Saturday, July 25, 2009

On & Off

I finished the Candle Flame Shawl last night after Shabbat Dinner. (Don't write and tell me that it isn't shabbasdik to knit on the Sabbath. Knitting is not work. It is relaxing and recharging and revitalizing and I don't care.)

I knit a few rows (20) on the Lace Dream Shawl, but made a mistake and didn't feel much like tinking back a couple of rows while watching a Harry Potter film with the family, so I cast on an Ishbel in Malabrigo Lace -- color, Glazed Carrot. Tomorrow morning I will tink back the Lace Dream and knit a few more rows. I don't know why a modified Feather & Fan pattern would give me so much trouble.

I would like to take one of these on the plane with me to Ireland. And I plan to cast on a simple scarf for me -- double stranded lace yarn. That should be good for mobile knitting.

I had a bad week at work. I'm tired. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A (no spoiler) Rant about Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

I don't understand why, if they have to take things from the book out because of time, they would add an entire scene that wasn't in the book.

I don't understand why they would make characters like Neville and Luna nothing more than walk-on roles.

I don't understand why they don't explore all of the memories.

I don't understand how the Patel twins suddenly became white.

I don't understand what happened to the members of the Order. It's like they were all on holiday in Majorca. For the whole year.

I think they beefed up Helena Bonham Carter's role just to justify the amount of money they were paying her.

And Fenrir Greyback. He looked more like a pedophile than a werewolf.

There. I'm done. For now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Feel Stupid.

I began Eugene Beugler's Lace Dream Shawl on Sunday, and last night I had progressed to the end of the first 18 rows which are folded and knit together to create a doubled, finished hem. Although it was actually harder to pick up the live stitches from my provisional cast on, it was mainly due to the properties of the waste yarn I used, which didn't want to let go. The pattern is a modified feather and fan which creates an image of peacock plumes.

This morning during my 5:30 a.m. knitting time I began work on the shawl proper. And at the end of the first row, something was wrong. I didn't have enough stitches. I went back and counted, and, while I didn't have enough stitches to finish the pattern repeat, I had several more stitches than when I started the row, and it's a rectangular shawl, so I wasn't increasing for shape.

I ripped back.

I shook the cobwebs out of my head and started the row anew. I paid extra attention, or so I thought, to the pattern. And I still had more than my expected 115 stitches. And yet I still don't have enough to finish the pattern repeat.

What am I doing wrong? Why has Bob foresaken me?

Excuse me, but I have a row of lace to rip back.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009



I finished this piece a few weeks ago, but it has languished, awaiting blocking. I've no great love for blocking, and it is something I feel I do poorly. I don't seem to have the intuitive skills necessary to do an exemplary job. And when I say I find it more difficult than knitting a lace scarf to begin with, they look at me like I have three heads, and one of them is up my arse.

Anyway, don't get all vershtimmeled. I fixed the bottom edging before it dried. The yarn is Alpaca Lace by Cascade in the Turtle colorway. I used approximately 520 yards, or 1.25 skeins. The pattern is one of those from The Knitted Lace of Estonia, but I'm too lazy to get out of bed and walk into the library and get the book off the shelf. (Aren't you proud of me, though? I got the entire stack of books from my bedside re-shelved! Myfanwe is quite pleased, anyway. After a while the pile falls over and makes it hard to walk.)

You can't really see the mossy green in the photos -- I'm going to have to learn this camera better before we go to Ireland. I don't think I've taken a decent picture with it. I'm sure I just don't know it well enough, but my old camera, which broke, must have been idiot proof, because I couldn't take a bad picture with it.

Now for ON the needles. This shows about half of my progress on the Candle Flame Shawl. The pattern is free from The yarn, Alpaca Lace by Cascade again, is in the Flax Heather colorway.

