Sunday, 30 January 2011

Quick Summary of the Last Three Weeks

Well it's been a long time since I last posted, but to be fair to myself, I've been very busy!

For one thing, I got the flu. It was only a mild dose - in so much that I only spent four days laid up - but it sure didn't feel mild at the time! It meant I had to put my very fine lace weight shawl on the back burner as I just couldn't cope with trying to see the yarn and work out the non-intuitive pattern. Even the comparatively simple fingering weight shawl was so much effort I had to have a little doze after every row! I'm a little of coming down with bug after bug this winter though. I'm seriously craving the summer!

Thankfully, I was well enough to go on the weekend break I had planned last weekend. This was the 30th birthday celebration of an old friend of mine who came out to stay in a windmill not too far from me, despite her and her friends coming 100+ miles to get there! It was a very nice weekend - the windmill had been converted into a huge windmill that slept 15 and was absolutely stunning, and the people I met were absolutely lovely. It was fantastic seeing my friend again too - I haven't seen her for a few years, but we can just catch straight back up again when we see each other and I'm glad things are mostly going well for her. I think most of the other guests were quite bemused and interested to see me knitting away - I started shawl number 3 while I was there!

Since I got back, as well as all the normal hobbies I get up to, I finished the first two of my eleven shawls! The first one I finished is called 22 Leaves Shawlette and I made it using Hand Maiden Casbah which is amazingly lovely both to knit with and to wear. It's in the Cedar colour way and I cannot rave enough about this colour! Here's a picture:

Possibly the most exciting thing about this shawl is that when I posted it on the 11 Shawls in 2011 forum on Ravelry, more than 100 people have clicked on the 'love' button. I may have made an involuntary squeeing noise when I saw that it had broken 100.

The next one I finished today. It was actually the first one I cast on, but due to the aforementioned flu it ended up being put to one side for a week or two. It's a Wild West Lace Shawl (by Evelyn Clark!) in the insanely delicate Grignasco MerinoSilk. This was leftover from the Muir stole I made (that it off the needles, but as yet to have ends woven in or be blocked. Opps), and even after making this shawl I still have about 200 yards left! I was worried when I cast off as it seemed tiny, but it grew loads when I blocked it. Also, because the yarn was so fine, I only needed to leave it pinned out for an hour before I could go and take pictures. Which is why I can show this now and not some time next week due to light issues:

So, all in all January has been very productive and busy - two shawls and a blanket started and finished. I'm going to attempt to have a 'Perfect February' which is a Facebook initiative in which the participants sign up to aim to be the best they can be for the month. We'll see how it goes anyhow.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Do I knit too much?

Probably when you look at the evidence. A full blanket - approximately 5 foot in diameter - knitted in six days.

In other news, I am working on two of the shawls for my 11 in 2011...

Monday, 3 January 2011


2011 has arrived!

I cast on almost immediately for a Hemlock Ring Blanket using some yarn that used to be this:

and then became this:

and is now almost a blanket. The pattern is nice - simple and repetitive, but effective - and was just what I needed the last two days while I've been feeling really sick. (I didn't say anything on the 1st, thinking people would just think I was hungover, but I was really quite sick on the 2nd, so it wasn't but it may have been lack of sleep). Today though, I've struggled with it.

I don't think it's a fault of the pattern - I think the fault lies with me. I find lots of knit stitches boring and this involved four rows of stockinette between each lace row and each round is now about 400 stitches. Lots of stockinette for not much lace - but it looks good for it.

Possibly it's just hitting that sense of ennui that I've had the past few days. I drove back from London where I've spent the Christmas holidays with my family, to Norwich where my house is. I always feel a little down on these days - when I leave my family and the sense of being loved and before everything starts to take my mind off this longing. This time it seems especially potent. I feel completely stuck in a rut - I know exactly how 2011 is going to go because it will be exactly the same as 2010 and 2009 and 2008. Yes, some small differences will change, but in the end nothing will have.

So I'm trying to think of ways to mix some lace into my stockinette. I'm thinking of redecorating for one thing. It may help. It may remain just a thought, a plan, or (I hope) it may become actuality.

And tomorrow I think I will cast on for a very lace-complex shawl.