Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just Keep Swimming

This week is busy busy. I have a lot going on at work so things are a little hectic here. I have a deadline I have to meet on Wednesday, which will hopefully give me some breathing room.

I don't have much to show for the past week. I've been working on my second Esplanade hat and making fair progress. I'm to the point now where I have to take out the provisional cast on and fold under the hidden brim. I've been working on a sock for my coworker that's been my mindless knitting for a while now. I'm getting close to the toe.

He had surgery last week, which was my reason for knitting him socks, but obviously they will be quite late. I'm thinking about saving them for Christmas.

Really, the highlight of my knitting mania this week has been anticipating the release of Elektra. In fact, my plan was for this post to be titled "All Wound Up" and to feature my newly wound yarn for Elektra. We are having a grand old time on the @Romi's Studio Ravelry Group, sharing pictures of yarn and beads and arguing over when we want the release to happen. I'm hoping it'll come out either early on Thursday or late on Wednesday, after all my work madness has passed.

I didn't have as much knitting time this weekend as usual. I took my little Ella to the vet to get her kidney checkup, and then I went shopping for a new dress to wear out that evening. We had plans for dinner and dancing. I did find a dress and I wore it with my Celaeno shawl.


We had a lovely time, but I was tired and footsore on Sunday. I couldn't manage anything more complicated than my Esplanade hat and a lot of knitting time was wasted in a fruitless attempt to nap.

I put off posting yesterday in hopes that I would have some additional pictures to include, but I was just too darn tired. I worked on my Bluebird a little, I'm in the middle section now so it's not too complicated. It's a little discouraging to make so little progress for the week, especially because I have soooooo many projects on the needles. I think my little bout of startitis is finally starting to get the better of me and I'm growing a little frustrated with the number of WIPS I have going on. This won't stop me from starting Elektra as soon as it comes out, of course, but I am probably going to set aside part of this weekend to take care of some of the projects that are stalled because I need some dedicated time and attention. The Esplanade hat will be easy, carry-around knitting once I get the brim folded over and joined, and my Simone sweater is sitting around waiting for me to divide the sleeves and body. Once Elektra is finished I will take another crack at the Phoenix shawl, which is, you may remember, at the ever-frustrating "so close yet so far" stage.

However I have a feeling some of this stuff may get set aside for Christmas knitting. I don't usually do too much Christmas knitting, since the number of people in my life who receive my knitted stuff with the appreciation it deserves is fairly limited. But, I do have some plans this year. It's already awfully late in the year, though, so we'll see how much of it gets accomplished. I may have to put away some of my unfinished projects until those items are done.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Time Passes

Another week with a bonus blog post...I'm feeling talkative, it seems.

October is almost over. ALREADY. Wasn't it just the first of October, like yesterday? I'm feeling a little bit of Christmas panic set in. The next two months are always very busy for me. In November there is of course Thanksgiving, and also our annual fall church retreat. In December there is my company Christmas party, our church Christmas musical (I am part of the church choir) along with all its prep and rehearsals, and of course, Christmas itself, to include preChristmas activites with local friends since I am out of town for Actual Christmas, and then travelling to my parents' for Actual Christmas. Time to really sit down and figure out how I'm going to tackle the Christmas gifts this year. Usually I try not to do too much knitting, because it's too easy to get overwhelmed and because the range of knit-appreciating folks in my life is actually rather limited.

I have a little bit of a head start this year as I have two Christmas presents finished already, so that makes me feel good. I'm thinking I need to make a pair of socks and a pair of handwarmers also.

Part of the problem is also that I am a selfish knitter. I love to keep the things I make. The bluebird shawl is an example - I'm not sure it's a great color for me, and I know someone who it would be perfect for, but I just don't know if I can give it up. Now, there are times when I see a pattern I think someone would love, that would be absolutely perfect for them, and I just can't stand to NOT knit it and give it to them. But otherwise...HANDS OFF. IT'S ALL MINE.

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This makes me a little sad and annoyed with myself since I often wish I could give someone a shawl when they are going through a rough time. And in fact there have been times where somebody asked me to contribute knitwear to a charity or something and they make the request in a way that shows they think I just have spare knitwear lying around - like, I make socks and stick them in a pile somewhere instead of wearing them or giving them away. It's a little perplexing to me. But I don't work that way, all of my knitwear is knit with intent, either to keep or to give to someone in particular. It's true that I'm a process knitter and I really like just the act of making things, but knitting something for no reason at all seems kind of odd to me. Anyway, this makes it hard to keep up, since by the time I finish making a shawl for someone the event which inspired me to make it has usually passed on.

