I seem to always be running on my own, not-quite-parallel track, to other knit bloggers, so why not offer up my WIP update today? I am happy to say that knitting is happening, and crocheting, and even some jewelry-making. I have an order to fill later today, and Friday has become a 'work for myself' day in my life, maybe permanently as an entrepreneur, or at least until I can obtain more hours at my present job or a different one. Sigh, the woes of the economy. OK, that was the limit of my self-pity! I am excited to have an order for three Tree of Life pendants to fill, as well as a sample of one to make up and send out to a fellow crafter to take with her to fairs in another part of the country. A fifth pendant will end up on Etsy by the end of a month, also as a display model.
I have talked about these a few times on the blog, which means they aren't getting done! I have to admit that I fell in love with Kristen's pattern when I saw her one red mitten on display at the LYS, and even knowing that crochet hurts my hands more than knitting, had to buy some Frog Tree alpaca sport weight to start a pair. I can't remember where I heard the phrase, "you can tell a knitter by what she's wearing... none of her accessories match", but it has been haunting me the past six months or more. I decided to choose this lovely, natural medium brown shade mainly because it matches my favorite winter hat! How novel of me, eh? Well, alpaca will also make for very toasty-warm mittens, however the yarn is rather splitty, and the pointy tip of my Brittany birchwood hook is catching on at least a fourth of the stitches each row! The going is a bit slow, but as you can tell, the mitten is carefully designed to fit well. Mitten #1 can be finished this coming weekend and #2 started!
My Knit NIght group meets every two weeks and we started this lovely sweater as a KAL, with most of us participating. Of course (in the 'what were we thinking' department) we started in November, just as we were all getting geared up for gifting, and a few were busy doing shows to sell their crafty wares!
I haven't felt that bad tabout what little progress has been made, after all I was busy! Except when I pulled the sweater out of my basket to photograph it this morning, I had one of those aha moments... I have been deferring this because I am all through the yoke and in my first repeat on the lace, which I messed up big-time. It all started with talking and knitting (and a bit of tea-drinking) and getting to the too tired point. Then, when I realized the next time I sat down with the sweater what the problem was, my repair efforts just made things worse! I am a patient person with lace, one of my great loves in knitting, however, an entire evening didn't fix the problem and major ripping back and re-working will need to take place to get through those first few repeats. This is not a particularly complicated pattern, but it can be when you miss your mistake and then try to repair it from a few rows above. Look for a more positive update soon! The yarn is Classic Elite Magnolia, and is just beautiful... the color has been hard to capture, either photographing too orange-y or too pinkilish (one of my chlldrens' invented words, which has stuck in our family's culture!). It is actually a very lovely warm shell pink. I know I will adore wearing this sweater through the spring, which will come sooner than we think, so plan to spend some time tonight fixing my mistake and getting back on track.
I have a small tradition of staring a shawl on New Year's Day, and this year was no exception. It may not really count as a tradition until I have lived a few more decades, but at least a few of the ones I have made in recent years were started as part of bringing in the new, and this year's choice is a re-construction of a historical piece, the pattern unearthed on Ravelry after having been lovingly deciphered by Mette Rorbech. The original was made in 1897, and lives now at the Vendsyssel Museum in Denmark. Isn't this world at this time such an amazing place for us fiber-loving fanatics? I will probably never make it to Denmark to the Vendsyssel Museum to view this shawl in this lifetime, and the odds would have been against my stumbling on an article in a print magazine two or three decades even describing it, or offering a pattern!
Luckily for me, this wonderful shawl is now available to me, a lover of all things Victorian and Elizabethan, who can now create something to wear with the costumes I end up donning several times a year for re-enactment events.
I am using a heavier laceweight from my stash, from the Wooly Wonka lace club a few years back. I loved the deep green color and always wanted to save it for this purpose. I also adore how this shawl was designed to be tied in the back, a true working woman's shawl! The pattern is a bit more of a recipe, but having been a big fan of Elizabeth Zimmerman's work over the past few decades, that does not appear too daunting, at least not yet. So far, the bottom edging I am working is only a foot and a half, and needs to be my wingspan, then a corner for the bottom shawl point knitted, and then another wingspan's worth for the other side! I believe this will be a long, leisurely and loving knit!
Lastly, an update on the Flora dolly, from my DDIL, who interpreted FO as follow-up, providing a new view of how Flora is faring at their house: