Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Passover

Passover started at sundown on Saturday night, so we traveled to Toledo for seder with Dave's family. The trip and celebration took a bite out of my weekend knitting time, but I did manage to finish knitting the Chocolate Pakucho tank top on Sunday. However, it didn't get on the blocking board until last night. I plead exhaustion.

Pakucho's 100% cotton, so it's taking FOREVER to dry. Or it seems like it anyway.

In the meantime I cast on a Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty.com. The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn. I'm using Elann.com Lara, which is sport weight, I believe. The yarn is splitty, but I love the color and it's got great stitch definition after blocking.

Unblocked and unstretched the scarf is about 10 inches across, which is what the pattern says I should get after blocking with fingering weight yarn - so this thing will be wide. I can't decide if I like it enough to keep going. This may be one of those patterns that looks better when it's knit on small needles with a smaller weight yarn. I'm also beginning to wonder if I'm going to get 60 inches with the yarn I've got. I'll have a better idea once I've used up the first skein. This one could end up in the frog pond.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Got Gauge? Forget About It!

I lost my head and ordered piles and piles of Pakucho in several shades from Elann.com. So this weekend I swatched. And swatched. And swatched. Then I cast on, and none of my swatches matched the garment I was aiming for.

Eventually I took a chance and proceeded to design a tank top on the needles. I've always admired the Ardee Shell from Maggie's Ireland, but I'm not crazy about the high neckline.

So I altered the design slightly and came up with the following back panel.

Maggie Jackson's pattern calls for the same size needles and the same number of stitches for the seed stitch hem and the stockinette body of the shell. I was dubious, but since I was tired of swatching, I decided to take it on faith that this would work. The jury's still out on that one. We'll have to see what happens after blocking.

I'm also a little concerned about the straight horizontal neckline. The yarn is 100% cotton so it's not as springy as wool. It may gap. Time will tell.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Molinda's Split Neck Pullover

It was a low energy weekend. We watched so many reruns of Deadliest Catch that we almost don't care if we see the season opener tomorrow night.

I'm designing a tank top on the needles, and took pics to show and tell. Unfortunately, the computer insists the camera chip isn't formatted and threatens to delete all data on the chip if I click "Format." So I'll have to hold off on photos until Dave can sort things out.

In the meantime, I've been meaning to post Molinda's Split Neck Pullover. It's gorgeous and fits her beautifully. I don't wear pullovers much, but her's made me seriously consider knitting one.

This was taken some time ago at a Knit Nite.

Pattern: Split Neck T-Shirt for Women
Source: Knitting Pure & Simple
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shephard Worsted 1007 Superwash Wool

I'm not sure if you can see the slight color variations in the yarn but they really add to the beauty of this sweater. Very nice sweater, Molinda. Thanks for letting me post about it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Bit of Spring

It might be spring in the Miami Valley. At least I hope so. I am so ready.

Yesterday was sunny and warm, so we took a hike at Clifton Gorge in Yellow Springs. The ground was pretty bare, but it was pretty none-the-less.

You can't tell from this picture, but that tree was high enough that people can walk underneath it without ducking.

Wild flowers are emerging even amid the dead folliage of last year.

There were a number of small waterfalls.

With all of the rain we've had lately, the stream at the bottom of the gorge might qualify as a river now.

It felt sooo good to get outside.

There was knitting, too. I finished the brown Twist cardi last night. I'll post pics and info on pattern modifications as soon as Dave and are in one place long enough to have him take my picture.

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Sleeve A Day

On Friday I did a little inventory and discovered I’ve finished the following projects since October 1st:

3 Scarves
2 Hats
2 Cardis
2 Pair of Socks
2 Tank Tops
1 Shawl
1 Log Cabin Afghan

That’s not bad for 6 months. Let’s not discuss how many pairs of socks and the scarf I started but haven’t yet finished. (Notice I said “yet.”)

At that point I was just about done knitting the 2nd front panel of the brown Twist cardi, and I realized I had a shot (although not a good shot) at finishing the thing before the official end of the 6 month period. That got me motivated.

So this weekend I knit a sleeve a day. By last night I had the brown Twist on the blocking board. But by last night I also had to admit I can’t finish the thing before midnight tonight – not if I want to remain employed. There’s still seaming, button bands, and a 5 or 6 inch sailor collar that seems to take forever to knit up.

