Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shaking the Blues Away

Oh, my. I really didn't intend to just not post for nearly six months. If anyone out there is still checking this blog, I apologize. There has been so much upheaval in our lives here--including a period where I didn't knit for three months--that blogging just got dumped by the wayside. Mild seasonal depression combined with situational depression has made me not feel like doing much of anything.

But spring is here now, and for those watching Easter Parade in honor of the holiday, Ann Miller has the perfect solution for the blues--just shake 'em away!

With that in mind, I have a couple of blue projects recently finished. I guess you could say I've shaken them right off the needles into their finished glory.

I started the Peacock Feathers Shawl in October, out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silk Thread in Spinel. The teal color is beautiful, if a little lighter than I would have liked. I put down all of my knitting shortly thereafter in order to write a novel in November, at which point I learned that my job was ending. After scrambling, I found the perfect apprenticeship to a local midwife and started that in January. Eventually I picked up the shawl again and almost in a frenzy, completed it in about two weeks. I blocked it on a beautiful snowy day and came up with this:

I think it's really lovely, and can't wait until my wedding in September when I get to wear it!

Light as a feather! I used size 0 needles with the thread-like yarn to achieve a size more suitable for my petite figure.

The next project I tackled to finish was the Indigo Ripples Skirt. I wanted to be able to wear this fun, flirty skirt in the spring. I had the yarn for it on hold at my LYS and was purchasing one ball at a time as we could afford it. This week, I bought the last two balls with birthday money and finished it up.

It is rather flirty!

Unfortunately, using this heavy cotton yarn hurt my hands a lot. As I said in an earlier post, I had to go down three needle sizes and reduce the stitch count to even get the skirt to fit, and so each stitch was rather difficult. If I had not been looking forward to the product so much, I surely would have quit a while ago. The pattern is great: the lace pattern is fun, and the ruffle is very cute. It did take quite a lot of yarn for just that last little bit!

Next up for a springy finish: the Bee Shawl. This project caused me a bit of angst because I picked it up after leaving it for so long and realized that I had made a mistake somewhere. With lace on both sides, I really didn't want to undo it all, so I put the project in timeout for a while. Then I was reading a thread on Ravelry about very difficult lace shawls, and someone said, "It's just knitting!" I thought about how much more difficult this lace could have been, and decided to tackle it again. I read the pattern carefully, tinked back a couple of rows, and found my mistake. Having familiarized myself with the pattern again, reknitting was easy, and I finally felt like I had my lace mojo back. I love that feeling--being so confident in my skill that I can just memorize each line and hum along, easily seeing what stitch goes where. I put this to the ultimate test by taking the shawl to a jazz jam session in a bar. Even after having part of a Long Island Iced Tea, I was mistake-free! (I did put it down after a while; no sense in tempting fate!)

Anyway, I've finished the Bee Swarm section and am in the Bee in Field part. It's fun doing the great "googly-moogly" as Grumperina would say to complete the bees.

This has been a very long post, so I will just close with a small request for good thoughts on my partner finding a job soon. Because of the economy, the job hunt has been extremely frustrating and we really need a stroke of good luck. Thanks!