Recently in Charlotte's Web Category

Introducing... My Charlotte '35'


(These were taken end of day today, so I'm a bit frazzled and frumpled. But, I really wanted to get photos posted tonight. So, as soon as I got the ends tucked in, we took some quick ones.)

She's actually only my second Charlotte, but she's My Charlotte '35' because, in that hopeless, addictive way I have when it comes to attaching meaning to things, she commemorates my turning 35 (tomorrow). You might remember, in fact, that I mentioned a while back wanting to finish her by June 23. That's why. She'll always be a hallmark of this life marker. (I'm not sure what I should make of the fact that I completed her without placing a single lifeline; I threaded at least a dozen lifelines when making mom's.)

Despite feeling like I had a rough time blocking her... okay, I did have a rough time. First, neither the board I was using to block it on nor my dining room table was wide enough for her blocked width, so I had to wrap her top edges over the side and pin them. But, one side wouldn't stretch enough to straighten out when all was said and done. (I had the same problem with Mom's.)

I pinned the whole top edge, then pinned the middle bottom point, and then tried to work out the edges. But, it didn't work. Despite much stretching, there wasn't enough give for the shawl to lay flat. The bottom kept wanting to curl up. Several times, I unpinned and repinned. Ultimately, I got everything flat except one side of the top edge. There just wasn't enough stretch to get it to reach. I finally gave up, wrapped it over the board, and left it to dry.

At the end of the day, when the preschooler came home and wanted his LEGO space (the dining room table) back, M and I moved the shawl on its board into the boys' room and perched it atop the (unused) crib. (It has gone unused for both boys. Despite being somewhere in the neighborhood of $500, it's now on it's 4th year of not being used. Still, it seems locked in my head that we have to have a crib in the room even if it isn't used. We have a baby. When Spencer turns two, maybe it will seem okay to get rid of it.)

The crib was actually a bit wider than the board, so the board kept falling into the crib a bit. Undoubtedly, the weight of the still damp shawl and the slightly soaked cardboard board was mostly responsible for the caving. When I checked in on the shawl later in the evening, however, some of the pins were wanting to release the shawl as the board caved from the center, giving the shawl more leeway than it should have to relax from where I'd struggled to block it.

I pulled the pins out today and modeled it up and down the runway of our hallway. It's not huge, but it is larger than my mother's ended up being. So, maybe the blocking was more successful than I thought. But, beyond size, the feel of My Charlotte '35' is different. Mom's finished (and blocked) shawl still had a slightly spongy, sproingy feel to the merino. My Charlotte '35', on the other hand, feels flatter, lighter, and almost weightless. I don't know if it's because I blocked it bigger, or because I soaked it for so long. Either way, it's a wonderful feel.

I love it.

And, while I'm slightly obsessed with the idea of shawls at this point (see, I can say that because the lace project I'm working on and not feeling the love for is a stole, not a shawl), I've continued to be unsure how and when I'd get the chance to wear them.

(You have to understand that my children never had objects of attachment other than me... not for our lack of trying. So, Spencer is still in a phase where he's in my arms 75% or more of the day. Exhausting. Not shawl-friendly, for sure.)

But, timing is everything. My mom is coming into town tomorrow. We're heading off to LEGOLand next week. But, before we go, we have plans for just us ladies to go to Lovejoy's Tea Room for tea on Saturday. I've never been, but I've heard so many great things about Lovejoy's, and Spencer and I pass by it once a week on our way to music class. So, that's what we're doing, as sort of a grownup celebration of both my and my mom's birthdays.

High tea sounds perfect for My Charlotte '35', don't you think?



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Thanks to everyone who emailed me yesterday with an opinion on the edging for Charlotte. I should have pictures tomorrow to show of the edging in place.

I've got a hodgepodge of links...

