Wow, that was a long silence. Sorry. I had quite a wobbly week, and then I had a worse than usual paroxysm of indecision over knitting, if you can imagine such a thing. It was about baby hats.
But first of all, let's have a drumroll for the Icarus.
I used wires to block the long edge and I'm very happy with the result. My shawls are usually quite wavy along the top, if not positively A-shaped and this one isn't at all. The top took three wires.
Why didn't I use wires for the pointed edges? Well, I forgot. I think I got sidetracked by the pleasures of pinning out pointy bits, which are many.
I love the way it feels after blocking; it's just a cloud.
I think it was a mistake to use the variegated yarn for the pattern, but I don't really care: I know it's there. I would be quite happy to knit this again anyway. It wasn't as difficult as I expected, or as I think the final result looks, because each change of pattern sits quite neatly on top of the previous row.
The beads hardly show but I like them like that. This is unusual for me because I don't usually do understated - it has often been said of my earrings that you can see them from the other side of the room, but this time I'm happy with it. In the photos the twinkles in the edging rows of Kidsilk Night show up better than the beads, but the beads show more in reality.
I'm pretty sure that my next project will be in the Kidsilk Night, but as usual I take no responsibility for any decisions which may subsequently be revoked in these pages.
Here's some proper pictures of the baby shawl, unpinned.
I must do something about my shawl-photographing skills.
It will look a lot better when it has a baby in it:
it's a pity you can't feel the yarn, but do click to embiggen and get a flavour of its creamy softness. Again, thanks to Heike for creating such deliciousness. It's half merino from Australia, and half bfl from Northumberland: the baby is an Australian / Northumbrian mix too.
I posted it today, so we can still reasonably hope that it will arrive before Baby does.
And here's the Newcastle United FC hat and scarf. I just did the scarf in stocking stitch so it's curling like mad, in spite of intensive blocking, but it's not as if Baby is going to wear it for any longer than a photo shoot. I'm not mad about Baby Cashmerino to knit with, but it does make a beautiful fabric,the sort that makes you look like a better knitter.
Yes, Gretchen, a girl baby could wear the Newcastle hat, but I sort of feel that she should be able to make her own choice about that, or at least that her mother can make it meanwhile on her behalf.
Jetlady726, here's a foto of the hat with the top undone.
There's a pattern for an umbilical hat in Stitch'n'Bitch, but I made this one up asI went along: I started the decreases as usual and when it looked about right I stopped decreasing and carried on with the same number of stitches for another while; decreased and then continued again; decreased to 5 stitches and knitted i-cord for a while; cut off the yarn and threaded it back through the stitches, pulled it tight and drew it back down through the cord on a blunt needle. I think the only important thing is to make it a bit longer than you think it needs to be.
I then got totally paralysed about what other hat I was going to make to fill up the parcel. I don't have enough of the merino / bfl left for a hat, or I would have done that. In the end, everything seemd too boyish or too girlish, although they probably weren't. I have now settled on sending the parcel off as is, and knitting a further hat or hats when I know whether baby is a Bruce or a Sheila. If I had had some pink Rowan Handknit DK cotton, I would have made a Daisy Hat regardless, but I don't so I haven't.
Meanwhile of course, I had to keep my hands busy. I was expecting to pick up the Kidsilk Haze, but instead I got sidetracked into another Forest Canopy Shawl. There was a complicated reason for doing this, but it relates to a blog post that has been taken down, so I will save you the long story. The yarn is a sock yarn from The Yarn Yard: I think it might be this one. I made a scarf from this for a friend, but I still had most of two skeins and some of a matching yarn intended for heel-and-toes.
The colours are those of a spring window box full of pansies, or a lawn covered with crocuses. The final rows will be the colour of lobelia flowers. The second skein is a bit lighter than the first, but it doesn't matter. As it happens, somebody on Ravelry has done exactly the same shawl, except that she used 5mm needles and I've used 4mm. I've done 19 repeats and I'm on the border. I love this yarn and we know I love this pattern, so I've been a very happy piglet. I've already bought a chambray shirt to go with it and I can't wait to see it blocked. I hope it's huge.
I resurrected the little pink bolero by unpicking the sleeve / body seam and will have another go at sewing it together before she outgrows it.
I was going to do a jokey piece about how the osprey chicks set off from the north in the middle of August, but instead of nobly setting off for Africa, they hung about in the south of England for weeks, stuffing themselves with fish on a river in Kent. They did finally head away from the British Isles last week, only for Deshar, the male, to head off too far west where there was no land from him to rest on, and disappear for ever somewhere over the North Atlantic, after flying for 104 hours non-stop. Poor thing. His sister has been more fortunate and is now in Morocco, southeast of Fez. Wherever that is.
Another totally brilliant LOLCAT.
I watched In Bruges some time during all of this; I thought it was very good. It's one of those films that if you're expecting a comedy, it's surprisingly sad, but if you're expecting a drama, it's surprisingly funny. A bit like life really.
I learnt to knit at school and took it up again in my late twenties, and then again later, and it got squeezed out both times by changes in my life.
Now I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which leaves me sitting on the couch an awful lot. Some days I can’t knit anything too complicated because of what is politely called ‘brain fog’, other days I can knit lace. Some days I think I can do lace and then realize the next day that I couldn’t.