Posted in craft, knitting on September 8, 2010|
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Back in January when I found out I would be heading to London for a week in late Feb/early March I knew I had to bring some knitting with me. The project I was working on then (February Fitted Pullover) wasn’t exactly travel friendly so I needed a new project. Something portable, something I wanted that would remind me of the trip, something easy 🙂
I checked the yarn stash and despite it’s healthy size I couldn’t find anything I wanted to use, luckily I had a healthy amount of yarn in my garage that just needed a little dye before being ready for it’s trip. I wanted subtle yet interesting and also something that would be reminiscent of London.
Oddly enough I didn’t take a photo of the finished skein. I called it London Fog (although Seattle Summers would probably also apply).
Next I needed a pattern. Several checks on my favorites on Ravelry helped me finally settle on the Traveling Woman shawl. The small shawl was simple, compact and above all else the name really fit. My Traveling Woman shawl in London Fog was going to get cast on in London!
I sadly have no pictures of the beginning of the shawl, I cast on during my first day in London while taking the train to see Hampton Court Palace. I knit a little throughout the week but most of the knitting I accomplished while there was during the weekly Stitch London meeting. They were amazingly nice and even moved that week’s meeting to a night when I could attend, when I head back that way next August for a wedding I will make sure to attend another meeting.
After the trip the shawl got put away in favorite of finishing up the pullover and I struggled through several months of non-existent knitting mojo. Eventually I managed to pull it together and finish the Sapphire Waves of Grain and I unearthed the London shawl to finish it up.
I think this shawl may have brought my knitting mojo back. I’m not sure if it was the pattern, the yarn or just knowing that finishing it up was wrapping up my past year working at my job (I’m a free agent again) but it felt good. I made mistakes on the lace part as usual but it didn’t bother me. I fought Nicki every night I worked on it in bed because he wanted to bury his furry kitty face into the yarn and sleep. I added a repeat to the first chart and spent a week wondering if that was a big mistake because I would run short. I sighed a big sigh of relief when I cast off and still had a tiny ball of yarn left.
Now I just need to go back to London to take a picture of the shawl back where it all began.
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Posted in craft, knitting on September 5, 2010|
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Finally a post that isn’t about food!
A year ago I fell in love with some stunning beaded shawls from Sunflower Designs but decided the smart way to approach lace with beads was to find an intro project first that only had minimal beading so I could find out if I loved or hated the technique. For once I used logic and determined that working on a project with 3000 beads was not the time to discover I hated beaded knitting.
I settled on Waves of Grain from Knitty Fall 2008 but opted to dye up my own yarn. I conveniently had just gotten in a test batch of light fingering weight superwash BFL yarn that I kettledyed in deep shades of sapphire (hence the shawl name). The shawl is my homage to my college years that were spent living in amber rolling hills of the Palouse. As much as I hated living in a small town the landscape was truly stunning in fall.
The shawl was off to a great start, I powered through the patterning on the first half and by the time Sock Summit 2009 came around only 6 days later I was already into the “plain” section of the shawl. I took the shawl with me for the Guinness World Record attempt (we made the record!) and marked the shawl the only way I could.
Those 2 beads mark what part of the shawl was knitted during the record attempt. My own little secret memento of the event.
Time passed, I started working again and less knitting was done, holiday projects took precedence and eventually the shawl was shelved in favor of other projects. It was pulled out again for Ravelympics 2010 and then promptly demoted in favor of the February Fitted Pullover and my vain attempt to finish that before my trip to London earlier this year.
Then a couple months ago I pulled out the shawl once more, my WIPs list was small and since March I’ve done little to no knitting but I knew the mojo would come back and I’ve been eyeing other projects but the shawl was nagging me to finish before starting something new. Thankfully I had last stopped in the “plain” section so it became perfect tv knitting.
I have the first disc of True Blood and my insanely large Tivo queue to thank for finally getting the shawl finished and all I had left is the grafting. Stupidly I decided to start grafting at 10pm at night but 90 minutes later it was done! A quick soak and a brief hunt for my new blocking wires was all that stood in the way of a finished shawl.
Check it out! I added 2 extra repeats to the body and more rows to the center pattern to use up as much yarn as possible. I wanted a big shawl and this fit the bill perfectly. When draped around my shoulders both ends reach down to my knees. It’s HUGE!
The beaded lace knitting was not nearly as awful as I thought it would be and I can definitely see a highly beaded shawl in my future. It just might be a while as my wish-list of other knitting projects is growing rapidly and veering towards cables right now.
The languishing WIPs have been whittled down to 2.
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