  • Article at The Mommy Brain: No, diapering does not make you ditzy. Motherhood, argues a new book, makes you smarter
  • Aren't these modeling dolls just adorable! The sweaters are just too-cute, too. But I love the whole ensemble.
  • I found this line at MamaCate's: "The home decorating, never a strong suit, has turned to a feng shui-like balance between Fisher Price Little People and yarn."
  • Adorable sideways baby outfit made from Opal first spotted here at Ana Purls.
  • Sign-up for Secret Pal 5 is winding down. I deliberated a long time, but ultimately I couldn't resist.
  • Isn't this a beautiful yarn/colorway for Steph's Branching Out?
  • This is a beautiful finished Paisley Shawl at Tigers in Red Weather. It's the same colorway of Shimmer I have.
  • Not knitting-related, but a parenting blog entry I ran into at Halley's Comment.
  • Ummm: "AutoBlogger uses a sophisticated Artificial Intelligence algorithm to 'read' the public entries of your journal/blog to triangulate a sense of your writing style. From that point forward, any time you hit a writer's block, want to take a vacation, or simply wish to step away from your computer for a few days, AutoBlogger can be set to take over, using what it has learned about your posting and writing patterns to author original content in a voice consistent with your existing prose."

Edges, Edges, and Edges

Photo 1

Photo 2

Still uncertain what edging I am going to use, I did the row of single crochet around the edge of Charlotte in preparation. Then, I started playing and came up with what you see in picture #1. I actually like it. Though it isn't exactly what I intended when I started, the effect is almost like little nubby bobbles. M. refers to them as rosebuds. (These are bad pictures, but hopefully you'll get the gist...) Waiting for M. to give me her opinion, I thought I'd try something else, and came up with what you see in picture #2. I like it too, which really confused me.

I didn't try another one. The reality is that crochet is so easy to change and experiment with and come up with new stitch combinations that I could easily have sampled dozens of edging treatments in a short amount of time. But, I am afraid I would have just ended up more and more perplexed, unable to select and commit to one.

I haven't decided which of these I'll use. Photo 1 probably is in the running, but my mind isn't 100% made up. Both are sort of "short in stature," and I'm just not sure which one really fits the overall image of Charlotte.

Which do you like?

Wow. That was close.


This pile of markers can only mean one thing. My Charlotte is off the needles!

Yes, I finished the last two rows last night while watching the ER finale. It was a strange feeling to cast off each eight stitches and then toss one of the markers back into the bag. Hearing in my head the rantings from my rough blocking session with my Mom's Charlotte back in October, a problem we ultimately attributed to either a too-tight cast-off or a too-tight foundation row of the crochet edging, I made a concerted effort to cast off really loosely. It felt almost floppy, I was casting off so loosely.

I was, however, also running out of color #5. That didn't happen with Mom's Charlotte, which goes to show you that even repeat knitting isn't a cookie cutter process. So, as I was casting off with exaggerated looseness, I was also keeping my eye on the very small wad of yarn hanging off the side of the bed.

I finished with about 12 inches to spare.

Holding it up in the dim light of the bedroom, it was, indeed, beautiful. I don't know why, but for some reason I was having a very mystical almost Mists of Avalon moment looking at it. Holding it up, however, the cast-off edge still didn't seem as floppy or stretchy as I was expecting it to be. Hopefully, in the blocking process, it will have more give.

I'm thinking of doing the "soak it" before blocking process instead of just misting it with water repeatedly until it's wet enough in the hopes that soaking for an extended period of time will relax the fibers enough to make the whole process easier. (In Lavish Laces they soak the lace items first.)

I still haven't made a final decision about the edge, but I don't think I'm going to want to wait long to add the edge so I can block, which may mean the ruffled edge since I have directions for that one. I may have to look again at the inverted shell from Annie's shawl. I've been thinking about it, and maybe I can figure it out - or something similar. I've done my share of crochet. I did check, and the library system here doesn't have the book she referenced.

Going with what I already know does sound easier!

unblocked charlotte

Alternate edging


Since I really don't want the fringe on this Charlotte (despite the fact that mom's turned out so pretty with the fringe), I've spent some time googling and looking at other edge treatments bloggers have used on their Charlotte's Web shawls. That's one of the great things about knit blogs - they provide such a wonderful repository of ideas, finished objects, visual examples, tips, and tricks.

