Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Is that a knitted Amoeba?" Adventures with mystery shawls on Ash Wednesday...

Good morning to you all, and a very blessed Ash Wednesday to you. I am all discombobulated today in terms of Lent beginning. I've been excited about it all week, did tons of Lenten-related retweeting all day yesterday, pulled out the book at the top of the Catholic Book Club list for spiritual reading during the season, and then...this morning I woke up all punchy. I felt rather down and beleaguered and didn't want to get out of bed. My hair would not straighten properly and looks like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet, and I forgot to pack my Kindle so that I could begin my reading over lunch. I also forgot my print copy of the Magnificat Lenten Companion and didn't think at all about the Lenten fast while I packed my lunch, which thankfully by complete coincidence does not include meat. I am just all sixes and sevens over here. But I'm hanging in there.

I'm on the reference desk this morning, and then I am planning to go to a noon Mass with ash distribution here on campus. I'm rather looking forward to that, and hope springs eternal that it improves my disposition. I mean, if it's any indication, I just kicked a student out of the reference desk chair, which had been moved AGAIN overnight, as that has become a huge pet peeve of mine. Ordinarily I would have sat in one of the other, less comfortable chairs and said nothing. Not today. This is what we're working with here. :0



I did do it nicely. *nostril flare*  And things in my crafting world are not going much better. Granted, they are not going *terrible*, but they are moving along at a glacial pace that is making me antsy. After nearly a freaking month, I finished clue 3 of the Downton Abbey mystery knit-along. Here is what we have:

Let's not even get into the specifics of the many inappropriate things we could say this looks like, because there are too many to count. I think that where we're headed is that the center motif (which is currently all misshapen for reasons that are not its own) will become more prominent, and we'll add on a second wing on the other side. I've started clue 4, and we're decreasing, so this wing is coming to an end.

The lace is now going seamlessly, so no troubles there. I do like the center motif, but while I don't hate the lace on the wing, I'm not in love with it either. I think that with these mystery shawls it can be hard to gauge your feelings on the design until the end, because things are just so underdeveloped for so long.

And speaking of underdeveloped, here is our crochet cousin, who is a little bit further along in the process, at the completion of clue 4:

Terrible picture, sorry
This guy now has two full wings, so it's not looking quite so fetal. I've peeked at spoilers for this shawl, and I will say that clues 5 and 6 make it absolutely GORGEOUS, with layers of scallops along the border. Right now, he's looking a bit mesh-y and like he's not quite sure where he's going in life, but I am optimistic that things will improve for him. The colors in this variegated yarn are definitely pooling, as I knew they would, but given that I love the autumn colors, I'm happy with it.

Overall, given that they are lace, both shawls will benefit tremendously from blocking when they are complete, which will stretch out the design and show it to its full potential. I hope.

So, that's the progress update. How are your shawls going? I'd love to hear. :)  And let me know how your Ash Wednesday is going so far! All the details, pretty please. And we have Tea Time tomorrow, yay! I always look forward to that time with you. ;-)


  1. I'm still on clue 3 of the shawl. I think I'm on row 31 or there about. It's going smoothly but slow now. Sunday was the designated knitting day and I didn't have anything else planned after Mass. However shortly after I sat down with my shawl my phone rang. My grandma was out to lunch with a friend and the friend's car broke down, would I come get them? So off I went. I picked them up, then followed the tow truck to the mechanic. My grandma's friend wanted to rent a car but the only car rental places open on Sunday are at the airport. So to the airport we went. Let me just say that it is rather difficult to rent a car at the airport if you are already in a car. I did get to work on my shawl when I got home and managed to get in a few rows this morning.

  2. Hi Melanie! Aw, glad your grandma & friend are ok. :) Yes, super.slow.going. That seems to be the name of the game. I have several other friends making this shawl as well, and they are all finding it super slow going. They are all behind too. This makes me feel loads better. ;-)

  3. I was a little grumptastic on Ash Wednesday, too. I don't know why, but that's pretty typical for me. My husband and I decided that we wanted to go to Ash Wednesday mass together with the kids, and the only mass time that would more or less work for everyone was 7:30 p.m. Which, unfortunately, ran the kids' nighttime wind down routine straight out of town. So, while both kids were tired, neither would go to bed for quite a while. Oy. My daughter was very skeptical of the ash distribution business. At first she didn't want to go up at all, then she did, then she didn't, then she did, and when it was our turn in line, she expertly evaded Father's efforts until he chuckled, made the sign of the cross in the air over her head, patted her back, and send her on her way. Bless his heart, what a good natured fellow.

    I have made no progress at all on the mystery crochet along. I was behind in making my yarn selection (silly, ambitious me), and then started seeing the various corrections that came out. While it will certainly ruin the surprise, I hope to start *clue 1* in the next couple of weeks. If there was a prize for finishing last, and all of that sort of thing.

    While sorting through a pile of books, I found a booklet of prayers to St. Joseph my mom gave me probably close to 20 years ago. As you know, St. Joseph has become a favorite of mine. Go figure.

  4. Hi Amy! I'm glad I wasn't the only grumpy one on Ash Wednesday. ;-) At least we made it!

    And yeah, don't worry about the crochet spoilers. To me, it enhances my enjoyment of the project if I have a sense of how things are supposed to look. There have been a TON of corrections to the crochet version, so in a sense it's better to wait for the dust to settle on this one. :-)


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