Sunday, October 21, 2007

Caught in a Web

Yesterday, I gathered up all of my unfinished knitting projects and assessed how long it would take to finish them. I mean, I have a shawl that just needs to have fringe attached, and a bag that needs an i-cord handle. There is no excuse for those to still be unfinished.

So today, I finished them right?

Wrong. Today I was seduced into working on the Charlotte's Web shawl. I bought the yarn the last time I was in Omaha, with the help of crackerjack enablers Eliza, Minnie, and Tara.

The shawl is knit with five different colors of variegated yarn - sometimes alone, and sometimes in alternating rows. The order above is the order they will be used, starting with the neck edge on the left.

This is my third attempt at making Charlotte's Web. I tried it a few years ago, with different yarn. I had little lace experience and no stitch markers, and it quickly became a disaster.

Since then, I have bought stitch markers at almost every new yarn shop I visit, the way some people buy postcards or souvenir spoons. I started the shawl with this yarn a couple of weeks ago, but I messed up the lace pattern. Repairing it turned out to be more time-consuming than starting it over. Now I am through the first single color, and midway through the first alternating section.

Can you see the white thread about a third of the way up from the bottom?

That's dental floss. Because of the earlier problems, I decided to use a lifeline. I threaded a needle with the dental floss, and ran it through a row of stitches that were known to be correct. Should there be another unfortunate incident, I would only have to rip back to the lifeline. So far, knock wood, everything is fine. I did drop one stitch, but with some deep breathing and a pair of double point needles, I was able to repair the damage.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

'Tis the season

National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner.

I have absolutely no ideas this year, and I expect work is going to be more stressful that usual, due to an unanticipated absence on the team. But after five years, it's just what I do in November.

The October weather is certainly cooperating for indoor activities like writing - and knitting. It has been blustery, and today was rainy off and on.

I started the month with the intention of getting some knitting projects finished before it was time to write. Instead, I have been starting projects. The Knit Wits went to Iowa City, and I started a new project in the car on the way back. I've started not just one, but two, lace projects, and I've made two baby hats.

Just winding this ball of yarn was a project, requiring me, T, and some borrowed equipment.

It doesn't look so dramatic here, but this is a pound of yarn - enough for a sweater. It's about five inches tall and seven inches across, and it is destined to be a shawl. The only reason I haven't cast on yet is that I need to photocopy the pattern first, so I can scribble on it at will.

Most of the photos I have taken with the cell phone recently were blurry, but this one was good. And it makes me laugh.