Fruitcake Knits

A sporadically updated blog that encompasses many creative activities

FO – Fir Cone Square Shawl (Olympic Gold!)

I am amazingly happy at this critter and apparently want to write a frightfully long post.

First thing I have to mention something I have avoided for the past few posts. (Okay, I was scairt to mention my stupid mistake. Then I realised that somebody might learn something from my mistake, and plenty of people would get a laugh or two… and some of you weirdos need to be reminded that I am very mortal.)

The second row after picking up stitches (crazy eyelet round) I encountered a peculiar problem. You know how stitches can get all scrunched up on the needle and try to leap over each other? Usually if two stitches which were to be knit together had swapped places, they can still be happily knit together if using something sensible like wool. Apparently, not so much with this yarn. The stitches on the needle plumb broke open rather than be forced together… whoops. The first time this happened, I stared blankly… oozyguhubbins?? What was that?

Now you’d think that after breaking the yarn once I’d learn my lesson and be more careful. Nope. At least twice more that same round I broke the stitches open. D’oh! After that I was more careful – I did not repeat the mistake enough time to reach double-digits. (I’ll leave it at that.) Being the lazybutt I am, rather than going back 600+ stitches I undid several stitches in either direction (the last few rounds were plain rounds) until the tail was long enough to weave back in, then knit into the stitches that were two rows below instead. Good luck finding where in the shawl that happened.

Knowing that it liked to up and break and that it would be weaker when wet (hey i read knitty for the articles!) , I figured my usual blocking approach (get the thing soaking wet, stretch it out until it looks happy) would not be a good choice. So I washed it (warm water, sniffy shampoo+conditioner – zib makes the conditioner seem like a must-have), pressed out the water as best as I could, rolled it up in a towel and tried to let it dry for the night. No such luck – within a couple of hours I just had to pet it. After cuddling a slighty-damp shawl for a few minutes, I left it out to dry… and in the morning found it looked pretty good!

Only problem , the edging is pretty flat. It’s not supposed to be pointy in any way, but at least soft scallops… so I still had to find somewhere to block this critter. I eventually came up with a set-up that involved a shower curtain, a couple of chairs, two laundry baskets, a dozen cardboard boxes, and a pile of clothespins to keep the boxes under control. Hey, it worked. Sorta. Here’s it blocking –

Apparently I had a weak spot in my precariouly balanced cardboard box table over there on the left edge. I couldn’t pin a straight line because for a while there there’s no cardboard box beneath. Just clothespins wouldn’t hold up another box and I didn’t want to pull out the duct tape… anyway.

Pattern – “Fir Cone Square Shawl” from “Folk Shawls”
Yarn – 1/14 cashmere from ColourMartUK in colour “Everglades”. Last October I bought a pound of it for about $50; prices seem to be running a bit higher now that more people know how nice the yarn is. I think I used about 4oz? (the scales in this house are rather questionable) so that’s about $12.50 for the yarn.
Magic spreadsheet which made keeping on schedule so much easier courtesy of Her Great and Mighty Geekiness
Needles – 3.5mm
Cast on – Feb 10
Cast off – Feb 23
finished size – about 50″ square

That’s my absolute favourite picture of the lot I took. It looks blue. The most accurate colour is…

But what sort of ratty background is that? And then when I tried to show it on a plain background…

Most pictures with Fritty came out like this, and without her was just boring. Without Fritty, everything is boring. Go adore her!

A few concerned bystanders have asked if I am giving this shawl away or keeping it. There’s a good question.

Comments (34) February 26, 2006 @ 1:09 am |

The Edging of Doom

Perhaps not so doom-like; it’s just what my random image critter over on the left has right now. (Keep refreshing until you see it! So many fun images in there!)

Still in its pathetically unblocked state…

In spite of all the stitches still on the needle pulling it a bit out of shape, this thing will in fact be square. I’m not sure why somebody would suspect it wouldn’t be, but I suppose when I’m involved it never hurts to check.

An ever-so-slightly better shot of the corner… isn’t it corner-ish?

And the edging. I think I need to remove anything that has an edging repeated more than fifty times from my to-knit list. Mind… melting… into… puddle… of… goo….

My current goal is to have it blocking by Friday night. If this is actually possible, well, tune in tomorrow. Or Saturday. Whenever.

Comments (14) February 23, 2006 @ 12:15 pm |

Olympics, Day 10.90909

Is that right? *recounts fingers*

*wonders where she found 10/11ths of a finger*

Hmm. Anyway. After a mind-numbingly-boring few days, the shawl has some bloggable activity. Since last I posted, I have knit an entire 40 rounds on this critter, or according to the magic spreadsheet, about 32,000 stitches. Urrgh. In their pathetically unblocked state, those look something like…

That’s as much as I could show without risking knocking some stitches off the ends of the needles… let me just say, I am so glad I picked this shawl for the Olympics – it’s been on my to-knit list for a long time, and if it weren’t for the nagging of the two and a half people who care and expect me to win the shiny gold button , it would have been left in UFO-land for a long time. Gourd, is this thing boring yet infinitely pettable. (Then again, I suppose most patterns are boring compared to the Flutterbye & Rogue. It’ll take me a couple days for me to feel like a mere mortal again.)

The edging has been started but I have no idea how far through the first side I am. I could, you know, count stitch markers, but that would require braining. 210 sts per side, 14 rows per edging repeat, knit onto the shawl at the end of every other row… 30 edging repeats per side. Plus four corners; all 14 rows of edging worked into 4 sts instead of the usual 7. That’s what, a total of 124 times I have to repeat this edging pattern? After this I think it’ll be seared into my brain.

In other news, part 1: I have more Monkees albums than you do.

In other news, part 2: No fewer than three times in the past week and a half have I gone out and attempted to take pictures of Rogue. Every one of them has *something* wrong, and not even in an amusing way like for the Flutterbye. Finally, though, I have one picture. I left Rogue on a chair one night and next day found…

Somebody thinks it’s comfortable. Can’t blame her.

Comments (25) February 20, 2006 @ 10:53 pm |
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