Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm still going...

I can't believe it's been over a month since my last update. I've been knitting like crazy so I have a lot to talk about.

I've been on a lace kick lately. I finished the Swallowtail and gifted it to my lovely co-worker. I really enjoyed this knit. The pattern is well written and easy to follow and the yarn I used, Handmaiden Sea Silk, is just beyond words. I think it's the perfect yarn for this pattern. It was a true pleasure to knit with and I wish I could afford to make more projects with it but it's a bit pricey for my budget. This photo shows the actual color of the yarn much better.

This put me on a path to nupp central. I purchased an online pattern that features nupps, Baltic Blossoms by Evelyn A. Clark and started it right away. I started it using Filatura di Crosa Superior of which I have 660 yards. This yarn is my most cherished possession and I didn't want to waste it. The small version of the shawl would have left me with 200 yards, not enough to do much with but not enough to knit the larger size. I did the body of the shawl before I finally made up my mind that I just couldn't live with the thought of wasting those 200 yards. So I ripped it out and started over using Spirit Trail Fiberworks Bombyx Silk Atropos. I have 500 yards of this so I did the body for the smaller size but I also went down a needle size. After knitting 9 repeats of the body and the first two lily of the valley charts I decided that the shawl would be too small. So I ripped out the LOV charts and added 5 more repeats of the the body pattern for a total of 14 repeats. With the smaller needle size I'm hoping that 500 yards will be enough to finish this.

Here's what it looked like before I ripped out the LOV charts. I ripped it back to the where the first lifeline is shown but unfortunately I had already removed the lifeline (I know, I'm an idiot). So I had a lot of fun trying to pick up all those stitches in SILK yarn but I eventually succeeded. I'm now back to where the first lifeline is shown but with 5 extra repeats of the body pattern. I'm ready to start the first lily of the valley chart. I'll have to do some major improvisation if I don't have enough yarn to finish this because the colorway was one of a kind.

Meanwhile, my friends and I went to Stitches East for three wonderful fun-filled days! I took two classes and really enjoyed them both but especially the Cable Variations class taught by Melissa Leapman. She is a really good teacher and kept the class moving even if it meant leaving some folks behind. The class description clearly indicated that it wasn't for beginners. I felt so sorry for the lady who sat beside me. She didn't know what an SSK was! She didn't even really get started on any of the examples before she had to quit and move on to the next one. I think she was in tears at one point. No one should ever cry over knitting. That's just wrong in so many ways.

I made some purchases at the market preview Thursday night. I bought a skein of gorgeous tencel laceweight Almaza from Just Our Yarn. Yes, that's the real color.

It's seems to be a very fine lace weight, perhaps closer to cobweb. I just couldn't resist the color and shine.

I bought two skeins of Jojoland Harmony, which is also a very fine lace weight. I'm into bright colors right now. Maybe it's because of the gray/brown yarn I'm working with right now.

I haven't worked with either of these yarns so I hope they will lend themselves to an enjoyable knitting experience.

I hung around the Windy Valley Muskox booth a little too long and ended up buying two balls of Golden Crown Suri Alpaca with the intention of making some sort of lacy scarf. They also had gorgeous pima cotton and beads to make a beaded scarf so I bought that as well. I forgot to take a photo of the cotton but here's the alpaca. I've started a scarf that I'll talk about later.

My hubby wants a scarf made from muskox but he's going to have to cough up the cash for that yarn because it's not coming out of my budget. It's nice but there's too many other yarns I'd like to have.

Let's see, what else did I buy? Oh yeah, I bought a skein of Creatively Dyed Beaches sock yarn. Probably won't make socks out of it though.

I also bought a couple books I've been planning to get. It Itches by Franklin Habit and Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. I have A Gathering of Lace on my list but I'm saving it for my Christmas list.

I cast on for the Lily of the Valley scarf using the Suri Alpaca from Windy Valley Muskox and I'm working on it off and on. Here's a progress shot.

This yarn feels so luxurious and decadent that it's hard to describe. It has a cool, silky feel and a fuzzy softness both at the same time even though I think those tactile sensations contradict one another. It also stretches a lot. I hope it blocks okay.

Somewhere in the the midst of all that I bought a skein of Malabrigo Worsted from Susan at Y2Knit and made another Better Bucket for me, since Hubby took off with the first one I made. I haven't blocked it yet and it's way too big for my hairless head but it fits over my head wraps and really keeps the cold off my bare head. The colorway it Noviembre, which suits it fine.

I had my fourth chemo treatment last Monday and spent the week on the couch too tired to even knit. No nausea, for which I'm so thankful, but extreme fatigue and weakness. This week I'm doing better. I only worked half a day yesterday but I'm fine today. Two more treatments and I'm done with chemo. My exams have been good. No new lumps in evidence so we just continue to treat all the side effects of the chemo and hope for the best. I've had to go on insulin and blood pressure meds but hopefully once the poisons are out of my body, I'll be able to go off those. I have to admit that I'm enjoying the hair loss. Bath time lasts about 5 minutes now because there's nothing to shampoo or shave. My eyebrows are getting sparse but may actually make it through without completely disappearing. My lashes are hanging in there too but I've read that they will be the very last hair to go.