Even when I don't exactly feel like knitting, there's still something on the needles. This is a swatch I started looking for a sturdy lace scarf/stole.
I've worked with a man for over 8 years whose wife has MS. We speak almost daily (and sometimes several times a day) about work issues and often family issues creep in. Everytime his wife hits a milestone in her disease, I hear about it. They've been dealing with this for almost 20 years now, so you can imagine where she is in her progression. I feel helpless to do anything to help them. My offers of help/cleaning/food are always gently turned down. Now, I'm not one of those who believes that knitting heals all, but I want his wife (whom I've met on many social occasions) to know that I'm thinking of her. Since I know she is often cold, I hit upon the idea of this scarf/stole to drape over herself when she needs it.
I pulled out my copy of Susanna Lewis' Knitting Lace to see what I could find. Toward the back of the book is a section of faggot patterns that are the coolest. The first section (at the bottom) is a 4 row pattern with a double decrease knit on US 3s. The patterning happens on the odd rows and the even rows are purled. The holes are supposed to be square. Since the decreases are all made the same way (left leaning), you can see that it biases badly to the left.
The second section is also 4 rows with the even rows being purled also knit on US 3s. The decreases are paired (meaning one leans left and one leans right). It doesn't bias as badly as the first swatch, but the fabric was a little firmer than I wanted. I was really looking for more drape. Also, the edge stitches were a little sloppy, so I decided I needed some sort of edging.
The third section is knit on US 4s with a double moss stitch border. I'm fairly happy with this section. I haven't blocked it, so you can't see the lace very well (and the scanner smooshes it anyway), but it seems to be a sturdy-looking fabric with some drape to it. Now I just need to do the math and cast on. It's rather mindless knitting, so I can work on it while I'm watching the Tour de France coverage (you knew I'd work that in here somewhere right?).
The yarn is some I bought in Portugal almost 2 years ago - it's aged long enough in the stash. It's a 60/40 wool/polyester blend, but I'm pretty certain that it will hold a light blocking well.