Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shawl update.

I did not finish the Nouveau Beaded shawl in time for what I wanted it for.

I wore it anyway. I cut the working yarn, draped the circ around my shoulders and tucked the needles down my neckline. Later on I rejoined the cut end to the ball and started knitting on it again, at a much less frenetic pace.

I blocked and seamed the Jo's Pride shawl, and wrapped it up along with a set of Game of Thrones shot glasses for Kathy. She seemed to like her gift a lot, and the shawl even came in handy when a dress that was part of a costume ended up less warm than expected. My donated shawl-knitting services were eventually auctioned off for $60, and I'm waiting to hear back from the winner so that we can start discussing details.

Now I'm lying low for a week at my parents' place. Once I get back, I'll fill in with lots of pictures of the shawl and of the things I got while visiting my old LYS. Hopefully I'll also get lots of pictures of the yarn-dyeing workshop I've promised to give my local knitting friends, which I'm very much looking forward to.

Friday, March 15, 2013

This shawl.

This shawl.

There are seven days until I need this shawl to be complete, and seventy rows to go.

This would be fine if each row was, say, sock row sized. They are not. Each row is still well over 400 stitches, some of them incredibly fiddly.

Anyone else who might have seen pictures of this shawl and been lured to your doom: do not start this shawl with a two-month deadline looming. Between time, sanity, and a finished shawl, you can only pick two.

Me, I'm still holding out hope for one last sustained deranged effort.

Monday, March 11, 2013


When I decided to try to finish two beaded lace shawls by the 22nd, I thought I might be a little bit crazy. When I agreed to volunteer my services knitting another one for a charity auction, I knew I was crazy. (You may notice that I was careful not to promise any concrete deadline!)

I'm still cautiously optimistic about finishing the current two on time. Jo's Pride is practically done - all that's left is the blocking and seaming for the top of the hood.

I gave in and ordered blocking mats and wires the other day, so this can rest until they arrive.

The Nouveau Beaded Capelet, on the other hand, is... giving me some issues. Does this look like where you want to be a month into a shawl, with ten days to go?

To be fair, I'm actually more or less halfway done with it, since it starts out very large and the rows get smaller and smaller as you progress. Still, I calculated a while back that in order to finish on time, I'd have to knit six rows a day. At this point I'm finding it difficult to manage even three a day.

I'm still quite in love with the design though. The lotus-like pattern at the bottom of each scallop looks so elegant, and even if all of these beads and horizontal bar yarnovers are a pain to manage, there's no denying they look wonderful.

(note to self: clean my sofa immediately after these shawls are done.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dyeing adventures.

A week or so ago, I tried my hand at dyeing some yarn.

I started out by doing a lot of reading up on the subject; this three-part tutorial on stovetop dyeing is what I eventually decided to emulate. I got some pretty cheap yarn and some Easter egg dye tablets, collected the necessary containers and such, and warned Bandit that his apartment was going to smell like vinegar for a few days.

I wound yarn while he played Halo, and dyed a few skeins while we watched the Oscars. It was obvious to me even then that I was hooked.

I offloaded all of the orangey-pink skeins onto Amy, and got some better yarn and some food coloring. (The problem with Easter egg dye tablets is that, well, they produce Easter egg-y colors.) I took requests from Amy and Luna, and experimented with mixing different shades.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to stop.