In truth, while I turned up many bloggers "thinking" about what kind of edging to use, I didn't turn up many specifics regarding alternate options.

The ruffly edge I pointed out the other day is still a contender, especially since she kindly sent me the info on how she did it. Alternately, here is a simple inverted shell Annie used that caught my attention for its quiet yet elegant simplicity (click on the "close up of the crochet edging link"). I'd have to see if the library has a copy of the book for that pattern, however, since I don't know off-hand how to create an inverted shell like that.

On a non-knit note... can anyone fill me in on last night's season finale of Gilmore Girls? Our DVD was set to tape, but something happened, and it didn't work. So, we know the promo was saying someone asked someone to "marry me," but we don't know what happened.

Into the Home Stretch

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Well, the photo from my last entry looks much the same, but you can see the full section of color #4 and the introduction of the final color. Almost there! I've started the last section. It's only 16 rows, two of which I've done, but the final 14 will take a while. Those of you who've made it know that they just get longer and longer and longer, but as those of you working on lace know, the call of 'just one more row' is seductive!

I've done a little knitting every night, and My Charlotte is what I've been picking up. Whether it's just that I feel the energy of being 'close' to completion, or whether the whether has just been too warm to make my Must Have as compelling right now, the shawl has definitely been getting the attention. Hopefully, it'll be ready to come off the needles by this weekend and then ready for some edging before blocking. I think I might do something like the ruffly edge shown here instead of fringe.


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I don't have a lot to report... or maybe it's more accurate to say I don't feel like I have a lot of time to post. That's not to say I haven't been knitting, however. I have.

I had taken a mini-break from my Must Have over the last week. In odd moments, I'd perch on the arm of the couch and work on My Charlotte, instead, while overseeing the boys play. I dream of being able to sit in a chair and knit, but the yarn dangling is still too much of a temptation for the youngest. He managed to grab recently at just the right angle to pull a section of My Charlotte off the needles. So, I've taken to perching up high.

At any rate, it was nice working on My Charlotte for a while. I'm up to the last two rows of what I refer to as Section 7 (using Color 4).

I also spent some time last week swatching different lace combinations out of the KnitPicks Shimmer from my mom. I may end up using it to make the Flower Basket Shawl instead of something original. I haven't decided for sure. I did finally (a couple of weeks ago) find my copy of the Fall 2004 Interweave Knits that has that [very popular] pattern in it. I found ALL other issues from 2004 first. But, I finally turned it up.

(Hey, I finally turned up my iPod mini charger and cable, too! I'd about given up on those, but I found them by accident when looking for an Elann mailer I knew I'd gotten that had samples of their Peruvian Wool Chunky.)

I still am enamoured with Chai Silk from ArtFibers for that project. So, I haven't totally made up my mind. I'm not starting it until My Charlotte is finished anyway.

The photo of My Charlotte isn't exactly current. I took it a week or so ago, when I wasn't actively working on the shawl. But, I haven't showed it before. All you've seen are the skeins from when I started, so this is a good look at the first 4 colors worked up. The colors are just so pretty. I love it.

After the mini-break from the Must Have, I got a chance to work on it some yesterday and finally got past the decrease point on the back. So, definite progress is happening there.

I'm hoping to finish both of these projects before June 23. (To some of you, that sounds like a no-brainer. To me, getting enough time to manage completing both by then sounds questionable, but it's still my goal! Of course, I'd also like to lose 7 pounds by then, too. And I know that probably won't happen!)

(PS - It's really not nice for publications to email out rejection letters on Mother's Day!)

My Charlotte


Here are the colors I'm using for My Charlotte. I have a bag of pink and purple Koigu colorways, so I tried a number of combinations, but this is the one that stuck.