The decisions to knit a second Twist cardi right after I finished the first one and to use brown yarn may not have been the wisest for a knitter with the attention span of a gnat. I’m craving color, and I’m just itching to start something new.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shopping Expedition

Today feels like a Monday. I missed work on Tuesday when I was sick. Yesterday I took John shopping for "work clothes" for his co-op. His field is industrial design, with the emphasis on design, so the phrase "work clothes" means dockers and polo shirts to wear when clients visit the firm and jeans without holes the rest of the time. He is 20 years old, and this is the first time in his life that he was glad to go clothes shopping. That made it fun for me. I spent a small fortune, but when it was all said and done, he was happy.

After I dropped John off at his father's house, I made a detour to Lambikin's Hideaway in Hamilton OH. I knew they carry Malabrigo worsted weight merino, but their website gave no indication that they have Malabrigo dk Silky Merino in stock. Oh is it yummy! I just had to have some.

That's the Teal Feather colorway.

Once upon a time I made a shawl with Sundara silky merino in a semi-solid colorway, so I was able to compare the leftover Sundara to the Malabrigo. (The Sundara is in the bottom right corner.) At first glance, you notice that the Sundara was spun with a twist (not sure of the correct terminology), the Malabrigo is not. They are both exquisitely soft. However, the Malabrigo is less than half the price of the Sundara. I'm anxious to cast on with the Malabrigo so I can see how it feels to knit some up. BUT first I must finish the brown Twist cardi.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nothing Exciting Here

I covered my agency's booth at a health fair on Saturday. Between 2,000 - 3,000 people attended, and every one of them must of coughed or sneezed in my direction. Hence, I'm home sick today. I've done nothing but sleep and eat, with maybe a little knitting, for the past 22 hours.

My son John is here for a couple of days. The school quarter ended, and he's leaving for NYC on Thursday where he will spend 10 weeks co-oping for a design company. He's psyched. Meanwhile, hanging around with his sick mom must be about as exciting as watching paint dry. I'll spare you the pictures.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Twist and Shout

[Warning: Photo-heavy post]

That's me wearing Twist, sans buttons. The buttons are on order and may take as long as a month to come in. Needless to say, I didn't wait for the buttons to wear it to work. I seriously love that sweater. SERIOUSLY.

I love that sweater enough to model it even with my hair cut too short. I hope you appreciate the sacrifice. (By the way, with short hair the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is about 2 weeks.)

IMHO Twist looks great from the back, too.

In fact, I love Twist so much I immediately ran out for more yarn and cast on a second one.

Last night I was happily knitting like gangbusters on the brown Twist (what the hell are gangbusters anyway?) when I realized that I already have a brown cardi.

Granted, it's store-bought, but it's still brown.

Then, just as I was about to finish the waist shaping I decided to count the stitches on the needle. That's when I discovered that the cabling isn't centered. There are 2 more stitches to the left of the cabling than there are on the right. I wanted to wad the thing up and throw it into a heap.

Instead, I set it aside and picked up my stand-by project - The orange Japanese Vines scarf.

I started that scarf in January.

Twist continues to live up to it's name.

Twist I Specs:
Pattern: Twist by Bonne Marie Burns of ChicKnits
Yarn: Cascade 220, 6 skeins
Colorway: 8892
Needles: Sizes 6 & 7 Additurbo Circs

I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed knitting this sweater. However, I would caution other knitters not to following the pattern blindly. There are a large number of waist decreases. My waist isn't that skinny. I plan to do fewer decreases in the waist for Twist II. Also, the directions for the sleeves seemed long to me. I knitted the first sleeve according to the directions (18 inches to the sleeve cap). Then I decided to knit the second sleeve to my usual specs (17 inches to the sleeve cap and fewer increases in the sleeve - giving me a mite shorter sleeve cap). That turned out to be the right thing to do. Next, I had to rip back the first sleeve far enough to elminate the last 2 sleeve increases. Then I did not trust the notes I'd written and knitted merrily on when I should have begun the sleeve cap. So I had to rip and reknit the upper sleeve and sleeve cap of the first sleeve a third time. Some of us are slow learners, what can I say?

In the end it was all totally worth it. I expect to get a lot of wear out of Twist I. The jury is still out on Twist II.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jacket or Bathrobe?

