Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Shawl

Here is the finished Clothilde!

What an easy and enjoyable knit! I want to keep her for myself, but we will see.
This one took 8 days, I think. What? Do I have nothing but knitting time on my hands? Seems like it right now, I guess. I'll enjoy it while I can.

It's raining here this afternoon. As much as I miss, miss, miss the rain that we had in the Northwest, this rain is very different. Desert rain is a lonely thing, pouring down desperately upon the dry land in torrents.

In Washington the rain clouds comfort and surround. They settle over the hills and over the lakes creating an ethereal mist. The rain is patient and calming. It has all the time in the world and is in no hurry. The showers are gentle even when it pours. Here the rain seems to be rushed as if the clouds can't empty themselves fast enough. The clouds stay high in the sky and thunder impatiently.

It is exciting and exhilarating...can't help miss Washington, though. The difference in this rain reminds me of the differences in my life. The newness of coming here and leaving the familiar behind. I have longed for rain lately, watching every cloud for signs of moisture, feeling dry. I am enjoying this rain, but not in the same way that I thought I would. The only thing that stays the same, really, is change.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Cozy Spot

My hubby worked to make me a cozy spot to knit this summer and I love it so much. Our apartment has a small patio balcony off of the Master bedroom. Danny and I put down outdoor carpeting and cute patio chairs and created a little place for me to enjoy. It has the morning sun so the hot afternoons are sheltered from the sunshine and so makes this little nook a bit more comfortable! Just perfect for sitting back, knitting and putting in my ear buds to listen to a book or podcast.

Not really a spectacular view...just the complex, but pleasant enough. The little angel in the shadow there is a gift from my Mom and Mike, her hubby. I have dubbed her The Knitting Angel and she is there to help me with any dropped stitches, etc.

Here she is with Clothilde, which I have nearly completed. I am on the 3rd repeat of the Spearhead lace chart, which was really only to be repeated twice. I just wanted the shawl to be a bit larger and lacier. (Is "lacier" a word?)

In my ears today is the Audibles download I got this month: Watership Down written by British author Richard Adams back in the day. I read it when I was a teen and am enjoying it now. It is about the adventures of a little group of rabbits. Not exactly Beatrix Potter, though!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Started to make another Multnomah with some yarn from the stash, but as I got started it seemed to bore me. I instead found this pattern that I had favorited on Ravelry. It is called Clotilde and is a pattern designed by Kristen Hanley Cardozo. It uses the ever famous Gull Stitch that I used ages ago on my first Pi shawl. So it is very easy, but interesting enough to keep me going.

The yarn is Pagewood Farms Yukon sock yarn in Navajo colorway. I have two hanks of it, which means that I have two dyelots since Pagewood Farms doesn't have dyelots. I emailed them once and they said that if I ever want matching dyelot hanks, they can special order that for me. But regardless, I believe that if I just switch to the darker hank when I get through the lighter one, it will kind of "line up" at the bottom of the shawl and look like I planned it...kinda...sorta? Well, we will see. I do love this yarn and the colorway.

My computer makes this turquoise color look more blue than it is. It is a very nearly green turquoise that I love. The top photo shows it more true.

Saw this yesterday:
Momma Bird there is hatching a second batch of eggs, evidently. Her and Poppa Bird built this nest in the car port here at my apartment this spring and have already raised one family in it. Now they are back for more fun. I say this would make a wonderful Reality Show...2 parents with a whole lot of kids. Seems to be the formula, right?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fun to Finish

It is so fun to finish a project in only one week, right? Here is the finished Multnomah Shawl!

Daughter Corinne graciously modeled it for me this afternoon. I really like the way this little shawl looks. And so simple to knit.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

10 things my Dad taught me:

The Golden Rule

Golf is fun

Fishing is nice (especially when he put the worms on my hook for me)


Be a good Samaritan if the opportunity comes your way

Appreciate Creedence Clearwater and John Hartford

Don't forget to say "I love you"

Do nice things for your Mom

To ride a bike

I am a Princess

This list could easily be 100 or 1000 things my Dad taught me, but rather than list them all, I will say that I am very grateful for the way he loves me unconditionally and has always been the type of Dad that isn't afraid to make sure I know that by saying it, by showing it and by living it. Thanks Dad! I love you, too!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Knitting at Starbucks

Can it get any better? I knit at Starbucks with a few nice gals on Friday nights. I met them at the Starbucks just a few months after I moved down here, and they noticed the wonderful felted project bag that my friend Hannah in WA had made for me before I moved. They asked if I were a knitter, and invited me and Corinne to knit with them. Since then I have enjoyed having some friends here to knit with. Having my favorite coffee available while we knit is a great thing, also!

