Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We can rest easy now...

At least when it comes to my knitting, Easter Sunday saw me cross the finish line on two daunting projects. I apologize for my whining about my Mom's sweater vest; it is finished, for better or worse. I have mixed feelings about it, and I don't have pictures yet, since it is still in the drying stage. But it's done.

I knit up a procrastination shawl when I was hitting a block as I approached the shawl collar. I could blab on about the shawl until you cry tears of boredom, so let me see if I can hone my thoughts down a bit for you, relying upon the terse frugality of bullet points.

SSPX4402

- Pattern: Boneyard shawl by Stephen West. (Yep, again!)
- Most Valuable Modification: Increasing at the border on every row, making the shawl fit better.

SSPX4416

- Yarn: Mountain Meadow Wool sportweight from Wyoming.
- Despite a fair amount of Vegetable Matter and slubs, I would love to use this squishy, rustic yarn again.
- It doesn't feel exactly soft, but it's not itchy.

SSPX4409

- Easy knitting, but I paid for it when I wove in the ends.
- Made it 'reversible' because I love the purl side of color changes.

SSPX4408

- Sigh. Fondness.

Okay, I'm back. This shawl was a wonderful opportunity for me to try out my new Kindle. I'm very happy to say that I'm reading again - really reading. I got a cover that allows me to prop it upright on a table, and I am able to knit and read at the same time, even outdoors on a windy day! This feature has me scrounging around for more garter and stockinette stitch projects, since knitting seems to be the only thing that can help me stay put long enough to read for any length of time. It's a nice break from movie knitting, and I always believed that reading stimulates the imagination far better than movies. Duh.

Other knitting? I've got two different sock patterns going on. Franklin Habit inspired me with his "Fast Sock, Slow Sock" pictures. So I have "Sprouting" for my fast sock and "Java Socks" for my not-so-fast socks. I'm on the second sock of both, so I feel pretty good about their progress; it's nice to have a pool of projects to choose from, depending on the knitting circumstances.

SSPX4441

Java sock #1

I was knitting on my Sprouting socks as I walked home the other day and found that this is one of those handdyed yarns that allows me to revel in every stitch. In my ecstacy I took a few photos, but my limited camera just does nothing to convey my joy to you:

SSPX4384

In other news, I'm very excited about the upcoming Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and the subsequent Men's Spring Knitting Retreat. I've even been treated to teaching a Daybreak workshop while I'm up in Albany at Trumpet Hill Fine Yarns & Accents! The shop owner, Robena, is a real keeper. If you're in the area, drop by on the evening of Wednesday, May 18th to participate. Thanks to Robena's generosity, it's a free workshop, so it'll be a great chance for me to gush a little more about Stephen West.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear

SSPX4203

Look.  Look at the size of the remaining yarn.  Look at how much is left to be done.

I'm up a creek with no paddle, as they say.



I still have a bit more of the ribbing to go at the bottom of the sweater, and both arm holes and the collar.

To my knowledge there is no more of this dye lot to be obtained.  So I have no choice but to add another color in the trim, unless I frog the whole darn thing.  The thing that bothers me is the collar. Even if I can find a coordinating color and use it in the ribbing sections, I still face a hard problem with the collar.  See the yarn holding the neck stitches?  That was supposed to be where a small garter stitch shawl collar grew organically out of the sweater.  The way I designed it, it needs to keep to the same dark brown as the sweater.

SSPX4204

Well, if I was to rip out the bottom ribbing and knit it in another color, I would have the dark brown to use in the collar.  But that would create a color line I'm not wanting to have there.  My goal was to draw the eye up and down, not stop it right at my mom's hips.

SSPX4195

Any thoughts?  There is a heathered brown available, a light brown called fawn, and my mismatched chocolate brown.

This sweater has been really exciting to knit, as it's my first chance to really knit for a woman's figure and learn about fit.  The yarn has been nice to work with, too, but right now I'm at a real loss.

I'm so glad I have other things to do in the meantime.  This week included a secret project, socks, dishcloths, and a Malabrigo soap cozy.  Because I can.
SSPX4202