Sunday, July 8, 2012

All Hail the Blood Queen

During my vacation I concluded I needed to start a project that was as crazy as my life was at the time. Since I was running around all over West Michigan for the wedding, laceweight silk fit the bill nicely. I have talked about before about the project and the yarn. Laminaria, and Dye For Yarn Tussah Silk in Blood Queen.

The plan is to use as much yarn as possible. It was early and before coffee the day I cast on, so I forgot to weigh the ball. I put in a call for help since I happen to know many people who have size 5 32in Chiaogoo red lace needles, which weigh 6-7g. This means I started with 101g of lace.

The last time I checked I was at 61g left, so, 2/5 of the way there!

I had a little trouble getting the transition chart correctly, so I did six repeats of the star chart instead of the five I was planning on doing. I got screwed up counting. The key was to verify based on the row I was about to do, instead the row I just completed. Did that make any sense? I might have gone one row too far, but I eventually managed to recover.

At this point I am into my third blossom repeat, the chart is memorized again, since the shawl has the same motif as Echo Flower, my first foray into lace and shawls.

I learned one important thing from the experience. Lace needs huge needles. Size 6 needles were not big enough for fingering weight yarn. I am using 5's on laceweight if that is any indication. The patten basically makes the flowers in a dew drop shape, which is not obvious in the shot above. Live and learn.

The little blossoms make me happy.

The game plan right now is to do 7-8 blossom repeats and then launch into the border. Strangely the border is going to take a large percentage of the yarn (40-45%) So there really isn't too much more that needs to happen on this.

 My socks are moving slowly. The shawl has been the main push, though I am carrying them around with me. I don't even have pictures of the current state of the socks. The only picture I have of them is the one from the failed size large attempt. You guys probably deserve better photos.

Yesterday I was so fascianated with knitting these socks, I did five hexes. On a Friday night.

It looks like today I will only get two done. I have accepted a commission to knit a friend a pair of socks, and he was giving me crap for not working on his during lunch Friday.

On the fractal front, the two weeks of vacation and the craziness of those days meant I hardly rendered anything. I did scan in adorable pictures of me and the DSLO.
 The apo challenge was to use only blur variations. I was surprised that I could get such a crisp fractal like this.
This is what I found on my work computer when I got back. A little messy tweak from the loonie, polar 2, whatever else challenge.
This week the apo challenge was to use at most three transforms, and only three variations, one of which needed to be Juliascope.
This was just a normal spiral. I was trying some fun things with xaos to keep everything clean and crisp, and I didn't use my usual settings for color. I'm pretty pleased with this one.

I have been reading an interesting book. It was actually a gift for the DSLO, but I read way faster than he does, and got to it first. It is called Imagine: How Creativity Works and so far it has been fascinating, as someone who tries to straddle two sides of the creative fence. On one side I am an engineer, trying to bulldoze through problems with analytical clarity, and on the other side I am an artist, trying to cull the novel insights and emotion out of what I observe. Both require tremendous creativity, but they are diametrically opposed. What helps one hinders the other, and my own habits can get in the way of the type of creativity that I might need. I haven't even finished the 3rd chapter, and I want to recommend this book to everyone I know. Which is impressive, because normally psychology creeps the hell out of me.

That's all for now, take care

Molly : )

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