Sunday, July 27, 2014

Watership Down II - First Border Done - Chart 7

I finished up the first border last night and have almost completed the pick up of stitches for the second border.  I stopped where I did because I want to join the fourth skein at this point.  But before I can do that I need to thread 90 more leaf beads onto it.
I decided last weekend to string the leaf beads so that they will dangle from the points of the second border.  My knitting mojo has been lacking a little bit lately, but I think it is coming back.  Part of the reason is that I have been exercising regularly again.  I started exercising regularly when I was 18 and took a weight lifting class in college, but I got out of the habit when the building that I was sitting in at work made me sick (mold) and then I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and even though it has been eight years since the diagnosis and treatment, I still have not succeeded in re-establishing my exercise routine.  I keep trying and things keep getting in the way, especially wacky hormones.  The chemo didn't kill my ovaries, just seriously confused them, and that confusion has been going on ever since.  I keep hoping it will end soon because I am getting tired of mood swings, depression, migraines and nausea, plus the random allergy attack for no good reason.

The depression was worse the first summer after the treatment, and that was the summer that I spent weaving on my floor loom - I purchased the loom as my reward for getting through the chemo (chemo sucks, but I can do bald).  The meditative movements of weaving were very soothing to my psyche.  That is another thing I need to get back into - weaving.  I have been working in my studio, getting it neatened up and organized so I can start working in it again.  I want to get back into sewing as well as weaving, and potentially sewing clothes out of cloth that I have woven.  I have a couple of pieces of yardage that I wove during that first summer that have been waiting for me to get up the nerve to cut into them.

While I was in my studio this morning getting the rest of the leaf beads that I need I noticed a package of beads in a pile of beads that need putting away and realized that they were the leftovers from my first Watership Down.  That was when I realized that the purple beads that I used down the central panel of this Watership Down were actually from my Robin Hood stole (mine is called Maid Marian because it was done in purple) so they are size 6 beads, rather then the size 3 beads that the pattern called for.  I have enough of the size 6 purple to use them in the second border.

After finishing up the first border I checked my yarn usage and redid my estimate for the second border.  The first border used up 22 grams of yarn, only 2 grams over my initial estimate based upon yardage.  I calculated the number of stitches (13904) and determined the number of stitches per gram of yarn (632).  I then calculated the number of stitches in the second border and figured out that I'll need about 27 grams of yarn.  My fourth skein has 30 grams.  When I was working the first border (Chart 7) I left off the last row and instead bound off.  That left my working yarn positioned to perform the pick up of stitches for the second border (Chart 8).  I am trying to avoid having any ends to weave in, joining the skeins when I switch.  When I am done I should have only two ends to weave in, the beginning and the end.

Pattern:  Watership Down by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Eos in Moulin Huet
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oliver Twist - Yarn

My yarn arrived today for test knitting Oliver Twist.  Jaded Jazzberry on Luxe.  I still have to decide on bead colors.  This is all I'll be able to share until the knit along starts.  Isn't the color grand?  This is one of their ABC colors.  They have a club where they are dyeing colors for each letter of the alphabet.  It was one club I did not join.

The other really great news today is that I got the piano tuned today and the tuner fixed a problem that has been driving me nuts for far too long.  Every time I played the 440 A key I could hear a high pitched tone that annoyed the heck out of me - equivalent to fingernails on a chalkboard.  I told the tuner about it and played the note for him and even though he couldn't hear it he checked out the pad and noticed that it was slightly crooked and wasn't hitting all three strings solidly as it should.  So we softened the glue with a lighter and adjusted the hammer and no more high pitched tone driving me crazy.

Baroque Violet - Folded

I was more or less contentedly knitting away on La Vie Baroque until this past Wednesday.  I ended up coming home from work early on Wednesday, very early.  Tuesday had been a long day and I had spent most of it in an interminable meeting in a frigid auditorium with a flickering projector. I had another meeting on Wednesday so I tried to make it, but I was exhausted and had a bit of a migraine going and another day under fluorescent lights was definitely not a good plan.  I lasted only two hours before I decided I should head home while I could still function enough to drive safely and spent the day watching film noir on Fox Movie Channel and TCM.  After eating breakfast, which I had skipped, I pulled out La Vie Baroque and decided to try it on only to discover that it was too tight under the arms.  I decided to frog back to the underarms and knit a few more increases, but when I got back to that point I really wasn't up to picking up all of those stitches, so I ended up ripping all the way back and going back out on Ravelry to look for something else to knit and found Folded, which happened to also be in my queue.  I'm almost done with the decreases.

