My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beautiful Shawl

I've been meaning to share this for awhile, but school, family, and my new doggie have taken precedence over blogging. Will you ever forgive me? For today's post I get to share my first ever test knitting project. Michele Bernstein aka "PDXKnitterati" was looking for knitters to test her "Pacific Shawl" pattern. I so love Michele's designs that I asked if I could give it a try.

Over Labor Day weekend (yes, that long ago), I cast on using some stash BMFA lightweight yarn & away I went. I've never done a test knit before, so I was a tad bit nervous. Fortunately, Michele is such a great pattern writer & the pattern so wonderful that I was able zip right along.
As with many triangular shawl patterns, most of the first section is knit in stockinette with periodic increases to give it shape. Then came the fun "waves" lace pattern. Michele had included beads in the pattern & after my last experience with beads, I was a little reluctant. However - these beads are placed as you knit, using a tiny-weeny crochet hook - no pre-stringing required (Huzzah!)

Of course - beading is easier when you have the correct size crochet hook. I was down on the Kenai Peninsula with friends when I realized the hooks I had in my bag were too big. I was just going to forget about the beads (they are optional) when my ingenious friend created a mini-crochet hook using a twist tie. How clever is she?! She admitted that she really wanted to see the beading process & what the beads would look like against the yarn. I have to say - the twist-tie hook was perfect. So - if you ever find yourself in need of a teeny-tiny hook, you can save a few bucks & use a twist tie - provided you have one of those lying around. :0)


Pattern: Pacific Shawl by Michele Bernstein

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight, "Beryl" colorway

Beads: Size 6 Triangular Seed Bead

Needles: US 6

Size: Small

Thanks for this opportunity Michele! :0)


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Welcome Lyra!

I've been scolded for not updating my blog introducing the newest member of Chez Arctic Knitter:

Meet Lyra:

We've been without a dog since we had to say good-bye to our dear, lovely, Joulee, last March. It took a while to get used to the quiet, not having to step over a dog in the dark of the early mornings, and not having a furry friend greet you with a head sticking out of the doggie door as soon as you pulled into the garage. Finally, about a month ago I decided we were ready for a new pup. Dear hubby was more reluctant than I, and it took that month to convince him that having a new pup would far outweigh the cons of being "dog-free".

I'd been stalking the ASPCA, Friends-Of-Pets, and the Animal Control Center websites trying to find another lab-mix. Last Saturday I decided to stop by the pound when I saw a photo of a black lab who was available for adoption. I finally convinced hubby that we should go and at least check "Jake" out to see if perhaps he was the right dog for us. To make a long story short, he wasn't. Poor Jake had already been in and out of 3 (yes, 3!) homes & had a history of destroying everything. While I thought he was certainly trainable, Wade & I decided that with both of us working during the day, we didn't have the time to commit to training Jake to be the great dog he could be. Too bad it wasn't the beginning of a summer vacation when we weren't traveling - then it could have been a possibility.

Enter "Louisa May". I noticed another lab also available for adoption earlier that day. I mentioned to Wade that there was also a chocolate lab available, but his reply was that he didn't "like" chocolate labs. (What that statement was based on, I don't know). I figured since Jake wasn't going to work out, perhaps we should take a look at "Louisa May". Funny, but Wade spent most his time at the pound hanging out around her cage. Turns out - she was the perfect dog for us.
She was picked up as a stray, so she had no history. After taking her to the vet this week, our vet estimated she's between 1 & 1.5 years old. We renamed her "Lyra" - the name Iain would have had if he had been a she. She comes. She sits. She loves to play fetch (whoever invented the "Chuck-It" ball thrower is a GENIUS!!). She stays. She is so completely full of love. She's potty trained (yup! only 2 wee accidents on her first days at home alone). But get this - SHE DOESN'T CHEW ANYTHING SHE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO!!!! What?!? Yeah - no paper, no couches, no shoes, no yarn, no needles (requite knitting reference) - nothing! I think she knows that she had to convince Wade that she's a good dog & we are a good forever home for her. The cat isn't convinced, but Lyra is certainly trying her hardest!

So - no knitting to share with this post. Iff you can, adopt a pet from your local shelter - you'll be so glad you did.