Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Little to Say

It's been hard to write anything for a couple of weeks. All I am doing on the shawl is trying to rip back three very long rows (I started a new section while chatting with friends, and mis-counted, but didn't realize it until the next pattern row). I have had very little energy to engage in that--I need really good light, so I can't do it in the evenings, either.

I have worked some on the Flaming Desire sock, so some day it may get done.

But, I have had a lot of rehearsals, meetings, and events in the evenings. Plus I am teaching the young son to drive a stick shift, which takes a while. Work is great, and I am glad I have it and my great colleagues, but it's been extra, extra busy.

I will get back to a knitting groove soon, I am sure.

Since I don't have much interesting to say about knitting, anyway, taking a break won't be a disaster. I've realized lately that I am either too controversial and irritate people, or so boring that even I don't want to read my own posts.

I will leave you with non-knitting content. Lee gave me this CD and DVD combo for a Mother's Day gift. In it, James Taylor and Carole King perform live songs from their 1971 albums, which happen to be the first two albums I ever owned. The original back-up musicians even appear with them! If you want to know what was good about 1970s music, check into this!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

So. How's That Shawl Going?

Well, blog-reading friends, I've let you down this week, but I worked so much this week that there was no time for luxuries like typing about knitting, and few minutes for actual knitting. I am really loving my job now that I have lots of work and really fun challenges, but sometimes it WILL cut into those hobbies!

But look here! I actually have been working on the Vernal Equinox whenever I have a few minutes. I've spent some really pleasant time sitting on our front porch, watching the birds and seeing what new colors will come up in the Jojoland Melody yarn. So, here is where I am:
Vernal Equinox in Progress
It sort of looks like one of those candy citrus slices, doesn't it? It's too big to stretch out completely, even on the really long circular needle, but you can get the idea. I am halfway through Clue 5 at this point. I've been through two purples and am in the second green section, but I do hope some blue shows up in that skein, somewhere!

I tried to stretch it out a bit and get a close-up so you can see the pattern a little better, but really, like most lace shawls, it won't be spectacular until it gets blocked.
A Little Closer View
I have been truly enjoying knitting this shawl. I like the yarn a lot better than I thought I would, and I am finding the clear acrylic Knitpicks needles make laceweight easier to manipulate, at least for me. I am not struggling with the double decreases as much as I did on the Aeolian or the red one that died. The plastic grabs just enough that I can pull on it and get the needles securely through two stitches without dropping any. OK, I have dropped one stitch so far. Not bad.

I also started a crochet project, my next charity blanket. Here is one of the squares:
Crochet Motif

The photo is rather washed out, since I took it with the Blackberry, but you can see it looks like a little flower in a square. I am using that bunch of Marble yarn in different colors to make the motifs, which I will edge in black single crochet when I am done. The James C. Brett Marble yarn is nice to work with, especially considering it's 100% acrylic. I can see why so many people I know have used the chunky version for sweaters.

The pattern for the crochet motif came from the book Under Cover: 60 Afghans to Knit and Crochet, which has no author--it's one of those Sixth and Spring collections. The pattern is called Harlequin Diamonds. I got it at Half Price Books, so look for it in used book stores. Well, look! You can get it from after all. There are more than a couple of reasonable and interesting afghan patterns in this book. A lot of them you just have to use your imagination and picture them in nicer yarns and more subtle colors. I'm good at that--I am also good at imagining houses without the weird decorating choices the current owners made, too.

That's about all the knitting (and crocheting) news I have right now. Because I am trying to teach my son to drive (manual transmission, so it's slow), I was thinking I wouldn't get back to my Monday knitting friends for a while, but, assuming it starts up again soon, I will be able to start coming again, because I will be able to do it on Wednesday. Of course, that means no Wednesday knitting. I am going to have to resign myself to fewer fun knitting nights than I used to have if my work continues to be so busy, but I can still read blogs and people's Facebook updates, which helps. I don't want to become a hermit.

Once again, thanks for all the comments on my comment-reply post. Please ask questions, because answering them gives me some fun fodder for blogging.