go figure.

aestlight, originally uploaded by katie:m.

Aestlight is finished. And has been for a while. It’s a lovely, light, and rather colorful, shawl that deserves its own post.

Until then, I will leave you to ponder: how does one accumulate seven size US9/5.5mm circs? In various materials? When one only very rarely knits with this size?

(I can think of one project in recent memory.)

As you might guess, I went through my knitting needles in preparation for the great migration. It’s all about manifest destiny around here this week. I’ll be back in August, probably lost in Nashville somewhere. Crap photos and all.

p.s. Thanks for all of the nice comments re: photos. I’ve officially stopped worrying about it.


armes Hühnchen

Yeah, well, I am feeling like a bit of a lame duck.  Or a poor chicken, as the Germans would have it.
Basically, I can’t seem to get my camera to take non-crappy photos.  They’re always kind of dark, kind of blurry, kind of lame.  So I don’t post.  And now I have a big backlog of finished and failed to share.  And no decent photos.
(Which really isn’t a surprise.  You should see our family Christmas photos: just short of headless wonders, one and all.)
Please bear with me.
I did, however, finish and deliver the fancy socks.

fancy socks

Nothing too complicated, just a modified (read: dumbed-down from memory) version of the Gentleman’s Fancy Socks by Nancy Bush.  All the details here.

They are very sturdy.  I hope they fit, as I did not have a gentleman — fancy or otherwise — handy for fitting purposes.  But despite this question mark (minus the Mysterians), which was not, of course, the fault of the pattern in any way, they were a good, straightforward, no-nonsense kind of knit.  Perfect for a gift.


Noun: Worry; anxiety.
Transitive verb: To worry; to annoy.
That pretty much covers it.
In an attempt to get around all of the worriting going on here, I made some muffins.  Hearty breakfast muffins with whole-wheat flour, muesli, honey, dried fruit, and fresh blueberries.  My oven is wonky (i.e. broken) and they are a bit under-done, but still delicious, if I do say so myself.
My other big project?  Finishing the fancy socks for a gentleman not of my aquaintance:

fancy socks

I know the gentleman and his fair companion, who is of my acquaintance (hence the socks in the first place), like hiking or walking or similar, so I hope these will come in handy.

But it finally occured to me that with all of the moving action that will be taking place in the coming weeks, I really need to get these finished.  I turned the heel yesterday and carried on down the foot.  Today I hope to keep going and graft the toe, so that these can be dropped off on one last trip into campus on Monday.

It would be a farewell lap, but the place gives me hives.  So it will just be a very quick and purpose-oriented visit.

in progress.

girasole, originally uploaded by katie:m.
I’ve used the title before, but it’s a good one: short and to the point.  Indeed, this shawl is very much an on-going endeavor.
After visiting a friend over the weekend — a trip which provided not only a welcome change of scenery, but also much knitting time on the train — it has grown considerably.  With a hefty 320 stitches on the needles, we’ve entered the unsightly and unwieldy blob phase.
At the moment, chart D seems interminable.  But I know that it will be nothing as compared to the final knit-on edging.


Maybe it was all that Kath & Kim I watched over the weekend.  But this is turning out a bit more colorful than I’d had in mind.
Although I’m halfway finished with the edging, I’m still not sure about that purple stripe, waylaid up there between the body of the shawl and the bird’s eye lace.  Especially once the orange border gets thrown into the mix.
Skye – Thistle – Sunset seemed like an ideal blend of tweedy goodness in the skein.  Now I’m not so sure.  Thoughts?
I’m definitely finishing the edging … if only because I’m so close to done.  And I want to have some time — post-blocking (on my new blocking wires, coming soon!) — to see if I mellow to the purple or not.  Otherwise, that’s a lot of knitting to rip.
p.s. Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply, I love you.

really, it’s more of a maxi-shawl.

more weaver's wool mini shawl
My original plan of pairing the Aestlight shawl with aran-weight wool went south.  Not, of course, until I’d practically finished the thing.  No photos to document that particular pile of FAIL.  The yarn was just too chunky; the shawl was just too big and unwieldy.
All of my various attempts to modify and make work left me with a heap of yarn in awkward lengths.  I kept trying out various edgings and combinations: with lace, without lace, a stripe here, a stripe there, edging, no edging.  It was tedious and demoralizing in the extreme.  I watched a lot of Doctor Who.  And grumbled to myself.
In the end, I went for simplicity: another weaver’s wool mini shawl.  My first version, I gave a way a while ago to a friend who I thought might need a bit of extra warmth over the winter.  So this one would be for me.

weaver's wool mini shawl

After lots and lots of lovely, if deadly dull, garter stitch — most of which was completed on the plane ride back to New Jersey — I had a shawl.  Not before I was about ready to die from boredom, but still.  I got it finished.  And, in the process, rediscovered the wonders of the spit splice.  This yarn is so tweedy and wooly, the spit was more of an accessory than an essential, but it made me feel better to add an extra binding agent.

more weaver's wool mini shawl

My only modification was the cast-on edge: instead of just casting on the requisite number of stitches (29), leaving a rather raw, if stretchy edge, I knit up a garter band (three stitches, same as the number of edge stitches) and then picked up the 29 stitches from that edge — à la the usual shawl technique.  To keep the top edge consonant with the side edges, at three stitches apiece, I did not slip the first stitches of each row as directed by the pattern.

