Day 159

Standard

The shawl is *this close* to finished. I’m halfway through the border along the top then there’s just the 10 or so ends to sew in. It will be finished tomorrow in time for the afternoon knitting group but I need sleep right now.

And along those lines, tonights music is by a former contestant on the UK’s Fame Academy. I don’t actually watch reality TV so I don’t know how he was selected for it or how the show worked or who won. I do know that I’ve enjoyed the music he’s produced. This song was beautiful the first time I heard it. It’s still beautiful.

Lemar – Lullaby

Day 158

Standard

I’m going to embarrass myself with today’s music choice but first… I’ve been looking forward to today’s square. I’m trying to do a large square in each of the yarns I’m using for the blanket and today is the Step ‘Türkis’ which is one of my favourites. Turquoise with orange is a colour combination that particularly appeals to me so I really like knitting with this colourway. Also, I really like how the striping of this colour way looks in garter stitch. Not all striped yarns work knitted this way and of those that do, there are those which work better than others. In this case, I think it is because the colours are uncomplicated – by which I mean that they’ve got a little bit of variance in the turquoise but the orange and white are solidly single colours. For whatever reason, I really like it.

image

I haven’t achieved as much knitting of the pink/green shawl as I had anticipated today. I was slow getting out of bed, had a late morning osteopath appointment then spent the early afternoon in Waterstones with the friend who is buying the shawl. By the time I got home it was about 4pm. I lasted about an hour before I fell asleep. The week after a weekend with my son is often filled with long naps. It is partly sadness about the situation and partly a response to the anxiety of the lead up to the visit. I am more than halfway through the second length of border and being that it’s only 15 stitches I’m working on, it grows quite quickly.

So you’re probably quite curious about the music choice. I’ve managed to shy away from cliches and cheese for the most part but this song has been drifting in and out of my thoughts for a few months now. I’ve never learned to roller skate (though I have very clear memories of my older sister skating to ‘Xanadu’ blasting from a boom box) and I managed to avoid the worst of the ’80’s fashion by being too young to do my own shopping but I wanted a walkman for the longest time. My son is barely aware of CDs as most of his music is digital so he’s never going to know the awesomeness of the first time you have portable music of your own choice and not whatever is on the radio.

Have you guessed the song yet? I have rarely been without portable music since my late childhood. Thank goodness we can be wired for sound 😉

Cliff Richard – Wired for Sound

Day 156

Standard

Had to redo the corner of the shawl twice more before I was finally happy with it. And I wrote it down so I’ll be able to do it when I’m done with the other side.

image

The stitches need some redistributing to make them look nicer. Either that or I’ll run do it with a better short row technique.

I worked on the blanket too today. Had to redo day 154 because I knit a rectangle but should have done a trapezoid, so that’s fixed now. I did yesterdays small square in grey and have started and restarted today’s trapezoid because I can’t remember how I picked up the stitches neatly the last 3 times I did it. And I’m starting to panic about it. I’ve tried several different ways and none of them are right. I think that it’s time to put it down and try again tomorrow. Not sure I want to though. I hate being defeated by something I’ve conquered before.

Here’s where I’m at right now…

image

Am trying to remember that this is a project to find my calm. It’s not working yet.

So we’re listening to Cecilia Bartoli because she was once my inspiration. Her voice is exquisite, capable of lyrical heights and full-bodied depths. And of course, she makes it look and sound effortless. One of my favourite things about her performances, and the reason I prefer to watch her on stage to listening to a recording, is her expressive face. Every song is a performance regardless of the setting. I confess to not always knowing quite what expression she is trying to convey but her pleasure in her talent and that she is able to share it is obvious.

Though she is well known for her ability to interpret Rossini’s more complicated direction, this piece of music is by Mozart and you will likely recognise it. It is from ‘Le nozze di Figaro’, and while the character who sings this is male, he is always played by a mezzo-soprano woman. No idea why this is. For whatever reason, ‘Voi che sapete’ is a beautiful piece.

