Tonight, my heater came on for the first time I was aware of since I switched my thermostat over from AC to heat last week before we went to Pearland. That’s because it got down to 32 F (0 C) last night, and its only 36F (2.22 C) right now.
I really need to be working on my reader’s shrug for reading in bed (my arms get cold), so naturally, I’ve started writing a shawl pattern — it’s a modification of a scarf pattern (see scarf at left)for a scarf which has an edging of Hilton lace. The body of the scarf was done in seed stitch and had no border on the neck edge. It had an increase/decrease of 1 stitch every 4 rows and is not very wide. I like the look of it, and thought I would like it even better if it was a shawl. So, I took the Hilton lace part, and combined it with what I call a “cobblestone stitch*” (because I haven’t been able to find out what it’s actually called) for the body, with a 3-stitch garter stitch inner edging and a 1 stitch increase every other row to make the body shawl-width instead of scarf-width.
It’s been a booger to sort out — the lace has a 16-row repeat, and since it’s knitted flat, the piece has right side and wrong side rows, which I had to figure out for the scarf body, and whether that bit goes at the beginning (right side) or end (wrong side) of the row.
I’ve had to write one “beginning increase” pattern repeat you just do once, because the body of the shawl starts from 1 stitch, and then an increase pattern repeat that you repeat x number of times. When you get to the halfway point, you start a decreasing pattern repeat, the last iteration of which had to be written separately as it takes the shawl body decrease back down to 1 stitch, after which you bind off. However many times I’ll repeat the decrease pattern repeat depends on how many times I repeat the increase pattern repeat. Since I’m knitting as I write, to test the pattern for accuracy, I won’t know until I’ve worked the increase pattern repeat the appropriate number of times. Once I’ve actually knit one, I’ll be able to publish the pattern.
I’m doing it in knitting worsted weight (Medium:4) yarn on a ChiaoGoo Red Lace size US 10 (5.00) 32-inch circular needle, which ought to be wide enough. The ChiaoGoo Red Lace needles have a nice long taper on the tip that makes them ideal for lace knitting. I like the ChiaoGoo Red Lace needles so much I use them all the time. I’m starting to get quite a collection of them. I especially like the way they do the connecting cord between the needles. Those needles that use nylon or plastic to connect the needles are like trying to knit with a spring. They keep wanting to coil back up. The ChiaoGoo’s are very flexible and have no “memory” — I store mine coiled up in the package they come in, and when I take them out, they uncoil and are very flaccid and flexible, with no “coiling tendencies” whatever.
Lately, I’ve been reading Lois McMaster Bujold’s Penric and Desdemona novellas (there’s 6 of them so far), which I am enjoying. I have two left. They are set in the same (fantasy) “world of the 5 gods” as her Chalion books (The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt) and occur chronologically between the time period of The Hallowed Hunt, which is “historically” earlier than the Penric novellas, and the time period of the other two Chalion books, which are “historically” later. So, if you want to read them in chronological order, read The Hallowed Hunt first, then the 6 Penric novellas, then The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. They can each be read as a stand-alone, but they do fall into groups based on plot (Curse and Paladin) and main characters (Penric and Desdemona) . The Hallowed Hunt is the outlier, as the only thing it shares with the rest of them is the world.
I was reading Bujold’s Vorkosigan books, which are space opera, but I got really tired of Miles Vorkosigan and his story arc. What got me into the series was the Aral and Cordelia story arc, (which is Shards of Honor and Barrayar). but I bailed out about three books into Miles’ shenanigans. I found the Aral and Cordelia characters compelling and appealing, but I couldn’t get with Miles. I completely enjoyed Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, which is more of Cordelia’s arc, and I wish she’d write more about the menage Bujold touches briefly on in that. (Bujold’s “Schrödinger’s cat carrier” where she keeps ideas she can’t decide whether to use or not is not only brilliant, but it cracks me up so much!)
I’ve also got the latest Steve Brust Vlad Taltos novel in the To Be Read pile, although I may have to read up onto it by rereading some of the previous books in the series to refresh my memory. I’ve also got two Dorothy Gilman novels, the two about Madam Karitska (The Clairvoyant Countess and Kaleidoscope) on the pile as well as some other books, so I’m all set for some good reading weather.
* Row 1: knit, Row 2, k1, p1, repeat rows 1-2 ad lib.