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To all those in the crowd who have given birth — I started to say, “to all you mothers out there,” but somehow that sounded a bit off color (– or maybe it’s just me).

This is what my mom got for mother’s day.  It’s another Curved Shoulder Scarf like this one, but in a wine red metallic thread.  I think it turned out nicely if I say so myself.  Naturally, I thought of several modifications, so the next time through I’ll do up the modifications and post the modified pattern on my blog.  It’s actually a pretty quick knit, all things considered — like the fact that you do 21 repeats of a 12-line lace motif, but that goes fast as you only cast on 9 stitches for it.  I made two in four evenings’ worth of knitting.

I gave the other one to our dear family friend CK who had mom and me over for dinner last evening, for a delicious meal.  She just happened to be wearing a blouse that had that same peach color (which looks very good with her skin tones), and she has some gorgeous turquoise jewelry, so that colorway is perfect for her.

I spent most of yesterday futzing with a 1 Tb Western Digital external disk drive to use for an external backup device. I had a 500 Gb external drive, but it was too small.  (After my latest computer revamp, I have two hard drives now — a new 1 TB drive and  the old 500 Gb drive . . . ) First I had to back everything up individually by category on my set of six memory sticks, which took forEVer!  Then I switched out the backup drives and redid what and how I backed stuff up (every time I changed something)  That took some time, too. While I was waiting for files to transfer, I worked on the — are you ready for it?  — Dance Like An Egyptian Hat.

My version

Original version

It is Fair Isle knitting, which I had to learn to do, which means I’m working with two colors live and realtime, holding a color in each hand, and I had to learn how to “catch floats“.

It starts with a provisional cast on, and after a bunch of stockinette knitting, it has a row of these dancing ladies, which I modified from one I found that was put up for grabbies on the interwebs to anyone who wanted to play around with it.  Naturally, I modified it.   I added in a row at the top of her skirt so I could fix the design on it, and evened out the proportions of her arms by making the up-turned arm shorter in the upper arm and the down-turned arm longer in the forearm.  Then I made a  reversed version.

The hat will have one band of the lady facing left and a second band of the lady facing right. These will be interspersed between some rows of alternating stitches in each color for a checkerboard effect.  The brim is wide, and rolled by turning it under and knitted the provisional cast on back into the hat with a row of K2togs. It will have a standard hexagonal decrease on the top.  It’s slow going for the moment as I’m not used to holding my yarn this particular way in my right hand, but it’s fun.

This yarn is so shiny it’s hard to see the turquoise foot of the dancing lady.  You’ve got to knit 27 rows of stockinette before you even get to the two-color work because the dancing lady is 17 rows high and you’ve got to have enough brim to turn under and have a little bit of plain grey on the bottom edge of the hat. .

I’ll be taking step-by-step pictures of the process to post with the pattern on my knitting blog.

I’ll have enough yarn to do one where the variegated yarn is the background color, and the grey yarn is the contrast color.  That will give it a rather different look.  Oh, what fun.

At right, those long loops of yarn on the inside are the “floats” where the yarn not currently in use is being carried along behind the background color until it’s needed again.  When there’s a long “float” you have to secure it so they’re too short to get a finger through them. That’s a neat little maneuver.

Tomorrow when I’m out and about, I’ve got to see if I can find the new Pier 1 store and see if they still have bowls like I’ve been using (below left with the hat on top), and get two more.  Good thing I got that bigger table top for my computer, eh?

Here’s a little mood music:

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