Saturday, February 03, 2007

"But I can't read Japanese!" (Mondnacht & Mountainash)

In case you can't make yourself crazy enough in English, perhaps you would like to try to knit from a Japanese knitting book without your knowing a second language. I was looking at Fleegles blog when she showed a picture of Mondnacht which she is planning to knit. She's nice enough to give you all the information you need to pretend you might actually be able to knit this lovely shawl including some translations for the symbols into English as well as a friendly Yahoo Group knitting one of the shawls from this book. She even gives you a link to a store to buy the book. I already own one Japanese knitting book that I bought years and years ago. I have not knit anything from it because it was only "eye candy" as far as I was concerned when I got it. I had no intention of actually knitting from it. Really. It's not like I don't have enough to knit without try to branch out into a language I can neither read nor speak. Yeah. Right.

Please see above my copy of "New Style of Heirloom Knitting". I went to "J" town in San Francisco to the Kinokuniya Bookstore and bought it rather than send for it. I was pretty sure I could find it there since I knew where the craft/knitting section was in that store and could recognize the cover picture. Since I have a little experience with knitting Shetland Lace now, I think I might actually give these shawls a try. The book also contains wonderful projects in cables and color knitting as well, but that's not why I bought it.

You can also see a shot of Fir Cone. Borrring! Take a last look because after I post this, I'm frogging it. It's "not worth the powder to blow it away" as my friend Louise would say. That poor slate grey Zephyr deserves a better, more elegant fate. We will endeavor to do it justice later. Lastly, here's a shot of Phoebe the Skip and Jake the Sheltie. Our dogs who don't understand why we sit there night after night knitting instead of throwing the chew toys repeatedly for them. They are knitting orphans, it's true.

3 Repeats Of Center Pattern (The Wedding Ring Shawl)

I just had to post my progress on The Wedding Ring Shawl even though I still have two and 2/3 pattern repeats to do to finish the center panel. After such a long dry spell, I'm delirious that I'm making headway. I'm also glad that I pined it out because I found a DROPPED STITCH! I actually picked it up and was able to tie it off to fix it. You can find it if you look for it along with the "Homer Simpson" fixes, but on the whole it still is looking pretty good. For anyone doing one of these, I highly advise you check it out from time to time for this type of thing. Better to find it now than when I go to soak and block it. Because I have been asked a few questions about the yarn I'm using for The Wedding Ring Shawl, I'm posting a picture showing the "old" and the current cobweb weight yarns that I bought from Lacis in Berkeley. I'm using the circa 1980's Cobweb weight Shetland Lace yarn from Lacis (the balls of yarn on the right side) for my shawl. The skein of yarn pictured on the left hand side, is the Cobweb weight yarn that Lacis sells now. It's labeled "Pashmina" on it so I'm not sure where it is manufactured. Perhaps not as nice and consistently spun as the vintage yarn I'm using, but it's still good enough considering the other yarn is no longer available.
I'm still working on my other shawls, knocking off a row or two for each one in turn as relief knitting for the Wedding Ring Shawl. I am beginning to detest knitting the Fir Cone Shawl however. It's not at all interesting visually. Not the fault of the shawl. My fault for knitting it in a solid rather than variegated yarn. I may actually rip it or "frog" it as the modern phrase for deconstruction goes. I hate to rip all that work but I also hate to work on things that don't move me. Maybe if I work on it really hard I can get it done and out of my site? We shall see. I have to finish at least one more shawl before I can start a new project. I have several in line to be made but every time I think of knitting a swatch my hands itch to be knitting The Wedding Ring Shawl instead so no swatches. One must strike while the iron is hot so I will continue on my quest to finish this shawl this year. My reward will be to buy The Princess Shawl pattern that I hope is to be re-released this year.
Now this brings up the idea of "Pattern Stash" which a different issue than "Yarn Stash". Patterns we collect in hopes of eventually knitting them don't take up as much space as the fiber and yarn do, but how many of them will we ever get around to making? I know I have more than I will ever be able to finish knitting in my lifetime but I know I can't promise I won't get more patterns, just like I can't promise not to buy more yarn or fiber when Stitches West comes to town. What can I say. I have a knitting monkey on my back!