Friday, June 25, 2010

Living on the edge

I'm getting all cocky these days with my knitting. After waiting more than twenty minutes for the train to arrive this morning, I was disappointed to see a very busy train pull up. I was hoping for a seat because it's a long ride into Seoul, and I wanted to knit. Well, I decided to knit anyway -- my lace shawl -- standing up. This isn't recommended, but I get so little real knitting time these days that I wanted to make use of the hour ride, sitting or standing. I'm happy to report that there were no catastrophes and I got done an entire row on the way in. Yes - just one row. I'm on the home stretch (I hope!) of Swallowtail shawl and I'm pretty sure there are over 300 stitches on my needles now. One row takes on average 40-45 minutes. If it were straight knitting or purling, it would take less, but working these damned nupps takes up so much more time and yarn (btw, this video on nupps helped me tremendously -- they're not that easy). The other bad news about this project is that it is getting too big to take out. It was quite bulky in my bag all afternoon. It's definitely not the best on-the-go project. The good news is that I'm happily obsessed with the pattern and although each row takes so long, I cannot wait to get back to it.

So, yes, I'm a newly addicted lace knitter. Before I never understood why all these knitters on Ravelry were knitting lace shawls. Now I know. It's really addictive. After you've done your share of straight garter, stockinette, and simple lace patterns, you really need something spicier to keep your interest, otherwise you cannot finish a project and the WIPs build up. Watching the beautiful patterns emerge as you knit is very exciting. The process itself is quite relaxing believe it or not. At least in the the pattern that I am working on, once you memorize the repeat for the row, it is almost like meditation as you repeat the stitches over and over. So yeah, I'm loving it.

I met some friends (D and S) in Dongdaemun this morning. Friday is usually my fun day. S wanted to hit the craft market to get some yarn and hooks because she is learning to crochet. I am always happy to assist friends in such matters. Of course, I could not help eyeing all the mounds and mounds of yarn, and in the back of my mind I was hoping to find some laceweight yarn. Naturally, I think I found some (think because I'm a lace newbie and I have never truly bought yarn labeled "laceweight" or 2-ply, but I'm pretty sure I found what I was looking for). The best part was that it was 6000 won for an enormous hank. The worst part was that it's a hank. I have to wind the balls myself. I usually stick to the pre-wound stuff neatly packaged in bags, but I've never seen laceweight in the bags. So I took the plunge. This is also bad news for Sejin, as he will no doubt be helping me wind the balls. I must get pictures.

So it was a great morning and afternoon. Craft shopping with friends, coffee and chat, some clothes shopping, and a seat on the train all the way home means I was in a pretty good mood when I stopped by daycare to get Grace. She was also in a good mood. She is getting really good at feeding herself. I thought that soup would be too tricky (she is a soup addict), but lately she only wants to feed herself. I help her balance the soup a bit, but she does most of the work, scooping and slurping. She is quite pleased about it and stops to clap here and there as she's eating. I do the cleaning up, of course.

Some knitting humour for you. Even if you're not a knitter, I think you'll find this pretty funny.

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