Tag Archives: 11 shawls 2011

First FO of 2012

So what should have been the last finished object of 2011 became the first finished object 2012.  My Taj shawl.

It hasn’t been a blocked yet but I finished it off last night at knitting. I haven’t gotten rid of my shawl bug yet and have a few more I will be making likely but before that I have picked up a pattern someone posted yesterday in my knitting feed.

Octopus Mittens  How could I not? I shall be making them in pink and purple below for a friend as I don’t actually wear mittens but have been wanting to try stranded mittens for some time.

11 Shawls in 2011: A review

Looking back on the fact that I knit 11 shawls in little under 9 months I wanted  to look back on the things I accomplished/learned with each shawl. And what better time to do that then in the start of a new year.   As I sometimes  finished more than one shawl in one month, or would cast on a shawl then finish three others before going back to it,  I’ll just list shawls by  number. Shawls will link to their information on Ravelry.

Shawl 1: Batik 

This was the first shawl I started once i had learned about the challenge and I started with a bang.  My first bottom up shawl,  lace, and cables.

– Lifelines mean Never having to frog (seriously the second I put in some life lines, I did not need to frog ever again) – I see Murphy laughing at me  – Though I will still believe in life lines in chart switches.

– That little hole in knit picks needles is perfect for stringing your life line through and forgetting about it on a purl row (that said you should not actually forget about it, and find out it fell out 60 stitches ago).
– Discovering Kitman Figueora – who will make many more appearances  on this list.
– Just put in markers if you are casting on, there is no reason to count 200+ stitches 15 times. I will use the excuse that before this I hadn’t cast on more than 120 stitches or something….


Shawl 2: Deirdre


– This is how to use a shawl in winter.
– When colors are more important that pattern (K.I.S.S.)
– This may become a regular scarf alternative
– Oh worsted how I missed you already

Shawl 3:  Damson

  Two shawls in the same colorway? This is why Target (I had to hunt this down, I suppose that what happens when you live in a healthy neighborhood bubble) stocks Kool Aid. And even after soaking it in wash a few times the shawl will still have a lovely sweet smell that you don’t associate with Kool Aid.

– Dying is a fun way to get new yarn.
– You didn’t really think you would have enough yarn to do the edging when you used part of the skein to finish Batik did you? Really? Thought so. 
– You will make other people sniff your shawl The knitters will understand, the boyfriend’s of knitters will understand, the rest of the world, not so much.

Shawl 4: Peacock 

– Molly will always help with blocking. Accept it and move on. The fur adds a little special touch.
– Yes you will notice that mistake that has the right side off by one stitch. No you can’t frog, Molly is already helping you block. Accept it.
– You can accept that mistake only you will ever notice.
– Kitman Figueora is just a designer you will keep coming back to huh?


Shawl 5:  Mystery Medallion Shawl

  – Leaving yarn wound extremely tightly for 4 years is not a good idea. No Seriously, why did you do that.
–  A mystery can be a lot of fun
– You won’t need that second skein of yarn, but doing the Mystery shawl in a yarn you have a excess of takes out one stressor

Shawl 6:  Summer Shawlette 

– When you have followed the pattern perfectly then all of a sudden nothing works? Check the KAL before frogging 3 weeks of Clues
– No Seriously – someone else is likely having the same problem right now – don’t blame the bus
– Also you can read charts – do it!

Shawl 7: Rosa 

– Remember that thing you just said about reading charts? Um…
– You need more than a chart and two lines of text to get a shawl (To the Internet! It’s Ravelry my dear knitter.)
– You’ll make it work but it would have been a lot easier with more instructions
– Perhaps the next time you are knitting 2 shawls for a wedding in a few weeks, one shouldn’t be in lace so fine, it might as well be cobweb.
– You will not have anywhere large enough to block all this lace. Accept it.
– You will still have a nice shawl that is appreciated
– You just don’t like working in anything much lighter than fingering. Accept it and stop buying lace.
Shawl 8:  Gothic Moss Shawl 

– Hello Again Kitman it’s been a few shawls, I see you have come out with a couple new  patterns
– Really you don’t think 10 days to knit a shawl for a wedding while working full time is maybe pushing it? You like a challenge? Remember that when the men with white coats come.
– Oh and you have to learn how to graft? There’s no way that will go wrong.  (it didn’t, this time)
– Okay perhaps that part of you mind that’s all “Psh 10 Whole days? easy” is not as deranged as the other part that kept whispering ‘that mystery medallion shawl, matches the grey on your shoes.; you don’t have to do this’  would like you to believe.

