Saturday, July 29, 2006

Peacock Shawl Do-over (much bigger yarn and needles)

So yesterday I started doing the Peacock Shawl over again in a yarn size that I can live with on US 3 needles. You see a partial pin-out since there is no way to do a full pin-out unless I take the shawl off the needles and put it on something longer to hold the stitches. When the yarn is this big, I can see everything and I am already on row 91 of the pattern. Knitting this now just flies along like no effort at all. It's amazing how you can knit with authority when you can actually see the darned stitches. Now I know what you may be thinking. You may be rather concerned that the yarn is so LOUD. Well, you would be right about that. It will take a special kind of presence to wear this shawl and not be daunted. Still, when you are my age, life holds little to be afraid of in terms of what other's might think of you or how you are dressed. Besides, if not now , then when?
Anyway, the concept of knitting lace is not actually hard for me, it's the size differential that gets me. I want to knit the very thin lace-weights, but I pay for that desire in frustratingly slow progress since I can hardly see the stitches to correct errors. Hence, it is best not to make any errors in smaller size needle/yarn weights to begin with. Like I said, slow . I'm on row 20 of the WRS and did not knit it at all during the blistering heat-wave that we had here where I live (high 90's). I also took a picture of how I keep some of my lace projects now. I really like these clear project caddies. You can see all your supplies and retrieve them quickly It is also less likely that your lace projects will get bumped etc in these. I'd love to see how everyone else organizes their work. Of course, I have other things just thrown into knitting bags etc, but these are things that are not very delicate and if they accidentally fell off the needles, could be put back easily. There is a gathering in Dixon CA this weekend with sheep and vendors of sheep related products. I had considered going until it became so unbearably hot out here. I can't justify it since I have plenty of yarn, fiber and there are already 3 wheels in the house. Going to that show would only tempt us to buy more stuff and we already have a gracious plenty of supplies. I have been busy practicing spinning thin on my Schacht single treadle with some beautiful merino I bought from Lisa Sousa Knitwear (see side-bar). It's such a pleasure that I can't begin to tell you! I might experiment with my singles to see how sturdy they are. I've always been afraid to try to use my yarn as a single for fear it would just fall apart on me, however, on examination of the Shetland cobweb weight I've been knitting, I have begun to re-think my stand on this. If I give it a lot of twist, then steam-block it, I think It would be something I could use to knit with. I'm going to give that a try later. For now I'm still busy with the shawls and with my crazy quilt project. Not only that. Once I finish my Peacock Shawl, I have a lot of other patterns I want to try out!