There's not a lot to blog about this week, because not a lot got done.
On Monday morning I went to a yoga class (which I don't care for because I'm way too type A and am forever looking at my watch) and then played tennis. Right after yoga I decided I wasn't feeling well, and the nausea continued apace during tennis. After an hour I begged off to go home. Then I spent the rest of the day projectile vomiting.
So Monday was a lost day, and Tuesday I spent all day on the couch lying and groaning as well.
I was so sick on Monday that I couldn't knit or read. That's drastic. I was even too ill to listen to audiobooks.
I'm not actually blaming it on the yoga. Not really.
Anyway, it took until yesterday for me to feel human again.
I have been knitting the Stonewall shawl, now named the Stonewall Dole Shawl. (I guess technically it's a stole, but whatever....).
Perhaps I'll rename it the Dole Stole.
I finished it around 4:00 this morning while watching Game of Thrones. I re-watched all of season 1 and have started on season 2. I watched about half of season 1 on the weekend, and then watched the rest last night and the night before.
It's not particularly helpful to watch tv until 6:00 am when one has to get up to do morning shift with the dogs. Three hours of sleep isn't really sufficient. And what am I thinking? In a week's time I have to teach a bootcamp class starting at 6:45 am twice a week. I'm an idiot.
But the Stonewall is finished. I don't know what its unblocked measurements are. I didn't think to measure that. I'm new to this whole lace and blocking thing. I can't check, because it is now soaking in the bathroom sink with some Soak. This is my inaugural blocking of anything.
I have even assembled the kiddy foam alphabet blocks into a large rectangle 7x4 blocks in size. I hope that will be sufficient to cover the darned thing.
Here's the shawl unblocked and lumpy on the kitchen table.
The yarn is 3 skeins of Bugga! in Cotton Stainer. Two were ordered together, and the third is an Irregular which I got later. This is how much I had left over. My calculations were spot on.
I wound it into a little ball for my vase of useless ends, and there is less (are fewer) than 5 metres left over. I really need to get a yarn scale. I had a nice kitchen scale which I had purchased for yarny pursuits, but I lent it to my BFF for cooking purposes. I'll have to get myself another one.
So the stole is soaking as we speak. I have 2 containers of #6510 T-Pins Size 24 Nickel Plated Steel Ideal for upholstery, slipcovers & crafts. So once it has bathed sufficiently, I'll wring it out and attack it like a butterfly with my T-Pins.
I wonder why the boxes of T-Pins don't refer to being ideal for entomology. No butterfly or beetle specimen would stand a chance against these babies.
The only yarn delivery this week was the May skein from the Knit Love Club. It's a beautiful blue with purple highlights. Alice and Ling have done a wonderful job as usual.
I had started on another stripey sock. It's the SerendipitousSock from Dye Hard Fibre Arts from Ontario. I can't remember the colourway, but it's orange and purple stripes.
I am using 2.25 mm Kollage DPNs. I don't use them very often. They're quite bendy and the points are blunter than I care for. But they're what I have available.
I was thinking of doing another Sweet Tomato Heel with them.
What I really want to do is a pair of Mermaid socks from Warm Socks, Cool Feet.
I think what I'll do is save this blog post in draft, block the shawl, photograph it, and add the blocking process to the blog post.
I was using my Lizard Toes stitch markers for the shawl, because there were 12 sections of 12-stitch repeats, plus a 3-stitch repeat on one side, a 6-stitch repeat on the other, and the 5-stitch garter stitch edges. But I found the Lizard Toes stitch markers very frustrating because they are NOT snagless and kept getting caught in the yarn. I think the beads are glued over the join in the rings, but once the beads start to move around, the joins separate and the markers snag like any other jump rings. I eventually switched to the Little Monkeys Stitch N Spin markers which remained closed and were snagless.
