Friday, September 15, 2006

Moving On

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska, August 2006

The rest of the cruise involved ports of call in Alaska and British Columbia, tours to glaciers, salmon ladders, totem pole museums, and train rides to mountain tops. We had much sunny weather, to the surprise of the locals, who said the summer had been unending grey skies and rain.

We did have one variation from the posted schedule: instead of touring the glaciers at Tracy Arm, we were able to go into Glacier Bay. Several rangers and a naturalist from the National Park Service came on board, and guided us through the bay all day with commentary on what we were seeing. The glaciers were fabulous, even though we saw no major calving. It was sunny and brisk, unexpectedly clear weather, perfect for viewing on the top deck.

russell island
Russell Island, Glacier Bay, August 2006

In Glacier Bay is large island named Russell Island. Sue, whose great-grandfather was a geologist named Israel Cook Russell, asked the rangers if the island was named after him. They looked it up, and indeed, it was: Israel Cook Russell had explored the bay, when it was much smaller (before the glaciers had melted back so far) during the late 1800's. Sue's Great-grandfather was a geology professor at Ann Arbor, one of the founders of the National Geographic Society, a contemporary and friend of John Muir, who also explored the bay at about the same time.

Once we were underway home, knitting classes began again. Joan S. had a Tips and Techniques class, from which this sample emerged:

joan's tips

This is several button hole variations, and some invisible wrapped short rows, making a nice sleeve cap, eh?

In the afternoon, Joan S. taught a CPR class for knitters: how to fix mistakes. Well, *I* had one:

boundary waters1

This is the center section of Boundary Waters, and there was a mistake in one quarter-section of the lace. Joan slipped the whole thing on Nancy's Try-it-on-Tubing, which allowed us to spread out the lace and find the error. Then Joan isolated the area, dropped the stitches down past the mistake, and put the live stitches on a needle. She then knit back and forth in that area, until the stitches were brought back up to level with the rest. Or rather, Joan started knitting back and forth, then handed the whole pile to me. Me? Well, not so good with the back and forth, I eventually pulled back several rows and re-knit. But! I knit enough to learn the process, and successfully used the technique later, on a smaller area which needed to be fixed.

But the Try-it-on-Tubing allowed me to see the size of the lace shawl: not big enough. I was on row 70 in the photo above, of 170. It measured 11" and I had not even used one ball, of 12 balls of yarn. This would make a shawl of 45" square or thereabouts. Too small, to my thinking. Such is my new confidence with lace that I decided to alter the pattern, and add a few more rounds of this simple pattern, before beginning the next section.

Here is a close-up of the tubing on my needles, allowing me to stretch out the knitting:

try-it-on tubing

It fits snugly over the tip, at both ends, and then the knitting can be stretched out, either to try on (as in sweaters) or to see the lace progress, as I've use it here.

Today I stretched it out on the tubing again:

boundary waters2

and have 15 inches of this section complete, into the second ball of yarn. I will move on to the next pattern section, which I also plan to increase, so that the finished shawl will be at least 60" square.

You all must know where this is headed? I'll have a shawl that is 90" square. A blanket. But fun to knit! and fun to think, at least for now, that I can fix errors, make the design changes I want to make a bigger shawl, and move on.


Blogger Janice in GA said...

We took a rafting trip from the Mendenhall Glacier down the river a couple of years ago on our trip to Alaska. Very fun! Your picture brought back nice memories.

I'm currently dealing with the blocking of a large shawl (Oregon, by Joan S.). I'm not loving the challenge of assembling a large-enough blocking surface. It's bigger than my full-size bed. Sheesh. But it's gorgeous. :)

7:38 AM  
Blogger Marcy said...

But it's BLUE! You ok?

1:18 PM  
Blogger Birdsong said...

Lovely, lovely tour photos! I think that tubing is a super idea, and want to review your drop-and-pick-up lessons with you at a spinning Saturday - I think I figured out something similar to make a fix a few weeks ago, possible but a bit of a strain on the ol' brain!

10:18 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

just catching up on your adventure! What a blast!

4:15 AM  
Blogger Kate Robertson said...


Your tour looked fantastic and made me really want to do that someday. I was telling a friend how you had a yurt for your studio and was going to show a pic but could not find any of the inside. I am sure there are others who'd love to see the inside of your studio. Would you be willing to share that?


7:05 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home