Monday, January 31, 2011

My Stephanie Japel online shawl design class starts tomorrow. I am ~excited~!!

I am happy to report that my mail was finally liberated from the box.

The flat rate box is this:


Which now looks like this:


That's the first few rows of Clue 1 for the Light and Dark lace club. The cast on was over 300 stitches. It's bizarre to me to start a project with long rows instead of short ones, but I bet it will be fun when the rows start to get shorter towards the end. If they do. I'm not really sure, to be honest. It's a mystery, after all. Anyway, there's no real hard release schedule for these clues and Ruth and Roxanne have said they want it to be a nice, relaxed knitalong, so I haven't put in any real time on this one just yet. Just a taste, so I don't feel left out. I'll come back to it later.

One of the packages was from Beadwrangler containing the seed bead mix I thought I would try for In Dreams, but after looking at it I decided to stick with my original choice. The mix is gorgeous though and I'm going to save it for something in the future.

The small white package is the pin from Romi's pins and lace club, which is a really neat little design that I -- completely forgot to photograph.

The last package was from ArtBeads, and it did have some beads in it, but it also had these:


Romi recommended them and said they work on nickel as well as silver. As far as I was concerned this was excellent news, since I have been looking for a solution to this problem for some time:


Those are two of my KnitPicks Options nickel tips, and they are not exactly bright and shiny anymore. The tarnish makes my hands smell funny and the yarn doesn't slide nicely along the needles anymore, so I've been looking for cleaning methods. Googling for 'nickel polish' got me nowhere, however, and further searching got all kinds of suggestions that were variously plausible. At least one or two sites suggested oven cleaner. The polishing cloths cost only a few dollars and are neatly contained and easily cleaned up after, so I was really hoping they would work.

I used the pair of needles shown as my test pair since they were in the worst condition of all, and then I cleaned a second pair of the same size, and when it was done I had forgotten which pair I photographed so I included all four in the results photo.


Not perfect, but vastly improved. I immediately started cleaning the sizes I use more commonly (I had started with US6's because I don't use them that often, and if they melted in my hand or something I wouldn't be totally out of commission), including the pair of US4's I had in Sevillano. I am a much happier knitter. (K, I bought an extra for you but I forgot to drop it off this weekend).

Despite the little fits and starts I've made on other things, I've spent most of my time working on Sevillano.




I've completed 8 repeats (the pattern calls for 7) and I plan to do at least one more. I'm debating on whether I should do two more - that will take me just slightly past the 50% mark on my yarn consumption. I'm trying to stay as dedicated to this project as possible because I am so close to being finished. I do have rather a lot of things on the needles at the moment, and although I have enjoyed knitting Sevillano, it'll feel good to finish it. Plus, it's gorgeous and I want to wear it at the end of February when I ~meet Romi~!!

I also worked another half repeat on Fiori Friday night when I needed something a little less intensive than Sevillano. I feel like I'm suffering a terrible case of startitis right now and it's going to drive me batty if I'm not careful. I acknowledge this, and yet, I started a new project.


This is the beginning of Umaro by Jared Flood and I cannot stop giggling while I work it. I work with fine yarns, small needles. I use a 4 most often than anything else, and I rarely even get as large as an 8 or a 9. So this project, knit with Cascade Lana Grande on US15 needles, is downright comical to me. Right now this sits in a basket next to my bed and I am knitting one or two rows before bed. I'm surprised at how soft the wool is, my experience with Peruvian wool has been that it is, ahem, 'hearty,' but this is quite soft and I think the finished blanket will be wooly and cozy. It's not a project I would normally have picked for myself, but I think I'm going to get a lot of joy out of it. If I can figure out the weird cable thingy. I do wish designers would phrase their cabling instructions in such a way that those of us who prefer not to use a cable needle can figure out what we're supposed to do more easily. But, que sera. When I write patterns, I will do them my way. Mwa ha ha ha ha.

Finally, I decided to take K's advice on a scarf pattern from last week's blog comments and the scarf is working out much better now. It's about six inches long, so I have quite a ways to go. The pattern is sufficiently easy and mindless that the scarf might actually get done some time this century. It turns out that it is ridiculously easy to screw up a simple seed stitch rib, but I catch my mistakes pretty quickly.