Shawl 9: Damask

– After that wedding deadline you are invincible (you totally didn’t have to get up early to block the shawl before work to finish. You had plenty of time)
– Seriously just buy all of Kitman’s Patterns. There are no doubts at this point.
– Trust the pattern, sometimes you just can’t tell what is going on, at first
– So nupps are a thing


Shawl 10:  Trousseau

– Buy more blocking mats. Some people like having a couch they can sit on
–  Pies make for an interesting knit
– I don’t see you buying more mats.

Shawl 11: Blue Mystery 

– So nice you knit it twice
– See how much easier and faster that was when you don’t frog an entire shawl at the 80% mark?


So that was 11 Shawls in 2011. What did I learn from this overall?

– Sometimes I will run out of yarn
– Sometimes I will have an excess of yarn
– Some designers are my gold
– Bottom up shawls work better for me
– Life lines
– Cast on Stitch markers
– Not every mistake is your own
– I prefer written instructions to charts
– Sometimes insane determination pays off
–  Accept it (whatever “it” is this time)
– Molly is quite lucky she is cute and doesn’t actually kneed  blocking shawls


11 Shawls in 2011

Yesterday I blocked two shawls.  Shawls 10 and 11 of my 11 shawls in 2011 which brings another knitting adventure to an end.

Trousseau  came out really well. I blocked it and it dried pretty quickly, I know I had folded down the sofa  to block it around five and was able to unpin,  just before 9 so we could watch True Blood.

And shawl  11 was another  Summer Mystery shawl.

This one in a blue as opposed to the first I knit in an orange-ish color.  I forgot how fast a knit this was, likely because I tended to get a clue, ignore it, and knit it all in a rush on Thursday before the next clue.


So after knitting 11 shawls in 9 or so months (I started late January) what have I learned?

– I like shawls – there are way MORE that I want to make.
– Charts  do make sense, I can read them, but I will still default to written instructions because, I tend to triple guess myself when knitting from a chart, slowing myself down.
– I have something to do with all that sock yarn I bought with no intention of making socks (did I mention I tend to wear thigh highs and have a 35″ inseam?)

So now? A small shawl break, thought he next few have yarn and patterns chosen out. Right now I am working on my first sweater again.  Vivian  . I am knitting it in a red Eco Wool. Yes I cast on this project last year on Christmas day, but it got put aside and finally frogged as things went wrong.   I’m on row three, after knitting this morning on the bus and making notes, and so far none of the same Mistakes have returned to haunt me.  Crossing the cables at cable crossings is usually handy.  As is keeping left and right straight when you do remember to cross.

Realistic Goals vs. My Goals

So I had goals, to finish all the projects I was working on by the first, barring that finishing the ones I needed to finish by the first. The former, I gave a good try and may be able to finish 3/4.  The latter was done with a couple days to spare.

I finished the Dalek a couple weeks ago. And on Tuesday I blocked Damask for a friend to go to a wedding in while I’m down in Atlanta.




It was made of the purple silk wool blend I had picked up in DC on my day  trip ages ago.  It’s partner in teal is what I made the wedding shawl out of.

Blocked it came out much larger than I expected, and while it looks like I may have had enough yarn to make the large (this is the medium) I doubt I would have had enough space to block it.

This does mean Shawl 9 of 11 is done, and shawl 10 has less than 40 rows to completion, but there is an increase in there that has the shawl go from 166 stitches to over 300  before the last 20 rows, so that will be a fun process.  If not for that I would be sure I could finish it on the commute tonight.

