It’s all so sunny right now

Yup, on the move. This big project (I’ll tell you what it is next week, let me sort a thing or two first) is marching along. It’s big, it’s bold and as such, I am taking no chances. I have procured more beads. (I actually procured them from the stash, where it turned out I had two full vials of the exact same beads, purchased long enough ago that they were $1.50 per container instead of the $1.80 the other four cost me last week. Inflation. Clearly.)

Also, I stood there in the Marketplace on Saturday and bought the two skeins of laceweight that should be enough for the project, I thought ahead, then ordered another one, just to be sure. (I cannot run out now, and I say that with confidence. That’s an extra 600m, and it has already arrived in the post.)

swatchlace 2016-05-05

Then, I have knit a swatch. That’s right, a proper swatch, with beads and everything, and washed it, and blocked it, and lived with it for a day so to make sure that I can’t tell myself any lies. (You know how sometimes knitters do that. We say swatches lie, we’re so keen to start that we convince ourselves that the thing is perfectly great when it’s actually looser than the old underpants in the back of your drawer.)

swatchlacestart 2016-05-05

I am not getting the gauge the pattern suggests, but I am getting a gauge that I like better, and I have done the math to make sure that the thing will neither come out the size of a doily, nor a cover for a smallish family car.

In short, there is nothing that can go wrong here, at least, nothing that would be regular, normal or predictable. I suppose that I could be robbed, or there could be a natural disaster, or two great black Cormorant (attracted by the shiny beads) could sweep from the sky, fight me for it in an epic battle at the bus stop, and make off with the shawl and the yarn when the pecking got too intense.

swatchlacestartdet 2016-05-05

Other than that, I’m good.

I’ve taken all possible precautions.

Right?

131 thoughts on “It’s all so sunny right now

    • Here’s a non-sequitur. My wife and I had a production knitting company for 12 years. We are moving and it has become obvious that we have a lot of beautiful yarn that we will never use. All yarns imported from Italy ranging from cashmere through merino, straight through novelty all the way through to beautiful combed long staple cotton. We are pricing them from $5/lb to $15/lb. Any interest?

      • My wife and I had a production knitting business for 12 years. We did contract knitting in addition to our own label and in our hay-day had 300 high end specialty stores around the country carrying our label. So much for the history.

        We now find ourselves in the position of moving and it has become rather obvious that we have quite a bit of short poundage yarn that would be ideal for craft knitters. We imported all of our yarns from Italy. The spinners represented in my inventory include Loro Piana, Zegna Baruffa, Filati Biagioli Modesto and others. We are pricing long staple combed cotton at $5/lb, Merino at $10/lb, Merino novelties at $12/lb and Cashmere @ $15/lb. My colors are limited and when a yarn is gone it is gone.

        I am in Northern California and can be reached by a reply or you can call 415-756-2760.

        Bill Lingle

    • My wife and I had a production knitting business for 12 years. We did contract knitting in addition to our own label and in our hay-day had 300 high end specialty stores around the country carrying our label. So much for the history.

      We now find ourselves in the position of moving and it has become rather obvious that we have quite a bit of short poundage yarn that would be ideal for craft knitters. We imported all of our yarns from Italy. The spinners represented in my inventory include Loro Piana, Zegna Baruffa, Filati Biagioli Modesto and others. We are pricing long staple combed cotton at $5/lb, Merino at $10/lb, Merino novelties at $12/lb and Cashmere @ $15/lb. My colors are limited and when a yarn is gone it is gone.

      I am in Northern California and can be reached by a reply or you can call 415-756-2760.

      Bill Lingle

  1. What a lovely bit of knitting! I am entranced and can’t wait to see it finished (and modeled). Makes me want to try something with beads….great….another thing on my to try list! Thanks for that!

  2. You’ve done everything any knitter could do to stave off disaster, but I think you should not have put it in writing, that is usually where the knitting gods start to plot against you….

    • I was reading this and agree. Knitting Goddess was happy up until the point that the Harlot said “…nothing can go wrong.”

      • My wife and I had a production knitting business for 12 years. We did contract knitting in addition to our own label and in our hay-day had 300 high end specialty stores around the country carrying our label. So much for the history.

        We now find ourselves in the position of moving and it has become rather obvious that we have quite a bit of short poundage yarn that would be ideal for craft knitters. We imported all of our yarns from Italy. The spinners represented in my inventory include Loro Piana, Zegna Baruffa, Filati Biagioli Modesto and others. We are pricing long staple combed cotton at $5/lb, Merino at $10/lb, Merino novelties at $12/lb and Cashmere @ $15/lb. My colors are limited and when a yarn is gone it is gone.

