A shawl complete

It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!!

(Well, with the exception of blocking…but the knitting is done!)

It took me 4 months, but I finally managed to finish my Twiddlebug Shawl. It’s 70 inches long and 16 inches wide at the moment – after blocking it should be closer to 75″x20″. Each pattern repeat has 10 rows and I did 46 of those. Every repeat took me about an hour to complete and there was a single crochet border (and I don’t really know how to crochet, so that was fun). I figure it took me about 60 hours in total to complete this shawl between getting used to the pattern early on, fixing problems, and taking 8 hours just to do the border because of my lack of crocheting skills.

The last step in this project before it can be gifted is blocking. I’m not really sure how I’ll accomplish this yet since I don’t have a place where a 75×20 inch shawl can lay flat pinned to a board undisturbed until it dries. Once I figure it out, I’ll take some pics and let you know how I did it.

Oh Twiddlebugs!

In previous posts I’ve mentioned a “dissertation” for Nerd Wars and that probably needs a little more explanation.

The way a Nerd Wars tournament works is that the are 3 rounds per tournament each of which lasts on month. You can participate in up to 6 challenges per round. In addition to this, you have the option to complete a self-selected challenge which is expected to take the entirety of the tournament. This is called a dissertation.

I decided to attempt a dissertation in this tournament and I chose the Hiya Hiya Gardenia Shawl. Because it has a leafy/flowery type of pattern to it, I tied it to my “nerdery” (Jim Henson) by calling it a Twiddlebug Shawl.

It’s a fairly simple semi-lace pattern with cables running the length the shawl. I chose a really pretty alpaca yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Strawberry, that I bought for myself as a birthday present. (It was a great deal too. I got it for half price at a store-closing sale.)

My original plan was to have the shawl completed in time for Christmas in order to give it to my grandmother as a gift, but life got in the way and I missed that goal. It looks like I’m going to miss my official Nerd Wars completion date goal of December 31st as well.

I’ve never knitted a shawl before. Scarves yes, but shawls not so much. I usually stick to smaller items because I have knitting ADD and move from project to project so I don’t get bored.

So I haven’t decided if I’m just going to give my grandmom the shawl as a just because/super late Christmas present or if I will hold on to it for a future gifting opportunity.

Either way, at this point I’m determined to get it done as soon as possible…partially because I’m tired of working on it and partially because I feel like I’ve come so far that I have to see it through.

I have 22 inches and a border left to go. Here’s where I am now:

Knitting like a mad woman

Okay…carpal tunnel is feeling better and I’m out of my knitting funk again.

I’ve been working like crazy to get my Twiddlebug Shawl/grandmother’s Christmas present halfway done for this week. I’m almost there. 7 repeats to go. I promise I’ll post some pics & tell you about this project soon.

I also need to get at least one project done for the regular Nerd Wars challenges by November 30th. Technically, I don’t have to get a project done since no one on the team would think any less of me if I didn’t…except me. I don’t want to be a team slacker.

Back to work!!!

More holiday gifts

Just the other day I realized that I probably should give gifts to the Kiddo’s day care teachers.  There are four of them.  And they range in age and background.  So, what in the world can I get these women?

I’ve decided, at this point, to go with coffee mugs and Dunkin Donuts gift cards….which, at first, sounds chintzy.  But I’m also going to knit mug cozies.  So there will be a bit of “personal touch” that goes along with the present.

I hope it’s not too cheesy or cheap-seeming.  I’ve never had to do teacher gifts before.

A holiday miracle?

Well, kind of….I quested for days to find the yarn I needed to finish my sister’s Christmas present.  I scoured the internets and checked site after site with no luck.  I finally decided to try my luck on Ravelry.  Thousand upon thousands of crazy knitters like me who catalog their items and yarn, surely someone had extra Moda Dea Vision Karma.

And someone did.  Actually a bunch of someones.

The first person I asked was planning an “as yet to be determined” project because her mom gave her the yarn.  Boo!  (Okay, understandable but still…boo!)

But on my second try I found someone who had experienced a similar problem a while ago and another Raveler* bailed her out.  She thought it only best to pay the kindness forward.  So, we agreed on a trade and she said she put the yarn in the mail (I need to do the same tonight with the things I’m sending her).

Hooray for the internet!!!

*A Raveler is a person who uses Ravelry.

At an impasse

I’m 160 rows away from finishing my sister’s Christmas present.  However, my yarn will only last for about 2 more rows.  Ordinarily coming to the end of a skein would be no big deal.  You just move on to the next skein and weave in the ends.  Not this time.

I had only 3 skeins.

I thought it would be enough.

But nooooooo.

And guess which yarn is discontinued.

Balls!

I’ve been searching the interwebs with no success.  I’m trying to see if someone on Ravelry will sell or trade with me.  I’m going to hit A.C. Moore & Michael’s on the weekend, but it’s been a long time since I bought the original skeins so I don’t know how much luck I’ll have.

Balls!!

At any rate, here’s a picture of what I have to this point.  I know it’s hard to see, but the cables came out really nice.  If I’m super lucky I’ll be able to finish it and give it to its rightful owner.

Almost done

A third of the way there

I’m happy to report that my knitting time has not been as severely compromised as I had originally anticipated.  Which means, I have been able to continue to work diligently on my Hooded Scarf project for my sister.  It’s about a third of the way done…I just finished the first scarf section (with pretty cables btw) and moved on to the hood portion last night.

With any luck, I may actually finish this thing before Christmas.

And that’s kind of important for a Christmas gift.

Also because I want to move on to making my scarf for Scarves for Special Olympics (whole separate post on that soon).