Thursday, May 22, 2008

Reaching For "Normal" (Life is not for the weak)













Hats? What's with the hats? For those of you who kindly expressed concern over my recent stress, I present hats! Not lace, and knit by my sister rather than me, but important because they signal at least a partial reduction of my stress. These hats are for our good friend, Louise who you may have heard me refer to over the years. She has posed several times as a shawl model. Once with a Swallowtail shawl (which she then proceeded to keep) and once with the Hyrna which she decided was not her color so she let me keep that one. She even was nice enough to lend me back the first lace shawl I ever spun (which she owns of course) so I could take a picture of it for this blog (pre blog, pre digital photography). I have known Louise for over 20 years and she has been in the hospital for weeks, hence my stress. The great thing is that she looks like she may be on the mend and needs hats since her hair, alas had to be sacrificed. Thank you to everyone who has been wishing me well. I think the good vibes may have helped us both.
As I try to reach for something like "Normal" I have started back to knitting on the International Shawl and have added the leaf pattern that fleegle found in Pitsilised Koekirjad by Leili Reimann. I have a corner shot of the shawl bit it's getting really crowded on this needle so I'm not sure it's the best shot. I'm not going to make it very deep since I still have to fit in "Something Shetland"after the leaf pattern. The increases in the corners happen every other row and the pattern shaping in the corners are strictly, "By Guess By Golly" if you catch my drift. This is a seat of the pants deal as you can see. The leaf pattern is # 114 for those of you who have the book. Unfortunately, I don't think this book is available right now but there is a new book on Estonian Lace coming out by Nancy Bush called, "Knitted Lace of Estonia: Techniques, Patterns and Traditions" Nothing lowers stress better than retail therapy so I have already placed this book on pre-order at Amazon and I have high hopes it will be a fun one to knit from:-)
Below the shawl I have a shot of my new shawl pin. I got it from Romi and it's beaten copper. Very pretty, about two inches in length, the pin is shaped so it does not slip out so easily from the shawl. She has lots of lovely pins and is well known for her lace patterns including Muir and Ice Queen to name a few. As you can see, I have now spun up two colors of merino/sari silk fiber from Enchanted Knoll Farms . One with more pink/red to it, the other mostly green. It's not a thin yarn by any means so I really have to give this one some thought as to what I will do with it. It's the first "Superwash" wool I've ever spun and I did not really like how it felt or spun very much. Think of hair that has been permed one too many times and now feels kind of dry and lifeless. It's still soft, but I'm used to wool that feels "alive" with the scales still on those hair shafts. I still have some more superwash I can try in a different color but if it continues to feel crappy this may be the last time I buy any since I don't make socks. The bobbin of brown singles is the Madder dyed BFL from "A Verb For Keeping Warm". It actually looks nicer than what shows on the screen but there is still only 4 ounces of it. 4 ounces will only get me a triangle shawl or a good sized scarf. I will have to give this more thought. Maybe I can get more? Ha! Fat chance! Oh Well. That's all that there is for now. I am sending good vibes to everyone out there in knitting land as you did for me while I lived in dread. I hope everyone who has a 3 day holiday coming up enjoys it. Happy And Healthy Knitting to you All!

21 comments:

Pinneguri said...

Sending your friend Louise good well-wishing thoughts :)

Gordana said...

Hi! Just wanted to send some good vibes to you and your friend Louise
and let you know that you have broken link here:
http://www.knittingzone.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=leaf+lace+shawl&x=10&y=18
Best regards, Gordana

LittleBerry said...

Glad your friend is on the mend and your stress levels are coming down....

The shawl pin is cute.. that's going on my Christmas list for me.... especially as I know have a shalw of my own to wear!!!!

The international shawl is looking good... and am looking forward to the next stage... I have the Pitsilised book; I heard they were trying to redo it as they were asking for volunteers to knit samples for the new book... We can't pre-order Nancy Bushes book on Amazon UK yet :o(

The spinning as always is a pleasure to look at... I got a bit confused, not difficult I know but is the Enchanted Knoll batt a superwash? Have you tried other superwashes as sakinneedles is very nice but I've never come across s/wash with other bits in before...

fleegle said...

Your international shawl is looking wonderful...sigh...mine is still in the back of a drawer.

Please send my best to Louise. I know how stressful times like this can be. Please take care of yourself as well.m

BadCatDesigns said...