Last night I started the collar on Twist, but it’s taking longer than I anticipated. Natch.

In the meantime I found the perfect buttons. However, the Stitching Post only had 4, and I need 7. I placed an order for more, but they told me it could take as long as a month to come in. It seems Twist is living up to its name. Every time I think I'm close to finishing this thing, the project takes a new turn.

During the blog hiatus I finished the pink cardi. Well, it was intended to be a cardi/jacket, but it is fuzzy and pink – which calls to mind a bathrobe. I wasn’t sure I should even wear it to work, but the Knit Wits convinced me I could wear it to any meeting. (Thanks Molinda, Teresa, and Ellenmarie.)

Here's a closer look.

Yarn: Peace Fleece worsted weight, 5 skeins
Colorway: Moscow Magic Pink
Pattern: My own
Width: 36 inches
Length: 22 inches (I think)

This is the easiest cardi/jacket pattern in the world. There is no edging or collar to knit at the end – just the usual seaming. It’s a quick knit, too. I’m really happy with the fit and the drape. Still not sure about the pink, though.

The astute among you will notice I cut my hair. The experience has taught me a few things:

1. Even people with short hair can have bad hair days. Who knew?

2. It's possible to have hair that's too short. (Not in this pick. The hair cut I got on Saturday is REALLY short. Dave was both relieved and pleased when I admitted as much.)

3. Even short hair can require some work in the morning.

Live and learn.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Look! A Bog Entry!

Sorry about the long silence. In February I got side-tracked by the Obama campaign in the run-up to the March 4 primaries. The plan was to resume blogging on March 5th, but by then I guess I’d fallen off the blog wagon.

Although there hasn’t been any blogging, there has been knitting. The project du jour is the Twist cardi from ChicKnits. I love this pattern! It’s simple enough that I can watch TV while I knit, and I’ve been able to adjust the pattern to fit without having to alter the cables.

I had dreams of finishing Twist over the weekend, but it was not to be – largely because I had to knit, rip, and re-knit one sleeve cap 3 times due to stupid, stupid errors. I’ll explain when I post the finished cardi.

Last night I knitted the button bands. I followed Bonne Marie’s directions to the letter on the left side (which appears on the right in this photo) by casting off knit-wise on the wrong side of the fabric. For the right button band (which appears on the left in the photo) I took a cue from a comment posted on Ravelry and cast off in the knit 2 purl 2 pattern. Bonne Marie knows best. The edging with the knit-wise cast off from the wrong side of the fabric looks more stable and even than the cast-off in the ribbing pattern. Tonight I’ll rip back the ribbed cast-off and fix that.

I wasn’t clear about the directions for the last stitch of the ribbed button bands that forms the hem of the cardi. I did what I thought the pattern directed. Afterwards I decided I should have done my usual slip the last stitch with yarn in front, turn, then knit to the back of the first stitch. Of course I didn’t realize this until after I finished the edging on both sides.

I was at odds with myself about whether to rip back the edging on both sides completely or live with that wonky last stitch at the hem. By then it was late so I decided to sleep on it.

This morning I pressed one of the corners and decided I can live with the result. The next time I make Twist, and there definitely will be a next time, I’ll stick to my tried and true technique for getting smooth edges at the end of rows.

I plan to knit the collar instead of a hood, so with a little luck and determination I might finish Twist tonight. Ever the optimist.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love Is...

Finding Dave’s scraped the ice off my car windows when I get ready to leave for work in the morning. It was 17 degrees.

A couple of weeks ago I placed an Internet order for Dave’s Valentine’s Day gift. I specified that the package should be delivered to me at my office. I had it all planned out. I’d wrap it and present it to him tonight before we go to dinner. Then I made reservations at a sea food restaurant he really likes.

Last week he called me at work to ask if I’d ordered something from West Marine. Turns out the package was delivered to the house instead of my office. RATS.

Then Dave’s weekend went to hell. We went to visit his family in Toledo, but his cell phone rang constantly. Two of his staff came down with the flu and there was wind damage at one of their facilities. Poor Dave. To cheer him up I told him about the dinner reservations. That leaves me with no real surprises for tonight – other than what’s in the big box from West Marine.

To torture him a little I left it in front of the fireplace.

Meanwhile in keeping with the holiday I’m knitting something pink.

