Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Jul 12, 2010

Aestlight Shawl

Yup, I've still got this one on the needles. Aestlight.
In Dream In Color's lovely glittery Starry (real silver filaments...)

When I went looking for when I first posted about starting this shawl, I was shocked to see it was at the end of this post from Nov. 28, 2009.  I posted again here on Christmas Day and apparently shortly after I allowed Aestlight to languish.

I didn't put it out of sight, and it has been sitting there next to my chair, all squooshed into a plastic bag, and I obviously began to make up some kind of story about why, because when I pulled it out the other day, I could find absolutely nothing wrong with it.  In my head, there was something about number of stitches just not coming out correctly...something frustrating that made me want to abandon it, get sufficient distance between me and the vision of a completed lovely, sparkly shawl that I could frog, frog, frog it.

There was one difficulty...I didn't have enough Starry in the colorway I was using. Martha didn't have another. So, rather than try to find one online, I decided to finish in a different colorway altogether. But I didn't have a problem with that decision and I know that's not why it sat there.

In any case, I picked it up the other day intending to make A Decision, studied the pattern, counted my stitches, and realized I could just start knitting!  And so I did. I finished the lace border and began the edging in the second colorway and then something rather miraculous happened.

I decided I would try to knit by the chart.  This is a big deal for me. Normally charts make my eyes glaze over, like looking at long equations with Greek symbols.  I flee from them.  But I was finding doing the 16-row edging pattern incredibly tedious following the written instructions and I wasn't reading the knitting well enough to get the pattern.

So at about the 5th repeat, I went to the chart. Oh. MY. What an amazing difference.  This is a very simple chart as charts go, and it doesn't have the difficulties of reading a chart that requires repeats across a lengthy row.  So it is quite a perfect chart with which to challenge myself.

Anyway, it's a gazillion times faster and very much like touch typing over hunt-and-peck. I see the symbol and my fingers just do the stitch. I don't have to look at the chart as much as I did the written instructions, and I find it much easier to see where I am and am not tediously checking off row after row.

All of you who know and love knitting by chart already know all this, but for any of you who don't, give it a try with a simple pattern.  At the very least, it's surely a good brain exercise - I swear I feel a whole host of new neural pathways opened already!

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Jul 5, 2010


 subTerreanean was a collaborative project that grew out of the monthly poetry readings I cohost at Coffee Grounds.

The idea: in the grand tradition of 'let's put on a show', at the January reading I said 'let's put on a book!'
We asked people to contribute 200 copies of a page of their own design with poetry and artwork and arranged a fabulous copying price ($10 for 200 copies front and back) for participants with a local printing shop, Big Picture Data Imaging. Twenty-two people responded to the call.

During this project, Sarah Long (my reading cohost) and I decided to create the Third Thursday Poetry Asylum, a sort of imaginary, moveable venue, for events and projects that grow from the Poetry at the Grounds Readings. We call ourselves the Groundskeepers.

We asked local artists Myke Flaherty and Sasha Krasutsky to design covers and interior pages.  Then we had a weekend-long session of collating, stapling and numbering the 200 copies.
l-r Colleen Chestnut, tiny bit of Sasha Krasutsky, Myke Flaherty, Zann Carter, Sarah Dillon

Sarah Long

Zann Carter

Finally, we made special envelopes for distributing copies to contributors and those who helped pull this together.

You can read a little more about subTerreanean and even download a pdf here.

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