Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Recovery -- sort of

First, thank you for your get well wishes. The cold really wasn't too bad and has run its course -- well, about 98% of it anyway, which is enough to check it off the to-do list!

However, now I'm suffering from a common ailment among knitters. Finishitis. I have several things nearing completion, but instead of finishing them, I have my eyes on new projects! So much fiber, so little time.

Palindrome WIPFirst up, there has been progress on the Palindrome scarf. I'm working this in Plymouth Tweed in the Charcoal color. This is the same yarn (different color) I've purchased to make Mr. Greenjeans for myself. From washing the swatch from the sweater, I know it softens and blooms nicely when washed, so I think this will end up being a very comfortable and cozy scarf. I'm about two-thirds of the way through, depending on how long I decide to make it. Since it's a narrow scarf, I'm thinking I may make it longer to allow for wrapping against the cold winter wind.

This pattern is great for take-along knitting. It's basically a K2,P2 rib with a 4x4 cable twist every now and then. You could alter where the twists occur to get an interesting variation. In any case, it's a good pattern to knit while chatting since there's not a whole lot of concentration required.

I've started teaching a basic crochet class at the shop on Monday afternoons. Since I haven't crocheted in a while, I pulled out my hooks and started messing around. Then I, excuse the pun, got hooked all over again. Yes, crochet is my first love, but knitting has made me stray. I guess you could say I'm polyamorous in my love of fiber arts now!

Since I am teaching a class as an independent contractor, buying crochet books is a tax-deductible business expense, right? (If you're my accountant, please say yes!) With this in mind, I purchased both of Doris Chan's books, Amazing Crochet Lace and Everyday Crochet. I love what Ms. Chan is doing with the art of crochet! My first introduction to her patterns was the Cat's Cradle topper I made for my cruise last year.

I think you can guess the rest. Let's see, I bought the books last week. Then I worked in the yarn shop and while there, browsed through the patterns. . . Can you feel it coming?

Blue Curacao WIP I knew that you could! Yes, I picked some yarn off the shelf, sat down during a quiet moment and started crocheting. Next thing you know, I had a good start on a pretty shawl. The only problem was, when I got home and assessed where I was in the pattern in relation to the size of the piece, I decided it was too small. So I frogged it and started over. I think it's better now and because it's crochet and goes quickly, I caught up again without any problem.

I'm doing the Blue Curacao shawl from the Amazing Crochet Lace book. Rarely one to use the recommended yarn, picked out some lovely Soft Lux from Classic Yarns. It's 64% extra fine merino, 10% angora, 24% nylon, and 2% metallic. There's a gold metallic thread that wraps around the main strand, but you can't really see it in this picture. The yarn is super soft and lovely to work with. I think this will be a very pretty and warm shawl for the Sea Socks cruise to Alaska in May, among other occasions.

I'm still not convinced it's going to be as big as shown in the picture. Gauge in this kind of crochet is a bit difficult to measure, and of course it will grow a bit upon blocking. I may add a repeat or two to the pattern, depending on how big it really is when I reach the edging. The nice thing about the pattern (well, one of the nice things anyway) is that the edging is created as you crochet -- no sewing or finishing required beyond weaving in ends when a new ball of yarn is added. The way the pineapple shapes build is fairly intuitive, so adding more before starting the final scalloped edging won't be difficult to figure out. Stay tuned!

Finally, if you've read this far, you deserve a bonus. (If you don't live in the Portland, Oregon area, this won't really apply to you. Sorry, it's the best I could do for today.)

Super Bowl Sunday Sale!

If you need something to do besides eating and screaming at the referees while watching the big game, mark your calendar for a visit to All About Yarn in Tigard on Super Bowl Sunday morning. (That's February 3rd, if you're like me and weren't sure when the big game is being played this year.)

The shop will be open from 10 to 3, giving you plenty of time to pick up some fibery goodies at sale prices and still get home in time to watch all the commercials and the halftime show the Giants and the Patriots duel it out in Arizona. There will be selected yarns on sale and every customer will get a chance at a storewide discount, too. We've got a great selection of yarns and the famous "Wall o'Needles" with just about every size of Addi circular (Turbo, Lace, and Natura) you could ever want as well as Bryspun and Brittany. So stop on by and say hello. You never know what goodies you might find!

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