        I am in Northern California and can be reached by a reply or you can call 415-756-2760.

        Bill Lingle

  3. One more precaution: you may want to protect the not-in-use yarn & beads in a zip top bag, secured in an environmentally friendly location (not too hot, not too cold, no unfriendly wee beasties, NO coffee), safe from the odd squirrel, weasel, or black Cormorant incursion.

    • You may also want to make numerous post-it notes noting the “safe” place where the ziplock bag full of the extra supplies is located, and put these post-it notes in multiple locations throughout your house…

      But really, it looks gorgeous and I think that you have taken all suitable precautions. Happy Knitting!

      • And you might put your name and phone number on a card and pin it to your knitting in case you drop it at the bus stop and the bus takes off with you but not your knitting

        • An extra circ needle or two in the right size — just to have In-Reserve-Just-In-Case-Anything-Dire-Happens to the original, like, um, I dunno … a snapped cable or something. And maybe an extra beading hook, ditto!

          (You have taught us to worry like pros!)

        • My wife and I had a production knitting business for 12 years. We did contract knitting in addition to our own label and in our hay-day had 300 high end specialty stores around the country carrying our label. So much for the history.

          We now find ourselves in the position of moving and it has become rather obvious that we have quite a bit of short poundage yarn that would be ideal for craft knitters. We imported all of our yarns from Italy. The spinners represented in my inventory include Loro Piana, Zegna Baruffa, Filati Biagioli Modesto and others. We are pricing long staple combed cotton at $5/lb, Merino at $10/lb, Merino novelties at $12/lb and Cashmere @ $15/lb. My colors are limited and when a yarn is gone it is gone.

          I am in Northern California and can be reached by a reply or you can call 415-756-2760.

          Bill Lingle

        • My wife and I had a production knitting business for 12 years. We did contract knitting in addition to our own label and in our hay-day had 300 high end specialty stores around the country carrying our label. So much for the history.

          We now find ourselves in the position of moving and it has become rather obvious that we have quite a bit of short poundage yarn that would be ideal for craft knitters. We imported all of our yarns from Italy. The spinners represented in my inventory include Loro Piana, Zegna Baruffa, Filati Biagioli Modesto and others. We are pricing long staple combed cotton at $5/lb, Merino at $10/lb, Merino novelties at $12/lb and Cashmere @ $15/lb. My colors are limited and when a yarn is gone it is gone.

          I am in Northern California and can be reached by a reply or you can call 415-756-2760.

          Bill Lingle

  4. Hi Steph,
    caught up with JFM just after the last retreat in PortL, I should have asked her to say hi to you. Hope your project comes out well. The last time you were so cryptic about lace, you were knitting yourself a shawl for your special day. Somebody else getting married?

    Just remember that the beads will eventually stretch out lace, with the cumulative weight. I don’t suspect you will be using them throughout, perhaps just as an accent in the border, and if so, it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s not like an everyday working shawl, right?
    love

    • Although given your history–seriously, watch out for That Squirrel. Maybe no knitting in the back yard, then ducking into the kitchen just to grab a beer…

      • I can see it now. Dozens of lineal descendants of That Squirrel, outraged by their progenitor’s vilification on the internet, swoop down in a coordinated commando raid, wearing camo and carrying knives in their teeth, to seize the shawl and carry it off in triumph.
        …it’s possible I’ve been reading too many thrillers, isn’t it?

  5. You know, I hate to be a Ms Doomsday here, and I only bring this up because you mentioned it, but the first thing I thought when you first posted about this project? I thought, “that Stephanie sure strikes me as a clever and insightful person. I wonder if she’s aware she’s setting up the perfect maelstrom for two great black Cormorants, attracted by the shiny beads, fighting her for the shawl?”
    Be on the lookout and be safe!

  6. Those look a lot like the silver lined beads that I spun into some white yarn. They looked like dewdrops and were beautiful but after a couple of years the silver tarnished and they turned into black lined glass beads. Hope you haven’t used the same silver lined beads….

  7. Oh that is soooo pretty, looks just like the beautiful sparkling frothy foam at the edge of seaside waves…..I can almost smell the salty air.

