Friday, January 29, 2010

Do Over

The first go around of the Rosebud shawl made it to about four inches deep. It looked really pretty with the motifs spaced very close together. But the way they lined up meant I had to shift markers around every six rows, and that got to be a drag. Also, I found that slipping the first stitch of every row on such an oblique angle made for edges that were too tight. So I started over.

The color is really more lavender than it looks here.

Not as lacy looking, but moves along much faster. I'll be knitting on an edging when I get the center section done. I'm trusting that will tame the bit of curl at the lower edge. It will be a while before I get to that point. Those rows keep getting longer and longer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Looking Ahead

I'm almost done with the black and blue shawl/stole. Three more repeats of the edging pattern, wash, block, weave in ends. So I've started noodling around with ideas for the second.

Just for the heck of it, I've decided that I want a wide, shallow, blunt triangle-ish thing. So I've started at the bottom with twenty some stitches, and I'm increasing one stitch at each side every row. It seems to be getting wider a little faster than I had anticipated, but I'm going to keep going. This is stash yarn I want to use up. If it doesn't make it all the way to shawl size, I'll turn it into a scarf.

The motif I'm using is "Rosebud", maybe I'll name it "Citizen Kane."

Friday, January 22, 2010

When the Cats are Bored

they take it out on the paper products. The kitchen roll of paper towels has long since been moved to a shelf out of their reach, and only somewhat inconvenient for us. But some things aren't so easily relocated.

On a more constructive note, I just polished off the edging at the first end of the current shawl. I may actually have this puppy completed by the end of the month.

Guess it's time to start kicking around ideas for the second one. I have some sport weight acrylic I've been wanting to use up......

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I've decided to try an edging from Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting for the ends of the shawl in progress.

I sometimes find myself confused following Miller's charts, mostly because she uses a black dot for a knit stitch, and I tend to read this as a purl stitch. So I re-did the chart using "Knit Visualizer". I also added in the faggoting header which is clearly shown in the photo, but not included in Miller's chart. Theoretically, I could have just added this in as I went. How hard can it be to throw in an extra "yo, k2tog" every row? But I say, why add one more thing to remember if I can just put it down on paper? I'm easily enough confused as it is.

Now my only question is: work this in stockinette or garter? Stockinette would look nicer, but garter wouldn't curl. Decisions, decisions..... I think I'll start out with garter and see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Inspired by Molly Bee

A thick fog again last night left hoarfrost this morning. Ms B's selection of photos from the other day is more poetic. But after days and days of gray weather, I'm really glad to see the sunshine.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Slow But More or Less Steady

I've almost run through the main color yarn (looks as though I can squeak out one more pattern repeat). So now I need to figure out what to do at the ends. I have the same yarn in black. I'm just still stumped as to what I want for a pattern stitch.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


"a distorted projection or perspective; especially an image distorted in such a way that it becomes visible only when viewed in a special manner."

It's possible that I'm the last person to tune into Julian Beever's amazing sidewalk drawings, but in case I'm not, you can see selections here and here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The compressibilty of cats

really never ceases to amaze me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yay! My New Dishes Arrived

I've had the same set of every day dishes for 27 years. Hey, why not? I always liked them. But, while there are still seven intact dinner plates and six cups, we were down to two saucers (both chipped), two cereal bowls and two sauce dishes. So I've been looking around online for a new set for quite a while. I finally found one I liked, with the pieces I wanted, at a price I could handle. Thank you, J.C. Penny!

I wanted mugs, not cups; and cereal bowls, not soup plates. I also wanted sauce dishes, which practically no one seems to make any more, but those little "dip bowls" come close. For one brief shining moment at least, I have a full set of matching dishes for twelve. Damn, I feel civilized.

Of course I now have to get everything washed, take the remaining old dishes out of the cupboard, wipe down shelves, put the new ones away, pack up the old ones to go to the thrift store - guess I've got the rest of my day cut out for me. That's OK. I still feel like a kid with a new pony.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On Wisconsin

79 yr old woman banned from Senior Center for rowdy behavior sues and loses.

Monroe, the scene of this story, is only 30 miles south of us.

That's got to be one feisty gal. Kind of glad the judge held the line.

Monday, January 11, 2010


While rummaging around looking for something else, I came across these:

A pair of child's mittens all done except for a few rounds on one thumb and some loose ends to be woven in.

Now why did I ever set them down when they were so close to being finished? And after setting them down, how did I so completely forget about their existence?

Oh well, they are done now (took me all of about 20 minutes, if that). So now I have two FO's for January: the little face cloth and these. I think I had better go hunting around in closets and drawers. Who knows what else is out there?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Cat Blogging & Progress Report

Here's Merlin

And Bob

As you can see, they have been growing. I expect that Merlin has reached his full size, upward at least. (If we fed him as much as he wants, he would be growing outward for some time to come. But we are trying to hold the line.)

On the knitting front, I have gone through almost three of the four available balls of the blue/green yarn.

Unfortunately, the third ball is a rather strikingly different dye lot. However, I will press on all the same. As I suspected, four balls will not be quite enough for a decent length. So I will be adding some black at each end. I'm still not sure what I want to use for a stitch pattern, but at the rate I am going (steady but slow) I still have some time to mull it over.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

In Other News

A girl can't only work on shawls, at least this one can't.

The item on the left is a little face cloth, because I needed something easy to work on at our weekly knitting group.

