Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've got this shawl thing going on!

Lately I've been intrigued with shawls and shawl patterns. I'm not sure if I'll wear any of them, but they're so much fun to knit.

This weekend I was super busy and for the most part that didn't seem to include knitting. You might have heard me groaning about that! Finally on Monday (and instead of blogging) I dug out a skein of Schaefer Anne that I had intended to make socks with. I grabbed an Addi Lace Size 6 needle and started a triangle shawl using the Gull Lace pattern that Elizabeth Zimmermann used for her baby sweater for the February project in her book, Knitter's Almanac. I haven't made the baby sweater, but I made the February Lady Sweater this past February for one of our Knit Togethers. I liked that simple 4-row lace pattern and had an idea that it would be fun to use again. Carol, who works at the shop, used the Gull Lace pattern on a pair of socks, so I got to thinking it might be fun for a shawl.

I'm also working on Ysolda Teague's Damson with the Ella Rae Lace Merino that I was going to use to make the leaf scarf I blogged about awhile back. Another shawl I'm close to finishing is the Revontuli, using 2 balls of Zauberball Crazy. I think there's at least one or two more shawls in my WIP pile!

Here's the Gull Lace pattern just in case you would like to play with it. If you want to make a shawl with it, you can easily make a rectangular one by casting on multiples of 7 stitches (plus you may want to add on a garter stitch border of 5 to 8 stitches on each side and a garter stitch edge at the bottom and top). If you want to try to make a triangular shawl, talk to me about how to work your 7-stitch pattern repeats into the triangle.

Gull Lace pattern (multiple of 7 stitches)
Row 1: *K1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * across.
Rows 2 & 4: Purl across.
Row 3: *K2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk; rep from * across.

Now if you get hooked on shawls and lace like I have, you won't have a lot of time to cook! I thought that with cooler fall nights you might like to try my sloppy joe recipe. It's simple and would make quite a few sandwiches. Of course you could always double the amounts if you need to feed an extra hungry crowd!

Nancy's Sloppy Joes
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Brown ground beef and onion; drain off fat. Add other ingredients; let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My sad sock story

If you've ever knitted socks for someone, you know that knitting them is a true act of love. That said, my story is sort of a sad one ...

Our nephew Ben got married this year and he and his wife Karie came to Iowa this summer to visit the Iowa side of his family (they live in Los Angeles). So on the Fourth of July we had Ben and Karie over for a cookout and a trip to see fireworks. Prior to the fireworks, we ran by our shop to show it to them. Karie told me she wants to learn how to knit and if I'd had more time I would have crammed in a lesson, but time was far too limited. Anyway, I showed her some socks that I'd made and she told me she would really love some. I told her I would make a pair for her, knowing that in California it still gets cold enough to enjoy wool socks in the winter. Her favorite color is orange, so a week or so after their visit I got in a shipment of sock yarn from Skacel. There was a perfect pattern and color of yarn, so I got started. Within a week or two I'd quickly knitted up a pair of socks for Karie. I wrote her a quick note about all the love that goes into a pair of socks and told her how to care for them. I popped them into a padded mailing envelope and Tim took them to the Post Office to mail. As time went by, I began to wonder if Karie didn't like them, since I hadn't heard from her or Ben. Finally, about two weeks ago Tim sent Ben an email to see how Karie liked the socks. Ben sent a return email that they hadn't gotten the socks yet! (This is where I start to get tears in my eyes!) Over a month had passed since we sent the socks, so it appears they are lost for good. That or one of their neighbors will be enjoying warm feet this winter! Our Post Office said the package may still show up as they sometimes get caught in the equipment, but I'm not going to hold my breath!

This past Friday evening I started another pair of socks for Karie. I even like this yarn better. It's a Trekking XXL sock yarn that is red, orange and hot pink. When it's done I may try to ship it to Karie's office, since she and Ben currently live in an apartment. This time when I write my note to Karie I can tell her that the new pair of socks has double the love knitted into them!