Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Plugging along

It's like I can feel the rows getting longer and longer. I really think it's an illusion - it's just because the pattern repeats right now are so short. I'm in the area I think of as the "snow field" between the big snowflakes and the pine trees. The pattern repeat is 8 stitches. I have markers every 16, just to keep myself from going crazy. Also...because I don't have enough Hide & Sheep markers to keep up with even every 16 stitches, and I am starting to be biased against the rubber ring markers - the Hide and Sheep ones are prettier and thinner and just more pleasant to work with. I've bought 3 sets of the snowflake obsidian markers at this point. I've got the set with the one star marker, the set with the one black marker, and in the set I just bought, I asked for all snowflake obsidian since I really didn't need another row marker, and the folks at Hide & Sheep kindly accomodated me. even so, I have a couple of rubber ring markers still on my shawl. Woe. I'll have to add a couple more for the next chart. Incidentally, I use the star marker as the first marker on the needles when I work a right side row, and the black marker as the first marker on the needles when I work a wrong side row, because I am not always smart enough to remember which one I am working, and coming to that visual reminder stops me before I get too far working the wrong row. ANYWAY. I am on the last row of the second chart for the snowfield, and then I think there is one more chart of snowfield before I get to the pine trees.

When I hit the pine trees I will be, visually speaking, halfway done. However, since every row gets longer - it's definately not halfway done. Still, I am encouraged that I will have this done in plenty of time for Christmas. If I can finish it by the end of November, I will be ecstatic.

Some time ago I mentioned wanting to find a snowflake themed pin to give along with the shawl, but at the time I couldn't find anything. Since it was the middle of summer I resolved to wait until a little closer to the right season before I resorted to making a pin myself. Sure enough, I found one on Etsy and ordered it. It's in the style of a kilt pin and has little snowflake charms hanging from it. Now, looking at it, I know exactly how it was made and I know I could have done it myself. But, I reasoned, of all the crafts I have tried, jewelry-making has been the least interesting to me and it is the one in which I have the least experience. Also, it's really difficult to be cost effective if you are only making one item. So, I went ahead and bought it. I do have one concern, which is that it's a kilt pin style so there is a small circle at the base of the pin that could, conceivably, catch in the knitting...but I think it'll be okay. I'm going to look at it when I get it and see what I think. It may be that I will go back and search for some kind of stick type pin instead, but I'm not sure. I'm reasonably sure that quite a bit of care will be taken by the recipient, so unless it looks like it is just asking for trouble, I will go ahead with what I've got. I'll post pictures of progress when I get the pin so you can see both. I may have to move the shawl onto a longer cable, though, it really can't be spread out anymore on the 24 inch. This is fine because I need the 24 inch cable. I'm actually out! Somehow, all of my 24 inch cables are in use.

I had several cables pop their join on me last weekend. I'm not sure what's up with that - I guess I just got a bad batch. Most of the time I don't have a problem, but every once in a while I get a cable that pops within minutes. I admit, I'm rough on them, so I shouldn't be surprised, but it's kind of vexing. The most annoying part is - I had just receveived a KnitPicks order! I was casting on a scarf in Gloss lace that I had just gotten in the mail! If I had only checked, I could've ordered more cables and been fine! argh! I had the problems with the cables when I went to put it on the 32 inch - I think two 32 inch cables from the same package popped their joins before I pulled out my second set of 32 inch cables, which worked fine. I know I could probably go to knitpicks and have them replace the faulty cables, but I don't really feel the need.

Anyway, if I switch the cables, I can put the 24 cable on the needles I am using for the scarf, and put the shawl on the 32 so that I have more length. After all, it is only going to get bigger (hold me while I weep for a minute).