September 2006 Archive
Turn Turn Turn. That includes knitting season. And it's rapidly approaching. Of course I knit year–round, but this time of year a knitter's fancy turns to thoughts of wool sweaters, cozy mittens, lovely Fair Isle hats….ah Autumn…..
I know, it's been forever since I've posted. We have had so much non-knitting related stuff going on around here lately that posting has so gotten pushed to the wayside. I have a million things on the needles as per usual. I tried to post some pictures the other day (as the "good" camara has finally made it's way back home to us), but my computer decided to take a crap and all was lost. We have been having internet issues too and couldn't check email or down/upload anything for over a week! How do we survive in this technological world when the lights go out? Wouldn't our pioneer ancestors be ashamed of us!
In other news, in the past three weeks I have enjoyed having my mother visit twice; and a spur of the moment visit from my Montana-based sister whom I haven't seen in almost 5 years! It's been pretty great! Mr. KnitWit and I went camping this weekend with some friends and while we froze our patooties off, had a pretty darn good time.
Fall has come to SD, the weather over the weekend proved that with highs in the 50's and lows in the low 40's. But we had a glimpse of "indian summer" the past couple of days with sun and highs in the low 70's. It's that beautiful time of the year when the mornings and evenings are cool enough for knitting comfortably, and the afternoons are warm enough to be outside. Brad hates Fall as he sees it as the time of year everything dies or becomes dormant in preparation for winter; but I love Fall for the crisp weather and beautiful colors that make me dream of luverly sweaters in burnt orange, brown and deep crimson. I love being comfortably dressed in jeans and a sweater–but hate knowing that stocking hat, gloves and snowboot weather will ensue. Midwestern winters bite in more ways than one! Where we live now in South Dakota is only 90 miles north of where Brad and I both grew up, and we are continually amazed at how much more severe the weather is here than in the part of Iowa we came from. It's much windier (probably due to lack of trees, and hills and anything else that breaks up a landscape), and typically 5-10degrees colder in winter. It typically starts getting cold at the end of September, we can have snow by Halloween and the cold and snow can last well into April or early May. The bummer of it all is that just because it's cold, doesn't mean we'll have snow. My Christmas gift from B last year was cross country skiis. We didn't have snow to be able to use them. We each have snow shoes and enjoyed snowshoeing in the state park in our former hometown. Haven't had the chance to do that since we moved. Ugh. I'd much rather have it warmer and snowier than colder with no snow, but driving it snow is a PITA so that's not much fun either.
Well, that's the weather report from Parker, South Dakota. The little town that time forgot. Tomorrow's forecast: Rainy with a chance of lace knitting.
The Faroese Peaks Shawl is finished and blocked!
Though not without some hardship. In fact hardship puts it mildly. I really need some help in this blocking thing! Knitting the shawl was fine. The pattern was clear with both charted and line by line instructions; it was simple and a good first lace project. I wish there had been a little schematic on the pattern or at least a picture of the shawl laid flat and not draped around someone's shoulders so only the side of the shawl was visible but we can't have everything I guess.
So after I washed this thing and got it laid out on a nice clean sheet on my bedroom carpet, I realized, I really didn't know how to block it. I tried the Yarn Harlot's string method on the top edges, but this really didn't work for me. I ran to the computer to look up some other blocking methods and found some great info here and decided that maybe just pinning the heck out of the thing was going to be my only choice. In the meantime the shawl is drying out and I'm having to spray it down with my handy dandy squirt bottle so it doesn't dry into some weird amoeba shape.
So I measured and stretched and started to pin. Then I realized, I didn't have anywhere near enought T-pins. I think the shawl was actually laughing at me when I came at it with my meager supply of pins. I'm a half an hour away from the nearest store that carries T-Pins so I just figured I was going to have to supplement with straight pins. Big mistake. I can't tell you how long it took me to pin out the top edges. My fingers were killing me! Blood had be drawn! The shawl was chanting a cry of victory! After all my trouble with the last shawl (maybe I'll actually write about it someday) I couldn't let this happen again! I had to make some executive decisions.
First. the neck of the shawl. I had no idea how it was supposed to be. Like I said, there was no schematic and no picture of the back of the shawl so I didn't know for certain. So I decided to let the neck hang down and pull the sides up above it slightly. Sort of the way the front of a T-shirt would look.
You can see I attempted the string blocking method and when it didn't work out I just left the string in there just in case I needed it.
Second. I was not about to go through the pain of sticking 5 million straight pins along the bottom edge to keep it straight. I did not have enough T-pins. So I decided to create scallops. I stuck a T-pin where the stockinette stitch between the "peaks" created a little peak of it's own.
This way, I could create relatively even scallops at each of these points, so maybe to the untrained eye it would look like they belonged there.
Needless to say I won't be wearing the shawl to the yarn store where some other knitter may actually detect the problems, but I think it turned out ok anyway, so I will wear it in the presence of non-knitters and it will be ok.
One of these days, though, I'm gonna get this lace thing down pat. It's become personal now. It's between me and the laceweight, and I'm not about to give up so easily!