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What Are You Working On:  our weekly gathering for all things handmade, homemade, crafted, DIY, created.  We're flexible.  

I have a few things from around the tubes to share, and updates to my Lenten project, described in my previous WAYWO.  

Daughter, in her newer, better, fuller pioneer skirt.  I must love her a lot for letting her use that beatiful Northcott-Monarch fabric from Jennifer Wheeling's Victorian collection.  ;-)


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What Are You Working On
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Stuff I Found Laying Around The Tubes

I follow some moms on twitter.  Many of them are knitting, or writers.  And they follow other moms.  This one is very very creative.
 I especially loved this post from this week:  She's A Brick House And I Painted Her.  Later in the week she blogged about guinea pigs.  

Peacefully Knitting is new to me this week, and I have not fully explored anything here.  I am highly intrigued.

New York Times notices wool.    How clever of them ;-)  

The colors whiz down the walls in a stream of primary shades: red, yellow, green, blue.

This acoustic, sound-absorbing column seems just the answer for noisy restaurants or hotel lobbies. High tech? No, 100 percent felted wool.

What you can do with the combings from a sheep’s back is the subject of a fascinating display of jazzy carpets, sofas dressed in pinstriped suiting, chairs covered in recycled Aran cable cardigans — and a replica of the white bespoke trouser suit that Bianca Jagger wore to her 1971 wedding.

Someone somewhere in my twitter tweeted a darling project using Washi Tape to make a cute necklace.  However, I closed the page and could not find it again.  Apparently this stuff is a new magic craft item.  Here's some ideas.  I think it needs to be sealed or it will wear off quickly.  Has anyone here used this?  Is it fussy?  


Right after Lent started, daughter asked for a new skirt, even though I wasn't making things for other people.  Okay, I have done some mending.  Anyway, I cut and pressed, and she sewed:
Her brother was very supportive.  Next, I may try letting her cut with scissors, not with a rotary cutter.  The pressing is more risky - she could iron the fabric, and I could press the narrow fold-overs.  

I declare this project a complete success.  Here is a closeup of the fullness.IMG_3224

My Projects

1.  Pink Twisty Cowl:  FINISHED!
Goes well with pajamas.  Thanks to kirbybruno for the original item she knitted for me, and the Twist Your Neckwarmer pattern link.

I highly recommend this pattern.  It's fast.  It's easy.  It looks great.  And it's magic - you knit and knit, and it looks boring in its straight columns, and as soon as you bind off, it "sproings" into a twisty pattern.  

2.  Blue Lace Cowl
This had some issues.  As you can see in the older photos
the project is very crowded on the needles.  There are 143 lace-weight stitches on a 16" needle normally used for baby hats.  Plus, with the metal needles, the alpaca-silk blend was anxious to leap off into the unknown.  I kept dropping stitches, particularly when I set the piece down.  It was also very difficult to count stitches, as they were so very crowded.  I picked up a lot of them, but it took its toll.  At the 1/3 mark, I decided I had enough.  

I went into my lovely local yarn store (LYS) for a consult.  After trying out a few different circular needles, I chose the addi natura in 24 inches.  So far so good.  I am a bit concerned about the lack of killer-pointyness on the natura needles, but this is not a very complicated pattern.  The yarn is much calmer and better behaved.  And it is staying on the needles, where of course, it belongs.  

Then I ripped out the old project and re-wound the yarn.  This was a bit complicated, the alpaca seemed kind of grabby.  I used my well-developed patience and got it done, and now it fits in my yarn mug.  I re-knitted the first 4 rows and have set the project aside for right now.  

3.  The Giant Shawl
This is a bigger piece, and my shoulders have been stiff.  It has 3 colors on each row right now, and it has thousands of rows to completion.  Okay, hundreds.  Okay, maybe several dozen rows of 92 stitches.  I obviously need a better attitude.  And more flexible shoulders.  

4.  The New Project
I was frustrated with the Blue Lace Cowl.  I finished my Lenten reading several days early.  I felt kind of like doing something new and crazy.  One of my favorite designers, Sarah Wilson, aka The Sexy Knitter is hosting a Knit-Along (KAL) with her new shawl pattern.  I resisted it mightily January 1.  I continued to resist it throughout January and February.  Then I cracked this week.  I acquired the pattern, using her coupon code for a discount.  I tossed through my stash (remember, no new yarn) for possibilities.
The cats were very excited by this stage.  After examining labels, calculating comparative inches per weight, reading reviews, double and triple checking the pattern, I came up with a winner:
Kollage Luscious in Berry

I chose my knitpicks harmony birch needles, for their long cable, pointy-ness, and calming effect.  Even though the yarn is cotton/nylon, I am a bit worried.  The yarn has a surprising drape.  It is a bit heavier than the pattern details, but I think it will be nice for mountain evenings in the summer.  And I love that I can re-purpose this yarn from another project gone bad.  
Solstice Shawl uses 2 Barbara Walker lace patterns and has a nice stabilizing cable down the center back.

I immediately cast-on before I could change my mind, using Judy's Magic Cast-On.  I looked at the Knitty.com description, and the Cat Bordhi video, to refresh my memory.  I have no clue how to actually start a sock with this cast-on (its original purpose) (for a toe-up sock).  However, I'm getting very good at starting top-down shawls with it ;-)  I thank Susan Lawrence, who teaches at Blazing Needles, for teaching this technique.  When I grow up as a lace knitter, I am going to knit her Progression shawl.  Again.  


The next day I knitted through section one.  I am now 1/3 through section two, and I want to put a lifeline in before any more knitting.  It is going well.  The section two uses a 6-row lace repeat and an 8-row cable repeat.  However, they do not start at the same spot, because the cable is started in section 1.  In order to keep my brain together, I made a simple spreadsheet.  Column one is row number, 1 to 73 (12 repeats plus one extra row).  Column 2 is the lace row number (1 through 6, repeating) and Column 3 is the cable row (1 through 8).  I am also counting at the end of every six rows, to make sure I am making even progress from 40 stitches to 196? stitches at the end of the section.  

My cat photobombed my knitting photoshoot:
First, she sneaks in to the close-up.

Then, a total takeover.  

5.  The CarryAround Project
The legwarmers are coming along, slowly.  This is my carry around project right now, since I have decided to not carry the lace projects along, and the big shawl is too heavy and complicated.  

I have ripped this project out too - it's the mood I'm in recently, apparently.  I originally made some increases after the first round to make sure the "small/medium" pattern would work on my not so small legs.  However, when I tried them on carefully, they were huge!  I started over sticking to the original pattern.  The rib, even though twisting, is still very very stretchy.  The Lamb's Wool is very warm.  I am considering making the second one in the opposite spiral.  Like I would ever wear these in public, where anyone could see ;-)

I also steamed and ate my first artichokes and made a soup kind of like this one.

What Are You Working On?  
Crossposted in purple.  Available for other crossposting with acknowledgement, please inquire.
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