Anyway, I digress. I can tell you one thing I am not going to give away, though. Romi's 4th shawl from the 7 Small Shawls E-book finally has a name, and it's out at the test knitters now. When I heard that I figured I better get a hustle on to get ready. I had planned to use some stash but I didn't have anything with the yardage required for this shawl. The designated yarn, Serenity Silk, has 500 yards to a skein, and I didn't have anything close. Now, I could have used a smaller skein, but I decided I would rather not. I don't want to have to stress about whether I have enough yarn and I don't want to make the shawl less than it was intended to be by having to bind off early or make a smaller one, so I just ponied up for the recommended yarn. Such a shame, having to buy yarn. I'm so heartbroken. I also ordered a couple of bead options, but I didn't want to go overboard and order a bunch of different kinds without having even seen the yarn in person. It turns out that I did well, I ordered two varieties and decided one of them was perfect. As it happens, they are the same beads that Romi used in her sample, silver-lined root beer.

This makes me happy since I wanted to stay in the same color family as Romi's shawl, but I wanted something darker and--well, less yellow. I'm not a yellow person. I got Mocchacino instead, which is a nice warm amber brown that I think will be very wearable.

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I'm all set!

You know what's not getting any love? My poor Simone sweater.

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There she is, just as I left her weeks ago. I finished the increases and I need to take some quiet time and go through the directions to divide the sleeves from the body. It won't be tonight, though, since I have to deliver these:

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These are the washcloths I've been knitting all summer for the SERVE family shelter. One of my church ladies had invited me to this prayer shawl group that was knitting washcloths for their summer project, and though we haven't managed to go since the first meeting, I've still been working on my washcloths. This photo is pre-washing, and I have to say I got a lovely surprise when I washed them. These floppy washcloths shrank up and became firm and bouncy, and I was so delighted with the stack that I considered pretending that I never knew about the washcloth knitting so that I could keep them and use them for a squishy pillow at night. The unfortunate side of the shrinking is that they are not really square anymore, they're more rectangular, but now that I know, I'll know to make the next set a little longer. These are perfect hockey/movie theater knitting and now that I know how much fun they are post-washing, I might just have to make some for me. I certainly have quite a few balls of yarn left. I'm also not sure these are all that I had, though, because I really am sure I knit at least one red washcloth that's not in this stack. I checked the little basket that I keep my finished charity projects in rather thoroughly, though, so I'm not sure where that cloth ended up. I'll have to go through my knitting bags and see if I left one somewhere. I'm also reasonably sure I knit more than one out of the solid green and solid blue, but I'm really not sure. I didn't really keep track.

Oh, and did I mention, since I was ordering from ZYG anyway - I might have picked up an extra skein of sock yarn. Serenity 20, to be exact. 20% cashmere, yum. We all know I am a sucker for the 80/10/10 wool/cashmere/nylon blends, so a 70/20/10 blend? YES PLEASE. This is the Emerald Ice colorway.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Each One Teach One

Well, I'm exhausted. This is generally not the way I prefer to begin my week, but I think the weekend was worth it, so I'm going to try to keep the complaining to a minimum.

This week was busy, but I mostly worked on my Bluebird shawl. Then - I mostly un-worked my Bluebird shawl. I had a little "failure to read directions" incident (to be referred to hereafter on this blog as a "FTRD incident"). See, I have this weird blind spot with patterns that instruct you to do x number of repeats and then a partial repeat. Invariably, the number for the full repeat sticks in my head, and then I knit that number of repeats and go straight on to the next chart, forgetting that I was supposed to do the partial repeat.

This particular FTRD incident was particularly egregious because I stopped and went back to check the directions before I proceeded from Chart B to Chart C, just to make sure I wasn't supposed to do something in between (since that frequently trips me up also, just moving from one chart to the next without reading the 'knit three rows of garter' or whatever that I was supposed to do in between them). Yet, somehow, I missed the instructions written RIGHT BELOW THE CHART which said to repeat Chart B 4 times and then repeat rows 1-12.

I knitted all of Chart C and half of Chart D before I realized what I'd done. Then I looked at the picture on the front of the pattern, for some reason I cannot explain. And I counted the points on the little wing motif that I was supposed to repeat 4 times. And I counted 5 in the picture. I counted again. I counted again. I counted mine. I counted the picture again. I went back and read the directions.

Then I went to bed. A couple of busy days went by before I was able to do anything about it. Friday night I prepared myself, sat down, and began ripping. I rarely use lifelines - frankly, I find that I rarely need them - and I didn't have any in this project. As I sat down to rip I took out an embroidery needle and some dental floss, but quickly concluded that I probably wouldn't be patient or skilled enough to pick up an 'afterthought' lifeline through all that lace. Easy as pie in stockinette, but not really in lace. However, I knew from experience that if I just ripped and then tried to pick up all those stitches, I was going to end up having to do a lot of repairs.

I considered this for a moment and then I started ripping. I ripped back to one row before where I wanted to stop. Then I took my needle and floss, and as I pulled the working yarn out of a stitch, I picked up the newly freed loop on my embroidery needle. By using a tiny needle and doing this one stitch at a time, I was able to do it without pulling neighboring stitches out prematurely. I ended up with a near perfect result, all the stitches neatly captured on my floss, which held them in place while I picked up the loops with my working needle.

I worked a few rows of the missing repeat, and then I went to bed. Saturday, I got up, packed a bunch of stuff that I didn't really need in the car, and drove to my old college town. My best friend is going through a rough patch and so we decided to meet there since it was halfway between us, and spend the day together. I took a bunch of knitting, since I wasn't sure what she would want to do. We met up, we had lunch, and then she wanted to go to a particular shoe store in town that carried a line she was interested, and I agreed as long as she would let me stop by a local yarn shop on the way.

Well, we talked knitting all the way to the yarn shop, and we wandered around the shop, and she was asking me questions, and I told her to pick some yarn she liked and I would teach her to knit. She ended up with a lovely alpaca silk worsted weight (thank goodness, I was afraid I was going to have to talk her out of some fingering weight she was eyeing, because I knew it would take her forever). She picked a light grey, which was perfect, since it's much easier to teach somebody when they're working with a light color and can see what they're doing. I got some yarn for myself, of course, and I bought her the yarn she picked and an Addi Natura circ. I prefer sharp points and metal needles, but for a beginner I thought we should go with something blunter and not so slick as the addi lace or turbos. I debated for a while on tip sharpness but the yarn she's using is fairly loosely plied and from our lesson experience, I'm glad I went with the blunt tip.

Anyway, we finished at the yarn store, went to the shoe store, and then went to the bookstore, where I got her a couple of beginner books on knitting. Then we went to a Starbucks and I taught her how to knit. She picked it up very, very quickly, I was amazed at how well she did. Maybe all those years of musical training gave her exceptionally nimble fingers, I don't know. I taught her how to cast-on, knit, purl, increase, decrease, yarnover, how to knit or purl through the back loop - and I taught her what mistakes look like. I watched her knit and purl and stopped her as soon as she switched from one to the other without moving her yarn so she could see what an accidental yarnover looked like. Every time I saw her do something wrong I made her stop and look at it so she could see the difference. I showed her what a stitch looks like when it's backwards. I told her everything I could think of that I wish I had known early on.

Once we were through the basics we pulled out the swatch she had done and she got started on a scarf. One of the books I got her had a basic stitch dictionary in the back, and she picked a basketweave stitch for her scarf, which I thought was ideal since it would give her practice with both knitting and purling. We talked a little bit about gauge and yarn weights, but I mostly told her to read about those in the books I gave her because they'll probably explain it better than I could. She asked questions about the sock I was making; I showed her how it was constructed and how I picked up stitches for the heel. I didn't teach her how to knit in the round, but I figured it out from a book and I'm sure she could too. Anyway, we looked at the gauge on the ball band of the yarn, figured out how wide she wanted it to be, and worked out how many stitches she needed to cast on. I think we overshot a little bit on the width, but she was okay with it, so I let her keep going. This morning she posted on Facebook that she had hand cramps from knitting all day on Sunday, and posted a picture of her scarf, which has grown rather significantly. Oddly enough, her cat is scared of the yarn. Go figure.

