And very pretty it is: http://www.travelingtiger.com/crafts/spiral.htm
It is a 68″ shawl, fine enough to pass through a woman’s wedding ring, about 2300 yards of handspun silk/merino yarn–15 months and 350+ hours of work. I spun the whole thing on a drop spindle.
It was a real bear to block–normally I block on the rug in the living room, but it was too big to fit–I had to graft some towels and pillows on the edge to make up the difference. There was also that brief moment of utter terror when I came in to find my housemate’s cat (who up until now had been very patient about her absence on vacation) lying ON TOP OF MY ULTRAFINE, PURE WHITE, PERFECTLY BLOCKED SHAWL, happily CLAWING at it!!
I did not kill the cat. I expect to be given an extra halo in my next life for that. I did, however, get her off the shawl, and hastily snatched the shawl up and out of her reach. Fortunately, it was almost dry, and by the time I moved it to the table and finished repairing the snags, it was perfectly dry.
I still need to re-weave a number of ends (the design forced me to use a different length of yarn for each of the 64 triangles in the border…leaving me 128 ends to work in). Someone pointed me at a website for the “Russian graft”–which looks like such an eminently civilized way to do it that I wonder I didn’t think of it before. You essentially turn the yarn into a loop, running it through the previous length of yarn. It’s better for splicing, but if you don’t mind creating a loop, it’s an excellent way to manage loose ends, too.
The other good news: I have TWO rounds of job interviews at the end of this week! The first one is with a haptics company named Immersion, the second one is with an e-commerce comparison-shopping company named NexTag. I’m a little worried about stacking two sets of interviews on the same day (and so close together)–but, well, we’ll see what happens. I’ll put a Coke or some kind of caffeine in the car, hopefully that will help restore my brain.
But heck, I’m just happy I’m INTERVIEWING! And NexTag said they had gotten hundreds of resumes, but they were only interviewing five people…so my resume must be pretty darn strong. That makes me happy.
But the shawl is DONE!…and I’m already thinking of what comes next. I’m torn between starting another complex and interesting project, and really needing to do something mindless so I can focus on the book. Trouble is, I don’t have much patience for “mindless”; if it isn’t interesting, and isn’t a challenge, I get bored and find something else to do.
I am currently spinning up some kid mohair and toying with design ideas…I have this neat idea for a shawl in shimmering silver silk, with tiny hints of blue and purple, and maybe a little bit of fuzziness. Qiviut? Perhaps…I need to experiment a bit to find out.
But the basic idea, at least for today, is a square shawl, with earth, air, fire, and water symbols in the four corners, and a central diamond pattern which I haven’t yet envisioned. What I *am* sure of is that they will be larger patterns than is “normal”…knitting patterns tend to have small repeats, 8-14 stitches and 4-20 rows, for reasons that escape me–maybe they’re stuck with what fits on a sweater? or in a magazine chart? Whyever it is, I’m not limited to that, so I want to do a little “painting” with my knitting patterns…big flames rather than tiny little ones, or a freehand pattern of flames, not repeating, in the corners.
I also know that this time I want to *design* the lace patterns (or most of them, anyway), rather than just taking existing patterns and rearranging them. I think it would be fun to design basic lace patterns. I’m currently reading through Susanna Lewis’s Knitting Lace, trying to understand how lace “thinks”. The book is phenomenal; its the best primer on lace design I’ve found. (And I’ve read almost everything available on the subject, by now.)
And, I’ve figured out how to get my AIDS Ride interviews transcribed into .wav files–it’s going to be a long, slow process, but I’ll get there. Then I’ll be able to cut, splice, and shorten interviews down to the useful bits–and more to the point, I’ll be able to fast-forward and rewind easily, instead of having to wait for the tape to go through.
I have been vacationing from the book for the last week or so (a bit burned out) but am feeling much better now, and ready to charge ahead.