. . .
but what I DID was go yarn shopping.
I was just in one of those moods. Itchy fingers. Nothing in my stash was going to satisfy me.
With the surplice being done, there was nothing urgent on the needles (we're not counting those noisy old NFO's!). I'm having a lot of shoulder pain these days (an old football injury ;o), so knitting with the cotton for the linen stitch placemats is NOT A GOOD IDEA. I wanted to knit something soft and pretty.
At first I thought socks, but summer is coming. My feet will be too swollen to wear good socks for months, and nobody in my family will wear wool socks until next winter.
So I spent a lovely hour browsing my LYS (it's small!) and found these two balls of Fiddlesticks Jaggerspun Zephyr Wool Silk. It's soft as butter and a lovely, heathery purple called "Elderberry" (Makes me hungry for toast and jam when I knit). I thought about a lot of patterns (almost decided on the Fiddlesticks Flower basket pattern), but IT wanted to be a feather and fan stole.
Lace knitting is cheap knitting. You get a lot of yardage and knitting satisfaction for not too much money. And you get a lot of oohs and ahhs for a few yarn overs and Knit two togethers. What could be better?
OK, I can do that.
The pattern is basic feather and fan, in particular the Lace 1,2, 3 pattern free from the Knitpicks website http://www.knitpicks.com/+Lace+1%2c+2%2c+3%3a+Andean+Treasure+Shawl_PD50478221.html (Scroll down to the bottom to where it says "download free pattern").
I added 5 garter stitches on each edge, and I plan to knit it halfway, remove the KPO needles and hold the yarn on the cable (Love the KPO's!) to knit a second, identical half and kitchener them together. This will be a light stole to wear in the office when the AC makes it chilly in the summer.
It's lovely yarn to knit--the silk content gives a nice sheen but does not take away the yarn's spring--so it's easy on the hands and shoulders. The knitting goes quite fast. This yarn is so soft and cuddly that I could sleep with it--but I don't think WG would understand.
I love feather and fan. 3 out of 4 pattern rows are mindless, and the one row that takes concentration takes very little.
This is my feather and fan row counter. It's got four glass beads in shades of purple (elderberry?) on a lobster claw, connected to an eyeglass "thingie". I really only needed two beads, but didn't figure that out until later.
Here's how it works: On row 1, I pull down just one bead. That tells me I'm on row 1, knit acress between markers. On the back side, I'm on row 2, purl across between markers.
On row 3, two more beads get pulled down (three beads, three rows, get it?) and I know that's the pattern row. The back side of that is row 4, another knit across row. Then all but one bead get slid back up to begin row 1 again. Two beads would have been enough, but it's no big deal. This is the second F&F project I've used it on. It's a pretty marker, light weight, and works well (as long as I remember to use it every odd row--ERK!). I also have rubber ring markers between each pattern repeat, so almost no thinking is required at all, even on the pattern row.
Right now it's very portable in my ultrasuede drawstring bag, but will outgrow that before it's done. We'll see what it wants to be carried in then.
The lone LYS is really a quilting and sewing machine store where they've devoted about 25% to knitting and crochet. On the wall was a stunning quilt. I think it was called a "candleflame". OMG, it was gorgeous. I admit to being a bit jealous. I love quilts, but HATE quilting--it's too fussy and picky to me--not easily portable, and too dependent on machines. Plus, those needles are SHARP!!!!!!!!!!.
But quilters can paint with color in a way that can't be easily replicated with knitting. Intarsia is a PITA, and--though I really enjoy doing it--Fair Isle is not as versatile and it costs too much to have a broad pallette of colors. The fabrics that are out there for quilting are stunning. So I'll just have to be jealous and knit on.