07 August 2020

An FO for Friday - Not Blocked and No Longer a Secret

I'm glad that today is Friday, because this has been a rough week in so many ways, and since today (at least so far is rainy and dreary) I can just stay home and do what I want - or not do anything.

I have an FO for you today.  I almost waited to share it until it was completely finished - meaning blocked - but that will likely take a while, so you are getting an FO post anyway.

As mentioned during July, I decided to join the Stillness Shawl MKAL hosted by Helen Stewart.  To be honest, I'm not sure why, except that I'd seen the finished projects on several podcasts from previous MKALs and they were always lovely.  It could also be because at the time I was knitting a pair of socks designed by her and really enjoying it.  Anyway, I signed up.  More amazingly, I actually participated, in that I decided on yarn, wound it up, and not only downloaded the clues each week, but actually kept up with the knitting.  WHAT????

Project:  Stillness Shawl

Pattern:  Stillness Shawl MKAL, by Helen Stewart

Yarns (from left to right):  Indigodragonfly Tough Lester Sock, in the Dark Lord Bob colorway; Plucky Knitter Plucky Feet, in the colorway Good Ol' Pip; and, Sweet Swallow Yarns Nuthatch in the Shy Violets colorway

Needles:  US size 6

Modifications:  None, since I was flying blind here!

Notes:  First of all, I was pleased because I used all stash yarn for this project, and since that has been something I've been really trying to do, it was nice to use three skeins in one project.  Also, I was pleased because I got to learn two things that were new to me, which is something I have also been trying to do.  This pattern included an i-cord cast on; one of the sections was the Star Stitch, which frankly I was worried about since it looked rather complicated, but as it turns out, it's fairly simple to execute.

After finishing the first clue, I was feeling quite proud of myself, I must admit:

I think the fact that I was able to do this without [many] problems kept me motivated.  I will say now that the project is finished, that I feel confident that I can trust any pattern written by Helen Stewart to be not just well-written and understandable, but very easy to follow.  Even when I would mess up, it was my mess, not because of anything to do with the pattern.

The finished shawl is a really BIG one - so big that I do not have the space nor the pins to block it!  I mean, even before blocking, there's a whole lotta shawl here:

As a point of reference, this is across a double bed!

I do think it is pretty, and when I talked about my blocking issues on Facebook, Lorette offered to block it for me if I wanted to sent it to her.  I have to say, I'm giving that some serious consideration.  I know she does a lot of both shawl and lace knitting, so she knows much more about blocking this kind of item that I do.  I'll keep you posted.

In any case, this was actually fun to knit, and though I didn't really do a lot of the chatter, etc. type of stuff on Ravelry, I did enjoy seeing others' projects.  I think the reason that all of the planets or whatever aligned and I ended up finishing this was because at first it seemed a good distraction and a way to use stash, and then it became a personal challenge to me to keep up.  This is not to say that I'm likely to sign up for any KALs again anytime soon, but it was a good feeling to sign up and then actually *do* something!

 I guess sometimes you can still surprise yourself in a good way.  


Not a lot else worth reporting.  This morning I walked up to the Post Office, and finally mailed out all of the prizes for Christmas in July.  Why do I think I'll mail each one as it happens?  From here forward, if you win a prize, just assume it will go out all at one time with the others.  Geez.

I did feel bad because the woman who helped me was so apologetic, saying, "I just want to let you know that in the current situation, I can't guarantee that any of these will get there right away, or as soon as they probably should.  The Post Office is under attack, you know."  I told her that it was OK, I'm a big supporter of the P.O., and between the virus and the administration, they were getting hit everywhere.  She looked at me and smiled and I hope it made her day at least .000001% better.

Hamlet is recovering from a bad bout of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, which has really knocked him (and by extension, all of us) for a loop.  Fortunately, the vet took x-rays and it wasn't caused by any blockages, tumors, etc. - just probably from something he picked up and ate off the street.  We watch him like a hawk, but sometimes things get past us.  He is starting to seem more like his usual sweet self though, so that's good.  The cats have been very annoyed because they can't sleep on/next to him because he smells bad and that is a real inconvenience for them ...

