August 29, 2006

Print of the Wave

I took my finished Print of the Wave Stole to the knitting night at the coffee shop in Davis last night so I could show it off, and also convince someone to play model for me.

My friend-with-a-yarn-store is very nicely modeling it, since she was wearing a white shirt so as to best show off the lace pattern. You can, unfortunately, sitll see the graft between the two sections, although I don't think it's as obvious as the way the original pattern called for. And I have to admit I'm not entirely sure what I gained from doing two pieces and grafting them for the center - if I were to make this again, I would simply do one center piece, all going in the same direction so as to avoid the issue of grafting things altogether.

Next on the needles - pink ribbon sock #12 and a mobius strip cowl, which I am making out of a skein of gorgeous silvery grey alpaca I picked up at Tess Designer Yarns booth at Stitches two years ago. The plan (assuming I have enough yarn to do this) is to finish this and then send it off as my one-skein project to my One Skein Secret Pal.

Posted by Jenipurr at 10:44 PM | Comments (3)

August 27, 2006

Moving on

It feels like it has been a lot longer than just one week since this whole crazy roller coaster with my dad began. First there was the bypass surgery and then it turns out he had a very mild stroke, but we have constantly been reminding ourselves that we are lucky; he is lucky, and it could have been so much worse. I've spent a lot of time the past week driving back and forth from home to work to the hospital. My little sister flew down from Seattle and has been either at my house or my parents' house, baking delicious things for the staff in whatever department he was in at the time (she's a pastry chef), making delicious dinners to stash in my mom's fridge and freezer so she doesn't have to worry about cooking for a little while, or hanging out in the hospital to lend my mom moral support. Through it all my dad has kept up his spirits and his sense of humor, because despite all the fear and the frustration and the pain, the thing we have all held on to the hardest is that he is going to be okay.

Friday night they transferred him to an acute rehab program because of the stroke (he's going to need a few weeks of physical therapy to 'retrain the brain', but every single nurse and doctor and therapist is extremely optimistic he's going to come back pretty darn close to normal) and it feels like the whole family was able to heave a collective sigh of relief. It's still going to be crazy for the next few weeks and months as we all adjust to new diets, physical therapy routines, and any temporary limitations my dad is going to have due to the surgery and the stroke, but the good thing about my family is that we are all very good at adjusting to new things (you have to get *something* useful about growing up in a military family and moving nearly 20 times during the first 16 years of your life).

Through it all I have been knitting, sneaking in a few rows here and there, carting the Print of the Wave stole to the ICU so my hands would have something to do during the long periods of waiting and watching and hoping. It's blocking as I write this (for the second time, because I really ought to know better than to try to block lace points when it is early in the morning and I have had no coffee) and I am not sure if I have ever been so glad to have something done. It was a good project for hospital waiting room knitting, but there's a lot of stressful memories tangled into those lacy stitches from the past week and it feels good to be able to move on to something new.

Posted by Jenipurr at 08:25 PM | Comments (3)

August 20, 2006


By this afternoon there were supposed to be finished lace projects, and socks mailed, and a knitting gathering attended, and silly pictures for Amazing Lace posted. But Friday night everything turned upside down. My dad went in for a routine physical Friday afternoon, mentioned he'd been having some chest pains after exercising, they ran some tests, sent him off for more tests, and before we all knew what was happening he had been admitted. Early Saturday morning he went into surgery and five hours later they had performed a six-way bypass. He's doing really well and what minor complications there were have been successfully dealt with so far, thankfully, but it's been a pretty stressful few days. My little sister flew down and is staying with us for a few days, so we're driving back and forth to the hospital so we can be there, both to be with my dad, but also for my mom, making sure that she doesn't have to worry about anything else (like houseguests, or dinner, or anything else we can take care of) except my dad for a little while.

Posted by Jenipurr at 07:14 PM | Comments (6)

August 14, 2006


Except for a brief return to the never-ending pink socks in order to finish off a toe (and thus complete sock #11 and pair #5), I have been working pretty much exclusively on the lace stole, because I am determined to get this thing done as quickly as possible.

