Sunday, May 13, 2012

In limbo

Let's get this out of the way: I passed my defense. It wasn't exactly smooth sailing, but when something is pass/fail, it ultimately doesn't matter. Let's not discuss whether or not I wasted six years of my life, it's just too depressing to contemplate at the moment.

Last weekend we headed to one of our favorite spots in Wisconsin, Little Pond Lodge. It was nice to get out of town instead of sitting around and fretting. The weather didn't particularly agree with us though:

Not everyone in our party was troubled by the rain.

Enjoying the prairie.
The juxtaposition of prairie and wilderness is one of my favorite things about Wisconsin. Not too many wildflowers growing in the fields yet. We visited Roche a Cri State Park, a relatively small park in the state system near our cabin. Since the weather was miserable, we were the only people there and were free to let Sammy roam.  Roche a Cri boasts an unusual feature--a towering rock with carvings ranging from as recent as nineteenth century explorers carving their name to petroglyphs made by native Americans that are hundreds of years old.

The weather improved around the time that we were ready to leave, natch. It's actually pretty fun to go places when the weather is lousy, you feel like a badass while simultaneously avoiding the crowd.

Walking around Little Pond.

Rainy day activities included visiting the Carr Valley Cheese Factory in Mauston, WI. BEST CURDS EVER.

And of course I had plenty of time for knitting in the cozy cabin. Around the time the larger sized needles I'd ordered arrived, I ran out of yarn. I had no idea how far in the pattern I would get (answer: about 5/8 the way through) because the pattern listed no gauge, recommended needle size, or estimate about amount of yarn needed. Thanks a lot, Martha Waterman.

I used my handy shawl blocking wire to give it a shape, but seem to have misplaced my box of needles.

Operation Hold Shawl Down With Junk is go

An inelegant solution, but it works.
He pretends to not be interested.

Then as soon as my back is turned.... (Murray the penguin does nothing to intervene)

This was my first serious foray into crocheting an edge. Seriously, I have zero crochet knowledge so I was a little intimidated, but it was just some chaining. Crochet is so weird to me, you only have one stitch on the needle at a time. I was a little thrown by the nomenclature used for one of the stitches: ch3tog, which I interpreted as chain three together. Google couldn't find this term, it claimed that it was literally not found on the entirety of the internet. So for posterity, in the context of using crochet to bind of a knit edge, ch3tog means to slip 3 stitches from your knitting needle to the crochet hook, and chain them together. You're welcome, Google.

It was worked in a square from the middle outward, and the various sections serve like rings in the cross-section of a tree. Each area is a nice reminder of whatever the hell I was doing at the time (although it was usually television or movie related...I unabashedly love TV, but 'hey, this was during the premiere of Mad Men!' isn't super inspiring).

I wore it last night to the Dane County Humane Society fund raiser "Bark and Wine", and felt sufficiently fancy. One thing, though--it was a little bit of a pain to wrangle it. I'd like to get a shawl pin, but I don't know where I'd buy such a thing. Any thoughts? Ya'll I have a few reservations with Etsy, unless I know the seller from another context. Any of you guys happen to make shawl pins? Because that would be, you know, problem solved.


  1. Your dog is so camouflaged in that prairie ! Congratulations ? LOL on passing and the lovely shawl, and your ingenuity in blocking it :-)

  2. That's kind of funny that the internet did not know what ch3tog was. Now you will get all the google traffic in the future.
    And I have heard good things about Romi's pins. I know they are a wee bit expensive for some, but I have had friends that swear by them.

  3. Amazing blocking solution! Loving the dumbbells :) and beautiful shawl, can see why your dog (is it Sammy?) loves it, shame on Murray for not intervening :p

  4. Congratulations on passing your defense! The shawl is gorgeous - too bad about the lack of information in the pattern, though.

  5. I just recently started reading your blog, but you always have me in stitches! As an avid lace lover, I must say your blocking solution is over-the-top awesome!!! And such a beautiful shawl too! As for a pin solution, I do make shawl pins, but my shop is on Etsy... I also sell them to a local yarn shop here in Quebec, though. Stop by and check them out if you like! (Online obviously... I'm not suggesting a cross border road trip or anything...). My shop name is Everyday Peacocks. Either way, I hope you find that perfect shawl pin! 8)

  6. Congrats and I love the shawl and your ingenious blocking method!

  7. You are now the first up in a Google search for ch3tog. Yes, I checked. :-)

    Congratulations on passing your defense.

    And because I think you're awesome I want to pass the Leibster Award on to you. :-)