Yahoo … ring the bells … it’s finally finished!
I started this project a few months ago (so I’m not the speed knitter, I do have a job you know), and of course I wasn’t devotedly monogamous with this project (when am I ever?) so it took awhile. Last weekend, I finished the Gothic Leaf Stole, designed by Sivia Harding (her blog) who has single handedly turned many a completely blissful knitter into a total bead freak. Sivia’s crochet hook method allows knitters to insert beads at-will into their knitting patterns, which turns us all into little designers of a sort and we love that, don’t we?
Placing beads this way gives us complete freedom for adding a little sparkle, a little jazz where ever we want it in the pattern as it develops. As my own variation to the pattern, I changed the placement of my deeply red beads to the center of the hearts instead of along the little connecting lines between the hearts.
The yarn I used, which was String Theory’s fingering weight Bamboo Merino in Black Cherry, is really light and I didn’t want the beads to weigh down the shawl too much. I really love the fact that Sivia approves and even encourages those who buy her patterns to make their own variations. There’s nothing nicer than a designer who cheers on those who want to tweak her patterns.
I soaked my Gothic Leaf, rolled it in a soft towel, stepped on it to squeeze the water out, and blocked it with the help of my blocking wires and pins.
Then, in a perfect act of self-defense, I carefully covered it with a long cloth to keep it ‘safe’ while blocking. Now, this is not a required step in other households, but it is in mine because for the next two days all of the kitties ‘helped’ the blocking process along by lying on the shawl and holding it firmly to the blocking pads. The shawl beneath the covering cloth was cool and damp, so it presented a highly desirable perching post for hot summer evenings. Given the heat of late, I suspect the kitty coverage was why it took two friggin’ days to get good and dry.
Then, I took just a couple of pictures of it …
… very quickly before the knitting group came for wine and food on the deck and very quickly before any bears come to visit. (Note, knitting party came off without a hitch – deer visited, a baby bunny too, but no bears. YAY!)
So, with that project finished, what did I do? No, I did not turn to one of the many projects I already have on the needles (are you kidding?). I had to start the Traveling Woman shawl with some lovely Zen Garden yarn called Serenity. I’ve started and ripped it a couple times trying to get the right needle size and placement of the markers.
Emily, she did the happy wiggle kitty dance:
Mama is now free to play with me!