I apologize for neglecting you, dear reader, for so long. It isn’t that I haven’t been doing lots of knitting. I have. But I’ve been doing other stuff as well, and while that doesn’t interfere with my knitting, it has distracted me from doing my duty to all my loyal readers, all three of you. LOL
“What have you been doing, Pinkoknitter, that could keep you from updating us on your knitting?” you might ask. First of all, I’ve been watching a lot of hockey. A lot. Which means I’ve been doing a lot of knitting. I also have been doing some pleasure reading, and that cuts into computer time. And, last but not least, I have been very busy with Spring clean-up, albeit mostly in a supervisory role.
Last things first–the Spring clean-up. My better half decided it was time to convert the boy’s bedroom into a guest room. The boy moved out nearly 6 years ago, so this project was long overdue. We talked about it a lot, but just never got around to doing it because we knew it was going to be a big job. Just as a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, cleaning out a childhood bedroom begins with unpacking a closet that still held baby toys. Many plastic storage bins and many hours later, the DH had the closet cleaned out and reorganized. We threw very little away; most of the stuff from the closet is now stored in the shed, although some of it is still in the closet. But now it is nicely and neatly organized.
The next step was to move the furniture out of the room and get the walls ready for a new coat of paint. I helped a little with the furniture, which required doing some rearranging in another bedroom because some of the furniture from the boy’s room was destined for another room. The DH cleaned the cobwebs and patched holes and primed and painted. Then I stepped in and cleaned the carpet, which was installed in 1982. And voilà! The room looked fresh and new.
Furniture came next. We replaced the single bed that had been in the room with a brand new double bed, moved in a dresser and a night stand from other bedrooms, put new knobs on the closet doors, added a couple of lamps and a chair, and topped it off with a brand new comforter.
While we were at it, I reorganized my yarn closet.
And we both worked on the walk-in closet. The DH also reorganized garage storage, so now we have a nice, neat garage with a place for everything and everything in its place.
In spite of all the Spring clean-up, I’ve managed to find plenty of time to knit. I finished two pairs of socks, a pair in Knit Picks Stroll in Cork for the DH, knitted cuff down in a simple 2 x 2 ribbing,
and a pair of toe-up socks in Plymouth Happy Feet in a horrible colorway that knits up to look like camo, so I dressed them up by adding some Miyuki Gold Iris Metallic 8/0 round seed beads.
I simply cannot capture the color and sparkle of these beads with my camera, but they are lovely. They really catch the light and glimmer like colored sequins.
I also finished another lace shawl, Calico Cat’s Paw, based on the Cat’s Paw Square Shawl in Martha Waterman’s book Traditional Lace Shawls. I call it Calico Cat’s Paw because the colors I used, Jaggerspun Zephyr in Copper and Black, remind me of my beloved and dearly missed calico cat, Loretta. Yeah, I know the shawl isn’t truly calico because there is no white, but humor me, please. 🙂
Naturally I just had to make a few changes to the pattern. First off, after I had knitted a few repeats of the Cat’s Paw pattern, I realized that the pattern in the book didn’t yield the same results as the shawl pictured. So I started over again and changed the pattern to match the picture.
I also did extra repeats of the Old Shell pattern so that my shawl would be large enough, adding a second repeat of the color change rounds. I then finished the shawl off by knitting a row of eyelets, then adding a knitted-on edging.
I prefer a knitted-on edging to crocheted loops and the Brand Iron edging from Heirloom Knitting works very well with the undulations of Old Shell. I actually tried a lot of different edgings before settling on Brand Iron.
The shawl dressed out to about 57 inches square. I could have stretched it harder and made it at least 3 inches bigger, but I don’t have enough blocking squares to made a blocking surface larger than 60 inches square (including the tabs). I really must buy some more.
Here’s something you won’t hear me say very often. I currently have only one project OTN, a lovely beaded lace scarf designed by Jackie E-S of HeartStrings FiberArts, and knitted in white Jaggerspun Zephyr, one of my favorite lace-weight yarns, using 8/0 Miyuki round seed beads in silver-lined sapphire. I call it Blue Teardrops because the lace motifs, when dressed out, are shaped like teardrops and the beads are, well, blue. 🙂
When I started this project, I thought it was going to be fiddly. I had to string the beads on the yarn before casting on, something I don’t like to do, and placing the beads involves reseating stitches and purling through the back loop, but once I got started, I discovered it wasn’t fiddly at all. Jackie’s designs are outstanding. She puts a lot of thought into them and doesn’t just feed a stitch pattern into a computer program like all too many so-called designers do nowadays. With all the planning Jackie puts into her designs, they are well worth the modest price she charges, and that is why I have several of her patterns in my queue.
I plan to cast on a new project tonight—another pair of socks for the DH in Knit Picks Stroll in rich shades of brown called Kindling Tonal. I think this yarn calls out for my favorite stitch pattern for socks, Shadow Rib. These socks will make good mindless knitting for watching the Stanley Cup playoffs. I also have a few other projects planned, but I shall save them for later. TTFN.