Sunday, January 28, 2007

Working on Chart 8

I was able to get a little knitting done this week in between the craziness of my dissertation. I'm now working on Chart 8 having finally knit my last diamond motif. One of the things I like best about this shawl is that the design changes to something completely new and different right at that point when you are weary of knitting the current motif but haven't gotten so bored you don't want to finish the project.

Early into the 3rd section I have had a few insights into my lace knitting experience. First is how important it is to knit on needles that give you enough room to spread out your work so you can really see what you're doing (translation=reduces need for frogging). This is especially important when one is PhD student brain-dead. I was feeling very frustrated yesterday at how crowded the stitches were on my Addis and I didn't have a 40" needle to move up to. This afternoon I realized I was still working on a 24" circular and not the 32" needles I thought I was using. Duh! After a little digging through my baskets of UFOs I found the longer needles on my Shetland Tea Shawl. At least I was able to get a nice shot of my Hidcote spread out while transitioning between needles :-)

The lace in the 3rd section calls for a lot of k3tog and sssk stitches. While the k3tog sts. aren't too difficult, I found it challenging at times to scoop up all the sts after slipping the 3 sts for the sssk. That's when I remembered that I could always knit the 1st 2 sts tog tbl and then pass the 3rd st over the top next and get the same effect without the fight. This was especially helpful on row 1 of chart 8. You can do a similar maneuver with the k3tog if that helps you out. Although I haven't explained this very well, I just thought some folks might like to know there are alternatives :-)

Congrats to everyone who has finished. Your shawls look amazing! I don't know how much progress I'll make this week as my schedule is suffocating, but I'll let you know. As always, I have more pictures and details on my blog.

Knit on! beadntat

Friday, January 26, 2007

Finishers and Prize Winners

It is exciting to see photos of three finished shawls on the blog now. Lauren was the first to finish, but when I contacted her to get her address and send her a prize, she reminded me that she had started in mid-December and exempted herself from the prize process. I have a little trinket to send her all the same, for being first with a complete photograph to inspire the rest of us to keep going.

That means Melanie is the official "first finisher" of our KAL. I have a lovely skein of Merino D'Oro to send her and Miriam a gift certificate for a new pattern. Alison has finished this week as well, and just posted photos on her blog. Good job all of you.

Now, don't give up, all the rest of you.. I haven't made it through either. I am still at chart three, having spent the week working on small projects while away from home (more than usual). Sallee is still trying to get the right needles (her saga of the search does not reflect well on her LYS). However, there is still the February part of Lace-uary in which to produce beautiful lace together.

If you haven't posted about your progress yet, you still have the weekened to get it together, snap a photo, write a few lines, and get entered into the Lace Survival Kit contest....

Also, if you find a glitch or want to avoid one, go to Miriam's website (see the sidebar), where she has just begun posting an errata page. Knit on...

Started chart 5

I just started chart 5. I am hoping to get to chart 6 soon since it will be a change. Right now I feel as if I will be knitting leaf patterns forever.

Wow, that's an ugly picture. Next time I'll pose my shawl with a nicer backdrop.

Finally Finished!

I've been struggling to finish something since I finished the Hexagon shawl from VLT back in November. It's really unlike me to go this long without finishing anything, but I've finally gotten back in the groove and finished something!

This is such a beautiful shawl and I enjoyed doing it immensely. There are specs and details about the yarn and such on my blog.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Drum roll please.....

It's done! It's done! It's done!
(Can you tell I am excited about that?)
20 days from start to finish..Yeah, I may be a little crazy.
Not only am I done..But this baby turned out massive!

It measures 108" (that's 9 Ft) across the top..And 65" (about 5 1/2 Ft) from tip to tip. I knew it was going to be big considering I had to order more yarn. =)

OK, now I get to swatch for the Forest Path stole. =) I told you I was crazy!
If you want to hear more about my Hidcote adventure..You can visit my blog..I will update it tomorrow with LOT's more pics and maybe some model shots. =)
Keep up the good work..The results are breathtaking.
Miriam really out did herself with this amazing pattern..It's everything you think it is going to be, and then some!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Coming Along Nicely

1st Chart finished!! Can't wait to have this gorgeous shawl wrapped around my shoulders!!! Details on my blog.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I am finally done! I'm so glad to be finished, it was quite the process. You can read a little bit more about it on my blog. I still can't wait to see everyone else's!

