicely, even with all those beads. Second, I like the combination of all three sizes of beads (on the left) better than just using the two sizes (on the right).

What do you think?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This, so far, has been a great weekend. John picked me up from work on Friday and asked if there was anything I had to do at the apartment. After a negative response from me (that is, I said no, nothing), he said that was a good thing because we weren't going home. Instead, we picked up a bottle of wine, ordered a pizza and went to our favourite spot in Kelowna, the Sibell Maude-Roxby sanctuary. We ate pizza and drank wine out of to-go mugs at the very spot where we were married almost four years ago (June 28). (click here to see the pics)

The wind was really whipping up the water and it almost felt as if we were in the prow of a boat. As we wandered through the sanctuary marvelling at how high the water is and how serene the inner sanctuary was compared to the wildness of the lake, I realized that it was for the little things like this that I so love this man. Neither of us is perfect and I'm sure he gets as frustrated with me at times as I do with him, but no one can deny that this man is a romantic at heart and I love him for it.

Then yesterday, he went to work for a few hours and I had plenty of time to putter around, doing some cleaning and lots of knitting. The Heartland Shawl (in the grey yarn) has been frogged; well, at least as much of it as I could frog. When the yarn became a tangle, I simply tossed it. It was not going well. The grey of the yarn and the "stick" of the yarn, combined with a pattern that needs constant diligence finally did me in. Even in frogging back to the lifeline, I somehow ended up one stitch out.

I went stash diving and came up with another yarn, restarted and am now farther along than I was just that morning. Here's how it's looking now...


The yarn I'm using now is Louet Gems Pearl, a fingering weight 100% merino wool in a colour called Ginger; I'm still using the 4.0 mm needles. This is knitting up much better and it's still an earthy colour, which is what I wanted for this pattern. The pattern is made up of two lace patterns, the bison track pattern and the river of life edging. I think the ginger colour is just right. At the moment, like most lace, it doesn't look like much at all, but, once blocked, it will be very nice.

Apparently my mom reads my blog when she visits my sister, so I won't be showing the completed, blocked shawl until Mom's got it in hand. She should be the first to see it complete, don't you think?

Because the Heartland Shawl demands concentration, I couldn't work on it with John home, so I've been alternating between Icarus and the second Swallowtail shawl. Icarus is in the last repeat of the first (striped) section and I'll be starting the edging next. At least, I think I will. When I stretch the shawl out to see approximately what size it is, from the center of the neck to the outer edge is more than half my "wingspan", so I'm pretty sure it's big enough. There's no need for me to skimp on yarn as I still have the leftovers from the previous incarnation of Icarus. I haven't taken any pictures of Icarus at this point because it is, in all honesty, a boring piece of work right now. There's nothing interesting to take pictures of, just a mass of stripes.

I've also been working on the green Swallowtail. I do have pictures of this one, if only to show you the colour. The pictures in my last post did absolutely no justice to the colour. These pictures show the colour much better.



I will have to work quite a few more increases of the budding lace pattern to make this shawl a decent size. At this point, I've worked 13 repeats of the pattern and the pattern calls for 14 repeats. It's tiny. Really tiny.

Thank goodness for Ravelry. I've been doing some researching and reading about how others have increased the size of this shawl and, thanks to the work of others, I now know that, in order for the edging to work out correctly, I need to work increments of five repeats of the budding lace pattern. Others who've made the shawl larger have also added more repeats of the lily of the valley section, but I don't think I'll do that. I don't think it will be necessary; the edging, as is, is large enough for the shawl.

The one concern I do have is that the beads I'm planning to replace the nupps with may be too heavy for the shawl. I think I'll have to swatch (ack, the dreaded swatch!) the lily of the valley section with beads to see how it will turn out. Thankfully, I bought three skeins of this yarn (I love KnitPicks!), so I do have plenty.

On a final note, today is Father's Day. Though he'll never read this, Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you and I miss you, the man you were.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


As mentioned in yesterday's post, I've been tagged by Rob with a meme. I don't usually respond to these, as most of them seem rather silly to me. This one, however, seemed a bit more interesting, a sharing of more personal information. And, so, I decided to participate. Here we go...

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was an unhappy housewife, working part time in a print shop and preparing for separation. I left at the end of August that year.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?

-Lace class (I’m the teacher)
-Do some grocery shopping with John
-Knit a bit
-Visit John’s step-sister?? (We've been trying to get together for a couple of weeks now)
-Blog. :)

3) Snacks I enjoy:

Cheetos, Fresh, hot-buttered popcorn, potato chips, cheetos (yes, I know, I’m a junk food junkie)

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

-Set up an education trust fund for my children and grandchildren
-Build a nice (not big, just nice) home on an acreage somewhere, making sure it has a functional and inspirational crafts/art room

5) Places I have lived:

Winnipeg, Manitoba; Abbotsford, BC; Calgary, Alberta, Kamloops, BC; Kelowna, BC

6) Jobs I have had:

-Deli clerk
-Janitor of my church
-Craft store manager
-Bindery/graphics person in a print shop

There you have it. I, in response, will be tagging Gloria, Robbyn, Lisa, Omly, and Ari

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Where does the time go?

I just realized that I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks; time has flown! The knitting is going well. Icarus has 6 completed repeats; there's really no point in showing you because it's still in the striped section, nothing interesting to see. It's become my tv knitting because, at this stage, it's relatively mindless.

The Heartland Shawl, for my mother, is moving more slowly. The pattern is not intuitive (even the designer, Evelyn Clark, agrees... I'm in a Ravelry KAL for this shawl, and she's involved in it as well), the yarn is dark and it just isn't easy to see the individual stitches. I may yet decide to scrap this one in favour of a different pattern. We'll see. Right now, I've completed one repeat and the first two rows of the second repeat. I'm out by one stitch. I assume it's a missed yarn over, but I can't find it so I'll have to tink back the two rows. *sigh*

This little lovely, though, is moving right along.


The picture does not do justice to the yarn. It's a lovely leaf green. The pattern is Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail Shawl, my second go at this pattern. It's a very comfortable knit, easy to read, easy to memorize. The beads are for the lily of the valley section. Instead of nupps, I'll be using beads; I had planned on using pearl beads, but thought they might be a little too stark. These beads are opalescent and look very nice on the green. There are three sizes of beads in the packet I bought, and there are five nupps in each pattern repeat, so I've decided to use 2 large beads, 2 medium beads and 1 small bead for each repeat.


The yarn, as you can see, is KnitPicks Shadow, 100% merino laceweight yarn. I love this yarn! I love the colour, I love the texture. Did you happen to notice the needles? Yep, I got me some KP Harmony needles and I love them! They're pretty. They're slick, with just the right amount of grab for lace knitting. I highly recommend these needles.

This week, I was tagged for a meme (how do you pronounce that, anyway? Me-Me? Mem?). I have my answers ready to go, but I don't want to post an insanely long post today. I have to decide who else to tag as well, and I haven't yet. This is one of the few memes that I have decided to participate in, as the questions are more interesting and reflective. I'll try to post it tomorrow.

One last thing. For anyone interested, yesterday John took a bunch of pictures at the college, where he's one of the gardeners. This morning, I showed him how to upload the pictures and make photo albums on Picture Trail. If you'd like to see some of his handiwork, and where he works, feel free to peruse the pictures here (or there) ----> click here.

Now, it's time for some food and then back to knitting!