Thursday, April 19, 2012

Echo Flower Shawl, Not Cat Barf

Another gray day today.  The Fuji Cherry tree is starting to drop petals and put on its leaves, but because of the gloom, I don't think you can see much.


This is a huge weekend for my family.  My youngest child, my son L, has the lead in his high school musical and they are performing this weekend.  The play is The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and my son plays the part of William Barfee who wins the contest.  He has been a ballet dancer with some tap/jazz/modern as well since kindergarten, and has performed in many ballets, especially The Nutcracker with the Pacific Northwest Ballet when he was younger (and much smaller and cute), but has never acted or sang on stage before.  One of his good friends has done quite a few of the school musicals, and talked L into auditioning saying, "you can get a small part in the chorus.  With your dance skills, they will love you."  So L got the ok from his ballet teacher to audition, and did it.  Of course, he did not get one of the minor rolls but is splitting the lead with another boy (the show is double cast to allow as many students as possible to participate.)  I can't wait to see him! 

My daughter, S, the talented writer who goes to school in Portland, is taking the train home tonight, and will be here for the weekend.  L will perform the final 2 shows, both on Saturday.  I will go to both of his shows.  My poor husband, the Doc, has to work during the day on Saturday, so he will attend the evening (closing) show.  My older daughter, Allifer, and her boyfriend A, will attend the matinee, since poor A works Saturday night.  I probably won't update this blog until Monday, but if I get any photos after the show, I will post some because I know all of you read this blog to see how my kids and cats are doing and not for the knitting and crochet!


Last week I posted photos of some new projects that I have cast on.  One is the Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen.

I am knitting this shawl with the help of the Beginning Lace Knitters Group on Ravelry.  I think this was the KAL for March, so I am a bit late, but I was BUSY. =)  And I will admit, a bit intimidated.  But I decided to screw up my courage, and take the plunge.

I am using Cascade Alpaca Lace in Cream.  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  I mean it!  OOOOOOOO!  This yarn is absolutely lovely.  I love the feel of it as it runs through my fingers while I am knitting.  Sometimes, I just stop and pet the ball.  I am using cream, because I let my Mom pick the color, and that was what she wanted.  I know she is not really a "shawl" type of person, what ever that is.  She lives in southern  California, and it is simply too hot there to wear a lot of knitwear.  But I miss her.  And I feel the need to show my love for her by knitting her something.  She may never wear this.  But I don't care.  She can just take it out and pet it occasionally.  I have seen that some of the people in the group put beads in the border section, and I am thinking of doing that.  I will have to find a bead color that does not pop, but just adds a tiny bit of sparkle.  I learned how to add beads with a crochet hook when I was making my 2011 Advent Calendar Scarf last December.  I remember the process as being super slow and tedious, but the beads as adding a really lovely touch to the scarf.  Perhaps I will be a tiny bit faster this time around.  Also, I need to practice this, because I fully intend to participate in the 2012 Advent Calendar Scarf this coming December!

I have completed the set up section, and 2 repeats of the main flower pattern in these photos.  It is simply amazing to me how much lace looks like cat barf before it is blocked.  I stretched it out just a bit so you can get a sense of what the flower pattern looks like.

The flower pattern is 8 rows and on the first row, there are some "3 into 9" and "2 into 9" stitches.  This is where you knit together 3 stitches (or 2) and do not drop them off the left needle, but yarn over the needle and knit into the same stitches repeating this again and again until you have 9 loops on the right needle.  On the way back, you purl these 9 new stitches.  In this way, the shawl grows by 2 sections every full 8 row repeat.  At first, I was stopping after completing row 8.  Now, I am going ahead and doing the row 1 increases before I stop, so that it will seem like easy fast knitting when I pick up the shawl to continue.  It's all a game to psych myself up for yet another repeat.  To make a real shawl and not a scarf, we are supposed to do 13 repeats of this flower pattern.  I have been reading the thread on the Group Page, and almost everyone who stopped short of the 13 repeats was sorry.  So even though it will take me (a VERY slow knitter) longer and longer to complete the 8 rows, I will do all 13 repeats.  I am determined to make my mom a beautiful shawl.

That's all for today.  I get to pick up my daughter, S, at the train station in Seattle tonight.  I can't wait to see her.

No bike trip again today.  I hope to restart it on Monday, even if I can only knit for 15 minutes before dropping with exhaustion.

Shaping the planet one piece of cat barf at a time

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