I have been knitting all week on my Edith’s Secret shawl by Kristin Ashbaugh-Helmreich. Finally, at 2am on Wednesday night (I’m the Midnight Knitter, remember…) I was approaching the end of the bind-off when I paused to look back at all of my fabulous knitting and saw <gasp!> a double picot where there should only be one. NNNOOOOOOO!!! That was that. I stuffed Edith into her project bag and went to bed.
Yesterday in the sunshine I frogged back through the binding, reknitted it with the correct number of picots (one at the tip of each leaf detail in the final lace section) and cut the yarn at last. Blocking happened overnight (with my cat MacKenzie sleeping on top of the towel-covered shawl all night…) and here Edith is in all her glory.
Here’s my project notes on Ravelry in case you would like more details.
I am so glad that Edith is done, but now I am in a slump for sure. I even did my taxes today as I wasn’t quite sure what project to start knitting next.
I’ve placed the likely yarn candidates on the dining room table, and each time I head upstairs I kind of pat different skeins of yarn and consider the projects that they might be used for. So hard to make these decisions… Such beautiful color, and half of the skeins contain cashmere and silk too. I may have to start several projects all at once.
I have been knitting the Edith’s Secret shawl (without any side trips into other projects!!!) all week. I am through the stripes and the totally new to me Diamond Tweed stitch, and finally the time has come for lace. Lace means beads. Yeah, beads!!! I have been looking forward to this since I got the shawl started. I went to the bead store Tuesday to pick up a nice selection of beads to play with as I wasn’t sure what I would want when I got down that far on the shawl.
After asking around I narrowed the bead contenders down to a purple matte finish bead and a shiny light amethyst bead. Gee, everyone at my knitting group felt that the darker purple bead would be best, but I wasn’t sure if I would like that much contrast. Also, I kind of like the pink in the yarn and would like to highlight it if I can. To further complicate things the shawl pattern directions include a chart of the lace with the sweet note that “beads are appropriate in this section” with no notation of where to put them. Yep, a little knitted sampler was in order.
That’s how I ended up knitting at the table with MacKenzie. This lace is English Mesh, and the pattern is pretty simple. It is little tear-drops surrounded by yarn-overs and it seemed to me that it would be good to put the bead at the top of the double decrease in the pattern, or perhaps in the middle of two yarn-overs.
This is what the beads look like next to the shawl.
Well, after all of that it was easy for me to make my decision. If I am going to do all of the work to put these beads into the lace I will be using the beads that have a little flash to them: the amethyst beads win! I have also decided to place the beads right above the double decrease (sl 1, k2tog, psso) in the lace pattern. That means that the bead is placed onto the stitch in question on the following purl row using a little crochet hook right before I purl that stitch. Here’s a video tutorial showing how to do that if you’ve never tried it before.
Yeah! Time to start knitting this on the actual shawl. Edith, here I come!!
Sunday my current shawl project failed a reality check big time, got frogged and then I rebooted the entire project with new yarn. One of the factors in the first effort’s meltdown was the extreme attentiveness (and shedding) of the cats, and between one things and another I was almost 30 stitches off the stitch count. Since Sunday the weather has been great, the cats are outside most of the day and then sleep in the afternoons when they come back in. Prime knitting weather!!
I’m still working on Edith’s Secret by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich, and have now knitted through the first three clues and I am still exactly on the correct stitch count!!! Yeah! I have made a little chart for myself to track the colors and increases, and have been counting stitches every 4th row, and it has paid off big time.
Edith’s Secret is a shawl in 7 parts (clues). Tomorrow I’m going to my favorite yarn shop for knitting group and I hope to get another section of the shawl done. Woo-hoo! I just love it when a knitting project comes together.
I started a lot of projects last week and then went out and bought a tons of yarn. What a week I had. The weather is finally warming up, birds have come back to Colorado, the first green shoots have appeared in my garden, and the cats and I are spending afternoons outside.
My long-haired cat Morgan, bought to be a companion to my over-active and complex cat MacKenzie, has decided he now wants to be a lap cat. He is also shedding like there is no tomorrow. Everything I am knitting is getting covered with blond hair and some of it is now knit into the fabric. Of course this is interfering with my knitting zen, but the weather is so nice and Morgan is so sweet I’m just kind of dealing with it and am knitting a midst the cloud of cat down.
I finished my fingerless mitts on Friday, and that evening I got through the first clue of the shawl that I am knitting. This shawl, called Edith’s Secret, was originally a MKAL meant to be knitted during Downton Abbey this season. Because it was a MKAL the pattern is organized into seven clues. With a thrill of accomplishment at the end of a fabulous Friday night knitting marathon I picked off as much cat hair as I could from the shawl, and counted my stitches to make sure everything was on track.
