Two Left Needles

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Sand River

The pattern is ready! Bear with me, it's my first time doing this sort of thing.

Sand River

Sand River was inspired by the sand-like colors in the (LL Lion and Lamb) Aslan colorway. The stitch pattern is reminiscent of sand dunes or a winding river. This pattern is perfect for beginning lace knitters; the pattern is easy to memorize and quick to knit.

Finished size:
Scarf: 7 1/4" wide x 62" long
Shawl: 19" wide x 60" long

The scarf version takes just 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb (or substitute your favorite silk/merino yarn); the shawl version uses 4 x 80g skeins of Seacoast Handpainted Yarns Andee. If substituting, choose a yarn that has some drape.

Pattern price:

To purchase:
Send payment via PayPal to twoleftneedlesATgmailDOTcom (replace AT and DOT with symbols); pattern will be emailed when payment is confirmed.
(Note: PayPal accepts credit card payments without requiring a PayPal account.)

Edited to add:
Thanks again to Kate for test-knitting. I saw her scarf today and what you can't tell from her photos is how soft and drapey it is! It's knit in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted; it's been through the washer, partway in the dryer and then laid out to dry. The pattern still shows up nicely, so it's a nice "wash and go" alternative to merino/silk!

Sand River - closeup

I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking some communication is warranted. Heck, I'm easy going, even an automated email would have pleased me. Good thing there are puh-lenty of other vendors who dye amazing stuff.

I'm a cheapskate. Does that surprise you? Well, maybe it's not the best word. I hate buying stuff at full price. It started when I was a kid and bought 20 popsicles when they were on sale for 10 for $1, slowly ate them one or two a day until they ran out. Chocolate. Banana. Mmmm. Savored them all the more because of the bahgain, 15 cent savings. Per popsicle!

The flip side now, I find it VERY hard to resist a sale. If I'm in a yarn store, even if I can't justify spending $20 on Koigu for socks, I'll spend $25 on discounted yarns, even if I don't have a specific project in mind.

That's why going to Webs is VERY bad for me. Especially their sales. Bad. News.

Do I look like I have self control? (don't answer that)

Anyway, that's why I have a hard time buying some of the yarns or fibers I've been drooling over. Like Adrian's, Lisa's and Felicia's. To list a few at the top of my list. :) And I have to admit, the shipping gets to me, too. I have a hard time giving so much away to the post office.

Sigh. Meanwhile, I deprive myself of the joys of these fabulous fibers.

That was one of the weird things about MDSW. No shipping (but sales tax). And though there were some specials (especially at Little Barn), most of my purchases were full price.

There's something about being in that environment, and being able to see and touch what you're buying. There's always the "not paying for shipping" angle, too.

Anyway, I'm realizing that, sometimes, paying full price is okay. It hurts a little, true. So I just have to make sure it's worthwhile.

What's your name?

The rambouillet/silk shawl is a little over 12" long now. Thanks for the suggestions on names! I was leaning towards Diamond in the Rough, but then my niece suggested Raspberry Ice. I loved the Raspberry part. The Ice is a nice play on the diamond idea, as well as hinting at the shine from the silk. Ice makes me think of cold, though, and this shawl will be warm and cozy, so I'm still tossing that one around.

I know, it's just a name, right? :)

Becoming a better blogger

Thanks also for the comments lately, I truly appreciate them. I try to respond individually when I can find an email address, but I haven't been putting responses in the comments or on the blog very much. And sometimes that would be helpful! So I'm working on that, and will try to add a comment or update a post when warranted.

Eg, I've added the info on where the Zephyr was bought on that post, and some additional info on the CVM fleece post.

Sand River

I'm working on a pattern for Sand River. Yay! I'll be including info for both a scarf and a rectangular shawl. Kate will be test knitting (thanks, Kate!). Coolio!

Tomorrow: progress pictures on the shawl and flirty skirt!

And so I don't leave you with a pictureless post:

Sand river
(two wraps)

Thanks for the sympathies and suggestions on Scott's allergy situation. And to be clear, yes, I would be willing to not knit wool for my kids so Scott can be near them until they're old enough that they can manage wool knits carefully (ie, remove them when they get home and learn to use a lint brush, haha). I would still knit with wool for myself and the rest of my family, though. I ain't crazy. And as Carole wisely suggests, we won't worry about future children's wool allergies 'til later.

Can you imagine, though, going to the doctor for a checkup and asking, "So... any way you can tell if the fetus is allergic to wool?" Innocent blink.

