Juicy Red Melon

Despite my frequent bouts with blogger’s-block I’ve been hard at work finishing projects that have been hanging-on longer than they should.  In fact, I’ve been quite the monogamous knitter of late and it’s paying-off.  I present Red Melon using Melon Pattern from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby.

Corners got a bit wonky because I had a hard time getting around the bend.

I started Red Melon at the end of March 2010, and I think I just mentally assigned to the same category as other big shawl projects, most notably Bird’s Eye Shawl (too boring and too big) and Grand Duchess (too complicated and too big), both of which remain in Hibernation Hell. By which that translated in my mind that this will get done—never, but with Jacob’s Delight done I felt like revisiting some things that have been lurking in dark corners of the house looking at me with big doleful eyes. You know, sometimes you just need a confidence-building project, and Jacob’s Delight was that.

Melon Pattern is really very enjoyable, especially for a lace project, and despite the repetition of the same two stitch patterns for so long, the rows were short enough, the stitch patterns are easy enough to memorize, and the progress fast enough that it made for a pretty good knit, when I actually gave it a chance.  The yarn is a dream—so soft.

Pattern: Melon Pattern for a Shawl or Scarf from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby
Yarn: Frog Tree Alpaca Wool Fingering (four skeins)
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)
Finished Dimensions: 21” (53 cm) x 82” (2.1 m)

Many of the pictures in this post would not have been possible if it weren’t for my new photographic assistant, Joby Gorillapod Magnetic Flexible Tripod. What a wondrous thing!


Back To Reality

room with a view in Po'ipu

pretty plumeria

It’s hard to believe we’ve been back from Kaua’i for two weeks; I miss it.  Everywhere I looked there was something beautiful to marvel at and it’s a great place to kick back and just relax.

luscious green in Hanapepe

just plain colorful

The weather at home has been typical of a Pacific Northwest spring: cold, cloudy and rainy.  To ease back into normal everyday life, I went right out and gathered a bit of Paradise for our home by buying Hawaii-grown pineapple and papayas. I also went to Trader Joe’s and bought an Oncidium orchid with tons of pretty orange flowers.

paradise in the kitchen

Knitting projects that accompanied me on the trip were Tokyu Wisp and Red Melon.

red melon at rest

I was hoping to get Red Melon done for my mother’s trip to Turkey in a week, but while on our trip to Kaua’i, it became apparent that that would not happen; the pace hasn’t been fast enough.  So, once home I put down Red Melon and started Abrazo.

Perusing Ravelry, I saw that people have been able to finish Abrazo in a week, so with a few weeks to go before my mother leaves, I thought it was a sure thing to get done to give her for the trip.  I started right away, but didn’t get out of the starting gate, so to speak, until a week later, because the yarn I’m using, Misti Alpaca Lace, keeps vomiting all over the place.  I have spent much of my rare and precious knitting (and blogging) time undoing huge rats’ nests of yarn snarls—HUGE.  I only get about 1-2 hours of knitting in a night, and maybe an hour during the day, and that often gets spent on yarn snarls.  I’ve finally begun breaking-off impossible knots and tossing them.  I had two skeins, which was more than enough to make Abrazo, but at the rate I’m going, I might not have enough.  The snarls are becoming fewer, and I’m at the 13th row, with only 13 more lace rows to go, and then the body of the shawl is stockinette.  The deadline is still within reach, don’t you think?  I dunno know….

Seeing Red

I’ve finished Lacy Serpentine Scarf and it’s so-so. Of all the things I’ve knitted in recent years, this is one among my disappointments.

The pattern itself is fine, but I just used the wrong yarn, and at the very least, not enough of it. The end result is a scarf that is narrower than I’d hoped for and not worthy of the gift I was going to make of it. I don’t know what I was thinking when I chose such thick yarn. Oh, well.

So, now I’ve added another project to my list and this one is a gift for my mother. She often drops hints about things she’d like, but when it comes to knitting, she makes actual requests. Last November she asked for a lace scarf in red, but I knew that with our adjusting to life with a second child, who herself was adjusting to life with a new family, in foreign land, in foreign surroundings, a foreign language and foreign food, and with Thanksgiving and Christmas looming, having such a project ready for my mother by Christmas would be extremely unrealistic. Now I hope to get to her by mid-May, but I’ll probably have to aim for sometime this summer. The project is Melon Pattern for a Shawl by Jane Sowerby. For this I’m using Alpaca Wool Fingering by Frog Tree, which is one of those yarns I just love feeling.

This is the central portion of the shawl with the melon stitch, which is really easy to memorize and is rather a pleasure to work, and the lace edging will be worked later.

True confession, and perhaps of no surprise to regular readers, since we got our first iPhones on the first day they became available in 2007: we got an iPad.

I can’t yet say it’s a life-changing device, but it’s great way to watch streamed Netflix movies and for watching TV off of our TiVo by way of application called Slingplayer Mobile paired with a Slingplayer device. After the iPhone, which I think is fair to say, revolutionized mobile phones, I can’t yet see that iPad will have that same effect, but it’s a fun new gadget. My husband is in Geek Heaven, although he maintains he bought it for me.

The deeper colored eggs were brown eggs...

Among other news, the best yet, our adoption of our daughter was finalized at the end of March, and it feels great knowing that she really is a member of our family forever, and just in time for Easter.

First egg hunt and she got right into it.

Big brother finding eggs in odd places.

On a note about adoption and some unhappy news circulating involving World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP), the same organization that facilitated the adoptions of our children: WACAP is a wonderful organization and the people who work there are dedicated to making the most appropriate placements, with sensitivity to the situation of each child, the child’s birth country, and the prospective adoptive parents. Isolated situations may happen, and I can’t speak for those, and they should not be weighed-in against WACAP. If you’re considering adoption, I have nothing but praise for WACAP and its staff.