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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Luna Moth Takes Flight

C'est fini! I can't believe it. I have actually finished my very first shawl!! I had attempted a shawl 2 years ago which only made it up to the 7th repeat and then got dropped. I think the problem there was trying to do it with fingerling yarn. I definitely set myself up for failure there. I do plan on trying the Flower Basket Shawl again, someday. I think I need to do a few more worsted weight shawls like this Luna Moth Shawl, Shui Kuen Kozinski's wonderful design and well written pattern. I had no trouble following the instructions at all. Of course it helped that there were row-by-row instructions. :-) There were a number of shawls I was interested in knitting for the Elann Shawl KAL, but I couldn't choose them because they were too difficult and/or they came in chart only. I really do need to get more comfortable with chart reading, someday...

I worked the pattern as written, without adding any extra repeats. I interpreted the pattern instructions as knitting rows 1 to 14, then 15 to 34, then 15 to 34, then 15 to 34 (3rd repeat), then the final section of 15 to 24 before the edging row and bind off. I hope that was the correct interpretation.

The finished shawl is 46 by 28 inches. It's fine for someone petite (like me), a light extra layer for a little more warmth without anything dangling to get in the way ... but extra repeats would definitely be necessary for a larger person. Or perhaps I didn't stretch it out enough when I blocked it? That could be part of it. I have very limited blocking experience. Perhaps I should have soaked it for 20 minutes or more. Anyhowz, it's either a very large triangular scarf or a very small shawl. In either case, when would I ever wear it? What would I wear it with? Such a pretty shawl doesn't quite fit the looks-like-a-bum SAHM who has a toddler in tow. Hmmm....

If I knit Luna again, I will make the following changes: add an extra repeat or two; soak it for 20 minutes or more before blocking; try to stretch it even more while pinning it.

Here is a close up of the shawl. I love how it turned out, and I still can't believe it... did I really knit this?!

Finishing this shawl has given me the confidence to tackle another shawl, perhaps another Luna Moth since I really love this pattern, but definitely other patterns as well! I want to knit Sun Ray and Moonlight Sonata too. And I have to thank Lisa for giving me that extra push, I would not have done this if she had not organized the Elann Shawl KAL. Before this KAL, I looked at this pattern and thought omigosh that's just too hard! Go check out the KAL blog where you'll find a plethora of gorgeous shawls knitted by other people.


As we're going to move into a new house before the next Ice Age, I find myself thinking about all the crap we own. I guess I'm a bit of a pack rat. Of course not in the yarn dept, I'm talking about all the non-yarny crap. ;-) I was thinking about the small collection of garbage (well, one of many in the house, lol) in one corner of our dining room ... empty wine bottles. Why do I have them? I kept them for sentimental reasons, much like how other people collect match boxes from places they've visited. My empty wine bottles are just taking up space...

I didn't discover wine until the mid 90s when some friends introduced me to the world of wine. My wine education started out with Bordeaux (and I still feel a bit partial to Bdx), but I have explored other regions since then. I couldn't remember which bottles I kept, so I decided to take a lookie. Of course these bottles weren't easily accessible. I had to climb over other storage boxes and move 5 boxes of Spiegelau wine glasses (the "poor man's Riedel") to get to them. Why do I have 5 boxes of wine glasses (30 glasses) when I am the sole wine drinker in the house?! Anyhowz, I moved the wine glasses and found a few wine bottles sitting on the floor and most of them in a Davis Bynum box. Here's what I found:
1985 Chateau Cos d'Estournel (St Estephe)
1988 Chataeu Cos d'Estournel (St Estephe)
1990 Chateau Cos d'Estournel (St Estephe)
1988 Domaine de Chevalier (Graves)
1990 Chateau de Pez (St Estephe)
1990 Chateau Haut Batailley (Pauillac)
1986 Chateau Haut Brion (Graves)
1990 Chateau Haut-Marbuzet (St Estephe)
1990 Chateau La Louviere (Graves)
1989 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion (Graves)
1989 Chateau Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
1990 Chateau Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
1993 Chateau Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
1989 Chateau Meyney (St Estephe)
1990 Chateau Meyney (St Estephe)
1989 Chateau Pape Clement (Graves)
1993 Chateau Pinchon-Longueville (Pauillac)
I don't really need all these empty bottles. I've already thrown out the 5 bottles that weren't in the box. Now I need to work up to throwing out the remaining 12.

The wine bottle you see above is my last bottle of 2002 Kahn Winery Sauvignon Blanc. I picked up a case when I passed through their tasting room in Los Olivos, CA (near Santa Barbara, CA) in May 2003. My in-laws aren't big wine drinkers, but I think they got a kick out of seeing their surname on the bottle ... well, that'd be the surname of DH's parents, and maiden name for DH's dad's sis. So now you know what the "K" stands for in "smariek", if you hadn't already guessed it from my free patterns ... ;-)

Unfortunately Kahn Winery went out of business so there are no more bottles to be had. :-( I will probably not open this last bottle because I suspect it is already corked. :-(


V wrote: How about a knit for the bff?

Can't really blog about stuff for people who read my blog... :-P

Cate wrote: I have an iPod nano and wish I had been able to afford the regular iPod. It is amazing how quickly the nano gets full. I wouldn't have believed I owned 1000 songs and it turns out I have way more than that. By the time you add in part of an audio book - whoosh, all the space is gone.

