My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

It’s a Bad Sign

It’s never good when you drive up to your home and there are fire engines parked outside.

I took today off work (and tomorrow as well, for that matter) and was out this morning doing the things that I took the day off to do. I stopped at the grocery store and then headed home. To see fire engines parked in my condo parking lot.

“Yikes,” I thought, but wasn’t too concerned. I live in a fairly large high-rise condo and we often have false alarms (most of them caused by charming juveniles pulling the fire alarm).

I drove into the garage and parked and went into the building. I smelled smoke as soon as I got in. Not a good sign, I’m thinking.

Did I leave and stand outside until we got the all clear? Heck, no. I took the fire stairs up to the tenth floor to my condo (schlepping my groceries — good workout there).

There was far less smoke smell outside my condo, which was encouraging. When I entered my condo, I was met by poor Lucy who was somewhat agitated — the fire alarm in my building is really loud. She immediately calmed down upon seeing me, so we hung out there, occasionally looking out the window to see if the fire engines were still there. After about two hours of this, they left. End of crisis, I guess.

Do I count myself extremely lucky? You bet your sweet bippy I do.

And during that whole time, I never once thought to take a photo for the blog. Imagine that.

So after all that, I figured the best thing to do was to block the Vårblommor Shawl, because I did suck it up and finish the edging last night. That’s what Monday holidays are for, n’est-ce pas?

Before blocking:

springflowers090605d Its a Bad Sign

After blocking:

springflowers090605 Its a Bad Sign

I am very pleased with how this blocked out. It’s hard to see the pattern because it does not show up well against a background of beige carpet. But here is a close-up of the upper flower pattern:

springflowers090605a Its a Bad Sign

And one of the border pattern, which is supposed to be larger flowers — it sorta looks like flowers:

springflowers090605b Its a Bad Sign

And the edging around the point:

springflowers090605c Its a Bad Sign

Speaking of edging, Snow asked:
When you’re designing a shawl edging of your own, how do you decide what sort of method to turn the corner? I’ve learned a lot of different methods over the years and have yet to find one that I always like. Do you have a favorite?

The way I attached the edging was to knit one stitch of the edge of the shawl together with the end stitch of the edging on every other row. For a few stitches before and after the center point, I attached the edging to the body of the shawl on every fourth row instead of every other row, to make the edging fuller around the point. It’s not terribly scientific, but it does seem to work.

And I’m all for an easy life!

What’s Next?

I started something simple — a little lace scarf in some yummy qivuit.

I joined a Qivuit Knit-along that was scheduled to start yesterday, and cast on for my scarf last night.

I futzed around with it a bit last night — started with 44 stitches on a US size 4 needle, but it was much wider and looser than I wanted. Those of us with a short neck don’t need a really wide scarf, ya know?

So I ripped it back to the beginning this morning and re-cast on 36 stitches on a US size 3 needle. I’m much happier with the results.

qivuit090605 Its a Bad Sign

The yarn is 100% qivuit, fingering weight. I have a total of 4 ounces, 440 yards. Ought to be able to crank out a nice large scarf with that.

It’s Moco Yarns, hand-dyed in the “Lupine” colorway, purchased from Caryll Designs. The yarn is yummers!

I think I’ll work on it exclusively for a couple of days, and then cast on for Kim Hargreaves’ Dew, the kit for which I bought last month. Then the scarf will become commuter knitting. I need a bit of a break from hauling large projects on the train.

Speaking of breaks, I plan not to post tomorrow, but will return on Thursday, with photos of a blocked and dry Vårblommor Shawl.

lucy090605 Its a Bad Sign

And Miles To Knit Before I Sleep

springflowers090505 And Miles To Knit Before I Sleep

But I am making progress — see? I’ve gone past the bottom point.

springflowers090505a And Miles To Knit Before I Sleep

I’ve not much to say at the moment. I’m taking a page from Margene‘s book and working on a de-cluttering project. So armed with my Arthritis Formula Tylenol, I shall return to it.

While Lucy supervises.

lucy090505 And Miles To Knit Before I Sleep

Our Modern Stonehenge

Mid-afternoon on Saturday we were in my livingroom, watching tv and playing with Lucy. Suddenly it became incredibly bright with sunlight, so bright that we could not look out the window.

As the brightness faded a bit, Ian took this photo:

sun090405 Our Modern Stonehenge

That’s the reflection of the sun on a metal pyramid atop a building. This is what it looked like a bit later:

sun090405a Our Modern Stonehenge

Odd, eh? I’ve never seen that particular phenomenon occur before, and I don’t remember the metal pyramid being there. Perhaps some modern-day sun-worshippers erected it?

I worked a bit on my Vårblommor shawl, finished the body of it, and embarked on miles of edging:

springflowers090405 Our Modern Stonehenge

Did I mention that there will be miles of edging?

I wanted something very light and lacy for the edging because the shawl is knit from such a light, delicate-looking yarn. I think this edging will be perfect!

springflowers090405a Our Modern Stonehenge

I’ve sort of made it up — I based it on an edging I found in a book (and of course can’t remember which one) and made a few mods.

Lucy prefers not to think about it , just to settle down to a nap.

lucy090405 Our Modern Stonehenge

Give a Little

If you haven’t already read Margene’s and/or Susan’s blog entries from this morning, please do so.

When I was going in to work this morning I was thinking about what else I could do to help the victims of Katrina. Then I discovered that Margene and Susan are already doing it.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Donate online or by phone (1-800-HELP-NOW) to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

2. Let Margene and Susan know the amount of your donation by sending them an email at givealittle AT gmail.com. Put your name and the amount donated in the subject line.

3. If you would like to donate a prize to the cause, send an email to the ladies at the same address, givealittle AT gmail.com, and put “prize” in the subject line. (I have donated my recently-completed Peacock Feathers shawl as a prize for this cause. Margene tells me that they will set up an auction for it — I’ll be sure and post the link when the auction is set up.)

Margene and Susan will keep a tally in their sidebars to keep us current on the amount donated. And they’ve got a new blog up, with the prizes they’ve received thus far listed.

You ladies are wonderful. Period.

I was thinking about all this on my way home this afternoon. I got off the air-conditioned train and into my air-conditioned car. I stopped at the clean, well-stocked grocery store to pick up a few things before heading home to my sleek, well-cared for kitty in my comfortable air-conditioned home. All things I mostly take for granted.

lucy090105 Give a Little

Yeah, I think I need to give a little. And then a little more on top of that.

Knitting

Still working away on the Vårblommor shawl. I’m happily working away on the border pattern (not to be confused with the edging pattern), however, it still looks like a crumpled pile o’ crap.

springflowers090105 Give a Little

Will this crumpled pile o’ crap magically turn into lace when I block it? Will the pattern emerge into loveliness? Or will it remain crap? The suspense is killing you, I know.

I have my doubts about the border pattern. Only time and blocking will tell. Of course, if I were a good girl, I would have swatched the border pattern and blocked it so I could see how it would work.

But really. Where’s the excitement in that?