Friday, January 08, 2016

Brackenhill Shawlette Progress

Here is the progress shot on my Brackenhill Shawlette from earlier in the week.

I was still doing fine with a 24" circular, but soon I would need to upgrade. This yarn is the most exquisitely spun and so soft! I am also encountering very few guard hairs. The yarn was made from Ravenwood Cashmere goats who live near Spokane, Washington and spun by Going to the Sun Fiber Mill near Kalispell, Montana. 

It's a very meditative project and this time I am using only the written instructions. I haven't looked at a single chart, and that's saying a lot for me. I am so strongly visual that charts are usually my best friends. This time, however, I wanted to check the written for any pesky errors. So far I have found none, thank goodness. Pattern errors are no one's best friends.

I indulged a little more during the week and now I am about to start section three.

I had to jump up to a 48" circular because I have no 36" one, but I must seek one out today because all this extra nylon cord is fussy. It's great for fanning the WIP out for a picture, but not so much while knitting, since all the stitches stay positioned near the working tip, leaving lots of cord free to spiral itself all about and trip me up.

A major trick I have for keeping the knitting managed is to count the stitches every wrong-side row. That way I can get ahead of a problem pronto. I just fixed a problem when I found I had an extra stitch. Turns out I forgot to work one of the "psso" maneuvers after a k2tog in the SK2P thingy. Too entirely easy to do, right?

This is all why lace shawl knitting is such good meditation. I can't think about anything else while doing it or I'll mess up. Being present is required. Such a good thing.

And working with lovely yarn just makes it all the best.

Now I'm off to procure a 36" circular and start section three!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Happy 107 to Fanny Kate Adcock Alford!

Today my granny would have been 107. Every year on this day I think even more than usual about Granny Kate. She was the second-most important person in my life growing up, with my mom being the top of the heap. Actually, I had a lot of strong, loving women who cared about me. I appreciate every one of them. My mom was a working mom all though my childhood and depended on those strong women to help care for me. The one who did this the most was my granny. She nursed me through all the childhood diseases, fed me heaping bowls of buttered grits, indulged my spunky little girl ways, and gave the best hugs. When she held me in her lap, I felt all the love and all the safety.

That's why it was a no-brainer to name a sweater design after her. The Adcock Aran Cardigan is a sweater I wish I could knit for Granny Kate. It would look great on her. I actually was able to knit her an Aran cardigan while she was still alive and she wore it all the time. I can't remember what pattern I used, so please excuse the lack of credit for that. It came back to me after Granny passed away and when I wear it, I feel like she is hugging me again.

So today I am thinking about Granny Kate and all the goodness she gave me and once again crowing about my Adcock Aran Cardigan. But this time, I want to show you some Adcocks from my testers.

Here's Denise in her Adcock made with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in Purple Haze. It only took her 20 days to knit this sweater! Bravo, Denise! Here's her project page on Ravelry.

Here's Aimee's Adcock, which I wish she would model for us. It's so pretty knit with Cascade 220 Heathers in the Lake Chelan colorway. It took her a little less than a month. Here's her Rav page.

Here's Madelynn's Adcock, also yet to be modeled. It's wonderfully made with Donegal Aran Tweed in Oatmeal. It took her about five and a half weeks to make. Here's her project page

And finally, here's more of the red sweater on Ksenia's daughter. Marvelous!
Beautiful pictures. Ksenia made her daughter's Adcock with Verdi yarn from Lanas Stop. It took her just a tad over a month to make. Here's her Rav page.

There are three more that I know of in progress, so perhaps I'll be back to crow about those when they are complete. The pictures above also give you an idea of the range of sizes included in the pattern. Thanks to all my testers in the Adcock Aran Cardigan testing group. You were all so helpful and terrific. 

And one last Happy Birthday to Granny Kate! We love you!

Monday, January 04, 2016

A new, better year

For those of you who read my blog, you know that last year wasn't very chatty. I just checked and was surprised that I only posted 19 times during the whole year. That's pretty minimal, eh?

Well, I can do better. I have been contemplating this first dreary Monday of 2016 that I need to involve my community more. I need to be more conversational. I need to share more of what goes on around here. My life is so often blessed and enriched by others who do share, by those who make the effort to involve others in their lives. 
I can do that, too!

I think last year was a keep-to-myself year in many ways. I found myself on many days shunning all social media. Sure, it can take so much of our time and attention. Sure, it's full of rottenness and fluff. But it's also full of energy and inspiration and community. I can choose to give attention to that instead. I have already trimmed and edited my feeds to include more positive, useful information so that it overcomes the rest. 

In that spirit, this morning I consulted my long-range plans and then my more detailed plan, got my work all set up and ready, and then did my workout. I am having fruit only until noon to recover from all the holiday indulgences, and thereafter it will be all vegan. 
I feel better already.

Here's what you'll see this week:

Brackenhill Week on the Facebook Mirth page.

It's been three years since I asked Delia of Ravenwood Cashmere to pay me for two designs I did for her with three skeins of her beautiful cashmere. I finally cast on my own Brackenhill over the holidays and I'll show you my progress later in the week. I am having so much fun making this shawl again. I'll also show you a few that other knitters have made. They are so pretty!

Ksenia's Adcock
Adcock Day tomorrow!

Here is just a little peek of the loveliness I plan to share tomorrow--the sweetest little Adcock of them all!

I hope your first Monday of 2016 is not so dreary and that you are kicking your own plans.
Here's to more fun in 2016!