I have some time off between jobs, so I’m doing what anyone would do: cleaning my apartment, watching movies, and knitting. It’s very enjoyable so far.

New Project: Flower Basket Shawl
I’ve wanted to knit this shawl since I first saw it in Interweave Knits in 2004. But I’m just not good at lace – I need to concentrate on it, count, knit slowly, and often read the charts out loud to myself as I go along. Not my typical style.

Yarn Ennui.  Poor Socks That Rock.
That’s Lunasea, Lucy, and Lemongrass, wound into balls and ready for action.

But I had these three skeins of Socks That Rock Heavyweight, intended to be some version of the Chevron Scarf, and for some reason, the Lemongrass just said “shawl!” to me. Probably partially inspired by the beautiful Rose Quartz shawl the Yarn Harlot just finished.

Anyway, I started the Flower Basket Shawl, and I did the first chart. Then I ripped. Again and again and again. The farthest I got was right past the first repeat of the pattern. Dan began talking to me, I messed up, couldn’t fix it, and ripped back. Oops.

I tried again last night, while watching an episode of The Tudors I had already seen (so no need to pay attention to the television, but offers a nice amount of background noise), and gave Dan the very direct instructions to not speak to me unless I was not knitting. If he needed to say something, he could inform me, and I would talk to him at the end of the row.

Flower Basket Shawl, 2 repeats down.
You can’t see it, but there’s a lifeline threaded just under the row currently on the needles.

Sounds weird, but it worked. Dan hadn’t seen the show, so he was mostly paying attention to that, with the occasional question (“Can you name the six wives of Henry VIII?”*), and I’d just wait till my row was finished and answer him. At the end of the night, I was two repeats in!

Flower Basket Motif
Look! A flower basket!

I’m so proud of myself. I even threaded life-lines in after every repeat, so if I have to rip back, it won’t be back to the beginning.

Dan’s Aran Update

I’ve finished the first front, seamed it with the three needle bind off (I love knitting seaming instead of, uhm, seaming it), and began the second. Have I mentioned how much I love knitting this sweater?

Dan's Aran: First front and back

Back to my day’s routine.  The Cider House Rules and the Flower Basket Shawl are calling.

PS: You’ve seen Ravelry by now, right? It’s really cool.

*Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.  Just ’cause I had to go look it up when I couldn’t remember Catherine Parr’s second name.


FO: Kate the Giant Cat and Dan’s Aran Update

Large Cat in Pants Sighted.

I knit a very large cat in pants.

Kate the Giant Cat.

It’s Kate, from Winter 2005 Knitty. Except she’s super size. I used Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Raspberry, Lemongrass, and White (the pink and green is ripped out from my Bulky Mini-Cardi, and the white was just hanging out in my stash). Super easy knit – this is my second Kate (the first I knit for a new baby at the end of 2005, and was regular size, knit with Paton’s Classic Merino).

She was knit on my first pair of DPNs I ever bought, US 10.5s, and it was a little hard on my hands to knit with the bulky yarn on those needles. I knit most of her yesterday, while I was home sick from work. I also assembled most of her – I had to rip out her face a few times (how sad!), but I’m finally happy with how it came out (I modeled her pink nose after Queen Elizabeth, who has the cutest cat nose ever:

QE likes my yarn.

Just look at that nose!)

OK, back to Kate, I just get so distracted by kitty noses…

Kate the Giant Cat

All of the knitting, sewing, seaming, and stuffing was done yesterday – except for her left leg. My fingers were not happy with those chunky needles and even chunkier yarn, and they were getting a little roughed up, so I took a break and returned to the last leg today. Now she’s all ready to go, and sitting in front of the book case, looking demure and quite large. She sits about a foot tall.

Dan’s Aran Update.

Dan's Aran: First Front.

Into the v-neck decreases on the first front. I took a break to work on Kate.

Mmm.. Purses.

I splurged a little, and bought a Knitter’s Satchel from Jordana Paige. I’ve wanted one for a really, really long time, but it’s a little expensive for a purse for me (I’m a Target purse gal). Isn’t it pretty?

I love purses.

I’m shocked I didn’t get green, too.  But I thought the blue would go better with my wardrobe, and would make me seem less crazy.  Look how roomy it is!

So roomy!

I managed to shove all of my crap in there, along with two smaller knitting projects, and it was easy to find everything, accessible, and so pretty.  I love the clicky frame-top, and it has a nice, long strap that easily fits over my shoulder.  Thumbs up.