Thursday, February 18, 2010

A gorgeous day... again

Spring appears to be arriving early this year. Now that I have said this publicly we are likely doomed to snow.
The days are growing longer; aconites, snowdrops, and crocuses are blooming, and it won't be long before our winter sweaters are put back into their vacuum sealed bags until the fall.
P is still off work due to a back injury. An MRI showed some bulging disks and arthritis. He's determined to get 100% recovered and back to work though.
My achilles tendon is not fully recovered yet and I'm considering giving up on physiotherapy and trying massage therapy instead. A fellow hiker who had also injured her achilles was very pleased with her massage treatment and only missed about 6 weeks of hiking. P did point out that my friend stopped hiking as soon as she hurt her achilles while I kept on going for another 2 months or so. Initially I didn't really mind too much but the weather is getting so nice that I don't want to sit at home while P goes hiking without me.
For the past few nights the neighbour's dogs have been barking constantly. It appears that a momma racoon and her yearling have decided to visit our area and this morning they didn't get to their home on time, possibly because a dog scared them into a tree. One of our neighbours was out with his camera early this morning so I headed outside with mine.

The neighbour who's tree they were in took his dog inside for the day and finally somewhere around noon they shuffled off home. I'm sure that they'll be back tonight.

For the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics I decided to complete a baby shawl which was started by my SIL's mom before she passed away. I agreed not to cheat by looking it over before the opening ceremonies on Feb. 12th.
Once I did look I figured that it would be too simple and ALMOST added a second project to the Olympic challenge. I swatched, and then sat with the partial shawl in my lap. The pattern didn't make too much sense to me so I put it down in frustration, looked at things again, compared the partial project to the picture and scratched my head. No matter what I did I could not see how this mass of white fingering yarn would end up like the picture in the book.

From "Beehive for Bairns, vol. 2. Page 21, Knitted shawl"

Non-plussed I picked up the needles and started working on what I thought was the right thing. After 6 rows it didn't look too much better so I put things away again, had some wine, ate dinner, and picked it up again. Until today I had been swatching, unravelling miles of yarn and threading dropped stitches back onto yarn holders.
Finally tonight I had an "ahah" moment and realized that Nettie (my SIL's mom) made an error. The shawl has a garter stitch centre which is shaped like a diamond. It is starts and ends with 3 stitches. Once the centre is done stitches are picked up from one side at a time and worked up to form a trapezoid. Once one trapezoid is done, 23 stitches are cast on and then peaks are knitted, using the 23 stitches plus one stitch from the top of the trapezoid. Yeah, you have to be here to visualize this. Once the peaks are done the remaining 23 stitches are put on a holder until the next trapezoid is done. Then the stitches on hold are used to work the next group of peaks on the second, third and forth trapezoid. I'm confused too as apparently Nettie was.

Instead of using the stitches on hold, Nettie cast on 23 stitches each time she finished a trapezoid. So, I could now either sew the cast on and bound off peak sections together or I could rip 3 of the trapezoids and re-work them correctly.
Any helpful suggestions are most welcome.
I'm also quite curious as to the publication date of this booklet. I did try to google for this and one source said this particular booklet was printed in 1940. A second source said that is dated to the early 1960's. Either way I'm considering copying out the pattern in modern terms for my own use, along with some clearer instructions.

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