Been working like a maniac on a very nice pattern, it’s the Wave Cowl. But, problems have reared their stinking, rotten, ugly heads.

1. Where the blasted hell are all my size US 10 needle tips? I buy needles like a maniac, but can never find any, so I have been using 1 set of 10’s and a set of 9’s. The size 9’s hold the stitches I knit into and the 10’s hold the newly created stitches. Sounds like a great plan, right? Except – the pattern calls for short rows, so I am turning and going back and forth over the same area a few times, meaning I need to keep moving needle tips. This is getting a bit like a Marx Brothers movie, so I’m going to just put it aside and borrow needle tips from Cheryl.

2. I clearly forgot to pick up three lousy wraps two repeats back, as evidenced by the big holes showing.

I’m going to have to rip out a lot of work, which made me so angry I could barely sleep last night.

Not touching this #*)&! thing again until I have those size 10 tips, then I will just bit the bullet and rip back, fix my screw ups and begin again.

All that being said, it’s a beautiful pattern, and this yarn (Rowan Colourscape Chunky in Heath colorway) is a perfect choice.  The short rows work amazingly well to highlight the color transitions.  It’s going to be divine!

Frosty Fan and a Theater Party

I recently finished a scarf in Rowan Colourscape Chunky in the Frosty colorway.  I used the Mochi Chunky Fan Scarf pattern here.

I love the scarf!  It would look wonderful on someone with summery coloring, blond or light brown hair, blue or hazel eyes.  It will be in the Etsy shop later this week.

Had another good weekend, I worked in the reTails adoption center as store manager on Saturday morning (I did three adoptions, 2 gray kittens, and an 8 month old puppy who looked like a living teddy bear).  reTails is closing in on adoption number 2000 since 2010, and I’m so happy and proud to be part of that!

After that, I came home for a quick lunch, had a little nap, threw together a couple of quick dishes for a potluck and then went to a nice little theater party.

The Mud Creek Players hosted a “meet and greet” potluck in between work sessions on their new play, Man of La Mancha.  As a spouse, I was invited, so I toddled over there with my italian coleslaw and a giant container of red and green grapes.  And, to my delight, one of the actor families had brought along their new puppy, Sadie.

Sadie is an 11 week old lab mix, and she is absolutely charming.  I stupidly did not have my camera or you could have enjoyed a lovely picture.  She is black with darling white toes.  I had some fun walking her in the big open fields surrounding the barn.

From my obervation of rehearsals, I predict the play is going to be excellent, there is a big cast and a lot of singing, fighting windmills, etc.  It starts Nov 16, if you are looking for a fun kickoff to the holidays, order some tickets!

After a nice little dinner of coleslaw, lots of fruit, some delicious pretzel crackers (that I must purchase but cannot find in my stores) and baba ganoush, I left them to their work and drove home to knit.  Stayed up knitting and watching TV until midnight, which is insanely late for me.

I later heard, via my dear husband, that some people are hoping that I get up on the stage one day.  Yikes, the very thought makes me feel absolutely ill!

Beginnings and Endings

I’ve been looking at a newish knitting book (published 2012), Cast On, Bind Off, subtitled 54 Step–by-Step Methods, by Leslie Ann Bestor.

What a great cover! This book contains 33 casts ons and 21 bind offs.  It seems it’s easier to begin a knitting project than to finish one!  I know I start more than I complete.  My UFO pile (unfinished objects for you non-knitters) grows continously.  Maybe someday I will take a couple of hours and rip all that stuff out, as I’m obviously not going to finish most of them.  I have good intentions, but if something sits incomplete for over a year, the bloom is kind of gone for me.

The first cast on I learned, the Backward Loop, is in this book, of course, as it’s probably the cast on everyone used to learn first – although it’s certainly not the “best”.  It’s easy to do, but really shouldn’t be a commonly used beginning for almost anyone, it’s main use is adding stitches to a work already in progress.  I didn’t learn that for a while and my early projects have pretty cruddy beginning edges.

For a long time I used a plain Long Tail cast on, and that became my very favorite, until I began making a lot of items for which the pattern began “cast on 307 stitches” or some similar number.  I quickly got tired of running out of yarn before I got all stitches cast on, so I knew some other method had to be more appropriate for things like this. Nowadays  I almost always use a Knitted cast on, which I find easy to do, depending on the yarn, and I also like the edge it forms.  It’s not terifically stretchy, but for scarfs, cowls, shawls, etc. I like it very much.

I am intrigued by the Old Norwegian cast  on (which I had never hear of) presented in this book .  It’s very elastic and had a neat edge, it’s recommended for cuffs, mittens, gloves and hats – places where a stretchy start is ideal.  I did try it, but I did not find it very easy to do, it’s quite fiddly and will definitely take some practice for me.

For socks (which I always knit toe up), I use the Turkish  cast on, also known as Middle Eastern cast on, which is also outlined in this book.  I find it easy to do and I love the way it looks on the toe of a sock.  And it makes me feel so clever!

There’s a good section on provisional cast ons (which I truly hate because I find them so difficult).  Maybe I’ll eventually get to be an expert at those also.

Bind offs are also here, including my new favorite for lace, the every so boringly named Elastic bind off.  I tried it when finishing a shawl and liked the way it allowed the edge to expand and really look it’s best.

I just wonder how necessary this book really is in a knitter’s library, thanks to YouTube, there are even a lot of videos there of the Old Norwegian cast on out there.

If you are a book lover like me, maybe you will enjoy having a book with all this information on your shelves.

I finished the Wingspan shawl.  I knit this from 2 skeins of Noro Silver Thaw, which gave me enough yarn for 7 “wings”, instead of 8.  I did make some changes to the pattern, see my Ravelry project page  for details. Here’s a picture of it blocking.

I love it very much and plan to keep it for myself, which is a bit unusual for me, normally I give away or sell most of my knitting.  Can’t stand the thought of parting with this one, though!  Maybe I’ll grow tired of it, or someone will admire it enough that I think they need it more than I do.  It’s been known to happen!

I really like this pattern, I think it’s brilliant actually, and I plan to knit a lot more of these (or variations thereof) in the future.  It’s easy to understand and memorize, no need for a pattern after you choose a yarn, decide how many stitches to use, and get it cast on.  That’s my kind of project.

I have a gift card for a local yarn store burning a hole in my pocket (many thanks to Sandy S for her wonderfully generous birthday gift last time!), maybe I’ll stock up on yarns for Wingspan.  I’m thinking Mini-Mochi, more Noro, Zauberball….

Current knitting is a scarf for sale in Rowan Colourscape, Frosty colorway.  It’s gorgeous – how can it not be with that fabulous yarn?  Should be done in just a couple of days.  That’s another pattern type I love – quick ones!

I leave you with a picture of the next yarns I plan to knit.  I’d love to hear any pattern ideas anyone has for these wonderful yarns.  This group includes 3 skeins of Noro Transitions (in a cream, tan, blue, green colorway), 1 skein of Rowan Colourscape (Heath colorway), and 6 skeins of Noro Blossom (in a blue-y colorway).