Thursday, 27 August 2009

Anhinga At Last

You'll be relieved to hear that I've finished Anhinga. I unpicked the seam and re-did it, and I'm fairly happy with it. I have modelled it, Janet, but you'll have to go the Ravelry for that treat. I think in the end that I wasn't sufficiently experienced with the Rowan Bamboo Tape and I made mistakes with that, especially in the seaming, which have let the pattern down. Thanks for the suggestion about sewing it with a different yarn, Sea, but the principle of seaming with the same yarn is deeply ingrained in me. I want to knit it again in wool, maybe even in a semi-solid or slightly variegated yarn, and probably in the next size up. I would like to knit something else in the Tape too before too long.

I finished and blocked the off-blog project.

Susan wins a coconut because she correctly identified the Queen Anne's Lace Shawl. This was intended as a wedding veil but I've decided it's a christening shawl. No, the bride isn't pregnant :) It's just that I don't think she's keen and I'm backing off: brides have quite enough people contributing bright ideas about what they should wear / sing / say / do on their wedding days and I don't want to add to the clamour.


So I'll put it away for a year or two and I can produce it with a flourish when the time comes. I made her christening robe when she was a baby and I dare say it's been stashed away somewhere, so they'll make a good set.


I made it from Henry's Attic 20/2 Spun Silk: I bought 1000 yards and I've got 27 grams left - seriously, I used about three quarters of it. I used a 3mm Addi Lace circ. I bought special hand-made silver ring stitch markers from Spindle Cat Studio and they worked very well, didn't make holes at the pattern-joins and didn't catch on anything. It blocked to 35 inches wide.


The pattern is easy to follow and the massive task is chopped into very manageable chunks. The only thing I found confusing was that the charts omit plain rows, but I got round this by marking them in large red letters before I started. I couldn't actually see what I was doing, i.e. read the row below, until the last section, so I was quite relieved that a pattern emerged when it was blocked. When I'm making a triangular shawl I never start a row unless I'm sure I'll have time to finish it, but because of the spiral nature of this, I could pick it up and do a couple of segments any time, although in practice I usually did a few rows at a time because I was enjoying it so much.

I absolutely loved knitting this; I never regarded it as a chore. I abandoned things I should have been doing; I took my glassses off and ignored the television so that I could peer at it more intently; and I made the larger version so that I could work on it longer. I would knit it again tomorrow.

I have another navy blue project in mind, which I was about to start when I got swept off my feet by Anhinga, and I may cast that on soon, but meanwhile I got sidetracked by a skein of Kidsilk Haze. Oooooh, fluffy.


This is Sharon Miller's Pink Puzzle Wrap pattern, which Jean very generously gave me some time ago. I cast it on at the time, and then quietly put it away - the pattern is written as knitted lace and my poor brain shut down on the return rows. However, since then I have noticed that Sharon says you can do it with purl return rows and that's what I'm doing. It makes the diamond shapes much larger and I like the rhythm of Thinking and Not Thinking which it requires. It's Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Trance which is impossible to photograph but is a bluey green. Or perhaps it's a greeny blue. It depends.

I'm making the narrower version and it's 23 inches wide now. I expect it will block wider. It is quite insanely fluffy and floaty and it's for me.

I see there's a new version of Wuthering Heights coming up on ITV. I'm not a Bronte fan at the best of times, and I see Cathy Earnshaw has injected lips and carefully tended eyebrows


so I think I shall save my blood pressure and watch something else. He has to be the wettest Heathcliff I've seen for some time.

I shall stick to watching the episodes of Wallander from Swedish television which are being shown on BBC4 just now. In the episode Fotografen, Krister Henriksson turned in possibly the best bit of drunk acting I've ever seen (and the victim's husband was played by the chap from Poldark, which was distracting for those of us with an eye for trivia) and all of them are spellbinding. Perhaps the best thing on British television at the moment is Swedish televison. Or is that mean?

I'm so glad you liked Cinema Paradiso, Mary G. and even more that you left a comment. I sometimes pore over my Google stats and wonder just who those dots represent, so it's nice to put a name to a dot.

Speaking of Google, that thing they do of tracking what you're looking at and then posting ads that match is driving me nuts. Certain items that I've looked at online are now cropping up in endless permutations on other sites. I'm looking for an item of furniture just now - I won't name it here because that'll only make things worse - so I looked at examples on a certain website - ditto - and now, every time I go to IMDB or whatever, ads for those products start revolving around the periphery of the page - the items that I decided not to buy because they were the wrong size, or the wrong colour or because I didn't like them, are pursuing me in perpetuity. Aaargh. How do I make it stop?

9 comments:

Spinningfishwife said...

It is a beautiful shawl. But you'll be kicking yourself if you go to the wedding and there she is in an inferior machine made shawl, don't you think? And brides wear different combinations of things to church and reception, remember. I would give her it and say "Fir the wedding, or for children, or just to be beautiful". That should cover most things.

Sea said...

The shawl is stunning.I've crocheted them before, but never knitted until now.Almost finished,two rows and cast off to do.

Mary Lou said...

It is hard not to interfere, though, isn't it? I have a pin and earrings from my great gran that I wore at my wedding. Two neices said they wanted to wear them, but when it came down to the day, didn't. Oh well. Nice shawl. And I must seek out that Wallander. I didn't care for the Kenneth Branagh version, as much as I had looked forward to it.

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, wow. The lace is absolutely stunning! It sounds like you've got a good plan, but I can't resist seconding Spinningfishwife's thought of the non-pressureful "here it is, for you or a someday child, whichever best pleases you". Either way, though, I know she's going to be thrilled when she gets it!

Also, visited Rav, and love Anhinga -- it looks really good on you (and I love that color) :)

needles said...

The shawl is magnificent! I've never tried knitting lace but that shawl is enough to inspire me to try. Gorgeous!!

Janet said...

You got me to go over to Ravelry for the first time in ages. Anhinga is a project with a capital P. Good for you to finish it and plan to do another trying a different yarn.

I went out and bought Cinema Paradiso but am still gardening in the evenings. I'll watch TV or DVD's when the days get shorter. That will mean more knitting time too, in theory.

Anonymous said...

I've got a new name--Mary G., the dot, in Texas!

The shawl is just beautiful. Now I must go over to Ravelry and check out your Anhinga.

Mary G. the dot, in Texas

Dawn in NL said...

Since you mentioned that you like to know about your 'dots', I thought I should add a comment!

Your Queen Anne shawl is breathtakingly beautiful, maybe one day I will try something that complex.

Regarding Wallander, I enjoy the Swedish series too. We have seen most of them here in the Netherlands. We watch them with the Dutch subtitles and it is amusing when the spoken words sometimes seem to overlap with the subtitles.

Being hard of hearing subtitles are necessary for me and so watching a foreign film is no problem and indeed the only films I can watch in a cinema. Being in NL means I have a bigger choice of course.

Popping over to Ravelry now to see your Anhinga.
All the best,
Dawn (a Scot living in NL)

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