Way too long!

14 03 2008

Wow. I didn’t realize it has been almost 2 months since I posted last. Shame on me. Shame shame. Okay, no more shame. I was being lazy. I felt I had nothing exciting to post about. Life has been moving along at a nice steady pace. Not much exciting has happened, and who really wants to read post after post of how I am knitting this or that, or even more exciting, that I just finished the laundry? Yippee! Well, it’s almost Spring, so things are starting to get a little more interesting around here. So let’s see what I can tell you.

I took my hibernating plants out of the garage today. Last Fall I bought some concord grape vines, some blackberry and raspberry plants, and some strawberry plants. They arrived well after the ground outside had frozen solid, so I threw them in the garage, hoping to keep them dormant until spring. Well, when I checked on them this week, they were starting to sprout little buds. So yeah, they are still kicking. I figured they are getting pretty thirsty, so I stuck them out on the back porch today in a little protected alcove. Today it isn’t supposed to freeze, and we are supposed to get some rain, so I thought it might be good for the little plantlings to go outside for a few hours. I will be bringing them back in tonight though, as we might get snow overnight, and I don’t want their tender little buds to freeze.

For the last 2 weeks or so, I have started work on a shawl of my own design. It is exciting, and a whole new process for me. I have adapted it from a pattern for a dress that I found in the book Romantic Style by Jennie Atkinson. Ironically, the dress is on the front cover. My shawl consists of casting on 103 stitches using Knitpicks Lace weight Alpaca Cloud yarn in Cherry Blossom, using the beaded cast on on size three lace needles. (I used clear size 8/0 glass Czech beads from the Beadwrangler. If you ever need beads, check with her first. She has great prices, and I always get my beads really quickly, and they packed very nicely. Her colors are also pretty accurate on the website. I was even able to find a crochet hook on her website small enough to go through the center of the beads.) Anyhow. I strung all 1000 beads onto my yarn before I began. I used the pattern repeat from the dress for the XL size, and changed the beading so that there is a bead in the center of each “butterfly”. I also typed out the pattern repeat, because after the eighth time frogging, I realized I can’t read a lace chart yet. I am about 6 inches into my shawl, so i have quite a way to go. But it is going, without all the errors I had before. 9th time’s the charm, right??

To go back the the Butterfly Dress pattern, I am working on spinning up some lace weight silk yarn in white to knit up another modified version of this pattern. I need to get some design software for this project though. I just don’t think I should try to wing this one. I want to make it longer, slimmer, and with a solid bust with an empire waist. I think I am going to ply my lace weight silk with some lace weight wool so it has a little spring to it. I realize how heavy and saggy knits can get. This is going to be my wedding dress someday, I hope. I am using beads on this, too. I have heard that the beads help weigh this pattern down a little. I am going to mix 3000 clear blue and 3000 clear blue with copper lining beads in with 1000 clear and 1000 emerald with copper lining beads. I am sure I am not going to need 8000 beads for this dress. But the beads only come in 1000 bead containers. And to get the right color mix, I need 3:3:1:1, and I am sure not going to count out 500 and 1500 quantities.

So between my regular evening chores of cooking and cleaning, and designing, spinning, and knitting, I keep my free time pretty full.

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