I thought that with no school over the summer I would be posting more often. That obviously has not turned out to be the case, so come fall I may become a stranger! On the other hand, I have been accomplishing a lot of knitting – and when given the choice to knit or blog, I will usually choose knitting. On the other hand (to quote Tevya), when I knit, I actually have something to blog about (the rest of my life not necessarily being blog-worthy). So, grab an iced tea or a long cold lemonade and settle in for a marathon post.

The sadly neglected Peacock Feathers has been rescued from the doldrums. I’m to the point at which a novice lace knitter might be fooled into thinking the end is near. I’m on chart 7 of 8 charts. However, experience with this particular pattern has taught me that it is all an illusion. We have entered the Black Hole of Knitting, in which each row gets longer and you knit and knit and never make any progress. This was especially true the other night when I knitted for an hour and spent the next two hours tinking back everything I had just put in. Tempting fate, I was not using markers between the repeats. In the early part of the shawl they’re just annoying, because you just keep having to move them. But, sadly, I had forgotten that by chart 7, they are a necessity. The pattern becomes asymmetrical and difficult to “read” intuitively. You just have to follow the chart on blind faith. A Dear Reader had requested a picture and here goes, although it’s difficult to actually see anything:


I still resolutely refuse to use a lifeline and yes, it has come back to bite me in the butt on more than one occasion.

The little CIC gansey has also seen progress:


The body is done and one sleeve started. I’m not thrilled with the neckline. It seems too large. However, knowing that little kids’ heads are ginormous compared to their bodies, I’m going to leave it alone. It’s much better for it to be too wide than not wide enough. This has been a wonderful choice. It’s such fun to knit! There will be more – right now I have enough for at least five more. And with Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks, the cost to knit one is only about $10.50.

And, because I know that you are just sitting on the edge of your chair – a discussion of weaving versus floating. Those of you non-knitters might want to step out for a little snack. I don’t profess to be an expert on two color knitting. I’ve finished two child-size and one adult-size Norwegian sweaters and have two adult-size in progress. The very talented Wendy, the indisputable Queen of Knitting, recommends floating, even over distances as long as 10 stitches. That’s been my stand so far, but I’ve had some problems with it. There’s been no problem with appearances, but I’ve had some reservations about wearibility. When we put Izzy’s Easter sweater on her for the first time, I followed Chery’s recommendation about making her little hand into a fist when putting it in the sleeve to avoid catching on the floats. The only problem was that within minutes she had pulled her hand up inside the sleeve and caught her fingers on a float, making a bit of a mess.

I checked out the Philosopher’s Wool book on fair isle knitting from the library and they recommend a technique of weaving every other stitch. The technique is easy to do and I had no problem at all with the stitches puckering. And, the wrong side of the garment is very neat and tidy:


The problem came when carrying a dark colored strand against a light colored background. There was very definite show-through. After a lot of consideration, I decided to rip back and float the strands, especially since this was not a sleeve, but the bottom edge of the garment (and because I decided that the size I was making was too large). I think when I reach the sleeve, I will just make sure that I catch any floats longer than 3 stitches and trust that as she gets older, she will not wiggle in and out of sleeves so much! Here’s the back side now:


Any more guesses? Jessica guessed Dale’s Lady Bug Sweater. Good guess, but wrong. However, Theresa has cast on for that and I will be watching her progress. Jessica, was close, though. It’s definitely a Baby Dale.

Whew, give yourself a prize if you’ve made it this far. Happy 4th to all (or Canada Day to our northern friends).

4 thoughts on “

  1. Why are you so against a lifeline? I don’t love using them and don’t for “easy” lace but they saved my butt on the asymmetrical portions of the Shaped Triangle! Pecock looks fantastic tho!

    I keep forgetting to ask if you ever swatched the Blue Heron Cotton and what you thought of it?

    The baby Dale looks interesting and cute, can’t wait to see what it will be!

    Happy Fourth!

  2. Wow – you weren’t kidding when you said you’d been knitting!

    I’m right there in those doldrums with you . . . also without a lifelife. Sometimes we scare me 😉

  3. The Knitting Black Hole. I love it. I think I’ve hit that with my lace. I knit for hours, spread it out to measure, and it’s exactly the same size.

    I’m SO not a fair isle expert, but I think that if you are using non-superwash wool, the theory is that the floats will eventually stick themselves together enough that they won’t catch on things. I read that somewhere, I think. Your gansey is looking fabulous! And I’m a lifeline fan, at least for more complicated lace. I didn’t use one at all for the Estonian Garden stole.

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