I am glad you are back and your friend is "on the mend." No doubt she will love the hats. Sending good wishes...

Soo said...

Lots of good thoughts for your friend.

....and what an impressive collection of FO's!!!!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous work! I was wondering how the EK fiber was like to spin. You are a wonderful friend, may you and Louise both have many, many more goooood vibes come your way. Terry

Sharon said...

I am glad to hear your dear friend is doing better. She is lucky to have a good friend like you.
I have long been admiring your lace work and when I found myself in need of of knitting wisdom, I thought of you. I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions.
I have been lucky enough to snag a copy of Lyra from ebay, however since I don't read German but am very determined and committed to lace knitting I can't wait to get started. Am I correct that there is only 1 chart to work from,#0686/27 to be repeated ?8 times and that there are only 179 rows to the entire pattern? I feel silly, but it seems like I must be overlooking another chart or 2 Any tips, advice or guidance won't be greatly appreciated. thanx so much, an admirer, sharon

Carol said...

glad your friend is on the mend! Yay! and the shawl pin is lovely...off for some retail therapy now...

Jane said...

Dear pinnegurl,

Thanks! She's getting better every day and is is well enough to be cranky with the hospital staff. Always a good sign :-)

Jane said...

Dear Gordana,

The good vibes are working! Thank you for letting me know about the link. I think it's fixed now.

Jane said...

Dear littleberry,

Thank you for the good thoughts :-) I love the shawl pin. I had been looking at it on-line for a long time and then actually got to see one in the flesh at Stitches West this year.Once I got my "stimulus package" I knew it was time to get it! The International shawl is doing well and I do hope they re-print the Estonian book in English even though I am able to knit from my copy. I hope it will be easier to get a hold of for others. So sorry to hear you can't pre order the Nancy Bush yet but I'm sure once it's out it will be easy to get. I just feel better having it pre-ordered is all. As for the spinning, yes it was the Enchanged Knoll batts that were superwash wool with that sari silk. Not a pleasure to spin. I bet it would have been much nicer if it had been just plain old merino. This is my first experience with superwash but I have some I got from "Girl On The Rocks" that I will try as well to see if it is the same experience. I hope not. Still, the yarn from the Enchanged Knoll Farms is pretty.

Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

Thank you :-) I'm really OK but if you ask the people I work with they will tell you I've been horrid impatient with them when they complain to me about something. I'm always thinking in my head "Yeah, but are YOU in the hospital? Nooooo." Not fair I know. The International Shawl is working out well (nice call on the leaf lace pattern). I am going to use the Madiera and Diamond Chart for the Shetland Section that comes next (page 98 of Sharon Miller). Not fancy but I'm knitting on a deadline (my co-worker retires sometime in June). I can understand putting it away after dropping those stitche. Nieblings are not fun to pick back at all (shudder).

Jane said...

Dear badcatdesigns,

Thank you for your good thoughts. Everything helps in my opinion. We are waiting until the incisions are closed up before we have her use the hats but they are nice and soft and loose so she should be able to wear them.

Jane said...

Dear Soo,

Thank you for your good thoughts. I appreciate them a lot! You have a huge colllection of finished objects of your own that are just as impressive :-)

Jane said...

Dear Terry,

the EK fiber was not all that bad but you could really tell the difference between superwash and non treated merino. The fiber preperation was really good on the silk however. Lovely seperated strands of sari silk in terrific colors. I think if I got more from them I would just ask her if she could make up batts with regular merino. I think I would then have loved spinning with it much more and I suspect I would have been able to spin thinner singles as well.

Jane said...

Dear Sharon,

You are correct on all points. It is just the one chart and it is done 8 times. It's a very small shawl if you plan to use yarn rather than thread for a table topper. If you want the square version, there is a section of the outer "leaves" that you have to repeat for the corners . If you want it round, then you don't repeat it. My suggestion, if you want a good sized little shawl, go for a larger needle and yarn and if you don't want trouble with "binding" (areas of the lace that are tight and unyielding) for for something with "give" like wool rather than silk or tencel. Maybe a US 6 or something. If you go small like I did expect more of a "shawlette". Good Luck!

Jane said...

Dear Carol,

Thanks! Buy lots and lots of stuff. It reduces my stress to watch others shop :-)

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Sending lots of well wishes- and peace and strength, too.

Jane said...

Dear puffthemagicrabbit,

Thank you for your good wishes :-)We all hope Louise will be well enough to come home soon.