Here We Go Again

I went by Joann’s this morning to get the one more skein  of the Lion Brand Heartlands “Glacier Bay” yarn that I needed so I’ll have enough yarn on hand to finish the Kildare Cobblestones shawl.  One skein works about 10 inches’ worth of shawl, and it needs to be 60 inches long, and I only have 5 skeins . . . .

Naturally, while I was hunting down the yarn I wanted, I saw this variegated Caron Simply Soft “Paints” yarn (above) in blues, purples and teals, and ended up getting 7 skeins of it (on sale).  The colorway is

See what I did there?

called “Oceana.”  It’s going to be another rectangular shaw.  I spent this evening finding a lace pattern, modifying it to an insert, and reversing the “slant” of both the lace pattern and the insert pattern, and then combining the versions of the insert into a “triple wide” insert for the middle of the shawl.

The lace pattern is called “Florence Lace.”  I’m interpreting “Florence” to refer to the city in Italy, rather than woman’s name, so I can call the shawl “Florentine Nights” (Notti a Firenze). I’m going to try the double seed stitch for the body panels that go in between the lace inserts and use bamboo stitch on the side borders.  Since I’m using my US 6 (4.0 mm) 32-inch circular needle on the Kildare Cobblestones shawl, I’m doing this one on my US 7 (4.5 mm) 32-inch circular needle.

In the meantime, I’ve been making steady progress on the Kildare Cobblestones shawl. The left-hand picture is the top edge of the shawl, and the right-hand picture is the lower edge of the shawl.  I’m knitting the shawl sideways.  Because it’s so wide, I can’t get the whole thing in frame and show any detail, so I photographed it a half at a time to show more detail.

 

 

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Two Down, Three To Go

Today, I finished the denim blue  Cobblestones and Lace shawl.

Yesterday, I got it within four repeats of finishing it.  Since I was doing decreases, each repeat had 8 fewer stitches than the last one, and each repat went faster than the previous.  This morning, I was determine to make a final push.  It fought me every step of the way.  I bet I ripped out every repeat at least once.  Finally, at 3 o’clock I bound that rascal off, wove in my ends, pulled the lifelines, and there it was.   Finished.  Finally.  That’s two down.

I’ve also revised the Cobblestones and Lace pattern to do the decreases differently and it is the revised pattern that I’m doing in the light blue. When I finish that version, that will be the picture that goes on that pattern.

I’m also doing another cable edged shawl, but I rewrote the pattern from Ravelry to use Hilton lace instead of whatever that lace was on the original pattern.  I’m calling that pattern “My Own Private Hilton.” but I haven’t posted it on my knitting website yet.  I want to wait until I start knitting the lace on to see how it looks and to test the pattern.  That’s the shawl that will be in the “Ocean” blue (above right).

The third shawl I’m working on is the rectangular one that I’m calling Kildare Cobblestones.  That’s the one I want to work on next.   I’ve got a doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon and all this stupid paperwork I’ve got to fill out for it tomorrow morning (of course I waited until the last minute!), and then I have a brunch engagement Thursday morning, and I won’t have a chance to work on it until Thursday afternoon, which is aggravating.  I want to work on it NOW!  — But it’s late.  I washed sheets today, and I’ve still got to make my bed before I can lie in it . . .

One Down, Three To Go

The resident earworm for the past several days has been:

Nothing like a little blue grass to get the blood going.

I sat down last night to work on the original Cable Edged Shawl, got a head of steam up and made great progress.  When I left off last night, I had three repeats to go.  Got up this morning determined to finish it, and did.  Got my ends woven in, pulled all my lifelines, and all it needs now is to be blocked.  I like how it turned out except for the way the scallops on the edge of the lace curl.  It’s a nice weight and a nice size, a little something for the shoulders on those cold days.

My next big push is on the denim blue Cobblestones and Lace Shawl, which is what I’m working on now.  I have 7 repeats left on it to finish it — these are 16-row repeats, so I’ve a little way to go yet.

I’ve been off the prednisolone two days now, and I’m definitely winding down.  All I want right now is a nap.   Naps are traditional on Sunday afternoons, right?   ZZZZzzzzzzz.

