Mystery Shawl KAL 1 of 3

I don’t have a mystery shawl problem, I can stop anytime I want *shifty eyes*

I’m doing three mystery shawls this year, and the first one I finished is Kirsten Kapur’s TTL Mystery Shawl 2012, knit out of Zitron Trekking Pro Natura on 4.5mm needles.

Here’s what it looks like unblocked.

I love how unblocked lace looks like moss.

Wait, whatthe–

Oh. Hi, Robbie.

Silly me, thinking I could do this without help from a cat.

You’re right, cats do make everything better.

(Robbie is a cat I’m fostering over the summer. He’s been completely obsessed with this shawl while I was knitting it and has already twice tried to steal the needles I used to knit it.)

Reading Comprehension Fail

This is the third time I’ve had to knit this heel.

The pattern is Cookie A.’s Orange Pekoe socks knit in the club colourway; because the socks are mirrored it’s important that the heel placement lines up so the right stitches are on the insole so the pattern on the leg lines up with the pattern on the top of the foot.

First attempt at the heel and I was off by ten stitches because I read the instructions for the wrong sock. Okay, fine, some stuff I shouldn’t try knitting on the metro.

(Here is probably a good place to mention that a super-skinny circular needle is an invaluable addition to one’s knitting tools. Mine is 2mm and while I will never knit anything with it, it is very useful for picking up a whole lot of dropped stitches.)

I reknit the heel flat, turn the heel, pick up the stitches… and when I try to knit across the instep I notice I’m off by one single stitch. I could fudge it, but it would nag at me every time I wore the socks.

Rip rip rip a second time.

It should be right this time — and it better be because I don’t want to have to do it AGAIN.


So because of a stray k2tog that threw off the stitch count of one of the panels, this

had to be ripped back to this.

I am still cringing that I got so far without noticing such a big mistake.

So. Let’s try this again, shall we?

I bought a skein of Noro Kureyon in the colourway 250A (a lovely mix of rich blues and purples) on impulse several years back. I don’t usually make impulse buys without at least an idea of what the yarn is destined to become, but I made an exception for the Kureyon because it was just too beautiful, and I would think of something, right?


It sat atop my stash and taunted me for a long time. Nothing seemed right for the yarn, although for a while I was planning on using it to knit the yoke of a colourwork sweater — but even that wasn’t a good fit. The gauge would be all wrong and the glorious Noro colours would get lost in the long rows needed to span my shoulders.

But inspiration hit last week, and today that yarn became a panta, a type of knit Finnish headband.


It’s currently being blocked on my room-mate’s bed, because that’s one of the few cat-free surfaces in the apartment.


So, of course, look who decides to follow me in to see what I’m up to.

I’m a bad blogger :/

I’ve been knitting on a cardigan recently, slogging my way through the boring stockinette body. Which I had to rip back and re-knit because I cast on the wrong number of stitches and I knew any attempts at fudging it would eat at me every time I wore the finished sweater. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can say about that other than how much you knit per day on the visually uninteresting section of the sweater.

I’ve reached the armpits on the body and have half a sleeve that I am already bored with.

In the meantime, I finished sewing a project bag. Elizabeth Zimmermann was right; my knitting projects deserve to live in something nicer than plastic bags.

A sock lives in it now.

(I started it back in February, and I need to finish it. I think I might use the needles to knit another sock pattern before I begin its mate. My attention span has just been shot to hell in the last month.)

The Illustrated Brain

Anatomist Santiago Ramon y Cajal was the first to see–and illustrate–what neurons really do. His exquisitely detailed drawings changed our understanding of the brain and nervous system. Cajal relentlessly pursued his microcopic study of animal tissues, leading to an essential discovery: Brain signals jump from cell to cell rather than flow through a continuous web of fibers, as was believed at the time.

Discover Magazine has a fascinating (and beautiful) gallery of illustrations of neurons and neural tissue by the Nobel Prize-winning Cajal. Amazing stuff, especially since he made his discoveries armed only with curiosity and a microscope.

I haven’t been doing much knitting recently…

I’ve been volunteering at the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival every day for the last week and a half, and it’s been crazy-busy.

I’ve had loads of fun, met some awesome people, and seen a bunch of great shows. It has not, however, been conducive to knitting.

I’ve been working in the box office and I had initially brought a book and a project or two with me because I figured there would be long stretches of boredom (interspersed with brief moments of madness) I’d have to fill somehow.

… Yeah, not so much.

I did finish a block the Mystery Shawlette, and I have another shawl completed that I need to block, but I don’t have pictures of either of them.

Colour Perception Illusion

From the Perceptual Science Group at MIT:

All of the small bars within each pattern are actually the same color (i.e., all of the blue segments are the same color blue, all of the red segments are the same color red, and all of the small grey bars are the same color grey). The lightness differences you are experiencing are massive illusions. A theory of what’s underlying the lightness illusions in this figure is described in a paper to appear in as special issue of Perception on “Contextual effects on color appearance.”

Really fascinating stuff, especially if one plans on doing any colour knitting.