Tonight I finally finished up the 34th repeat of the center panel pattern (it's a gorgeous pattern and the repeat is easy to memorize, but I am very glad to be done with this part because 34 repeats of the same thing was getting a teensy bit boring), so I moved on to the next part of the process, which is to graft the two center panel pieces together.

Basically the pattern has you knit the two halves of the center panel separately, and then graft the live stitches together in the middle. Not a problem - kitchner graphing is my friend. But the pattern also has you end each half with a purl row, which created a rather visible line in the center (you can see it here) - something which makes me a teensy bit twitchy becaues my feeling is that if I am going to have to go through the hassle of kitchnering 160 stitches, I want the transition between the two pieces to be just as seamless as when I do it on smaller and more mundane things, like, for example, the toes of my socks.

So for my first pattern modification (because what is the fun of doing something *exactly* as it's written, after all), tonight, after finally finishing the second center panel, I carefully undid the final purl row on the first panel, and then grafted the two together without those two end purl rows. Or in other words, I was grafting yarn-overs to yarn-overs so that the graft itself would form the single purl row that separates the two pieces, instead of having three purl rows like the pattern calls for.

Here's a progress picture showing the completed (and grafted) center panel. Notice the inclusion of an oh-so-helfpul cat, who made a lunge for the lace about two microseconds after I had picked up the camera.

The ends where I've grafted are hanging out on the left. If you look closely you can see a bit of the grafting line. But I think blocking will remove most of it (the key here was to make sure my graft was done loosely) and I am hoping this will avoid that noticable dividing line, and make it a bit less obvious that the center was originally done in two parts.

Posted by Jenipurr at 11:24 PM | Comments (2)

August 09, 2006

Amazing Lace - Last minute addition

Since I finished the Pacific Northwest shawl I've had no lace on the needles at all, and it has been all about the pink socks. But this past weekend I finally decided that enough was enough, and I rummaged through my stash of laceweight and pulled out two skeins of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, in Stream that I bought a few years back. I also browsed through my hefty collection of lace patterns and eventually decided that the color and weight would be perfect for the Print of the Wave Stole, so Sunday afternoon I cast on for this (opens a pdf).

It took a few pattern repeats before I got the hang of it, but now that I've got the center panel sections memorized, it's going pretty quickly. I took it to Knitting at the Library last night and managed to get through a few more pattern repeats, despite it being a noisy group setting (most lace I wouldn't take to group knitting, but this one's simple enough that I don't have to give it my full concentration).

The plan is to have it completed before the 20th, because that is the last day to submit pictures for the final challenge of Amazing Lace, and if I am going to wheedle my very patient husband out onto the roof to drape lace around a stone dragon, the least I can do is make sure I've got pretty new lace to drape.

Posted by Jenipurr at 11:32 AM | Comments (2)

August 05, 2006

A day of yarn and tea

At the First Friday craft night last night someone brought up the fact that Skein Lane was going out of business. But it's in El Cerrito and we were all a little more interested in discussing, instead, the fact that there is a new yarn store apparently opening up in West Sacramento, which is a lot closer. And I didn't think anything more of the fact that there was a long-time yarn store shutting its doors until this morning, when my knitting mom called and said 'Hey. Want to go to El Cerrito and check it out?'

Richard, of course, was oh-so-upset (not!) with me deciding to go on a yarn crawl instead of staying home, since our plans pre-phone call included grocery shopping, and the rather arduous task of packing all the recyclables into a car to take them to the recycling center (my town, unfortunately, does not provide curbside recycling). So he got to stay home and spend a lovely lazy day doing only fun things and poking at cats, and I drove off to pick up my knitting mom, and off we went.

Skein Lane looks like it was a very nice store. There was still quite a large selection of yarn available, even though they've been going through the process of selling off all their stock for a week or more. We spent a fair bit of time browsing through the store, checking out what was available, but naturally the two of us gravitated towards the display of sock yarn and I am sure it comes as no surprise when I note that sock yarn made up the bulk of what I eventually bought (see picture below). I also succombed to the allure of a skein of something by Noro that looked perfect for my One Skein secret pal, and four skeins of cotton in swirls of pinks and purples that will likely become something for either my niece, or some random baby.

