Better Pictures

Well, they aren’t perfect, but I did the best I could with the cloudy (snow flurry) weather.

Without further ado:

Can I share a little factoid with you? It measures 56 inches at the top (from point to point) and 28 inches in length. Why am I telling you this? Because when I drew out the design, I planned it to be exactly those measurements. And it is. I’m pleased and surprised and a bit giddy.

I’ve decided to name it Anastasia’s Alpaca Shawl. Why? Well, I do go weak in the knees for alliteration. Plus, my niece ADORES Cinderella, but it seems a bit vain to name your shawl after Cinderella. So, I picked her wicked step sister; that seemed OK.

The stats:
Anastasia Alpaca Shawl
Designed by me
Started in July 2007
Shelved in August and September because it was too hot
Shelved again in December because Christmas was coming
Finished in January 2008
Approx 800 yards of lace-weight alpaca wool from Alpacas at White Horse Farm (local PA farm)
570 Beads


The alpaca shawl is downstairs drying on top of my ping pong table right now.

Truth be told, I bound off all the stitches on Saturday. For 24 hours, it sat balled up on the server next to the basement stairs. It was waiting for somebody to take it downstairs and wash it and block it. I knew I didn’t have a hope of Dan taking it downstairs. Dan never even sees items sitting on the server waiting to go down. The trick is to block the doorway; then, he’ll take it downstairs. So, the shawl sat. I did manage to log into Ravelry and mark my shawl as 100% completed; ah, it is funny how much joy that brought me!

When Nan left me a comment about checking in to see if the shawl was done, it provided the nudge I needed to pick up the shawl and take it downstairs. Thanks, Nan!

I washed it. Then, conditioned it (since, I felt it was a bit scratchy for alpaca. The mill had erred in following the instructions given and mixed the leg fur with the soft body fur. It is the leg fur that is a bit scratchy since it’s courser to ward off the elements [per my understanding – by no means am I a farmer]). Then, the hard part started. I pinned it to a sheet folded in half. I pulled and pinned. Then, pulled and pinned some more. By the time I was done, my back was screaming and Jake was whining from having his play time be interrupted (yes, I suppose he is spoiled).

Yet, it was all worth it (unless, of course, you ask Jake. He’s not sure yet).


Better pictures coming soon, once it dries and I can bring it upstairs into the sunlight.

So Close

2 more rows to knit!

This count includes the Bind Off row.

I can almost taste the sweet nectar of victory.

Half of me wants to stay up and knit until it’s finished. The other half – the logical half – thinks I should go to sleep. Selves don’t let other selves knit while tired. Bad things always happen.

Update pic on the AWHF Shawl

I’m stealing Tracie’s name. One of her recent crochet projects was called the Dress that Never Ends. My AWHF Shawl will henceforth be known as the Shawl that Never Ends. It’s a good name.
I am only 75% done. Wait. Let me rephrase. Hark, I have knitted 75% of the shawl. Gosh, that sounds better, doesn’t it?
Every 4th row now requires 16 sead beads to be woven in. Thus, every 10 stitches, I have to stop and move one bead towards the top of the string and slip two stitches. I am grateful every time I finish a beaded row and can then knit 3 rows plain. As a bit of good news, it appears that I have enough beads strung onto the cone to last me till the end of this shawl.
Enough of me yammering, let’s have that pic, shall we?

And without the light
Gosh, you can’t see all the beads in either one of them. There is sweat and tears on each one!
I’ll have to find another way to take a pic of it before I publish the pattern on it.

AWHF Shawl on a plane

After going back and forth and even asking my husband for his opinion, I decided to take the AWHF shawl with me to Disney World. I was able to knit on the plane rides to and fro Disney. I am SO glad all the airports now allow knitting needles.

Yet, they remain suspicious of large amounts of yarn.

On the flight back to Philadelphia, a lady performing the safety check confiscated my purse to allow a more thorough search. I – thinking that she was concerned about the needles – tried to absolve her fears by informing her that the sharp, pointy things were just knitting needles. Instead, she pulled my huge cone of alpaca wool out of the bag. I gasped and stared at her with shock and horror as I watch all the beads and a good chunk of yarn fall off the cone, which only makes her more suspicious. Taking my bag away from me again, she scans the yarn only to realize that it was a huge vat of – you guessed it – yarn!

My dear husband had the patience of a saint while I spent the next several minutes rewinding all the beads and yarn back onto the cone. Next time, I’m slipping a sock over the cone.

But enough about security check-in, here are pictures of my shawl progress:

It is approximately 13 inches long. The plan is to knit until the shawl is 28 inches long.

It is a joy to knit. The pattern entertains you (by forcing you to count to 3 repeatedly), but remains simple enough that you aren’t constantly checking the chart.

