Of Dropped Stitches, Procrastination, and Treasonous Lifelines

It started last September. It was coming along so beautifully.

The Rona Lace Shawl in Knit Picks Shadow Vineyard

Then, I took a break. I thought it was safe and secure in it’s cute little bag. Alas, when I picked it back up in December, I found that the needle had pulled out of a few stitches and they had dropped. Kicking myself for leaving my lifeline 40 rows back, I put it back in the bag and decided to I would frog it back to the lifeline… later.

Today, I picked it up again (my current knitting project is boring me to tears, and I thought I could use a challenge). I started to pull the needles out and rip back to my thin, green safety net.

I noticed too late that my lifeline had abandoned me, as well.

Almost half of the circle was not protected by my treasonous lifeline. Why I didn’t tie the ends together is beyond me, but then again, I was presumptuous enough to leave it so far behind, I guess I thought I wouldn’t need it.

Such a talented knitter as myself! HA! I scoff at lifelines!

And look where it got me. I was almost finished knitting that first ball, too:

And now, I am back to square one.

This is a must knit shawl, so I am going to cast it back on and complete it… later.

For now, I am thinking that my teal skien of Claudia Handpainted Silk Lace needs to be a Peacock Shawlette.

A Collection of Unrelated Thoughts

1. I have a difficult choice to make. Last night I finished the center square of the baby blanket. It is gorgeous. I love it.

This is an Estonian lace pattern in DK weight yarn on size 6 needles. (Ravelry project page link) It is supposed to have a lace border. I cast on for the lace border last night…. and then realized I was using the wrong needles. So, I pulled it out and then that little evil voice inside my head started whispering. “Who needs a lace border?” it said. And, it is right. This is a perfect size even without the border. But, I want to do it completely and I think I will be happier if I knit that border…. maybe later. I do have until June, you know.

2. I have created a Linus… somehow. New Baby hasn’t even gotten here, yet, but the Munchkin is already showing some signs of insecurity. Maybe it is because she made the switch from crib to big girl bed. Maybe it is because I have been so sick and tired and crabby (read: not a very good mom). Maybe it is just her age. Whatever the reason, she has taken to carrying her wool fleece (which she has slept on since birth) and sucking her thumb all day.

Oh, and also chanting, “Weeweee! Weeweee!” in sheer delight. (That is “wooly” for those of you who don’t speak Munchkin) I had to cut a piece off the wooly so that she could have a portable wooly during the day – we call it the “Wooly-Bit”. I am not worried about it. I just didn’t expect this until after the New Baby came along.

3. I finished the lace shawl for the Bookworm’s birthday ahead of schedule.

It is a shawlette, and will fit her little shoulders perfectly. I made a terrible mistake at my first go, and didn’t realize it till I got the the border! So, I had to frog it all the way back and re-knit. For that reason, it took me twice as long as it should have. This is an excellent pattern for a last minute gift – I think I could make it again in a solid day. (Ravelry Project Page Link) I will do a post on it after her birthday when I can have her model it. For now, it is going from the blocking board to a little hiding spot. I am so excited to give this to her – she is going to flip. 🙂

4. I have three gifts to make today (on top of school, laundry and cleaning…. sigh). I am thinking about making some of these pouches. I have tons of cute fabric that gets left out of all the fun that my yarn experiences every day. Time for the fabric to get some attention. I may even make one for me. Yippee!

5. I passed my six month mark last week and didn’t say a word. Oops. I am happy about it, really, I am. I just feel lousy because of a sneak attack from a sinus infection. But, pregnancy-wise I am doing excellent. Baby is growing steadily and moving a lot. All my vitals are excellent. I would give you a belly shot, but I am still in my jammies and I am not ready to get dressed, yet. (Must finish the first cup of coffee…) Only 16 weeks left… (wow, that almost sounds too soon!)

6. I cast on another project. But that isn’t really news, is it? I have not made much progress, so I will keep you in suspense until there is something to show for it. (ooh, I am so eeevil!)

