Monday, May 4, 2015

Goodbye, winter blues (and neutrals)

I actually like the winter... but right around this time of Spring, I feel like I'm coming alive. I think it has a lot to do with color, and you'll see that in my photos.

After an extended period of sock knitting and tiny needles, I was yearning for a change. So I found myself delighted to resume work on my Timberline sweater, finishing the first sleeve. I am now a good way up the body of the cardigan. The delicious (not sock-weight!) yarn and cabled texture combination is rather comforting. The light and shadow in the yarn seems to highlight different portions of the cables, and it is just what the doctor ordered for stress relief. Juggling six skeins no longer ruffles my feathers, since the rows are longer than the sleeve, and I have taken to felt splicing the new skeins in. If I really need to rip back, it will be like working with two skeins, instead of six.

Something I actually finished (I've had a lot of long-term projects going on, it seems):

Once again, Sprouting socks in Briar Rose Fibers.  

And speaking of BRF, here's some beautiful Polwarth yarn I scored at Maryland Sheep and Wool this past weekend:

I am so excited that BRF is now at Maryland and Rhinebeck. I also picked up some of Chris's yarn for a vest in a navy blue. Some vendors were trying too hard when they saw me carrying the above yarn and said, 'I know what your favorite color is! Orange!" They're only partly right, for this moment. But I will admit that warmer colors have been finding their way into my knitting, and I don't mind it one bit.

These mitts were made for a friend. But it was fun to do something out of my usual color palette; perhaps that was what inspired me to go for the previous color scheme.  I enjoyed improvising these around a favorite cable stitch, and it was very freeing to use sock yarn doubled, allowing me to breeze through these.  I got the yarn at Maryland a year ago from marigoldjen. 

This pair is all for me! It's knit from Hedgehog Fibres Sock - a favorite of mine, and a gift from a friend. This yarn is ideal for doubling up like this.

When my knitting group decided upon blue for this year's House Color, I immediately cast on a third pair of mitts, this time in Tosh Sock. I don't like the density of the yarn quite as much for this type of project, but it's pretty. Each time I've made them, I've been tweaking the placement of the thumb gusset, but using different yarn bases really has kept me guessing.

One of the projects I keep turning to when I need something simple is my handspun chevron scarf in Finn wool. I'm loving it, which is a good thing, since it's gonna take forever!  (I've been doing a lot of projects like that lately!)

I did finally recover from my anti-sock feelings, and cast on a couple pairs in warm colors - and this time using 2-at-a-time technique to keep things moving.

These blender socks aren't super fun to knit due to frequent yarn changes, but the ability to change colors whenever I need the mojo is what it's all about.

Here's the beginning of what is sure to be a snazzy pair of socks. I'm using a gorgeous red dyed by Myra of Woolbearers in NJ. The pattern is impossible to tell in this photo, but I'm knitting a second pair of Shur'tugal socks. 

I'll share one other WIP with you right now. It's another relaxation project, and it also uses one of Myra's handdyes. 
Of course, the relaxation came after I wove in all those pesky ends. It's all good now. The grey is Quince and Co. Tern, and it is also lovely, particularly from a tactile standpoint. Both yarns make this a really pleasant knit when I need to keep busy but can't be bothered with too much detail. 

With all these colors, I feel like I'm breaking out of winter mode, much like the flowers blossoming everywhere today. Happy Spring. May the Fourth be with you.