Today I am sharing a photo of me and my son, Tuba Boy. He is 18 now and getting ready to go to college. The reason I am sharing this is mostly to show you what color my hair is right now. It's been various shades of red for many years, and I decided to go back to my natural color, in preparation for eventually (shocking) letting it grow out with the gray in it (I don't have too much for someone my age). My natural color is pretty close to Tuba Boy's. Maybe a wee bit lighter. That is what I was aiming for. Can you see that it matches my black shirt? Eek. I think the hair dresser overshot the mark a bit. Everyone is telling me that it will fade a bit after a few washes, so I am being patient (not trying California Susan's "strip it fast with Prell" method because I don't want to put my hair in worse shape--it's nice snd soft right now--hi California Susan) and wearing a lot of black and heavy eye shadow, saying I am in my "goth" period. I sure don't look like my profile picture any more! And it's less than a year old!
It is taking me some time to get used to my pale skin and dark hair, and I know I will look better in different colors again. That is nothing but an invitation to knit more things in different colors, though!
There's no real good reason to post a photo of Aeolian, since it looks sort of like dyed coral in a sleazy seashell store for tourists right now.
Let's just say that I am pleased with my progress and have only 8 more rows to go! Of course, each of these rows is slowly growing toward 700 stitches, so they are taking a while. The current row is the hardest one for me, so far, since it has both big and small beads and they aren't in an easy to memorize pattern, like most of the other rows were. But, I will persevere. I was sorry to learn that another knitting buddy gave up on her Aeolian. Members of this KAL are dropping like flies--but I can see why.
Trine had a good thought in a recent comment as to why some lace is hard for some people. I thought about it some more and realized that I knit in a very 3-D way. I picture what I am making, and need to know what I just knit and what I am about to knit, to keep track of where I am. I see the patterns and sub-patterns in even complex charts, which means I get lost less often. People who knit by just repeating written instructions as to which stitch to knit in what order (which works just fine on many patterns) will have trouble with complex knitting because they aren't keeping track of whether their current stitch is lining up in the right spot compared to the previous row.
Another hindrance I have noticed is the inability to read charts or see what the charts are trying to tell you. More than one knitting friend has missed the "repeat" marker in Aeolian charts and did the extra stitches that are only for the end of the chart within their repeats. One poor lady on Ravelry repeated the center chart twice (but it came out rather attractive, so no big loss). Charts can be really hard. I always do the foundation row of any chart very slowly to ensure that it's accurate. I make sure that each repeat starts and ends at the same spot with respect to the previous row (and thus, it helps me find any errors in the previous section!). A lot of people I know use colors and write numbers in their charts. It helps them see what to do. If you have trouble, try color coding your SSKs, k2togs and YOs. The colors distract me, but we are all different!
Didn't mean to get so didactic here...
I ordered some blocking squares from KnitPicks, in hopes they will be large enough to at least mostly cover the finished shawl. I had to order from them, anyway, because the colorway my friend wants her Lady Jane vest to be in arrived, so I could order that. I also ordered new size 0 wooden needles to replace the one that broke (got two lentths in case I wanted to make something large and to see if maybe I'd like two socks at a time better with longer cables) and another couple circulars in sizes I use a lot. I got another pair of wooden size 4 tips, because I seem to use that size so often. I am looking forward to that order arriving!