Archive for the 'Life' Category

My Multnomah

Soon after I finished off my travelling woman shawl, I started on another project. A pretty little shawl by the name of Multnomah.

Multnomah waveI had tried to make this before I attempted the travelling woman pattern, but I just couldn’t work it out. I’m not sure what the problem was. I was using a lovely yarn in a very pretty orangey rusty color, but for some reason I just couldn’t get it to work. I missed a row, and a few increases, and by the time I had made it to the lace pattern repeat, I was way off count. I was struggling, and I couldn’t figure out why. I messed around with a few things and I forced the lace repeat to work, but then I purled at a point where I should have knit, and things just went completely pear shaped. So, I gave it up. I tore it out. Frogged it, as they say. I thought: this pattern just isn’t for me.

However, when the travelling woman was done, and I looked around at the yarn I had set aside for my next project, I couldn’t resist trying again. The Multnomah seems to me to give a pretty sturdy impression, especially compared to the travelling woman. The yarn that I have also seems to be of pretty sturdy stuff. So I thought I would try again. I mean, I wouldn’t learn anything unless I continued to try, right? Besides, so many people are out there are making this pattern work for them, surely I could make it work for me too?

Peak of my Multnomah shawlI enjoyed knitting this pattern in the end, but the yarn is really what spoke to me here. I had originally thought I would make some socks with it, but I’m glad I haven’t.  I wasn’t sure how the colors and the color changes would look in a sock, and I thought perhaps the colors might get a bit lost all merged together. I love how the turquoise and tawny gold colors play together and it would be a shame to lose this by squashing it down into a sock pattern. And besides, I love the colors so much I want to be able to wear them someplace where they can be seen and be appreciated. This is what led me back to the multnomah pattern – I thought that this shawl might show this off. And I was right, at least in my opinion.

The pattern is Hello Knitty’s Multnomah, and the yarn is Blue Heron Sock Plus in Forest.

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Travelling Woman in blue

And I’ve finished it, hurrah! Here’s a picture of it unblocked:

Unblocked travelling woman shawl

 Again, it’s not a spectacular photo, but it shows how soft the stitches and the points are in the shawl. I at first didn’t think it would turn out at all. I didn’t have huge problems, but I did have problems keeping track of the pattern and the stitches. I have to be very diligent in keeping track of how many I have on the needles and in the pattern, otherwise I get carried away and lose track of everything. Considering this is my first finished lace item, I’m quite proud of it. I’m sure a more experienced knitter will be able to see where I made mistakes, but I can’t. And as they say, ignorance is bliss. Especially in this case. Although, admittedly, I’d like an experienced knitter to sit down with me on it and show me my mistakes. I’d learn a little something.

Blocked travelling woman shawlHere is it finished and blocked – my Travelling Woman shawl in blue. I love it, and I’m really very tickled with it. I blocked it over Thanksgiving weekend, posting a picture to my moblog. Very rubbishy picture, I must say. It didn’t do the shawl or the color any justice at all. As you can see in these pictures, the color is very pretty and vibrant, with just a bit of color variation.

This was a good pattern for me. Knitting is much more challenging for me that crochet is, and I’ve been wanting to try something other than socks. Socks are great, but I really wanted to do something prettier and little less practical. This shawl fit the bill. Plus I had to concentrate a bit more on it and I wanted to see if I could do that. And guess what – I could! I found it a bit more in depth – trying to keep track of the pattern and increases and decreases – but this was a perfect starter for me. Seeing it blocked, I feel much more confident in my knitting ability.

 I like to think that now I’ll graduate now onto something more wonderful and flamboyant. There are so many pretty patterns to choose from, and so much yarn that is both soft and colorful. I’m just not sure what I’ll do next.

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Crafting update

I’ve recently been working on Travelling Woman, using Malabrigo Yarn Sock, in Impressionist Sky. Love the yarn, and I really like the pattern as well. I’m just about finished with it all. I would have had it done by now, but I had to take a brief break as I entertained family for a week. The pattern isn’t particularly hard, but I am at a stage where I need to pay attention to what I’m doing, and that just wasn’t going to happen with everyone around. As mentioned, the pattern wasn’t particularly hard, but I’ve found in the last two or three rows I’ve been having just a little bit of trouble. I’ve missed a few stitches where I have to increase by using a yarn over. I don’t know if I missed the stitches on the right side, or if I dropped them while purling on the wrong side. I think it’s most likely that I missed them on the right side. They always seem to be in the same place in the pattern, so I think I missed it out while doing the repeats. For the most part, I don’t think you can tell where I’ve had to go back and pick up the stitches. I did not rip everything out, but just picked up a stitch from below. I don’t think this is the right thing to do, but it worked for me and we’ll see if it’s glaringly obvious when I get it all finished. I’m really looking forward to finishing this up. The weather here has turned a bit chilly – nothing to write home about – but it would be nice to have something bright and blue and soft to drape over my shoulders, especially at the office, where the aircon is still on full blast.

This will also be the first project I have ever officially blocked. I’m looking forward to how this works. A little nervous about doing it all on my own, but it will be fine I know. I just can’t wait to be able to wear this shawl. Maybe that will make me a little quicker on making the next one. 🙂

I have a few projects that I would like to get underway and I have a load of things I’d like to try. I haven’t started anything new just yet because I like to finish things off before I get too involved in new things.

On top of all of this, my mother has reminded me that I have a large amount of yo-yos that I should do something with. They cover about a quarter of a bed, so I should devote some time to those and make enough to cover the entire bed. Then I’ll have made myself a quilt/bedspread, and that would be very cool. I need to get some more fabric, though. I think it’s about time to investigate the fabric shops around Houston. I started working on the yo-yo’s when I first moved to the UK. I wasn’t knitting at the time, because the cost was prohibitive. Instead, my mother gave me some fabric of hers, and I started to put together some yo-yo’s. I haven’t touched them in years, just carried them around from flat to flat, and my mother discovered them when she was visiting this last week. They are very pretty, aren’t they?



Some days…

I really miss this part of my commute:

Tower Bridge
Yes, I even miss the overcast cold weather bit of it.


Lessons Learned

Paul is learning a lot while he’s in America. 🙂

Paul meets cactus

Paul investigates a cactus

I took this during our trip to New Mexico this year. Paul just couldn’t stay away from the wildlife.

We’re all learning new things about ourselves in this experience in America. Some of them have been much more fun than others, like this lesson Paul learned – yes, cacti are prickly!


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