 

This Is Why I Have So Many UFO’s*

Couldn’t stand it.  Yesterday, while I was doing three other things, I swatched some of the Kildare Lace (left) to see how the pattern works and what part of the pattern does what.  This is three pattern repeats. I like how the little scallops are.  They don’t curl so they won’t need to be blocked to keep their shape.    Once I had the pattern figured out, I modified it to make the insert (right), which is essentially the body of the lace without the little scallops.  I replaced the scallops part with a K3 to make the edges symmetrical.  These will be the details on my new shawl.  The insert will be on the edge of the shawl that hangs around the neck and will add interest to that edge.

After I shut my computer down last night, I had a quick rootle through my stash and found 5 more skeins of that Lion Brand Heartland yarn in the Glacier Bay color, and that was immediately designated for this project. It is a color Lion Brand is still carrying, so I will be able to get more if it takes more than 5 skeins to get the length I want.  I don’t think it will, though.  I’ll knit up one ball and see how much that measures and run my calculations from that, but it should be enough. I want the shawl dimensions to be 25 x 60 inches.  I want it long enough that I can wear it in both the traditional way as well as with one end  pulled across and draped over my shoulder.

Wouldn’t you know; I sat down this afternoon to read blogs and webcomics and check my YouTube subscriptions for any new videos, and the next thing I know, I’m winding a skein of that Lion Brand yarn into a ball, and I’ve got my US6 (4.0 mm), 32-inch circular needle out, and I’m doing a gauge swatch.  Since I’m knitting the shawl from side to side, the pattern will be based on the side dimension, 25 inches, which works out to be 125 stitches using a gauge of 5 stitches per inch on a US6, but I need an even number of stitches for the pattern to come out right, so I added one.  (126 stitches = 26 stitches for the top border, 80 stitches for the body of the shawl, and 20 stitches for the bottom border).

Then I spent a good two hours in Word cutting and pasting to assemble the pattern.  Because of the way knitting works (you knit like you plow, out and back), which means you work the pattern from left to right on the right side rows, and from right to left on the wrong side rows.  Because I have two border patterns, I had to alternate  top and bottom when I meshed all the patterns together.   So,  if Row 1 is top, body, bottom, then row 2 has to be bottom, body, top, etc.

Of course, by now, I’ve got 126 stitches casted on and I’ve decided to do 6 rows of garter stitch to get a “finished edge” to start from.  It’s nothing fancy, but it gives the edge some substance.  The insert pattern as I swatched it above is only 20 stitches wide all total, and the borders of it are only 3 stitches wide.  I decided that it would look better if the insert was set deeper into the fabric of the shawl and that I could do that by putting a wider border along the left edge of the insert, so I added an extra 6 stitches to the left border of the insert pattern.

I’ve already done two repeats to see how it looks and how the parts fit together, and I’m pleased with it.  It’s not going to be a real fancy shawl.  It has a more simple, understated look, but it’s got enough texture and detail to give it some pizazz.  Here’s what it’s looking like so far.  At right will be the top edge of the shawl.

At left will be the bottom edge of the shawl:

That little yellow thing in the lower left corner is a stitch marker that I’m using to neatly secure the “tail-end” of yarn that I will weave into the knitting when I finish the shawl.  I do this to keep the yarn from fraying at the end and keep it out of my way.

Naturally, since this is a hot new project, it’s all I want to work on right now.  Sigh.

*UFO – UnFinished Object

 

This Is My Brain on Prednisolone

I’m on the 4th of a 5-day “burst” of prednisolone, which I’m taking periodically for one thing and another.  Usually by about the third dose, I’m not sleeping more than 4-hours a night, my brain is going about Mach 2, I’m bouncing off the walls, and this is what the last day or two have been like:

While I was working on the center pattern of the light blue Cobblestone Lace Shawl, I was thinking about this stitch I’m using for the body of the shawl, which I “discovered” while experimenting with the seed stitch (surely, I’m not the first one to have stumbled across it, but since I can’t find it on the interwebs and don’t know if it has a formal name, I’m calling it the “cobblestone stitch”) and the variations on it.

