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Of course the name of the shawl is not really the Forever Shawl. I just named it that because I started it back in summertime and here we are in February and it’s finally knit, blocked and photographed.

The real name is Carol’s Frequency. Knit in 2 balls of Schoppel-Woole Zauberball Crazy.

knit shawl schoppel yarn short rows full

The entire shawl is worked in short-rows and while there are no wraps there are floats. I am quite comfortable with knitting short-rows but I have to say this was a challenge. It upped my short-row knitting times 10. A life-line and stitch markers saved my sanity.

knit shawl schoppel yarn short rows cu2

The shawl was ripped back to the starting gate many times before I got the knack of where to place the life-line and how to count up to seven properly. The secret about the life-line is its placed only through the stitches forming the leaf shape currently being worked, not through the whole shawl.

knit shawl schoppel yarn short rows cu4

I am totally in love with the texture of the stitches and the graceful forms of the leaves as well as the way the yarn worked so well with the pattern. In short I am in love with this shawl and feel that I have accomplished something in my knitting it.

knit shawl schoppel yarn short rows cu3

knit shawl schoppel yarn short rows cu

The pattern is well-written. The only problem occurs in certain places where the short-rows form holes. I fixed this by simply picking up a stitch from the row below and knitting it together with the float and its stitch—3 stitches in all. It was easy to see when a hole would occur and I just made the adjustment.

Now that this is finished I am at sixes and sevens about what to knit next. I don’t really have anything that is calling to me so I’ve begun “knitting around” like a tart. Some socks, two scarves, but nothing that is really satisfying like the shawl. I’d also like another project that works gradient yarn into interesting shapes as this shawl did. In fact, I am thinking of starting another one in Spring colors. The Skipper, who watched me rip back, cry, and moan over this shawl says I’d be crazy to knit another one again.

Oh, mon petit cheri of course I am.

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yarn bumblebee acres farm corriedale sock yarn

The Skipper’s sock yarns are on the way. In the meantime my little treats for myself have arrived.

These little darlings are from Bumble Bee Acres Fiber and are Corriedale wool.

I’ve always wanted to try Corriedale. It has a nice long staple, it’s suppose to be a bit more sturdy than merino, and it is still relatively soft—though not as soft as merino.

The Corriedale breed is the oldest. It is a cross between Lincoln and Merino breeds.

When they arrived, Yarn Rascal was bemused by them. Before they were out of the package he knew it wasn’t his merino, or merino with cashmere, or Shetland yarn. He sniffed them all over. Poked them with his nose, this is the real acid test of whether he likes a yarn or not, and then stepped back from them and looked at me as much to say “What the heck did you buy?” I explained Corriedale to him, emphasizing that merino was one of the breeds that made up the yarn. He was having none of it.

When I put them away in the Yarn Vault I put them in the bin with the straight merino wool. Yarn Rascal, who is nocturnal, plays in the Yarn Vault and the bins all night long. When I awoke the next morning I saw the three Corriedales deposited in the hallway, far away from the merino yarns he had been playing with during the night. I picked everything up, as usual, and put them all back in the same bin. At that point I didn’t realize Yarn Rascal was sending me a message about the way he felt about the Corriedales.

Next night Yarn Rascal was in the Yarn Vault again. In the morning I found the Corriedales left on the stairs going from the hallway to the living room. Still being dense, I picked everything up, put them in the same bin with the merino and back into the Vault.

The following night Yarn Rascal was clearly busy and unhappy in the Yarn Vault. There was much moving around of bins, little yips and grunts and a lot of running up and down the stairs. In the morning I found the Corriedales partially buried under the fleece blanket draped over the sofa. I got the message: he wanted the Corriedales to have their own separate bin away from his precious merino.

That night I put the Corriedales in their own bin. Yarn Rascal spent an evening of bliss in the Yarn Vault, ending with him rocking himself to sleep in the rocking chair with his merino wool around him. He never touched the Corriedale bin.

Not to worry Yarn Rascal! The Skipper’s yarns that are due to arrive are pure merino. Who knew a dog could be this fussy about yarn?

By the way, the colorways in the picture above from left to right are: Luncheon In London, Ladies Tea, and Winterberry in Coquette Sock.

camouflage-knitwear-joseph-ford-3 nina doddcamouflage-knitwear-joseph-ford-2 nina dodd

I call it urban knits but that is not it’s name. The designer is Nina Dodd. I think it is an interesting example that inspiration is all around us. Check out the rest of her knits at the link above.

What a difference a few weeks of temperatures of below 0 F / -17 C have had on The Skipper’s opinion of my yarn stash.

The man is a warm weather person. The hotter it is the more he likes it. 70 F / 21 C is what he considers cool. On the other hand, hot starts at those temps for me. I truly enjoy the cold, cold weather of winter.

So in the middle of the cold, cold spell he asked for some new socks. The man’s feet eat socks at a fast rate. Yarn Rascal and I went to the yarn vault and looked over what we had. The only yarn that seems to have endurance with the rough treatment The Skipper gives his socks is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. Yarn Rascal picked out a nice deep blue/black from the left overs in the Shepherd Sock horde. I’m pretty sure the name of the colorway is Peacock. I didn’t have enough to make two socks without inserting a contrasting yarn for the heel flap, heel and toe.

