Monday, June 30, 2014

My Pi Shawl

So, my circular shawl is coming right along…

After you graduate from the double pointed needles to circulars, you are really cooking with gas!  J

It’s so easy to knit.  Most of the rows/rounds are just the knit stitch!  In fact, 5 outa every 6 rounds are just the knit stitch.

After I knitted on this awhile, I decided to read up on circular shawls on the Internet.  Pi shawls, I learned, were “unvented” by the incomparable Elizabeth Zimmermann. 

I found out that they are the July featured project in her book, Knitter’s Almanac, which I promptly checked out of the library.  She wrote that this pi shawl is the perfect knitting project to take along on your summer vacation.  J

After reading the chapter, I fell in love with her concentric circles variation, and decided to switch to that pattern midstream.  Fortunately, I was in just the right place to do that.  This pattern is even easier and perfect for this yarn, where the changing colors are the main attraction.

You see, the only yarn that I had gobs of yardage available for such a big project was the one that I unraveled and wrote about in another blog post here:  Unraveled

To refresh your memory (or not), this is what the yarn looked like knitted up in a trinity stitch rectangular shawl:

Yuk.  And too stripe-y.

But with this new circular shawl pattern, what were stripes are now rings of color!  And I could never have anticipated how perfect this yarn would be for this pattern.  What a great accidental discovery.  (Yes, it's the same yarn!)

Here are some photos of the new Pi Shawl at various stages of its growth.

I’ve had to change to a longer cable twice because it’s growing so big.  Thank heavens for my Chiaogoo interchangeable set of small Twist needles.  What would I ever do without them?

I’m already up to 288 stitches around the circle.  And it does take me awhile to knit around it once.

But it is so easy and relaxing to knit that I imagine I will just keep going until I’ve used up all my yarn, if I ever get that far.

I may have to stop soon and try this pattern with the always beautiful laceweight yarn:  ♥ Rowan Kidsilk Haze ♥.  <Eeeeee!!!>  How fun would that be?!?  J  

And of course, I will still be knitting on all my other lace projects along the way…

This must be why some of my knitting projects don’t get finished very soon!  LOL  Too many WIP’s (works in progress)!!!

Lucky Dog

Friday, June 27, 2014

Squatch Sighting!!

1.  Stands upright.
2.  Walks on 2 legs.
3.  Covered with fur.

Oh, but it’s not 7 feet tall….
Rats, so close!

J  J  J

TGIF, everybody!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Knitting from the Inside Out

Well, I was surfing on Ravelry the other day, 
and this beauty caught my eye:

It is a stunning pattern called “Girasole”, by Jared Flood.  

The pattern can be made two ways:  
a shawl, or a larger blanket version.

Well, I don’t think I have the skill set
to attempt such a project yet, 
so I found a simpler version of a circular shawl to try first:

That’s kinda how I rock and roll.

I try things out first, and work my way up,
usually with spare yarn so I can see how it goes. 

Sometimes I don’t even enjoy knitting the experiment,
and that’s good to know before
you go buy the expensive yarn for the real project.

It’s also just fun to try something new. 

So inbetween my beloved lace projects,
I thought I’d see what knitting a circular shawl would be like.

So!  First I had to learn a circular cast on.

Boy, is that easier said than done!  J

Most knitting projects, like hats, start with the outer edge
and decrease down to the point,
ending with just a few stitches. 

That’s not the case with this project. 
It starts in the middle and grows outward.

That’s kind of unusual for knitting. 
(But extremely easy to do if you’re crocheting.)

So off to the Internet I went.

I found some instructions, and even some videos,
and struggled with those for the better part of the afternoon.

It had been awhile since I had used double pointed needles,
and they felt so “fiddly”! 

(My lace is so easy -- why am I doing this again??)

I struggled with many different attempts and yarns,
trying the same thing over and over
(and NOT getting different results!),

until finally I finally bailed, went back to the Internet,
and found a different way to begin:
Emily Ocker's Circular Cast On

Oh, joy!  Success at last!

And here is the little bit that I have knitted so far. 

And the hole in the middle really did disappear!

And now I am beyond the first few rows,
which on double pointed needles,
are usually the most difficult.

Let’s face it… 
The first few rows of anything are always the most difficult. 

Even back when I was into weaving delica beads into fabric,
it was very trying until I got a few rows done. 

And that’s true with knitting, too.  

After it gets going, you have enough there
for the fabric to relax a bit,
and then things aren’t so awkward or nervewracking.

So, will I finish this “trial” circular shawl??
Will I ever attempt the Girasole shawl??

I have no idea…

But I’m having fun!

Lucky Dog

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Inside Animals

Well, I keep forgetting to post my photos of the “kitten”,
who is now a year old, and he is a muscular, healthy male. 

Think 18-24 year old male.
He just needs to flex those muscles and run! 

Also, think Sherlock:  “bored”. 

Oh my,
the cat and dog aren’t entertaining enough for him at all!

The Cat Dancer toy is now his new favorite,
and I can’t keep it moving long enough to suit him. 

He’s learned to make a little nagging meow,
in fact, to let me know he wants it to move some more. 

More, more, more!
(It’s a good thing they can’t talk!)

But he is a Ragdoll,
so here is a photo of him all relaxed and long

He is long and lanky, so far,
just like the male that we used to have.  ♥

And he still does his little outstretched arms thing.

And when I do take him over to the Studio, 
he still scares me by getting on the windowsill.  

I don’t take him often, because he still acts like a kitten, 
wanting to get in and on everything!  

I am actually looking forward to him becoming 
a blob of a cat, 
so he will just sleep when we’re over there.

So, naturally, I take the dog with me to the Studio instead.
Here he is, waiting for me to come back from the house.  
He’s just so cute, I can hardly stand it.  ♥

And lastly, a photo of the female.  
Gosh, the fur on her face seems to be darker than ever!  

She’s just for looks.  
She’s not all purr-y and friendly like the kitten…  

But since Jackson Galaxy (from My Cat from Hell) 
probably won’t be making a house call to help us out, 
we just make do.  

I love on her a lot to be sure, but on her terms. 
But like I said, she’s so beautiful, 
she’s just for looks, anyway.  hahaha

I’ll share photos of The Outdoor Animals soon.

After all, it is June, 
and the mama raccoons all have big titties, 
so you know that means babies!!

Lucky Dog

Monday, June 2, 2014

Meddlesome Maria

There was another thing that my grandmother used to recite, and I’ve only heard it one other place.  And of all places, it was on the old Andy Griffith show on TV. 

Here’s a link to a video of Ernest T. Bass “serenading” Charlene with it.  Old Aunt Maria video

My grandmother’s version was almost just like it, all things considered. 

When I googled it, I also got hits for jumprope rhymes and songs.  Who knows where or when my grandmother heard it? 
It was just one of those fun things that rhymed.

(Oh, and Maria is pronounced “Mariah”.)

Apologies if I remember it wrong... 
It has been more than a few decades.  J

Meddlesome Maria jumped in the fire.
The fire was so hot, she jumped in the pot.
The pot was so black, she jumped in the crack.
The crack was so high, she jumped in the sky.
The sky was so blue, she jumped in a canoe.
The canoe was so shallow, she jumped in the tallow.
The tallow was so soft, she jumped in the loft.
The loft was so rotten, she jumped in the cotton.
The cotton was so white, she stayed there all night.

♥ ♥ ♥