Sunday, January 24, 2010

Who needs high speed internet when you can cable?

I never said I was witty.  

January has been a time of dreaming up cabled sweaters, brushing up old English dances, and - (cheezy trumpet fanfare) - finishing my dad's sweater vest!  It fits him well, despite my fears, and I'm very happy with it, overall.  The bottom ribbing hangs a little loosely in front.  Not bad, considering how many factors I was dealing with.

I'm very happy with the way the ribbing worked out.  It's nice to see yourself improving.  One of the advantages to knitting in public is that complete strangers occasionally come up to me and give encouragement and constructive criticism.  While I waited for my mother to finish a pre-op appointment at the hospital, a woman came up to me to inquire about my knitting.  Not only did she make me feel like I was doing well picking up the stitches; she shared a trick for straightening the crookedness at the base of the V-neck (it was much worse than in the photo).  She told me to take the yarn that I needed to weave in and sew in a sort of circle around the back of the stitch, tugging to straighten it out as desired.  It worked.  Yay for nice strangers.

I got to finish the sweater up while sitting with my dear lil sister up in Nyack, NY.  Cute little town with a yarn shop that is closed every time I come up there.  Darn.  But it also has a delightful cafe with a stunning tree made of newspaper winding through the entire shop.  What a foto op, eh?

In between knitting the sweater, I've managed to repurpose a repurposed hat for Hat Day at work.  I made the beanie a year ago while on a hat jag, and ended up using it as a dust rag.  When I realized I didn't have time to make a mohawk hat in time for Hat Day, a compromise ensued.  Haha!

You can see on the edge that I dressed some of the residents up in yarn as well, making braids or wigs on the spot.  We had good fun.  My neighbor in this picture looked darling with a purple princess cone hat thing, and a mop of pink hair.  She picked the color and wound the yarn around a chair herself, and I helped wind and tie it and trim it.  Fun times!

I'm working on boot number two for a Men Who Knit knitalong.  It's not much to look at yet, except for comedy at pre-felted sizing.  

I'm planning to add some sort of crocheted slip-stitch design over it in a bright ocean blue.  It's for wearing around the house, so who cares if it's a little wild?  I can't bear to make it plain...that would be too generic, and frankly, why bother at all, if it's gonna look like the stuff you can buy for cheaper?  It's an easy project, and I'm loving the liesurely pace of the knitalong...I can usually get the week's work done in a night, devoting the rest of my time to other things.

... like Cables!  I've been having a blast dreaming up a cabled sweater vest, thanks to the bug Elizabeth Zimmerman planted in my mind.  

Here's a swatch of the cables I have decided upon.  I had a blast charting out the cables, using Barbara Walker's method (more or less).  The bottom half is the front center panel, while the top cable will appear  a little above center in the back.  The rest of the sweater will continue in the 3x1 rib, allowing the cables to be somewhat organic with the texture of the sweater.  I also had a fun, somewhat dizzying time trying to calculate how to handle the numbers of stitches at various places.  I'm a couple inches into the cables right now, knitting in the round.  I figure I still have time to figure out how the neck will work.  Any thoughts?  If it wasn't too much, I'd love to try a shawl collar, but I've decided to wait for another sweater.  

Here's a few gratuitous pictures to reward any hardy readers out there.  

I was going to share a deep thought about life, but there is too much background music in Starbucks for clear thought.  Suffice it to say, yes, I have had an occasional thought.  Maybe it's better to refer you to a song or two, since I find songs are often what give me space to chew the cud.  Brett Dennen's "Heaven" and The Fray's "Syndicate" have been on my mind and playlist this week, thanks to free songs at Starbucks and my little sister's taste in music.  Enjoy, if you wish.

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