Down the Rabbit Hole

Whenever I start a new piece of lace, I always feel as if I've slipped down a rabbit hole.  I get so engrossed in it that everything else takes a back seat.  The 2011 KALendar Shawl has been no exception!  This is such a wonderful pattern!  There is so much going on and it is constantly changing and keeping my interest.  The pattern is very well written, and since the KAL is officially over, has the added bonus of having been test knit by a large number of knitters.  Like most large shawls, it's difficult to get a good picture without risking having it slip off the needles, but here goes:


However, I really do need to start thinking about putting it aside because I have several other projects that need my attention.  As if I don't have enough on my plate, I signed up for a swap with the American Girl Doll Knitters group on Ravelry.  This won't be too involved, though.  I think I can probably finish a little sweater in less than a week.  I've chosen as my pattern a darling little cabled sweater by Astrid Aesoey.  I just want to finish this one section on the KALendar shawl, which should be done tonight.

The other project that needs to take front and center stage is my son's sweater.  As you may recall, I gave him the yarn for Christmas and it would really, really be nice if I could finish it in time for his birthday the end of June.  No promises though, Ben!  I just couldn't find a pattern that he liked, so I'm devising my own pattern.  It will be a simple set-in sleeve cardigan in basketweave stitch.  My LYS offered to plug it into her Sweater Wizard.  However, I found it on sale for half price and bit the bullet and bought it.  I've been trying to hold out for a Mac version (have I mentioned how much I hate Windows?), but that doesn't seem to be on the horizon quite yet.  


I also need to resume work on my gansey.  There's no huge rush, but it is our yearly group project for my knitting group and since I'm the only one crazy enough to do a fingering weight version, I am already hopelessly behind.

And . . . . our knitting group has also undertaken a project for our picnic in July with a neighboring group.  They have decided to do teddy bears and I am on the hook for two.  It seems like everyone in our group is just too fond of knitting tiny little toys, except me!  I keep putting it off, but the time will come soon when I need to get going on that.  I'm trying to use the "small step" approach to spur me on.  The first step was putting the pattern into Knitters Companion.  I love this program so much and my iPad is a constant fixture in my knitting basket now.  Next step was to get out the needles.  This week I will choose the yarn and then will have no choice but to get going on it!

I did take time out from knitting projects to scrapbook about my knitting.  Our project this month in the scrapbooking class I'm taking is our hobbies.  Wow – I could probably fill a whole scrapbook with just that.  Here's my page on knitting:


Spring has finally sprung in our part of the country, but we're not out of the woods yet.  Lots more rain to come, but these lovely daffodils are God's way of saying that he hasn't forgotten us.  


And the Winner Is . . .

In the great lace race of 2012, the winner is the KALendar 2011 shawl.  


I just could not resist the aweseomness of all the different patterns.  It will definitely keep me intrigued and challenged!  Although I have the yarn for Evenstar, it will need to wait just a while longer.  In addition to the fact that this is a new knit for me, one of the things that sent this to the top of the pile is that I actually found yarn in my stash.  I have enough Knit Picks Bare in laceweight to accomplish this, with enough left over for insurance.  The option is given to use beads, eyelets or nupps and I have chosen to do nupps.  I'm not a great fan of doing them, but since this is knit circular (although it is square, if that makes sense), you don't have to wrestle with purling them all together – you knit together through the back loop.  I find this SO much easier.  Here is the start:


As much of a bear as this was to start, I think I'm going to start over because I don't like the way the center came out.  Part of the trouble was a catch in the join of one of my Knit Picks needles.  I have really loved these needles and they've been my first choice for laceweight, but I do find the quality control lacking.  I found these Knitters' Pride needles at my LYS and am going to give them a try.


They are priced quite reasonably and the owner of the LYS said the cables were very flexible and the joins smooth.  However, they do come with a warning!


I told hubby he was absolutely forbidden to use them, as he is not adequately trained!

On Thursday I took a bus down to the Sewing Expo in Puyallup (for you non-Washingtonians, that's pronounced "pew-allup") with a group of fellow quilters.  We had a lot of fun, spend a boatload of money and at least one of us (ahem) came home with a new serger:


My old one is on its last legs and I spend more time fiddling with broken parts than actually sewing.  The time and price seemed right and this found its way onto the bus with me.  Good news – it's a demo model and since they couldn't find the box for me, they threw in this pretty pink carrying case.  


 Bad news – they forgot to throw in the owner's manual.  We didn't realize it until it was being loaded on the bus and I didn't have time to go back to the booth to get it.  I'm hoping to go in for my free training next week and can pick it up then.  Until then, I'm just gazing at it fondly because I don't want to mess around with it too much and break something!

One of the projects I'll be using it for is to sew more doll clothes for my and Mei-Mei's dolls.  I found a pattern for costumes from the Wizard of Oz.  I've always wanted to sew a costume featuring my namesake and since I'm too old to wear it, my doll will do.  I know that Mei-Mei may not know about Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, but I think she'll be pretty impressed with glittery ruby slippers!


But shhhh . . . . not a word to her (I'm looking at you Abby!)  This will be a surprise, probably for her birthday.

All these fun things are helping distract me from some vision problems I've been having.  I've been diagnosed with Posterior Vitreous Detachment.  The opthamologist said it's not uncommon as we age, although I am on the young side for this to happen.  Apparently the sac of vitreous fluid in the eye tugs and pulls on the retinal lining, especially in the macular region, as it shrinks when we age.  Many people get no symptoms at all, but I am in the lucky minority that is experiencing some rather pronounced effects.  Imagine someone coating your glasses lens with debris and dirt – only you can't clean it off.  It's especially noticeable when looking at anything light colored.  The bad news is that there really is nothing they can do until there is actual detachment.   I am trying to accept it with as good graces as I can.  After all, I have friends who are dealing with a lot worse – chronic pain, cancer.  But as one friend noted, it's ok to grieve the loss of something before moving on.  The suddeness of this coming on has made me a little anxious about the changes that can happen to our bodies in a heartbeat (literally!).  However, I'm hoping that after throwing a major pity party, I will just move on and adapt.

I'm working on a quilt today and hope to have an FO in that area to show next time.  Toodles!