Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tada.... Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail Shawl.

I just finished Evelyn Clark's Swallowtail Shawl. This was my endeavor for Lacevember. With only a few days left in the month, I am proud to say that it is finally completed.

I did need to alter the edging just a tad, since I used yarn that I had in my stash, and only had a limited amount. Even with the changes, I think it came out pretty darn good. Lace continues to awe me as it undergoes the blocking metamorphosis from a blob of nothingness into the most beautiful piece of handiwork. It never ceases to amaze me.

Obligatory Stats:

  • Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl
  • Designer: Evelyn Clark
  • Size: 72"x 36"
  • Yarn: Zitron Kokon by Skakel (Silk/Cotton blend)
  • Skeins: 3 (525m)
  • Needles: Size 9 US

Friday, November 17, 2006

Foula - the Edge of the World Shawl

Lacevember is having a contest for naming the shawl that is pictured here.

I think that a Shetland name would be most appropriate. Therefore, I chose Foula. Foula - the Edge of the World Shawl.

Foula is one of Britain's most remote inhabited islands and leaves a lasting impression on everyone who visits. It is truly spectacular. The crofting townships on the narrow coastal strip are dwarfed by the island's five dramatic peaks (Da Noup, Hamnafield, Da Sneug, Da Kame, and Soberlie). On the west coast are Shetland's biggest and most spectacular cliffs.

Foula's natural heritage is exceptionally rich and diverse for such a small area. The name means 'Bird Island' in Old Norse and Foula is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds, a National Scenic Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its plants, birds and geology.

I love the name so much that if they don't choose it, I just might have to go and design a shawl and use it myself!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I do believe in Angels......

I just received a package from an "Angel" for Secret Pal 8. My Angel was Fawn Pea who hails from North Carolina. She is one talented lady who put together a spectacular package.....

There were some gourmet treats from North "Cackalacky" including Spice Sauce (some hot stuff for chilly nights), Pecan Praline Cookies (because I didn't pack my pecan tree), Cheese Straws (for a genteel visit on the veranda), and some Belgian Milk Chocolate (I don't have to share).

There was a little package with the card asking,".... is it lacevember yet?", containing a luscious skein of baby alpaca. It is screaming to be knitted into Evelyn Clark's "Swallowtail Shawl".

Fawn, thank you...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Paradise Revisited....

Life has changed.

In the past, my most perfect place to knit was sitting on the beach in Pawleys Island. I would sit under my umbrella, caressed by the wonderful sea breezes and wrapped with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. And I would knit for hours on end. Not a care in the world, just me and my lace. Ah, paradise....

But life has changed. Now I am in the middle of the Mohave Desert. This might not be an oceanview, but would you look at this.....
This has got to be as close to heaven as one can get.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Lacevember Contest questionnaire

The knitting questions, or the usual suspects

How long have you been knitting? I have been knitting for just under two years.
How did you learn to knit? From online tutorials, some fabulous forums, and books.
Favorite thing about knitting? I am in such awe over the engineering marvel that knitting is. It is so versatile, challenging and my skills are ever growing.
How long have you been knitting lace? Just about one year. I started with the Branching Out Scarf, then the Dayflower Scarf, then attempted the Flower Basket Shawl for my Olympic Endeavor. Phew, I was so engrossed that I finished it in under 3 days!
Favorite thing about knitting lace. When I finish the project and I block it. I can just stare at it in amazement forever. "Wow. I made that." What a fabulous feeling!

The yarn questions, or flash your stash

Favorite lace yarn? I really don't have a favorite. It is according to what I am making and the effect that I want to achieve. I just amassed a nice stash of Zephyr, so I will be making a few things with that.
Variegated or solids for shawls? I have made a few shawls with variegated yarns, and I just was not happy with the results. I feel that most variegated yarn deter from the beauty of the lace. I hate when the yarn and the pattern competes with one another. One glaring example of the competition would be the Bird's Nest Shawl using Lorna's Laces in the Tuscany colorway. An example of one that does work, would be the Flower Basket Shawl using the Mountain Colors with just a delicate, subtle variegation.
Favorite lace color? I love all colors that are rich, deep, earthy and fully saturated. I love burgandys, rusts, reds, greens, blues. I abhor pastels and gray and browns are my least favorite.

