Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Karis Completed

Here it is: Karis, from Rowan Magazine #36, Designed by Sharon Miller. I used 2 and most of the 3rd skein called for in the pattern. It's made of Kidsilk Haze (a Rowan Yarn), in the Liqueur color.

Here I am wearing it with my ! new haircut! -- the first since it started to grow back. Less curl! Hurray!
The next picture is of the back seam -- sewed VERY loosely in mattress stitch. As I look closely at the picture, I realize it's not perfectly matched, but I don't think I'll re-do it. I do think the loose stitching matches the line of the front, which was the center of the knitted peice when I made it.

Finally, a detail of the bottom border.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I did it!

Lot's of milestones this week - I finished the knitting on Karis! Here it is "pre-blocking".

And here it is while blocking. Since the shape of this doesn't lend itself to what I think of as a hard, lace-style blocking, I just soaked, spun, and laid it out on a towel, shaping by hand, no pins. Still an immense improvement in the laciness & general drape of the garment. I'm still sewing, so it'll be a day or 3 until I have a true finished object photo for you. Seaming a lace garment is problematic. I didn't like my first results -- two problems. One, the lace zig-zags at the bottom, so the correct line-up of the borders is off-set. (If you make Karis, this will make sense). And, a solid mattress stitch seam shows and doesn't look good. So, I'm actually re-sewing now. Still doing a mattress stitch, but loosely, as if I'm adding an extra, lacy stitch between the two pieces. *I* think it works. I'm not sure if I can get a close enough picture to show you what I mean.

Also this week I finished Digging to America by Anne Tyler. I love Anne Tyler's books, and this one was so good, I did something I'd never done before. I wrote her a letter to thank her. Really. I liked it that much. That said, like all Tyler's work, it's subtle - there's no boom and crash at the end, just quiet hope.

Then, I bought this:

It's the yarn for the Lotus Blossom Tank from Interweave Knits, Summer 06. The pattern calls for a Southwest Trading Company Bamboo yarn, which I found at Knitty Gritty Yarns in Richland yesterday. The yarn is kind of limp (someone else might call it silky - YMMV), and none of the colors really spoke to me. So instead I'm using this Butterfly Super 10 cotton yarn. From Sheep's Clothing, my real yarn store. The color is "powder blue" though I think it has a tinge of greeny greyness which I wouldn't call powder blue. In any case, I like it. I had planned to be starting Am Kamin, but am also signed up for the Amazing Lace (see sidebar). I can't decide whether I'm a tad scared of starting Am Kamin (which is ambitious in many ways, not the least of which is the fact that I have no English instructions), or whether I'm just excited to knit something I can wear this summer. For purposes of face-saving, I'm saying it's the latter. In truth, a bit of both. I'll probably begin both & see where I get.

I'm off to camp for the weekend, so when I get back, there'll be a finished Karis picture, I hope.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Kennewick Woman chooses British teammate and relative unknown for Amazing Lace

This Kennewick woman, Pam, has announced her participation in the next great knitting event of summer, The Amazing Lace. Joining her on her team will be the Karis top, from Rowan #36, designed by Sharon Miller, and knit of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in the Liqueur color. The British team-mate is joined by the Lotus Blossom Tank from Interweave Knits Summer issue, 2006. The Lotus Tank is a relative unknown -- fiber, and even the fit of this garment have yet to be determined. Says Karis, "She is knitting me as I was designed, but I hear rumours that Pam has plans to adjust the neckline and the length of the lotus tank to suit herself. It makes me a little afraid for my own future on this team."

The Kennewick woman claims no connection to the famous Kennewick Man, reporting only that "I'm about 9000 years younger."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Yarn for the Japanese Sweater

It came! My yarn for Am Kamin. It's Cascade 220, color # 9404. I'm not sure if it's the red I ordered, or not. The info from my order was lost at the yarn store, and she'd ordered two reds -- the other was more maroon while this is more of a ruby red. Tonight I'm afraid it's too fuschia. If it's really as I saw it this afternoon, it'll be great.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Under the Apricot Tree

Saturday evening, our house, dessert. My son's friends decided, after the last school formal, that all the stuff around the Homecoming dance, like dinner and getting dressed up, were more fun than the dance. (I think it's mainly the girls who make these decisions, but then again, I don't really know too much about it.) In any case, instead of the Prom, they had a progressive dinner-party. Dessert, served before the main course, allegedly due to transportation issues, was under our apricot tree.

