Heading into Charted Waters with my Evening Grosbeak Gamayun Shawl

So a few posts ago, I was talking about my troubles with my Gamayun Bird Shawl and even before that I was posting about the planning of it to have a colorway similar to the Evening Grosbeak female birds we get here, because I find their grey and yellow to be rather lovely.

I am ready to say that I finally finished my shawl!

Normally I post inside, but today was just too nice of a day to not get my bird in the sun!

Normally I post inside pictures, but today was just too nice of a day to not get my bird in the sun!

This was the first charted lace knit project I’ve ever tried.  And so I made one kind of major mistake… I read the chart left to right, as I would read a book or a cross stitch chart.  But in actuality, knit charts are supposed to be knit right to left, the opposite way.    Now I was fortunate in that this is a fairly symmetrical pattern so when I discovered my error as I was about to forge onto chart three… I was able to read stitches and adjust my pattern to turn out and not frog back for the bazzillionth time.

Here’s a bit of an indoor close up:

Mirror, Mirror Gamayun on the Wall

Mirror, Mirror Gamayun on the Wall

So technically speaking this is a mirror version of the pattern, but I have this rule that if you can look at it with the eyes of someone that didn’t knit it and it and the issue is not noticeable, then you should just chalk it up to the field of “one of a kind” and not a mistake of epic proportions.

This pattern did give me a good opportunity to use life lines (which are a separate contrast yarn you thread through your rows every so often in case you have to frog back some so you don’t drop any of those stitches) which I am certain I will use when I take on the task of fixing the Luscious sweater.  (No, its not fixed yet.  Be patient… its my second sweater ever and I’m spending quite a bit of time figuring out the best way to fix it with my limited skill.)

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Taking Flight: Knitting for the birds and airplanes

So let’s say you find yourself in the enviable position of taking a vacation to foreign lands, and you find yourself facing a 5 hour flight followed by an 8 hour flight.  And somewhere down the line of trip planning you decide that a fair portion of that 13+ transit hours could be spent knitting… and then you wonder about if they even allow knitting needles on flights.

Well first let me say that if you live in the US, the TSA has given the knitting needle OK; however, cutting implements are a whole other matter.  But when one is planning an international trip, one has to consider the other countries… and that’s where it becomes a little more of a “maybe” situation.  You can send your project off in a self addressed envelope if they turn your needles away, but if you’ve just spent a month knitting up half a sweater the idea you might find yourself waiting for the postman for the other half just doesn’t sound like a good time.*

So while I had high hopes when I started of actually wearing my Luscious Sweater on this trip, its time to admit that the project will need to wait until I return.

I did finish up the main drape section!

I did finish up the main drape section!

So now its time to pull out some back up plans.  A project that won’t be too big so it only takes a couple balls… yet big enough to keep you occupied for several hours on a plane and during vacation down time.  My solution… a shawl or two!

 ~ And thus we come to the bird portion of our knitting blog. ~

Not that long ago I was thinking to myself that it would be pretty amazing to have some bird colored yarn.  The Stellar’s Jay Vibrant Blue and Black, the Kingfisher’s Teal and Rust… or the Female Evening Grosbeak:

Evening Grosbeaks are primarily monogamous, so Fellas if you like it you better put a chirp on it.

Evening Grosbeaks are primarily monogamous, so Fellas if you like it you better put a chirp on it.

I am hoping that this Rock Candy Colorway by Sockease will do the trick.

Oh oh Oh!

Oh oh Oh!

And my plan is to make it into a shawl called Gamayun Bird out of it.   Since I’m a bit of an optimist in my knitting (hence the unfinished aforementioned sweater) I also bought some other lace yarn for another potential project… but you will have to wait until I cast that on for an update.

The Grosbeak males are a much more vivid yellow.

The Grosbeak males are a much more vivid yellow.

 

*All that stuff about the Postman… well let’s be honest, earlier this month we received an envelope with no stamp, no return address, and the wrong zipcode.  The vast majority of the time they certainly get it right!