As promised

I got out in the sunlight today and snapped a few pictures of Arroway looking good.  Now that the knitting is further behind me and I’ve worn it and felt how warm and plush it is and I’ve seen the colors in the sunlight I’m a lot happier with it than I was at the moment of bind off.

This is the second installment from the Stephen West Westknits Shawl Club.  The yarn this time around was from Lorna’s Laces in their Shepherd Sock line.  The colors are mossgatherer and newsprint (I’ll let you decide which is which.)  It’s definitely not as soft as the Tosh Merino Light from the last club installment but the yarn is plumper and has a more substantial feel.
I hated every minute of making these arrows.  Stranding on the wrong side is exceedingly painful and even seven rows was almost too much.  It also gives the shawl a right side and a wrong side as you can see in the first picture.  Now that its done and blocked and the arrows don’t look as messy I’m much more pleased with it.  I used all but about 7 yards of the main color, so be careful using anything with less than 420 yards per skein.  The pattern and the yarn will be available to non club members in May.  Can’t wait to see what February brings!

Two good things

Good thing #1: I wore Arroway today.  To prove it, I offer up this exceedingly unflattering self portrait.


Better pics will come I promise.  At least the cat is looking cute over my shoulder.  She always sits like that… so regal.  I’ll just say that it’s super warm and I loved having it up around my neck all day.  It kept me nice and toasty all day.  Definitely going to be in my scarf/shawl rotation.
Good thing #2: I made split pea soup last night and now I have a whole fridge of split pea soup carefully ladled out into bowl sized portions! (If you don’t like split pea soup 1: my excitement about this will not make sense to you; 2: you’re crazy; 3: no need for you to read the rest of this post.)  Split pea soup is my favorite.
To say that my “recipe” is easy is to make it sound harder than it is.  If you can chop celery, you can make this.  (You do need a crock pot though.)  Here goes.
  • 1 bag split peas (the reasonable size bag, not the industrial size)
  • 1 pound carrots–I buy the ones that come already shredded because they mash really well and I don’t have to do any chopping.  If you want to do more chopping buy whatever is cheapest
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1 giant can chicken broth–I use the 99% fat free reduced sodium kind.  I mean giant, buy the biggest can at the store
  • 1 pound pork (I use pork instead of ham, I have never liked ham, I think it has a greasy texture that gives me the willies, if you like ham and can’t imagine split pea soup made with mere pork substitute as you like) I’ve used pretty much any cut of pork from pork loin to thick-cut boneless chops to shoulder.  Hint: sometimes the supermarket will put a sticker on it that says “great for crock pot”–pick that.
  1. Put split peas on bottom of crock pot.  They must go on bottom.  This is a cardinal rule.  Do not violate it.
  2. Put pork in crock pot on top of peas.
  3. Put carrots in crock pot on top of pork (if you didn’t buy shredded carrots, chop them up first.)
  4. Chop celery then put it in crock pot on top of carrots.
  5. Empty chicken broth into crock pot.  All of it.  Trust me.  You need it.
  6. Add extra water to crock pot.  I have the big circular sized crock pot.  After all the ingredients are in, I fill it to the top with water.  If you have the giant oval crock pot I have no suggestions for how to properly measure the water you add.  Guess.  You may think the giant can of chicken broth gives you enough liquid since it covers all the ingredients.  It does not.  If you don’t add the extra water you will have split pea sludge, not split pea soup.
  7. Set crock pot for low and try to be patient for 16 hours.  It will start to smell good after hour 9.  This can be torturous if you are hungry.  Best to let it cook while you will be out/asleep.
  8. If pork hasn’t fallen apart on its own, use a fork to shred it.  If vegetables have not disintegrated into green soupyness mash them with a potato masher, they should disintegrate into soup at the slightest pressure.
This will make 9 seriously good sized bowls.  If you use relatively lean pork you are looking at 150 calories per bowl.  That’s right 150!  Delicious and healthy.  It will be a good week.


I finished the knitting on Arroway today.  The purl-side stranding drove me nuts as expected.  Even though there were only seven wrong-side rows it was enough to make finishing this very unpleasant.

My tension on the wrong side was totally wonky because I’m not used to stranding to the front.  I’m falling back on the belief that blocking will cure everything.  As you can see, the arrows are a bit scrubby looking right now.
Once it’s blocked I’ll give you all the details and a full review.  Right now I’m too sick of it to give it a fair review.


How many more pictures of garter stitch can you all withstand before you leave me and never come back?  A few more I hope since all I’ve been working on for the past couple days is my arroway.

Nothing but miles and miles of stripy garter stitch.  I did get to the point where the stipes go from 1×1 to bigger green stripes.  This means I am close (4 rows) to adding the arrow border.
Originally, I was excited to get to the arrows because I thought the colorwork would provide some interest.  Then I realized that the colorwork is worked flat which means I will have to strand in front on the wrong side.  No me likey.  This has become more a project of will power than of true enjoyment, but I will prevail.  I’m even likely to finish before February, my self-imposed deadline.  Fingers crossed.