Thursday, June 29, 2006

Icarus Returns

Move over Superman! Icarus is back (and he can fly too, sort of). The third skein arrived and I've resumed shawl knitting. I've done a few rows, alternating between old and new skeins, and I'm very relieved to find that I really can't tell the two dyelots apart. Sweet! Mom and I are off to Kentucky tomorrow morning. So tonight I have to pack and sew up the last-minite stripes pullover. For knitting, I'm bringing Icarus, and maybe some cotton.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Well, Lookie Here

Thank you, Secret Pal!

You are truly awesome! You must have known that it took all my fortitude to walk away from this book when I was at Costco a few weeks ago. (Did you know Costco had knitting books?? The stock varies by store and season but they know a hot trend when they see one!) What wonderful gifts! I have been longing to washrag and log cabin, practically drooling with envy at all the cool stuff posted on the Mason Dixon KAL. I love the the pink Cascade 220! So pink and so many possible projects too :) Let's see... there's this... or this ... or even two of these... Thanks again, SP! You're the best!

Interim Knitting

Since Icarus is on hiatus while I wait on my Knitpicks order, I've gotten all sorts of other knitting done. I started the sleeves for the striped pullover. How about that? I might make that end of the month deadline! Plus I finished knitting this Fulled Lopi Tote:

I altered the pattern by making it 50% wider and just knitting until I ran out of yarn. The purple part is bulky merino in "velvet grapes." Yes, I ordered it because the name sounded yummy, but this colorway looks as good as it sounds, so that justifies my flightly shopping practices. The bottom part is a light worsted (I used two strands held together) wool/mohair blend I got from Sheep and Wool. The dyelot is called "Kim 05," which I guess means "Kim" dyed and spun this in "'05" :) I love Sheep and Wool vendors!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Poppies Poppies

You know that part in the Wizard of Oz when the wicked witch puts everyone to sleep in the poppy field? Work has been like that lately: so slooooooooow - mind numbingly, sleep inducingly slooooooooow. No opiates necessary.

Knitting has been dull too. Many thanks to my Secret Pal and Polly for the encouragement over Icarus. I did order skein 3 and am eager for it to arrive. In the mean time, I started yet another Last Minute Stripes pullover. Here's most of the front and back:
This one is for my cousin in Kentucky, who is expecting her first baby in August. I'm making the 3-6 month size in the Simply Stripes color "Sweet Tarts." We're going to visit the Kentucky kin at the end of June, so I thought it might be prudent to get started on this know, what with "the end of June" being this week. Did I say it's been slow?? I guess that only applies to working hours.

Monday, June 19, 2006

On Hold

It's official: I'm going to run out of yarn for Icarus. At this point I have some options:
(1) do some pattern tinkering. My brain shuts down for the summer - not sure it can handle this task in its current liquid state.
(2) break down and ordered another skein of Shadow from Knitpicks.
I'm leaning towards option 2. The new skein will almost certainly be a different dyelot since I bought the first two skeins about a year ago. I was thinking about alternating a row of the old lot with a row of the new so as to make the color change more gradual.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Shawl Suspense

As of the start of chart 4 row 4, I have barely 9 grams of yarn left. If my math is right, that's about 79 yards for 21 rows of chart 4 plus 4 rows of edging and the bind off row (which I've heard uses lots of yardage). Will it be enough? I've got my doubts. For now I'll keep going, with my fingers and toes crossed, but something tells me the edging may have to go.

How's this for random? I was on the Metro on the way home yesterday and the person I sat next to was knitting. We chatted a little about the sleeveless sweater she was working on and the purply mass of shawl I had in my lap. Then the lady across the aisle leans over and says "Is that the Icarus shawl?" She had worked on Icarus too! How cool is that?? She said she ran out of yarn and was trying to get more of the same dyelot from the store. Oh, this shawl is such a heartbreaker!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Last weekend, I discovered an A.C. Moore in Bowie. They had a sale on shiny sparkly beads and of course I caved. I decided to make some stitch markers (fuzzy picture alert!):
They all fit a size 9 needle, though the ones with fewer beads on them can fit up to a 10.5. Next time, I'll use longer head pins, maybe 2.5 - 3 inches, so the markers can fit larger needles. I also have to work on how to twist the wire so it looks neat. Otherwise, not bad for a first try.

My doggie made his own discovery: a new place to look pretty in!
This box is destined for New Zealand, sans doggie of course. It's a care package for my cousin and his wife who are emigrating there. Since New Zealand, unlike the Philippines, actually gets cold weather (I keep having to remind myself that it's winter in the southern hemisphere), mom included some nice warm jackets and I knit up a couple of scarves. Gotta share the warmth with other tropical transplants!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Happy Friday!

My cousin's darling new baby at one week. I swear he's winking at me.

Icarus is in good shape. Here it is after Chart 2:
As I was starting chart 2, I realized I had been short changing each of the chart 1 repeats by 2 rows ('cuz I can't read charts). I forged ahead anyway ('cuz I'm lazy). It may be shorter, but I'm almost guaranteed not to run out of yarn. At this point, I kinda wish the shawl had more lace and less stocking stitch. My opinion may change if I run into trouble with the next two charts.

More garden-fresh purplyness: violets and hostas.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sheep and Shakespeare

On Saturday, I went to the open house at the Textile Museum on my way home. They had some increadibly intricate Greek embroidery on exhibit, plus they had some tents set up with special activities for the weekend. I tried my hand at rughooking, which seems to me like embroidery with a crochet hook. And I saw shearing in progress (sorry, I got more shearer than sheep):
along with the end result:

Happy news: my cousin had her baby last week. Hooray! Mommy and son are doing well. I'll post a picture as soon as I get one. I finished sewing this up for the new arrival yesterday:
I knit it at the same time as the orange last minute pullover and took even longer to get around to finishing it. The pattern is called "Classic Cable" from Family Circle Easy Baby Knits. I'm not sure what possessed me to pick such a serious color. I guess the little guy can use it for his pre-school early admission interview :). Gotta get 'em in the rat race early.

On Sunday, I went with my brother to see Pericles at the Shakespeare Free-for-All. It was a really nice production plus the weather was great (it was almost chilly once the sun set - unheard of for June in Washington). The plot was just crazy. We're talking random pirate attack crazy. The set was great and I loved the way they hid props in drawers in the walls of the set. Since photography was forbidden, I'll leave you with this:
That's my brother, trying to look pensive as he waits for his pupusas and stuffed squash at Ercilia's. If you're ever near Adam's Morgan, you should stop by and try their food. It's really yummy!

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Here's the Bea cable, both on some practice yarn and the real deal:
When I was having trouble with it last week, I took the wretched cable pattern to knitting group for commiseration and advice. When I got to knitting this Wednesday, the ever-helpful Claire, our knitting instructor, confirmed that (a) the pattern was hard to follow (this book's a joy to browse through, but a pain to read - gray font and small charts - ick!) and (b) it didn't work. She had even redrawn the chart by hand, but to no avail. Claire then told me this great story about when she had written to Julia Child because she couldn't get one of Child's recipes to come out right. The chef wrote back to say that she had "cheated" with the recipe, i.e. it really only worked if you used a specific kind of flour from a certain supplier with such-and-such gluten content, etc. Claire suspected some similar fudging was going on with the pattern.

So I contacted Rowan for help, particularly with how to handle the decrease rows. Those kinda leave you hanging, since you have to start in the middle of a cable. Their advice was to knit the extra half-cable thingie (my words, not theirs of course) at the start of the row as plain stocking stitch, then cabling. I guess you could just call it going off pattern for a stitch before resuming the cable. Yup. Cheating.