Today I am 7 days away from giving Madeline a little kitty sleepy-pill and boarding a plane to go see my Mom in Florida. Today I am also 30 days away from my very favorite holiday, Halloween. I don't have anything more to say about Halloween right now other that it's coming, and I'm pumped.
But my vacation to Florida has induced quite a finishing-spree, and I couldn't be happier with my progress. Last night at Quarter 3 Emergency Knitting night, I finished a crazy-shawl that I started on the airplane to Vegas on July 3rd. I worked on it diligently the whole time I was there and on the flight home, realized that my stitch count was 50-something off on the row that you pick up all your stitches and add the lace border. I did what I shouldn't have done, and stuck it away in a dark corner until 3 days ago. I tinked back, read the directions thoroughly, and guess what- it worked. I did add an extra 12 stitches which happened to add 2 lace pattern repeats to the left side but whatever. It worked. Here it is blocking.
The pattern is called Lazy Katy and is translated from German. See on the right side of the shawl there's a purple part that starts out with a couple stitches and gets a little bigger, ultimately changing colors and making up the body of the shawl? You start there with a couple stitches, adding two and then decreasing one stitch per row which is how you end up with that funny shape. Then you do a bunch of YO's at the end and that separates the body from what's about to be your border. Then you pick up 2, YO across the short side of the shawl (I kept trying to pick up 1, YO across which threw me off quite a bit) and then you've got your asymetrical border picked up wit 32 pattern reps on one side and 17 on the other (it was supposed to be 15 but I'm such a maverick :p). After that picking up border stitches business it was over in 2 days and now that it's blocking and Madeline is outside and can't pull the pins out, I really love this shawl and am frankly embarassed at how long it took me to finish it. This yarn had originally been the start of another shawl, but I wasn't pleased and since this is part of the dwindling English stash, I wanted to be thrilled with the end result. And I am.
I also made a kitty rug/blanket for the girls so that I could use up a ball of novelty yarn that's been taunting me for a while. Here is the ball, the bed pre-felting (future pair of socks included for scale) and post-felting. It's had a cat on it fairly consistently since I pulled it out of the dryer, so I am once again, very pleased with the result.
And here's another little picture: I got a French children's book in the mail the other day. My good friend and penpal of 14 years has become an illustrator. She's always been artsy and her letters are absolutely saturated with...just, art. Her writing is spectactulary elaborate, she doodles all over the envelopes, and she's just one of those people that could sneeze and have a painting fall out. I'm so envious of her talent. I've bought a few paintings of hers and had her send them here, and this summer she sent a "portrait" of me quite randomly. It's a woman sitting, having a cup of tea in a hand-knit sweater, reading a book. I've had it framed and it's so cool, I'm probably going to design a room around this picture. (I do send her little knitted things in my letters in case you were wondering). But this week in the mail, I got a copy of a French children's book that she has illustrated, and it's absolutely stunning. It's the first book she's illustrated, and I am so ridiculously happy for her. And I'm really thrilled that she sent me a copy! Here it is with the sock that WILL be finished before I go to Florida (I've just turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches yesterday).
And lastly, a huge thank you to Jen and Jasmine for helping me frog a double-stranded CPH last night which I've been putting off for 3 years. I have grand plans of a Fall cardi that should wait until I finish a baby blanket, a sock, and a woven scarf, but will probably be started today because today is the start of Quarter 4 knitting. And I'm so excited to have finally reclaimed a sweater's worth of Rowan Felted Tweed that I'd like to have a cardi as soon as possible. You know. It's a knitting thing.