Sunday, August 20, 2006

From the sogginess and heat of the east coast to the sogginess (relative) and coolness of the Oregon coast was a big enough jump; moving from there to the 95 F and 0% humidity of Boise Idaho has been a huge change. Can you say summer time vacation? I brought two shawls with me to work on; one is lace weight and springy, no memory for stitches at all. Once I drop stitches, there's not much help for it but to rip. I dropped a section of 6 stitches last night - can you say Ouch? I couldn't. I just shuddered, trapped the miscreants and put it away. Maybe tomorrow. The other is the Beginner Triangle from GOL - it's on the downhill slide - every row is shorter than the previous and moving along quickly. Someday I'll have pictures. Shawls and scenery. But there's more scenery to get through between now and then - Craters of the Moon, Yellowstone, the Great Salt Lake, Yosemite, San Francisco...

Thank you for all the kind thoughts about Bitsy. 17+ years is a long time. She never was a very snuggly kitty, but she had her moments and we will miss her.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Bits O'Grey

March 1989 - 11 August 2006

AKA Bitsy, Bits, B-Cat and The Squeaker.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More summer reading

Checking out the library's "new" shelf, I happened upon and a Bottle of Rum: History of the New World in 10 Cocktails, which I had been intending to read, and The Girls Who Went Away, which I had never heard of before. Both extremely readable and quite interesting.

and a Bottle of Rum is a history of rum (no duh) which involves the history of the islands where it originated and the history of the US as it involves rum. My interest in history of England or the US ended, when I was in school, about 1600. Anything after that was too new to interest me. Consequently, as a an adult, I am constantly surprised and intrigued with those books that attract my attention which introduce me to the history of the US after 1600. This is one of those books. My knowledge of the beginnings of the American Revolution has been limited to what 11th grade American History managed to get into my head, i.e. the British imposed the Stamp Act and a tax on tea, out of the spitefulness of their hearts and we obviously stood up for ourselves and said we objected. Right. Who knew there was a Sugar Act before that, and even before that the Molasses Act, both of which had to do with other British colonies protecting their turf? Well obviously, plenty of people must have known this and obviously I didn't. (Well, I've already confessed my complete ignorance on the subject.) It also explains in later chapters a great deal more that fits in with what I learned about Susan B. Anthony when I was reading up on her a year or so ago, and why we had the Great Experiment. Very interesting reading.

I suppose I could do some serious reading on American History and quit treating the subject like a huge jigsaw puzzle, but there is a certain pleasure to be found in stumbling across new pieces.

The Girls Who Went Away discusses a much more recent portion of US history - the girls of the 40s and 50s who became pregnant, usually out of wedlock, and who gave up their children for adoption. The author has done an oral history study, talking with women who are willing, and sometimes eager, to talk about their experiences in being birth mothers. I found this a very difficult book to read, not because it was badly written (it isn't), but because it was very emotional. The people being quoted were emotional, and I became so in reading their stories. The historical and social environment that lead up to so many (comparatively speaking) young women surrendering their children for adoption is something I had never really studied before, and yet so much of it resonated with my girlhood (growing up in the 60s and early 70s) and resonates today with the conservative element trying to push us back to the 50s. I have read of the difficulties that adoptees had in dealing with their adoption, and obviously there has been a big push to open records so that they may learn their genetic and cultural heritage. This is the story of the other side of the coin - women who were forced by circumstances, their families, their position in their society, into giving up their children when what they wanted was simply support in keeping their children. Obviously just part of the story - many of the women wanted to talk because the events they went through caused them such pain, but still a valid portion of the history of those times.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Someone passed this along. It's called The Size of the World, but I like Perspective better.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Katy Shawl Questions and Variations

Katy 1 was done in handspun. Looking at it closely again, I think I goofed when I said 1 ply corriedale - I think it actually was 2 ply and 1 ply silk. It is approximately fingering/sport weight yarn, I used a #4 US needle, and the whole shawl weighs approximately 185 grams. Using a very conservative number on generic fingering length, that should be approximately 1000 yds, but was probably less than that, more like 7 or 800. ( Calculation is necessary because a. I didn't keep the leftover yarn or if I did I can't find it, b. This was a seat of the pants creation to start with, and I didn't even do the minimal record keeping I now do.) If I were to do this again, I'd probably allow myself 1000 yds just because I'm conservative like that.

