…albeit crappy ones. The problem with having only a film camera is that you don’t know how your pictures turned out until you get them back. Sometimes you’re lucky. Sometimes you’re not. This most recent set of pics definitely falls into the latter category.

However—onward and upward. I’ve been doing some lace knitting. I got this beautifully soft and wonder alpaca from Sheep Street fibers about a month ago.
brown alpaca skein
The color is called “nutmeg.” Isn’t it pretty? Now normally, when I buy new yarn I dutifully wrap it in plastic once I get home, then put it away with all the other yarn so it won’t get lonely. But this skein did not go into hiding. It camped out on my desk so I could pet it. And pet it. And pet it. So after I got my wisdom teeth out, I decided to knit it up. Here it is, done:
unblocked scarf

Unfortunately, I don’t have blocked pictures. I need to redo it anyway, because I’ve been wearing it like mad and it’s gotten all crumply again. I have a set of Knit Picks blocking wires on the way, and this sucker is going on them as soon as they fly through my door. So there will be pictures! Oh yes, there will be pictures.
unblocked scarf close up

I don’t really know what possessed me to do this. I was on painkillers and only partially lucid. Did I mention that I’d never knit lace before? Yeah, this was my first time. So I’m half in the bag, and I pick up some needles and a pattern. Seemed like a good idea at the time! I guess the knitting gods were smiling down at me that day (out of benevolence or amusement, though, I cannot say), for the scarf turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. It’s the Shetland Triangle, from Wrap Style.

So I must admit, knitting that was fun. I mean REALLY fun. So much fun in fact that I think I may have gotten a little, shall we say, overenthusiastic?
the undyed cone

That’s a cone of yarn I got from Sarah’s yarns. It’s 1120 yards of DK weight Zephyr, 50% wool, 50% silk (mmmmm, silk). I decided that it would be a good idea to make my mother-in-law a shawl for Christmas, and I would dye the yarn for it. Is it a good idea? I guess I’ll find out 3 days before Christmas when I’m trying frantically to get this done. Since I’m not knitting with the specified weight in the pattern (it calls for laceweight), I made some swatches:
blocking lace swatches

Recognize the pattern? It’s the Swallowtail shawl from Fall IK. On the swatch on the left I used size 8 needles, and size 7 is on the right. Here they are, all blocked and pretty:
lace swatches with dyed skein

…on top of the dyed skein. This is the best picture of the dyed skein. It has not been very sunny round these parts, so the desk lamp shot’ll have to do. Sorry. It’s actually a pretty accurate color, but of course it looks all luminous and glowy in the sunshine, being silk and all. I’ve decided to go with the size 8 needle for the shawl. I’m trying to figure out how many repeats I should do to make it a good size. I want it to be, oh about 60 in across the top. The pattern says the laceweight one will be 49 in, with 14 repeats of the first lace chart. They get a gauge of 17 ½ sts/in on a sz 4. So, this may be a dumb question, but since it’s being knitted from the neck down, how do I measure my gauge? I did it the way that seemed to make sense, measuring at a diagonal with the row, and then counting stitches. But the number I got was really similar to the number in the pattern (something like 16 sts/in) which didn’t seem to make much sense to me. Shouldn’t it be more sts/in than that? Whatever lace knitting gurus (translation: anne) are out there, could you give me a hint? I would be much obliged.

Lastly: gratuitous kitty shots. I’ve gotten some very nice comments about how cute my kitties are. I’ve only shown two of them, though. I actually have four. Yes, four. In a 900 ft2 house. Don’t ask. Here are the other two:
Kelpie with flowers

Kelpie, token girl kitty. I’ve had her since she was a kitten. She’s what I’d call a cat person cat. I’m about the only person that she lets pet her. Well, that’s not entirely true—she started letting my husband pet her about 8 months ago (we’ve been together for four years).
buster 1

And Buster, most recent foundling. One stormy night in March, I looked up from my knitting to see him with his nose pressed up against the window (literally—he left a mark!), crying and looking pitiful. When I went outside to see if he was hurt, he rolled over at my feet so I could pet his belly. Yeah, I was a goner after that. Don’t think me so lame for naming him Buster—the way he looks me in the eye and flops over reminded me of Buster Keaton, so the name stuck. This is actually how he normally looks:
buster 2

As long as he’s not another yarn sucking cat! I can only accommodate one of those.

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