  8. Looks beautiful and I love the sparkles! You are testing the limits (I hope you realize) by saying you’ve planned for everything. Isn’t that usually when something hits the fan?

    I hope all goes well for you – dying to find out what it is!

    • I am betting she knows that…but in running through her mental checklist with us, she is opening herself up to allowing us to see that either a) things sometimes go wonderfully right if you are careful enough and actually pay attention to the details that really matter, or b) that DESPITE so very much careful attention, it is still possible for things to go so wrong that extreme maneuvers and outrageous humour will be called for!!

      Stay tuned…(And Steph, don’t cut yourself on the edge of the glass slide you’re sitting on, under this big experimental microscope we’re all peering through with bated breath!!)

    • I’m uncorking the wine so it can breathe. Are you popping the corn so we don’t have to scurry around when these “well-laid plans” go sideways?

      And how did the Harlot know my underpants went adrift this afternoon? Not a nice thing to do to a woman with a broken ankle and a walker.

    • You’ve all made me feel so much less alone. I’ve always thought that I was the only one with things like that at the back of the drawer. I will sleep better tonight!

      Chris S in Canada
      touching the key – maybe I should lock that drawer?

    • I’ve recently cleared out a stupid storage unit or two, unearthing some astounding things.

      The biggest (private!) laugh I had was when I found a couple of pairs of brand-new-tags-still-on-them undies, circa 1985. I can’t believe I was ever that tiny!!! Couldn’t even get them up past my kneecaps, nowadays!!! Talk about laughing-until-I-cried — although, I’d really like to go back to laughing already …..

    • Totally laughing myself silly…on so little sleep due to small children with coughs. Thanks Rams, I needed that.

  9. Oh, dude. *shakes head* You have no idea what you’ve done.

    “In short, there is nothing that can go wrong here”

    You know you’ve just jinxed yourself, right?

    “I suppose that I could be robbed”

    True story. I was working on a cobweb lace shawl, with beads, and I had been a ways in, when my house was robbed. In their hurry to take everything and leave, my project had been thrown to the floor and stepped on. Part of it was pulled off the needles and some of the stitches had ripped back. I threw it out eventually. I knew if I was going to continue the project I’d need to start over, but honestly, I never had the emotional strength to work that pattern or work with that yarn again. The entire thing, yarn, beads project and all, went right into the trash.

  10. You have tempted the Knitting Fates in a very public way. They will smite you. As proof of my prediction, I am to touch the scissors to prove I am human.

  11. That shawl looks gorgeous. Now that I’ve said that I have to say “woman will you ever learn”? Never say out loud or put in writing “there is nothing that can go wrong here”. This is a recipe for disaster. We will all need to check with the knitting deities to see if we can unhinge this curse. And I had to touch the foot to comment!!!

  12. I am going to send you all the best Knitting Vibes there are because you have gone and tempted the Gods and Goddesses of Knitting by saying The Thing That Should Never Be Said. I won’t repeat it here, because I have started the Starry Starry Night socks and do not wish to have to restart them again (I’m on my second start) after reading instructions, watching videos, scouring Ravelry, and then saying the same thing when I started.

    Hopefully the Gods and Goddesses are in good humor today, else you have effectively jinxed yourself.

  13. If the beads bought at $1.50 a vial have not tarnished yet with age, maybe that means they are not going to and you are safe.

    • If they are sealed inside a vial, wouldn’t that be what prevented the tarnishing? I would think it could still happen once applied to the yarn.

  14. Once I was embroidering a shirt for a boyfriend (this was the 70s) and had it in my knapsack. It was almost finished. Lo and behold I was robbed — at knifepoint — and they took my knapsack and ran away with it. It was never found. And… I had no money in it.

    • Oh, yikes! I’m glad they didn’t hurt you–physically anyway. I had my purse stolen from my brothers car in the early 70s. We were getting something to eat at Der Weinerschitzel (before they dropped the “Der” and I know, I cringe at the thought I ate that stuff) so I had my wallet with me. I did eventually get it back. A couple of months later someone I worked with saw a “found” notice in the paper that sounded like my purse. I got my Rx glasses back and a few other things I was glad to have back.

  15. You know, it’s when we get oh-so-confident-and-cocky that the knitting gods smite us. Please be very careful with the nectar-of-the-gods (coffee) and adult beverage of choice, and keep a sharp eye out for cormorants! It does look beautiful …

  16. So pretty! I bet those beads will shine like raindrops on pretty white flowers.

    I heard on the news this week that a lady with a car similar to my own had been car jacked. My mind went quickly too, “If that happened, would I be able to grab my knitting? This sweater is getting SO close!”

