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!