Saturday, July 25, 2009


Has it really been almost a month? How did that happen? Where have I been? For that matter, what could I possibly have been doing that would take me away from The Blog for this long?

Okay. Well there was the parade. Then there was Peoria, which we missed most of and I never did find a yarn store, although the kids had a couple of nice walks along the river.

There were hawks.

And I've kind of been in a seminar for the past week (where Diane and I have unearthed another knitter!) and it goes on into next week and the week after, so there was preparing for that. A lot of preparing for that. Reams of it. Stacks of it. My dining room table and parts of the floor are missing and I keep losing things. Like Clare's current reading which disappeared Thursday and that I released uncovered today.

But I digress. You want knitting, don't you? I considered having Clare pinch hit, but I think her knitting is not ready for Prime Time and I do have two knitting stories I can tell you. How about one tonight and then let's see if I can get back here at some point tomorrow (before I have to finish prepping for next week) and tell you the second.

When last seen, I was setting myself up for Myrna Stahman's Fenna shawl, yes? Ah, yes (I checked the Blog). When we left for Peoria -- in the dark and into a steady downpour that devolved into a thunderstorm (not conducive to travel knitting, garter-stitch or no garter stitch) -- I had only knit the back neck-band. Note the cleverness of the construction implicit in that statement.

This is a faroese shawl from the top down. After a short provisional cast-on, she has you knit the border that will rest at the back of your neck, pick up those stitches, release the provisional cast-on and then start knitting the body of the shawl. The border stitches of the shawl carry on from that neckband. The first 15 to 20 rows are filled with excitement. Yarn-overs and mirror-image make-1 increases a la Elizabeth Zimmermann while you shape the shoulders. Then everything settles down into lovely swaths of garter stitch.

Lovely, of course, if you have the right yarn. Which the Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester most decidedly is. Despite a day spent in fruitless searches for a yarn store and having to attend Functions as a Lawyer's Spouse, this is what I had when we left Peoria.

I tell you, nothing like a good minor league baseball game (the home team won) to help you churn through garter stitch. Or is it, nothing like a bout of garter stitch to get you through a minor league baseball game?

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