Monday, July 06, 2009

Family Time

Bet you thought I fell off the planet, didn’t you. Nope. Just so busy that I didn’t have time to post. And here it is raining again for the first time since the last post I made. Hmmm…interesting coincidence, huh?

We left off nearly two weeks ago with me packing for our annual family camping trip to Manning Park. The weather was perfect and we had a great time with representatives from four generations (one not even born yet!):

4GensHere is most of the gang at the picnic ground at Lightning Lake. (Hopefully it’s clickable for big. I left it large on purpose.) Some went fishing. (Six rainbow trout came home with us.) Some hiked up Mount Frosty until the snow came in over their boots. (Not me.) Some knitted:

KnittinThat’s me and Milady Daughter working on lace projects. Some threw a little Half-Birthday party for Stargazer. Some roasted marshmallows over the campfire. (And then wouldn’t eat them.) Some sat up until midnight drinking wine and telling family tales. Some played bocce and a bolo game (one bolo got permanently stuck up a tree) and flew kites (luckily not eaten by trees). Some played in the water:

WaterBabiesWe saw a frog, mom and baby ducks, chipmunks, ground squirrels, deer (right in the campsite), whiskey jacks (aka Canada jays), and a bear:

BearNo, we weren’t quite that close! I used my optical zoom to its max. Still too close for comfort anyway! And I came home with only one mosquito bite. We all plan to do it again next year. Fun!

Of course we got home to a dry-dry-dry garden and had to spend quite a while watering madly. It has become the bane of my life, watering. Even today with the tiny bit of rain we’ve had, I still need to water. The soil is bone dry only a short way below the surface. I’m even spending quality time watering my neighbour’s garden while they are away. Never ending… Remind me about this when I’m complaining about the never-ending rain we usually have around here instead, will you?

So I’m sure you want some more crafty news, right? I finished my Seaweed Shawl while I was away. I blocked it on the deck using my new mat and wires and it worked a treat:

Seaweed_det Seaweed_blocked

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. So here’s the scoop:

Seaweed Shawl

Begun:  October 14, 2008
Completed:  July 1, 2009

Yarn:  Henry’s Attic Alpaca Lace, 100% alpaca 2-ply lace or cobweb weight, 4960 YPP, plant-dyed by me in comfrey & coreopsis from the garden with an alum mordant. Approx 70g (765 yds) used in shawl.

Needles:  Addi Lace 24” circular, 3mm.

Pattern:  Laminaria by Elizabeth Freeman from Knitty, Spring 2008.

Comments:  Yeah, I know it took me donkey’s years to finish but I got sidetracked by other things, most importantly the Papyrine Wrap. I think that one insane row of the blossom pattern became kind of tedious too and helped to slow me down. The last section went really quickly in contrast. She’s done now finally and I’m very happy with the results. The pattern design was excellent and it made me realise how complex the Estonian lace patterns can be!

I still have nearly half of the ball of dyed yarn so I’m thinking of overdyeing it again to change the colour for another scarf. Maybe with the woad? Which is almost ready to use, methinks.

Meanwhile I was working on the Beaded Bias Scarf while we were camping. I made so many mistakes in the beaded section it wasn’t even funny! I spent quite a bit of time tinking back. I’m over halfway done now in spite of the fact that I can’t knit and talk at the same time.

Also, on Wednesday (Canada Day!) right after I got the Seaweed Shawl blocked I started a new lace project immediately: Ysolda’s Ishbel in the smaller scarf size. I’m calling it the Bam-Boo-Bel Scarf because I’m using the On Your Toes bamboo sock yarn that I dyed warm red. (A good colour for Canada Day, eh?) I also had trouble following the simple early part of this scarf (st st with a few increases). Same problem too – trying to talk and knit at the same. Sheesh! I make less mistakes in complex patterns because they are divided into logical repeats where it’s immediately obvious if it doesn’t work out correctly. This pattern is elongated from the usual triangle by increasing at the edges on the purl rows and increasing at the edges and the centre on the knit rows. Simple? Not quite. With an unknown number of plain stitches between it’s easy to forget a yarn-over or alternatively put one in where it doesn’t belong. It’s hard to see the difference between a yo every row and one every other row, trust me. Unless you stop and look reallllllyyyyy closelllllllyyyyy. Photos when it brightens up around here.

Back to watering…

1 comment:

Anne J said...

The lace blocking set-up is very interesting. What are the mats you are using? Where did you get the wires?

Do you think this set-up would also work well for non-lace garments?

Anne J