My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for July 2009

The Exonumist’s Shawl

Last night I knit the rest of the edging on The Exonumist’s Shawl. Today I steam-blocked it with my iron. (Click on the photos to see the enlarged versions — much better detail in those shots!)

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And may I just say that prednisone rocks? I’ve been taking pretty high doses of it this week (for the Viral Respiratory Crud That Would Not Die, Not Even With Masses of Antibiotics) and while I haven’t slept more than 2 hours/night for the past three nights, I did power-knit through what I consider the most arduous part of knitting a circular shawl . . . the edging.

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(It’s interesting to me that while these meds make me very loopy and unable to walk in a straight line, they only enhance my knitting ability. Go figure.)

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I will write up the pattern for this baby and offer it for sale. I may do so through the Ravelry Pattern Store, just to try it out. Stay tuned.

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I knit the shawl on a US 4 (3.5mm needle) using 3 skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino (more of a light fingering than a laceweight). My unblocked gauge was 5 st/inch. I used just under 1380 yards, but am conservatively estimating 1400 yards to knit the pattern.

The unblocked size is 45″ is diameter. Very lightly blocked (just using a steam iron) it is now 56″ in diameter.

So now I get to knit “full-time” on the Order to Chaos Shawl. 😀

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I’m using Dream in Color Smooshy for this, a fingering weight yarn, on US 5 (3.75mm) needles. If I am pleased with the results, I may sell this pattern as well.

Weekend Fun!

Tomorrow I am heading up to Philadelphia for a quick overnight trip. I’ll be at the lovely lovely yarn shop Loop for their Stitch Party tomorrow (July 24) from 5 – 8pm, then teach a couple of sock classes on Saturday. I visited Loop a few years ago when my first book came out and had a great time there, so I’m delighted to be going back.

Reminder — all scheduled events are listed on my Travel and Teaching page. Just this week, by the way, we added a trip to Knitty City in NYC in September. Knitty City is another great shop  I’ve visited in the past, so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to return.

I think there’s one tentative event in late November that hasn’t been finalized yet, but other than that, I think my schedule is full for the rest of the year.

Lucy Sez

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“I must plan my catnip party since Momma’s gonna be away. This will be my party rug!”

Names

If you read this blog at my site instead of in a feed reader or via email, you may have noticed, by glancing at the work-in-progress box immediately above the daily content, that I’ve gone on a naming frenzy. Yes, both shawls in progress now have names.

The blue shawl I am close to completing shall henceforth be known as The Exonumist’s Shawl.

You may wonder how I came up with such a name.

Someone used the word “medallion” to describe this shawl in yesterday’s comments. “Cool,” thought I. “I can call it The Medallion Shawl. Well, of course there are eleventy-billion knitting patterns with “Medallion” in their name, some of them shawls.

I starting thinking about medallions and my thoughts turned to tokens, medals, coins, etc. The work exonumia is used to describe coin-like objects, and an exonumist is a collector of exonumia.

While all this may seem a bit pedantic (I’m afraid I am a bit of a pedant), the word struck my fancy, so the name will stick.

Here is the current state of The Exonumist’s Shawl:

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As you can see, the end of the edging is almost in sight. I made much better progress than I expected last night.

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On to the spiral shawl. This one I am calling The Order to Chaos Shawl. The reasoning behind this name is not quite so convoluted. Here’s the progress so far:

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And here’s a close-up:

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The body of the shawl is worked in tidy diagonal lines out from the center to a certain point. At that point, the neat lines (the order) taper off and a field of flowers (the chaos) is introduced. Hence the name.

More pattern hi-jinks will ensue. Stay tuned

Lucy Sez:

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“I’m glad my momma named me Lucy. Clearly, it could have been a lot worse.”

Slowly It Grows, Inch by Inch

The shawl edging, she grows!

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Again, it’s hard for me to see how much progress I’ve made, but I can see that I’ve made some progress. The blob of body stitches left on the needle has definitely diminished some.