In order for the stitch pattern to work out right, rows 1 and 3  have to have an even number of stitches, and rows 2 and 4 have to have an odd number of stitches.   You can achieve that by increasing a stitch at the end of rows 1 and 3 for a steady increase of 2 stitches over 4 rows (one pattern repeat), or by decreasing a stitch at the end of rows 1 and 3, for a steady decrease of 2 stitches over 4 rows.  This will result in a piece with a straight left (or top) edge and a sloping right (or bottom) edge.  However, if you increase on row 1 and decrease on row 3, (stitch count remains net constant over the pattern repeat), the left (top) edge is straight and the right (bottom) edge is “optically” straight.  Here’s the stitch pattern:

Cobblestone stitch
Cast on an even number of stitches.
Row 1:  knit until 1 stitch remains, (increase 1 stitch or decrease 1 stitch).
Row 2:  *p2, k1, repeat from * until 1 stitch remains, p1.
Row 3:  knit until 1 stitch remains, (increase 1 stitch or decrease 1 stitch).
Row 4:  *p1, k1, repeat from * to the end of the row.

Now, how you increase or decrease that 1 stitch is up to you.  It all depends on the look you want.  You could work the increase with a yo, or a kfb, or a mo, or an e-wrap, and you could use a k2tog, or a p2tog, or an ssk, or an ssp, or a psso to work the decrease.  Each way produces a different look.  Say, for example, if you’re using this stitch to work the body of a triangular shawl, you wouldn’t want to be able to easily tell which side had the increases and which side had the decreases.  Because you’d want both sides to look the same, you’d want to pair an increase stitch with a decrease stitch that has a similar look.  For example, if I were using a mo (make one) for my increases, I’d want to use a k2tog for the decreases as they have a similar look.  I happen to like kfb’s, and the decrease that I think looks most similar to them is p2tog.  But there are all kinds of possible combinations and looks.

So, anyway, as I’m knitting, I’m thinking, “a rectangular shawl, knitted from side to side with a garter stitch lace lower border, and some kind of garter stitch lace insert along the top border (if I can find the right kind of lace pattern, I could modify the pattern to make it into a matching insert), and some kind of side border.  I could maybe work the lower border edge of the cobblestone stitch with a yo for the increase and a k2tog, yo for the decrease (but I’d have to try it to see how it would look), or just go with a kfb/p2tog increase/decrease.  I wonder how much yarn it would take — 4 skeins? 5?  Do I have enough yarn in my stash to do one in a solid color?” . . . .

Well, this idea has been cooking in my brain since Wednesday, and yesterday, as I’m at my computer reading blogs and webcomics, I just have to pull up this site that has a bunch of garter stitch lace patterns on it and start looking for something suitable.

Kildare Edging

So, here’s the thing.  When you’re knitting a shawl from side to side, you’re knitting “vertical” rows (as opposed to “horizontal” rows as in top-down or bottom-up),  so you’re knitting top border, body, and lower lace border all on the same row — on every row.  In order for a lace pattern to “mesh” with the cobble stone stitch when you’re working in the side-to-side orientation, the number of rows in the lace pattern repeat has to be evenly divisible by 4 (because the cobblestone stitch has a 4-row pattern repeat), so only certain lace patterns will work.   But I found this one called “Kildare Edging” that I like the look of.  The pattern of the lace is such that it could easily be modified to make a matching insert for the top border by removing those scallops across the bottom edge, and it has an 8-row pattern repeat.

Naturally, I immediately cut and pasted the pattern into a Word document,  grabbed a 24-inch US10 circular needle and a ball of yarn and started knitting it so I can see how the lace is put together and what part of the pattern does what.  Once I know that, I’ll know what bits to take out to remove the scallops and where to put what looks like it needs to be a k3 to give it a lower edge that matches the upper edge and make it symmetrical.

I’m trying not to get too involved in it because I’m working on 4 (!) other shawls at the moment, but a while ago I sat down at the computer and caught up on blog reading, and then I started working on this one part of a  story I’ve been playing around with (that already has a glossary and a who’s who . . . ), and then I couldn’t stand it any more, so I’m working on that lace again, and then I thought I’d blog about it, and now I have 8 windows open on my computer and knitting in my lap . . . .

Four Days and A Trip To the Grocery Store

I had a doctor’s appointment today, to which my mom drove me.  I had to have labs first which meant I had to go to the main area and check in with the lab.  The waiting room was packed, which it usually isn’t so much.  In this clinic, there are usually around 10 doctors who are seeing patients on any given day and everybody checks in here first.  Apparently, the computers had been down earlier in the morning and they were about an hour behind checking in patients, so I had to wait nearly an hour just to get checked in and another half hour to get in to get labs drawn.  Then I had to wait until the lab results were back before the doc would see me.