The yarn is Peace Fleece worsted weight. I’m using my own tried and true pattern. I swatched in woven stitch (see above) but did not think that did anything to enhance the yarn, which has slubs.

So I’m knitting this cardi in seed stitch, which can be pretty stretchy. I was careful to swatch in seed stitch, too.

So far I’ve finished the back.

Right now I’m working on the first front panel. I’m counting on making some serious progress over the coming 3 day weekend. However, my son Brian is coming home from college for the week. That means my time will be up for grabs.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Getting My Bearings

The flu struck last week out of nowhere. I only missed 1 day of work but it feels as though I lost a week of my life. How does that happen? Something about the time warp continuum I’m sure.

The flu left me terribly achy. Even the palms of my hands hurt. Precious little knitting got done. The upshot is that I didn’t finish Brian’s hat until last night.

Pattern: Skip
Book: Hit Knit Hats
Yarns: Peace Fleece worsted weight, colorway: Zarya Fog; Malabrigo merino lace weight, colorway: Oceanos; and some black dk weight merino from my stash
Amounts: Unknown
Needles: Size 9 DPN

I'm not wild about knitting from multiple skeins at the same time, but I'm pleased with the result I hope Brian likes it.

Still working on a cardi I started the week before last. I’ll fill you in soon.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Cardi Interrupted

Dayton is a strange place. The banner headline story on the cover of this morning's Dayton Daily News was not about the Superbowl upset or the Super Tuesday primaries, as one would expect. Nope. Instead the story was about pending legislation to classify alpacas as livestock in Ohio. Maybe there are more knitters and alpaca farmers in Dayton than I thought.

It was another nice weekend. I finished a mystery and read another one, worked out both days (20 minutes at level 2 on the LifeCycle - still working on that), and knitted some. We saw Juno on Saturday - a hillarious movie. Yesterday we drove down to UC and had dinner with my son John.

I started a cardi/jacket last week and had planned to blog about it today. Then I got an email from my son Brian asking for a hat. He's at school in Boston and, knowing Brian, he's probably freezing his tuchus off. So of course, I dropped everything and cast on a hat.

Brian said his winter coat is a light blue. (I haven't seen it. His father bought it.)

I wasn't sure how to make a "manly" hat that would match a light blue jacket. After some stash diving and experimentation, I mixed Peace Fleece worsted in the Zarya Fog colorway, black dk weight merino, and lace weight merino Malabrigo in the Oceanos colorway. I'm hoping the merino yarns will soften the fabric some. The Peace Fleece is a bit scratchy. The overall effect is really warm and heavy, though. I've got to finish this baby up and get it in the mail before the next onslaught of winter.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Take My Advice

Hi Hill:

How’s it going?

Congrats on your “win” in FL.

I saw you in KCMO last night on CNN. I was watching the election returns, but I confess I had the sound turned down. You looked good but tired. Get some rest.

Listen hon, stop whining about how it’s harder for a woman to campaign than it is for men. Women know that, and men don’t care.

I also saw Bill speak on Saturday night after Obama took SC. He went on and on about HIS accomplishments. What’s that got to do with the price of pantyhose in Peoria? You need to put a muzzle on that man and keep him on a very short leash.

Btw, what IS the price of pantyhose in Peoria? Have you hit any outlet malls on the campaign trail? More importantly, have you found any good yarn shops?

I saw you on Face the Nation a week or so ago. Every time Tim asked you a hard question you dissed Obama. What’s that about? When people ask you hard questions, answer them. People want to get to know you. Charm them. Show them your playful side. Tell them about that New Years Eve party when we played Truth or Dare and you drunk-dialed Dick Cheney or do your Anne Coulter imitation. That still cracks me up every time.

What’s this BS about you being the best candidate because you were First Lady for 8 years? Would you hire me to fly Air Force One just because I’ve been married to a pilot for 5 years? Take my advice, sweetie. You need a new strategy. Your current strategy of casting Obama as “The Black Candidate” and riding Bill’s coat tails or hiding behind his skirts is going to set the Women’s Movement and the Civil Rights Movement back 50 years. Gives voters the impression you’d do anything to win. Reminds them of W in 2000. You don’t want people confusing you with a Republican do you? I didn’t think so.

Right now you should be playing up Obama’s youth. No one wants a a gynecologist or a president who’s younger than they are. Trust me. On the other hand, they might like to see a Clinton-Obama ticket. If you don’t want to disenchant the African American community, you’d better make nice.

