Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sweaters really are fun...when they're done.

I'm done the sweater! Despite my complaining, I really did have fun making it. I actually miss the ease of knitting it. I mean, knitting that you can pull out and work on in the dark, even if you're watching a movie in French? That's my kind of knitting! It's hard to do anything too involved when I'm on the commute to work. Here's some pictures of the final product.

My lovely little sis helped me with some photographing. I must admit I feel so awkward in front of a camera...always have. If you were to break into my childhood photo albums, you would find a dorky little boy crossing his eyes in every family picture. Not much has changed, I guess.

I also finished a test knit for Stephen West's Herbivore shawl. Another decently easy knit, though not in-the-dark easy. I like how it came out with the yarn I chose, but this colorway is a bit dark for my taste. I like stretching my tastes a bit, though. As for test knitting, I felt honored to knit for Stephen...his work is beautiful, and he's a beast of a knitter. Many people did samples of this shawl, and it's so much fun to see all the versions people did. I used to wonder how I could knit shawls that I could wear as a guy. I think he's answered that question for me. Here's some photos of mine:

Now that I'm done my not-so-secret mission (I felt like a cool spy knitting the Herbivore), I picked up my Daybreak shawl, also designed by Stephen. I love how the colors and yarns are turning out. I'll wait to show you till I'm further along, though. The Daybreak has been hijacked by a week of last-minute knitting for the local arts festival next weekend. I'm hoping to show some of my stuff there. While my town is trying to promote the arts, our knitting representation has a long way to go, as do I. I'm near done a hat which has turned out to be rather special for me from a reminiscing standpoint. About a year ago I knit a wad of hats, mostly chullos, for friends and family and coworkers and whatnots. I'm talking upwards of fifteen. Well, I did a test run in good old Red Heart yarn, and it was way too tightly knit. The colors were fun, though. I have a thing against simply repeating what I do...I always have to change it a bit. So I knit an adult sized hat, which was done in brown and green acrylic (though surprisingly soft...and rather slippery). Now, a year later, I'm revisiting the same yarn to make another chullo hat. It reminds me of how much my knitting has grown in the last year. Michael's craft store really is a poor excuse for a resource for knitters. Thanks to Loop and my other semi-local yarn stores, I've grown in leaps and bounds. A bit over a year ago, I had no idea that worsted yarn goes well with a US 7 needle, since Michael's doesn't even have that size. Now that's remedied. I've also become a lot more familiar with different fibers for knitting, as well as branched out into some different types of projects. I've tackled lace, shawls, socks, a sweater...and taken a few classes along the way. I've also found some friendly knitter communities who have helped me discover the rabbit hole of knitting, spinning, dyeing, felting, and ...well, it's a rabbit hole. I could go on, but suffice it to say, I'm enjoying working on chullos again. Must be that time of year.

And here's where I would like your input over the next couple of days. I'm near finished this hat, and I'm undecided as to what colors to use in the finishing. I have some sort of strands to do on the earflaps, be they knitted, braided, or some thing else. And the top of the hat could be bare, or I could add a tassle or pompom. I'm planning to firm up the bottom edge with a crocheted border...I'm thinking brown. So...what do you think? more thing...I am signed up to take a fair isle class with Jared Flood!!! If you don't know who that is, you should check out his blog. He's another designer and knitter that inspires me. Only four weeks...

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