More knitting than writing

I think I’ve written this post in my head about a half dozen times, but every time I consider opening up blogger, I tend to pick up my knitting instead.

There is something to be said for the instant gratification of big thread, big needles and fairly quick moving projects. Usually I’m working in size 30 cotton and 2 mm needles and a week’s worth of work requires a magnifying glass to locate. Currently my projects are size 5 cotton and dk cotton. It’s such a difference!

So the parasol is currently at this state:

Parasol baggie

The middle section is done (63 stitches per repeat, 8 repeats around, 504 stitches per round), the border has been test knit and charted and now it waits on the second ball of Clea. Which I’m picking up tomorrow on the way to a wedding, because knitters are awesome. Even during a postal strike, a ball of yarn was found local enough for me to go pick up. The fact that it’s half an hour away from the out of town wedding we’re going to is just gravy.

So in that pause, I had to start my Camp Loopy shawl. Now, this might be cheating. The requirement was a two colour shawl or scarf, and I took 80’s peach yarn (remember 80’s peach? Yes, I had flashbacks too), and dyed 3 of the 5 balls a denimy blue/purple/pinky splottered varigated sort of haphazard colour, and the last 2 balls a solid (ish) blue/purple that’s in the varigated.

To me? This is two colours. I think. Close enough, I’m working from stash anyhow, so I dont qualify for any prizes or anything, but I can knit along!

DK cotton + 5.5 mm needles = fast moving moose lace.

Thistle shawl

I’ve never had to increase lace along the edge of a shawl before, and while there may have been some /words/ and a lot of ripping when I realized I’d managed to extend the lace, but also managed to quit increasing.. 5 rows back. Now that I’m getting the hang of it, I’m kinda chuffed to bits with myself.

I have some vague thoughts of beads on the edge, but that might take it away from denimy casual shawl to trashy. But sometimes, a girl wants a little bit of trashy. *grin*

Just keep knitting..

I do feel a little like Dori in the Finding Nemo movie, the lace has hit the never ending stage. Except for one little detail. Before, I was toddling along on the whole ‘oh yeah, I’ll know when I’ve enough’. And then I did the math. And then doing the math became doing a bit more math, with a pencil and graph paper and ended up looking liks this.

Parasol patterns

And then as a reward for all that spiral knitting, I decided to do the hunt for an edging. I wanted wide, but not a leaf pattern, something that evoked the feel of the spirals, but everything wasn’t quite right. So I took two that were close, smushed them together and added a few more holes. I think that’s what goes on behind the magic curtain of design, actually. I then tried it out on some size 5 cotton in blue, as well.. the state of my size 5 Clea is a sad one indeed.

Edging swatch

I’d hoped for about 3″, this is about 6″ wide. Which means I can stop knitting spirals about 3″ earlier! Huzzah!

I have found more Clea 5. Yay!

In the UK. Okay, still yay-ish.

Canada Post is on strike. (Lock out technically). Decidedly not yay. The progress of the parasol may, at some point, come to a crashing pause while I wait on yarn.

Then I’ll just have to toss together a shawl for Camp Loopy, which has also been rattling around in my head for a while.

But for now, back to much more of this.

Parasol close up

Wall of lace.

Runners, and I suppose most exercise enthusiasts, talk about the wall. Where at some point things get hard and slow and frustrating and discouraging and you push through anyhow because you are a strong athlete and a warrior and home is 5km thatta way, so either you push through or you suffer the indignities of calling for a cab mid-run. Well at least that’s my guess, exercise and I have the sort of relationship where we flirt and talk good, and then someone doesn’t call, and then there’s accusations and pain and a lot of not talking and it’s all downhill from there until the next optimistic reunion where ‘this might be the one!’.. and you get the picture.

Anyhow, lace knitting has that wall. 42 stitches per repeat. 8 repeats a round. That’s 336 stitches per round, and it increases 8 stitches every other round. It’s currently got a radius of about 9 inches. I’m aiming for about 15 inches before the border, which means about 6 inches more before a border. (Borders take forever and use unthinkable amounts of yarn, I’m going to worry about that later.)

Parasol 336 sts

Currently I’m getting about 8 rounds an inch, so 48 more rounds. 8 more stitches, every other round.. another 192 stitches. It should be 528 stitches per round by the time I’m starting the never ending edging.

Perhaps I shouldnt have done the math.

13 days

I have long wanted to knit myself enough lace for a parasol, as this fair skinned redhead might be solar powered, but prefers indirect light. I finally scored the perfect umbrella frame at the dollar store on the weekend. Light, not too flimsy or big, white handle and tip and the ‘fabric’ is perfectly clear plastic. I dont even necesarily need to remove it!

Unfortunately I have no already knit lace in stash that’s big enough. My largest current pieces are about half the size needed. Whoops.

A little under two weeks from now is Faery Fest locally, and I suspect we’ll be going to it on the Sunday. I’d really like to at the very least. Last year, I baked and broiled in the unrelenting sunshine. This year, well. See the above mentioned parasol plan.

Which gives me 13 days to knit an umbrells sized lace piece and figure out how to attach it. GO!

I decided to go with Spiralen in the centre until I’m so sick of it I can’t think, and then either edge it with a good wide edging, or crochet off, or feather and fan, or something else that I’ll decide when I get that far. For the moment, a nice big spiral.

Attempt 1 with mystery blue poly-cotton, and 2.5 mm needles up to round 12 and while the mystery yarn has a lovely soft drapy hand, it’s awfully thin and this is a structural piece. Soft super drapy hand is actually not a feature here.

Parasol take 1

Attempt 2 is with Clea 5 and 3 mm needles. It’s much bigger and a bit more solid, which is probably good in an umbrella. Especially one that I want to finish in less than two week.

Parasol take 2

And here they are side by side, to get a sense of the size difference between them. This is the same pattern, knit to the same row, but different thread and needle size.

Parasol start

I apologize for all the crappy iphone photos, I don’t usually bring the big camera to work, and that’s where I do most of my photographs. Ah well.

The next big puzzle is what to do when I run out of Clea 5.