We all had fun.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What to wear with Karis

Does anyone else do this? I'm making Karis because I like it. Now, I want to wear it. I can see it over a cami or tank top & jeans or pants. But I'd like to wear it to the ballet when my daughter and I go next month. So, I'm spending WAY too much time looking on-line and even (amazing) trying on clothes around town. Nothing quite right.

What do you think? If you were wearing Karis, how would you do it?

As for color -- the picture under "Karis Progress" is most accurate, I think. Why DID I choose this color? Liqueur anyone?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Lace on drugs. . .

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson -- the locally famous "don't knit lace on drugs" lesson. Here is Karis, with the border almost exactly half-way done. Three rows farther along than yesterday morning. Yesterday, I had a medical test, which isn't the subject of this blog -- but it involved drugs that precluded driving for the next twenty-four hours. So, I didn't drive yesterday, even though it was inconvenient, and even though, after a longish nap, I felt pretty good. Sure I confused words right and left. I forgot conversations two minutes after I had them. But I felt pretty good. (I felt pretty good - maybe that should have been a clue. . .) So at ten o'clock, I sat down to watch ER and knit. This is pretty much a habitual indulgence of mine (unlike drugs). I knit three rows. My stitch count was off. I unknit two rows. I reknit one row. My stitch count was off. I counted, I thought, I put the TV on mute. I realized my stitch COUNTER had been incorrectly set. I unknit the row again. I knit two rows. Now, at 11:05 p.m., I went to bed. Total gain in one hour of knitting: 3 rows of about 20 stitches each.

This was actually pretty good for knitting on drugs -- no net loss. Kid silk haze gets some of the credit -- it's hard to unknit or rip out, but it also holds together, unlike the Grinasco merino/silk I used for the blue lace dreams shawl. I made the mistake of knitting on Lace Dreams while on chemo -- that cost me weeks of work, and I decided to wait until I'd gotten most of the drugs out of my system to even try to FIX the mistakes I made.

Moral: If you aren't clear-headed enough to handle a car or power tools, you aren't clear-headed enough for lace!

In happier news, I made a side-bar. Thanks to The Knitting Hammy. I'm in the company of some really wonderful bloggers. Check it out.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Books on Tuesday

Last time I wrote, I was listening to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. It turned out to be a delightful, funny, and sad book. The story's characters have lost people they love both in the Dresden bombings and on 9/11, so of course it's sad. But it's not so much about these events as the things people do to cope with loss, the way, for better or worse, one moves on.

Then, as is common for those of us who request books from the library, all mine came in at once. First I read Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope. A good solid story here -- an empty nest story. I had to read fast because it was a "week" book.

But then I came to Confessions of a Teen Sleuth by Chelsea Cain. This was a treat! I'd only recommend this to other fans of Nancy Drew. If you spent hours of your childhood with Nancy, her frocks, roadster, and chums, you'll enjoy this parody a lot. If not, not. For some reason I especially was tickled by the frequent use of the word "sleuth" throughout the story. This is a book for adults who grew up on these stories, not kids who like them now. Their day will come.

Now I'm reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. I listened to several author interviews when this book came out. I wanted to read it, but was afraid of how sad it might be. And it is sad. But it's also well written -- a good story.

How many times do you want to see

incremental progress on Karis? Probably less times than I want to show you. It's been a week since I've posted. Since then, I've almost reached the half-way point -- not of the whole garment, which is all done except for the -- edging. Which keeps edging it's way around forever!

So, what have I been doing with myself besides knitting? I have been knitting quite a lot really - at track meets for instance. Life in general seems to have picked up the pace, or perhaps I'm beginning to pick up life's pace again. The lovely blue flowers above are from our Sunday shopping trip to buy plants for the pots. But these aren't destined for the pots -- they're part of my not so successful quest to pair blue flowers with my yellow climbing/bush roses along the driveway.