So call me if you need help fine-tuning your message. Next time you’re in the neighborhood we’ll send the guys sailing and the women will have a good old fashioned weenie roast. Heh.

Hang in there.



Monday, January 28, 2008

Aran Pocket Shawl - Finished!

I finished the Aran Pocket Shawl about a week ago, but I haven’t posted about it because I was hoping I could get Dave to take a photo of me wearing it. Unfortunately, our schedules just haven’t matched up. When we did spend time together this weekend, we were slugs – meaning I wasn’t wearing makeup – so I didn’t ask him to take my picture.

This is a crummy bathroom mirror shot, but at least it’s something, I guess.

Pattern: Aran Pocket Shawl
Book: Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle
Yarn: Peace Fleece worsted weight, about 5 ½ skeins
Colorway: Zarya Fog
Needles: Addi Turbo circs, sizes 6 & 7
Started: 1/10/08
Finished: 1/22/08

I’m really pleased with this shawl and have been wearing it like crazy. It’s long, but I don’t care. It’s warm, and I love the way the gray has a bluish/greenish tint to it. I’m also really happy with the stitch definition.

The pattern called for 1,540 yds of yarn, but I used way less – about 1,100 yds. The pattern also called for 28 pattern repeats. I quit after 26 because I was afraid the shawl would be too long. It’s a good thing I did. Before blocking the shawl was 75 inches long. Afterwards it was 81.5 inches. It’ll probably stretch to even longer proportions as I wear it because of its weight. Before blocking the shawl was 22 inches wide, and that’s how wide it was pinned out after immersion in water. I haven’t measured the width since then.

I decided not to add the pockets because I wanted to drape it as you see it in the photo, and I was afraid the pockets would look wonky that way. I love this shawl so much that I think about making one in another color sometime – perhaps in browns.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Forgot...

I'm short. I'm only 5 feet tall.

Last night I completed the 26th pattern repeat (the pattern calls for 28) of the Aran Pocket Shawl. Since I went down a needle size I expected to have to knit additional repeats to get the 83 inches specified in the pattern. Luckily, I decided to try it on for length.

It was pretty long - almost too long. Then it dawned on me that the model wearing the shawl in the photo in Folk Shawls is probably tall. Maybe I don't need an 83 inch shawl.

So tonight I cast off.

Prior to blocking the shawl was 75 inches. Pinned out after total immersion, the shawl is now 81.5 inches. Looks like I'm going to get a long shawl after all.

If it dries over night I might be able to wear it to work tomorrow. Then I'll decide whether to add the pockets.

As promised here are pics of the yarn I purchased at Fine Points on Saturday:

Yarn: Koigu - KPPPM
Colorway: P828-65

Apparently, no amount of photoshopping is going to allow me to show you the true colors of that yarn. I tried. I really did. It's much browner and darker in person, and there's some teal in there.

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM
Colorway: P151-20

The colors in the photo are pretty close to the real thing.

Don't worry T. I plan to bring them to Knit Nite so you can see them.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Very Cold Road Trip - But It Was Definitely Worth It!

The Cleveland Boat Show began last weekend and ended yesterday. Over the past few weeks Dave mentioned it several times in passing, sounding kind of wistful. However, I didn't think too much about it. On Friday night I was really wiped out and my guard was down. (After the cruise and the holidays these 5 day work weeks are killing me.) Dave chose that moment to suggest a road trip. Cleveland is about 4 hours from Dayton, and he suggested we just drive up for the day.

I groaned inwardly. The temperatures were expected to be in the single digits, and since Cleveland is right on the lake it was bound to be windy. Then I saw an opportunity. This would be a chance to visit Fine Points, a yarn shop that claims to have the biggest inventory in Ohio. When I suggested it, I think Dave groaned inwardly, but he agreed.

Cleveland is Jeanne's turf, but there wasn't time to contact her before we left.

We were on the road by 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Dave announced that we would stop at Fine Points first. As we approached the outskirts of Cleveland he told me I could have 1 hour in the store. I nodded, pretending that sounded fair and reasonable.