It was really an amazing day, I got to share something I loved with someone I loved, and she really seemed to enjoy herself. I think the knitting will be good for her. I also, to tell the truth, found I was really emotional about going back to my old school, even though we were only in the town and we didn't make it up to the school grounds (homecoming weekend, very crowded). Though I've been back in the area a couple of times since I graduated, I've never gone alone, and I was rarely driving. I had plenty of time this time, however, to think about all the other times I drove that route and all the good and bad experiences I had on that campus - and there were plenty of both. There are things I miss about college and things I would just as soon forget ever happened. I found myself getting teary-eyed more than once, and I think I would really like to go back and walk around, and just take a little time to remember.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Best Plans of Knitters and Shawls

Previously on CraftNinja: This Chick Is Crazy, the Phoenix Rising shawl and I were having a bit of a falling out and I had started a Bluebird stole as a sanity-saver.

The sanity saver worked and I managed to talk myself around to feeling like the Phoneix Rising shawl wasn't all that bad, I could manage it. I knit two rows per day on it (four counting the purl rows) pretty much every day this week up until Friday. I even got far enough to switch the shawl to a longer circ, so I could get some pictures (actually, I hit that point pretty early in the week, so these pictures show only a couple of rows into the first repeat).

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As of Thursday, my plan was to finish two more rows on Friday, which would put me through with the first repeat of the edging chart, and then to spend Saturday getting through a second repeat. Then I would take Sunday off and knit through another couple of repeats on the Bluebird shawl, both so I would have progress to show on the Ravelry group and to keep me from going stark raving mad.

However, when I left work on Friday I could barely keep my eyes open. I was so tired I couldn't stand it. Naturally I didn't go home and take a nap because that would have made sense. Instead I went home, put something inane on the television for background noise, and picked up some simple knitting in the form of my Esplanade hat, and got out my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which I was re-reading, thinking I would knit and read until I felt like I could doze.

Some people give me weird looks at the combination of these three things, but the simple reality is, the TV is always on in my house. I find it comforting, and it drowns out any little noises from my brother's part of the house. He lives in the basement and my living room is right above his living room, and I find the noise of the TV less distracting than whatever he's doing down there. Especially if what he's doing involves his own TV and the untimely demise of numerous zombies. So the TV is on, but it's not really a factor in what I'm doing. Or at least it wasn't, until I turned on the Caps game just after the Thrasher's goalie passed out on the ice. But I digress.

Anyway, I knit and I read for pretty much the whole evening, and when I went to bed the hat was ready to start the decreases, which consoled me for lack of progress on the Phoenix shawl. I also finished Deathly Hallows (that book was a lot better when you weren't completely on edge wishing you could just finish it already so you can find out what happens. I might have to read Half-Blood Prince again and see if it also improves when not under duress) and got out my Kindle, on which I've been reading The Perfect Storm.

Saturday the plan was that I would knit until lunch, and then the SO and I would go have a nice lunch together at our usual place, and then we would come home and I would knit until we went to meet up with his parents for dinner. They've been working out in Yellowstone for the past few months and they just got back, so we haven't seen them since April.

This plan was foiled by a community fair that was going on right smack in the middle of where we were going to lunch, and by the time we figured out we couldn't get where we wanted to go, we were closer to the parents' place than to mine, and there were no good places to eat where we were, so we just gave up and went on over. This gave us significantly more time for chatting and catching up, but completely washed out any chance of making Phoenix progress. I worked on the sock I had in my purse instead, and made quite a lot of progress.

This presented me with a dilemma on Sunday. The sock needed only the toe and the hat needed only the decrease rows. With two projects so close to completion - well. I sighed and put the Phoenix shawl aside.

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At least I have a pair of socks and a hat for my time, and I finished The Perfect Storm. Truth be told, I immediately cast on for another Esplanade, in the reverse colors. I just think the reverse brim is so clever. Here's the finished hat inside out so you can see.

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I let Ella try it on, since she showed a teeny bit of interest.

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She was not impressed and went back to sleep.

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Friday, October 8, 2010


Woo hoo, a bonus blog post for the week, to make up for last week's post being late.

I am a big fan of souvenir yarn. I try to find a yarn shop every time I go somewhere, and when possible, I like to buy something locally sourced in some way, either locally dyed or whatever I can get. Normally, I prefer to get sock yarn, since it's easy to get and not hard to figure out how much of it you would need, and also pretty versatile - sock yarn can be used to make just about anything.

