Two Sticks And Some String !

This is me, an opinionated, politically progressive Canadian Lace Knitter who's lived and worked in western Canada, and on the east coast of the USA; a multi-skilled person who's been recently re-elected to public office, has a Class One driver's license, a human services professional in direct service, middle and senior management positions, and a MOM!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Azalea Doily - to - Shawl

I had purchased some wonderful silk thread from Eve Kriss at The Silk Tree, on Granville Island, in Vancouver, in March of this year. I knew I wanted to knit something for ME (for a change!), but wasn't sure what it would be.

About three weeks before the Lethbridge Fair (called Whoop-Up Days!), I was leafing through my substantial (gloat) lace knitting library, and saw the Azalea doily. Hmmm ... fodder for my silk and sticks, methinks!

(Marianne Kinzel's Azalea Doily, from the First Book of Modern Lace Knitting.)

So I did some (very) rough calculations, and figured that I needed to start on the ninth round, except rather than making it circular, I would knit five of the six repeats, using the "pairs" of leaves on each side of what would be the front of the shawl, as the border. So I cast on the appropriate number of stitches, and sorta/kinda followed the chart (ugh) for the first couple of sets of leaves, and then put the book away and flew by the seat of my pants.

I had four skeins of silk (and I'm SO thankful for my winding swift, and the great guy who held the skeins while I wound them up with the swift .. thanks, sweetie!). They were close in weight, but not exact, so I wasn't sure how much of a shawl I was going to get, preferring to guesstimate rather than calculate. I knit until the fourth skein of silk had what appeared to be less than one repeat of an entire leaf pattern, and then decided that I wanted to cast off and preserve the look of the leaves along the edge, rather than have to knit an edging on, or have a straight edge.

So I did a weird cast-off which kept the leaves intact along the edge. Then I poured about
three inches of nearly-boiling water into an old Tupperware chicken-keeper (remember the good old days when Tupperware was about food storage, and NOT about being trendy??). Into the hot water I dumped three packages of Cherry Kool Aid (the unsweetened kind, sorta like me ;-) ... swished it around a few times, and the tossed the shawl into the container. I swished it around a couple of times, and left it in the container over night. By the time I got up in the morning, the mixture had not only cooled off completely, but the shawl had absorbed ALL the colour from the cherry Kool Aid! I rinsed several times, and not even the tiniest bit of dye came out of the shawl.

Sooooo ... I squeezed the shawl out in an old white towel (and still no colour bled out!), tossed the shawl over the shower rod curtain, and went to work.

That was the morning of the last day of entering items into Hobby World .

And the deadline was 6:00 p.m.

And I got off work at 4:00 p.m.


So after work, I rushed home, took the shawl off the shower curtain rod, and eek! It was still damp!

Into the dryer it went, for about three minutes.

While it was there, I took a length of blue satin ribbon (under the heading of "any port in a storm"), ran it under a black permanent marker, took the shawl out of the dryer, fed the ribbon through the seed stitch around the neckline on the shawl, wove in the ends of the silk thread (where I'd joined the skeins), tossed the whole thing into a bag, and drove like a mad woman to the Fair Grounds (it's about 5:15 by now).

(You can see the blue ribbon along the left side of this picture, woven into the seed stitch border.)

I managed to get it to the fair grounds on time, along with the remainder of the total of 10 items I entered.

The ne
xt day (Thursday, August 17), I went back and saw my First Place Ribbon on it.

If only the judges knew just how little planning went into that shawl, and particularly compared to my Lily of the Valley tablecloth entered, which didn't even get a Third Place ribbon!

I'm not complaining. Honest (those people hadn't even SEEN lace knitting before).

I was very pleased with the way the cherry Kool Aid had coloured the silk. It's visible in the last picture, a
very gentle easing in and out of the cherry and the original blue, to an almost black. And there was a bonus to the Kool Aid dye job ... the shawl does not smell like Cherry Kool Aid, nor does it have that funky silk smell.

And this is the shawl, on display at the Fair. There happened to be a mannequin-type form hanging around, so I grabbed it, draped about 6 metres of the gold fabric around it and across the table, and proceeded to set up my display. Pretty cool, eh?

It's Not Lace!!!
This is my current project ... a Sasha Kagan designed vest crawling with beetles (although Dorne says they look like wood ticks .. heheh ... and I tend to agree) for my stepmother's youngest daughter who owns The Bug Zoo, in Victoria, BC. Anything bug-themed is good, and when I happened to show Gerry (my stepmother) the pattern, she fell in love with it, and then wondered aloud if there was anyone who might knit it so she could give it to Carol for Christmas.

Bingle Jells, Carol (not that you'll read this). I'm hating (HATING!) the knitting, but I'm happy (ya, right) to be doing it for Gerry, my stepmother, who I really (REALLY!) like a lot.

Yes, I know the picture is upside down. The ticks ..... errrr ... beetles are actually easier to see that way.


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Princess Cruise Lines Finally Gets it Right!

Took 'em long enough. They've hired my son to work on the Caribbean Princess. On September 30th, he flies from Vancouver to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and begins a six month stay on board.

He'll be sharing a cabin with one other crew member. The boat has several gyms, including one just for crew, as well as pools and very large decks, perfect for those morning jogs!

The down side (strictly from a mother's very selfish point of view) is that as of November 1, I'll be back in my own home, in Port Alberni, on Vancouver Island. For the first time in 7 years, Eric and I will be within a short drive of each other. Well, we SHOULD be within a short drive of each other, as he's now living in Victoria. Unfortunately, his six months onboard does not include going home for Christmas. Sigh.

He was bitten by the travel bug last year, after spending four months in Nice, France, on the Meditteranean coast. The soles of his feet have been itchy ever since. While working for Princess, he'll be able to touch solid ground whenever the ship goes into a port, so he'll be seeing lots of the Caribbean Islands.

I'm expecting some pretty fabulous Christmas and Birthday gifts (ahem, dear son ... and ON TIME, too).

Aw, what the heck. An email occasionally would be nice.

The ships are equipped with webcams, so perhaps I'll even be able to see him strutting around in his Princess Cruise Lines uniform from time to time!

And for me, back to work tomorrow, after two weeks off to recuperate from varicose vein surgery. It's been rather pleasant, actually, other than the minor discomfort of the incisions. Spinal anaesthesia is the only way to go ... no anaesthetic hangover! I was awake through the surgery, into the recovery room shortly after 8 a.m., and went home before 1 p.m. I was relaxing on the couch with the remote control beside me and my knitting in my hands. What a tough day! Oh, and the days since? More of the same, except I'm NOT knitting lace (imagine!). I'll post some pics of that, too.

I have some more pictures to post, too. Dorne with "his" son (the malamute who thinks he's a cat), some cutesy cat pics (when you share a house with FOUR kitties, there are lots of really cute moments), and the Silk Cascading Leaves shawl that won a first prize at our local fair, spread out on the bed for a better view.

Finally, a cool day. It looks and feels and smells like fall out there. Maybe time to start thinking about a birthday cruise ;-) I wonder if there are family discounts for cruise line staff??

Happy Sailing, Eric. I love you, honey.

Blogging Dippers
Progressive Bloggers
Vast Left Wing Conspiracy
NO Deep integration!

Skip Prev 5

List Prev 5


Skip Next 5

List Next 5

List All Random Site Join!
This RingSurf Site is owned by TwoSticksAndSomeString

Fearless knitting

I am Knitting Daily
ru knitting daily?

Webring is owned by
Two Sticks and Some String !.
Previous | Next | List Sites