March 2008 Archives

Swallowtail Shawl: Nupps Complete

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This evening I got to the end of 20 rows of nupps. This was billed to me as being about 70 percent of the work on the Swallowtail Shawl, which it most definitely was not, in no small part because those nupps are in a sea of plain stockinette.

So here it is, now large enough that it can't be spread out on the needles I'm using (I guess I could swap out a larger cord, but I can't be bothered for only fifteen more rows of knitting).

Swallowtail Shawl, post-nupps

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Swallowtail Shawl: Nupps


I've finished the ninth row of the first Lily of the Valley chart on the shawl. I took some time and practise yarn and worked on the dreaded nupps for a bit. Because of that practise, I am not finding the Lily of the Valley pattern very complicated at all. It's mostly knit and purl, and the nupps are pretty obvious, so I hardly need to look at the pattern at all. Certainly I don't need to be as detailed about where I am in the pattern as on the budding lace, where I was always getting lost and having to go backwards to refind my spot.

Overall progress

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Swallowtail Shawl: End of Budding Lace


I just finished the budding lace pattern on the Swallowtail shawl, after much reknitting. (This would be a better picture but Rosie was very interested in the goings-on on the floor and kept shoving her face in the camera.)

The end of the budding lace pattern, with dog

Now on to page 2 of the pattern. The part that's apparently difficult.

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Back to the Swallowtail


I recently went back to work on the Swallowtail Shawl, started over the summer even though it was patently obvious I would never have enough time to work on it when school restarted. I even underwent dramatic repairs to the completed portion, and then I was unhappy with the results and ripped it all out again.

I would probably make a lot more progress on this thing, a lot faster, if I were not such a perfectionist that messing up one stitch makes me rip back two or three repeats in frustration, or rip the whole thing out and restart. But lately I've been using lifelines to mark "known good" rows and thus control the extent of the ripping back, and that's made things much better (except for that one time when I managed to pull a bunch of stitches off the needle when putting in a lifeline, of course).


Swallowtail progress

I'm on repeat 11 of 14 for the "budding lace 2" pattern. Apparently it gets much harder from here on in. I made the mistake of going to read the knitalong blog the other day, in which we see many knitters either knitting this thing very quickly (I just don't have that much time to knit), or totally freaking out about fairly simple things.

And here are my lifelines. I'm using one really long piece of string back and forth for the lifelines, so it's easier to manage if I leave it in for previous rows until I need more string.

Lifelines in the swallowtail shawl

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An Evening with Temple Grandin


Last night Elaine and I went to see Temple Grandin talk at Las Positas College in Livermore. My main gripe with the talk was that it was held in the stupidest possible place for a talk: a gym, with a gym sound system. I could understand maybe half of every word Grandin said, which was pretty hard work. Next time try for an actual auditorium, guys.

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Yarn and Fiber


I bought a bunch of skeined yarn recently, at Stitches West. In theory, I could just take the yarn to the yarn store and sit and wind it there: they're usually pretty good about that at midday during the week when there's nobody there. But I'd been planning to try to build a swift, so that is how I spent this afternoon:

Sketchy swift

I call it the Sketchy Swift, because it's kind of sketchy. That's because the material I had on hand was some really horrible exterior-grade plywood left over from the foundation work. On the other hand, I spent $3 on a nice piece of lazy susan hardware (the only money I spent on this) so it rotates very nicely. I may rebuild the structure from nicer material at a later date. Maybe something that doesn't shatter when you drill holes in it.

Also, I may have lost my mind because I recently made a small purchase:

Spindle and top

The last thing I need to do is pick up another hobby. Right? Well, we will see. Fortunately, spinning yarn is a pretty low-tech and cheap hobby if you want it to be.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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