I’ve mostly packed for the con, and have more costumes and corsets, than days in Atlanta, but we will see how well the Cyberwoman costume holds up. I’ve not spent a lot of time in it, and I did pack duct tape for emergency repairs. Also looking at the weather it will be in the 90’s so I may not want to spend time in the other costumes, which involve, leather, or a unitard under a full outfit, and gloves.

Also is it too early to have 8 costume ideas for Dragon Con 2012?

WIPW: Oh what a wipw it is

So it’s possible that I have 4 projects going at the moment.

The fasted going, started Monday Morning on the bus:

A new Dragon*Con Dalek. Hopefully one that I won’t lose during the convention. maybe I should add a strap…

This is the start of Trousseau which I am making for a friend, in some Hand dyed yarn I got ages ago from Solstice Yarns in Oh My Goth.  I may have to make two of these and keep one for myself.

Next up is another Summer Mystery shawl for another friend in blue.

And lastly a shawl with no image.  Damask which is the only other project with a sort of deadline. Labor Day weekend  as that is when a friend is going to another wedding and would like to wear it then. So Dalek and Damask have to be done. But I want to have them all done as I want to start Christmas knitting once I get back from Dragon*Con and would like to  start working on Vivian again.  Also if I finish all three, shawls that would bring my total up to 11 with a couple months to spare. 😀



The Good news.  I finished the shawl! In time for the wedding.

I had a lot of moments when grafting when I was sure I was getting the knit purl sequence wrong, or pulled off too many stitches,  but as I have to look to find the line where the two sides were grafted, so  all turned out well there.

Now getting to the wedding? Well… I don’t think I could make up this story if I tried.  It took us close to 5 hours to do what should have been an 1 1/2 to 2 hour trip. Why?  What follows is one of those stories that I wish I had made up. Because it’s just insane, that all of this should happen in sequence.

The morning of the wedding, we all met to get our nails done then divided into two groups to drive to the hotel. Group 1 made it just fine, if not with loads of traffic.  Our group on the other hand began an epic journey. 3 blocks from where we stopped for lunch got side swiped by a cab.  The driver, was smiling and laughing, before knowing if everyone was alright, or even how much damage he had done. Ever want to punch a person in the face repeatedly?  While everyone was fine, we still have to wait for the police.

The police arrive, and it turns out in on of those only in NYC things, that because the accident happened on the other side of Broadway we were out of their jurisdiction and had to wait for officers from the other station to arrive.  Two of us had our outfits in the trunk and wandered up to the Strand bathroom to change.  We did our makeup in the car, as well while waiting.

At this point the driver is rightfully ticked we haven’t seen hide nor hair of these other officers (its been at leas half an hour and an hour and a half since we left lunch) and Cabbie McDouche is reading a paper glancing at us occasionally and smirking. She calls her insurance company to get options, and we all  end up giving our information, she collects, what is CLEARLY wrong information about the make and model of the cab from the driver, based on what we could see sitting BEHIND the thing the last two hours. But we are finally on our way.

We drive towards the Queens Midtown tunnel and the traffic there is so bad we move maybe a block every 20 minutes.  We get out of that area, and make our way to the Triborough  Bridge (Now the RFK? surrrre). We are rolling along until the car stalled in our Lane.  Mutter.

We get to Queens, drop off the member of our party that was not heading to the wedding.  And drive off to get the belonging of the other two in the car, so we can head to said wedding.  So we head into the driver’s building and into the elevator. Can you guess what happened next? If you think, hmm they pressed the button for the 5th floor and then got trapped in the elevator because it went below the basement? You win!

Yes that would be right, trapped in an elevator.  It was one of the old type elevators with the safety door on the outside that only unlocks when the elevator is in the proper place which we were so not. We were about a foot or so below where the elevator should have stopped.  We were lucky enough that someone heard the alarm.  And had been trapped the night before, she told us what had worked for her (didn’t work) then went off to find the super.

Meanwhile our friend in the elevator is a ninja. Poking, prodding, wishing she knew more about elevator construction to get us the hell out.  The super shows up a little while later and we take the stairs. The remaining pair, get dress and  prepped, and we head back down to the car.

At this point I partially expected the car to have exploded, been whisked away by fairies, or something else. In which case we would have walked to the LIRR  because we were getting to that wedding. In retrospect, its amusing that at no point did we think, oh we should just give up.