Flashback to Charlotte

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Last fall, I was finishing my first Charlotte's Web when my mother ended up in the hospital for emergency surgery. Blocking the shawl, my first lace project, was a really philosophical process for me. I felt kinetically tied to my mother as I worked on pinning the shawl and adding the fringe. The tranquil turquoise tones of the shawl were soothing, peaceful, and gave me hope that she would be okay. Working on the shawl that day had all the qualities of a silent prayer. Even as I struggled to make the Koigu relax enough to stretch to the specified size (it never did), I felt in tune with the universe. The big picture was spinning all around me, out of my control, and yet I was able to find a center of calm, a center of faith, in working on something "for" Mom instead of simply waiting by the phone.

In December, I presented Mom with the shawl (which she loved), and in January, I showed you pictures of her modeling it. It's perfect on her.

Today is the day of her follow-up operation. This time, it wasn't an emergency. It's a major surgery, but we all knew about it ahead of time. It was planned. It was already on my calendar. She was able to pack her bags (and her knitting) to take to the hospital today.

I got the call a few hours ago that the surgery went well and as expected, which was good news. I'm waiting now to hear that she's in a room, came through recovery well, and that things will go smoothly until the baby and I arrive on Sunday to be with her (again) as she transitions to home and another long recovery period.

Unfortunately, I don't have a Charlotte in progress today to work on to again give me a center of calm. Still, I know she'll be fine, and in a few days (mere moments in the scheme of our lives), we'll be home knitting together.

It probably wasn't accidental that I was thinking just yesterday about starting a new Charlotte. I'm trying to figure out what projects to take home with me, and I thought I might take along Koigu to start me own Charlotte. I'd like to make mine with a goal of wearing it to the preschool auction on March 5. That's a reasonable project, and it would be fun to start. But I haven't totally decided yet. This morning, I was leaning against taking Charlotte. Instead, I was thinking of taking a few projects that are in-progress already like a green fizz and ladder-yarn scarf, Megan's bee striped socks, and maybe the Falling Leaves shawl. But, I'm not sure. Charlotte would be more fitting somehow.

Ringing in 2005

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Well, we're home! I add an exclamation point because it's nice to be home. It was sad leaving my mom's. It always is. And we had a fabulous time there with her. It was a wonderful Christmas even though there was some unexpected in-fighting. Still, overall, we had a great time. We love being at mom's and with mom. It's always nice to be home though, too.... back to our twin coffee pots (so that I can drink decaf), our super-powerful water flow in the shower, and other little things that make home home. Of course, we leave behind other niceties at mom's and ones even around town like a drive-through drop-off at the local library (something we really need here in SF where you have to walk your books in), every fast food restaurant you could want within a few minutes driving distance (we routinely drive about 20 minutes to get to Wendy's from our SF house), a Wal-Mart just down the road, an ophthalmologist that came in at night when called... there are things to be said for small-time living, for sure.

I've got tons of things I need to blog (including all the wonderful knit-stuff I unwrapped), but the New Year leaves me feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially since we just got home yesterday (and then had a power outage for several hours last night), so you'll get things in bits and pieces for a few days.

I did want to show a few pictures to get the New Year rolling...

Mom really liked her Charlotte's Web, and I think it looks beautiful on her. The colors are just right for her, as you can see from these photos.

gramma in shawl gramma in shawl

She would have looked great in a red and purple one, too, (had I been able to find the yarns when I was looking) to go with her Red Hat Club stuff, but I love the look of the teal. It's peaceful and tranquil and wise.

I mentioned before Christmas that I was working on helping mom (Gramma) finish the candy cane hats. I made hat #3 and did corkscrews for the tops of all three hats. Those took forever, but they really were easy to make and very cute once done. (The pattern for the corkscrew is in the Handy Book of Patterns.)

Here are pics of the boys in the hats. We never did get a photo of all three boys at once. The first photo shows Spencer and Matthew (with Megan). The second shows Matthew and cousin Alex (five months older than Matthew).

boys in hats boys in hats

On the plane home yesterday, I made a list of all the things (I could remember) that I knitted in 2004. It was a surprisingly long list, especially for a year in which a new baby arrived. I need to set up a gallery of finished objects, so this list is the foundation upon which I'll do that (when I get the chance). Still, even without photos, it's a list that stands as a testament to work completed.

