Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

Top o’ the Stole to Ye

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Dear Kay,
I’ve got a FEVER, and the only cure is more KNITTING. I’ve been motoring through this Print o’ the Wave stole, and I keep it in the back of my mind all day long. It’s actually been a while since I forgot to feed my children because of knitting, so I’m happy to report that I’m back to my old, terrible habits.
At my gauge (I’m using #5 needles with this), it looks to be more of a Print o’ the Wave Long Strip of Lace. Blocking this will gain me some yardage, I’m sure, but it’s not really going to be a voluminous item.
It will, however, be undeniably teal. T.E.A.L.:
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I have a couple of early observations to make:
Number 1. Ladies, gents, always print out your lace shawl patterns on a color printer. I sadly printed Print o’ the Wave out on my black-only printer, and in doing so managed to turn black the giant red box which indicates the 16-stitch repeat. Without this box, a person might read the chart as a 14-stitch repeat and thereby come close to popping a blood vessel when she keeps getting 6 leftover stitches at the end of the first row. Over and over a person might misread the pattern. Oy! A person needs to get a color printer.
Number 2: I’m having a grand time finding all the tricks of the lace pattern. And an 80-stitch-wide stole means you get that feeling of accomplishment fast. None of this 300-stitch malarkey.
Number 3 (and this is for anybody who’s still waiting for a distant day to start knitting lace): Because every other row is only purl stitches, this means that half of this shawl is the most moronically simple knitting you can do. Of the 12-row repeat, only 6 rows are lace-ish, and even those are basically rhyming rows–you do similar things in every row. When you do a lace-ish row, suck it up and pay attention. Then blast off down the home stretch. Suck it up. Blast off. Repeat.
Thanks for the pattern, Eunny. Having a swell time. Wish you were here (knitting this thing for me).
Book Nook
Well, there’s Claire Messud on the cover of the New York Times Book Review today. Uh, I guess we’ll have company when we’re reading The Emperor’s Children this month.
While I’m waiting for that juicy novel to arrive, I have been mesmerized–transfixed! frozen! distracted I tell you!–by two books I’ve been listening to on the iPod. It’s been so great to have my new best friends Julia Child and Joan Didion talking to me. OK, I’m hearing audiobook narrators, actually, not the ghost of Julia nor the actual voice of La Didion. But still. The Didion narrator is just fantastic. The Julia Child one? Je pense que she is mispronouncing a lot of French words, or semi-mangling them.
The Year of Magical Thinking: So affecting that I found myself driving around town weeping the boohoos of grief and loss even though I wasn’t the one married to John Gregory Dunne. The cool customer Joan Didion really digs deep into the death of her beloved companion. Their writing relationship was so symbiotic. Lovely.
My Life in France: Julia Child explains how she became Julia Child. Let’s just say I immediately dug out my Mastering the Art of French Cooking after finishing her memoir. WILDLY INSPIRING! You will want to turn your hobby into a book! You really will!
Each book has a lot of detail about their writerly lives, which is always interesting. I love the way Didion calls the movies she and her husband wrote “pictures.” It’s so 1936.
Love,
Ann

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. Have you read or listened to “Julie and Julia : 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen” by Julie Powell? The author decided to cook her way through the whole of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 365 days ….. and blogged about it. It’s a fun read.

  2. Ohhh, I have this thing about bad readers. It’s always good to know when they’re good. Because when they’re bad – Oh lord – Kills. The. Book. I have been known to choose a audio book just because I like the reader. ;)

  3. Wow, I cried reading Didion, couldn’t imagine listening to it and driving at the same time, I’d be dead. My dad loved the Julie and Julia blog also, another one day read. But I’ll be with you on the emporer’s children, I loved being in my 20s in NY!!!
    Loving your lace, haven’t tried it yet, but you are inspiring me.

  4. Your hobby? Into a book? It’s a crazy idea, but you know, it just might work….

  5. The lace is gorgeous! I love the color!

  6. oohh la la, beautiful Blue Heron dyed lace and a book review section. Whatta post! Love the advice about turning your hobby into a book, you and Kay really ought to …oh….never mind.

  7. Apart from the…uh…tealness, you’re making me want to say the hell with Baltic Sea and make my life easier, seeing as I’m spinning this wool/tencel stuff and geez, it’s taking a long time. If I don’t have the mindless option for half the rows, I might hurt myself.

  8. Next time you’re in a book store, pick up a copy of “My Life in France” and check out the photographs…the ones of the valentines she and her husband made are a stitch!

  9. I heard an interview with Joan Didion when her book was released and wept through the whole thing. I really wanted to read her book but don’t think I’d be able to get through it.

  10. I’m with Susan. I couldn’t make it through Didion’s freaking interviews ABOUT her book. Just looking at the cover made me weep.
    I think I might be Messud’ed out already. Although I’m interested in some of her older books.

  11. You could get a pencil crayon and go over the black line that should be red on your chart. I know it’s primitive, but it works, you know!
    I’m doing the 300-stitch rows in lace these days, except I came up with the idea of a seed stitch scarf and the lace is languishing. Must get back to that…

  12. C.J. Critt. I’ll listen to anything she reads on audio.
    Funny thing when you start choosing your books by who reads them (in the aural sense).

  13. I totally choose audio books based on the narrator; I have been burned before! I am willing to give any book reader the 5 minute test, but I have returned several because I hated their voice!