To get to Fine Points from the south you have to drive through some "iffy" inner city neighborhoods. Dave was doubtful that a high-end yarn shop would be located in that part of town. We spotted a late model Bently sports car going in the same direction. I confidently told Dave the Bently was headed to Fine Points, just as we were. He scoffed at that. At one intersection, the Bently went straight but we turned. Sure enough, when we pulled up in front of Fine Points 5 minutes later, the Bently was parked across the street.

The store was packed with merchandise and customers, and there were plenty of friendly sales clerks to assist everyone. We never did identify the owner of the Bently. Dave waited in a cosy seating area near the front window where a friendly knitter was happily ensconced and glad for the company. I tried to take in the store.

This is the view from the cash register. It's a blurry picture, but it's one of the few areas of the store that are open enough to stand back for a broad photograph. The rest of the store is too crammed with name brand yarn to be able to step back very far.

The Rowan was on this wall. You can see part of it, but the wall continues to the right. Facing that wall are cubbie holes crammed with Debbie Bliss.

The Noro was stashed in the cubbies on this wall. The Colinette was displayed above.

The Fiesta yarn was kitty-corner to the Rowan wall. I got to fondle La Luz for the first time. Yum!

The store is so crammed with merchandise that they put out only a few skeins of every colorway. The rest is stored in the basement.

There was more yarn and lots of knitting books and patterns upstairs.

That's where I found the Cascade and the Manos. Fine Points also sells "Art to Wear" apparel, and that's upstairs, too.

By the time I got upstairs my head was spinning. The clock was ticking, and I was having trouble focusing on yarn for purchase and possible projects. It was overwhelming. A sales clerk laughed at me, and told me that's a common reaction. Eventually I got a grip and settled on some "souvenires." I'll post about them tomorrow.

Despite Dave's initial time limit, he was really patient and a really good sport. I managed to get in and out of there in less than 90 minutes, which is probably record time. I can't wait to go back, let me tell you.

From there we went to the International Exposition Center. The place is huge, but some boats were too big to put up the masts and sails.

Only the smaller boats were displayed with sails.

The sail boats ranged in size from sunfish to 45 feet. We didn't even look at the power boats.

Visitors were able to climb aboard the boats and look at the interiors.

This Hunter was about 35 feet, I believe. It was comfortable, but the 45 foot Beneteau was incredibly spacious. Its interior was really beautiful, but there were at least 5 people roaming around below deck, so I didn't get pics of that one.

This is a V berth (sleeping area in the bow) of a mid-sized boat (30 -35 feet - I can't remember exactly.) Since the cabins are below the water line, the interiors often don't get much natural light. We liked the interiors that had lighter woods and fabrics - but we would have been glad to take any of those babies home.

With the long drive home ahead of us, we stopped in Medina for dinner and stumbled into what looked like a little Italian restaurant called Santo Suosso's. When we entered, we were happy to see a number of empty tables. However, the hostess explained that they were all reserved. We opted to dine at the bar. We weren't the only ones. The restaurant quickly filled up, and we discovered there were at least 2 more dining rooms - both full - in the back. The food was more than just a pleasant surprise. It was outstanding. Next year, if Dave wants to go to the Cleveland Boat Show, I'll be more than happy to go with him - so long as we can stop at Five Points and Santo Suosso's along the way.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Aran Pocket Shawl Progress

I’m still really enjoying knitting the Aran Pocket Shawl. Memorizing the pattern didn’t take long at all.

The little flecks of color in the yarn (Peace Fleece worsted in the Zarya Fog colorway) keep me entertained, too.

I went down a needle size and got gauge widthwise. Lengthwise may be another story. It’s hard to tell how long the shawl will be after blocking because the basket weave pattern is kind of puffy right now.

My first attempts at photographing the shawl utterly failed to capture the basket weave pattern. When I asked the expert, Dave mumbled something about needing to create shadows. Of course he was nowhere to be found when I took these pics.

This one's kind of dark, but if you look carefully you can make out the basket weave effect.

Here you can see it's puffy and some of the flecks of color that break up the gray.

I draped the shawl over the back of the chair in another attempt to create shadows that would illuminate the basket weave pattern. However, the effect was sort of distorted.

Maybe you can see it here.

Right now the shawl is 36 inches. The pattern calls for 83 inches. I want it to be long and wide so it will keep me warm. It's snowing out, and the temps are supposed to drop to well below freezing. Of course, at this rate the shawl won't be done until the weather warms up.