We pile into the car, which was as we left it, and drove straight to the venue.   One of the tensest drives ever, every sound, every speeding car, had us jumping out of our seats. Our nerves were frayed and we wanted a large drink or 12. At one point, in the last mile or so of the trip, fire trucks and emergency things fly past us.

“Well at least it wasn’t us this time.”

“Don’t joke, knowing our luck the reception hall is burning down.”   There was a moment of silence in the car, when we all considered the very real likelihood of this.  Before laughing because if we didn’t laugh at this point we’d be sobbing. After some lies the GPS told us we get to the venue which is still standing, and make our way to the right wedding.

We arrive having missed the entire ceremony and are greeted by the bride’s father who has been kept abreast of what’s been happening to us, via the Maid of Honor, my reading went to an uncle, and everyone is glad we’re safe, and have made it.  We are reminded that this is just the cocktail  hour and not to get stuffed on the tons of food making the rounds. Then we head to the bar. Because we deserve drinks. A lot of drinks.

We see friends, including Group 1 who we share our tale with,  in person as we were texting with members of the group most of the day. The bride and groom arrive eventually and are just happy we actually made it.

“Well it will make a great story at least.”

Later in the evening the groom pointed out. “I mean if the worst thing that happened today was that you were late, well that’s everyday, you’re always late.”

I suppose the universe wanted to keep things in balance. Great day for the bride and groom, put some guests through the wringer.  I remember way back on Friday afternoon when my biggest concern was grafting two halves of the shawl…

Day Three

So it’s Weds  the third day of my shawl knit graft madness. Day 1 15  rows. Day one left me with more keyboard than shawl. Day 2 58 rows. Left me with just a bit of key board.   Day 3 72 rows. We have over taken the keyboard.  at 72/148 we are at 49% shawl completion. Based on the first half I have enough yarn left for two more repeats less 4 rows. To get an idea of how much more is left?  Here is the completed first half on the same keyboard. It doesn’t feel like I’m at the 74% mark  but I am.  And working from home  and the dentist office *should*  bring me to the end and maybe grafting by knitting Thursday night? Here’s hoping on Sunday I’m posting pictures of me wearing it at the wedding.

Trucking Along…

So Yesterday my second half of the shawl looked like this.

Today it has grown by a another 38 rows.

Much less keyboard much more shawl.  38 rows to be exact bringing up the grand total  53/148  so 36% done.  I still have the second half of today’s commute, and my lack of plans tonight means some knitting at home time… Fingers crossed for Grafting and  Blocking Thursday or early Friday.

Halfway There

I keep hearing this strange wooshing sound, like something is flying by. So I have finished the first half  of the Shawl that’s for the wedding for this Saturday. Based on the pace that I finished that half I should be done by Sunday, not counting grafting or blocking. Hmm.  Something about that schedule doesn’t work. This is going to get interesting but I have started on the second half. That is 15 rows  granted it was all done on my trip to work this morning. And there 148 rows to make it the same length as the other half.  I’m sure I’ve gotten faster near the end. So the fingers are crossed. And my day of hope is Thursday, I have a dentist appointment and will be working from home.  Much easier to throw in a row or 100 when not in the cubicle. Then all I need to do is learn the Kitchner stitch and all will be set.  So 4 days and counting.  Anyone have a working  Tardis to lend?

– “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

1 Down .75 to go…

It’s been a while.  When we last joined our intrepid heroes  they were dangling above a pool with sharks, with freakin’ laser beams on their heads…or it’s possible I was discussing knitting shawls for a friends wedding.

So the first shawl is done and blocked out on the queen sized futon.  It was a large lacy monster that shawl.   I forgot to take dimensions before I unpinned but yes, Queen Sized futon.

My shawl to wear for  the wedding? (7/30)  Well its bigger after I frogged it all on Friday. Like I had time to spare or something.

Well it’s moving along, I am about 10 rows from the end of the first of 4 repeats that will complete this half.  Yes half,  will still need to graft the two sides together and block this by the 29. I have plenty of time right? Right?