So there you have it. Ideas? Suggestions? Alcohol?


This weekend I was actually quite responsible and productive: I took pictures of all the outstanding yarnporn I had scattered around the house (using DAYLIGHT, no less!) and updated the stash. Personally, I’m incredibly impressed that my pictures turned out so well, and there were two reasons for that: 1) I discovered the HDR setting on my iPhone 4 (yeah, imagine that; high definition helps big time), and 2) did I mention I used natural light? Because I did, dammit. (Unraveling would be so proud.) The fact that I went beyond the 200 mark did not escape me, and all I can say is, oh well. That would explain why my stash dresser drawers are stuffed to the gills. Guess that means I should start casting on more projects.

So cast on I did. I wound a second skein of Socks That Rock because I was SO happy with the way the Gingko scarf turned out. I also spent far too much time looking for scarves to use especially given that, in the end, I think I’m just going to finally break down and do Ishbel. (Also of note: 2 new designers and 4 new patterns that I now officially own, and am subconsciously matching up with various possibilities in my stash.) But man, the color in that yarn is really delicious, if you know what I mean. I also finally committed the Firefly alpaca/silk/cashmere blend that I purchased at the Pittsburgh festival, and it is FREAKING. AMAZING. ZOMG. That is going into the very simple Hitchhiker scarf, and I am going to wear this ALL THE TIME. (I also acknowledge that I am doing the very thing I used to mock back before I was a real knitter—having multiple projects on sticks so that I can have a choice of what to work on, depending on the situation and level of concentration necessary to work it. I think you can just stuff it and mind your own 37 projects scattered around your own house, thank you.)

And, lest you didn’t believe me, I did indeed go back and block my second 198 yds of Byzantine. Man, these blocking boards are da bomb. I really need to go buy another set of them just so I have enough for bigger projects (I used every single one of them to block this project, and might I remind you it’s only 198 yards. Which isn’t super big, all things considered. I mean, remember the damn stash!). This really shows the edges well where I changed the finish on the original 198 yards pattern. I should actually go back and do a comparison article on the two of them, since I did promise I’d do so in my Ravelry post.

Stoopid me.

And because I was on a roll with sunshine, natural light and updating something finite within my control, I managed to actually get a rare decent self portrait for  a finished object. Apparently it can be done–and having FaceTime on my iPhone is a MAJOR improvement, let me just tell you!

With all the scarves that I’m clearly gearing up for, I also added myself to a lace group, with the intention to be better at posting my finished projects to groups that actually care. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

So that’s what happened this weekend. What did you do?

14. March 2012 · Write a comment · Categories: snafu · Tags:

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I’ve embarked upon my first bottom up shawl. This is the post where I follow up with my successful completion, any insights learned, and pictures. So, let’s start with the pictures. This is where I’m at:

Notice the unfinished “V” in the center? Now look at the amount of yarn left to knit. I estimate I’ve got about ten yards left, max. Gentle readers, I have gotten to “that point”—where I finally reach the inescapable conclusion that I will not be able to finish this piece as is with this single 360 yard skein.



About the only thing that is any good whatsoever about being sick is that you have loads of time where you feel like crap and are tired, but can’t sleep because you feel like the aforementioned crap. And so you knit. Knitting I can do, especially if I take off my glasses and just watch the stitches. I don’t know why I don’t get sick more often. (Oh wait. Yeah I do. I hate feeling like crap.)

Anyhow, progress is being made. I really do think I love the variegation with this pattern, although I’m discovering far more colors in here than I had originally thought. Not really a problem, just, you know… surprising.

I should probably also admit weighing your yarn is quite helpful only when you’re able to remember to keep weighing it as you go. *hangs head* Yes, I forgot to weigh it when I finished Chart 1 AND Chart 2, and now I’ve started Chart 3 and I’ve really no idea what that means. To be fair, I’m not one who thinks knitting should include math and I did mention this might be a bit of a gamble, but if I do more of these bottom up shawls, I might have to change my tune just to ease my mind. I’ll also need a better scale. But let’s worry about that later.

While the lace is moving along in a most spec-TAC-a-lar fashion (yes, I’ve been watching Larry Crowne repeatedly), I can’t help but feel a little disconcerted when I look at the skein and see just how much I’ve used up. “You use less as you get farther along,” I repeat to myself. “No need to panic.” Yet.

Wow. Sometimes you come across an experience that totally opens your eyes. I’m in the middle of one of these, and I can tell you I am going to be a better knitter on the other side of this WIP.

I’ve been going through my stash and choosing yarns I love—mostly because the ginkgo pattern was so scrumptious, and it’s really easy to walk away with a FO on a one skein project. I’m craving something new, so I cast on Hitchhiker using my lovely Jayne colored Firefly yarn. That’s a great traveling piece, but I was wanting something more to work on, so I also pulled out the raspberry-chocolate skein of Socks That Rock, and looked for a lace scarf that would play with the variegated pattern rather than fight with it. Enter the Peacock shawlette.

This project is a first in many ways for me. It’s the first time I’ve actually looked to find a pattern that works with the yarn I’ve chosen. I have a love/hate relationship with variegation–I love the more subtle variations of color, but not so much the multiple colors thrown together. I’m finally understanding there are measures of variegation, and that if I want to use something with lots of variegation in color, then I’d better have a pattern that is relatively plain so the yarn can shine. This variegation is more subtle, so I think it will work well with lace that’s interesting, but not so involved that it will again take away from the beauty of the yarn.

It’s also my first bottom up scarf pattern, which is really intriguing because it isn’t “the same thing” only in reverse. It’s actually a little unnerving because my experience with lace is that you can’t screw that stuff up and let it go, because it all shows up in the blocking. And by Row 5, I’d corrected a few too many missteps that I felt it would start to be noticeable. So I decided not to frog the entire thing, but to tink back to the middle of Row 2, where my confusion started. Can you say “Hello, lifelines?” Yeah, me too.

That was my third first: using lifelines. I love working lace patterns; the repetition and the symmetry make sense to me. But this time, I’m faltering slightly, so I feel better with knowing the lifeline is there if I need it. The other thing about this pattern? Usually I’ve got lots of garter stitch behind me before we get to the lace. There’s an investment of time that I have already put in, so I’m likely to work back and fix a mistake. By starting on the lace first, it’s really easy to either ignore an error and move on (because I want to see progress and who is really going to see the mistake besides me?) ore else frog the WIP completely since it’s so easy at this point to say “just start it over”. Ouch.

Another first: stitch markers contributing to my errors, rather than keeping me on track. Now that I get that, I can factor it in, but damn! It wasn’t obvious to me just by looking at the pattern: I had to confirm my suspicions by researching what others had to say about the pattern, and sure enough; it was shifting by a stitch each RS row. Dammit.

And finally, I’m weighing my yarn. A definite first. If I do this more, I’m going to need a better scale, because my food scale just isn’t accurate enough. But I’m in the middle of a pattern that requires 10 yards less than what I actually have. So this is either gonna be interesting, or problematic—but I won’t know until I’m almost done. I guess I’ll keep you posted. And then I’ll drink.

Bottoms up!