We have about 22 GB of stuff so far. I know it would all fit in the smaller regular 30 GB iPod, but I wonder, do I really need access to all of our stuff at any given time? DH has the 20 GB iPod and he says that's plenty. I do find the size of the iPod Nano very attractive. I carry enough of M's stuff as it is, and don't really need something big/heavy. One of these days I'll have to enumerate all the crap I carry around in my bag. And whatever is in my purse or diaper bag is definitely going to take a beating.

I do want something so I can listen to audio books while knitting. Watching TV while knitting usually means not getting very far in either. However I'm starting to wonder how much I will use it for audio books while knitting now that I've started watching HGTV and using those HGTV shows as background noise while I knit. Funny how you get into HGTV after buying a house, huh?

Lisa wrote: I knitted and thickly felted a sweet little case for mine with a long felted icord handle that goes over my shoulder/cross the body sort of for me.

Hmm... tempted by the idea of a small felted project!!! I've never felted before. You're right about the 30 GB iPod being great for watching videos on long flights. I think you do a lot more traveling than I do, lol.


I am still experiencing computer woes. Yes, the same intermittent power problem. Laptop drops to battery power and I have to wiggle the cord to get it back to AC power. A few seconds later, it's back to battery power. It's driving me nuts!!! I had mentioned upgrading to a T60 a while back. Well, I am still in the process of upgrading. Nothing involving computers is ever simple. I think we tried installing WinXP and all that other crap (security patches, IBM software, etc) three times on that thing ... and there was always some problem! The last annoying thing was not being able to move the cursor or have keyboard control when rebooting. It was random. It was annoying.

So we tried configuring a different T60 (yes, a different laptop of the same model). Same problems. Sigh...

I hope to upgrade to the T60 soon. The smaller lighter weight laptop will be a welcome change.

Earlier today I had a partially unresponsive keyboard. I think this laptop knows I'm trying to get rid of it...


Not much to report on our house buying adventure. Our Loan Papers should be ready to sign, and we will probably have an appt next week with our Loan Person and the Lender to sign a gazillion papers. I just hope it isn't an early morning appt cuz that means driving to the south bay in rush hour traffic. We did this a few times when meeting our Realtor and it was not fun for me. I'm just not used to driving in those conditions.

I think we need to secure some sort of home insurance before escrow closes -- or was it before we sign the papers with the Loan People? I forget which. Although DH is looking into the insurance, it seems to be causing me a bit of stress. Well, the whole house buying process is causing me stress. I can feel it in my shoulders. It is keeping me up at night.


Remember that vest pattern I was looking for, for my mom? Well I finally showed her some of the vests I had in mind and she likes the Lion Brand Patchwork Textured Vest I was originally thinking of doing. It calls for Lion Cotton, but I'm leaning towards Adara or Pasticcio. I showed Mom the snips of both and she prefers Adara in Garnet Rose or Hyacinth. I'm hoping that this yarn is a good substitute (thickness) for Lion Cotton. And I'm hoping that the variegated yarn will not drown out the textured pattern of the vest.

Imagine this vest:

In one of these colors:


10 stitch(es):

Becca said...

Your shawl is gorgeous. You won't look like a bum if you toss that around your shoulders! I'm very impressed and I hope you make another one. I like the Victoria Lace shawl.

Grace Yaskovic said...

looks lovely to me -- and don't stress about the closing on the house, you got this far, it will all fall into place!!

Joan said...

Some SK shawls are bigger than others. The Sun Ray is definitely a bigger one. I did 7 or 8 repeats of the 15-34 section (lost count) on Luna because I knew this was a smaller, SK-sized shawl (she is very petite) and I wanted a big cozy winter shawl (thus double stranded alpaca). But I plan to do a few more in cotton this summer as gifts, probably just as written or maybe adding a 4th repeat. Sivia Harding's patterns offer both charted and line by line instructions. Her blog link is at my blog. I have 3 of her patterns and did one of her shawls 3 times.
Either Adara looks great and I bet will be perfect for mom's vest.
Love the Luna!!!

V. said...

I had trouble with the keys not registering on the laptop and solved that by cleaning under all the keys. Cat hair!

Sue said...

You will see pretty quickly by your swatch if the pattern gets lost in the color variations. Sadly, I think it will.

Trish - My Merino Mantra said...

Great job, Marie! Yes, you really did do it, and it is lovely! Good luck on the home. Don't worry.

hakucho said...

Your luna shawl is beautiful!! Such a nice(perfect)job and I can't believe it's only your first!!

I really like the yarn your Mom picked out, especially the blue one (I'm a blue jean girl). I'm sure it will work out just fine. Can't wait to see more as you progress!

happy knitting :)

g-girl said...

your luna looks absolutely gorgeous!! I've been following the Elann KAL and there have been so many amazing shawls! I need to get started on one myself someday soon.
pack rat you say? happens to the best of us!

Trina said...

Why not toss the bottles but save the labels? It would take up a lot less space while still letting you be all nostalgic. I think you just soak them off. There should be info on how to do it somewhere on the internet.

Calamintha said...

Your Luna Shawl is very pretty! Congratulations! In my experience the amount of time you soak a shawl doesn't affect how much you can stretch it. It does need to get thoroughly wet but I seldom soak mine more than a few minutes.

Theoretically, wool should "grow" 25-30% of the original size depending on how hard you stretch it. When I first started making shawls Mouse recommended using styrofoam sheets found in home improvement and hardware stores for a few dollars to block on and I find them really handy and easy to use. The pins stay where you put them and so you can really stretch the lace out.