This shawl does not have to be completed until January, so I am going to give myself a special dispensation from my One Project At A Time rule. I have some beautiful Alpaca Lace in Amethyst Heather that I want to cast on. You will see the Alpaca Lace a lot in the coming months. It is a joy to work with. It doesn't split, it is smooth between the fingers, it is easy to grip, it is fairly forgiving, and I love working with it. You will also see a lot of it because I have purchased a lot of it. I also plan to start an Ishbel in Glazed Carrot Malabrigo Lace for Myfanwe.

When I break a rule, I really break it big!

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Yup. Gobsmacked is exactly what I am. I am smacked in the gob.

This is a picture of my friend Lindy. Lindy works for a social service agency in Geelong, Australia and, in her spare time, freelances as Santa Claus.

I wrote Lindy a little e-mail telling her that I had found a copy of Yarn Magazine Issue 6 -- the one with the Cathedral Window Shawl -- at a distributor in Australia and asked, should the distributor balk at international shipping, if Lindy would be so kind as to purchase the magazine and have it shipped to her address, and then I could send her a check to cover the purchase and shipment to the US.

It must have been too complicated, because she wouldn't do it.

Instead, she informed me that she owned the magazine and would be happy to put it in an envelope and send it to me! Can you believe that? Lindy, who has never met me in person, is willing to go out of her way for me.

I say all the time that the people who read my blog are the nicest people on earth. And this is proof, yet again, of how very right I am.

I'm going to bed now -- and I will think about color choices as I head towards slumber.

I am gobsmacked,

Friday, July 03, 2009


Or check in the stack by the commode? I am looking for the Yarn Magazine Issue 6, April 2007. I went to the magazine's website, and although they have most back issues available for sale, guess which one they DON'T have!

Why, you may ask, do I want this issue so badly? Here. A picture is worth a thousand words.

This is the Cathedral Windows Shawl. And I want to knit it. I have a cousin who is a Sinsinawa Dominican, and I would like to knit it for her or -- because she is not the greedy type and might well give it to one of her Sisters -- for a member of her community. I knit a shawl for Cousin Margie a couple of years ago, and when she was here for dinner a couple of weeks ago she mentioned how much she loves it. I think the Sisters will like this one, too.

So if you happen to have Yarn Magazine, Issue 6, April 2007 in your collection and would contemplate parting with it, I would be more than happy to purchase it from you. You would be doing a mitzvah!

(p.s. I borrowed the image from a Ravelry project. Do you think it would be wrong or bad or rude to e-mail the people who have knit the project to see if they would be willing to sell their copy? I feel a little uncomfortable. I'm kinda shy.)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I spent the evening at Loopy Yarns, and I had a perfectly lovely time. Loopy celebrated Christmas in July -- Santa was there and passed out gifties to all the good little knitters. (Santa had an elf with him. I thought elves were short and looked like Jeane Kirkpatrick, but this one was tall, thin, and -- I don't think my wife will feel threatened by this observation -- he was more than a little bit hunky. Who knew?)

Anyway, I bought a bit of yarn. Possibly enough to keep me in stitches for the remainder of 2009. I bought:

3 skeins of Cascade Alpaca Lace in color 1407, Amethyst Heather;
2 skeins of Cascade Alpaca Lace in color 1411, Turtle;
3 skeins of Cascade Alpaca Lace in color 1409, Caribbean Heather; and
2 skeins of Malabrigo Lace in Glazed Carrot.

Technically the Turtle doesn't count as yarn for ME, as I bought it as a gift for someone.

My plan is to knit the Amethyst Heather next. (The Ostrich Plume -- which is also known as the Lace Dream Shawl) And although it is probably not the best color to be working on while in Ireland, I think I will start an Ishbel in the orange Malabrigo just before we leave for Dublin. That way I'll have several inches of mindless stockinette to knit on the plane.

Have I mentioned that I am terrified of flying...because I can't stand the thought of 12 hours without my Signature Arts needles? I knit lace on 7", stilleto-tipped needles, and I have heard conflicting stories about whether or not I will be able to take them on the plant. If anyone has flown Aer Lingus with pointy needles since the cowardly acts of September 11th, would you please drop me a line and let me know what your experience was like?