15 March 2008

A Death In Our Family

My much beloved father-in-law passed away, peacefully and painlessly, at about 5:00 am today. He was the last of our four parents and his death brings back all the pain of the other deaths, as well as its own pain.

He was a wonderful, kind, loving, intelligent man and he'll be sorely missed by his family.

14 March 2008

One Fewer of the Greatest Generation Soon, Apparently

We got a call from my husband's sister-in-law in Iowa. His father, at 96, is doing very poorly and may not last through the night. This will be the last of our parents to die.

I've been struggling with the first anniversary of my mother's death, too. I may not be here much for a while.

More Lace Yarn

This is all Knit Picks lace weight yarn. It's very inexpensive compared to a lot of others. This is heathery yarn and the colors are a bit light. The skein in the middle is actually very greeny-gray and the other two skeins are darker. I have twelve skeins of this, or at least twenty-four shawls.

This is Knit Pick merino lace weight. It's hand dyed (but not hand-painted, which is an important distinction). It's a very nice yarn and I like some of the colors very much. For some reason, totally unknown to me, I have thirty-eight skeins of this. I had forty, but I knitted the Angel Lace Shawl from two of them.

This is the Knit Picks 70% alpaca, 30% silk lace weight yarn. It's finer than the all-merino yarn above it. It makes a very pretty scarf, like the Forest Canopy Scarf I knitted from two skeins of this in turquoises. I currently have eighteen skeins of this.

I also have four skeins of a beautiful teal alpaca heather lace weight from Knit Picks. And I have four skeins (100 g, 880 yd) of their lace weight merino Bare, in natural.

I probably have more Knit Picks lace weight yarn than I really need.

Here's the lace weight yarn bin. It's a twelve-gallon bin from Costco and except for the apricot cotton at the back, the tangerine skein center front, the alpaca in the left corner, and the hand-painted Morehouse Farms merino in the bag and to its right, this entire bin is filled with Knit Picks lace-weight yarn.

I'm considering making about half of it available for trade or purchase on Ravelry. I've already sold about twenty skeins of yarn there. If anyone sees anything they'd like here, let me know.

13 March 2008

The First of the Burst

Originally uploaded by Mary The Digital Knitter

This is the Elann Baby Lace yarn that starting my buying binge. The photo is a little fuzzy, but I'll go back and correct that . I bought four balls of each color. The balls have 663 yd, meaning that there's over half a shawl per ball. I just bought ten shawls, at least.

I also found my camera, as is exceptionally obvious. I'd filled up the memory card and had to download all the photos on it to CD-ROM before I could take any photos. I forgot my other memory cards and will have to get them when we run back up to Lancaster.

11 March 2008

Down In The Low Desert

We got back to Palm Desert a week ago and it's been unseasonably warm here. It was 85° today. The lemon and the clementine are absolutely covered with buds and blossoms and that whole corner of the back yard smells heavenly. The clementine is also covered with orange fruit, but they've been on the tree too long and they're kind of dry. The lemon, which did poorly after the hard freeze, has exactly two lemons on it. I expect a lot more this year.

I've got three shawls and a scarf to block and about a dozen boxes of books to put away and I've been buying lace yarn and fingering weight yarn and Aran weight yarn. I don't know quite how it happened, but I bought four skeins of five different Elann Baby Lace colors. That's at least ten shawls. That wouldn't be so bad, except that the twenty new skeins are sitting on a twelve-gallon bin full of lace yarn and there's six skeins of Zephyr Wool-Silk (three shawls) on the way. I also bought three shawl patterns to go with the Zephyr. All I have to do is hold off from starting another shawl before I get the blocking and unpacking undone. That may be very difficult as knitting shawls is sort of addictive.

I got a copy holder from Office Depot to hold the lace charts. I've been fiddling around with markers and correction tape and magnets. Right now I think I like the copy holder best for knitting here, particularly on long repeats. I think I prefer highlighter pens and multiple copies (a lace book, to use the proper name) for shorter repeats.

The repeat on the Dramatic Shawl is 80 rows, for example, and the copy holder really works well. I've just finished the half-way row in the third repeat. Photos will follow as soon as I find my camera. I know it's here someplace and I think it's in a knitting bag. I'll also take photos of all the lace weight yarn on hand.

04 March 2008

Two Projects: One Done and One Frogged Back to the Initial Slip Knot

The finished project is the Faina's Scarf, which I've finished knitting. I still have to wash it and put a fringe on it. It's a difficult color to photograph well, so I'll wait for daylight as soon as it's done.

The Project that got frogged back to the initial slip knots was the Dramatic Stole. This was going to have five panels taken from the Faina's Scarf pattern, connected with large panels of Rayon Bouclé and edged and fringed with Incredible ribbon yarn. However, the bamboo yarn used for the patterned panels demonstrated its propensity to sagging and stretching after only two panels were finished. Here's a photo of one of them:

Yesterday I pulled back the seed stitch border and bind-off on one of the panels and started to knit more of pattern, but I just couldn't get the chart and the knitting to agree. I knitted about a quarter of the pattern three times and the pattern just was not working. The diagonals weren't, mostly. So I decided that I'd screwed up the pattern when I knitted the original panels. There was nothing to do but to frog them both completely, which I did. Then I discovered I had the chart upside down and there was nothing wrong with my knitting.

This morning I finished loading the van and we drove down to Palm Desert. Mostly I loaded yarn and clothes, as my friend Pat and her husband had taken the heavier stuff, like books and kitchen things, down on Sunday. I've got the van about half empty already and I should be knitting some Drama tomorrow. I'm too tired to wrestle with it today, after making such a dumb mistake yesterday.

I just love my Palm Desert house. It's so bright and cheery that it makes me very happy to walk though it. I don't know quite where all the yarn is going to go. I keep looking at the walk-in closet in the casita, but I'm trying hard to keep the guest room just for guests and not use it for hobby materials storage.

To make the storage problem worse, I mostly knit lace shawls and scarves. Neither project uses much yarn, so finishing one up doesn't even make a dent in my yarn stash.