In Search for Needles

There are no yarn stores in Pottstown. So, when I have a needle crisis, I have to hope that Michael’s or Walmart or JoAnn’s stores carry the size I need. You might think that I would never have a needle crisis. When I first learned how to knit, both my mother-in-law and my aunt gifted to me almost their entire needle collections. I have double pointed needles in sizes 0 to 6 plus a few more in larger sizes. I have a slew of stright needles ranging in sizes from 0 to 15 in both 10 and 14 inch lengths. Then, there is the assortment of circular needles in my favorite sizes. Of course, I have duplicates. I even bought myself an interchangable circular needle kit from Michael’s a few years ago so I would never have to buy needles again. So, yes, I have needles.

I started my AWFH shawl on straight 10-inch needles in size 1. During the Cooperstown trip, I graduated to stright 14-inch needles. By the end of the trip, it was getting difficult to crowd all the stitches onto the needles. So, when we got back home, I went searching for a cirular needle in size 1. I checked my interchangeable kit first only to realize that the smallest needle in the kit is a 2. I dug through the rest of my stash. I have circular needles in size 0 and size 2, but no 1. Surely, I missed it. I dug through my stash again only to come up empty. I went to the three stores listed above. Despite the sock knitting craze, none of the stores carried circular needles below a size 3. Thankfully, Ewe and I came to the rescue!

Not only did Ewe and I have circular needles in size 1, but they had them in 4 different sizes. What a great selection! I picked up the longest size they had, 40 inches. Here is my shawl on the new needles with much room to grow upon.

And because I am human and have no will power when confronted with skeins and skeins of beautiful yarn, I came home with a little something extra.

Hand Painted Yarns by Claudia & Co.
Boucle in 78% Mohair, 13% Wool, and 9% Nylon
Color is Red Wagon
200 grams = 432 yards

I plan to pair this yarn with the yellow and orange yarn I have in my stash. Though truth be told, I have no idea what the end product is going to be. I’ll whip up some swatches and see if the yarn can’t talk.

Knitting on the way to Cooperstown

Yesterday, I was giddy to tell you about my vacation to Cooperstown. What I failed to mention is all the knitting I got done in the car.

The AWHF Shawl is approximately 25% completed!

The pattern is easy to memorize, making it a great portable project. The only trouble is every 4-6 rows you have to stop and slide the beads further down the cone. If it hadn’t been for this mind-numbing yet necessary step, I would have completed twice as much. C’est la vie.

A closer pic:

Quilt Progress and Vase Cozie backwards progress

Saturday, I spent the afternoon finishing up the Vase Cozie I am making for the EtsyFAST’s July Challenge. Then, not only did I manage to seam the cozie together inside out, but I also realized that I made it several inches too short. So, I’m back to the halfway point. It seems as if I didn’t accomplish anything. Although, I have learned another valuable lesson: it takes more yardage to cover curved areas when making a snug cozie. So, don’t look for the cozie in my Etsy store today. It’s not there. It’s still on the needles.

Saturday night, I went with my husband to see a live MMA show by BoDog fight in Trenton, New Jersey. No, he didn’t drag me to see it. I really like to watch the shows with him (so long as there isn’t any blood involved). We watch, UFC, BoDog, and IFC at home all the time. This was our first time watching a live show. The fight card listed 9 fights. There ended up being 10 fights. Some were amazing, such as the Women’s Title and the Lightweight fight of Masvidal vs. Edwards. Masvidal ended up spraining/breaking (?) his ankle in an amazing kick to Edward’s head – dropping Edward’s to the ground. Which leads me to my 1st of 2 complaints: no instant replay. The 2nd complaint: it was way too long of a show. We got there at 7:30 pm and didn’t leave until 1:30 am.

I woke up normal time on Sunday, since Jake won’t let me sleep in. He has tags on his collar that jingle. So, the trick is to walk heavily on his feet, jingling his tags, until somebody gets up – normally me. He’s lucky he’s so cute!

Sunday I spent the afternoon quilting. Here is what I accomplished:

Lots of ironing! Plus, the 28 blocks are halfway completed. The squares are just as they look – awfully small at only 1 inch. It has made piecing them together a bit of a pain, but the sewing goes quicker. Once the blocks are completely done, I’ll move onto the triangles. I’m only slightly nervous about that step.

More knitting news: I cast on for the mystery project and for the AWHF Shawl. I am nervous about my measurements for the mystery project. I measured the gauge several times before ripping it out to get the estimate yardage needed for the whole project. I am now having a anxiety attack about the gauge. I think I am going to knit the gauge back up, wash it, and block it just so I can double check my measurements. The last thing I want to do is knit the whole project only to realize that my measurements were off ever so slightly. The shawl is going much better. I’ll post a picture later this week of my progress.

Happy Knitting, All!