  • Spencer's baby Koigu hat (started while in the hospital post-cesarean)
  • Spencer's red variegated hat (from Handy Book of Patterns)
  • Yukon fur-fringed hat (based on a LYS store sample)
  • Alchemy baby cable hat (original design)
  • Three rainbow hats from The Purl Stitch for Matthew, Megan, and me
  • Matching rainbow seed-stitch scarf for Matthew
  • Green Big Wool baby cable hat
  • Purple Cascade Skye cardigan (original design)
  • Love Bug vest for Matthew (original design)
  • Love Bug vest for Spencer (original design)
  • Mom's Charlotte's Web
  • Pink Eros scarf w/ ruffled ends
  • Red stained glass fringed Eros scarf for Megan
  • Chili Pepper Fluff scarf
  • Making Waves socks (part of 6 Sox KnitAlong)
  • Cloverleaf socks (part of 6 Sox KnitAlong)
  • Fluted Banister socks (part of 6 Sox KnitAlong)
  • Broad Ripple socks for Megan
  • Splash scarf for sister-in-law
  • Fiber Trends fur trimmed felted tote (which I love)
  • Gauntlets for Megan
  • Gauntlets for me
  • Touch Me scarf
  • Jo Sharp Oriole vest
  • Child's poncho (for school auction)

(Entries shown in red were made as gifts. It wasn't a gift-heavy year.)

Even though most of this list is accessories, I don't think I've ever finished so many things in a year before. I think the blogging community has been really, really good for me, and I'm looking forward to a really productive and blogworthy and bloggable and blogful(l) 2005! Cheers.

spencer new year

Scattered Threads

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Scattered indeed. I look over at my table, and what a mess. The second gauntlet is sitting on top, yarn hanging over the edge of the Vera Bradley case it's being housed in. I had to take out 8 rows this morning to correct a problem I noticed last night, so all the extra yarn is now hanging there. To the side of that is the first of the third sock for the Six Sox Knitalong which I've started in one of the Regia Jubilee colorways I ordered this summer. This is cool yarn, folks. I don't have much done, but I'll get a picture posted soon so you can see the fabulous colorway develop. For one reason or another, yesterday was a day of foiled knitting, and I had to frog some rows of the sock, too. So, there's a lot of that yarn excess hanging around, but it's cool to look at with its lengths of solid color flanked by almost candy-striped sections, so that's okay.

In a larger red Vera B bag on the floor next to my chair, I've got my Charlotte. She's finished except for the fringe, which I started cutting this morning. I won't be able to block her though until the weekend probably.

Here are some photos I took before I did the crochet edging this weekend. As long as you're not my mom, you can take a look.

mom don't click mom don't click mom don't click

And, right now in my chair is a needlepoint project I pulled back out. I've got a number of them started and stashed throughout the house. Most of them are "big" projects - several large Mary Engelbreit canvases, for instance. And when I say "large," I mean poster-hang-over-the-mantle size. They've taken a serious back burner to my knitting this year. But, this smaller project has been on my brain lately for gifty reasons, and so I got it out the other day, laid it on my table, and let it simmer as I knit. Today, I actually picked up some thread and did a bit, and that cinched the deal. I got out several color-coordinated bags of Silk and Ivory thread, one of my favorite needlepoint fibers, and have been picking colors.

So, nothing to show, but a lot going on in my head and all over my table.

As soon as I wrap up Charlotte and finish the gauntlets (fingerless mittens) [and I may do gauntlet number 1 over again because I'm unhappy with the appearance of my increases], I want to start on a Koigu sweater I'm planning based on a Kim Hargreaves sweater. I'm going to do it in various colors, integrated in the manner of Charlotte's Web. I have the yarn already. I just need to swatch and determine the order of the colors and the number of rows per color and per color integration set so that I can get started. I'm hoping to carry the same color progression up the arms, so it's going to be a tricky process to manage to the colors, especially since I'm working with single skeins of most of them. But, I think it'll work. I considered doing the arms solid to avoid potential issues with quantity, but I think with careful preplanning, things should be fine. Plus, the whole variegated, color-washed look of the sweater wouldn't really "work" if the sleeves were solid. That would be to color-blocky for what I have in my head. As you can see, I've been thinking a lot about this one, just haven't gotten started.

