Friday, August 24, 2007

Ravelry invite!

Just a fast entry....

My invite for Ravelry FINALLY came today!!!! I'm so excited!!!!!

I signed up back on June 18 (DH was on a work trip, and I stayed up half the night poking around on the computer), and was number 9847 [or something like that].

I've already put in the 3 current WIP's, and I'll need to do pictures and stuff. Maybe next week - DH is off on another business trip again. But I need to find some "friends" - anyone out there? I'm plain old "Arlene" in Ravelry.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

MS3 Finished!!!!

Done! Done! Done!

All knitted, washed, and now blocked! The MS3 just needs to dry, and then its ready to be worn. (And if NJ stays as cold as it did today, I'm going to wear it very soon....)

I didn't get to start it on Friday when the last clue was released, since we were away. I printed the clue Friday evening, but was just too exhausted. But I've been working steadily all day today (Sunday), and finished the knitting this afternoon. After snapping this quick picture

the stole was off for a nice wool wash bath and then up to the blocking board. It took a while to string the blocking wires - here it is when I paused for dinner.

And now its all done. Pinned, stretched to 22" x 80", and clearly exceeding the 48" of my blocking board.

A bit of the detail at the ends of the "feathers"

If I'm going to continue making these large lace projects, I'm either going to have to get some sort of extension for the blocking board, or at least find a solid colored sheet so the photos look better.

Its a bit strange looking - seems more like a lace "knife" than a stole. I'll have to get used to it, I guess. I did get up this morning and made this shawl pin to go with the "Swan Lake" theme of the MS3.

Its the copper wire I use in my stained glass work. I twisted 2 strands, shaped them to my pencil drawing (I did my research with Audubon pictures), and then lightly hammered the wire. I also added an eye using my stained glass solder - not only does it make an eye and add a contrasting color, it also covers the rough edges of the wire ends. I also made a "feather" stick to complete it. The stick may be a bit long - I'll have to try it out once the shawl dries.

So, where does that leave me? I now have no big project going. I'll probably finish my bright-striped Regia socks now, all they need is a picot bind-off on the second sock, and then to weave the ends. I've already started my I Love Gansey socks. Some more sock yarn came this past week - I'm going to make some socks to gift to someone who always has cold feet. And my Michelle's shawl is at least half done, and perfect for working on when I exercise on the bicycle. No major projects........ I hope some sort of inspiration comes along soon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Scout summer camp & STASH ENHANCEMENT

Well, a trip to Boy Scout summer camp both hinders and helps knitting. Last weekend's 2 night/3 day extravaganza of living in the woods, using a latrine, and being surrounded by lots of barely-in-control teenage boys had its ups and downs. I was pretty excited to go with the troop to the archery and rifle ranges, where I got to try new things. Yep, I've never done either before, and, I'm very proud to say, I hit the targets almost all of the time!! But there was a lot of down time, as I sat in the site playing responsible adult while the boys came and went to their various Merit Badge activities.

The MS3 just wasn't the right project to take on that kind of adventure. Between the light colored fine yarn, the crucial, but easily lost, crochet hook, and the 100's of little beads, it just wasn't going to happen. The second half of clue 5 had to stay home and wait for me. But my socks came along, as did some size 8 perle cotton destined to be a swirl yarmulke. In the 3 days there, I managed to knit the entire leg portion of a sock, and make good progress on that yarmulke. I even incorporated one of the boy's idea to add a gold ring every 10 rows.

The rest of the week has just been BUSY. DS #2 has finished his summer activities, and just wanted me to DO things with him. So, we played games, I read him stories, we went out on "adventures" (which are also known to the world as errands and lunch with Daddy). I am just about done with the leg of the other sock, but I couldn't keep my eyes open last night. Maybe later. And clue 6 hasn't been touched, even though I've had it in my hands for more than a day.

I'm not sure what to make of the MS3. I have taken the plunge and will "wing" it, but I'm still unsure of that symmetry thing. And -- although this might be blasphemous -- its BORING to knit. Its gotten all repetitive with the feather design. Even the short rows don't save it. I'm sure I'll finish it and wear it, after all, there are only clues 6 and 7 left, but its sure has lost its glamour. I do think I'll make a shawl pin for it out of copper, similar to the one that someone is selling. I was ready to plunk down my money, but DH looked at it and said "You can make that..." I think I'll twist 2 finer threads of copper together, solder the end points with a ball of my stained glass silver solder to keep it smooth, and then use the silver dot as the swan's eye. I found some nice drawings by Audubon that I can use as a design basis (don't want to copy someone else's work). I'll also give it a light hammering on the anvil. Hopefully the copper will match the beads on the stole.

And finally, to cheer myself up, and because I won't be able to get there when the kids have to be at shul on Saturday morning's, DS #2 and I ran over to Paterson this morning, home of the Silk City Outlet. Great stash enhancement place! For not too much money, I got all this:

Well, the 4 cones on the lower right were actually free, but still, where else am I going to get 6 weeks of lace knitting enjoyment per project for less than $15 per cone? The 3 cones on the lower left are wool crepe, the blue & maroon still in wrappers are 5/2 cotton, the copper colored cone is some sort of rayon/viscose and I have no clue what the beige colored yarn in the middle is, but it has a gold thread overwrap and twinkles so pretty. I just couldn't walk away from it, although I did sort through the box to find the smallest cone -- and its still enough yardage to make at least 3 large shawls. And each of the other cones is enough for multiple projects too. Overall, its probably enough for a year or more, if I every truly use all of it.

DH is starting to feel overwhelmed in the house, so I'm toying with selling off some of the Silk City stuff that I've already used for a project. I know myself, I'll never use it again. Might as well send it to new homes. I've never done that before. I'll probably try over at Knitswap on Yahoo! first before I pay Ebay for the privilege of listing it. Keep an eye out.....