ETA: There is a mistake on the last chart, the first row - I just thought I'd post it for anyone else until Miriam can send out the correction. When I emailed Miriam, she wrote me back with this:

There is a mistake in Row 1 of the chart 10, but I havne't had a chance to send out an errata yet. Look at the far left of the first row, see how there is a summation(backwards E or angular 3) symbol there right before the edging? Well it isn't on the first half of the chart but it should be. On the first half in the same position.

It might be obvious, but it wasn't to me! Just thought I'd throw it out there :)

Sliding into 3rd...

I know it's not time for baseball yet, but this is the best description for how I feel right now. =)
I just started chart 10. Woohoo!
And yes, I did start on the 1st (Ok technically the 31'st..But I was just so excited to start!)
I did have to buy more yarn to finish this baby, I think it is going to be huge! I'm ok with that though (at least I think I am), we will see after I block it.
I'm hoping to have her done by the end of the week. Although I read somewhere (think it was a comment on Lauren's blog) that when you finish row 1 of chart 10 you are 85% done with the shawl. Whaaaaaa?
Can't wait to see all your shawls..I think we are going to have some beauties!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Casting off

If all goes well I should be casting off today! I finished row 19 of chart #10 last night, finally. I have had quite a bit of trouble and a lot of tinking since chart #7 and I'm glad to have made it through all of it. I still have to dye it if I can find time later today, and then wait until bedtime for my dd and puppy so I can block it without pulling my hair out. Oh, and I'm also exempting myself from the contest as I started in December :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dunce cap!

Ok, finally I have my needles and have balled the yarn, very pictureque...the skein winder broke yesterday, so skein to ball rolling, was done with my feet holding the skein, ball winder clamped on coffee table...just goes to show some yoga positions are useful in real life! :-)
When you have all come back down from the laughing session caused by the mental picture above, I shall astound you with my ignorance.

Provisional cast on, not a problem, for once the beginning was the bit I understood. How do I read charts? (Remember I'm a Scot, we don't use charts that often in the UK.) Any good weblinks or idiot guidance gratefully recieved!

This is the first pattern I've had from Mim without the old style written pattern. Visually the charts look good,...

Dunce in the corner,


Monday, January 15, 2007

My Yarn's Finally Here... Can't Wait to Cast On!!!

I ordered Knitpicks Shadow in the Sunset colorway... I LOVE IT!!!
I'm going to my LYS this afternoon to wind up the hanks on their swift and ball winder! So, hopefully I will have cast on by this evening!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

This photo of my progress was taken outdoors, on the hood of my truck, the best background I could find to show up behind the pale yarn. The yarn color is also very accurate in this photo, taken earlier this week. I am now to the middle of chart three, obviously not one of the contenders for finishing early:)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Quick Question

Hey all...I think I have figured it out, but I was hoping somebody could confirm what sl3,k3togtbl means.
At first I thought it was slip 3 and then knit the next 3 stitches tbl (6 stitches in all), but after a bit of research I believe it is slip 3 seperately, and then knit those 3 stitches tbl.
I figured this considering that Eunny's tutorial says you can sub a sl1,k2tog,psso for it.

Okie dokey, knit on!

So Disappointed...

I ordered my Addi Naturas to knit Hidcote 11 days ago, and they were due in today. Now I learn that my LYS (a place that has repeatedly been a disappointment for customer service and other issues) says that they won't be in for at least another 10 days. I have to honor my order, but I won't work with them again (and I do believe in shopping locally when you can). So I will sit and watch all of you all work away and make your wonderful progress (and drool!). It's okay tho' - it just means that anyone else in the KAL who is a slow knitter will have me for company when all of you speedy gals are finished!!!!

Knitting away

I finished chart #5 last night. So far so good. Pictures later

Friday, January 12, 2007

Loving Lace

Hi All,
Not too much progress made...just halfway into chart 3 but loving it. I just received today "Victorian Lace Today"...oh my. I have obviously found my new addiction, lace knitting, in no small part due to this KAL. I have the yarn for LEDA, a rectangular scarf I found somewhere in a BLOG to do after Hidcote...obviously I will always have a Lace WIP....stay safe all over this holiday weekend. Hopefully after Wednesday I will post a new progress pic. Not too much knitting over the weekend as I am going in for 2nd of 5 12 hour nights. Regular knitting, maybe, shawl, no way...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Back in the game!