On the way back home,  mom needed to make a stop to get a pair of these little slide-behind sunglasses she likes but the optical store she went to didn’t have ones that fit her glasses.  Then she took me to the grocery store because I was out of more than a couple of things.  I pushed the cart all over the store in a very devious and circuitous route because I don’t know that store very well, and got six of those little plastic sacks full of groceries.  That’ll be $89.23, thank you very much.

I left the house at 8:45 a.m., and didn’t get back until nearly 3 p.m.  And all the time I was gone, my oxygen bottle was sitting in its little trolley by the couch in my living room/lounge!  And I was walking and pushing the grocery cart, not riding one of those little scooters they have in some grocery stores.   And after I got home, I put up the groceries, changed clothes, fixed me a mid afternoon half a baked potato, made a pitcher of white chai, and sat on the couch to watch a couple YouTube videos on my flat screen TV.  Yeah, I was kinda pooped once I got home, but I was otherwise Just Fine.

But food and drink revived me, and I had a little celebratory party.  Ate a whole pint of Talenti Gelato cinnamon vanilla flavor by myself, had a little white chai.  We got pretty happy and started swinging from the chandeliers — well, I didn’t, but they were:

(It’s the opening act of “Corteo” by Cirque du Soleil BTW, here is the intro and whole first act.  It’s been said life is but a dream.  In this case, it’s death that is the dream.  Curious premise for a show.  But then, when you get right down to it, that’s not any more off the wall than the premises of their other shows. )

That act just surpassed what used to be my favorite Cirque du Soleil act:

That one’s for the song in English.  This one is for the aerial silks:

The upper of the day’s big accomplishment (nose hose free all day for the 4th whole day) soon ran into a bummer.  When I sat down at my computer, I quickly noticed that my earphone extension cord jack has a short that cuts out one whole ear.  I use the extension cord because I can’t find an earphone with a long enough cord to reach past my keyboard, under my monitor and back to the earphone jack in my computer tower (I have a desktop) which still gives me any slack at all to actually wear the durn things.  With the earphone extension cord, I can plug it into the jack in my computer, bring it under my desk from the back, tape the cord to the underside of the desk, and tape the cord jack at the front edge of the underside of my desk.  That gives me all kinds of slack in the earphone cord. I know what did this cord in.  I had it taped flush with the edge of my desk where the jack on the headphones protruded out past the edge, and I was always bumping it.  I will set the cord jack of the new cord about an inch back from the front edge of the desk, and that should alleviate that problem.  I ordered a new one off Amazon which is supposed to be here Thursday.  In the meantime, having the sound in just one ear is not conducive to the immersive musical experience.  Um, now that I think about it, I have a set of headphones with a boom mike that I used to use for conference calls when I worked from home, and it has a long enough cord.  I don’t like wearing headphones as much as I like wearing earphones, but compared to listening to music out of only one ear, I’d rather put up with wearing headphones for the two or three days it takes my new extension cord to get here.

Tomorrow, I have another doctor’s appointment to get an injection, which shouldn’t take more than an hour, round trip, portal to portal.  I have to go about 15 minutes early, because I have to drive up to Walmart and fill my car with gas first, but I have to go that way anyway to get to the cross town street that goes to where my doctor’s office is.   I’m going (oxygen) tankless, so this will be the first time since I got home from the hospital that I’ve driven without the nose hose.  That’s the only thing on my calendar until next week, when I have an appointment Wednesday with the pulmonologist who saw me in the hospital and sent me home on oxygen.  (I hope to convince him that I am fully weaned from the nose hose and can call that medical equipment outfit to come get all their stuff because I don’t need it any more. Yay!) I’m still going to be using the concentrator at night until Saturday.  But those two appointments are the only things I have scheduled until the 30th.  The rest of the time I can spend reading, writing,  and working on my knitting projects.

Light Blue Cobblestone Lace Shawl

In the knitting news, I’m almost done with the last increase repeat on the Cobblestone Lace shawl (at left) in light blue I’m making.  When I finish it, I may go on and do the center section, which has just one repeat. At that point, the shawl has 109 total stitches on the needle, which will make it nice and wide.

 

 

In the knitting news, I’m almost done with the last increase repeat on the Cobblestone Lace shawl (at left) in light blue I’m making.  When I finish it, I may go on and do the center section, which has just one repeat. At that point, the shawl has 109 total stitches on the needle, which will make it nice and wide.

