Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lyra ... Completed!

And here she is!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Blocking Lyra

Lyra is finished and being blocked! After many, many days of following an insanely intricate chart, Lyra is finally on the blocking board. I came back from vacation intending to finish it up and spent the better part of this Saturday crocheting the edging, weaving in the loose ends, and pinning it out. My blocking board is about an inch too small in height, so I'm going to have to unpin it after it's dry, give it a quarter turn, and pin out just the center points on two sides.

I'm only posting a few blocking photos now, just to give a sneak peek. As you can see, this is the square version. Does it look square to you? I'm not worried about the shape. Of all the finished Lyras I've seen, it seems to be blocking out just fine. It's my Lyra!

My only advice in blocking Lyra is this: banish the trepidation and go for it! It's scary to look at a fluffy, frilly pile of unblocked lace. With the pins in place, and the lace blooming, you really begin to appreciate the fruit of your labor.

You'll think I'm crazy, but after seeing this completed, I really want to start another Niebling pattern! I'm not sure which one yet. I've got Krokus, Blutenkranze, Eichel and Ruth, and possibly a couple of others.

Niebling ... so addictive ...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

High Noon at Britex

At lunchtime on Monday, I walked to Britex Fabrics to pick up the finishing touch for my dad's Artisan Vest - horn buttons. His birthday is Tuesday (today), so with no time to spare, I was determined to purchase fabulous buttons, regardless of price.

I took the elevator to the third floor, and the first thing I saw as the door opened was a rack loaded with
Knit Lites, those lighted knitting needles everyone seems to be talking about. Aside from the gaudy neon colors, and the battery packs that seem to weigh the needles down a bit, I suppose they serve a purpose. They come in sizes 6 through 15, but they aren't for me.

Adjacent to the Knit Lites was a carousel of recent knitting books - a small selection, worthy of a browse. The last time I had been to the Notions department at Britex, the yarns available were mostly novelty, fluffy, furry and sparkly. Now they had a wider selection, in cubbies that reached to the ceiling on one wall, and sample scarves and handbags knit from some of the yarns. Another carousel held knitting needles, knit and crochet geegaws, hairpin lace looms, Japanese knotting gadgets, and lots of Clover knitting and crochet needles. One tiny bargain: knitting needle point protectors were $3.50. Two other stores I've been to recently had them at $4.95 and higher. They did have a basket of yarn that was 50% off - mostly novelty, overpriced frou-frou yarn, that should never have been priced at $15-$18 a ball in the first place.

On to the buttons ... the buttons ... oh, the buttons. I'm a closet button freak, so this giant wall of buttons always gives me goosebumps. I inherited a big button collection from my grandfather, who was a tailor in his youth. Maybe that's why I love them. The horn buttons I picked for the vest contrast just enough with the natural
Henry's Attic Prime Alpaca yarn, don't you think?

Monday night I drove to El Granada to knit with the Stitching Sisters. It's always a bit nervewracking to traverse
Devil's Slide, but especially now since the road has only been open a few days. I hadn't been over the Slide since it had closed in April. With mere hours left before my dad's birthday, I brought the vest and the buttons with me to the gathering. However, I forgot the thread to sew them on. I had to wait unit I got home to attach the pretty treasures to their rightful places. My father's birthday gift was finished after midnight, today, on his birthday.