Or, being apprehensive about giving birth because it would be the moment of truth: allergic or not??? If the former, a whole 'nother kind of pain and post partum depression...

I was skeptical of suggestions for alpaca or finer fibers like cashmere, buffalo, quiviut, etc. But, I felt like I shouldn't just blow raspberries at you all so I brought a skein of alpaca yarn and a cone of cashmere yarn for Scott's touch test. Both passed! (Though shortly after, he did feel some tinglies in his hands, which he says may or may not have been psychological.)

The next test is to knit a small swatch and have him wear it. He's a good sport and willing to try. Who knows, there may be a lot of alpaca in this household soon.


On the Gram front, she's being moved to another assisted living place this week so we're all a little confused and agitated. We packed up some of her things before visiting today. 

From the website, the new place seems nice, and it caters to those with memory issues, so hopefully she'll be in good hands. I'm concerned that another move so quickly will throw her off even more; she's not quite settled into the nursing home as it is. Fingers crossed (which seems so inadequate a phrase, but I got nothing).

Going to Montreal was a nice break, but as soon as we got back, we felt guilty for not visiting. And today she was a bit emotional when she saw us. I'm trying to accept that we're doing a lot. Period. Without the niggling "but it's not enough" and "she deserves better" and "we should do more" thoughts that are so quick to follow. We're doing a lot. Period. It's hard.

More stash

I got me some JaggerSpun Zephyr laceweight in white, ebony and cinnabar*:

JaggerSpun Zephyr laceweight in white, ebony and cinnabar

and a cone of white in DK weight as well. You know. For all that dyeing I'm supposedly doing.

Here's a comparison of the laceweight vs DK weight:

JaggerSpun Zephyr DK & Laceweight

The ebony is for a rectangular shawl for my mom. I balked before on knitting a black lace shawl, but after seeing a few in blogland, I realize I am a big wimpering baby. I can do this. Without going blind. Without too much sulking.

Sand River

was blocked

Sand River - blocking

and is done!

Sand River

It blocked to just over 6 feet! I like-y. More pics soon.


I've got a few other exciting things to show you this week! And maybe some more stash.

What do you think:

  • too much stash = shock and disgust, or
  • woah, I'm jealous and now I gotta wipe my keyboard off but keep 'em coming

* Edited to add: The JaggerSpun Zephyr cones were purchased through a coop from Sarah Siegel, who has
an eBay store and a website. I have heard good things about her promptness and responsiveness.

I took a lot of projects to Montreal. Well, more accurately, a lot of yarn. And needles. I brought Sand River:

Sand River - in progress

and worked on it in the car. A lot less than expected.

You know how I said it was a 6 hour drive to Montreal? Well, I thought I'd have 6 hours to knit. Each way. That's a lot!

Until you take into account the time that I'd be driving. Or sleeping. Or too hot to knit. Yep. I'd say I knit a good hour in the car. Maybe two. And not at all the rest of the trip.

Still, Sand River was almost done Sunday night:

Sand River - in progress

and magically completed Monday night!

Sand River - almost done!

I thought I still had a good foot to knit, but then I tried it on and it was good to go. And I was at the end of a repeat, too, so all I had to do was tink back a row and cast off. Nice. Just need to block her out.

With all that knitting I thought I'd have time for, at the last minute I wound that rambouillet/silk on my yarnwinder and threw it into my bag with the 3 skeins of sock yarn (that I didn't use). I had a pattern picked out and 4 different needles to test out the gauge.

rambouillet/silk - ready to go

Of course... I forgot the pattern.

It's just as well, it was better to finish knitting Sand River before starting the shawl:

rambouillet/silk shawl - in progress

The pattern is "A Beginner's Triangle" from A Gathering of Lace. I'm still thinking up a name for the project. Any suggestions?

I'm really enjoying knitting with this yarn. It feels really good and I think it's working nicely with the pattern. Which is hard to tell without a contrasting background or slight blocking. But trust me. Er, trust Scott. He's been reassuring me.

Thanks so much for the support. I have taken a lot of your ideas, suggestions and advice to heart, and honestly, it's helped. I'm feeling much better about Gram being in the nursing home. I think it's the best place for her right now. The nurses seem nice, and she's in the dementia ward, so they'll know how to understand and help her. We saw her Sunday and she didn't make a lot of sense to us. I'm hoping the transition disoriented her and that she'll bounce back a bit. But even if she doesn't, well, it is what it is. It's part of the process, and unavoidable. She's safe, and cared for, and that's what counts.