Cecilia Bartoli – ‘Voi che sapete’, Mozart

Day 155

Standard

After spending the day out and about with my family, I focused on finishing one side of the shawl border. And I did but being that it’s a triangular shawl, the end of the side border is at a different angle to the top of the shawl. I’ve worked short rows to fix it but I miscalculated and am a couple of rows short of what I’d planned. This makes one corner of the short row triangle a bit squashed so I’ll rip back tomorrow and redo it.

Not that it looks bad but it can be better and given that this design is made up of squares and triangles, it deserves to have that continued in sharp corners.

Also, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my knitting.

(No, photo I’m afraid. My phone/camera battery is sleeping and doesn’t want to cooperate.)

Day 152

Standard

So, after several attempted configurations, I have decide that I best like the way the shawl looks when I knit the border separately then use mattress stitch to sew it on. This is, however, subject to change…

image

The Greater London Yarn Crawl happened this weekend, and while I was not part of any of the 10 groups wandering between London’s yarn sellers, my friend E was. Many of the locations offer mini skeins as samples and E gifted me with one of these to add to my blanket. Yesterdays trapezoid is dark purple but today’s rectangle is the new yarn – the dyer is ‘Countess Ablaze’, the yarn is Lady Persephone Sock (which uses blue faced Leicester instead of merino for its wool content), in a color way called ‘Girl At The Rock Show’, and I love it! The look and texture is more lustrous like a cotton when compared to the other sock yarns I have used so far. I think that this is in part due to the higher twist count of the yarn. From what little I have used so far, I can highly recommend it http://www.countessablaze.com

image

I had planned to share Tenacious D’s ‘Tribute’ for today’s track but given that the name of the new yarn is also the title of a song by Blink 182 that I like, that’s what you’re getting.

Blink 182 – Girl at the Rock Show

Day 151

Standard

No blanket addition today but that’s only because i finished the body of a mitred-square shawl!!! It’s not as big as I want and I still have a half the yarn left of the 3 balls I allocated to this shawl so I’m going to give it simple but wide border.

image

I’m going to rewind the half ball I’ve been working from then start on it. I’ll explain what I’m going to do as I go because I’m not sure that my plan will work yet.

William Shatner. Bohemian Rhapsody. ‘Nuff said.

Day 112

Standard

My husband is awesome. 

We knew roughly where to look for my shawl but it was decided that I was unlikely to respond well if I went to look and didn’t find it so he went into town to see if it could be found. To everyone’s delight and relief, it had been picked up and put on a fence railing. He took it with him to work then brought it home with him and it’s none the worse for wear. So relieved.

I suppose it’s silly to be attached to something like this but I guess we all do it whether it’s with a teddy bear or a photo or the way something is organised. This shawl gets a lot of compliments and is something that gives me great pleasure because it is lightweight, warm, and bright and because it is something I laboured to create.6ply-shawl It’s also the largest shawl I own and have often eschewed sweaters and cardigans in favour of it.

Anyway, it’s home now.

It did create an unusual situation for me. As you know, I was trying to decide if I wanted to make a shawl similar to it and what yarn I would use. Sometime ago I bought 3 balls of a 6ply sock yarn with the intent of designing a shawl to showcase it. Today, I was unable to work on anything because I was feeling a physical compulsion to knit this yarn into a shawl like the formally lost one. I  cleaned, I sorted my knitting bag, I prepared dinner and could not shake the feeling that I needed to cast on this shawl. I have so many projects already in the works that I really struggled against the idea of starting yet another project but couldn’t settle into anything until late this afternoon when I finally gave in and started knitting.

Isn’t it pretty?

I added two rectangle to the blanket again today to make up for yesterday’s missed piece…

day 111-112

I’ve not seen the movie ‘Pitch Perfect’  but somewhere on my social media feeds I was directed to this song by Anna Kendrick and I really liked it. Now I’m paying it forward 😉