and then the months go by

No excuses – none. Neglect? Perhaps. Laziness? Probably. Forgetfulness? Possibly. But none of these things truly explain why I haven’t written in just over 2 months. Part of it is that I feel I have nothing new knitting-wise to share. I’ve been working on the Sunset shawl for what seems like f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I’m nearly done, though, so I should have some pictures for you….soon (soon being a relative time-frame). I feel, however, as if I’ve been caught in the groundhog-day of knitting – the never ending loop of been-there-done-that. And just in case you don’t understand the drudgery that I’ve been facing, let me put it into perspective.

In the original pattern, the medium sized shawl (which is the one I’m making) has a nice cable pattern that is repeated 21 times. I, in my infinite wisdom that apparently does not carry my insight very far down the road, chose to knit one larger. Larger = more repeats of the pattern. How many more? nearly double. I would say that I probably have 5 repeats left and I’ve already knit 32, so by the time I’m done I’ll have knit 37 repeats of this pattern. That, my friends, is boring and frustrating. And so I have been struggling with getting this thing done.

The good news is that I have *finally* finished knitting it! Woohoo! All I have left is the weaving in of ends and blocking, which I will probably do this weekend.

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oh the mistakes I make

Sometimes I find myself making the most stupid simple mistakes. This morning was no exception. I’ve been working on the edging of a shawl for probably close to a year now. My first problem (not a mistake, this was intentional) was making the shawl larger. I did this because, well, I’m a larger person than most people, especially circumference-wise. The situation in which I now find myself is that the edging is knitted on sideways and due to the larger circumference it means that the border takes longer to knit. So here I am, knitting away on this shawl. The border is knit on sideways and will have (I believe) somewhere near 35 repeats of the cable pattern. And since this is the second time I’ve knit this, you’d think that I would know this pattern cold. As it turns out, I modified the pattern this morning by adding an extra little yarn over.

yarnover

See that? This type of mistake is such a newbie one – it is caused by bringing the yarn over the needles when switching from the knit to the purl stitch (or the reverse) instead of moving the yarn down and under the needles. I’m really glad that I go back and double check my work…otherwise I might not have noticed. I probably would have gotten about 3 rows up and wondering why my stitch count was off….But this was easily rectified. :-) I do know how to fix most of my mistakes.

vanity in knitting

Ever since I updated my Ravelry project page for my latest shawl, I’ve had a few people “like” the project. Now I’ve been logging in every day just to see if my “likes” numbers have gone up. Sadly, they are still at 3.

Southwest Ravelry Project Likes

I have to say admit that this is probably one of the best things I’ve knitted. I love it and everyone who has seen it has loved it too. Considering that I still consider myself a relative newbie, for something to turn out “nice” by my standards is saying that I’ve come a long way in knitting. I actually made -0- mistakes in this garment (having to knit backwards to correct mistakes, naturally). I’m quite proud.

Now if those numbers could just go up a little…

the ever elusive new project

Or “too many projects to choose from dilemma”

Now that I’m done with the Southwest Arrow, I’m itching to start a new lace project. Never mind that I still have 2 gifts on the needles. Never mind that I have 2 pairs of socks on the needles. The problem with aforementioned 4 projects is that 1) not all of them are travel-worthy and 2) the two that are travel worthy are going with me next week to DC/Maryland and 3) the last one is, well, boring.

Now, as for the DC/Maryland trip, that is a whole other situation. Saturday will be a mostly travel day – so the knitting will have to be of such a nature that I can pick up and put down with minimal effort – which means no long, complicated charts and no beads (one of the gift projects mentioned above will be my first beaded project). Socks are the best option here – except they get a little boring after a while since the socks I’m knitting are plain-jane-straight-up-non-fancy socks. Comfy, but boring to knit.

One of the gift projects will be perfect for the travel portion of the trip, except that I’m almost done with it, so I’ll need to plan a second project as backup.

So. Here I am, searching for a new project. I’ve several lace projects in mind, but I don’t want to buy new yarn, so I’m confined to what I already own. Not a problem. I have one skein of Madelinetosh Lace weight yarn (950 yards) and I have 3 skeins of some lovely silk blend lace-weight yarn at 550 yards (totaling 1,650 yards). Some of the patterns I’ve seen are too large for the Madelinetosh, but way too short for the silk blend. Back to searching….searching…. I know I’ll find the right project. I just know it.

and another shawl is d.o.n.e.

I finished the last repeat last night at 7 PM and by 8PM I had the thing blocking.

Here is what it looked like before:

IMG_1102

Notice that you can’t see the lacework in the middle brown section? That’s because lace needs to be opened up by blocking. Blocking is not difficult but it can be time consuming. First, you have to do this:

IMG_1103

Let it soak for about 30 minutes. I add a little bit of Woolite just to soften things up a little.

While it is blocking it looks like this:

IMG_1104

Notice how much bigger the shawl looks? And you can see the lacework on the bottom half of the shawl. This one didn’t turn out as big as I had thought it would – I had a fair amount of yarn left over. But it is still a decent size. I’ll take a pic of me with it on tomorrow when I take it off the wires.

Now I get to chose a new project! Yipee!

chugging right along

One of the things I like about the pattern I’m knitting right now is that even though the border is knitted on sideways, multiplying the amount of knitting by a factor of about 10 (really it is a factor of 2, but it feels much more like a factor of 10), the repeats (of which there were 26) are getting smaller and shorter. I’m down to just 5 repeats left and there are only 9 stitches on border, as opposed to 32 when I started.

In the picture below the space between the orange line and the first yellow line took about 25 minutes (or less, I wasn’t really paying attention) and the number of repeats between the two yellow lines is 5, which means that I have about 2.5 hours (or less) of knitting left on this shawl.

SouthwestArrow2

Which means that when I travel to Maryland in 2 weeks, this baby will be D.O.N.E. and I’ll have an opportunity to work on something DIFFERENT! Yey!

The only problem is now that the shawl is almost done, it is now summer. :-( Poor timing on my part, very poor.

 

nothing interesting going on…

Nothing new to report. This weekend is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival…and I’m missing it.

I’m still working on all the shawls.

I had my annual performance review. I will still be employed come June 1st. Yey!

I just purchased 7 books. Two of the four I need for my class in June and the other 5 will be for one of my Fall classes. Ugh. Just the thought of reading that much has got my eyes sore.

But the good news I have is that I’ve finally got a game plan for graduation. And a date, may 2016. Seven courses and two semesters of internship. I. Can. Do. This.