Scott and I are planning a trip to Montreal this weekend to take a break, get away and have some time to ourselves. Oh, and have fun! I've been to Montreal a few times. 8th grade class trip... random weekend drives in college... oh yeah, the time I went with some girlfriends for Jazz Fest, on Canada Day, when the border guy asked why we were going to Canada. Me: "To have fun!" Hands in the air! Youthful exuberance! Luckily, I looked young AND innocent, so they didn't search the car for drugs. Heh. It'll be fun.

Last week I brought this to work:

basket o' goodies
goodies galore! sunny day! green picnic table!

I finished plying the rest of the rambouillet/silk, and now have 2 empty bobbins! (I was counting my bobbins the other day and was short one. I counted, recounted, searched around, recounted, searched some more. Gave up. The next day, it hit me. It was on the wheel. Doh!) The top skein is the one I showed you before, the bottom is one of the new ones. In all, about 1050 yards over 8.8 oz. I think it's the most yards I've spun for one project. I lurv it.

rambouillet/silk 2 ply
soft and yummy

The first skein bled in the wash so I wanted to see if there were color differences. It's (slightly) noticeable in another photo, but not this one.

Those empty bobbins will be filled by the luck of the dyepot primaries batch, predrafted one sleepless night:

Luck of the Dyepot - predrafted

Because of the random way the top was laid into the roaster, each 4 oz segment is a little bit different. There are the bluer bits:

Luck of the Dyepot - predrafted

the redder bits:

Luck of the Dyepot - predrafted

and the greener bits:

Luck of the Dyepot - predrafted

I could spin each bit separately and have slightly different and somewhat coordinated skeins, or I could alternate between the bits to get 12 more-or-less-matching ounces. Not sure which way to go. I'm trying to spin up 2 matching skeins for someone and the bit already spun may be more green than the green bit above. Ah well, it's been too hot to spin most days anyway.

Sand River has grown and I'm still loving it:

Sand River - in progress

Luscious silk/merino beats cotton blend any day, so Trellis sleeves are slow goings:

Trellis - sleeves started
hey, you can see my feet!

Last, look at the color!

sample cards from dye workshop

These are the sample cards I walked away with from my dye workshop with Linda Whiting. Purty darned cool. I had a really good time, met some new folks, learned a few things. I'll try to put together a few thoughts later this week.

Tomorrow: the CVM fleece. It's sorted, and a bit of it washed. I never figured myself for a fleece processing person, but I seem to be becoming one. I've even reserved a CVM fleece for next year! 8 months from now! I know!

New update on the drum carder: 4 more weeks. Sigh.

Thanks for your kind comments about the accident. I read them before we went to Gram's, and as we drove, I felt kinda guilty. Hey, I'm okay, I thought. Talking and writing it out musta helped. Guess I'm over it.

Gram wasn't doing so hot. Neither were we. We bought a photo printer last week and printed out some photos to bring with us. Of our wedding. Of our honeymoon. Of the last couple of visits (though the photos we take when we're there all look the same: posed, on the sofa). I had hoped having the photos there would remind her of our visits. I had hoped they'd make her smile. They weren't the 'hit' I hoped they'd be. I don't know what I expected, they're just photos. And when we're there, why would she look at those?

We took a couple more again, same pose, same location. I'll print them out and bring them next week. Meanwhile, I'm thinking up ideas for different photos. Something a little more interesting. Wouldn't it be fun to get a photo of Gram sticking her tongue out? Or maybe just one of her laughing. I don't know, she's old school; she comes from the generation when you kept a serious face for photos.

She didn't want us to leave. I left feeling that it wasn't enough. Our visit wasn't enough. What we could do was not enough. It compounded with the helpless and useless feelings from witnessing the death. Yeah, guess I'm not quite over it.

It's gonna be a rough week.

I hoped to show you FBS, but man, not on such a down note. Instead, here's the scarf I finished FBS to begin:

Sand River - started

It's for my sister. I hope she likes it. (Hey Sis, do you like it? If you don't, let me know. Sooner than later. :)

Yarn is Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb. Yum. Silk merino, my favorite.

Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb

I love the 3-dimensionality of the stitch pattern. Reminds me of sand dunes in the Sahara. Or, in another colorway, a river. So I think I'll call this project "sand river".

Sand River - rich texture detail