Monday, August 2, 2010


I started this weekend on a mission. I had 18 repeats left to go on Evenstar and I thought, if I really tried, I could finish the whole thing this weekend.
But. I was really on the home stretch for my Maia shawl. I've been participating in the knitalong on the Romi Designs Ravelry group, and I just couldn't face my fellow Maia knitters without having made any progress on her all weekend long. Especially since I was so close to the end! So I decided I would go all out to finish Maia on Friday and then try to finish Evenstar on Saturday and Sunday. It seemed very possible at the time.

Sadly, I forgot about this little thing called "real life" and this other thing called "job." I had a deadline on Friday so even though I was feeling absolutely awful with some kind of stomach issue, I had to stay until my deadline was finished. It actually got done in reasonably good time, considering, but I would've made more progress on the knitting if I'd been able to go home sick!
Even so, I finished everything but the bind off for Maia. I figured binding off would take me roughly an hour, given how long it was taking me to complete rows at that point, so I just couldn't hang in there and do it that evening. I knew it would cut into my time on Saturday.

Making matters worse, I had an appointment for a haircut on Saturday morning. I am not a morning person, so getting up early to work before the appointment was absolutely not going to happen. Then, I got stuck coming back from my appointment because there was a helicopter (!!!) parked in the middle of the road, along with about seventeen billion cop cars. I still don't know what that was about - there was no debris in the road or anything to suggest there had been a crash. There was a fire truck and and ambulence on the side of the road. And the weird thing is, none of this was there when I drove to my appointment half an hour earlier. Anyway, that delayed my return, which delayed my lunch date with the SO, which delayed my getting home to finish Maia. It was clear before I even started that Evenstar wasn't getting finished by the end of the weekend. I worked a little on it half-heartedly, and got a few more repeats done, but not the nine I would have had to finish to have a shot at getting it done on Sunday.

I did, however, finish Maia, and we will pause to admire her.

Maia - 007

Maia - 005

Maia - 004

These photos are all pre-blocking. I pinned it out and blocked it yesterday, so by next post I will be able to provide fully finished photos.

Anyway, knowing that I wasn't going to finish Evenstar, I had a little bit of a breakdown and I cast on for a Summer Flies shawl in some Urban Silk I bought on sale last week. Yes, I know I'm on a yarn diet. I got $60 worth of silk for $30. I regret nothing. Most of what I bought is in chocolate but I bought one skein of either cream or silver, I'm not sure which (and I'm not at home so I can't go look). My plan is to knit to the last section and then do the last, outer section in the lighter yarn. This plan is subject to modification when we see how the yardage works out.

I'm not certain how I feel about it at this point. The design is not charted, it only has written directions (I can't imagine why people prefer this method, but to each their own I guess), it uses the dreaded M1 increase (I HATE that increase for no reason I can rationally explain), and I'm afraid the yarn may be a little too textured to look nice. But I'm forging ahead anyway. Just to add to my frustration, I couldn't find a size 8 needle anywhere. I couldn't even find a 7 or a 9! I finally found a 16" size 8 fixed circ and started with that, but I'm going to have to figure out where on earth all my needles have gone.
I did the first section and then, feeling better, I put it aside and worked on Evenstar some more.

By the time I had to quit on Sunday night, I had only six repeats left. If I can manage to get in two repeats a night, I can have it done by Wednesday. It's taking me between 40 minutes and an hour per repeat, so while I would love it if I could get it done sooner, I'm not going to count on it. Between work (blech) and going to the gym (blech) and various other necessities like feeding the dog, cleaning the house (blech), doing the laundry (blech), I'm thinking two repeats per night is probably as much as I can reasonably count on - if not more.

Of course, once the border is done, I have to figure out how to graft the edge. Here's my thinking - if done as written, the graft adds an extra row to make the join, which will disrupt the pattern a bit. However, I'm thinking that if I go ahead and graft it the way I graft socks - which is to say, very tightly - the seam row will be so small that it won't be so obvious, and the two pattern rows will be drawn together and match up. I don't really care if the graft shows a little bit, to be honest, because the shawl is freaking huge, and out of 54 (56? I can't remember) repeats of edge lace, it seems like the graft would have to be really, really awful to make a difference. We're talking a shawl 6 feet in diameter with 54 (56?) points on the edge. It can't possibly show that badly. (Right?)

Anyway, I'm thinking if I do it this way, I will need to block and then graft, since I fear the seam would not stretch, and the one thing that really would make it stand out would be wonky blocking in that one spot. I don't know, though. I'll have to ponder this.

Romi seems to be almost finished designing the next shawl in the 7 Small Shawls series, and I'm looking forward to it a lot. The shawl is inspired by a starry night sky. I debated and hemmed and hawed and then I ordered this yarn for it. We will see what it looks like when it gets here. If it doesn't look right for this project, I may look for something different and save that yarn for something else. (Yarn for 7 Small Shawls is the cheat I allow myself on my yarn diet to keep me from having bigger, messier accidents along the way - sort of a pressure release valve.) The shawl is beaded so it looks like I will be making another trip to Star's Beads. I have a pretty fair number of blue beads in my bead stash, but they are all size 8 and I will need size 6 for the fingering weight yarn. I'm debating whether I want to get blue beads, or if I want to get silver or gold or some other neutral-ish color beads to be the stars. I guess it will depend on what the yarn looks like when it gets here, and what strikes my fancy when I go to the bead store. You can't beat internet bead stores for selection, but I just never know what will grab me so I love being able to try different combinations in person.

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