Monday, September 28, 2009

Would you look at that?

What's this?

My goodness, could it be? A finished Wedding Shrug, based on the Cobweb pattern (Rav link) by Marie Wallin?

I'm excited, too, Chloe. Still, try to manage your excitement?


Thanks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

TGIF: Thank Goodness It's Finished

I've been quiet largely because I've been plugging away on The Shrug while dealing with a broken water heater, a sick dog, and a few shrug-related set backs. Here's the worst of those.

I gleefully knit along on the fronts, and forgot to make certain the shoulder seams would end up the same length. I thought, for reasons that currently escape me, that I only had to account for the final 10 stitches bound off the back at the shoulder seam, and so decreased the front to 10 stitches. Then, because I was on a roll, I didn't think to double check the shoulders until after I'd finished both fronts. Turns out, there are actually 24 stitches bound off on the shoulder in the back, just some on one side, then on the other, then the final bind off of 10. Whoops.

Anywho, the knitting portion is complete, and I am on to the seaming part. While I have seamed before, I haven't done something so fine. I'm a little nervous, and am going to my LYS for support and encouragement. I've gone this far, and shouldn't be afraid of a little finish work. Here she is, all pressed and waiting to go.

Wish me luck.

In the meantime, the sock fiend in me has been quieted by the lace knitter. After completing this beaded lacey shrug last night, I promptly cast on new project, namely, the Aeolian Shawl. Beads, charts, and lace, I am wholly comfortable with. This project comes with a NEW challenge: nupps. Nupps are wicked little collections of lots of stitches going into and out of the same stitch. They give me some pause, but I shall push forward and conquer! :-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Shrug Grows in Brooklyn.

Interesting weekend in celebration of the upcoming nuptials of friend J to her darling Lance.* Conversation and laughter ebbed and flowed, accompanied by good wine, good food, and good friends. I participated in conversation where I felt I could add something, sampled the wine, enjoyed the food greatly, and met some lovely new people.

I'm not certain why; call me oblivious. We went to Brooklyn for this party and we went on a sunset cruise around Manhattan. It was cloudy and grey, and I spent most of my energy working on a new sock,** answering knitting questions, and worrying about my lack of swimming skills.*** For some reason, it just never occurred to me that it would happen. Then I looked up, and, in the mist, far away, I saw something. I couldn't believe my eyes, and I asked if that was what I thought it was. Given confirmation, I promptly became an overeager child, waiting for a clearer view. The boat grew closer and turned just a little bit. Just enough that I could no longer see what I was waiting with baited breath to see. Here's what I could see, looking at me through the clouds resting quietly on the water.

Then there was this.

Between my camera and my blackberry, I couldn't take enough pictures of everything. This was a mammoth moment for me. Huge. You see, even after over 3 decades of life on the East Coast and having been to NYC numerous times on various trips, I simply had never ever seen her. Not up close where you can see her features and the drapes of her gown. Not so near that you can feel the benevolence flowing from her gaze down onto you. I squealed like a little girl. I jumped up and down on my seat. I took picture after picture and sent them to GF and my brother. I was infectious (I'm told) in my glee. I was wholly unashamed.

Returning to my normally wry and generally quiet self, I passed through the rest of the evening of more talk, wine and food. I waited for quiet. Bit by bit, everyone dropped off and went to sleep. I had a great talk with my friend, Star, and didn't sleep until really late. Then, because I'm naturally an early riser and because I don't sleep well anywhere but at home, I got up quite early in the morning. I went into the kitchen and took out the shrug to work on it.

Over time, people woke and found their way into the kitchen for coffee (or water) and more conversation.**** Eventually, the kitchen was full, and some remarkably smart people suggested the party move to better accommodations. The hostess, B, stayed in the kitchen. I also stayed, furiously knitting and beading as breakfast preparations went on around me. I did offer to help, but B seemed happy working on her own. I didn't want to mess with her flow, so I stayed out of the way and chatted. All the while, the shrug piece grew. Until, with remarkable timing, I finished the last row of the beaded section just as breakfast was ready to go.

All in all? We got the fabric for the dress to go with the shrug (il est délicieux), we partied, we rested, we ate, we hung out, and we came home. Did I enjoy myself? I have a natural reluctance to be a part of overnight gatherings, but I had fun despite myself. The bride? She seemed tired and I hope she had fun. She assures me she did.

*Just doesn't flow as well, does it, J?
** Of course I took the shrug. Read the title. But I was working on a beaded section. Can you imagine - taking a canister of teeny tiny seed pearl beads onto a rocking boat? And trying to get even a single of those beads onto an equally teeny tiny hook and then onto a very small loop of very thin yarn?? Neither could I. That's why I started socks that I'll blog about later.

*** Yes, I'm 32. No, I don't know how to swim. Shut up.
**** Seriously? These people could TALK.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SHRUG CHECK!!!

If you're interested, I'm well into the shoulder shaping on J's shrug. I'm moving right along, despite being unable to find very many moments to settle and concentrate. But you don't care about all that, do you? "Just post the pretty pictures, Ringed," you say.


Okie dokie.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's this?

This, dear readers (of which there are probably...two of you...okay, maybe three), is my current work-in-progress. I'm making a shrug for J's wedding. It's beaded and lacey and pretty and apparently quite impressive. It is also the culmination of a very frustrating weekend.

You see, I started this project last week, maybe...Tuesday, maybe? I got fairly far along, then realized that the beads I was using (you'll have noticed that every fourth stitch on every fourth row is beaded) were going to run out before I finished the project. I ordered more beads. The exact same kind of little white pearl beads from the exact same place. They arrived on Saturday, and were a different shade of white. ::sigh:: Obviously, I can't use two shades of white beads on the same garment, so I backed up 30 rows (unbeading as I went) so I could re-knit using the new beads. This worked fine until I noticed that the yarn was fuzzing a bit due to the abuse. The fuzzing was making the yarn dull. One of the things that really makes this yarn (and thereby the project) wonderful is the sheen. So, I backed up again, wound that yarn off, and started again with a new skein. I tried a new cast on method, which I love, and this photo is the project once I got back to where I was when I got the beads. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

And the socks just keep comin'

As usual, they're for someone else. These are for my very oldest and dearest friend, CT, who very much wishes for a baby. I knit her these socks, using the Pomatomus pattern by Cookie A., and the Intention Yarns colorway Fertility. The belief behind this yarn is that meditative intent can have power. These yarns are hand dyed with colors selected to represent specific intents and then the word of the intent is written on the yarn in dye (nice write up with pictures here). While the word cannot be seen in the finished product, small dots of darker color can be seen. The dots give little reminders of the purpose behind the project as you go, helping you maintain that meditative frame of mind. I tried, with every stitch, to put my hope for CT and her husband into these socks. There's so little to be done, as a friend, except give love and support to someone going through a difficult time. I hope she will see these as I intended them - as a tangible representation of everything I can't say with words. Of course, she may read about them here before she actually gets them...J graciously loaned me her feet for the pictures - my feet are far too large. I suppose I should put those in the mail. CT darling, tell BB his socks won't be far behind. :-)