First things first. My birthday was about two weeks ago (May 30th), and it was lots of fun. Since we had the day off, Richard and I decided to head down to the San Francisco zoo. We both love that zoo because they really seem to focus more on creating habitats that make the animals happy instead of boring, bare cages focused only on whether we humans can see them. We got there when they opened, which meant we got to see all the lemurs at their most active (I adore lemurs – they’re like the cats of the primate world!), plus we got to go into one of their newest exhibits, where they have a dik dik! It’s one of the cutest little things out there. Pictures from our trip are all posted here.
Now back to knitting content. It being my birthday (and for those of you who care, I turned 36 this year, which means that I shall spend the entire year telling people that I am 6 squared if they ask my age, just because it seems like the right math nerdy thing to do. Heh)., naturally there were presents. And this year, since my family has all figured out that I am a wee bit obessed with knitting, it was all about the enabling, baby! My marvelous husband not only got me Weekend Knitting, he also got me the Sweater Wizard 3.0 software, and if that weren’t enough, he also got me a knitting machine, which I really wanted! Woo! There’s a lot I’m always going to have to do by hand, but this thing is going to make some of the larger projects go by just a little quicker.
Other knitting related presents included organizers for my DPN’s and my circulars, from my parents, which is marvelous because this means I no longer have to go rummaging all over the house trying to find all my needles, as well as figure out if I have the size I’m looking for.
The cabled afghan is coming along rather nicely. I’m about 2 feet into it, and have already finished the first twining trees motif, plus I tracked down a cable knot for the center, converted the graph to text (because I can follow text much better than graphs), had Richard pick a stitch pattern from my 365 Knitting Stiches A Year calendar (I narrowed it down to about 5 choices to make it easier for him) for something to fill in the huge gap between tree and knot in the middle, and did the math to figure out exactly how many rows this thing is going to take. 320 rows, in case you’re curious – it’ll be 8 repetitions of the outermost cable pattern, and 20 of the Saxon braid. I wouldn’t normally care how many rows, except that if I want the second, and upside down twining trees motif to match the exterior cabling, I have to know exactly *when* to start it…which means knowing how many rows.
If I had started this thing with all the calculations and such I probably would have been dreading it, but I’m adding in all the steps as I go, and I’m actually having fun. Here’s a shot of the first trees, with the interior cable edge (the Saxon braid), and the single cable twist around the trees. You can’t see the outer ring cable in this shot, but trust me, it’s there.
In addition to working on the afghan, I cast on for Kiri. It took a few tries, since I quickly discovered that using my lovely smooth plastic Denise needles is not a good idea for teensy laceweight yarn. So I zipped off to the yarn store, procured a pair of bamboo circulars (and something for my Secret Pal too), and transferred everything over to my new less-slippery needles. I felt like I was going turtle speed for the first few rows of the pattern, but eventually it all clicked. Here’s a progress shot of the first 54 rows.
I’m using KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in Iris, on size 5 Clover bamboo. I posted a nervous newbie message to the Summer of Lace discussion group, dithering over the open weave of the pattern, but really, I should have just held off on my worrying until I was further along and could see the pattern really taking place. I think once this is blocked, it’s going to be gorgeous.