About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Finito -- What Next?

It’s 8:32 on a lovely Saturday morning. MS3 is taking a little bath, preparatory to being blocked. I loved the Harlot’s blog on Wednesday, showing her finished lace with all its lumps and nups and idiosyncrasies, and the blocked shawl in all its glory.

I had to spit-splice the third skein yesterday, in order to finish those last three rows of beading and the binding-off. I have used one full package of the Mill Hill beads, and exactly six beads out of a second package. I have three unopened packages and those three skeins of the lighter green alpaca that I bought at the same time as the KnitPicks Shadow.

I really like the flexible bind-off, which I modified slightly. After slipping the first stitch and knitting the second, instead of slipping both stitches to the left needle and knitting through the back loops as specified, I inserted my left needle purl-wise into the two stitches on my right needle, wrapped as for a knit stitch, and called it done. It seems to me to give the same effect, with one less step for each stitch bound off.

As I finished that last row of beading, and the last purl row, and the binding-off, I found myself meditating upon the snapshot of the moon that I posted yesterday. I wondered how many ways it would be possible to interpret it, using techniques that I’ve dabbled with or ones I would like to learn.

I’d already decided that I want to go back into my photo editing software and crop it for a print to be framed. I could also play with my watercolors, which I haven’t touched in a couple of years; I love making color mooshes and writing across them with calligraphy. During the move, I found some small ones that I had made several years ago, embellished with cross-stitched hearts on paper canvas that I had stitched to the watercolor paper.

I have cross-stitch design software, and I could run a bitmap of the image through that and stitch it up on dark navy linen. We have a wonderful cross-stitch store that’s maybe a mile from here, with all sorts of amazing threads and beads.

I could also spring for a stretched canvas and try my hand with acrylics; Heaven knows I have lots of little bottles that are just waiting for me to show up and play, from when I painted folk art bed frames for most of the girls, and started to paint footstools for them. Some of that paint will be dried out, but some of it will still be good.

There is always appliqué [you think my yarn stash is impressive?] Or a miniature watercolor quilt. Or Seminole patchwork if I want to get very abstract with it.

And as I finished binding off the last stitches, I realized that it wouldn’t be too hard to knit up laceweight yarn on extra-large needles and make layer upon layer of clouds to appliqué over some sort of background. Maybe some of the silver brocade I used for LittleBit’s prom dress a couple of years ago? I think that I gave the remnants to Fourthborn during the move, but I’m sure that she wouldn’t begrudge me a 6” square of fabric.

But first, I’m heading back to the boudoir to pin out the stole. Later this weekend I will wet-block – ick! it’s soggy and messy and makes my room smell like wet cranky sheep, but that’s what I did with the purple parts, and I’d probably better be consistent – the black portions of LittleBit’s cabled hoodie, so I can stitch them together and finish the hood. I hope to get Swallowtail blocked before the weekend is out.

I need to go get a black separating zipper, and some of those interlocking yoga mats, and more T-pins. More urgent is the need to dig through several boxes of “file this” and get the last of the receipts for my skincare sales so I can finish my tax return before Monday at midnight, when my automatic extension runs out.

Maybe if I try to offer the nice IRS auditor a pair of handknitted socks?

Oh, and breakfast would be a good idea. I’ve had three mugs of milk since midnight, and two handfuls of gingersnaps. I’m getting the first rumbles of “we are not amused”, so I’d better send down something more substantial.

Photos as I take the various projects up from blocking. If you have a recipe for cake that could conceal a file, you might want to start looking for it, in case I end up knitting at Leavenworth.

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