Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Another laptop bag

I've been knitting a new laptop bag for DD's summer school computer. I started it late one night, after my 9:00 p.m. No Math cut-off time, so it's going to be an interesting size that will probably be large enough for two or three laptops... We'll see just how persuasive an energetic fulling can be.

I'm using some Brown Sheep bulky and a sturdy, pointy, Boye 29" size 8 circ from W-M. I don't like using my expensive needles on something this heavy; I've broken off too many cables. This is rapidly becoming a favorite needle, though, because it fits my hands and the points really are nice. I'm knitting a dense fabric because I liked the hand of that swatch, fulled, the most.

I cast on the outer edge of the base, long-tail, and knit a mitered rectangle, grafting the center seam. I picked up around the base (too well -- it's an invisible transition and I'd meant to have an edge) and am now knitting upward. I'll probably add a zipper to the top and a long, wide strap. Depending on how the fabric feels after fulling, I might reinforce portions with heavy cotton twill tape since the bag is going to belong to a teen.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Here's the HH shawl photo someone requested and a progress update on the Anniversary Pi. It is a slog. The lace pattern is simple but not boring, I like the yarn, and I've been working on it a bit every afternoon while walking to and from town, but it still feels like a case of second sock syndrome. I'm at the half-way point and am ready for it to be DONE. I know, the only way to get there is to apply myself...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Yesterday's sky

Monday, May 08, 2006

Thank you, Cassie!

If you haven't
bought an Emergency Sock Kit from Cassie yet, you should. One appeared in my mailbox on Friday and by Saturday evening it was loaded and ensconced in my messenger bag. The design is perfect. It's the kind of thing where you realize you've needed one of these for years. The measurements, proportions, seam quality, fabric -- everything is just as it should be.

I've filled mine with a length of sock yarn to use for provisional casting on and for basting around the toes when fitting a new pair to an unfamiliar set of feet. I have an array of stitch holders and markers, a row counter, a crochet hook, a yarn needle, a pencil and a pen for scribbling notes, a size 2 US for casting on, a set of size 1 US for knitting, and a ruler. I have been scouring the house for my travel snips but think they have disappeared into DD's room, aka The Black Hole...

Of course DD tried to sweet-talk me into giving her the ESK, but I won that battle. The gators, however, have decided that if I won't give it to them for their swamp I should at least use it while knitting a few more skins to stuff and embroider.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hyrna Herborgar complete

I've discovered two good things about the Icelandic laceweight singles. It is strong and it is colorfast. It is very rare to come across as deep an amethyst as this and have only the faintest lavender washout. The color really is beautiful, and the shawl did soften a bit with washing. I used a gentle shampoo and a tiny bit of leave-in conditioner. The yarn definitely felt as if it had sizing in it. I'm going to use the leftover yarn to knit facecloths -- the stuff will definitely be superb for exfoliation!

Unwashed, HH was 30" across the hypotenuse and 19" deep at the center. I blocked it to 60" by 30". I debated whether to block it in a U the way Jackie E-S did, but DD is at her grandparents' for the weekend and I was just barely able to block the shawl on her twin bed as a proper triangle. DH is pretty good about sleeping on the couch when there's a shawl blocking on the bed, but it seemed silly. If DD doesn't like the way it feels, I can block it as a U instead.

The final weight was 115 grams. With the extra three repeats I added to section A, which resulted in 11 fans instead of the original 9, the total stitch count was about 37,700 stitches. If I hadn't been knitting this shawl at the same time as taxes and eye surgery and a few other bumps in the road, it would have been an easy 2-week project. The pattern is so logical and pleasant to knit! It reminds me of playing a Haydn piano concerto: the notes fit under a person's hands and the structure is quickly memorized.

I will definitely knit this pattern again, and I'm not generally a repeater, but I will use NICE yarn, something that doesn't smooth all the roughness from my hands! Margene and Claudia, I will zap you guys the file when I've read through it again and added a few notes. I've been snowed under with work this last month -- sorry about the delay. Please keep in mind it's a draft!

Here are some snaps of one of the more interesting old roses in the yard. It's always the first to bloom and starts as a deep butterscotch and finishes as a lilac-tinted khaki. The flowers can reach 6" across and have a strong raspberry-apple scent.