Will post pics soon, including needlepoint colors - though I won't be able to show the project itself. [I'm going to have a serious backlog of photos to show after the holidays! Ah, well, on my ever-present to-do list is add a gallery of finished objects to my blog, so maybe post-holiday will be the perfect time for that.]

As an aside... M. and I were laughing the other day that I've finished two pairs of socks from the knitalong but haven't worn either yet. So, today I pulled out a pair [the Clover Leaf socks] and put them on. It's chilly, gray, and wintery-feeling here, so I was in the mood for socks and closed-toe Birks. As I put them on, I was thinking, "the problem with socks is that no one ever sees/notices them."

So, I drop Matthew off at school, and one of the moms mentions our cute hats. He had on his rainbow hat, and I had on my favorite Rowan hat out of the greatest pink Big Wool [which I made on my 33 birthday, by the way]. I sort of shrugged it off with a thanks, and 'yeah, we love to knit' when asked if we'd made them. Other moms chimed in with the "you're so crafty" type comments [which my readers know I hate].

The one mom persisted though. As she looked at my hat, she asked, "what stitch is that on the top? Purl?" Baby in one arm, I tugged the hat off to see for sure what I was wearing and said "It's seed."

"That's knit one, purl one and then purl one knit one on the other side, right?" she asked.

My brain flared as I realized she was asking knitterly [not crafty] questions.

"You knit," I asked, daring to hope.

"I know enough to knit a hat," she said.

And we were off. There we sat on the edge of the play yard talking knitting.

And, then, irony of all ironies, she looked down and asked, "Did you make your socks?"



4 more rows, and i will be ready to bind off and get a look at charlotte off the needles.

the anticipation!

2-skein Charlotte Adaptation


Just out blog surfing and saw this 2-skein Charlotte-esque Charlotte (see Sept 3 entry). It's not the complete 154 rows, but it's surprising how far she made it with 2 skeins. Turned out pretty, and it's fun to see other approaches at working and adapting the pattern.

Big thanks to Christina at Between the Stitches, too, for emailing with some experienced "been-there-here's-how-it-worked-for-me" info on yarn quantities and edging in response to my post yesterday. If you haven't already been to Christina's site, stop in. Her blog is an invaluable resource for ponchos, too. And it was on her blog that I first caught site of the cute baby poncho that turns out to be from Mission Falls (a favorite designer).

Thinking ahead

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So, I've got 12 more rows of Charlotte to do. It's incredibly beautiful, and I can see myself enjoying making it again (and again). I know I want one. And I'm tempted to make one for my son's preschool's annual auction. Since we're not the knock-on-the-door type, we anticipate making a number of things to meet our fundraising quota. I think a Charlotte might be a good idea.

I was reading ahead about the crochet edging last night. At first, I was confused by the three rows of edging, but I think I've got it now. Someone who's done it before... for the first row, you just go on the straight edge, and then rows 2 and 3 are around all three sides? Right? So the two long edges of the triangle are not included in row 1. Right?

I was worried that I might run out of yarn. I cut it close with color #4. But then I realized that color #4 is used for 8 rows (with color number 3), then 16 rows on its own, then 8 rows (with color #5). So, it was used for 32 rows. Color #5 is used for 8 rows (with color #4) and then 16 rows. So, 24 rows in all, plus the cast-off, plus the 3 rows of edging. The rows are longer, so, it's possible I'll be cutting it close. I went out looking to see if I could find other bloggers who had mentioned running out (because I thought I recalled reading that somewhere).

I didn't find the entry I was thinking of, but I did see that Steph at And She Knits, Too recently finished her third Charlotte (and did run out of yarn). It is beautiful. Those are very much the kinds of colors I want to do for my own. (I've mentioned these before, but she also made a wonderful Charlotte poncho, as did my friend over at SequinK.)

