Isn't knitting supposed to be relaxing?
Jojoland Harmony, HC06
I started my new lace shawl, the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl. This is my first time doing one of these mystery things, in which you get clues every week (the clues being the actual pattern, divided into easy to digest parts). This is another pi construction circular shawl (inspired by a mandala, apparently. My previous experience with mandalas? A fiction book in which the mandala makes you a crazed, homicidal monster. I hope the outcome isn't the same here.) . I like these shawls because who doesn't like circular knitting? They also are very portable, and like all lace have an amazing payoff in the blocking. HOWEVER. They are next to impossible to start-for me, at least. With Desert Sun, I tried about 10 times to get the cast on (9 stitches on size 4 needles) right, and I finally thought I had it...until I blocked the final product. What I thought was a nice round hole in the center was really a sort of trefoil:
Ick. I actually don't mind it too much, but I wanted to make sure I did it RIGHT the next time. The Desert Sun was done on laceweight merino/silk, which is about 30 wpi and I used size 4 needles. The Harmony is a different beast altogether; a wispy, cobwebby beauty that claims to be 30 wpi but really clocks in at about 36 or so for me...and I am using size 3 needles. I cast on....oh, maybe 17 times? Maybe it wasn't that bad, but it felt like it. After the 16th or so time, I gathered my shattered wits about me and tried "just one more time" with 2 DPNs, knitting with the 3rd. I had been using 5 DPNs (I am stubborn. I have no desire to try magic loop or 2 circulars, and I never have problems with the actual cast on and joining...it's the first row that gets me. Needles slipping out, twisting rows, cat attacks, distraction by Season 2 of "The Wire"...etc., etc., etc.). I was finally successful and completed Clue 1.
Man, I had to work my tail off for it. Clue 2 should come Saturday, when I will be at the Baltimore Rowing Club's Charm City Sprints, cheering on friends. I have renewed my passing acquaintance with the gym and my personal trainer (who promises to "go easy on me"...that isn't going to help this booty though! Beach trip planned for early August...scary!) and it will be great to see my old rowing comrades. Maybe the rowing bug will bite me again? I had pulled away after two injuries and a change in the social feel of the place for me. It might be time to get over some old hurts.
Also in the knitting pipeline: a scarf. Not just any scarf though...this is a scarf with a purpose, a purpose which is admittedly a joke between a good friend and me, but still...it's double knitting, and the pattern being knitted into it? If someone (some manly someone, still undefined) can recognize it for what it is, it will ring my bell. Right now, one can't really tell what it is....
...but it is very pretty. If someone (NOT JESS!) can tell me what it is, maybe they will win a prize!
Summer solstice this weekend....not looking forward to the mugginess of the inner city at its peak.