I have decided that my favourite stitch markers are the Spindle Cat Studios hammered stitch markers. I have a few of the silver ones. I'd like more, but they're a little on the pricey side. For now the Little Monkeys Stitch N Spin markers will do the trick.
Having decided that this lace thing is not as bad as I had feared, I have ordered some blocking wires from InSpinKnity on Etsy. I also ordered SNA circs (40") in 5.0 and 5.50 mm sizes. I purchased 4 patterns from Kitman Figueroa on Etsy. Her Ravelry name is Kitman, and she has some amazing shawls.
I may try a triangular shawl, in which case I'll do the Rev shawl. Batik is absolutely glorious, and I have a couple of skeins in my stash which would be perfect for it. I also kind of like the sideways crescent Melosa shawl.
I wonder whether I should purchase the Mystery KAL Jack and the Bean Stalk pattern. Nah. I'll watch and see what develops.
I wouldn't say that I've been bitten by the lace bug, but I am definitely going to do some more. My preference is for rectangular stoles, because I like something big enough to throw over my shoulders and arms to keep me warm. Those little dangly triangular shawl things which just wrap around the neck are nice to look at, but will never be a staple in my wardrobe.
I have Cluanarach [Cluaranach?] and Autumn Arbor (which I keep wanting to refer to as Ann Arbor) and Oh Canada from Knitspot. I have the Wendy Johnson Order in to Chaos, Exonumist (on the needles) and her Sandvik Faroese shawl.
I have a serious hankering for Potager. I may have to buy that one. Or Ostrich Plumes, or Honeybee, or Morning Glory or the Starlight Evening Wrap. Hmmm..... Decisions, decisions.
I had started Hillflowers a couple of years ago, and for the life of me I can't find the first skein of the Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk in Cherry. The second and third skeins are in my ZYG tub, but I can't find the first one. I may have to go through the yarn tubs again today. That would give me 1500 yards of a fine fingering weight for a shawl.
I have definitely created a monster. More later with the blocking picks.
Speaking of monsters, Desmond has been eating my stitch markers. I noticed that yesterday when I walked him. Hmmmm.... Bad dog.
At least Sebastian is currently confining himself to eating Q-tips.
Okay, this blocking thing is for the dogs. I can see why wires are required. But I'm a creature of impulse and I have poor impulse control. I cannot wait until my InSpinKnity wires arrive. I'm a good end-weaver, but maybe not a blocker. Big deal. I can always wet and re-block later, right?
I'm not sure I like the lacy look of it all stretched out. I don't know if this is "lightly" blocked or "aggressively" blocked. I think it's probably closer to the aggressive end of the spectrum.
Here's the knitting room in preparation for the blocking process. Yes, that's the stability ball I sit on. Sebastian was keeping me company.
Next time I put those blocking pads together, I am going to create subversive rude words which will show through the lace.
This is what was left in the sink. The colourway is aptly named, methinks.
And here it is, in its passively-aggressively blocking glory. One end is wider than the other. That's either a tension issue or a novice blocking issue. I'm going with the latter, as it's easiest to fix.
I just measured it. It's 38" x 60" (or 61", but the Namaste measuring tape only goes to 60").
When it's dry, I'll get Princess to model it for me. If it doesn't work as a stole, I'll use it as a lap blanket.
If I owned an iron, I suppose Icould probably iron out what will inevitably be the little pointy things around the edges. But I don't really care enough. It's my first attempt at both lace and blocking.
Now to decide whether to carry on with the Exonumist's Shawl or whether to start something else.
Looking at this, though, I can see why many stoles are around 24" wide. That's probably a better size for wearing around the shoulders. I have no idea why I thought that I needed to add 4 pattern repeats. I also didn't take into consideration the fact that a rectangle isn't going to stretch lengthwise as much as a regular shawl stretches width-wise.
Ah well, it's all part of the process. Live and learn and all that.
Hmm. Is it bad to admit that I like the look of it unblocked better than I like the look of it blocked? That probably falls into the category of lace heresy.