Last night I wore the Aeolian shawl to knitting night and showed it off a bit. Love wearing it. It makes me think of the book Confessions of a Shopaholic. If you have read that book, one of the cutest things about the story is the lead character, Rebecca, keeps buying clothes. She always thinks that the clothes that she buys are going to be her "trademark" and people will admire her and think of her as "the girl in the green scarf", etc. Maybe I will be "the girl in the lace shawl", right?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Zoning Out

I really thought it would be nice after knitting the Aeolian Shawl to knit some garter stitch, right? And it is...I am loving it. But you know that expression? "Mindless Knitting"? I have been a bit too mindless.

Yes, those are live stitches there. The ones I have had to rip back a couple of rows twice now, because I can't remember to yarn over those two times in the middle of the rows. Only two little yarn overs. Then when I go to fix it without ripping back the entire rows, it stretches the yarn too much and makes it all wonky. UGH!

How is it that I can knit intricate lace without more than a couple of problems the whole time, but a garter stitch shawl trips me up twice already? I think I just zone out while I am knitting it.

Here is my Birthday Present, Lila. She is wondering if Mom is going crazy since I'm muttering to myself the whole time I am ripping.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A New Shawl...New Friends

This is the Multnomah Shawl I began last night while at A Good Yarn in Prescott. The store has a Shawl KAL that began last night. I met some new folks that are wonderful Knitters and enjoyed myself very much. It is nice to have a shawl to work on that isn't too complicated. Something to enjoy without having to pay close attention, really. This shawl was already in my list of "shawls to do", and the store was featuring the pattern. The sample they have there is very pretty. I chose to make it from Elsebeth Lavolds Silky Wool in color 12.
Here is a photo of the progress I am making on the Mystery Stole 4, Serendipity.
You know, I am oddly enjoying this now. I had it in hybrination for a long, long time and really thought I may never finish it. I didn't like working with the Malabrigo lace weight, it's a bit like cotton candy. And I wasn't crazy about the pattern once it was getting along. But I have come to appreciate both and now I am just hoping that I have enough yarn to finish the project. I am well over half way done, but it is making me nervous since you knit both halves from the ends to the middle and then graft. I have nightmares about running out of yarn just as I need to weave the thing together!
I have had more time for knitting since moving to the Southwest. (No job yet) One thing that has done is given me more time for finishing things. I have had a longer attention span, and have been finishing all my UFO's. The Mystery Stole is the last UFO in my possession. Isn't that a hoot? So, 3 projects on the needles, and that is it! A new record for me, I think. I realized that I am more excited about knitting if I am finishing things. For a time there I think I was pretty "scattered"...having projects all over the place and in different stages. I didn't finish anything very often since I had so much going. Some knitters are really motivated by that, but I have found that I am better off with only 2 or 3 things on the needles, with only one of those projects taking the front seat.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Like a Broken Record

Well, same old was pretty much dead. Thanks to a co-worker of my husbands, it is finally usable, but I still keep getting the Blue Screen of Death every now and then. Need a new hard drive, I think.

Anyhow, here is a couple of my latest accomplishments, knitting wise...

This is the Aeolian Shawl designed for Knitty by Elizabeth Freeman. Isn't she brilliant? It is difficult to see what color this is in the photos. It is a light sage green in Jagger-spun Zepher wool-silk laceweight yarn. I liked using it very much. Also impossible to see is the beading on this shawl. I didn't count, but according to the pattern, you use 2250 beads on it! (Felt like twice that!!) I chose a clear bead in order to create the impression of dew drops on spring leaves. It is stunning, but if I ever knit this pattern again, I think I will leave the beading off of the main part of the shawl and just add them on the edging. Here are some more pics...

A new skill learned from this adventure, nupps, which are like loose bobbles.

Here are some photos of another project finished this spring, the Cabled Confection sweater by Deborah Newton. Leisure Arts book pattern. I absolutely loved making this sweater for my Mom, who models it here. It is the first cabled sweater I have ever made. The pattern called for a very expensive mohair yarn, which would have been beautiful, but I say with enthusiasm, Thank God for Knitpicks!!! This is the old standby, Wool of the Andes yarn in Tidepool Heather and it couldn't have been more perfect for about $45 dollars. Whew!

Isn't she cute?
Well, guess this will do for now. I am really out of practice with blogging. Bear with me while I get it going again, if anyone is reading this. Thanks for checking back with me!