Christine here. Last week I did nothing on my large whirring wheel multistrand because we were up “vacationing” at the cottage my husband owns. It’s a pretty rustic place: sheets in the doorways, no air conditioning, a mounted deer’s head on the wall, and furnishings in a bright orange and green plaid from a long time ago… I’ve grown to like the butter yellow and avocado green plaid linoleum in the kitchen, and the weird dusty yellow brick fireplace with wood paneling all around. When visiting, one has to suspend all squeamishness about insects and small house mammals, which I am usually able to do after I’ve been there for a day or two. I focus on the amazing sunsets over the St. Lawrence River as we sit on the back porch, and the slow shush of waves against the rocks.
I think that my husband and I could probably – sometime in the future, once the kids are on their own – enjoy summers up there by ourselves. It’s quiet and serene and the surroundings are beautiful. Lots of wildflowers and grasses grow in their little bits of earth between large glacier-deposited rocks. The views over the water in Thousand Islands region are exquisite, and I like a bit of time with spotty cell coverage and no internet. Even the dogs liked the water. As long as I had my sewing machine and some wool, I think I could survive up there for a summer.
OK, maybe with some air conditioning. And the internet wouldn’t hurt.
For now, though, we have responsibilities to the kids and cats that keep us in Pittsburgh for all but one week in the summer, and May-October my husband rents the cottage out to a nice couple from Syracuse who enjoy boating from the dock. The kids are amused – briefly – by their week-long visit, although toward the end of the week there are increasingly desperate questions regarding the presence of Wifi at any planned outing. We make the kids play Scattergories with us (my daughter enjoyed coming up the name of a crime for the letter F: fratricide). And the 10-hour drive home isn’t much fun, but we survive.
While I was there, I worked on a 4-strand chair pad. I experimented with the Start, which I am not completely happy with: the double corners make a weird “8” pattern in the center before the stripes start. I am considering changing the center to starting with only 3 strands (all in one color, probably) and then adding in one more strand and changing one color to start the stripes. I really don’t like that “8.”
I also experimented a bit with e-lacing on the curve. I have previously only used shoe-lacing for my curves, which works but is a bit tedious: you’re constantly switching between the two strands you have to lace, which gets old: under, then across with the one lacing needle, put it down, pick up the second needle, then under, then across, then put down the second needle and pick up the first. If you get lazy and just keep going ahead with the first needle, and try to catch up later with the second needle, then you get totally confused as to where you made your increases, and it doesn’t work. So, you really do have to just plod along with switching needles all the time.
Annoyed, I went back to e-lacing. It is slow but, once you’re comfortable with the technique, it’s fine. The only adjustment necessary for all the increases on the tight inner curves is to lock each e-loop into the prior e-loop. Not everyone has been taught to make this extra lock in e-lacing on the straight portions of oval centers, which is the only place most people ever e-lace, and where it’s not so necessary on the straight. If you don’t lock into the prior e-loop while increasing on a curve, though, the lacing thread will show, so it’s a necessary step for this chair pad.
I’m going to have to get a couple people to try out making this chair pad from my directions, so I can see how easy it is to follow the lacing directions before I put it in the book.
Anyway, back home with the whirring wheel, I’ve started my rapid taper for the outer row, so the end is in sight! Probably a week more for completely finishing it, cross my fingers.