Now I am off to get something done. Maybe I will even get dressed and make my bed…

Feel the Burn

Before I learned to knit, I did crossword puzzles. Difficult crossword puzzles. And sudoku. Lots of sudoku. You see, I had this theory. I spent most of my time with little people. I said the words “potty” and “ni’ night” and “peek-a-boo” several times a day. I thought my brain might deteriorate into a pile of jello if it didn’t get some exercise (just as my body wasn’t exactly made of steel after having reading as my main hobby… But that is another story). So I exercised my brain by doing difficult puzzles, trying to retain some intellegence for later, when the kids are grown….

So, maybe that is why I approach my knitting the way that I do. I am still surrounded by (wonderful, fabulous, adorable) children. And while some people knit to relax, (and I get that. It is good to have a project on the needles that involves little more than knit, knit, knit…. especially when one is entrenched in season eight of Smallville…. but I digress), and some people knit to have a product (I do that too. I almost always have a “product project” on the needles, not for the pleasure of knitting, but just for the end result (this “product” is still usually diaper covers)), I knit for exercise. (okay, that may be the wildest paragraph, ever. See? My brain is practically mush!)

I do all those things, too, but I mostly knit for the challenge. I knit to learn, to exercise my brain, just like I did crossword puzzles before I learned to knit. I look at a potential project and decide if it is challenging enough. I choose projects that will force me to learn a new technique, or stretch my ability in some way. I knit the “hard stuff” on purpose. I am not intimidated by a difficult project, but rather excited!

That explains this:

If you have been visiting my blog for awhile, you will remember the lace that I couldn’t put down? (Yeah, that baby was  a challenge!) Meet the new lace that I can’t put down. I spend all day looking for a moment quiet enough to pick it up again. (Unfortunately, in this house, that moment doesn’t come till about 8:00pm, but whatever.) And when I can’t find that moment, I content myself with blocking the bits that I have already knit, from this:

to this:

to this:

Ooooh, feel the burn!

Celandine in Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Silk Lace Rubies Playing

Icarus’ Ressurection

Okay, so the story goes like this: Icarus’ father, Daedalus, attempted to escape from his exile in the place of Crete, where he and his son were imprisoned. Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Before they took off from the island, Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun. Icarus soared through the sky, got a little cocky,and flew too close to the sun, which caused the wax to melt and the feathers to fall off. And so, Icarus fell into the sea and died.

My version goes a little more like this: A bold and daring knitter attempted to knit the Icarus Shawl out of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, using the lovely pattern written by Miriam L. Felton. And so she cast on and began knitting her first lace shawl. Before she cast on, she warned herself to pay close attention to the charts and directions. As she and Icarus soared through about 25 rows, she got a little cocky, and started trying to talk while she knit, which caused her to drop stitches and loose her place. And so, Icarus fell into the stash and died.

Until today. After my amazing success with Gold, I have the confidence, yea, the courage to pull Icarus from the depths of the stash and breath life into his tangled strands. This is the stuff legend is made of. This is true adventure. Behold! Icarus!

Painting “The Fall of Icarus” by Peter Paul Rubens

Bibbidi, Bobbidi, Boo

Late last night, as I blocked my newly completed lace shawl, I had a little song running through my head, inspired by the magical way I was turning a gnarly mass of loopy wool into a delicate work of art. I know most of you either have children or were children, so you know this song. Sing with me.

Sala-gadoola-menchicka-boo-la
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo


Put ’em together and what
have you got
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

Sala-gadoola-menchicka-boo-la
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
It’ll do magic believe it or not
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

Now sala-gadoola means
Menchicka booleroo
But the thing-a-ma-bob that
does the job
Is bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

Sala-gadoola-menchicka-boo-la
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put ’em together and what
have you got
Bibbidi-bobbidi
Bibbidi-bobbidi
Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

I am totally infatuated with this thing.

I keep draping it over anything that can be draped over.

This is the most beautiful thing I have ever made with my hands.

It was the most challenging knitting project I have ever undertaken.

Now, what am I going to do with it?