I took my Hidcote to SnB last night where I was so fortunate to have Miriam fix it for me! There is still a mistake there, but it is not noticeable like it was before. So I amd back to knitting on it and I'm hoping to move on to the next chart soon. I just love this pattern, can we say that enough?

Steady As She Grows

I kept at it last night until I was finally done with Chart two and starting Chart three. Whoo Hoo!! I will take a photo in the sunlight today to post; I keep telling myself that I am gonna love the color to wear, but the Knitpicks Iris colorway is hard to see while knitting. It is a pale brownish lavender (more politely, I should be calling it "pale lavender heather") that doesn't provide much background, and almost lets light pass right through it. I have been pondering what color background will make the pattern show best in a photo.

I keep admonishing myself to follow the maxim about admiring your lace often (this is the best way to catch a mistake), and realized at the end of chart two, pulling it in different directions to get the "blocking" effect, that it really did look great and I was getting it right, too.

Now, for the problems I am having: my Crystal Palace bamboos have joints of metal that catch the yarn. This really sucks! I love the scoopy points, and can't switch right away to a different needle in the same size, so am toughing it out, but it does slow me down. More frustrating though is the fact that I am using gold jump rings and many of them have a wide enough gap that my yarn slips through. I will be searching today to try and locate some tiny-enough plastic replacements. The other problem I experienced was slow going on the rows where I had to move a marker to work a double decrease, then re-insert the marker once the decrease was completed. Anyone come up with a shortcut here?

Happy Knitting!

Newbie lace knitter.

Hi everyone, I will be joining in as soon as my needles arrive, but thought I would say hello :-)
I really needed to knit something that was not blue, grey, white, or green, as I am suffering from warm colour withdrawal symptoms ;-) So I have decided to make the shawl from some stash cobweb mohair silk, hand dyed at knitwitches. Yummy isn't it?

This will be only my second lace shawl, so if you read any strange questions from me, you may have to assume complete ignorance!

Looking forward to starting :-)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hidcote Beginning

This weekend I was able to get off to a good start on Hidcote. The pattern is wonderful and so is the yarn I'm using. Find out more on my blog.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Moving Slowly

I promise no more pics until I get through Chart 2, but I wanted to show I wasn't defeated.....Chart 1 Rows 1-6, past point of 7th frogging....moving very slow, using color coded pics, thanks again Moddy, marking off on paper...I feel like a preschooler..
But I love the shawl...I think I will frame the darn thing when it is done...

I Will Not Give Up!!

Thanks Moddy for figuring out my problem, unfortunately I dropped a yo and frogged again....but, it is important to remember the color coding does not show up in a black and white print out... :)


OK frogged AGAIN to chart one and thought I would read for a moment, at the nedd of chart one I count 33 sts, not counting borders, ok that is a match but row 1 of chart two after increasing shows 25 sts...THIS is where I keep going wrong, how do I get the two charts to match? Even folding back the page and matching u the charts shows 1 finishes with more sts than 2 starts head is spinning

I was doing so good

So I thought. I had made it a few rows into chart #7, decided to spread it out and look at it. It was then that I noticed a mistake I made somewhere in chart #6, I think. You can't tell exactly what I did from the pic, but it did kind of mess things up for a while down there. I was so sad, and surprised. I still have the right amount of stitches and I am pretty good about making sure things end up right in the center and at the end of the rows I think maybe I jinxed myself. I can't fix it by myself, so thankfully Miriam said she would look at it at SnB for me :-) Hopefully I don't have to frog twenty-something rows - and no, I have no lifeline, I never use one, so I would probably have to add a tink row too. If I do, oh well, I just could not leave it as is, I would be too disappointed in myself!

Contest Announcement

Bet that got your attention! I am excited to see so many people have signed up to make the lovely Hidcote Garden Shawl together. My own has grown to almost the end of chart two, but this is definitely NOT carry-around knitting for me. I have to sit in my knitting chair at home, carefully following my charts. So, I have a few other projects in progress, which you can read about on my personal blog.

