The title of this post comes by way of the late, great author Anne McCaffery who described herself thusly: “I have green eyes, silver hair, and freckles; the rest is subject to change without notice.” Also, as a card-carrying female type human bean, I am also fully entitled to change my mind without notice.
I worked out this great shawl pattern for that wonderful yarn I bought, made four or five attempts to get it started, finally got it going, knitted up a repeat on it, and it just wasn’t clicking. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with it for a while. I ripped it out again, made the borders of the fancy bits 3 stitches wide instead of 2, which was kinda better, but still didn’t fix what was wrong with it. Finally I realized that the problem was the color patterns of the yarn were competing with the patterns in the knitting, frogged the whole shebang, and put that lovely yarn in my stash for another, more appropriate project(s). While I was rummaging about in my stash for something in a solid color, I discovered I had four skeins of some Caron Simply Soft yarn in “Blue Mint” and started the shawl in that, and Voilá! It clicked. Typically, “Blue Mint” turned out to be a discontinued color, but I was able to find some on Amazon and bought four more skeins of it so I would be sure to have enough. To orient the pictures for you, the shawl is knitted vertically from side to side as it goes across your back, with the upper border being at the top and the lower border being at the bottom.
I’m calling it “Blu Fiorentino” or “Florentine Blue” because of the blue, and the Florence lace which was used on the lower border and as the basis for the other two insertions. (I am interpreting “Florence” to mean what English speakers call the Italian city of Firenza, rather than the woman’s name). It is a luscious, bright, full-bodied blue and I like it excessively (which is why I bought four skeins of it to begin with). Depending on how much I have left over, I might do a cowl and/or hat for me from it, just because I like it so much.
I’ve been going to knitting group faithfully again, and a lady has been coming who has been confined to a wheelchair long enough that she has a motorized wheelchair and one of those vans with a side lift. She was a crocheter for a number of years but was forced to stop because of arthritis in her right thumb. She wants to change over to knitting. (Her first knitting project was a doll’s hat done on these incredibly tiny 6-inch circular US 2 (2.75 mm) needles!) She already knows how to knit and purl, but she does not remember how to cast on.
The next thing she wants to do is a shawl. She found this enormously thick yarn (thicker than a 6: Super Bulky!) that she wants to knit a shawl out of because she loves how soft it feels, but she only has three skeins of it. If it is the yarn I think it is, it’s $9.99 (€8.56) a skein and only has about 100 yds/91.4 m of yarn per skein. Three skeins is not going to be enough to do a shawl of any size. She’s going to need at least 5 skeins. She wants to use a size US8(5.0 mm) needle to knit it on (so there won’t be any holes!), which is going to kill her hands.
She doesn’t like triangular shawls, which is unfortunate, because on my website, I have several very easy patterns for some triangular shawls that would be perfect for a beginning knitter. What she has her heart set on is a semicircular shawl, and the only semicircular pattern on my website involves doing a garter tab, which is tricky for a beginning knitter. Also, it has a lot of “holes” (yarn overs) in it, which doesn’t appeal to her because she thinks that with all those holes in it, it won’t be warm.
Hopefully, she’ll come next time, as I got on Ravelry and found a lovely, easy semicircular shawl pattern that I downloaded and modified to be garter stitch instead of stockinette, which means the only stitches you have to know to make it are the knit stitch (k) and the yarn over (yo) stitch. (To do the garter stitch, you knit every row. To do the stockinette stitch, you alternately knit a row and purl a row.) The pattern as written calls for 540 yards (496.8 m) of worsted weight yarn on a US 10 (6.0 mm) needle, but it can be used with any weight yarn from 1:Super Fine to 5: Bulky and whichever needle size is appropriate to that weight. The pattern even explains how to do a k2tog bind off.
I’ve got about 8 skeins of Loops & Threads Charisma yarn in a navy blue. I’ve also got some size 11(8.0 mm) and size 13(9.0 mm) 40-inch plastic circular needles that I want to eventually replace with ChiaoGoo needles, and a size 10(6.0 mm) Takumi 40-inch wooden needle I have already replaced with a ChiaoGoo. If I can convince her that the “holes” in that shawl pattern are not going to make any difference in how warm the shawl is, I’m going to offer her the size 10 Takumi needles and the Charisma yarn to make it as I think it would be way easier on her hands. If she can’t be dissuaded from using the huge yarn, I’m going to steer her to an 11 or 13 needle rather than a US 8(5.0 mm). Just thinking about using a US8(5.0 mm) needle with that hugely thick yarn makes my hands ache.
Actually, I liked that shawl pattern so much, I hunted through my stash and found 3 skeins of Lion Brand Hearlands yarn in the color “Yosemite” (which I bought just because I liked the color so much), and started the shawl in it. She gives a knitted on lace edge pattern for the lower border which is only 8 stitches wide, but stockinette is so curly that I think I want to use a wider border for the weight. I think I want to use the same Kildare garter stitch lace pattern (which is 20 stitches wide) that I used on my Kildare Cobblestones shawl, so yesterday, I went and got two more skeins of it (on sale!). That ought to be enough to do that lace pattern as a border. I love that wonderful russet color. It is the same gorgeous color that the bracken in Dartmoor turns in the fall. So, that’s five shawls I have going at once. I knit on one til I get bored with it, then change to another.
In other news, I had an MRI of my left knee yesterday. Maybe this will give some insight into why it hurts so much. I’m afraid it’s osteoarthritis, because when I did those 5-day prednisolone “bursts,” it quit hurting until the prednisolone wore off. I broke my left kneecap in 1991, and had two surgeries on the knee — one to put hardware in (ORIF) and a second one about four months later to remove the hardware after the fracture had healed– which is good, because it was a K-wire fixation, and I wouldn’t have been able to have an MRI on that knee if the K-wires (which are stainless steel) were still there! (In fact, I doubt I would have been able to have an MRI on anything if those K-wires were still there. The magnets on an MRI scanner are strong enough that they would have ripped the wires — and my kneecap! — right out of my body! For reals! Ditto anything else made of metal that contains iron or steel like bullets, shrapnel, and some types of implants like pacemakers and insulin pumps . . . . ) (The two stents in my LAD coronary artery are made from titanium, on which magnets have no effect. Ditto the post on my left molar dental implant.) (Whew!)
I hope something can be done about this knee pain as it restricts my mobility and thus impairs my ability to regain endurance, which is an important part of rehabilitating my lungs from the pneumonia I had in May.
While I have been typing this post, I drank a 13.7 oz Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino, which comes in at a whopping 300 calories and 130 mg of caffeine. This consumption is strictly a one-shot deal, because I hate coffee. I bought the thing because it comes in a glass bottle with a metal lid, and I wanted the bottle for something else. However, rather than waste it by pouring it down the drain, I drank the whole thing. But now all that sugar and caffeine has hit my blood stream, and I think I’m going to go have a sit in my knitting nook and knit reeeeeeeaaaaaaally fast until it wears off. . . . .
I have amazingly catholic tastes in music for a blue-eyed blonde from Tx.