Monday, 9 June 2008

Swallowtail and Tap Dancing Lizards

This is going to be a short post; there's not much to see and I'm going away for a couple of days so I should be packing instead of posting. I'm going to Inverness-shire, back on Friday. I'm going here, but the snow is gone now.

I will be seeing this cat. She's not dead in the picture, just worshipping a hot fire.

I've done 19 repeats of the bud pattern on the Swallowtail, and changed to the lighter yarn. I don't like these pictures; they make the light shade look like a very insipid pale blue when it's really a pretty turquoise, but they're the best I can do with the flash. I've started on the lily of the valley pattern and I'm not finding the nupps difficult, thanks to the Addi lace needles, but I don't think they look very impressive. I'm tempted to K 5 together on the return row instead of P5tog, but maybe I should be patient. I only put markers on the first few sets as I thought I was getting into the swing of the stitches: time will tell if this was misplaced confidence.

I got a copy of the Tap Dancing Lizard on eBay. It's a collection of charted pictures for knitters and has an astonishing variety of stuff. At first glance it seems to be aimed mostly at machine knitters but it contains lots of ideas for hand knitters too. The charts are arranged by theme - Past Times and Distant Cultures, In the Wild, the Heavens, At Home and Elaborations - so that small motifs which could be repeated around a large one are shown on the same page. There are lots and lots of animals. The writers also explain the imagery in some of the patterns.

The designs are obviously created by people who know about the realities of knitting: this rabbit has dots in the background so that you don't get long floats. I'm not sure that I would put any of the big motifs on a sweater but they would be wonderful on a bag.

The book also has line drawings showing cats knitting and modelling the designs, along with some dogs and sheep. It was published by Interweave Press in 1992 but I think it has lots of ideas which are still very useful. It's very unprescriptive.

You're absolutely right, Dawn, about the monitor and the mouse. I'm planning to put the monitor on a couple of telelphone directories and I will switch the mice when I've finished raiding my old pc. I used to have an Evoluent vertical mouse, which was much easier on the arm. You wrap your fingers around it in a fist, so your hand is lying on its side instead of being twisted flat all the time, and then you waggle your fingers. It had programmable buttons too, so I had a button for going backwards in my web browser, heaven. The software on it went wonky and I sort of stopped using it, but I might look into getting another one.

I got 4 balls of Silk Garden on Saturday to continue the Lara cardi, but I bought the wrong colour. I checked the ball band very carefully and it definitely said '8', but it turned out that was the needle size, not the shade. Ahem.

One thing I must do before I leave is turn my handbag inside out and clear out all the unnecessary bits of paper - train tickets, receipts, lists. That should make it at least a pound lighter.


Anonymous said...

I love my tap dancing lizard! and the sequel, whose name I've forgotten.
So fun to see it again in blogland. I must go visit it for a bit. :-)
I got very excited about the vertical mouse concept. But boy are they pricey! I'll have to think about whether I really need one. I'd love to try one though!

Knitting Linguist said...

The shawl is looking great -- and that book seems like it has a lot of fun stuff in it :) Enjoy your trip and travel safely!

Mary Lou said...

I am quite envious of the Tap Dancing Lizard. I was always sorry I didn't buy it when it was available. I may have to check out ebay more often. The author said she was going to make it available as a CD, but there hasn't been much progress on that front, I guess.