Thursday, April 28, 2011

All in a Day's Work

I know this will shock you but I always overestimate what I can do in any one given period of time. But I have managed to finish the bobbin lace doily I was working on:

When you work a square doily like this, you work it in 4 triangle sections. The only reason I don’t throw up my hands and walk away is that I got a little bit better in each subsequent section. Just a little bit but that’s okay. Now I’m going back to straight pieces, both because I they’re not as complicated as working around like this and because I need a little bit of a confidence boost.  You can see I haven't worked in all the ends.  That's for anotehr day.
At the most excellent of all used book stores located in Denton, Texas, I scored the unbelievable. I found 5 bobbin lace books, some as low as $3 and the highest at $13. One of these is regularly on e-bay and other sites for around $75 so I’m feeling very blessed right now and encouraged to move on with the lacemaking.

The other thing I’ve been working on is the handspun lace shawl. Not an exciting picture, I know, but there's only so much excitement you can give to a garter-stitch triangle.
I’ve spun this a pretty light lace weight from Frabjous Fibers Blue-faced Leicester. The 3 main colors that show up in the roving are green, brown and turquoise blue. I happily spun the first bobbin straight from the roving but when I started to spin the second bobbin (it was to be a 2-ply yarn), I realized that I was going to end up having brown in 2/3 of the finished yarn and that didn’t make me happy. It’s a pretty brown but I thought it was going to muddy the other colors. So for the second ply, I worked each of the colors and when I got to the brown, I pulled it out and put it aside.
That way, when I plied it, there was some brown but it kept the other colors more pure and that made me happy.
This is the very unexciting (so far) middle of the Thistle and Fern shawl from the new Margaret Stove book, Wrapped in Lace. In a Shetland-style shawl, the middle is worked (often point to point like I’m doing here and often in garter stitch as I’m doing here), then you work a border around this middle and finally you add an edging.

The center here is up to 180 stitches and I have to keep on until I have 254 stitches before I start back the other way. Seventy-four rows of lace weight garter on size 3 needles is a lot of knitting, in case you didn’t know it. I’m not progressing as quickly as I would like. A Jeannie-like blink and it’s done would suit me. I’m not a big fan of the garter at the best of times.

But one thing that has taken me away from progress on the shawl is a little baby blanket for a first grandchild of a friend of mine at work. I just found out about him last week so I’m trying to finish the blanket before his first birthday!

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