Saturday, September 09, 2006

In the land of otters

Here I am in Ottawa! Yesterday was the first day of school, but I'll talk more about that later. The flight was okay - I caught a red eye and wound up here yesterday just after 9:00 AM EST. It was so foggy here that the flight before us had to be rerouted back to Toronto (or T'ranna, as everyone pronounced it). This led to some hilarious mixups, including one of my suitcases (that would be the one with all my YARN in it*) getting lost along the way. However, considering this was the eleventh flight I've taken this year (for reals), the odds were coming up and everyone at Westjet did an awesome job, and got my suitcase to me by 10:00 or so Thursday night.

Now for slightly more fun matters. As previously mentioned, I'd brought two things to work on during the car ride to Seattle to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, my It's a Wrap! in Fleece Artist, and some Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sport to start the Swallowtail Shawl. Well, I finished It's A Wrap! (would it kill them to give this thing a name's that's just a plain ole noun?) in the queue at the border crossing while I taught my mom to knit a mitered square. Yes, it's completely awesome that she wants to knit. I'm so pwoud. I've already got her onto the Noro.

I started on the Swallowtail Shawl right away - fortunately (and uncharacteristically!) I'd thought to wind a hank of Lorna's Laces into a ball beforehand. I screwed up once or twice with the beginning, and I still don't like how it looks. You make a tiny garter-stitch square of two stitches by six rows, then pick up stitches from the side and beginning to wind up with 7 stitches, which you use to begin the pattern. Maybe it would have look better if I'd just woven in the end in the garter-stitch square rather than the lace. I've talked before about how I weave in my ends, and I did it in the lace rather than the garter stitch because I thought it would make working with the tiny piece of garter stitch even more awkward and make it harder to pick up stitches. Let's just hope it works out in the blocking.

Note: I took the below photos in my aunt's backyard here. It is cooler here than in BC, which I am totally digging. But it was so grey out as I was taking these that I even I went "Huh." Fifteen minutes later, rain and thunder and lightning! It was awesome.


Check out that flaring bind off. Attractive, no?

I bound off really loosely. Here's hoping blocking fixes it. Speaking of blocking, the lace pattern is basically invisible on the right side. It's as bouncy and stretchy as all get out thought, so I have no doubt blocking's going to make this as loose and airy as . . . something very light and airy. I was going to say a silk scarf, but my mind just won't allow that because they wouldn't ever be the same. But it would be as much like a silk scarf as it is possible for an aran mohair-wool yarn to be, I suppose.
Anyway, ym point was that while the lace pattern is invisible now, I hope I don't lose the lovely simple knit-purl pattern on the back after blocking.

Top: Right side. Bottom: wrong side.

Now for my particular love o' the moment, Swallowtail**. I knew I was making it bigger than in IK, but . . . this is going to be big. It's big right now and I haven't even finished, yet alone blocked it. On the other hand, it's moving along fast. Not "finished it in four days" fast, but fast. Here it is on Tuesday:

The camera always adds 25% more wrinkliness to unblocked lace.

And here it is yesterday, one row into the final chart:
Of course, I would pick the one photo that shows plenty of the beginning, but zero of the actual progress made.

I simply adore the individual patterns, from the simple flower buds in the body to the 'nupps' in the lily of the valley edging. Why it's called lily of the valley is a mystery to me, but I guess that's why I'm not Evelyn A. Clark. I sincerely hope the nupps even up and open out in blocking - maybe they look more like lilies then, rather than clumpy fake eyelashes.
Well, Jim, it would appear that Sarah's managed to infiltrate a community of wild nupps. What a fscinating discovery this is, Jim. As we all know, the nupps are born when a (k1, yo, k1, yo, k1) in 1 st breeds with a p5tog on the next row, and a complicated birth it is. I wouldn't be surprised if Sarah's hands were cramping quite badly after all that! It's a rather large community, too: 208 nupps! Beautiful, Jim, just beautiful.

Uh . . . yeah. After all that, basically all I can say is that it seems like I'm going to have to wind an entire third ball for essentially the last two rows. Fun. At least I'm going to be done today, not that I'm eager to get this thing off the needles. It's so pretty, and no stupid mistakes yet (except for this one time when I couldn't tell the different between the numbers 3 and 4, but we won't talk about that).


*Just kidding. You and I both know for all my yarn to fit in one suitcase, that suitcase would have to be only slightly smaller than your average bungalow.
**Don't worry, Mariah, Mommy loves all her . . . well, okay, she doesn't love all her babies the same, but she loves you as much as she loves Swallowtail. She just can't summon up the fortitude to attack your second sleeve right now.

4 Comments:

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Kirsten said...

I started the Swallowtail on 9/1 and haven't gotten nearly that far. That's some quick lace knitting! It looks beautiful.

 
At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Mom again said...

Hey, the back fence makes a very good backdrop for your yarn projects pix. How arty of you.

 
At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

Oops, Blogger lost my original post. Your brother & I got to play with your nieces today - much rolling about on the floor, plus we watched "The Little Mermaid". Little one can't quite crawl yet, but she scuttles quite well!

 
At 3:35 AM, Blogger Rabbitch said...

Your mom sent me over here. Not only have you gotten her knitting but I think she's into the blogstalking thingie too. Fortunately I like all of my stalkers. Um, readers. Yeah, them.

Nice shawl! Lace and I have a slightly uncomfortable relationship at the moment but I'm hoping counselling will help.

 

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