Friday, January 04, 2008

Squeeze the Lamb

Remember those commercials - "Don't Squeeze the Charmin!" - I used to think, "why not?" What's wrong with squeezing the toilet paper? Is it going to compromise the integrity of the roll? I thought the commercial should have been - Go Ahead! Squeeze the Charmin!

And, I'm telling ya - go ahead, squeeze the Lacy Lamb! . Many a day at Rosie's, I walk around with a ball of the Lacy in my hand - it's squishy, it's soft, it's addictive! I've never bought it though, I don't know why. Perhaps because it's thinner than Zephyr by a tad, perhaps because I buy so much lace weight at yarn festivals. Maybe because I never really knit with solids, but mostly handpainted multis - whatever the reason, I've learned my lesson about ignoring the Lamb - you must knit with it! Period.

Here is the first clue from Spring Shawl Surpice. There's been a bit of chatter on the boards about the spelling of "Surprice". When I first saw this knit-a-long pop on on Ravelry, I thought, hm, what kind of pattern is that going to be if the designer can't spell? And then, I noticed that English is not the first language of the designer, and I felt horribly ashamed about my first thought. Not only could I not spell "surprise" in any other language, I would never have the guts to try to cross the language barrier, and design a universal pattern that could be knit by anyone in any language. So, while the official "button" for the KAL has the correct spelling of surprise, I'm going to go with the original spelling "surprice" - it's kind of charming, and inclusive when you think about it.

The first clue was released on New Year's Day, and originally, I had no intention of starting it until January 2. Mr. Tall and I had plans for fun and frivolity on New Year's Eve, and I had every intention of mumming with the Mummers on New Year's Day. But, alas, the first year in five years that I actually have a proper boyfriend on New Year's, he was felled by a dread stomach virus. No biggie - we stayed in - I'm not really a fan of New Year's anyway, except for the fireworks, of course. He fell asleep around 7, and I watched CSI reruns on t.v., knitting the Manos Monster Blanket. I knew there was a time difference, and I thought, around 9 I guess, after the 3d episode of CSI, huh, I wonder if the clue is out. And, there it was! I printed out two different versions of the chart (this designer is fantastic - there's a long version and a short version of the stole, depending on your gauge. Then, there's a long and short PDF version of the chart for each version of the stole). I stared at the chart, slightly distracted by Mr. Tall's snoring. How am I ever going to manage this chart? Of course, photocopying onto legal paper is the answer, but at the time, it seemed daunting. But, I was foiled anyway - I was at his apartment, no yarn, no needles, no tools - casting on would have to wait.

New Year's Day, Mr. Tall went to work, and I was supposed to meet up with friends for the parade. Alas, my friends didn't get to sleep until LATE, and no one was into the mummer's strut. Ah well, cast on!

No one will be surprised to know that I did not swatch for this knitalong. I kind of eyeballed my knitted up Zephyr, which I like to knit on a 4, and determined that a. Lacy Lamb is a little thinner, and b. it's a very different texture, and I bet it won't bloom like Zephyr. I knit Zephyr on a 4, I decided to drop down to a 3 and go for it - and here it is -

While I'm not that into the color (it is growing on me, and I liked it when I picked it - but there's something about Seafoam that's a little too bridesmaidy for me. But, I was thinking - not another brown, not another plum, not another olive green - and here we have Seafoam). I do like the pattern, and I like the fact that I'm learning new stitches - work 5 together (not as ugly as it sounds) and a loop stitch, which kind of makes a nice bundle of three stitches, like a bow, sort of. Anyway, after a day of jury duty yesterday, I finished clue 1, and I can sit back, put my feet up, and wait for Clue 2 - oh, and knit the Monster Manos Blanket.