Kieran Foley Is a Genius

Yes, it’s as simple as that. And, no, he hasn’t paid me to say this. In fact, as far as I know, he’s never read this blog.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have spotted a shawl patten that I like only to discover that it’s another design by Kieran Foley.

Europa? Kieran Foley.

? Kieran Foley.

At one point last fall, I’d started knitting a High Seas for Melissa, but it went walkabout, and I still can’t find it. I know I did not throw it away or leave it at a bus stop, so it will turn up eventually, and I will finish it—but that little bugger is being mighty elusive just now.

Which leads me to my current declaration of Kieran Foley’s brilliance—Serpentine. (Note that the picture is not of my work—it’s from the pattern.)
Since I couldn’t find High Seas, and I wanted a lacy, curvy something to work on that I could give to Melissa and that she wouldn’t find too frivolous, I turned to Serpentine.

I’m knitting it in Noro King, so it will turn out rather different from the picture above. Imagine a sort of crunchy yarn ranging from peacock through various greys to bright avocado then back again.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I am loving this knit. The rows are 77 stitches across and there are 48 rows to every pattern repeat, which could be crazy-making, but there’s something magical about this pattern. Each row (right side—I admit the wrong sides are all purl across) is different, yet each row feels so intuitively right that I’m having no trouble at all following the pattern. I’m halfway through the second of three balls of yarn, and I’m not bored in the least.

Like I said, Kieran Foley is a genius.

Tuesday Mewsday: Miss Timmy Helps with the Knitting

Some of you may remember Miss Timmy (full name Miss Timmy Belle Bon Chance), a stray who appeared in the yard shortly after Melissa moved to Santa Cruz. (My wife, she is a cat magnet extrordinaire.)

For a while we fed Miss Timmy, but then she fell in love with my knitting friend, Chris, and has spent most of the last year realizing her master plan of becoming an only-child, indoor cat.

In case you have any doubts about the excellent situation Miss Timmy has worked her way into, I present you with photographic evidence.
Just right for girls

If you ask Miss Timmy, she’ll tell you there’s no point in finishing circular shawls when they make such nice cocoons on the needles.

Just right for girls
Yes, even knitting stops when Miss Timmy has other ideas.

A Few Yards Short

Vernal Equinox is done! I think this may be my favorite shawl ever (or at least thus far).
Vernal Equinox
I absolutely love the way the pattern moves from one design motif to the next. Even with the doubling of stitches every so often because of the pi construction, you can pick any stitch at the start of the shawl and follow it down to the hem—the flow is perfect! Lankakomero, I salute you!
Vernal Equinox, detail
I knit this beauty out of Possum Lace in the Misty Moor colorway. The dark halo comes from the possum fiber, which is also super warm— not to mention light, light, light and floaty, floaty, floaty.

Even with two skeins of Possum Lace (~900 yards), I wound up just short of the yarn I needed for the bind-off. I looked at local yarn shops, and my friend Chris offered up several of her skeins as possibilities—but I finally found the right yarn hiding in my own stash during search number three. It’s a skein of Knit Picks’ Shimmer in the Bayou colorway. Can you tell the difference?
Vernal Equinox, detail
Proof of my love for this shawl is the fact that I pinned out every little loop on that hem. I believe there were about 300 of them. By time I’d finished pinning, the shawl had already dried, so I had to spritz it with water and allow a second round of blocking.

During the period while I was fretting about what I’d use to bind off Vernal Equinox, I distracted myself by knitting up a Petal Shawlette from Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders.

The pattern is based on an old afghan square, but it’s been rewritten to form a triangular shawl with a lovely zig-zag of mesh along the bottom and a leaf lace border.
Petal Shawl
I didn’t have quite enough yarn for the bind-off (do we sense a theme here?), so I finally settled on this yellow-y green alpaca. As I was working with it, my opinion about the color choice swung wildly back and forth. One moment I thought it was genius; the next moment I was sure I was ruining what had been a perfectly lovely shawl up until then.
Petal Shawl, on the bench
Now that it’s done, I’m quite pleased. The green seems to blend well with the main yarn (even though the green hues in the main yarn are a different shade), and the leaves really read as leaves this way, instead of just as a curvey hem.

I’m working on a Clotilde now in a DK weight cashmere/wool blend, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to run out of yarn on that one—although I am planning an extra repeat of the border design…