The knitting of the Orenberg Barbie shawl, it is complete. And let me tell you, I had no idea what an education an eight inch square could be.
I gushed in a previous entry (just after casting on) about the ingenious beginning of a traditional Orenberg shawl.
The ending, as it turns out, is equally so. After turning the upper right corner and knitting across the top border (as indicated by the arrow in my last picture), you turn the upper left corner, and then you graft the edges of the border together.
And you do it without sewing. There's just a simple process of slipping stitches from each needle one over the other, and suddenly the edges are grafted - including the yarn-overs - quite perfectly and without any apparent join. The pattern in the edging is completely uninterrupted.
When Archimedes leapt out of his bath, he could not have been more excited than I when I learned this.
In fact, I was so busy waltzing delightedly about the room with the finished object (to the tune of "Ainsi que la brise légère" from Gounod's Faust) that I forgot to take a photograph. I'll remedy that tonight.
I also realized in working on this little sample how much kaboom the Orenberg knitters get from the absolute simplest of lace patterns. Not that the patterns themselves are child's play, but they are all based on knit, yo, k2tog, and occasionally k3tog–and nothing else. If there are more elaborate moves, I can't find any mention of them either in the Khmeleva/Noble book or anywhere else.
From those stitches, the founders built 10-12 small, basic patterns (i.e., peas, mouse prints, cat's paw, strawberry, diagonals). And from those patterns, everything else is constructed.
This is a phenomenal achievement. I used to be dazzled by Orenberg shawls because they appeared so bone-crushingly complex. And now I've learned with my own two hands that every one of them comes from the skillful arrangement of an elegant set of common elements. And I am even more dazzled.
Let Us Be Gay
I usually shy away from making broad generalizations about Things Gays Like (hanging around with ass-kicking gay cowboys who've never heard of Ethel Merman will do that to you) , but I am perhaps willing to admit that there is some intrinsic attraction to ice dancing.
(Stop looking so smug, Brenda Dayne.)
As the temperature in Chicago is the sort that can reduce your nose to ice crystals within minutes, on Sunday C and I stayed in and had a very indulgent movie night. When the first feature (Close Encounters of the Third Kind–most amusing) wrapped up, up popped the ice dancing competition in full swing. Er, rhumba.
We found ourselves physically unable get off the couch until the scene had switched to women's speed skating.
I know part of it, for me, is the costumes. There's nothing like seeing an amazon on skates doing the samba while wearing a peptol pink skirt that appears to be strangling her. Or cheering on a perky little thing who let the designer highlight each of her breasts with a separate patch of multicolored rhinestones. Beep, beep.
But I'm infringing on Go Fug Yourself's territory now, so I'll close.
Next up: blocking for Barbie.