Denim Blue Cable Edged Shawl

Either way, I won’t start the decreases until I’ve finished the one in denim blue (at right)  I am in the middle of the decreases on it, so I’m about 3/4ths finished with it. This one uses the old version of the pattern.  I revised the pattern because I didn’t like the way the decreases looked but, rather than frog out the entire shawl,  I decided to go ahead and finish it and give it away.

 

 

 

However, before I work on it, I will try to finish at least half of what’s left to do on the Cable Edged Shawl in the Lion Brand Heartland “Glacier Bay” colorway (at left).  Then I’ll finish the denim blue Cobblestone Lace Shawl, then finish the “Glacier Bay” Cable Edged Shawl.

 

Heartlands “Glacer Bay” Cable Edged Shawl

However, before I work on it, I will try to finish at least half of what’s left to do on the Cable Edged Shawl in the Lion Brand Heartland “Glacier Bay” colorway (at left).  Then I’ll finish the denim blue Cobblestone Lace Shawl, then finish the “Glacier Bay” Cable Edged Shawl, which will also be given away.

Only then will I work on finishing the light blue Cobblestone Lace Shawl to avoid “memory conflicts” with the change in stitch used for the decreases.  The old version of the pattern (the denim blue one) uses k2tog’s to decrease, but the new version (light blue) is going to use ssk’s.  Although now that I take a closer look at what the kfb increases look like, I may try a couple of rows using p2tog decreases, just to see if they more closely resemble what the kfb increases look like.  If they do, I’ll be revising the pattern yet again.   We’re aiming for symmetry here, as in not being able to tell the increase sections from the decrease sections without closely examining the work.

 

Heartlands “Ocean” Cable Edged Shawl with Revised Edging

I’ll change out working on the light blue shawl with the Heartlands “Ocean” Cable Edged Shawl (at right, but the body is much further along than shown, 178 of 262 stitches which means I’ve only got 42 rows to go on the body). The edging will be done using my modification to the pattern that uses Hilton garter stitch lace below the cable instead of the lace used in the original version.  (I’m calling my modified pattern and shawl “My Own Private Hilton.”)

Well, it’s late now and I want to catch a shower before I crawl into my beddy-boo.  Mañana.

An Epic Sunday

I went all day yesterday without wearing that stupid oxygen nose hose. (!) I washed two loads of wash, hung up the clothes that needed to be hung, baked three potatoes, and puttered up and down the house all day, and my O2sats stayed above 90%.  That, in itself, is pretty durn epic.  It was also a tall, cool drink of freedom.  I slept with oxygen on, but took it off when I got up this morning and turned off the oxygen concentrator machine.  That was pretty epic as well.  First time since 30 May that it’s been off.  It’s already 2°F cooler in my office without the heat that durn concentrator puts out.   I will turn it back on tonight when I go to bed and will sleep with the oxygen on tonight and for the next couple of nights, I think.

The second epic thing that happened today is that I got the bare bones plonger* that came with my Vizio flat screen TV and played around with it, downloaded the Vizio SmartController app to my smart phone, and was able to control the TV from my smart phone, which gives me the ability to watch YouTube videos on my TV from the channels I subscribe to on YouTube.  I got to watch Jesse and Alyssa put SIP panels up on the north gable of their house, and Nick, Esther, kids and friends set up the steel posts for Nick’s workshop on a 57″ flat screen TV!  This was indeed epic.   I also ordered a more complicated Vizio plonger (that’ll be $10.59, thank you very much) (sale price!) that hopefully has a right arrow key on it.  I’ve had the TV since 2016, but just never got around to playing with it to see what else I could do with it, mostly due to roundtoit availability and allocation issues . . . .

This morning, I finished folding up and putting away all the unmentionables from the load of clothes I did yesterday, so that’s all done.  I’ve been sipping on white chai all day, I had half a baked potato loaded with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, green onions and sprinkle cheese for supper, and had some cottage cheese topped with crushed pineapple for afters.   It’s 8:30 p.m. now.   Once it’s after 10 p..m., I’ll cook a pot of elbow macaroni and make a Wolf Brand Chili casserole.  I haven’t checked the crisper in the refrigerator, but hopefully, I still have at least one white onion that hasn’t decided to sprout.  Otherwise, I’ll have to sacrifice the rest of my green onions to the casserole.

I just checked my YouTube channel, and one of my subscription channels has a new video up. I think I’ll get my phone and go watch it on my TV . . .

*plonger – what people in my family call TV remote controls.  Long story.