Thursday, April 22, 2010

All aboard the Slowpoke Express. You know, when you're ready. No rush.

I have not much at all to report despite the length of time since my last blog post. My job is deadline-oriented, so every once in a while I lose the rest of my life while I try to meet a deadline, and that's been the case for the past few weeks. I had more than one deadline to meet and I really didn't have time for much else. I have been plugging along at a snail's pace on my existing projects - a pair of plain socks (remember those self-striping Olympic socks? I had two skeins by accident, so I'm making a second pair), the Brandywine shawl, and the somewhat neglected Evenstar.

The Brandywine shawl has proven much more difficult for me to do than I expected. I'm not entirely sure why - the pattern is not really difficult. It's a little fiddly in the beginning, but nothing really mind-bending. I'm still not really in love with the colorway I've chosen, although several others have expressed that they like it, so I have hope that someone will want it. But you know what really aggravates me? REALLY REALLY aggravates me? It's got a lace border, and some thought is required for the border, it's not something that's mindless. And then there's the garter stitch field in the middle. Lace border. Garter stitch middle. GUESS WHERE I MESSED UP.

Apparently I need to go back to knitting kindergarten, because garter stitch is clearly too much for me. I think what is happening is that I get cranking along and accidentally knit into the stitch below the stitch I want. Sometimes I notice - sometimes I don't. I've already fixed this same mistake in several different places, but there is one spot that I thought was fixed that clearly isn't, and it is waaaaaaaaaaay down the shawl. I can ladder stockinette all day long but laddering garter stitch is a little harder. Sadly, I don't think I'm the type of person who can just ignore this problem. To me, it's just really freaking obvious. The very regularity of garter stitch makes the problem stand out. I could maybe block it into some semblance of correctness - but I would rather just fix it. The real question is, will I make a bigger mess trying to fix it? I don't think it matters. I think I'm going to be fixing it no matter what, because I am just that way.

I got a little bogged down in Evenstar clue 4, because it's 4 rows that you repeat 6 times, and it involves twisted stitches. Well, we all know I have difficulty repeating the same pattern multiple times, and the twisted stitches and twisted decreases made things a little tough at first. After I got the first two repeats done I put it down for a bit to work on other things, and now I've picked it back up and the rows don't seem nearly as difficult as they did, so I'm doing much better. I have one more repeat to go. This means I will stay about one clue behind. Clue 6 is to be released this Friday, I think, and I think that's the last clue for the body and the edging will be next. I still haven't picked out beads for the edging. I need to do that, but I can't decide if I should do something mostly clear and sparkly, or if I should use something with actual blue in it. I mean, if the shawl's going to be pretty much white, I might as well go with it and just give it a little sparkle without adding color, but if the blue is going to be visible - I don't know. I'm still pondering this one.

This past Monday was my birthday and we took a trip down to Hunt Country Yarns to celebrate. I came home with two skeins of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace and a beautiful shawl pin. I have Plans for these yarns. Well, actually, I have Plans for one of these yarns. I picked out two colorways, one called Maple that just begged to be made into something with a flame theme, and one that is blues and blue-greens and very very oceany.

I'm going to use the Maple skein to make the Phoenix Rising shawl from Sivia Harding.

The other skein...I'm not so sure of. I wanted to do something ocean-themed and my first thought was the Mystic Waters shawl, but I'm not sure that's right. It's designed to celebrate water in all forms, and I think I want something more specifically ocean - something more undulating and less geometric. I thought of the Creatures of the Reef shawl, but that's not really what I want either. I'm thinking...I'm thinking...I'm CONSIDERING...maybe...possibly...I might need my own? Woo, that's a scary thought. It frightens me even to write it. But it is a thought I'm having.

I also bought for myself some Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama that was on sale at LittleKnits, because that is the yarn used to make the Simone sweater in French Girl Knits, which I have loved from the moment I laid eyes on it. I wavered for some time between Linen and Venetian Red, and finally decided to be daring and get the red. I prefer dark colors to bright, so I often avoid red - it wears me out a bit to look at it. However...I look really good in red. So I try not to dismiss it out of hand.

That will be my last yarn purchase for a while, I think - I have enough yarn to knit at least four sweaters and four or five lace shawls, so I think I had better buckle down and try to keep the spending under control. Thus...I will not be going to MD Sheep and Wool this year, I think. Woe. But I still have everything I bought last year sitting upstairs virtually untouched, so...I can live without (sob).

And that, dear readers, is pretty much all the news that's fit to print. Very boring, I know. No progress, no pics, no nothing...I apologize. I will try to be more interesting next time.

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