A couple of you have asked what the yardage required for this pattern is. The answer is that I don’t know yet, because I haven’t finished it. But I’m betting it’ll be around 1400 yards. I also do not know the unblocked and blocked dimensions for the same reason.

But all will be revealed in the fullness of time. 🙂

I’m so pleased that you guys like it. I think I do too, but again, I won’t really know until this baby is done. It’s life on the edge.

Did you see what I did there? Get it? Edge, Edging?

Moving on . . .

Here is the new circular shawl in progress.

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The color is not quite as bright as the photo would have you believe. It’s a bit more mossy. But you can see the spirally nature of the shawl in this  photo, and also the wee hole in the center created by my longtail cast-on. Personally, I love the look of that.

This shawl is divided into 9 sections, each section being identical in composition. So I’ve placed a marker between each section — purple ones, so they show up against the yarn. But the beginning-of-round marker is green (though a different shade) so I can easily see when I complete a round.

I guess circular shawls are going to be my obsession this summer. Who knew? Not I. After making a Pi Shawl a number of years ago, I shied away from circular shawls because they seemed like they would be awkward to wear. (One way is to fold down the top one-third or so and drape over your shoulders.) But I think they make very fun throws or afghans — hence my knitting them in fingering rather than laceweight wool.

And in the interests of full disclosure, I should tell you I’m thinking about working up another circular shawl that employs yet another construction method. I may have already ordered the yarn for it . . .

In answer to various comments questions, I will indeed write up and offer for sale patterns for any of these creations that I deem pattern-worthy.

At the moment I suppose I am on a sock hiatus. But I can’t imagine my needles will remain sockless for too long.

Miss Lucy

A number of you commented that Lucy must get hairballs. She really doesn’t very much. Not as often as you’d think, with all that fur. We make a point of brushing her two or three times a week, and that really helps get rid of all the loose fur. And for a longhaired kitty, she really doesn’t shed too badly.

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“Did it escape your notice that it is time for me to dine? Seriously?”

The Long and Winding Edging

After posting to the blog yesterday I did a few chore-type things, and then settled down for a couple-three hours of edging knitting. Here is how far I got:

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I believe that is less than one-fourth of the total edging, possibly as little as one-fifth or one-sixth. I don’t want to look too closely and depress myself with how little I’ve done. What I really need to complete it is a weekend dedicated to nothing but edging knitting. Since today is Monday, and I’ll be away this upcoming weekend, that’s not going to happen. So I’ll just do a bit each evening.

The good news is that I winkled up a very simple edging so I quickly memorized it, thus speeding up the knitting.

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I’m not taking it on my commute because it has gone beyond the point where I deem a project portable. So I cast on something for commuter knitting.

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It’s another shawl, also my own design. While it is a circular shawl, the construction differs from that of my other shawl.

The blue one is constructed like a pi shawl — based on the mathematical principal of “pi.” The circle doubles its circumference on one round and doubles the distance between the increase rounds: 3, 6, 12, 24, 48 round, etc.

This new shawl is constructed in a spiral. It is divided into sections and you increase one stitch in each section on every other round. By doing the increases on one side of each section only, it forms a spiral. Cool, huh?

I am using Dream in Color Smooshy, which is a fingering weight yarn, in the “Shiny Moss” colorway. I’m using a US size 5 needle to make a lacy but not too lacy fabric.

This is a design I have dreamed up in my own little fevered brain, so I’m sort of working out the kinks as I go along. So far, so good!

Here, just for fun, is a video of Lucy

Lucy Sez

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“How embarrassing!”

On the Edge

I have finished the body of my shawl.

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I did an eyelet round all the way around after completing the last body chart.

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At the end of the round, I cast on the stitches for the beginning of the edging, using a knitted cast-on.

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And I started knitting the edging onto the shawl. Here are the first steps in a very long journey.

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I think I know what I will be doing for the next few days. But I will cast on a new project tonight to take on my commute tomorrow, as this shawl is no longer terribly portable.

Lucy would like to nap, but feels the need to supervise me.

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