I had to stop working on my Cobblestone Lace shawl because I had been working on it so much that I was so familiar with the pattern I wouldn’t pay attention to it, would get ahead of myself and make mistakes. Ribbit!
Also, I don’t like the way the decreases look and I revamped the pattern. (The pattern on my knitting blog is the latest, revamped version.) so the blue shawl is going to be a giveaway to someone who won’t be bothered by the way the decreases look. I’m making another one for myself in a very light greyish blue. I will finish both shawls, and the light blue one will eventually be the picture for the pattern in my knitting blog. But, like I say, I’ve put them aside for a while to work on the Cable Edged shawl.
I had liked the Cable Edged Shawl pattern as written, but the scalloped edges of the lace curl and won’t lie flat, and acrylic yarn is tricky to block. (Yes, you can too block acrylic yarn.) I futzed around with the original pattern and modified it slightly, and the modified version is the one I’m making. As I was working on it, and growing more and more displeased by the way the scalloped edging curls under, it occurred to me that maybe I could find a garter stitch lace pattern with edges that would lie flat and wouldn’t have to be blocked. I looked through the collection I have on my computer, but none of them were suitable. I went to the website where I got most of them and had another poke through the treasure chest and found one that would fill the bill. It’s called Hilton Lace (which is why I’m calling it “My Own Private Hilton Shawl.”
Now here’s the thing: the basic pattern for a braided cable has an 8-row repeat. It has two different types of cable crosses (cable front and cable back) and 3 rows of stockinette between each cable cross. I needed a lace pattern that had either an 8-row repeat or some multiple of 8 (i.e., 16, 24, 32, etc). The Hilton Lace has a 16-row repeat, just like the lace pattern that was used in the Cable Edged Shawl pattern. Simple. I’ll just copy the Cable Edge Lace pattern to a blank page. Since I’m familiar with the pattern and know what part of each line is the cable and what part is the lace, it should be a simple matter to cut and replace one lace pattern with the other.
Guess again. The first time I tried it, I got the wrong edge of the lace against the cable — in effect, I put the lace on upside down. The second time, I got the lace right side up, but wrong side out:
When the cable was right side up, the lace was wrong side up. Oop! Ribbit! (Just to complicate matters, the Thompson seedless grapes I was snacking on weren’t always, so expletives and pejoratives were infrequently punctuated with grape pips. Pa-ding!)
Finally, after much finagling and skoojuling, I got them both right side up and with the right edges together. In order to get everything to come out right, I had to switch the cable crosses around, too, but I got it sorted. TaDa!
I also had to work out the little 6-row edging starting bit and ending bit as well, so I did the test swatch with the starting bit, two lace edge pattern repeats in between, then the ending bit to make sure everything came out right.
The edge on this lace readily lies flat and I’m very happy with the way it looks. It’s also a wider border. (The original border was 22-stitches wide. This border is 33 stitches wide.) It makes the shawl longer from top to bottom, which I like. So, win there, too. The best part is that the pattern repeat for this edging is interchangeable with the edging pattern on the original Cable Edged Shawl pattern. I can use the pattern for the body of the shawl as written, and put whichever edging I want on it. Total win. And it only took me about 10 hours to sort it out.
Not much else is happening. It’s too dang hot out to go outside except in the early morning. Since I don’t start rustling up breakfast until 10 o’clock, I don’t go out then either. Besides, it’s been wet enough that there’s skeeters, and that’s when they’re out, too. Another reason to stay in.
It’s been almost 6 months since I lost the fat(cat)boy. I still miss the little schnook, although time has worn the hard, sharp ache down to the odd twinge that catches me by surprise now and again. I’ll see the Petsmart “Petperks” tag on my keychain and realize why I haven’t been there in a long time. The cabinet where I used to keep his food and the corner of the office closet where his poop box was now have other things there. There is an empty corner in the kitchen, and silence, where his pet fountain used to sit gurgling.
About four months ago, I rearranged my furniture so that one of my comfortable arm chairs and its footstool that used to be in the living room is now in my rather large (master) bedroom, and I’ve set up my knitting nook around it with a pole lamp, a little night stand and my reader’s table. If the book I’m reading is a dead tree edition, I often sit there to read. One evening about three months ago, I started reading what turned out to be a particularly good book and, as not infrequently happens, I opened the front page and kept turning pages until there weren’t any more — which broke the spell. I looked up at the clock, which said 4 o’clock (a.m.), and something in the hallway caught the corner of my eye. I would have sworn it was a certain fat(cat)boy with his golden eyes aglow, sidling down the hall and into my bedroom . . . but of course it wasn’t. I had a little cry, washed my face, brushed my teeth and went to bed.
The other evening I was walking down the hall toward the kitchen, and something on the floor up against one of the office bookcases caught my eye. I went over to pick it up and it was a Greenie lying there like a little booby trap waiting to ambush me with a gut-punch in the memories. Whenever I had to go out for more than an hour or two, I’d pour some Greenies in my hand and toss some in the office floor and the rest in the bedroom floor for him to hunt. What are the odds that half a year later I would find one that he had missed (highly unlikely — he adored them), and that the cleaning lady (who is a very thorough vacuumer) had missed on three separate occasions? I miss them all, every one. This is the first time in 21 years I haven’t had at least one cat companion. There’s many good reasons why it’s better not to have one right now. Unfortunately, there one very good reason why it isn’t better not to have one right now; I haven’t lived alone in 21 years.