Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lazy January

I haven't felt much like posting lately, but I have been knitting. I am up to row 105 on the International shawl and a bit more than halfway finished with the doily afghan. Afghan doily? Doifghan? Afly?

Harry has been mostly sleeping off a bad hangover for the past week, so I have nothing to report on his eggs.

Our gunsmith has been too ill to do anything with the needles I gave him several months ago. We decided to give knitting needle surgery a whirl, so we ordered a variety of tiny drills and a miniature drill press outfit. So far, we have read the manual, admired the teensy drill bits, and set up the drill press. We haven't quite gotten up the courage to turn the sucker on yet, but I figure in a week or so we'll be drilling and filling like pros. Or I will have a truly remarkable set of mutilated needles. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Make My Day!

Opal, at Akami Knitter, has gifted me with this sweet little award:

The rules say I have to pass this on to ten more people whose blogs bring me happiness and inspiration. If I don't pass it on, my knitting will probably go frotz and Harry will start sharing the dinner hour with us.

I read quite a few blogs, but fortunately, Opal already awarded some of my favorites, so I shall spread the joy by naming the following (in alphabetical order):

BadCatDesigns, who keeps inventing these gorgeous patterns and generously shares them with all of us, for free!

Criminy Jickets, whose beautiful socks make me ashamed of my plain knitted footware.

Fluffbuff, who provides a delectable menu of both food and knitting.

I'm Tinking. Fat chance. Her lace is fabulous, and her toys adorable.

Lace Maven, whose lace knitting gives me that little frisson of pleasure just from gazing upon the pictures.

LittleBerry Knits beautifully and has a magnificent color sense, too!

The Doily Underground, who knits exquisite little masterpieces almost fast enough to satisfy my hunger for pretty pictures.

Things Soo Likes: Can knitting get any more gorgeous? The only person who has inspired me to breaking and entering so I can steal that Kaffe Fassett coat.

Tia Knits, whose Fair Isle knitting makes my eyes pop out and roll around on the floor.

YorkSett Arts and Crafts, who spins, weaves, and knits, all with exquisite taste.

まちづくりカフェ通信, just because you are my friend. Get your Internet fixed already! (Blogger sure hates Japanese, doesn't it?)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Current Knitting

Harry demanded the front row seat of this post, so here is a stupid photograph of his current knitting.

I have no idea what he his doing, and persistent questioning from me only verified the fact that he does have a wicked right-right-right-right hook.

Thanks to the bitterly cold weather, I was finally impelled to begin a project that has been in the back of my mind since last summer. The original pattern is presented as a tablecloth, but by knitting it in Lisa Souza's luscious Petal yarn (50% silk, 50% merino,Mother of Pearl colorway), I have successfully turned the tablecloth into an afghan.

The pattern, brilliantly named Tablecloth (Tischdecke), has appeared in many German knitting magazines, almost always partnered with a smaller version. I am working with the one on page 12 of Andrea #801.

Those of you who have been here before have heard me mumble about the International Shawl, but I never gave much of an explanation. The project developed during the pre-Christmas lull, when several of us were casting about (little pun there) for something new and different to fling on our needles.

Someone, I think it was Laritza, but it might have been me, suggested a mutant shawl composed of patterns from several countries. After much consultation, LaceFreak, MissAliceFaye, Laritza, and myself agreed that the center of this shawl would be the delectable item shown on page 64 of Naoko Ichida's Knitted Lace Designs Book 2--a compilation of Niebling treasures. The center is either Japanese or German--we haven't exactly worked out the provenance yet.

Following the center will be an inner border of Laurel Leaf pattern from Victorian Lace Today. LaceFreak and I are tossing about ideas for what should follow. You can see her progress here. We are actually neck and neck, progress-wise, but she is clearly more talented at taking pictures.

As with all circular shawls, this one is difficult to photograph. By snitching the largest of Harry's eggs, I was able to capture a decent photo of the center, even though it sort of resembles a blue cabbage. The blue is actually darker than shown, but you get the idea. As of this morning, I am on row 91--well into the twisty little flower area.

And of course, there's a bit of sock knitting going on too. The munchkin-sized fleegle sock is being knitted with Mystical Creations merino in the Mother Earth colorway.

Just as a little aside, I was thumbing through some knitted mag the other day and saw an ad for Little Knits. She has 700 different yarns in her shop. I want to go live there. See the link in my sidebar for her Web page, but don't blame me if your credit card leaps out of your wallet and gloms onto your monitor.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Paton's Shawl Eye Candy

Not only was the pattern weird, it blocked weirdly too--sort of a pie-shape. It doesn't matter--it's pretty and feels lovely.

