Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Finishing Up, Starting Anew, and Last Minute Objects

Okay, who sent the "Interesting Times" thing my way??

The Shawl
Finished Shawl
As all of my Ravelry friends know, this shawl has been a love-hate thing for me. I saw the shawl at  Kid N Ewe this past November. It must have stuck in the back of my mind because, when I was thinking about upcoming demonstrations and remembering how chilly it got last year, I remembered the shawl and how nice and warm it looked. On New Year's Eve, on our way up to the boat, George and I ran by the yarn shop that carries the pattern to get it so I could get started on it that evening. George picked up the pattern while I grabbed the yarn - Cascade Yarns Eco-Wool.  Eco is one of my favorite wools. It comes in natural sheep colors.  It's a heavy yarn but not too bulky.  It smells wonderful and it's warm!

However...  I made the Ultimate Mistake.  I didn't look at the pattern before I bought it. I didn't read the pattern through before I started it. I admit it was strange - charted like no pattern I'd ever seen, but hey - I was doing okay with it.  Until page 4.  After having worked the last row of the chart on page 3, I turned to page 4.  I let out a shriek that could be heard up and down all 50-something miles of that lake!  Page 3 ended with a wrong-side row.  Page 4 started with a wrong-side row.  All was not well.  It took me about 30 minutes to figure it out, but I finally figured out that the wrong side row charts had to be blended to create the row.  Except that there was no way to figure out just how they should have been blended.  So I reverse-engineered the thing from the cover photograph.  This meant, however, that I had to rip out the row I had just knit and do it over.

And that was just the beginning.  It's been over a month with every page and every chart a challenge, but I finally finished it Sunday evening.  And it is gorgeous!  It's big and warm and smells wonderful and is beautiful and I love it!  It's worth all the agony.

And it's been a learning experience. I think it's made me a better knitter and taught me that I know far more about knitting than I ever thought I did.

A Sadder But Wiser Knitter - and her shawl

Update on the Sabina Shawl
Sabina Shawl after wet-finishing
I wet-finished the woven shawl and it turned out even better than I had dared hope. It's gorgeous! It resulted in a request to weave another - which I'll take to be my first commission!!  That's kind of exciting!

New Techniques and the Rigid-Heddle Loom
The Mitered Keyhole Scarf on the Loom
While teaching my first rigid-heddle weaving class, I got to seriously looking at proejcts for my students. I stumbled across this wonderful project  the Mitered Loop Keyhole Scarf from WeaveZine. It directly addresses something my students whine about - "What can I make when I only have 10" weaving width??" Folks, most of the fabric of human history has been woven at or less than 10" wide.  What to do?  Edge-join it (for you woodworkers) or selvege join.  This scarf is an exercise in weaving a very long strip and then looping it and selvege-joining it.  It also teaches clasped-weft technique where two wefts are used in every shot - one on the left side of the weaving and one on the right.  I'm weaving this project directly from the instructions in the project to test it for my students.  But I have gorgeous yarns queued up to weave the next one!

It's good to get the rigid-heddle loom out again. I had a failure on it - trying to weave log cabin dishtowels on double heddles in CotLin.  Sadly, CotLin sticks together and gave me fits trying to get a clean shed.  I'm going to try again in bamboo.

Valentine's Day
A Valentine's Day Card (cover)
With everything that's happened recently, I didn't have anything for my dear husband for Valentine's Day.  He's always so good about getting cards and flowers and never forgetting anything.  I am the world's worst at taking the time to do those kinds of things.  About mid-afternoon, I thought about finishing the caps for his fingerless mitts - I did finish those today - but went upstairs to the long-neglected studio... and got inspiration! An hour and a half later, I had a six-page (counting covers) Valentine's memory book with photos of us through our marriage and sentiments. AND I had it photographed and uploaded to my design team group.  Woot!

But more important, it said what I wanted to say to George.

Two pages of the Valentine's Book

Valentine's ATC's
With the panic about the kittens, I didn't get to the ATC swap.  That's kind of sad, because one of the cards was a Valentine for my swap friends.  I'll have to post the other one later.

Interesting Times
Be like the bird that, pausing in her flight
awhile on boughs too slight
feels them give way beneath her and yet sings
knowing that she hath wings
--Victor Hugo
We're trying to remember this poem... as we recover from us both being laid off from our jobs this morning.  Interesting times, indeed.


  1. Great looking shawl Debbie! And a beautiful Valentine too!

  2. Debbie-
    The shawl is gorgeous, the valentine too, and I am SO SORRY to hear about your jobs. That stinks!!! Let me know if I can help in any way.

  3. Thanks so much! Well, we all get to live through Interesting Times now and again, don't we? And I've discovered that very good things frequently come out of bad times.