Katy 2 was done in Jaeger Trinity(using #7 US needles), which comes in 50 gram balls, 218 yards each. (see above lack of records) Weighing the thing now, it's 196 grams. Logic would say, I used 4 balls completely. I bought 6 or 7 to start with to make sure I had enough and had a bunch left over. If I were doing it again now I'd start with 5 balls (or maybe six because I like to overbuy and hate worrying about running out. Consult your panic level on the subject of running out. Believe me, you don't want to get down to the end of this border and decide you have to rip it out and make the thing shorter.)

Katy 1 variation: Let line 6 read: k3, k2, (yo,k2tog,k3) 5 times, yo,k2tog, k1, k3. ( 36). This does not make allowances in the full pi stitch count for the border stitches and consequently (since these stitches are not doubled at the increase rows) the total stitch count at the end is much less, leaving you with a half pi. This will require adjustments in the number of repeats on pattern rows, and may affect how many stitches are odd at the ends of such rows. It will also affect the number of repeats of the border pattern.
Also, I didn't think the shawl was long enough and didn't want to double the stitches again, so I did an extra set of pattern (repeat rows 34-41) at row 58 before going on into the repeat called for at row 58 as listed.

Katy 2 variation: I find that with a worsted cotton yarn, the fabric of this pattern looks better if the motifs are slightly farther apart. I'll post about that in another entry.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Katy Shawl
1. Cast on 9 stitches.
2. Knit in front and back of all stitches (18).
3. Knit across.
4. Knit in front and back of all stitches (36).
5. K3, P30, k3. (establish 3 stitch garter stitch border)
6. K3, k2, (yo, k5) 5 times, yo, k3, k3. (42) (increase stitches so that 6 border stitches are removed from count of stitches to be increased later).
7. K3, p36, k3.
8. K3, knit in front and back of next 36 stitches, k3. (78)
9. K3, P72, k3.
10. K3, k3, (yo, ssk, k4) 11 times, yo, k2tog, k1, k3.
11. K3, p72, k3.
12. K3, (k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk) 12 times, k3.
13. K3, p72, k3.
14. Knit across.
15. K3, p72, k3.
16. K3, knit in front and back of next 72 stitches, k3. (150)
17. K3, p144, k3.
18. K3, k3, (yo, ssk, k4) 23 times, yo, ssk, k1, k3.
19. K3, p144, k3.
20. K3, (k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk) 24 times, k3.
21. K3, p144, k3.
22. K3, k6, (yo, ssk, k4) 23 times, k3.
23. K3, p144, k3.
24. K3, k4, (k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1) 23 times, k2, k3.
25. K3, p144, k3.
26. – 29. Repeat rows 18 – 21
30. K3, k2tog (yo, k3, yo, sl1-k2tog-psso) 23 times, yo k3 yo k1 k3
31. K3 p145 k3
32. K4, knit front and back next 143, k4
33. K3, p288, k3
34. K3, k3 (yo, ssk, k4) 47 times, yo, ssk, k1, k3
35. K3, p288, k3
36. K3, k1, (k2tog, yo k1, yo, skk) 48 times, k3
37. K3, p288, k3
38. K3, k6 (yo, ssk, k4) 47 times, k3
39. K3, p288, k3
40. K3, k4 (k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1) 47 times, k2, k3
41. K3, p288, k3
42. – 49 Repeat rows 34 – 41
50. – 57 Repeat rows 34-41
58. – 61 Repeat rows 34 – 37
62. K3, k2tog (yo, k3, yo, sl1-k2tog-psso) 47 times, yo k3 yo k1 k3
63. K3, p289, k3 Note: You may stop here and add edging, OR continue in pattern until shawl is as long as desired.
64. k4, knit front and back of next 287, k4 (582 stitches)
65. Repeat in pattern.
The depth of the edging will be approximately half the depth of the section between rows 32 and 64.
When you have the depth of shawl that you want:
1. K3,yo (k2tog, yo) across, k3
2. K3, p across, k3
Repeat rows 1 and 2 two more times, then knit across.