  17. Has the person who chose the off-white/eggshell coloured dress given their approval on the yarn?
    Are you keeping the beads in non-spill containers, away from hands of curious children?
    Have you got a spare circular of the same length and make as the one you are using?

    • These are all excellent suggestions. I’m rooting for you Steph, and anxious to see what it is! (Please don’t make this like the gansey)

  18. Forget the comorants. Instead, worry about Millie willfully shedding bales of cat hair on that thing. . .:-)!

  19. Hmm… someone getting married? Must be a very special reason for all the effort so far on this pretty piece of knitting.

  20. Don’t dismiss those Cormorants so lightly. Knowing I would not buy anymore for him, my son guarded his last Binky with his life … until a huge Blue Jay made off with it from its resting place on a table in our backyard. My son could only stare in disbelief as it was spirited away.

    Your shawl will be gorgeous. Like your beautiful daughters, enjoy the process of watching it grow.

    • Brilliant! I told my son we left his last Binky on a plane (it may even have been true). For weeks afterwards he would point at planes overhead and say “Binky up dare.” I felt a little bad…

  21. I see you are indeed going with the Aeolian! If you do end up running low on beads, you can save a massive amount but not bead every. single. stitch like the pattern calls for in the last row, but rather strategically placing them so it looks nice (which is what I did a few years back).

  22. It is SO BEAUTIFUL! I’m not even worried about the jinxing because this knitting is too wonderful for the Knitting Goddes to do anything but sit around and enjoy watching it come into being. Thanks for sharing with us.

  23. Maybe some cheesecloth or some such suitable material stretched in the cold air vent? Wishing you happy and successful knitting, in admiration of the patients watching…but just sayin’

  24. Repeat after me: I will not add to the pattern. I will not try to make changes to improve it, which would dramatically increase yarn usage. I will knit it as written.

  25. Forget cormorants, or blue jays. Have you heard of the new species just discovered, birds that stick to everything, called velcrows? Now that’s something for us knitters to worry about.

    Keep that prettiness away from all birds and critters!

  26. I had some of the silver lined beads in a shawl tarnish when I put them away with para-di-chloro-benzene moth balls…won’t do that again, Many of them are still shiny, and I finished that shawl at least 8 years ago.

    • If you buy a set of replacement buttons, you will be sure to find the originals. Not until then, though.

  27. An extra precaution: Put your name and contact info on the project in case of loss. Or chain it to your wrist when you’re travelling with it. It’s beautiful!

  28. Steph, you’re tempting fate.

    My friend had this beautiful blue silk in her stash. She petted it and played with it and loved it and looked for the perfect project for it. It was her reward for finishing a huge aran sweater for her husband. She finally found the perfect project.

    She knit with the beautiful silk every day on the 2 hour train commute to her job (4 hours a day on the train, imagine!)

    One tired, crappy day, she gathered her stuff at the end of the day and got off the train and went home…

    Only to find that the shawl she’d been knitting for a month of train rides wasn’t in her stuff. She’d dropped it somewhere between the train and home. Not in the car, not at the lost and found at the train station she gets off at or any of the other stations along the line. It’s been 6 months now and she still checks pretty regularly with the train folks to see if someone turned in a bag of knitting. So far, no one has. She’s convinced that someone stole her knitting, and frogged it for the beautiful blue silk yarn.

    She may not be wrong.

  29. I just hope you haven’t jinxed yourself by saying that nothing can possibly go wrong. Aren’t those always someone’s last words before something goes horribly wrong?

    Really, I kid. I think you’ll be fine.

  30. Well, that and eating and drinking only white foods and clear liquids until you’re done and you should be fine!

  31. OK…it’s not weird to admit in public that my imagination “reads” like animation, right? So anyway, now I’ve got this piece running in my head, where a bespectacled woman with curly hair, a big smile, and a VERY pretty project WITH SPARKLES is ducking and dodging through the landscape, pluckily evading a pair of extremely determined and ingenious cormorants and their henchsquirrels. Could be a children’s book, could be a videogame, could be a horror story, but it’s going to amuse me all day now.