The item on the right is my first practice attempt at reversible two-color double knitting. My mind grasps the concept just fine. With both yarns held in front, knit a stitch with one color. With both yarns held in front, purl a stitch with the other color. Conceptually, not that complicated.

My fingers, however, are having a bit of a struggle. I first tried carrying one yarn in each hand, as I do for Fair Isle. I had a terrible time bringing both yarns forward or back at the same time. So then I tried carrying both yarns in my left hand (I normally knit Continental). This went more smoothly, but I had some problems with the yarns twisting, and my tension control was even more iffy than usual. I suppose I could try right hand "throwing" for both yarns next, but that would be so slow for me I'm not sure I could stand it. In any event, this is clearly going to take more practice.

So I Called Customer Service Again

The story from my previous post continues somewhat hopefully. I called customer service again this morning, and according to today's gal the order has indeed been flagged for re-shipment and should go out "in a day or two". So things are still pending. At this point I won't count on anything until the order actually arrives, but am prone to give those folks the benefit of the doubt.

To be continued....

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dumbest Shipping Department Ever-Updated

I will not name the company yet, as there is still a remote chance that I will receive my order (although I am not holding my breath).

Back on Dec. 20 I ordered a coat online. The company's shipping policy states that "We ship...via U.S. Priority Mail or FedEx." When I entered my shipping address, there was a little box to check if my address was a P.O. Box. Presumably this is done so the company will not ship FedEx, as that company will not deliver without a street address. I checked this little box.

I waited, and I waited and finally, today, I went and clicked on the tracking number in the confirmation email I had received. And guess what? They shipped the damn package via FedEX, and it made it all the way to Madison before it was sent back to the company in MA.

So I called the customer service number and the woman at the other end confirmed that the package had just arrived back there today. She said that in their attempt to get a lot of things out before the holidays they had switched a number of orders to FedEx (as if this were a reasonable explanation).


The customer service lady said that they had done this "at no additional cost to you". Well I should hope not!

And the FedEx guys? Why did they accept the package and send it as far as Madison? Couldn't someone have pointed out that the address was going to be a problem?

Aargh! So I asked the customer service lady if they would now re-ship the package to me via U.S. Mail. Well, no, they would just credit my account. What??? WTF???? They have the item that I ordered and paid for and still want, and that they messed up on shipping, and they are just going to return it to stock and not send it to me?

I pointed out to her that I did not consider this acceptable. She said that since it had just come in today and it hadn't been opened she would "try" to have it sent out, but that she certainly couldn't make any promises, and that she could only hope that someone might notice the "flag" she was putting on it. I asked whether I could just go ahead and re-order the item I had ordered in the first place. No, I couldn't, because they no longer carry that item. But you just told me you have the one I ordered in the first place. It's in your receiving area. You just told me that.

(Now this comes on top of the hassle I had already gone through last week concerning the fate of the other item I ordered at the same time, and that the web site said was in stock and "reserved" for me. First I got a "back order" email. Then I got a "back order but we have our doubts whether we can get any more" email. It was a sale item, and they had another item that looked identical except for the fabric. So I asked it they would substitute that at the same price. No, they would not. The whole thing was beginning to smell like bait and switch to me. According to the customer service lady today, this one is finally on it's way. We'll see.)

At the end of the conversation she asked, twice, "Is there anything more I could help you with today?" Since she clearly wasn't going to do a thing more to solve the problem I had called about, I could only assume this was a tactful way of asking whether there was anything else I would like to order today. Yeah, right. Riiiiiiight.

(Bangs head on keyboard while tearing hair)

Well, I'm happy to report that the first (originally backdated) part of the order arrived, and is the right size, and I'm happy with the item. As far as the rest of it, well, we'll see what tomorrow brings (or doesn't).

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Grey goose and gander
Waft your wings together
And carry the good king's daughter
Over the one strand river.

This is not a rhyme I knew as a child. I came across it in the book my own good daughter gave me for Christmas. I love it.

The opening lines are as graceful a bit of poetry as you are likely to find. And the whole thing feels as if it were referring to a story which you ought to know, but can't quite remember.

What is the one strand river and where is it found? Who is the good king? How old is his daughter? Is she being carried toward him or away from him, and why?

It's like a dream that you know is important, but that slips away from you as you wake.

Monday, January 04, 2010

I Feel Like Such a Slacker!

Over at the Ravelry "10 in 2010" group, nine people have already posted pictures of shawls finished since the first of the year.

My pace has been considerably more sedate, but I have made some progress.

It's not a race, it's not a race, it's not a race......

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year, New Project

First off, Happy New Year to one and all.

I waited until this morning to start my first shawl for the "10 in 2010" project. Technically, the project launched at midnight Oslo time, so I could have started sometime yesterday afternoon, but I didn't realize that until just before I went to bed.

As I think I've mentioned before, this is a pattern from Kinzel's first lace knitting book. It was written for a dresser scarf or tray cloth. I've used larger yarn and needles, reduced the number of repeats across, added 5 sts in seed stitch to each side, and of course, will make it longer. I mean, tray cloth, rectangular shawl, what's the difference besides size?

I used a provisional cast on (that pink bit at the end), because I'm working with stash yarn and am quite sure I don't have enough to give me the length I would like. I have some of the same yarn in black and I will use that to extend each end. Haven't decided what pattern I will use for that. Partly it will depend on just how much extra length I end up needing. I have a good amount of work to do yet on that center section, so I'll have time to think about it.