Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Little Knitting Progress and Many Thanks

I want to thank all of you who have left comments or sent emails in sympathy for our loss of Shadow. You have all been so generous and so understanding, and I truly appreciate your support. My heart still hurts whenever I sit down to knit and she's not there beside me, especially late at night; it seems so lonely.

Midnight is doing her best to shoulder the burden of being Only Cat, but she is by nature more solitary. Today I decided to bring the CatBookMom to the Midnight mountain, so I've moved to the living room sofa and I'm catching up with some of my TiVo'd programs - the SciFi Channel is running all of the old 'Enterprise' episodes, in order, and I'm a Star Trek fan of 40 years' standing.

I've made a lot of progress on knitting projects, so I have a lot of yarny goodness to sha
re. Most happy-making is that I have finally finished my Highland Triangle Shawl, from Cheryl Oberle's 'Folk Shawls'. I made this using Elann's Highland Chunky in the Tranquil Lagoon colorway and it took exactly 10 skeins, or 760 yards on size 9US needles. Tranquil Lagoon has a blue-grey overall color, but it has a lavender look closer up. Love the color!

Being vertically-challenged as I am, I knitted at least one repeat less of both the sort-of-brambly central section and the razor-shell lace. Even so, there were more than 250 stitches to be trimmed with the knitted-on edging. Since each stitch of the shawl takes 2 rows to form the edging, that's over 500 rows, but there's only 9 stitches. I found that the tips of my Denise needle set made perfect very-short needles on which to knit the edging.

Unblocked, the shawl measured 67in across the top and 30in deep; blocked, it is 77in across and 41in deep. My first pass at the blocking came out nearly 8ft by 4ft, so I scrunched it up and tried again. I really love this shawl and I have used it nearly every day, early mornings and late at night.

I have started
a gift scarf for a long-time friend, who saw some of my Handpainted Yarn, aka Malabrigo and oohed and aahed about it. HY is, I think, from the same source of yarn as Malabrigo, but is far less expensive. It's become difficult to find any 100% merino through HY, since Malabrigo has become so popular, but they do have some from time to time. This is 'real' Malabrigo, in the Cactus Flower colorway, bought from WEBS before I found HY. I'm using a simple double repeat of Vine Lace, from Barbara Walker #1, with eyelets on the side. There's not enough of a border to keep the stockinette from rolling, but this will block beautifully. Knitting with this yarn is so lovely, with the plushness of the single-ply yarn and the very subtle color changes.

Curlerchik, a knitblogger friend in Canada, tipped me off to some gorgeous yarn, which she used to make a moebius scarf. So I have to 'fess up to a small tumble off my KFTS (Knit From The Stash) wagon. This is Lang's Mille Colori yarn, which is 50% wool/50% acrylic, though you'd never guess the acrylic content from the soft, silky feel of the yarn. I got this from Kaleidoscope Yarn, but it's available from other shops, too. The plies are very, very fine and that makes it
tend to be a bit splitty, even with my relatively-blunt needles. But you have to check out this yarn. I ordered some just before my credit card number was stolen and before Shadow got sick, and somehow in the turmoil I have completely forgotten what project I had in mind. I must have had something in mind, since I specifically ordered 6 skeins. The picture is just a swatch, with the only purpose to play with the colors and see what needle size I want to use. The yarn band says (10-10.5US) 6-7mm, but I'm a loose knitter and I may want to use an 8US or even a 7. (5mm or 4.5mm). This is colorway #46 - blues and purples, of course!

The next projects are pretty ambitious: I want to finish my Dayflower Shawl in Elann's cedar-green Baby Silk; that's about a third done. The Elann Chat group is going to be doing a KAL of Chicknits' Ribby Cardi, and after much frustration trying to find a zippered cardi or hoodie that's not too long for short-waisted me, I'm motivated to knit one for myself. I'm going to use Elann's Highland Wool in Deep Blue Sea and Dusty Teal, the body in teal and the sleeves in the darker blue. And my DH wants a sweater. We found a not-too-heavily cabled pullover in Melissa Leapman's "Cables Untangled", and I have some bluish-green Debbie Bliss Merino Aran yarn that will look great on him.


Anonymous said...

I hope the coming days and nights get easier. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved animal friend. Shadow was more than a pet. Hope all the knitting cheers you up. Bri

Madge said...

Great WIPs update. :) And your Highland Triangle Shawl is drop dead gorgeous! Perfect for chilly days like today.

Hey, have you seen The Dresden Files on SciFi? What do you think?

Glad you're able to snuggle with Midnight, too.

Anonymous said...

Still thinking about you and your dear Shadow. Oh, so hard. I love your Highland Triangle Shawl in that colorway. It looks so cozy! And thanks for telling us about the striped yarn. Love it! Have to check it out.

Joan said...

You are busy, busy, busy. Giving Jayne and Grace a run for thier money for sure. Stupendous shawl! I totally want one!

jayne said...

What a lovely shawl! I hope Midnight was friendly when you showed up in her turf.

I am an old Star Trek fan from way back too. I really like Enterprise; I think it's brilliant!

smariek said...

That came out very nice! I would never have thought of using chunky for a shawl, probably because people have mentioned that it's better to use lighter weight yarn for them. The scarf is lovely too.

I'm a Star Trek fan, although I can't claim to be a fan as long as you have. I only started watching TOS when I was 4 yrs old, and they were reruns back then.

Sorry I don't comment as often as I would like, but I have to tell you that I love reading your blog & seeing all your pics.

Dipsy D. said...

Oh, I'm absolutely impressed by the lace work you're doing, it's so beautiful! What an amazing pattern the Highland Triangle Shawl is, and it looks so very special in this colourway! And I'll definitely check out the striped yarn, thanks for telling us about that!

Grace Yaskovic said...

i have Highland Wool (not chunky) tucked away for this shawl, the first one I made is long gone and your completed project has me wanting to dig it up and start it now, but alas all the other works on needles would probably revolt!! Its really wonderful Barbara be proud fellow trekkie (every monday night finds us watching Enterprise also, and week nights at 6 we watch VOYAGER, neither of which we have seen before

Bonne Marie said...

OMG! Your shawl is Fantastic! I've been lusting after that design for a long time - maybe I better get this party started!!!

I curtsey low to your awesome Skills!

junior_goddess said...

Goodness. You've been busy!

Lisa W. said...

barbara your shawl is breathtaking! the edging is beautiful on its own. wow is all i have to say!
hey, if it's any version star trek (even DS9)....i'm all over it...

benne said...


You have really been knitting like crazy. Beautiful work and I love your shawl. I'm really sorry about your beloved Shadow. I'm glad you're staying busy with your knitting. Nothing makes the sadness go away but knitting is comforting, especially while you're wearing your new shawl.

Lucky Canuck said...

How sorry to hear about your Shadow. My family has gone through the loss of four beloved dogs. I know exactly what you are going through. Our cat Myron, is now 11 years old and we can't imagine him not being around.

May you find comfort in your knits.