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July 17, 2007

Red

It seems to be all about red around Casa de Drew these days. Well, not entirely but for the two project updates I'm bringing you today...it is all about red.

First, I've been fitting in a little sock knitting between projects because I always fit in a little sock knitting and also because that is my Christmas knitting. Hand knit socks are all Grandma ever wants from me so I'm trying to shape up and give her hand knit socks.

This is a pair of Broadripples in Socks that Rock, Mustang Sally. This is one of those examples of the right pattern with the right yarn at the right time so they have flown along and been a lot of fun. I was able to take this in natural light so the color is true. The heel is turned, I just don't have a heel on my hand to demonstrate.

Grandma's Broadripples

For the non-knitters visiting this blog, I know it sounds like we complain, agonize, and sob over our projects a lot more than we enjoy them. And, at least for me, that is very true. So why would I continue knitting? Because when you hit that sweet spot, when it all falls together, it is the most relaxing, enjoyable, and productive hobby a person could take up. And it is worth it!

It is like that one great hit in a game of golf or when the bat meets the ball just right and it feels perfect and goes forever. Those moments when all the stars align and it carries you through all the future frustrating attempts.

But enough waxing philosophical over my Broadripples.

The Mystery Stole 3 has kicked my butt. Repeatedly. However, I have not given up. I was having to tink and reknit every 2 out of 3 rows 2 and 3 times! I kept plugging along telling myself that this wasn't hard and I could do it. Finally, I had to just had to admit to myself that while the pattern isn't hard (and it truly isn't) the yarn I was trying to use was making the project darn near impossible.

Laceweight yarn is little more than thread. Which isn't the problem. What became the problem was how much my yarn was splitting. It created more problems for me and more dropped stitches (and I've probably dropped three stitches in my lifetime) then I could handle. So as much as I liked the color and texture of the yarn, I had to consider not using it for this project.

Then I finally admitted to myself that as fun as it was to knit this fine fabric that magically came to life when blocked...it wasn't something I would wear. The scale and beading just is not something that matches anything I have in the closet and I would be afraid of tearing it up.

So I looked around the stash and thought I would try (just try) in a fingering weight yarn. I won't wear a black or white stole so I was left with the forest green or burgandy. I wanted a burgandy one to begin with so (since I was just experimenting) I figured I would experiment in a beautiful cashmere/silk/merino fingerweight I got from Elann a couple years ago. I have been saving this for a sweater for me and wasn't sure I wanted to use any of it up. But I would just try it out...right?

Mystery Stole 3 take 313

The yarn is a much richer burgandy in real life and I haphazardly pinned out the piece on the nearest light background around me to photograph (I'm not sure I was even looking as I pinned it out judging from the lopsidedness). And red rarely photographs well.

Now I can truly say it isn't a difficult pattern as I flew through Clue #1 and am happily moving along Clue #2 also. It is amazing how much better it looks and how much more I'm enjoying it now that I am using the right materials for this project for me. This is something I will wear.

July 05, 2007

Mystery to me

I love making tasks into games. I am easily entertained and I think that is a blessing so I take full advantage of this characteristic and make games out of as many chores as possible.

While this would hardly qualify as a chore, it is a daunting task that has easily overwhelmed me in the past.

I have several lace shawl kits to DIE for but I pull them out, get a little woozy from the thought of all that intricate work (can't work on these while watching a foreign movie or even a show that is too interesting) and put them back in the basket/bin/box/bag.

So I was pretty enthralled by the idea of the Mystery Stole. And so far it is living up to its hype. Who knew that withholding parts of the pattern from me would keep me interested enough to forge ahead?

At least that is the case for now. We all know what my attention span can be when it comes to the long slog.

lace knitting supplies

I happen to have a little stash of lace yarn waiting to be lovingly used in a project. This is a light grey that has the very slightest of variation in the color. So slight you can't really tell until you start knitting it up and then it just adds a wonderful depth to the knitted fabric. I'm making it with light grey beads so it is monochromatic but I think it will be stunning and more versatile for wear. The crystal beads were tempting but I think the lace is going to sing and dance and won't need sparkle competing with it. And I'm not very sparkly anyway.

The yarn is Lacy Lamb but I can't find a sample of my color and my label looks very different than what I see being sold online.

lacy lamb label

I'm about 2/3 through the first clue (and the second is released tomorrow so I'd better get a move on if I don't want to get hopelessly behind and discouraged, etc.). This is just under 6" along the side (that is nearly 15cm for folks outside the US and no, I don't know why we didn't follow through with adopting the metric system. My guess is that men with bucks complained about the cost to switch their machinery bits and since men with bucks rule the US...we bowed down to their whining complaints).

mystery stole progress

I'm a little disappointed that mine doesn't seem to show the detail in the design others are showing. I might need to go down a needle size or I might be doing my YOs wrong. Well, not wrong, but not as right as they should be for a piece like this. I like how it looks. Actually, I loved how it looked until I got a look around at other's work. Dang. But I do want mine to be a little bit bigger because, well, I'm a little bit bigger.

Oh, and the red lifelines? Cinnamon dental floss. Someone recommended it as a life line and since it is fairly portable, I figured, why not? Some of you are more adventurous and throw caution to the wind. I'm fragile to failures of this dimension (as I will be illustrating this weekend in a huge knitty opportunity I'm throwing out to all of you).

And I have the UFO stash to prove it.