The contrasting yarn is Miss Babs Yummy 2 ply in Oyster.

knitted sock lorna laces yarn

No sooner did they come off the needles than The Skipper whipped them onto his feet. I wanted to block them to allow the stitches and the fiber to relax. But no, he couldn’t wait.

He’s asked me for no less than four more pairs of socks. Preferably in colors that match new turtlenecks he bought. I told him I didn’t have those colors in my stash and that I would need to order them. “Order as much as you like” was his comment! Yarn Rascal and I just gaped at him. After all, this was the man who just a few months ago complained that the stash was too big and I should think of selling some of it off.

I’d like to thank winter for restoring the man to sanity.

Just Had To Share

raven alice starmore from glamourie

This is Raven by Alice Starmore from her book Glamourie. This is what knitting can be in the hands of a talented designer. If I were only thinner I’d make this in a heartbeat and have fun wearing it.

I keep meaning to write, but put it off because I haven’t taken any of the photos I want to share with you: new yarn in corriedale, one finished sock for The Skipper, and the Forever Shawl. Frankly, my life is not my own at the moment and I don’t get around to all the things I want to do in a day. Yesterday a friend looked at me and asked “Are you doing the things you need to do for yourself?” I just laughed. The answer being of course not.

To make matters worse my WordPress reader’s site has been down for weeks and I haven’t been able to keep up with all the blogs that I love. It’s miraculously back up now. But for a bit there I felt like a castaway on an island all by myself. Actually, at one point I began to question whether my need of yarn and knitting needles was indicative of some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder that I should seek therapy for. That’s how alone I felt without my favorite blogs.

Yesterday I had to take Dad to an appointment with a doctor. As I was driving to pick him up I see this lost dog roaming the road and into the woods around the area I live. I am an animal lover to the nth degree. I couldn’t just leave the dog there. Long story short, I needed to find the dog’s home and get my father to his appointment all at the same time. It was stressful. I walked the woods with the dog, knocked on the doors of homes we came to asking if he was theirs. In the meanwhile the time for taking dad is getting closer. I managed to somehow lose my footing and fall, landing on a rock on the knee I recently hurt. The pain was bad. The dog thought I was playing and came over to romp beside me. I told him he had the sensitivity of concrete, but I wasn’t going to leave him in the woods alone.

Once I managed to stand up and hobble a little I decided I would take the dog in the car, pick up my father and sit in the car with the dog until the appointment was over. Then I would go back and try to find his owners. There was one last house I hadn’t noticed as we walked. I went up to the door and knocked, and yes, thankfully they were the owners of the dog. They couldn’t imagine how he got out. I hobbled my way out of the woods, only losing my bearings one time. Dad made it to the appointed albeit 10 minutes late.

Today my mother has an appointment with a doctor. So I am going to have to cut this writing short. But I swear I am going to try and get those pictures done this week.

 

What I Am Knitting

First, it’s wonderfully cold here. 19 F / -7 C. With the wind chill it is 6 F / -14 C. I love the way it makes my bare skin sting. I am probably alone in this appreciation, but it is so much better than hot and humid. I’m sure I was a penguin in another life.

The other day The Skipper came out of his man cave to show me a pair of socks I had knit for him a few years ago. He was shy at first. Holding the pair up and looking like a six year old boy who did something really bad. At first I didn’t recognize what he was holding. Then I looked closer and realized it was socks.

“What did you do to them”, I asked. They were so misshapen and large, too large even for the Jolly Green Giant.

“They were always a bit large”, he said. To which I pulled out my laptop, booted it up, and showed him the pictures of the perfect fitting socks when they were first made and on his feet. “No they weren’t”, I said.

He looked chastened.

“I’ll have to look in the stash for some yarn,” I said, remembering all the complaints he had about the size of my stash. “Maybe Yarn Rascal and I can find something.”

It was at that moment I realized that I now thought of the stash as “ours”: mine and Yarn Rascal’s. It felt right. After all, Yarn Rascal is in the stash every night, making sure everything gets rotated.

Yarn Rascal came up with a dark, dark blue partially used skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. Of the various sock yarns I’ve tried with The Skipper, Shepherd Sock holds up the best to the beating he gives them. The Skipper’s feet are rather large. I only used about 100 yards of the skein for a hat project which roughly leaves me with 300 yards. I wonder if it will be enough to make a pair of sock for him.

So I have interrupted knitting the scarf I was so enjoying to play yarn chicken while knitting a pair of socks. If my luck goes as it usually does, I’ll get one complete sock and two-thirds of the second done then run out of yarn. The yarn was bought years ago. I think the colorway was Peacock. I don’t know if they still produce the colorway or not. If they do the chances of it matching unobtrusively are minimal. I have that feeling this is a doomed project, which makes knitting on it less than enjoyable. Additionally, I like working toe-up socks, but The Skipper’s need to be worked cuff down because he needs the heel flap and gusset for it to fit him properly. Yes, I can knit a toe-up sock with gusset and heel flap, but for some reason it doesn’t fit as well as the cuff down.

If this works I hope The Skipper will show the proper appreciating for the stash in the future. I don’t ask him to love it the way Yarn Rascal and I do, but I would like him to realize it’s importance. Especially now that so much yarn is on sale everywhere and there will be packages and packages of yarn arriving in the mail for the New Year.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

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