Sallee and I are still having fun hosting the KAL, and it is still open to new members. To keep people remembering to post regularly about their problems and their progress, and to make sure the lurkers come out of hiding, I am offering a mid-way point contest for the months of Laceuary... everyone who posts before January 31st gets one entry into the random drawing for a "Lace Knitting Survival Kit", which includes my favorite lace-knitting tool (really, I would be struggling far more without it), an eyepillow to soothe your tired eyes from too much chart-reading, bath salts to soak when you are exasperated after a trip to the frog pond (hey, it happens!) and, of course, some chocolate!

Keep on knitting and posting.

My garden is growing =)

Oh boy have I been a knitting fiend this last week! I have been sleeping, eating, and drinking the Hidcote and I think I have made some darned good progress.
I am currently on chart 6 and getting ready to start row 23. I was hoping to be at chart 7 by the end of this week, but dang if these rows aren't getting long!
Anyway, thought I would show you a horrible pic of my progress thus far:

My shawl seems to not be as "dense" as the others I have seen, but I kind of like it like that.

Here is a close-up, tried to spread out shot for ya:

I got a feeling this sucker is gonna be big..Hope I have enough yarn!

So how is everyone else doing? Has anyone else caught the Hidcote fever?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Small celebration

Chart #3 is done! Time for the happy dance, becase I didn't have to ask for help on this chart. Miriam and Sallee bailed me out on the last two charts-- Thanks!! My most frequent error so far is when there is a YO next to a CDD, to scoop the yo up by accident and PSSO with the other stitches.
Also sometimes the yarn catches on the join of the needles. It rolls two stitches together, and when I do the WS rows I try to p 2 tog instead of separately. This might be the fault of the cheap needles which I chose because they were available when I was looking, and I didn't order any better ones.

My family is starting to get growly about the hours I'm spending knitting, instead of cooking and cleaning for them. I think I have DH convinced it's "just until I get the shawl done". I explained about the KAL but he finally just got it last night. ("oh, you mean a bunch of you are making the same thing. It's a race") If he thinks I could possibly be competitive in any speed contest he's dreaming, but its a reason he can understand to spend lots and lots of time knitting.


Friday, January 05, 2007

Intro from Tennessee

Given the unusually warm weather we're having here in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains it seems only fitting that I'm knitting a *garden* shawl. My apologies to Miriam and all the snow that's falling in Utah. I used to live in Salt Lake City and I know about the long, snowy winters. I don't miss them one bit!

I'm delighted to be joining ya'll but I have a confession to make. I cheated. Yup, cheated! I bought my pattern for the Hidcote Garden Shawl last November and I knit on it for a couple of weeks before putting it aside to knit Christmas presents. I have recused myself from the prize race, so those who started legally have nothing to worry about. I'm knitting my shawl out of ColourMart 2/28 laceweight cashmere in a dusty aqua blue colorway using US 5 Addi-turbo needles. I've finished the 1st lace section and am currently on Chart 6 Row 13. The transition between lace patterns required a bit more concentration but was not difficult. Miriam's charts are very detailed and easy to follow which is great for less-experienced lace knitters. I have a few pictures on my blog if you want to take a peek.

Best wishes!
aka Kristina in Knoxville, TN, USA


OK, I believe I am going to frog this and start again....and against my better judgement put it back on my needle at work tonight and work through row 11, arbitrary number..heehee. Yes that along with 4 other WIPs will be coming in for "take Your Knitting to Work Night"....hopefully the party revelers will be tired and the ER will be quiet, at least I have a 45 min break I can frog and rewind....I see an error that after looking at other shawls in prgress will really stand out to me. SO, rather than spend the rest of my life pointing out the error, I will just stop it's existence.

Weekend Alert!

I am excited to have the weekend to look forward to spending some quality time with my Hidcote, and I hope you are too...I have only made it to the middle of chart #2 so far.

I wanted to share the link to some great hand exercises that Margene posted on her blog a few days back, just in case the lace knitting starts to tax your hands.

Needle size?

What size needles is everyone using? I've done the first chart with #3's. It looks a bit small to me and I'm thinking about frogging back and restarting with #4's.


Also just finished chart 1!

I finally decided on Artisan merino laceweight in the Wedgewood colorway

I am going to put in a lifeline before continuing. I've never used one before, but this shawl looks very daunting for some reason.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hidcote started

I've gotten started on my Hidcote finally. There were a few false starts and frogging with the provisional cast on as I haven't used it before. But finally there was success. Here's a picture after the first chart. I'm using KnitPicks Shadow in the Forest colorway.