I don't just buy it myself, either - I love it when people bring me back yarn from travels. My boyfriend has become an expert at finding knitting shops when he travels for work and bringing me back something from him. In fact, on his last business trip he brought my yarn back in a box tied with pretty ribbon. I was impressed that he gift-wrapped it. He said, "After I told the two ladies who were working in the shop that I was there on a business trip and buying yarn for my knitter girlfriend, I don't think they would have let me walk away without getting it giftwrapped." The two ladies were apparently extremely impressed that he would do such a thing, and we both got a good chuckle out of it.

Anyway, even the yarn I have that isn't souvenir yarn holds memories, memories of where I bought it and what was happening in my life when I bought it, or when I made whatever project out of it. The other day, when the weather turned, I pulled on knitted socks for the first time in months, and remembered that I had knit them while visiting my grandparents.

Of course, I have leftovers from all of my various projects, and I'm trying to think of some way I can use those leftovers in such a way that I could gather all those memories up into one giant knitted project, a la sock blankie. But I'm not sure exactly what to do.

I really like the idea of the sock blankie, but honestly, I find the blankie itself a little intimidating. However, there are tons of mitred square afghans on Ravelry.

Maybe I could do some variation on a log cabin type thing? That seems like it would involve less math. The problem being, of course, that log cabin blocks get bigger as you radiate outward, and since I'm using leftovers, that's kind of a problem. I could do log cabin squares and sew them together.

I'm considering maybe something like the 10 stitch blanket. Pros: No sewing, no math. I could continue each yarn until I ran out. Cons: There's no telling how the colors will line up. It might be the ugliest blanket ever.

Or, I could just do things the old fashioned way and knit a bunch of squares and sew them together, as in the Barn Raising Quilt. I kind of hate sewing, but if I were a good girl and did it fairly regularly, it might be possible. Maybe.

I'm not expecting to start this anytime soon, or even get organized to start it any time soon, but it's something I want to be mulling over.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Little Bird Told Me

Some time ago, I bought some Shaefer Trenna in Indigo from Little Knits without really any idea of what I was going to make with it.

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Then I was browsing through Romi's designs the other day and found the Bluebird stole. Normally, I kind of avoid things that require me to repeat patterns over and over and over again, but the shawl is so perfect for the yarn that I decided I could suck it up. It's only the middle section that's repetitive.

This shawl held several surprises for me. The construction was somewhat different than I expected. I had seen that it started with a provisional cast-on and just kind of assumed this would be knit the same way Scheherazade was knit - cast on in the middle, knit to the end, and then pick up the provisional cast-on* and knit to the other end. Bluebird is done similarly, but instead of casting on in the middle, you cast on for one end, and then pick up the cast on, knit the entire middle section (which is like 36 repeats of four or six rows or something like that), and then knit the other end. Makes perfect sense. Totally flabbergasted me. It took me a while to work my head around to what I was doing (in fact, it only just now occured to me as I am putting this post together that my pictures are all technically upside down - the cast on edge should be at the top for the pattern to appear correctly). Fortunately conceptual understanding is not required, and I had only to follow directions, so no time was wasted with these discoveries.

The other slightly surprising thing for me is that the edging areas of this shawl are knit mostly on a reverse stockinette field. I found this a little confusing at first ("Wait...you mean I actually have to THINK on my wrong side rows?") but the effect is really quite beautiful, making the lines of the lace really pop.

Still, I completed chart A with some grumbling.

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I should probably note that I nearly had a fatal error at cast-on which was narrowly avoided through the assitance of my back up stitch counter. I have the SO recount every cast on for me so I don't, say, randomly choose to ignore the existence of the ten numbers between 79 and 90.

Chart A complete, Chart B, which is to be repeated 4 times. I completed 2 before I had to quit for the night.

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What happened to the Phoenix shawl, I hear you (all three of you) asking? The answer is that I did, in fact, work on my Phoenix shawl all day long on Saturday. I completed one 16-row chart.


