Sunday, June 25, 2006

What to Knit when you need something easier! (Brain Fry)

Whenever I need to knit something that won't fry my brain, I rotate my lace knitting to things much more simple yet not a waste of time. At my age, I don't even buy my banana's green, if you know what I mean! Since I screwed-up the Peacock Shawl again, I have been working on the center of the Mountain Pines shawl. I only have one more course of the pattern and the center will be completed! This is one of those shawls where I have to pick-up all around the square and knit outwards. After trying to knit on US 1, it's a pleasure and very easy to knit this Mountain Pines shawl on US 3. It's hard to see, but there is a flower pattern in the center section. Hard to see due in part to my bad photography and also due to the fact that lace looks awful before it is stretched. See above, balls of "Graceful". I was using the purple for the Peacock shawl but messed up so many times that I have temporarily retired this ball of yarn in favor of the ball in the upper right hand corner of the picture. I'm hoping this will break the curse on this shawl for me. Of course, it may just be rotten attention-span due to my menopause that is causing so much grief and my aging eye-sight. Which brings me to a age related knitting topic. I only learned to knit as an adult. I learned to spin first. I was not taking pictures of my knitted works 20 odd years ago so I have no pictures of the knitted lace shawls I made. Most of the shawls were gifts and many of the people are living far away now. The only shawl I might lay hands on locally is one I made it for my friend, Louise who is older than I am. It is a pattern I obtained from Knitters Magazine knit with 2 ply merino lace weight yarn I spun on my Schacht spinning wheel. It is not the most intricate, but it's not bad for the beginning knitter and spinner that I was. My spinning is better now. More consistent and finer. Still, my friend hauled the shawl out to show-off at her local "Stitch & Bitch" group just for laughs and they were fairly impressed. Guess they haven't seen much knitted lace! If I get it from her, I'll make a picture of it. I've observed that younger knitters have not had as much to do with lace initially. Same with new spinners. However, as I've been surfing the craft boards and blogs, I think there is a change coming and more people are making knitted lace something to try . I take the upsurge in lace patterns available as a sign and more beautiful yarn made for this type of work. Just when my eyes suck too! I'm due for an eye examination in July so maybe I can convince them to make me microscopic eye glasses so I can see the lace better. I have a partially finished circular shawl made of BFL I spun. I had to stop because the "Madeira Lace" pattern in the outer ring was making me grit my teeth. I'm afraid it will sit on the needles awhile longer while I continue with the much more fun Mountain Pines and head-banger Peacock Shawl.

Until later!

Lace (Life-long obsession)

I am creating this site for my lace projects. Something that I can post my progress on. My other site is for other crafts in general, but Lace is something that gets hold of you and won't let go. I'm not even good at it but still I keep at it. There are those who are much much better. Knitterguy for one ( . he is making The infamous "Princess" shawl from the Heirloom Knitting site (see side-bar). His second site is devoted to his progress on this lovely shawl ( . I have had to re-do my site because my previous site was so messed-up as to be impossible to print on. This is much better. See above, my current project made of a 70/30 merino/silk blend two ply that I hand-spun on my Schacht wheel at 22-24 WPI. The fiber is from Widdershin Woolworks in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico and it spun like a dream. I am also starting, yet again, to knit the "Peacock Shawl" from Fiddlesticks Knitting. This will be the 6th time I had to rip it out. I am stubborn and refuse to use a "Lifeline" so I will take a page out of the Knitterguys attempts and begin to limit how much time I spend knitting on the shawl so not to make undue errors. I need to be a whole lot sharper as I'm not doing it on the recommended size US 3 needles but on US 1. Yeah, I know, just hit me repeatedly over the head with a baseball bat! But if it wasn't a challenge, it wouldn't be fun! I have also decided that the ball of yarn I was using, purple, is cursed.I have started with a different colorway. The name of the yarn is "Graceful" and can be purchased at the Yarn Place (see side-bar for link).

That's it for now!