  32. NO NO NO don’t say things like that!!

    Repeat after me: tfu tfu tfu, bli ayin hara [no evil eye], po po po, al tiftach peh lasatan [don’t open your mouth to Satan], absit omen [cancel the bad omen].
    Then tie some red string round your wrist, recite a few psalms, deck yourself with four-leaved clovers (or shamrocks), buy an amulet and wear it, cross your fingers and toes at regular intervals, buy a horseshoe and nail it (right way up, gap at the top) above your door, and leave out some milk overnight for the knitting fairies.

    OK, I’m feeling calmer now. But do watch your step….

  33. Hopefully this isn’t going to be re-titled “famous last words” somewhere down the road. The change in gauge from the pattern doesn’t mean you need more beads or yarn, right?

  34. Have you let the recipient take a gander at the yarn colour to ensure it really is the right ‘bright white but not maybe eggshell?’

  35. it’s absolutely lovely. and the fact that it’s a shawl gives some latitude, size matters but the garment isn’t exactly fitted.
    To be safe, don’t expose it to cormorants, nor to crows and blue jays. they like the shiny stuff.

  36. I’m guessing that someone very close to you will be getting married. Hmmmm….three marriageable-age daughters….I wonder.

  37. Ok, so who is getting married? Looks like a bridal veil to me. I love hand knit bridal veils. My daughter just got married. I knit a veil to her exact specs, and then her stylist decided “no veil”. Was I bummed for a minute or two. But she looked lovely, and I like the guy this time (second marriage) so I got over it, drank lots of adult beverages and danced in my wheel chair. The groom wore his hand knit socks. Great wedding. Good luck on yours.
    Julie in San Diego

  38. Here it comes straight out of left field: Harlot’s mum is getting married? (I have to touch the robot, so pretend it didn’t come from me.)

  39. Oh my gosh that looks beautiful already! My three favorite things, lace+shawl+beads! Can’t wait to see the finished object.

  40. Beautiful and well planned…but do you have spare needles in the right size?

    Looking forward to more pics.

  41. I think you have! Materials check, gauge check, pattern check…that does appear to be reasonable. Oh–time check? I think you said this needs to be done quickly…

    I’m excited to find out what pattern you’re using. I love the swatch. I’m also assuming this is going with a wedding dress, so I’m excited to find out whose wedding!

  42. What are you thinking???? Don’t ever ever ever say “what could go wrong”. You’re asking for trouble. Go knock on wood. Now.

  43. I am, as we Brits say, gobsmacked. That is a very, very lovely shawl and I can say with absolute certainty that I will never knit that pattern and never have to deal with the gazillions of beads. More power to you, may all your projects prosper.

    What amazed me was that I have that lace pattern on my needles at this very moment, a large swatch in the form of a scarf, in preparation for a (commissioned, non-beaded) shawl for which I’m currently spinning the yarn.

    I’m knitting the same lace as the Yarn Harlot. I suddenly feel like a very grownup and talented knitter – is that foolish, when I’m actually a lot older than you are?

  44. I love your imagery…loose as the old pair of underpants in the back of the drawer! Do we all have a pair like that lurking to remind us to buy newer ones? 🙂

  45. Knowing your mad skills as a lace knitter it will turn out beautifully. Much knitting mojo that you don’t run into an issue like a knot in the yarn or m*!#$.

  46. I am never knitting lace. I am never knitting with beads. But I am awestruck at the loveliness of this knitwear in progress.

  47. Just to be on the safe side, do not drink coffee nor tea nor red wine anywhere within two metres of the shawl. Just to be on the safe side…

  48. I know what pattern it is! I’m making one too I’m up to the end of the second chart. I’m not beading all of it. Its my first charted lace beaded project and I’m very excited about it.
    My gauge is very loose on a 2.5 mm needle.
    Can anyone pls advise me if loose gauge is bad for beads drooping the stitches out of place?
    I don’t mind starting again.
    I’m using tiny seed beads and Paolo Bottom coned Aurara. It says 30000 on it. I got both from charity shop. I think its probably 100% Merino in between cobweb and lace.

    • Sorry the yarn is spelled Poala Botto not bottom! And Aurora not Aurara.
      I like my swatch but have never done lace so open before.
      I was only planning on beading the lower half of the piece.
      I could restart and buy more beads and knit it a bit tighter. I have been stretching each stitch because I’ve been scared I wont be able to block properly if its knit with a cardigan like gauge.

  49. Of course it will be fine!!! You have done everything required to appease the yarn Gods. And with the whole Blog rooting for you too, what could possibly happen? 🙂

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