You will now begin border. Keep stitches on circular needle. Using the yarn attached to the body of the work, cast on 19 stitches. Using a single straight needle or dpn of the same diameter of the circular needle, knit those 19 stitches. Knit those 19 stitches again. You are now ready to start edging pattern. On each ODD row, you will knit 2 together using the last stitch of edging and the next stitch of the shawl edge, thereby using one stitch of shawl edge for each 2 rows of edging pattern.
Note: If you start edging after row 63, you will have 42 repeats of the edging; if after row 64, you will have 82 repeats of edging..
Edging pattern: (Snail Shell Edging)
1. K5, p1, yo, p2tog, k8, yo, k2tog, k2tog (19 stitches)
2. K3, yo, k2tog, k5, k2tog, yo k1, yo, ssk, k2, (yo) 2 times, k2 (21 stitches)
3. K3, p1, k1, p2tog-b, yo, p3, yo, p2tog, k6, yo, k2tog, k2tog (21 stitches)
4. K3, yo, k2tog, k3, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2, (yo) 2 times, k2. (23 stitches)
5. K3, p1, k1, p2tog-b, yo, p3, yo, p2tog, p2, yo, p2tog, k4, yo, k2tog, k2tog (23 stitches)
6. K3, yo, k2tog, k1, (k2tog, yo, k2) two times, yo, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, k2, (yo) two times, k2 (25 stitches)
7. K3, p1, k1, (p2tog-b, yo, p1) two times, yo, p2tog, p1, yo, p2tog, p2, yo, p2tog, k2, yo k2tog, k2tog (25 stitches)
8. K3, yo, k3tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1, yo, ssk, k2tog, (yo) 2 times, k2tog (25 stitches)
9. K2, p1, k1, p2, yo, p2tog, p1, yo, p3tog, yo, p1, p2tog-b, yo, p2, p2tog-b, yo, k3, yo, k2tog, k2tog (25 stitches)
10. K3, yo, k2tog (k2, yo, ssk) 2 times, k3, k2tog, yo, k2, sl1-k2tog-psso, (yo) 2 times, k2tog (24 stitches)
11. K2, p5, yo, p2tog, p1, p2tog-b, yo, p2, p2tog-b, yo, k5, yo, k2tog,k2tog (24 stitches)
12. K3, yo, k2tog, k4, yo, ssk, k2, yo, k3tog, yo, k2, k3tog, yo, k2tog,k1 (22 stitches)
13. K3, p1, k3, yo, p2tog, p1, p2tog-b, yo, k7, yo, k2tog, k2tog (22 stitches)
14. K3, yo, k2tog, k6, yo, k3tog, yo, k2, k3tog, yo, k3tog (19 stitches)

When you have one stitch of shawl left, use last stitch in knitting 2 rows plain and bind off.
Crochet a row of single crochet along the first 9 stitches to give some firmness to this area and blend into the border. (These 9 stitches can also be folded together and sewn if your yarn thickness does not make this undesirable). Weave in ends.
Katy Shawl John & Elizabeth Osborn
© 8/1/2006aeosborn@earthlink.netCopyright 23 April 2005
Please do not distribute with permission, or without this copyright notice.
These aren't new creations, but I'm trying to gather up my pictures into a single file folder and thought you might like to see them again. The grey is Beastly Waves. Two different bumps of Beast had very different colors in them, which worked nicely in feather and fan.

This was the first version of the Katy Shawl. One ply brown Corriedale, one ply blue/purple/green silk. The camera picks up the silk more than is really visible in person - the effect is more subtle. It's a half-pi shawl with snail shell edging. Someday I'll finish oroofing the pattern and post it, unless someone wants to proof it for me.

This is the Katy Shawl Mark 2, done in a commercial cotton/silk/polyamide, somewhat bulkier than the original, with slight modifications, like not forgetting to adjust for taking the border stitches out of the body stitch count, which was something I intended to do it in the first version but didn't. It didn't bother me because the first version was a mindless knitting project for meetings, done in a well-what-would-look-good-next sort of fashion.

Stripes was done in spindle spun BFL, dyed by one of the members of the local guild. The pattern was a variation of the Rebozo from Folk Shawls.