574

574

574 stitches, oh my!  The first increase rounds and the first two charts were a breeze … then the sixth increase round came along and now there are 574 stitches to work with.  Progress has slowed considerably.

Though I do love the hollyhock contrast color.

574

This has been my main coffee shop knitting for the past 3 days or so.  I knit, sip coffee, watch the hipsters (so. many. beards!), and think about reading.  I’ve got to start actually reading soon.  But this place plays good music and these shawls are addictive.

I’m worried that it might be on the small side — I’m a tight knitter and I only went up one needle size — but it seems plenty stretchy, with lots of lace to open up, and I still have one more big chart to knit (twice!).  Yesterday, I thought about ripping it all out and starting over with slightly bigger needles.  Then I came to my senses and decided that a slightly smaller shawl was not necessarily a bad thing.  Besides, that would be just too much work to reknit for no very good reason.  And I knit for fun, not perfection.

Then there’s the yarn to consider: the lace-weight Malabrigo does not hold up well to frogging.  I’m trying to handle the yarn as little as possible, but I hope it can stand actual wear.  Because I want to wear this a lot.

574

Happy Fourth of July to those celebrating!  I hope the day is filled with all kinds of fun and fireworks, pie and barbequed everything.

on second thought

on second thought ...

I *do* want a tiny blanket.

on second thought ...

on second thought ...

on second thought ...

So a while ago I ripped some seams and sewed some new ones and voilà!: instant tiny blanket.  It’s only 3 x 3 squares, so basically a lap blanket that doesn’t reach my toes, which — as it turns out — is the perfect size for warm evenings on the couch.  The scarf thing was good, but I was afraid I wouldn’t get much use out of it … and, well, the Lizard Ridge was just too big (in terms of long-drawn-out investment of time, at least) to hang up on a hook and forget about.  So blanket it is.

And it’s expandable!  The blanket scheme left one extra lonely square, but with just two more (3 x 4) I could cover my toes for winter.

Also, I very much love that my camera can’t handle pink.  It looks like the wool is glowing.

check

Pants?  Check.

Malabrigo lace?

malabrigo lace

Check.

In a flashy color?

malabrigo lace

Check.

Ginormous circular shawl?

shetland tea shawl

Check.

Well, it’s not ginormous yet, but give it time.  Yesterday, after a relatively quick Malabrigo-finding mission to the Haus of Yarn, I cast on for this lovely: the Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace.  It’s based on the EZ pi shawl, just like the girasole, which makes for very straightforward increasing and breaks the knitting up into a series of very approachable (though knit over ever-doubling stitch counts) lace charts.

shetland tea shawl

Here I am working my way through chart uno: the shetland fern.  I wanted to keep going, but it was time for bed before I made some kind of unfixable mistake.

I’m thinking of repeating the last chart twice — bigger!  and it looks really nice — in a contrast color.  After hauling out just about every solid-color Malabrigo lace skein in the store, I decided on frank ochre (35).  It’s flashy, but also somehow neutral enough that I can see myself wearing it with lots of different things.  (Okay, I’ll be honest: I don’t always care about matching very much.)  For the contrast color, I’m thinking of going big or going home: hollyhock.  And then switching back to the main color for the knit-on border, kinda like this.  Though I don’t want to overpower the lace with crazy color changes, so I’m going to wait and see.

shetland tea shawl

Funnily enough, I’ve found that knitting lace is one of the only things that really relaxes me.  I know I talk about the rhythm and repetition of kntting lace a lot, but that’s precisely what lulls my brain into quietness.  It’s a strange sensation when it’s going well: I’m thinking and counting and following the pattern, but at the same time, my hands are just knitting.  If I think too much, I make a mistake.  I love that my hands know better than my brain somehow.