The shawl was knitted with Shakun silk/cashmere on #5 needles. Details of this shawl, and the pattern links, are available here . Some of the pattern was made up, because the original had so many errors. Adaptations are described here. I should add that the shawl took about 1000 yards--half of what was required for the original. As my border was actually larger, I shall just add this discrepancy to the long list of goofs in this pattern.

On to the International Shawl--LaceFreak and I are neck and neck on row 78-ish. I also started a tablecloth afghan...details next time!

Important Notice About Questions
Just to remind everyone...if you want a response from me, you really need to give me a clue about reaching you. I have had several queries in the past few weeks, but no email address or blog link was provided. Although I am a competent mind reader, I do need something to focus on. My email address is listed in my blog profile (Google for "fleegle user profile" if you don't have a Blogger profile yourself), so anyone can get in touch with me via that address. I am also on Ravelry and Knitter's Review under the name of fleegle. Thanks!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Knitting With Political Principles

The Paton's shawl is finished! I need to block it, so the pictures will have to wait for next time. It was a pleasant knit for the most part, although I didn't enjoy the frequent pattern bloopers sprinkled throughout the design. Shakun's silk/cashmere yarn, though, was so exquisite that I would have been equally happy knitting a feed sack. Just touching it made up for the, erm, pattern mis-speaks.

I didn't care for the original edging, so I mostly used the one from Marianne Kinzel's Rose of England teacloth, which you can find in her Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting.

The fit wasn't exact; to make it work, I used the George W. Bush Principle of Government--If the World View doesn't fit the actual facts, Just Make Stuff Up. This method was more successful for me than for George, probably because the fudging I applied did not involve information from the CIA, vice-presidents, or assorted bad guys wanting a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Should anyone ask me exactly how I managed melding the new border to the old shawl, I am afraid I will have to fall back on the Bill Clinton/Ronald Reagan Principle of Government: I Don't Recall. This particular principle didn't originate with those two, of course. I suspect that it was originally coined by Eve when questioned about her fruit-eating habits. But it's a fabulous principle to knit by, especially as we get older.

As I was inching my way across the interminable crocheted bind-off, I starting musing about other immortal political sayings that could be worked into knitting. And of course, I thought I would share them with you, in lieu of eye candy.

Just Say No.
--Nancy Reagan

A principle I apply to dishcloths, argyle socks, seaming, and hideous, droopy knitted bags.

My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.
--Ronald Reagan

Yes, he actually said this on August 11, 1984, during a sound check. He didn't realize the mike was live. Whoops. I would love to have been a fly on the Kremlin wall when that sound bite came wafting over the airwaves. I doubt Gorbachev noticed the grammatical error contained within this, um, bombshell. In any case, I use this principle frequently by substituting the project name in question for "Russia" and "frogging" for bombing.

What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.
-- Dan Quayle, thankfully former U.S. Vice President

This quote comes to mind often when working through complex lace patterns replete with convoluted directions and numerous errors.

About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.
--Herbert Hoover

Useful principle to remember when knitting circularly. Also handy when trying to assemble a sweater.

I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them.
- George H. Bush

I invoke this principle when lusting after a sweater that absolutely must be knitted in pieces and then seamed together.

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it.
--Andrew Jackson

Applies to UFOs, languishing WIPs, bulging pattern files, and an over-abundant stash.

Join the fun! Melding politics and knitting makes politics more useful and knitting more relevant, so feel free to contribute additional principles! We could all use a good laugh.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Two Mysteries

Well, the New Year started off with a real bang. Harry got his legs on some fireworks and set them off promptly at midnight, to the great merriment of his fellow party animals--two chipmunks, Laptop the cat, ten millipedes (really productive knitters), and a confused possum who wandered in looking for directions to another party.

Unfortunately, Roy and I were fast least until the fireworks went off in the living room. Then there was fifteen minutes of chasing the menagerie into the basement, a bit of screaming and yelling, threatening with a can of Raid, and so on. Just a typical evening here at chez fleegle.

On New Year's Day, Harry presented me with his newest creations (actually, he didn't present them--he threw them at me):

Eggs? He wouldn't tell me what they were, being in a real snit over the fireworks fiasco. Guess we'll find out what he has in mind later on.

As I was enjoying a Harry-free cup of coffee, I happened upon these lovely items in a Travelsmith catalog:

They look to be the perfect wardrobe accoutrement--a sweater/shawl/scarf/microskirt/spider swatter. If I could figure out the shape, it might be kinda fun to design a lacy version. Has anyone seen this design in a knitting publication? I have this picture of a wool/silk sweater with matching mohair shawl wings. Sounds like a project tailor-made for Lisa Souza yarn...