Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Progress! I can't believe how long it's been since I posted. Now, I'm back in the saddle, knitting lace, and ready to face 2009 like a cowboy at the start of a trail ride. I admit it: I've been watching way too many westerns this holiday season.

This year, the holidays have been a little different for me. I've been on vacation -- that's a big difference. Usually, I might take a day or so to recover from all the cooking, shopping and visiting. But I had so much vacation left on the books at work, I took December 20 through January 4 as my own personal holiday. On the other hand, hubby had no time off, working every single weekend and holiday, through New Year's Day. Bah!

So, what did I do? What will I do with the days remaining?

1) Watch movies. We turned in our Netflix at least three times this month. It must be a record. We also watched dozens of holiday movies, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies, and two Viggo Mortenson movies. Movie time is great for knitting. I made some serious progress on a few projects.

2) Make rum balls. These turned out great and will probably be a holiday staple in years to come. While making these does not allow for any knitting to take place, the resulting treat makes knitting (or anything else, except driving or playing paddleball) a pleasure.

3) Drive down to Princeton Yarns. This lovely new store is in a new mall in the harbor town of Princeton, just south of Pacifica, where I live. The owner is a very pleasant and knowledgeable woman. Even though the store has only been open for a couple of weeks, she has a very nice, select inventory. You won't find shelves stocked to the ceiling, but if you're looking for Hiya Hiya needles, she's got a bounty of them, as well as a wide selection of Addi Turbo needles. She only had a few of the Addi lace needles, but she will probably get more in the future. The yarns are beautiful and high quality. The indoor mall is bright with a glass cathedral ceiling through the center. I was surprised at the size of the mall and the adjacent Oceano Hotel and Spa. Princeton has always been a quiet little fishing harbor, with a few good restaurants. Barbara's Fishtrap, the mainstay local fried fish hangout, was buzzing with people. Half Moon Bay Brewing Company was busy, too. With this new mall and resort, the town hopes to attract more visitors.

4) Work on The Princess Shawl edging. If you've heard me talk about this shawl before, you're probably wondering why it took me so long to get started. I've actually had the pattern for a YEAR. This may not surprise you, if you know a lot about this pattern. It's one of the most advanced Shetland lace patterns currently available from Heirloom Knitting. And it will probably take me another year to complete it. Over these past months, I've swatched and debated on what yarn to use for this mother-of-all lace shawls.

I thought about it, researched it, read what yarns others were using, read about the errors in the pattern, and probably made a mountain out of a molehill. For gosh sakes, it's a shawl. It's not like I'm attempting to build the Eiffel Tower out of toothpicks or something. I made a decision to use some terrific Colourmart merino that I had swatched and liked.
It's not cobweb, but an extra fine 2-ply laceweight, finer than Jaggerspun Zephyr. I'm going to have a really big shawl, but I don't mind. I like how it looks. See if you like the edging so far in the photo. I'm okay with it. It's going to be beautiful.

5) Make progress on the Hydrangea Scarf. I've had this scarf pattern since Stitches West 2008. It's a beautiful design from Eugen Beugler. One day a few months ago, I started working on it, and it just flowed from my needles. It's one of those addictive patterns that keeps you moving through it, without getting boring. However, when I started adding beads, I slowed down. I guess just the stopping and starting to add the beads was getting to me. At first, I thought I would just bead the hydrangea flowers in the pattern. Then I decided I wanted to mix up the colors of beads in the hydrangeas. It's still a bit nebulous in my mind, but I think I've got it to where I like it now. See if you do, too.

6) Visit with the ACKD (Adult Children with Knitting Disorders) group. This is the group that meets at Starbucks in Bayhill Shopping Center, San Bruno, on Tuesday nights. It's a great, fun knitting group that seems to grow bigger every week. Projects range from basic beginner scarves to the most advanced lace to dolls to sweaters and everything in between. The group is on Yahoo and on Ravelry.

7) Meet with the BAWDies. This is my long-time knitting group in the City. One of the members gave me a nice gift of some melon colored wool and silk. It's gorgeous stuff, and I can't wait to start something with it. The BAWDies meet on Sunday afternoons, from 2-4pm at Arlequin Cafe on Hayes Street in San Francisco. BAWDies group is on Yahoo.

8) Order the book: Shetland Lace, by Gladys Amedro. I was so excited to hear this book had been republished in November 2008! It was out of print for many years, and when copies would turn up on eBay, they invariably sold for very high prices. Now, Unicorn Books has released it again, and I'm getting my copy ASAP. It's a great reference for anyone interested in Shetland Lace knitting. If you just want to try one of her patterns, Jamieson and Smith in the UK sells some individual kits and patterns, like the Gibbie Shawl and the Woman's Own Christening Shawl.

Happy New Year! What's your resolution?

1 comment:

Jane said...

You make me want to pick my princess back up again :-) I think your edging looks great. I have a copy of the Amadro book and have always liked her shawls too. Nice to see it re-printed at last!