Saturday was the Chinese Lunar New Year, and we are now in the Year of the Rat. One of the Chinese traditions is to start the new year with a clean house, as this increases one’s chance of good luck in the coming year. Contrary to popular belief, I do clean house occasionally, last week being one such occasion, with a big push on Friday, with pizza as a reward (and a rather effective one!). I dusted, vacuumed, emptied waste baskets and schlepped the trash out to the dumpster, had both vacuums (upright and cannister) out, was up and down on the step stool to reach the high shelves and the top of the refrigerator, and washed everything I could get into the washer, including the “guest” towels in the main bathroom, all the lap robes, all the bath mats, and all my bedding. (I even rotated the mattress!) I bet I washed at least six big loads, the last load including the clothes I stood in. Then I had my bath, and sat down to my reward about 10 p.m., and crashed and burned (in a clean bed!) at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday I took it easy and played games on my tablet and read.
While I was doing my general cleaning and sorting out of the household, I hung mom in the bedroom — her picture, that is! Her church membership directory also includes family pictures of those members who wish to spring for it, and the photographers offer the option of additional copies of the photo in larger sizes (for a rather stiff additional fee!), and my mom opted for a couple of 5″ x 7″‘s, one of which she framed and gave me for Xmas. I put it on my dresser intending to hang it shortly thereafter and . . . oh, look! a squirrel. . . And there it sat until Friday. Hanging it under several pictures of her and my dad stirred sad memories, seeing her solo in a picture which would have included my dad, only he passed in 2014 at the age of 92.
You knew it would happen. Another shawl pattern. This time it’s a rectangular one in bulky yarn, on US13(9.00 mm) needles, which I’m calling “Mrs. Crocombe‘s Braided Delight” since a shawl worn by Kate Hipperson who plays Mrs. Crocombe for English Heritage inspired it. I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough of the blue yarn to do the whole shawl, so I will stripe it with white. A yarn with a nice drape would be good for this, like something blended with alpaca or merino, and now that I look at it, US15’s (10.0 mm) would probably be a better choice, but I don’t have any 15’s. The yarn I’m using is acrylic, so I’ll “kill” it when I block it so it will drape better. There will be a pattern published.
Both this blue and the white are old, old yarn that came out of what Angela of Must Love Yarn podcast fame refers to as “deep stash.” Both yarns have been knitted and frogged out at least once. (I’m picking out cat hair from cats more than 10 years gone — and still much missed! — not to mention my own hair!)
The shawl has a nice big braided cable detail, and cables are always fun. The cable is positioned asymmetrically, closer to one edge than to the center. I started the shawl on some Knitters Pride Dreamz circular needles that I had. I had forgotten they had a nylon connecting cord. I had also forgotten how dealing with a sproing-y nylon cable, especially one of any size (47 inches), was like wrestling a python. I bit the bullet and ordered some ChiaoGoo 13’s with a 60-inch cable. That should cover all the bases. In the first place, the ChiaoGoo’s are stainless steel, not wood, and are slicker; in the second place, their connecting cable is metal cable rope chain coated in plastic that has no memory whatsoever, unlike nylon, which has a memory like an elephant.
Anyway, since the shawl is on 13’s, it will go relatively fast. It’s been a while since I’ve knitted anything on needles this big, and it’s a real workout for my hand muscles. So far I can only go for about four or five rows before my hands get tired and start to hurt.
What else? Oh, remember these? This is the newly minted daughter of the assistant pastor at mom’s church (with her newly minted mom) wearing her knitted goodies (She’s wearing a different hat, though.). Is she as cute as the proverbial bug, or what?