Since we were both hungry by the time we were done in El Cerrito, my knitting mom suggested we take a short detour through Benicia on the way home to check out the cute little yarn store there, as well as see if the tea room around the corner had any space for two for lunch.

The Benicia store is small, but cute, and has a lovely selection of yarns that are well displayed and organized, including a large selection of Koigu. If I hadn't already had a bag of new sock yarn in the trunk of the car, I could have easily done some serious sock yarn stash enhancement there. Absolutely gorgeous stuff.

The tea room did have room for us (a rare thing, since usually you can only get into tea rooms with a reservation) so the two of us nibbled scones and tiny little tea sandwiches and sipped tea, and the followed all of that with bowls of fresh peach cobbler topped with homemade whipped cream until we were completely stuffed.

It was a fun little impromptu yarn crawl, and even though I really do not need to buy any new sock yarn for quite possibly the next several *years* based on the recent alarming accumulation of new stuff, I am still quite pleased with what we were able to find.

Posted by Jenipurr at 08:45 AM | Comments (2)

August 01, 2006

Celebrating the sheep

There are no pictures today because really, who among you has any real desire to see more of the endless pink socks? I know *I* don't!

So just a quick update. Saturday was Lambtown, and this year they opened the Fiber Mall a day early. Since I was the only one in the office on Friday, and since they were replacing the stairs outside our office, and also since our phone system went completely kaput, I decided the universe was telling me I really ought to leave early, so I did not even go home first; I went straight to the fairgrounds. And of course, as soon as I walked in the door of the building where all the fiber vendors were setting up, I made a beeline for the Fiber Elements booth, and there was my pretty Pacific Northwest shawl, hanging up for all the world to see.

My knitting mom was there, as were a few of the other knitting regulars at some of the local knitting groups, so we all chatted with each other and also fondled yarn, because we are weak in the face of that much temptation. I decided to wander around a bit, and found a booth that had the extension cords for the Denise set on sale, so I quickly snatched up a 40" and a 52" cord. I was tempted by the replacement pack of regular cords, connectors, and end caps, but finding somewhere to stash the two extra-long cords in my little Denise set is going to be enough of a challenge without adding in a whole pile of extra goodies to the mess. Obviously I need to plot out some kind of carrying case for my Denise set (didn't someone out there actually design something like this already? Felted, no less?) - something that includes a few extra pockets to store the add-ons that don't fit. But that will have to wait. Because right now it is all about the pink (socks).

Richard and I came back to Lambtown on Saturday, since that was the official day for the event. We wandered around all the booths and got the required lamb plate from the Rotary Club booth for lunch, and I wandered around the fiber vendors again and seriously considered stealing one of the completely adorable hedgehogs sitting in one booth (I refrained from hedgehog-napping only because I have the pattern at home and as soon as I am done with the endless mile of pink socks and can get that goofy fun fur beark skin rug completed, I am going to use whatever fun fur I have left to make myself a small herd of hedgehogs for myself). I did not, much to my surprise, buy any actual fiber while at Lambtown, but I am still feeling a teensy bit decadent from that big pile of sock yarn that arrived last week, so the need for adding to the stash just wasn't there.


I've added a new knitting group to my monthly round-up (Richard and I have begun comparing social calendars - I think currently I have more regularly scheduled knitting outings than he has writers' group outings, but I doubt that will last for long!). There's a group that meets at a fairly new coffee shop in Davis, so we've worked out a rather elaborate car pool to get there, since there's four or five of us all in a line on the way to Davis, and besides, it gives us all that much more time to talk and laugh (and apparently, that much more time for some of the group to get themselves lost - heh). It's every Monday night, so it's kind of nice to now have a weekly group to look forward to. Last night someone even brought brownies (it's a good thing knitting is washable).

Posted by Jenipurr at 07:46 PM | Comments (1)