Tuesday, 28 July 2009

update on Aestlight

I've been powering along on this. It's a very simple construction with parts which are deathly dull. Ishbel's basic triangle is stocking stitch. This is all garter stitch. There are really only a few dozen purls in the whole shawl and they come in the birdsnest lace pattern. I've done everything except the second half of the border on the long sides of the triangle. There's nothing difficult about the shawl at all, no problem with stitch counts as many people had with Ishbel. The pattern is clear and looks good printed out from the download. Each page is enclosed in a solid black frame with a good deal of space around it. To me this is really a little thing, but it shows thought was put into the writing up and presentation of the pattern. What's one more page when this makes all the pages clear to read?

The border edging is simple but boring. Sixteen rows per pattern repeat. It joins to the body of the shawl every second row except for the part which eases around the lower centre point. Then it's joined every fourth row. Now I can usually cope with lacy repeats and finally learn them. After 16 sets, I still have only bits of the pattern memorised and my wool makes it hard to pick out just what to do without consulting the pattern.

I think the wool is a large part of my boredom. It was sold at a Spinners and Weavers Open Day several years ago as handspun, 5 ply Romney. It was not my choice but bought for me. Handspun it definitely is. However, there are lots of lengths which seem much more like 8 ply (DK). It's in its natural colour, a milky coffee brown. I spent a lot of time deciding what I might overdye this with. I've used dye before but on light colours and cream to a deeper colour. I'm not sure about the brown, milky as it is. Perhaps aubergine or a deep reddy brown? Or dark green? When I spread out the shawl as much as possible after turning the border point, I think I might leave it as rustic coffee handspun. I've already considered a second shawl and will get colour from there.

I was planning on going to the Open Day last Saturday . When I woke, it was freezing up here and yet again, the North Shore line was closed for track work. With so much sickness around, I didn't fancy a 45 minute trip each way in a crowded railway bus to Wynyard and back and then the train to Burwood, so I stayed home. We have enough germs here. DIL had a cold in Germany, came home coughing, didn't fully get over her jetlag before she plunged into a week of school holiday activities with primary kids. She lasted two days there and was sent home and told not to return. According to doctor, it was nothing to do with swine or any other flu, but a very bad infection. She was extremely ill for over a week and had several courses of a very strong antibiotic. That infection seems to have gone but she has been left with either pleurisy or asthma. Doctor thinks it's asthma, but the Ventolin puffer he prescribed does nothing to help at all. Two of my friends in the medical profession and I think it's pleurisy. She's still in heaps of pain in her chest and for someone who never takes analgesics, she's had several years of Nurofen. Looks terrible with enormous dark circles under her eyes. The doctor said that complications and infections from an ordinary cold are taking 6-8 weeks to clear in most people. So you can see why I missed the bus!

I've given up knitting for a day or so. I was using a spatula to clean stuff off one of our very heavy baking dishes when the dish slipped and jammed the entire top of one of my fingers between it and the sink. There's a huge lump on finger at base of the nail and the finger is many different colours of bruise. It's affecting the knitting so I've stopped.

Edited to add:
Here's a TIP for Aestlight.

The pattern suggests putting the stitches from the garter triangle on waste yarn until they are cast off along with border edge. My wool is a bit hairy and I wasn't looking forward to picking these off the waste yarn.

I cast on with the smallest cable from the Knitpicks Options set. When I'd finished, I unscrewed the needles and put them on the next cable up. I'd have needed this size anyway. I replaced the needles with the screw on caps and voilà all secure. It was a little bit awkward knitting past the caps for perhaps three rows. When I need to cast off, I'll just reverse things and put needles back.


2paw said...

There are a lot of weird and wonderful coldy/virusy things here too.
I saw someone's Aestlight and it is a lovely pattern, so nice to hear the 'actual' pattern is lovely as well!!

Bells said...

oh that is a great tip. Wish I'd thought of it!!

I'm not bored yet but I've only done the first bit after picking up the stitches. Haven't started the lace yet. We'll see.

Melinda said...

Hope your fingers get better soon Jan!

Lynne said...

Clever you - as I'm always telling my family: there's more than one way to .....

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