  14. I just finished A Year of Magical Thinking myself (although I read it rather than listening to it). Isn’t it wonderful?

  15. Stunning shawl! I have the pattern, now I’ll have to seriously consider knitting it. Thanks for the info on the books, hhmmm. In answer to your title,
    “And the rest of the stole to ye!” I’m a McDermott, I know my Irishisms! Well, I’m off to prepare for a hurricane…

  16. Beautiful! This might make its way onto my “things to knit” list. Umm, after I finish up a few projects in progress and sort through the Hefty Bag :)

  17. Your beautiful shawl-in-progress piqued my curiosity to look at Eunny’s blog. Truly humbling, this woman. Thanks for bringing her to our attention, Ann. And, as always, thanks for being such great fiber touchstones, Ann and Kay. Can’t go a day without my dose of the M-D girls. Gotta go start my first lace project . . .

  18. I picked up Didion’s book after my father passed away & have been able to read it only in small bites, like a rich pate or Belgian chocolate – her writing is so gorgeous and stark, it cuts to the quick, well, quickly. I echo the sentiments of others here, in that I would wreck my car if I listened to the book!
    I see grief and knitting and life intertwined – after Dad’s death, I took back the pair of socks I’d knit him, because it was a small way to stay connected to him. The pair I had been working on for him went to my husband, and when he wears them, I will think of Dad and know he was so happy I’d found such a wonderful husband. Every stitch we make is infused with thoughts and our surroundings, even in times of death and sadness. OK, well, I’m rambling, so how do I end this comment on an upnote? I guess I’ll say I love the teal lace! TeaLace. Sounds like a FABulous beverage.

  19. hobby? Is Knitting a hobby? Nay. An avocation, yes. Hobby, no.
    But the emperors children: must read it. That review sent me over the edge.

  20. I choose books to listen to because I like the reader, too. George Guidell for Recorded Books comes to mind. And Lilian Jackson Braun and Tony Hillerman are great escapes when I’m knitting mindless stuff (George narrates both of these series).
    The stole is lovely and I’m inspired to go cast on for my version right NOW!

  21. It’s so much for my poor feeble mind to understand how alternate rows are consistently purled all the way across but the beautiful pattern continues uninterupted.
    I think some people are gifted with beautiful singing voices but some have a gift for speaking and story telling. A really good voice is almost hypnotic. It’s a shame so much time is wasted on cheap sitcoms. Story telling is an art that encourages the imagination and helps little ones learn to sit quietly and listen. Kinda like teaching them to knit and telling stories. Hmmm fun stuff.

  22. Your Print O the Wave stole is looking great. You and Wendy over at Knit and the City are inspiring me to give it a try.

  23. Wow, that is so pretty. I have read the pattern and been thoroughly intimated. Is it really that do-able?!

  24. I would love to hear more about how you are liking this yarn for Print o’ the Wave, which is on my “next” list, but I’ve been trying to decide on materials…

  25. Looks like it is going to be a beautiful shawl! I like the teal a lot. Kind of tropical watery looking.
    Speaking of shawls, did Thomas enter a shawl in the Tennessee State Fair this year?

  26. Uh oh, I can feel lace knitting creeping towards me. Back! Back! Back I say! I’m still mastering socks! And I will NOT learn how to spin! No!!!!!
    After reading “My Life in France” I used my Amazon gift card and bought both of the “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” books. Marvelous. The Julia-Julie project was great too. She wrote a lovely entry the day Julia Child died.
    I do so love teal as a color. Your stole looks beautiful.

  27. Julia & Simcha also did most of their collaborative conversing via. the post– testing, insisting, re-tasting, adjusting. knitting and cooking– même combat? definitely just as necessary, wouldn’t you agree? perhaps the Perfect Sweater could be the Pull Pommes Anna.

  28. –oops- stopped by to say that the stole is gorgeous (and almost forgot to write it!) xoxo

  29. A book about sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of tea thinking about making lists of things to do maybe? Are you sure the world is ready for that?
    I love how the Blue Heron is printing o’ the waves along with the lace pattern–so symbiotic if that’s the word I want. (I’ve been having Bertie Wooster Sees It Through read to me).

  30. Just read through the book Mason-Dixon Knitting, and gave my family another reason to think me insane..I couldn’t quit laughing! Thank you…only other knitters would understand.

  31. I was initially turned off the Print O’The Wave Stole because of the graft in the center. Not the doing of the grafting – that’s easy (keeping the tension even when grafting lace is a little tricky, but the actual grafting is easier than it reads). It was the photo that put me off. The graft in the middle is very visible in the photo and it put me off. However, while that upsets my esthetic sense, the need to have the waves cascade in matching sets down each shoulder is not so necessary for my eye. Therefore, after seeing your very pretty effort, I think I might just make this shawl, in one piece without grafting, having the waves cascade in one direction up one arm and down the other.
    Comments on the visibility of the graft in the original design photo vs. what people are finding would be appreciated – maybe its just a bad picture and not so apparent as I think.

  32. I found this great pattern for a one piece bathing suit, baught the yarn and promptly lost the pattern. I haven’t been able to find one since (that I like anyway)…any ideas?

  33. Hi I love your shawl…and I love Blue Heron anyhow. What do you think of Koigu for this shawl, would the added thickness ruin the whole awesome wavyness……I don’t want it looking like a bad Thanksgiving gravy! Thanks in advance…

  34. Forgot to mention, in excitement over felted rocks…
    Blanket is a work of art. Stunning.