March 30, 2010 § 4 Comments
I have a new orchid. It’s gorgeous. I originally wanted a white one, but this one was just too huge and pretty to turn down. And when the sun was out in full force today, I took a couple of pictures.
Speaking of being out in full force… Ricky Martin came out via his blog yesterday. Which, huh. I guess the only ones truly surprised are a couple of grandmas in Iceland, but still, I wouldn’t exactly have expected it. Especially not so beautifully worded, in English too but in Spanish even more so: “Hoy ACEPTO MI HOMOSEXUALIDAD como un regalo que me da la vida. ¡Me siento bendecido de ser quien soy!” (Today I accept my homosexuality as a gift that life gives me. I am blessed to be who I am!)
Now. Less pop culture, more knitting. The Swallowtail Stole, aka Python: Norwegian Blue. Yesterday I tried my hand at the set-up round again, finished that one and the plain round after that, and then realized… I hadn’t started or ended the second long side with the edge stitches, but jumped straight into the pattern. So I decided, screw it, and did this:
And when I cast on again, I’d learned from my previous mistakes. I left a long tail to sew the middle together in the end. I put down markers every 30 sts on the long sides, and between the sections where I needed them. Which, believe it or not, helped a lot. So now, just about 28 hours later, I have this:
Which doesn’t look like much, but here’s a secret: I actually have twice that width. Cause I’m just that awesome.
I just pinned the middle together, and I really really hope it doesn’t look like that when I sew it… I might have to try it on a swatch before. For reference, I got the idea (and technique) from The Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting by Marianne Kinzel. She has truly gorgeous designs in there, which were the reason for buying the book in the first place, and one day I’ll knit myself half a Balmoral thistle as a shawl. Since right now I’m gathering experience with having a gazillion stitches on my needles. Well, right now it’s ‘only’ around 400 (and I can’t believe I wrote ‘only, either), but it’s still enough to look like a lovely lacy ruffle on the cable of my circ.
One day I’ll have to make those lacy ruffle cuff thingies. I have a thing for pretty, lacy, delicate, girly, useless things, which is… basically the opposite of everything else I wear. But who says butch-ish girls can’t enjoy pretty things?
Even if I enjoy a good breakfast even more. (Seriously, best breakfast ever.)
March 14, 2010 § 8 Comments
I slept five hours tonight due to bad planning, and on top of that I slept badly. Now that I’m back from my grandma’s, I wanted to catch up on sleep, but of course my brain is too wired from the caffeine intake needed to not crash the car, so, yeah. My thoughts have been skipping from dogs to cars to forests to gossip to knitting to interior design to dogs, and back to knitting, and I just had a really good idea.
Saskia and I are going to see Max Raabe again this summer, and I need a new shawl. I’d say I could totally wear the green monster if it wasn’t so freakishly big, but truth is, I’d want to knit a new one either way. Cause I still have 200g of yellow laceweight merino, and what else am I gonna do with it?
What I’m trying to say is that I’ve been researching shawl patterns, and I just don’t know what I want. I like wide borders, and I really like Estonian lace patterns, and there’s just so many patterns on Ravelry, but somehow I can’t find the perfect one.
The only one that comes to mind, that has a wide, entertaining border combined with a relatively simple center motif, is the Swallowtail Shawl. It’s not a secret that’s my favoritest shawl pattern ever, I’ve made two of them in different weights, it’s lovely, it’s entertaining, it’s just amazing, and more than 6000 other people seem to think so, too.
But I’ve made two of those, and the problem is also that with laceweight, you need more center repeats to make it a decent size, and that kind of negates the wide border aspect, ratio-wise. And truth to be told, I didn’t really want a triangular shawl for the occasion, anyway.
So I’m thinking… a Swallowtail Stole. A rectangular version of the Swallowtail Shawl. Cast on the center repeat provisionally across 30 cm or so (ish, I’d have to measure the border width of the laceweight version to make sure I don’t end up with another stole of impractically monstrous dimensions) plus two or three garter stitches on each side, knit that for a bit (like, 150 or 180 cm), then pick up stitches all around and go for the border. The border corner of the triangular shawl is a 90° angle so I wouldn’t have to worry about that, it’d be all charted out already in the original pattern. The edging would be knit in the round, so the plain rows (well, and the ones featuring the p5togs for the nupps) would be knit instead of purl, which would make the whole show go much faster. Apart from the fact that I’d have a ridiculous amount of stitches, but, oh well.
Alternatively I could do the thing with the center provisional grafted-together cast-on they have in Modern Lace Knitting (like so), which would save me the pain of having to pick up a gazillion stitches AND there would be no purling involved whatsoever. Plus I think it would be the more elegant solution, but I’ll have to see how stretchy that center-cast-on-thing is. I could mirror the lily-of-the-valley in the middle of the sides, so they would point to the corners as in the shawl.
It would be amazing. Largely because it would pretty much be all border.
Or I could do something completely different and do a half a Daffodil, which would go nicely with the color of the yarn, and I could name the project ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’.
I still have a little time to think. Maybe inspiration will strike while I’m winding the mile or so of yarn. But if I may say so, that right there was pretty inspired.