Started in my corner of the world!

I got my pattern purchased yesterday at lunch, then went home last night and started. I am up to the last row of chart 1. I had spent the night before (at 11:00 pm) going through my lace yarn seeing what I could use, and decided on Jaggerspun Zephyr in a bright Fuchisa color. I did decide to use US 4 needles instead of 3's as I am a tight knitter. I am really looking forward to seeing how all of us do, and having help when I need it!

Molly H

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Traveling with Hidcote

I am leaving tomorrow. Two weeks in my home country after 6 years of not going back!
I am on the last row of Chart #2 and loving it.
Yarn: mill spun by Spinderella 50-50 alpaca_wool. The alpaca fiber is from my own animals, the wool was purchased from Judy's Novelty Wool in Centerville. So if everything goes right, this will be an entry at the Utah State Fair under 100% Utah!
Pictures when I find my camara!


My yarn came today, Kniticks Shadow in Sunset...I am going to cast on and start in a moment as soon as I free up a needle, LOL, I actually have one ordered but it isn't due in til Friday so....
Reminds me I best order a few more ISN'T yarn!!
Will post a pic later if I am at all successful with this...odd to be a 40+year knitter, paid professional knitter, sample knitter and feel intimidated..I am very encouraged by everyone's pics and words of wisdom here. Here I go....

Lifeline ideas

The Heartstrings website shows how to insert a lifeline with a normal tapestry needle here.

I did look up the website Laritza suggested--great idea! The actual URL for that lifeline method is here.

False Start(s)

I tried to start Hidcote twice today. It's back to the drawing board. See me complain here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A word of advice

I noticed that there are new lace knitters starting the Hidcote. That is wonderful! I have been knitting for mteen years and lace for another mteen. My best advice is: verify stitch count on every single pattern repeat and most important, put in a life line about every 20 rows. Then if you drop a stitch or make a mistake the yo's and double yo's won't go running away. You might have to frog but it will be 20 rows only and not the whole thing. Here is an example on how to do it go to the July 30, 2006 entry. If you do not have the needles with the little hole in them, no worries, it can still be done as in here. Go to the lifeline video.

frogging already

Hi, this is my first KAL, my first shawl, first lace and first blog post. I hope to spend most of my time lurking and knitting.
I've started my shawl with Knitpicks Shadow in Jewels, with #3 circs. Had to work Mon and Wed, so I started on Sunday and completed chart one. Was pretty pleased except for the nagging feeling about the center-- I could see that I was getting one hole from two adjacent YO's. And I knew the instructions talked about adjacent YO's but not for many charts yet. So finally sent out an SOS and Miriam kindly pointed out that I was missing the center stitch. Yeah, I missed it all right. My eyes were seeing it as a break between two pieces of the chart, rather than the center of the chart itself! So I quickly frogged it, before I was tempted to think it would be ok to leave it! Now things are going much better. I will get the first chart done tonight, but am working tomorrow ( gone from 6am to 8pm) so I won't get much done until after that.
It's a gorgeous shawl. I'm so excited about making it. (Too bad for DH's sweater, with only the last 1/8 of the last sleeve left to go!)

Im finally here!!

Well after numerous attempts at trying to join this blog, I have finally made it! The new blogger would not recognise the old blogger invite. So I had to create a new blog and then the invites were there! Then I just deleted the blog I created.

My name is Deby aka O/C Knitiot. I have been knitting since I was 12, many many moons ago.
I just started designing and love it! I look forward to getting to know you all.

So on to the shawl!

I started chart 1 last night and then decided I didnt care for the color. So I ripped it this morning and will start again tonight. I love the pattern. As always, Miriam has hit a home run with this one.
I am not a fan of lace weight yarn so I use fingering weight for all my lace.

In but . . .

This old blogger/new blogger stuff is confusing. I unfortunately upgraded to a new version of Outlook and my bookmarks are tied to my google accounts.

I'm still puzzled about which yarn to use. Lorna's Laces "Helen's Lace" in Mineshaft was my first choice, but it has less yarn than the pattern calls for. Miriam said it has the amount she used to knit the shawl, so it might work. Or I have a beautiful merino silk blend from Great Adirondack Yarn company in warmer shades of dark brown. I have two skeins, and I originally bought it with Hidcote in mind. It's the yarn that speaks to me, so I should use it.