Technique, or show us your skills

Circs or straights? I knit most of my lace using circulars. But, my current project is the Estonian Garden Wrap with Zephyr. I am using straight bamboos. This is the first time that I am using the Zephyr and I'm having a wicked time controlling it. The straight bamboos are giving me enough drag to make it manageable. I am forever learning.
Favorite lace knitting trick? Markers, markers and more markers.
Lifelines? Nah. With markers I am able to find a "mistake" right away and I can fix it right there and then. I haven't ever found a need to (OMG... Lace gawds have mercy on me) frog and rip out.
If so with what? Markers. I use cheap baby hair scrunchies. I can pick up a pack of 50 for under $2. Be sure to get the coated kind, not the rubber band ones used for braces. They come in an assortment of colors, so I can color code my lace patterns.
Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet? All of my projects have been blocked on my dining room rug using T pins. However, my last project the Estonian Garden Wrap, I was loaned dressing/blocking wires. And all I can say is, "Wow". With the wires I was able to keep a true rectangle shape without any of the dimpling on the straight lines that I would have had pins.

Pattern, or can you follow directions

Shawls or lacey items? Oh Shawls. Definitely shawls. One size fits all.
Triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls? My favorites would be triangle and rectangle. I am in awe of circular shawls, but for the life of me, I just can't get it past my brain that they look like tablecloths.
Charts or printed instructions? Charts.
Favorite lace you've knit? Here you go, asking me to pick my favorite child. I can't do it. I love them all. They each have their own little qualities that make them endearing. If push came to shove, it would have to be Evelyn Clark's Estonian Garden Wrap.
Favorite lace you want to knit? I want to knit them all!

Just Fun, yup that's right, just for fun

Favorite jelly belly flavor? Pina colada
Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red..... Wasn't he some Viking explorer? Didn't he go from Iceland to Greenland? Why Greenland?
Coke, classic or with lime? Oh, I am a classic coke kind of gal. And puleeze, not diet.
Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves? Oh, the weather outside is frightful, and the fire is so delightful. There's really no place to go. So let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. (if I had some recording capabilities... you would have heard that being sung, in my true shower singing voice)
What is the definition of irony? I love the ocean and I live in the middle of a desert!
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? None, I bite it.
Why is my cat always puking in front of my son's bedroom door? Ew... Now I know why I don't have a cat.
What is your superhero power? I can get things done by just thinking about them. An example, hmm "think clean toilet." Poof.... It's clean.
If the laundry is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that's a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be? Spa-colored sage green. But, I wouldn't worry about any color. With the laundry piled up so high, you won't even be able to see the color of the walls.
What's for dinner tonight? Reservations.
What is clogging my children's bathtub drain? Legos, definitely legos.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A big, thank you...

Thoroughly exhausted, I arrived at my new home on Monday afternoon. Yep, I have given up the Atlantic Ocean for the Mohave Desert! I had made the 2,300 mile drive from South Carolina to Nevada, cramped with most of my worldly goods in my VW Beetle Convertible. Hubby has been here since August, and I have only now cleared my plate and was able to join him. But, now at the present time, he is not here; he is somewhere in Qatar on business. So, I arrived at an empty house. After 3 days of driving, I pried my tired, spasmed, achey body from the car and headed for the front door, and what to my amazement was there? A wonderful package from my secret pal 9! Oh my! What a wonderful "Welcome Home".

The package contained the most wonderful skein of Opal yarn in the coolest Halloween colors. I have never seen this colorway before and it is really awesome. Also, there were gobs and gobs of my favorite candies: Snickers! But, not just plain Snickers. No. There were all sorts of varieties that I haven't tried yet: Snickers Almond, and Snickers Crunchers. Hmm Hmm. And the cutest Jack O'Lantern stress ball. Now, how did she know that I was a tad stressed out from the tedious drive?

Thank you pal. Your package was just what this girl needed when I arrived in my new home. It was the "hug" that I needed after my long drive.
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