Tuesday, April 1, 2008


It's been such a long, cold, windy, rainy and gray winter. It seems like the longest winter of my life. I know a lot has to do with the fact that Mom died in late September on the last warm, sunny day of 2007. We have all been in need of sun and warmth.

We went over to Edgar's Acres this weekend, with me making smart remarks at work about heading over to the Banana Belt to get out of the snow storm we had all day on Friday in Seattle.

It was cold Friday night when we got to Edgar's Acres, but that was alright. We were out of town and ready for a quiet weekend. The hope was to be able to get the potatoes and onions planted and we were praying for decent weather to do so. If it turned out too cold to plant, well, I had my knitting with me.

Saturday morning I woke up to SUN and it was beautiful. The Olympic Mountains were covered with new snow and I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I turned around to look at the garden and was happily surprised to see these ...

The Clarkia have been blooming all winter long, but look at these. They look like a bouquet of flowers just for us. Actually, they are growing out of the compose bin so I imagine their roots have been nice and warm all winter long.

Then the clouds moved in, it rained, so I went into the house to knit. In the early afternoon we had a four hour window of opportunity.

I got the lawn mowed, and David was able to get the beds ready for the potatoes and onions. I no sooner got the mower in the garage, when the sky opened up dumping snow and rain, and hail and rain. And wind, a very cold north wind. I went back into the house and knit.

An hour later, we were able to go out on the deck for a glass of wine while dinner cooked, ate dinner, and then planted ourselves in front of the wood stove, because it got real cold again, real fast.

So I got back to my knitting.

I've been knitting the circumnavigational shawl in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac.

I originally bought the book for the darling baby sweater, but became intrigued with the shawl. It's all based on Pi, and you double the stitches on a row and then knit double the number of rounds, based on the number of stitches. Like spokes on a bike wheel, the more rows you knit, the larger the diameter, and circumference.
I started this last week, and am using the Hand Maiden cashmere/silk yarn. It is a knitter's dream, and love the way the yarn feels in my hand while knitting. I plan to use this shawl this spring and summer when sitting on the deck in the evenings when it is a bit chilly.

I was very carefully adding stitches and counting rows but was beginning to wonder why it wasn't larger than it was. I went back to the instructions. Yep, right number of stitches, right number of rows, but wait ... the shawl is supposed to be about 72" across when it's done ... and I only have 60 more rounds to knit ... something wrong. I went back to the instructions again, and yep, everything counts up right. I got gauge at 4 stitches per inch, got the number of stitches, got the right number of rows, but it's only about 40" when it should be about 55". Again, I checked the instructions, and I got gauge at 3 STITCHES PER INCH. OOPS!!!!! My bad, wrong gauge. I'm not sure where I got the 4 stitches per inch gauge idea, but it was stuck in the old brain.

Oh well. Good thing I am loving to knit up this yarn. I pulled out a pair of size 10 needles and started the shawl again, at 3 STITCHES PER INCH this time, just like the instructions say.

Much better. I think we are going to make it this time.

This is the first shawl I started on at 4 stitches per inch.

This is the shawl I am knitting up now at 3 STITCHES PER INCH.

The shawl on the left has 94 rounds of knitting at 4 stitches per inch. The shawl on the right has 42 rounds of knitting at 3 stitches per inch. Same circumference.

All is good now. I will have my shawl for use this spring and summer, and I have enough yarn.

This evening while I was downloading pictures on my computer I turned around to see what Johnny had been doing. He had his toys scattered all over the place again.
Including the big white toy in the toy box.

Wait a minute, he doesn't have any toy that big ...

It's A.J. taking a nap. Love that dog!



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