Although this is only a small detail, it’s in these kind of fiddly little modifications that I actually notice how much experience has improved my technique and just general awareness of possibilities.  I thoroughly enjoyed my silly 29-stitch pick-up exercise.  The russian bind off ate up the remaining yarn and provided a nice stretchy edge.

more weaver's wool mini shawl

I used up just about every inch of three skeins of Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran (lewis blue + rust) on size US11/8.00mm needles, which resulted in a pretty good sized shawl: 46 inches across the top, 18.5 inches down the center.  More details here.

Up next: an Aestlight shawl using fingering-weight wool.  It’s working out much better this time around.  Fingers crossed.

the return of the blue table

I must say, though it was nice to be home — not to mention the only way I was going to get my work finished up — I did miss my blue table.  And my main kitty, too.  (Not pictured.  She went to the vet this morning and is not feeling photogenic.)
The first of the Gentleman’s Fancy Socks is finished.  And has been for a while, truth be told.  The 6-ply Trekking knits up nice and sturdy, as a 6-ply should; the colors lend the sensible sturdiness a bit of excitement.  Since I didn’t have the pattern with me when I cast on, I modified the leg for simplicity: 64 stitches, no decreasing, 6 pattern repeats before turning the heel.  Seems to work so far, though I’ve yet to cast on for number two.  Sigh.
Until I get more knitting photographed (on the blue table!), there isn’t much to talk about.  But again, meme to the rescue!  Jaime tagged me for this musical one.  Quite easy and I only cheated a little bit, but only when a song came up that I didn’t recognize at all.  That didn’t seem fair — if I can’t even remember it, it obviously doesn’t get a lot of play.
The rules: Turn on your MP3 player. Go to SHUFFLE songs mode. Write down the first 15 songs that come up–song title and artist–NO editing/cheating, please. Choose some people to be tagged.
1. Whole Lotta Yoko, Yoko Ono and Ivry Gitlis with The Dirty Mac {The Rolling Stones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus}
2. A Handful of Stars, Stan Getz {Stan Getz and the Cool Sounds}
3. Spinning Around, Kylie Minogue {Light Years}
4. Passenger Seat, Death Cab for Cutie {Transatlanticism}
5. Sorrow, David Bowie {The Singles Collection}
6. Uncle Son, The Kinks {Muswell Hillbillies}
7. Money, Money, Money, ABBA {Gold}
8. When the Battle is Over, Aretha Franklin {Soul Queen}
9. Stupid Girl, The Rolling Stones {Aftermath [US]}
10. Brown to Blue, Elvis Costello & the Attractions {Almost Blue}
11. Heavy Weather, Jarvis Cocker {Jarvis}
12. Bernice Bobs Her Hair, The Divine Comedy {Rarities}
13. Lachlom, Yael Naïm {Yael Naïm}
14. What’s Ya Take on Cassavettes, Le Tigre {Le Tigre}
15. This Guy’s In Love with You, Burt Bacharach {The Best of Burt Bacharach}

in which I again confuse aran and 4-ply wool

Why I cannot keep aran in its proper place on the wool-weight spectrum will perhaps remain a mystery for the ages.

It has something to do, I think, with the fact that, in my mind, I associate “aran” with a traditional  sweater, one of those knit on tiny needles using tiny wool for burly fisherman who might be swept out to sea and a watery grave and thus have their initials knit into the fabric.  You know, Kleider machen Leute taken to its logical extreme.  And which wikipedia says isn’t even true.
Anyway, I didn’t want a fisherman’s sweater — traditional, for identification (apocryphal), or otherwise — but a lovely shawl: namely, Aestlight.  Inspired by coughcopiedfromcough two test-kint versions already finished, I started troweling for tweedy wool.

And that’s where I made my mistake.  My head was turned by the superior yardage of the Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran and without thinking, I placed my order.  Only to be confronted a few days later with some very chunky wool.  Which is now becoming a very chunky shawl.


I am resigned and stoic about my fate.  In the end, and come winter,* I think the shawl will serve its chunky purpose.  I’ve also ordered some 4-ply wool, just in case.

* There is winter in Nashville, right?  I’m betting a lot on this season actually existing.