Oh, no!!! Almost 30 stitches off from where I should be. Morgan was dumped off my lap, I laid out all the pages of the pattern (yep, another battle with the cat and the pages of paper on the floor…) and started making a diagram with little boxes and stitch counts to figure out what had happened. Seriously, how was it possible to mess up this seriously? I blame the cat, of course!!
Everything was frogged. Both cats thought this was a new game. I calmly reminded myself that ripping out my own hair wouldn’t improve matters, and finally got everything back into two balls.
Hey, that grey ball doesn’t look big enough. Maybe I should check the label again… Are you kidding me? The yardage is 50 yards too short!
Suddenly the cat is back in my good graces again. Wow. If I hadn’t made soooo many mistakes that I ended up frogging this shawl I would have had a crisis down the road when I ran out of that yarn. And besides, there is a silver lining to all of this: I get to go back to the yarn store!!
Back to the yarn store I went Saturday afternoon. I took several yarn candidates with me with the hopes of making a good match with a contrasting yarn that would work for the shawl. It was a great visit, I found the perfect yarn, connected with an old friend while I was there, and bought even more fabulous yarn!! I got the new shawl yarn wound at the store, came home, bribed Morgan with kitty treats, and cast on again.
Wow, what a difference. I’m really happy with how this looks, I’m positive that I have enough yarn, and Morgan and Mackenzie have been running around outside so I’ve been able to concentrate on the pattern while I was knitting. What a great ending to a frogged project. I definitely need to give Morgan some more kitty treats!
Oh, the color of the grey yarn that I bought to go with the purple handpaint from my stash?
What can I say. I started a shawl that I really, really was obsessing over. I had some nice variegated yarn that I struggled to match with another yarn. I finally settled on a beautiful grey and started knitting on it. But… I am a big sucking baby about struggling with the color changes. I mean, you have to cut the yarn and attach another one. There are ends to knit in. It is so interfering with my zen of knitting.
So, in a fit of “whatever” (did you read that with an internal “Valley Girl” voice? That’s the spirit!) I cast on two more projects that would be fast, portable, and involving NO yarn color changes. (See, I am being a baby about this). Here they are:
I now have three projects going and very little progress to show for any of them.
Whatever. It’s all about the zen, anyway. 🙂
Here are the links to my project notes for each of these.
I am finishing up the Hitchhiker that I have been working on for the last two weeks, and then that is it. My needles will be bare. As soon as I have knitted the last three teeth on this baby it is over. To make things worse I also just finished reading a series of books, and haven’t found a new one to settle into. I am going through a serious slump. I’ve been listlessly wandering the house when I haven’t been out shoveling snow. I’m even considering vacuuming and cooking vats of comfort food. I’m making the cats nervous. I need new projects!!
Notice that I didn’t say I needed more yarn. The truth is, I always want more yarn. It’s an endless need with me. To try to nip a trip out to the yarn store in the bud I went online to check patterns on Ravelry and then started digging in the yarn stash. I think that I want to make some shawls now. Lace and beads!!
Well, here are the two big contenders on Ravelry. The first one is Edith’s Secret by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich. I was aware of the Downton Abbey MKAL that was happening using Lorna’s Laces yarn (hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool). I kind of wanted to make a shawl with them, but there were 5 choices of yarn colors, and without knowing what the final product would look like I kept procrastinating and never did join in. The shawls are now done, however, and gee… they look really nice.. The different color combinations are up on Ravelry, and I have a better idea of what I like. The shawls have lace and beads… I think that I really need to make one of these.
The other shawl that I think that I’ll make is Sidere by Hilary Smith Callis. It calls for a heavy lace-weight yarn, but I’m thinking that I can get away with a light fingering and throw some beads in too. Anyway, the plan is to make an Edith’s Secret first, and then to knit a Sidere.
Into the stash! I need two contrasting colors of yarn for Edith’s Secret. One should be variegated, and the other just a monochromatic painted yarn. I have got to have some of that! I need at least 420 yards of each color, and it should be fingering.
Well, that was easy. Seriously, I was loosing sleep over this yarn selection process. Today I wound all of the yarn that I thought was excessively yummy (even if I wasn’t sure what I would knit with them right now) and loaded my project bag with the cakes of yarn. I am happy! I have projects lined up again, and I am ready to cast on!
Oh, by the way, it’s almost March. Here’s a preview of the March New Year’s resolution sock.