Saturday, September 22, 2007

Swallowtail Shawl - a picture diary

I spent my morning with Karen, Gena, and (blogless?) Melinda. We went to an apple festival at Bethabara park. It was tons of fun - complete with colonial costumes and a horse-drawn wagon. There were demonstrations on spinning, weaving, bobbin lace, and a smithy who let kids pump the bellows. I brought the recently completed swallowtail shawl with me for some photographs.

On seeing Minty's finished swallowtail, I decided to perform 5 extra repeats of the budding lace chart. I was using laceweight and I'd heard other knitters complain that it was a rather small shawl so I really wanted to increase the size. The finished wingspan is 64 inches, and it is 31 inches from the center top to the tip. I'm very pleased with the size.

The thing that appealed to me most about this shawl was the nupps in the Lily of the Valley border. Fortunately, I am such a loose knitter that the p5tog stitches didn't even phase me. I know most people slip 2, purl 3 tog, then pass the 2 slipped stitches over. Honestly I found this far more fiddly than just purling the stitches all at once.

I love the drape of the Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool-Silk (purchased from Sarah's Yarns - this shawl only cost $6.00). It was so shocking when I bound off the last stitch and picked up the shawl to flop it out and admire my (sad and puckered) work. It weighed nothing! The weight of the needles had me thinking I had created this substantial thing, but it really does weigh less than 50 grams (less than 1.7 ounces for all you non-scientists out there).

May I just say - this is my favorite project yet. It was my first lace, but I found it really intuitive. I am already thinking about what my next lace project will be. I'm a huge fan of Evelyn A. Clark's patterns, so I'm preferentially eyeing hers. Until then, I will be working on Eunny Jang's Tangled Yolk Cardigan from the latest issue of Interweave knits. I'd show you a progress shot, but 2 inches of ribbing isn't exactly exciting.
Happy Saturday!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Separated at Birth

I see the likeness - do you?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sneak Peek

Knitting lace is plenty exciting if you're the one doing it (especially if you sneeze and drop 8 stitches!), but it's not exactly fascinating to read about. It's all puckered and sad. Actually, it vaguely resembles a manta ray - it even has a little tail! So here's a little preview of what the swallowtail shawl will look like. I'm nearing the end of the budding lace charts. I will easily finish that this weekend, and begin on the border section. I anticipate that this will be blocking next weekend.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Here are the socks that took me ridiculously long to complete. I've been through so much while knitting these that I was almost reluctant to finish them. They were started June 10 (the day after World-wide Knit in Public Day). In the time since casting on I have written and defended my project proposal, come to an understanding with my advisor (and I think he "gets" me now, too), and eaten way more fast food than I'd like to admit. I've changed. I wonder if I'll ever be able to wear these without thinking of the stress I was under when I made them.

Project Details:
Pattern: Waving Lace Socks (Evelyn A. Clark)
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Pixie (Purchased at The Loopy Ewe)
Needle: 2mm (US 0)
I cannot convey how much I love Fleece Artist. The yarn has sheen and character. It knits up so evenly that I think it's perfect for socks with textured patterns. The gentle color gradations kept things interesting without making the end result cluttered. I will definately be using this yarn again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Because I know she's watching. . .

Hi Hannah!!

I had a dream that you guys visited me last night. I was sad to wake up and realize we weren't actually taking silly photos in the arts district. =(

I don't know if Mom told you about it - but I had that presentation last week. I didn't feel particularly good or bad about my performance but the boss was really pleased with it. It was the second time he's given me praise to my face - so I know it must've been a big deal. See, the boss never compliments someone directly. He will tell the whole world how much butt you kick - the whole world except you. If he actually tells you in person it means you really exceeded his expectations.

A 3-month long experiment flopped and I'm working hard to figure out what went wrong with the virus. I'm having to be a "virologist" and that means coming in at all kinds of crazy hours! It's left me rather sleepy and uninspired, so there hasn't been much knitting. I am getting close to finishing the pair of waving lace socks - probably only 3 hours worth of knitting left on those.

My class has started back up and today will be the first formal meeting. I'm still trying to finish the reading for today. The course director picked a really bad paper for the first meeting - it's complex, poorly written, and the figures are hard to decipher. I feel sorry for all the students who are in their first year of the class. They're going to be so overwhelmed. =( Kay, I really need to get back to that paper before people start coming in and try to talk to me!

Talk to you soon, Li'l Bit!