Pattern:  Folded by Veera Valimaki
Yarn:  Madelinetosh Pashmina in Baroque Violet
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm) & US 5 (3.75 mm)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Watership Down II - Charts 5 and 6 Done

I switched to the second skein at the end of row 10 of Chart 5, after using up all of skein 1.
And after completing Chart 6 I still had 16 grams of skein 2 left over.

I did some math and have figured out that I can do the first border in skein 3 and the second border in skein 4.

My first Watership Down was done in Selene, which has 875 yds/100 grams.  This shawl is being knit in Eos, which has 1260 yds/114 grams.

On my first Watership Down I used about 24 grams for the first border.  To make the math even easier, let's call it 25 grams.  So, dividing 875 yds by 4 gets me 218.75 yds, which I'll round up to 220 yds.  Doing the math (220 yds)*(114 g/1260 yds) is approximately 20 grams.

Similarly, I used 28 grams on the second border, so the number of yards I used would be (28 g)*(875 yds/100 g) = 245 yds.  I rounded that up to 250 yds and calculated the amount of yarn I would need as (250 yds)*(114 g/1260 yds) or about 23 grams.

Pattern:  Watership Down by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Eos in Moulin Huet
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Watership Down II - Charts 2, 3 and 4 Done

I have also been working steadily on my second Watership Down shawl.  So, here is Chart 2 finished.
And Chart 3.
And Chart 4.
I will be switching to Skein 2 somewhere in Chart 5.

I am trying to get this finished up because I am going to be test knitting Oliver Twist, the next Unique Sheep Mystery Knit Along.  I was quite flattered when Laura emailed me and asked if I would be interested.  Right now we're just reviewing the pattern while we wait for our yarn to arrive.  Yes, free yarn is part of the deal.  I will post a picture of my yarn and the beads I pick when it arrives, but that is all I will be able to do until after the knit along starts.

Pattern:  Watership Down by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Eos in Moulin Huet
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)

La Vie Baroque - At the waist

I have finished all of the decreases leading down to the waist and am working the straight part leading to the increases for the hips.  I did decide to do the lace panels down the sides, just to keep the mindless part of the knitting not quite so mindless because I do find it boring, and have actually falling asleep while knitting it.  It works best if I'm reading or watching something that actually requires me to pay attention.  I'm almost done with one skein and have already wound the second skein.

Pattern:  La Vie Douce by Vera Sanon
Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashmina in Baroque Violet
Needles:  US 5 (3.75 mm)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Watership Down II - Chart 1 Done

This yarn should look familiar - it is Moulin Huet and it was being knit up into the shawl of that same name.  Unfortunately for me that shawl pattern is true Shetland Lace, knit in garter stitch with patterning on both sides, and I just wasn't enjoying it.  It wasn't that it was too hard, although it did require a fair bit of attention on my part, it just wasn't fun to knit.  I like lace patterns that just seem to flow from my needles and this one just didn't.  I made it through the first chart and about half way through the second chart before I decided to frog it and knit something else with the yarn.

The whole time I was knitting the Moulin Huet pattern, Watership Down was whispering in my ear.  Several of the folks in the knit along had done Watership Down in lighter colors than I had and used a gradiance set that had more subtle color changes and those shawls are really lovely.  I checked the yarn amount on my project page for Watership Down and compared it to what I had in the Moulin Huet set and it looked good yardage wise, so I pulled out my Watership Down pattern and cast on.  And then I got to that first row with beads.  And I didn't have any that I thought would go.  I have some size 8 beads that matched the color of the first skein perfectly that I thought would look great against the skeins with the green, but I didn't have any size 6 beads that would work.  I went on line and found something that I thought would work and ordered it, but I wanted to knit now, not wait for beads to arrive, so I grabbed the beads that I had used on my first Watership Down, and they worked!  It has a sort of pumpkin and plum thing going on that I really like.  In keeping with that theme I will probably find some size 8 purple beads in my stash for the beading in the borders.

Pattern:  Watership Down by Janine le Cras
Yarn:  The Unique Sheep Eos in Moulin Huet
Needle:  US 3 (3.25 mm)