The Glencora Baby Shawl is finished. There was a question in the comments awhile back about what exactly a "baby shawl" is. Good question. I've been calling this a baby shawl because that is the name given in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac, whence comes the basic pattern. I've decided that for me, a baby shawl is a baby blanket you'd rather not see dragged around on the floor by the intended recipient.
Here's the dossier.
Pattern: basic method for center from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac; patterns inserted from Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (Vol. I) and Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting. Knitted-on edging, "Wave," taken from Heirloom Knitting.
Yarn: Dale Baby Ull, pale yellow and pale green (2 skeins yellow, 1.25 skeins green)
Finished size: roughly 3.5 feet by 3.5 feet
Comments: Knitting this was more fun than playing Twister with a room full of frisky Marines. (Almost.) When you begin the center on dpns, work over a table unless you wish to flirt with insanity. Now that the shawl's finished, it'll be wrapped up and laid away to await a baby, as yet unborn, who might need it.
One of my favorite things about the whole knitting/spinning game is that you can be simultaneously productive and peaceful. On Saturday I installed myself at my favorite coffee shop, listened to three hour-long Zen lessons and knit like a demon on swatches for Susan's State of Maine lace stole.
It don't get much better than that. I'm not sure I believe in auras, but if I have one I'm sure it turned blue. Or pink. Or green. Or whatever color is the opposite of "murderous rage."
The design for the stole has changed considerably since my first sketch many months ago. I've tried about two dozen stitch patterns, and it looks like six or so will show up in the final object. A few details have been firmly settled. It's going to be made from Zephyr, it's going to be pale gray (the colorway is "Steel"), and I'm knitting it on a 24" US size zero circular.
Most of the lace swatches are done now, so the charting has begun. I'm doing it the old-fashioned way, since at present I haven't found a Mac-friendly charting program that looks inviting. Anyhow, I'm supposed to be trying to live a mindful life. Nothing makes you mindful like the prospect of erasing and re-drawing the contents of 400 itsy-bitsy squares if you don't pay attention.
More Buddha for Your Buck
C and I went out for a stroll this weekend and wound up at Architectural Revolution, a dashed amusing shop in our neighborhood that sells all sorts of goodies from Asia, South America, and the Middle East. I was looking for a small statue of Buddha, and as our local Buddhas Galore franchise has been replaced by a Baby Gap this seemed the best place to go.
Dolores, as usual, came along.
"Whoa," she said. "It's smells like 1973 in here."
The saleswoman behind the jewelry counter bristled slightly. "That's patchouli incense," she said. "Sir, perhaps your pet could wait outside?"
"I'm gonna go look at whatever's in the next room," said C, and vanished.
"She's not exactly a pet," I said.
"Damn straight," said Dolores. "I prefer to think of myself as his life coach."
"Um, yeah, okay...well, let me know if you or your...coach...need anything."
"I've been thinking of getting my nose pierced," said Dolores. "You got anything in silver, with rubies? That's my birthstone."
"I'm having nothing to do with this," I said, heading for the back room. I found C standing in front of a display of cat carvings from somewhere in Mexico.
"Was there blood?" he asked.
"Not yet," I said. "Now help me pick out a symbol of enlightenment before my aneurysm kicks in."
The selection was extensive, ranging from Buddhas about a half-inch high in brass to a bronze Thai Mega-Buddha roughly as tall as my mother (and with her signature penetrating gaze). There were clay Buddhas, and metal Buddhas. Fat Buddhas, skinny Buddhas. Buddhas reclining, sitting, and standing. Buddhas that lit up. Buddhas in really cute hats with slimming, vertical lines.
"How about this one?" asked C.
It was Indonesian, about ten inches high, wooden, carved, and painted in very cheerful greens and yellows. The attitude was meditation. The open eyes were intense but the overall expression was serene.
"He's kinda cute," I said. "And he'd match the rug."
"He's fifty percent off," said C.
"Wrap it up and charge it," I said.
We went back to the front room, to find Dolores and the saleswoman lying on a pile of velvet cushions and giggling madly. There was a dense cloud of smoke over the two of them that did not smell like patchouli.
"And so there I am in Morocco," Dolores was saying, "sitting in a hamam with Marlo Thomas and this Ethiopian hermaphrodite, and Marlo suddenly drops her towel and says–"
"Ahem," I said.
"Oh, hi," said the saleswoman, sitting up. "Hey. Did you find, you know, what you were looking for?"
"Maybe he should try Hare Krishna," said Dolores. And the two of them collapsed in another fit of giggles.
"Your life coach is awesome," said the saleswoman. "I mean, wow, she has lived."
"Oh hush you," said Dolores, batting her eyelashes.
"No, I am so serious," the saleswoman continued. She looked up at me, "I mean, just being around her makes me want to totally reconsider my living situtation. You know what I mean?"
"Intimately," I said.
"Listen, you guys go ahead home," said Dolores. "Lupe here goes on lunch in a couple minutes and she's going to introduce me to this guy around the corner who does wicked tattoos. I'm thinking getting a little something cute inked on my tuchus. Maybe a rosebud. Or a butterfly."
"How about a warning label?"
Whereupon they both started giggling again.
We were about halfway back to my apartment when C turned to me and said, "Remember when you decided not to get a cat because it would just be too much trouble?"
"Shut up," I said.