Next weekend we had scheduled a trip to Baltimore to visit my niece and her husband (we made the plans back in April).  Now my sister and brother-in-law are planning to be there as well, which means most of the family will show up to visit also.  I had been leaning towards cancelling even if it would just be the four of us, but the addition of even more people has made me certain that I don't want us to go.  It just seems irresponsible, and though I know they are all careful people, I just think we have been so conscientious about things, why stop now?  Having to go into work two days a week has been making me anxious enough.  It is disappointing, since we haven't seen anyone for such a long time, but I'm not willing to take the chance, particularly when things are taking an uptick again.  Why can't people wear a mask? (Rhetorical, I know why and so do you.)

Anyway, it's Friday, and it's the weekend, and we have wine, and The Tim just informed me that he made some chocolate pudding!  All's well that ends well, right?  😃

Have a lovely weekend yourself, and take care.


KSD said...

Poor Hamlet. Give him extra pats from us.

The shawl is amazing!

Alison said...

It is interesting that the longer this virus rolls around the globe, our worlds are shrinking. I don't even watch or listen to news items about it anymore. We are almost developing survival mode mentality. Your Post Office system is “under attack” what does that mean? Thank goodness we have our handwork to release our tensions and find joy. Poor Hamlet.

kayT said...

I did the same MKAL and enjoyed it enough that I am now doing casapinka's MKAL; it's a rectangular shawl in 4 colors, being administered (and designed, they say) by Sharon From Security (casapinka's cat). I know, it sounds a bit too cute, but it's not; Sharon is a harsh taskcat. So if you want another MKAL, it just started today so get on over there and join! The project is The Sharon Show. There are lots of people in this one. I've done a casapinka design or two and they are usually very clear and easy to follow. Of course since this one is by Sharon From Security, one never knows.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Even unblocked, the shawl is gorgeous. I love the colours you chose.

Hope Hamlet is back to his regular self soon - and that you have a nice, relaxing weekend!

kathy b said...

Bridget you made a disappointing but wise decision in my opinion. People here do NOT GET IT. Tons of them on boats today. No one wearing masks. A couple we love chose not to come visit today because we are insisting on outdoor dining on our deck and masks . That was hard to swallow but we love them.

Kim in Oregon said...

Great finish to the shawl!

Poor Hamlet. It's so hard to ignore those burritos/cheese sandwiches/donuts that end up on the street!

Araignee said...

The shawl is gorgeous!! What an accomplishment. Poor Hamlet. Pup went through that not too long ago and it was not fun. I hope he's feeling better soon.

Dee said...

For what it is worth, I too think you made the right decision regarding the visit. We are going to have to tell our God child that we won't be coming to her wedding. 😕 like you, I didnt come this far to get the damn virus now and the wedding is going to be a lot of 20-somethings that party and a whole bunch of people flying in from Florida. 'NUFF said, eh?

Hope Hamlet is feeling top notch soon.

Your shawl is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of hearing all the anti maskers and conspiracy theorists. I have cut back my reading on the net. So tired of the “It’s all about me” people. Get real. What happened to courtesy and manners.

Mereknits said...

Poor Hamlet and poor you. We have been through that here and it is no fun at all. Love your shawl, it is gorgeous. So sorry you may have to cancel plans, so many people I work with are going on trips all over, it scares me to death. I wear a mask but am not sure they do. Stay safe.

sprite said...

The shawl is lovely! Congratulations on speeding through the pattern!

Nance said...

That shawl is gorgeous! Even unblocked, the detail is pretty. I can only imagine how incredible--and huge--it will be once it's blocked and in its glory. You'll be able to swirl and swoop like Stevie Nicks. I AM JEALOUS.

We're currently watching our grand-dog Zydrunas for HGE. I hope Hamlet continues to rest and recover.

Wine and chocolate pudding can make up for some Disappointments, I think. Bless that man! ;-)

karen said...

I hope Hamlet gives up eating garbage off the street. Our previous dog, Zoe, did that much to my dismay. I would be vigilant and yet she could spot a have decaying carcass before I could blink... dogs.

isn't gathering with others crazy? I am going to a bridal shower next weekend. I rsvped because it is at a venue - social distancing - mask wearing - limited gathering. Of course I could cancel if I need to do it.

lovely lovely shawl!!

Lorette said...

I’m behind on blog reading, but I am serious! Send it to me, I’ll block it. The cats say that they will help.