Now, it is a fundamental fact of knitting that when you knit a triangular shawl that begins at the center back, you are essentially knitting along the longest possible line that you could knit. It's not so bad when you first get started, which is what makes, for me, the instructions "Repeat Main Body Chart 5 times" bearable. When you are first starting out there aren't that many stitches on the needles so that first three repeats are pretty much a walk in the park. Around repeat 4 it starts to get a little tougher, but you're past the halfway point and that keeps you going. Then you're like, sweet, I'm at the edging set-up, I only have to do the set-up and the edging and then the ending chart and I'm good! And in the back of your mind you kind of know that's a lot but you tell yourself that those charts are much shorter than the body charts anyway so you really think things are going awesome until you realize that the instructions say that you are to complete the edging chart 3 times (it's actually two times and then one more without doing the last couple of rows, but I'm rounding). And you think about how it took you ALL DAY to knit that one repeat of the edging set-up chart, which has the same number of rows as the edging chart, and you die a little inside, and you think about stopping to photograph your progress just to make yourself feel better, and you realize that there's no point because the shawl is so big at this point that it's scrunched up on the needles and it's just going to look like a pile of yarn anyway.

What's a knitter to do? For me, the answer is, start a new project. One that will fly by. One that will go really fast. One that DOESN'T GET BIGGER AS YOU KEEP KNITTING IT. One that's only 103 stitches wide and will only ever be 103 stitches wide, so that when you sit down to knit a soul-sucking 400+ stitches on your big project, you can take a break and zip out a few quick easy chart repeats that make you feel good inside before you go back to the never-ending toil of the Shawl That Would Not Die.

Please note that none of the ire that may be evidenced in the above paragraphs has anything to do with how much I like the shawl or how I feel about the pattern. The pattern is brilliant, the shawl is beautiful, and I like them both very much. All blame for this frustration must be laid at the feet of my most persistent lifelong foe, mathematics.

I do have some concerns that, as mentioned before, the number of repeats for the middle section of the Bluebird shawl might get to me eventually, but I'm hoping that the zippyness of the rows will enable me to get through that part. Besides, because of the way this is constructed, I can pretty much quit whenever it gets to be too much for me (but I won't, because I would like my shawl to be bigger than a post-it).

*I cannot seem to figure out the proper usage of "bind off" and "cast on." I tend to use the words seperately when using them as a verb - "to bind off" and "to cast on," and then hyphenate them when using them as a noun - "the bind-off" or "the cast-on." Also, I type yarnover as a single word when using it as a noun, and seperately when using it as a verb "to yarn over." I think we all need to agree on a standard - preferably, we need to all agree that my way is correct.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Midsummer's Dream Under A Star-Soaked Sky*

Celaeno, the third shawl in Romi's 7 Small Shawls EBook subscription, is done! And here's how much yarn I had left.

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SCARY. And also kind of awesome.

I love the color depth of this yarn, Fiber Optics Foot Notes in Sapphire Batik. It's very difficult to see in photographs or even at a distance, but the there are several different shades of blue used to lovely effect, mixed with the black. I almost wish I had a version without the black so I could enjoy just the variation in the blues. Because if its tight twist and possibly because if the heavy dye saturation it takes to get this color, it is a little firm, but the end result is very lovely.

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Blocking was a bit of a challenge because I really liked the squishyness of the garter section and I didn't want to totally kill it, so I stretched it out enough to open the lace and then moved the wires for the top line of the shawl down as far as I could, to relax the garter a little bit without compromising the openness of the lace.

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I especially loved the way the beads sort of wink out of the garter, and I felt like if I stretched the garter section out to be too open, the beads would look like beads and not like the little points of light I was hoping for.

I'm really, really in love with this project, but the beauty is really hard to capture. You can either see the beauty of the design...

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...or the sparkle of the beads

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...but capturing the full effect is nigh impossible, at least without a model and more patience than I possess.

I did get really bead-happy with this design. The beads are placed "randomly" throughout the garter stitch portion, and I littered the shawl with them. The beads are silver-lined transparent grey, and I'm so glad I went with those instead of a colored bead. They look exactly like the stars they are meant to evoke.

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I'm not sorry. It's definitely got a very evening feel to it, and I can't wait to wear it out. I just need somewhere appropriately elegant. And, also, for the weather to cool off a bit. And I think I need to buy a little black dress to go under it. But, you know, once I get all that it will be perfect.

*This is one of my favorite song lyrics of all time, from a song that I'm otherwise indifferent to - Lonestar's "You're Like Coming Home."