Friday, November 25, 2005

Tree is up and things I'm finding out about the Peacock Shawl

Himself and I had fun this morning helping Lucy at Mind's Eye Yarns set up the Mitten Tree. Photos later, since I forgot to take pictures before we headed off for lunch. Carol from the Thursday night spinning group and her mother have already come through with a whole heap of hats that are really cute. Yeah!

And I have my brother's birthday present(s) set. No telling since he doesn't get to open them until tomorrow, but now I can start thinking about Christmas presents.

We had a lovely relaxed day yesterday that included making chocolate truffles and brownies for later in the weekend, not eating ourselves silly (that's tomorrow at Mom's), and having a nice walk to Lexington Center and discovering the video store open. Mad Hot Ballroom is worth renting -- 5th graders throughout NYC being taught meringue, tango, foxtrot and rhumba, then competing school against school. Hearing 11 year old girls complaining about how the boys can't give them a good lead that they can follow is a hoot. I was surprized that the teachers were strictly segregating girls as followers and boys as leaders, but then again, if you've got a limited amount of time for teaching any footwork, are you going to confuse them by saying one class you're doing this and the next you're doing that? Lead/follow workshops I've been in will usually have dancers switch roles just to get a sense of what the other part does, but it is tricky and there you're dealing with adults who do want to learn.

The Peacock is making progress. The Admiral Blue is working well. When I first pulled it out of the box I thought I had orered wrong, but now that it's coming off the cone and getting exposed to air/light, it's getting brighter. I'm just into chart 2, row 67. Things I have found helpful:

1. Photoshopping the charts and flipping. The instructions say to work the chart from right to left to the middle and then mirror image back across the chart from left to right, reversing the decreasing symbols. My brain tried this Wednesday night. Once the charts were scanned, flipped and printed Thursday morning, the rows completed per hour increased dramatically.

2. Use the markers. Knowing you're off as you go, rather than 59 stitches later when the mid or end point doesn't work, saves time if not effort. Trying to debug which watching an interesting movie like Mad Hot Ballroom is tough.

3. I'm next going to try switching to one of the nickel plated sharper tipped needles from the blunter pointed bamboo I've been using. Getting into both the slipped stitches for the double decrease is tricky.

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