Only now I'm thinking I should knit it for my mom, in which case Mineshaft is the better color. I'll have to think about it some more. Will my mom wear a shawl like this, or would she just put it away because it's "too nice"? Hmmm.


I finally got here! Old vs New Blogger wouldn't let me in, so I did what a previous post said to do-create a new account. Wonderful! Can't wait to get started! Thanks so much for the invitiation. Love Miriam's designs.

The Charts

My eyes not being what they used to be, I'm worried that I will have trouble reading the charts, particularly in the evenings. Does anyone know how to enlarge the charts in Adobe? Or do I just need to print them out and then enlarge on my copier? I always feel like I lose quality that way. I played around with it a bit yesterday, but couldn't get what I want/need. Hence, I have not cast-on. I'm hoping today is the day. Everyone's progress looks so great; I'm jealous!

Knit on!

I sneaked in!

I have blogger account with my real blog yorksett arts & crafts and it would NOT let me accept the invitation. Wise me created a new account :) .
So now I am here and there, hopefully someday I will be able to join the accounts. In the mean time: the pattern is printed, the needles are ready and the yarn is in a nice little ball waiting.
Happy to be here.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Adding my 2 cents to the mix ;)

So hi everyone!
My name is Melanie and I too am so excited for this KAL. I have been wanting to make Hidcote for a while now, and just needed a darned good excuse to start yet another project. =)
I started last night as well, and I have spent the whole darned first day of 2007 doing nothing but knitting. Poor me huh?
Well, I tore right through the first few charts..But I am now seeing it taking a lot longer to get through the rows.
I am now just starting chart 4...Here is what it looks like so far.

This is Knit Picks Shadow in the Vineyard colorway. Chart 3 made it grow considerably. I am taking a pic after each chart so I can see my progress. I'll be posting about this on my blog tomorrow.
Hope you all are having as much fun as I am with this project!

Getting there

Hi everyone! I'm so glad there is a KAL for Hidcote. I started around the middle of December and while I haven't had a ton of time to work on it, I just made it to the end of chart #4 today. I'm using a cone of alpaca/silk that I picked up at my LYS, it is natural color and I'll be dyeing the shawl when I'm done with the knitting. I'm loving the pattern as I do all of Miriam's patterns. I can't wait to see everyone's progress.

Happy New Year

I am waiting for my yarn, I have been dying to any lace project,,I am very excited. Thanks for letting me join and for all the computer help. I will be putting the button on my blog tonight.

First Start of 2007

Hi Everyone :)

My name is Kris and I'm back to blogging after a 5 month hiatus :) and this is the first KAL that I just HAD to join :) LOVE this design! just plain beautiful.

I decided to make it my first start of 2007, so I started it at midnight and knit on until 4am, watching movies with hubby :) I'm using Jaggerspun Zephyr in the color Cassis. It won't be staying this color though .. I bought the cone on sale and already knit the Fiddlesticks Flirty Ruffles in this color. I'll be painting the finished shawl in different gardeney type colors :)

Here's my day 1 progress!

Thanks so much for having me :)
Spirit Blooms

A New Year, A New Shawl

Hi everybody, and hope you are getting ready to start knitting. Sallee and I are sharing the responsibilities of "list mamas" and I will be sending out invitations to all of those who have asked to join the KAL so that Blogger will allow you to sign in and post regularly. If you don't have a Blogger account, you will need one to post, or can email me directly!

I did start my Hidcote last night, as we didn't really want to go anywhere (we could have walked down to the town bar, but aren't really bar-goers and had just gotten back home after almost a week's vacation and were glad to just be here). I managed to do my first-ever provisional cast-on, make my garter strip and pick up and establish my first stitches - whoo, hoo! I can see that it will be somewhat slow-going till I get into the rhythm of using laceweight again... I will probably be using the tiny gold jump rings for markers that I have for when working with very small needles... I am using size two bamboo Crystal Palace needles that I picked up last week for this purpose, and my Knitpicks Shadow in Iris, following Sallee's suggestion. She and I discussed the options for laceweight that I had sitting in my stash as we began setting up the KAL, and that will really be the best of my three options for a springtime, garden-themed shawl. The best part for me is that this shawl will keep me thinking about spring and gardens through the dark nights. The days are getting a tiny bit longer, but the landscape is cold and frozen each morning, reminding me that spring is still a long ways away.