And ponchos continue to be everywhere! I was thumbing through the new WoolWorks catalog that came, and there are a ton of ponchos. What a year to be bjorning a baby. There were several sweaters that jumped out at me too.

New Knitter


I met up with two other mom's last night - two wannabe knitters. Or so they told me more than a year ago when we met the first time (to knit; our kids used to play frequently), and I showed them the basics of knit and purl and got them both started on scarves in yarns I'd gifted them with for their birthdays. They didn't "totally" get the hang of it that first night. We met once more to knit, and it was like starting over. It still hadn't clicked for either of them. One of them was really interested, just having trouble (constantly ending up with extra stitches and so on), and the other, I thought, just didn't really like it. She's a great friend, and it would be super if she was a knitter. But I didn't really think it was ever going to happen.

So, we got together again last night (a meeting we planned almost three weeks ago before we knew it would be the finale night for both Big Brother and Amazing Race).

It was my first night with neither child in tow since Spencer's birth, so it felt sort of strange, and I was worried most of the time about how he was doing and how M. was coping. The older one had a breakdown as I was trying to leave because he didn't want me to go. So, I was feeling lots of guilt and doing lots of clock-watching while we were supposed to be having a 'girls night out' of sorts. All in all, I was only gone right around 2 hours. But, I guess it's something.

I took a batch of wonderful (and easy) pretzel/Rollo/pecan creations my mom had suggested I try. She said everywhere she took them people loved them. She was right. Despite the fact that two of us are supposed to be on Atkins and one of us on Weight Watchers, they were a hit - and easy to snack on even while knitting.

Snacks aside...

Before getting them both re-cast on and showing them the basics again, I tried to show them my Charlotte. I guess it's grown more than I thought because as I tried to spread it out on the (long) needle to show them, I watched in horror as part of one side fell off the needle. My heart skipped a beat. Just after I was bragging yesterday about not needing the life lines so far... They, of course, didn't really understand why it would be a big deal that some of those stitches were falling off, but I was envisioning disaster. Luckily, not too much had slipped off the end. I got it picked back up and even found all the yarnovers that had dropped. A marker had fallen out, too, so they watched in utter confusion as I searched for the small plastic ring. That really threw them - that I'd need markers to keep track of things seemed way too complicated to them. It was pretty funny.

So, we got started. I worked first with the one who had done farily well the previous times. (We actually got started while the other was whipping up fresh whipped cream to have with strawberries.) Once I thought she was okay, I switched to the other. I went ahead and cast on for her and did the first row to get her off the needle and then showed her the knit stitch again after explaining that this time she was just going to knit and work on a garter scarf so that all she had to do was focus on the knit stitch. (I think part of our problem the first time was being too ambitious!)

She watched. She got started. She seemed to have the right idea.

She got messed up.

So, I fixed it again and then watched as she started trying to knit continental (which is how I knit). I'd showed them both ways the first night oh so long ago, and both seemed to want to do it that way. Last night, I'd specifically showed her the other way thinking it would be less complicated (even though I find it harder!). So, I stopped her and showed her again how to use just the right hand.

By golly, she got it.

Immediately, she was chanting "through, around, back through, and off" as she rhythmically worked her way across the row, needles clicking confidently.

She had a few problems, but very few. She had several inches done when I left, and the garter looked great. I was so excited - and so surprised. I shouldn't have been. But I really had given up hope that she'd ever really "like" knitting.

She sent a message late last night to let me know she'd continued to work after we left and had 20 inches done and was thinking "scarves for everyone for Christmas"

Yeah! A new knitter is born.

With one or the other of them having trouble every few minutes, I only got two rows on Charlotte done. But, even that was progress. I felt lucky to manage that much. After all, Sharon's shawl, after all, is taking 1 1/2 to 2 hours per row!

Photos to come soon. I would have done it today, but I've been working on getting some new items loaded on Bramblebug and creating an ad we need to run in our preschool's newsletter. So, while the camera's been in action, I didn't get a chance to get Charlotte laid out and photographed. I will - soon!

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