Two Sweaters at Once? I Must Be Mad!

I have had my first regular day off, with no catastrophes or major events to handle, in weeks. It was glorious. I still did not complete nearly half of my to-do list, but I did get some much needed R&R while still able to take care of a few things. Meanwhile, I was also able to accomplish a good deal of knitting.

Since I’ve bought my Addi Clicks, I’ve been able to speed up my progress on the Hartford sweater tenfold. I’ve polished off my fourth skein and am at least half-way through my fifth in a matter of days. I took it with me when my mom and I went for a nice long walk on the beach. She drove, so I got to knit there and back and polished off that fourth skein. I only have about another inch and a half left before I can start the shaping.

IMG_0195

 

I also managed to get a little headway on what I’ve titled my Worn Down Glories jacket. This one I’ve named after a line from James Vincent McMorrow’s song “We Don’t Eat,” which is one of my primary comfort songs. Debbie Bliss’ Generous Jacket is one big, slouchy cloud of offset ribbing and I’m making it out of a cozy, no-nonsense kitchen cotton. I feel as if this is destined to become one of my comfort cardigans that I wear the same rainy days that I listen to “We Don’t Eat.”

IMG_0196

Since Mom’s Hartford is my top priority, I haven’t made much headway on this yet, but I hope to finish it before autumn sets in.

Not only have I made headway on both those larger projects, but I finally finished off my original scarf, Gold Across the River. I bound of in kitchner and wove in the ends last night, then I blocked it this afternoon. It’s already delightfully cozy and looks great, but Manos del Urugay always looks and feels even better after a nice long soak. The blue dye bled a little, the water in the tub turned a brilliant shade of turquoise, and it might have stained one of my white towels, but I think it’s done bleeding. All in all, I’m quite happy with it. I think I will get three more skeins and whip up one more sample before I share the pattern though, make sure I’ve got it down.

IMG_0192 IMG_0194

Well my dears, that is all I have to share with you tonight. I’m off to bed and I will hopefully have some progress to share tomorrow night on that new shawl that I started. We shall see.

 

 

Advertisements

I Swear I’m Not Crazy

I feel so neurotic whenever I pull out Endpaper. My knitting guru (aka Amy from Red Purl) recommended I store it in baggies to keep the kidsilk clean and soft. It gets tangled and bedraggled rather easy until it’s knit up. Still, carrying around little plastic bags full of yarn makes me feel even crazier than I already know that I am.

Image

Despite all that, I am finally making progress. I’ve got to the point in the pattern where it flips and mirrors itself. I can’t wait to see how that turns out. For right now, it just looks like scalloped edging. Eventually it will be the Ostrich Plumes motif from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting. I am loving the pattern so far, even though it gave me a little grief. I’m calling it Endpaper because I hope that when all is said and done it will be slightly reminiscent of the marbled endpapers in old books.

Image

I am still plugging away at Gold Across the River. It’s a nice piece to bring back and forth to work because it is small, but sturdy and can ride along in my bag with all the other various bits of things that commute with me to work. I’m about a third of the way and I am discovering that I am loving the back just as much as I am loving the front. When I actually publish this pattern, I plan on making it completely reversible.

Image

Last note, the yarn for Mom’s sweater is in and I’ll be heading to the yarn shop some time next week to pick it up. I’m sure I’ll post pictures on Instagram right away, but I’ll also be sure to write a bit about it as well.

Back to the Grindstone

Well, it’s back to work for me today. I’m feeling worlds better, though I still find myself very fatigued and achy. I think I need to start doing yoga or something to get my body back into balance. There is something funky going on and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

In spite of the distraction of boyfriends and car searches, I did manage to get a few rows of Endpaper done. Then I promptly tore it all out because my count was off on the first row. I’m about six rows in at the moment and it is finally starting to take shape. Have I mentioned lace frustrates me to no end?

Image

Whenever I get to frustrated to touch the darn thing, I run through a calming row of my Generous Jacket. It’s mindless. The cotton is very forgiving. It’s everything Endpaper is not. Then, once I’ve detoxed, it’s back to the grindstone again. I’m glad I have until August to finish this.

IMG_0173

Keeping Busy

I actually get a Sunday off for once in my life and it happens to fall on Block of the Month day at my LYS. So, guess where I’ll be spending my afternoon?

Speaking of Block of the Month, Amy has asked me to try my hand at designing and write the pattern for next year. I think I’ve finally decided on all the motifs that I want to incorporate. We decided on a “potpourri” theme so that I can do a kind of sampler of all my favorite techniques and patterns. I’ve got a sketch of the order that I think I will want to do them in. Of course, that order is subject to change at any moment. My ultimate goal is to have a balanced blend of fancy show-off squares and a few mindless textures that the knitters can just whip through quickly.

Image

I am still waiting on the wool for my Mom’s birthday sweater. In the meantime, I thought I would start something for myself. I decided on a soft-ribbed oversized cardigan from a Debbie Bliss that I’ve had for ages. I finished the gauge swatch last night and got a few rows of the back done. I’m just using a cheep Lion Brand cotton, but it knits quickly and has a nice fluff to it. I don’t know how well it will wear, but it will be a nice, simple, easily washable cardigan for everyday use.

ImageWell, my knitting bag is packed and the dog needs a quick walk before I leave. For once, I’ll actually keep things brief. Happy knitting!

Image

 

Color Conundrums

Since Wool Leaves is already far too massive to leave home, I have taken to bringing a little scarf project to work with me. It is a lace scarf based on a motif written by String Geekery. The motif is wonderful, but I find that it’s getting lost in the Manos del Uruguay that I chose to try it out in. The Tanager colorway is gorgeous, but it is also very busy. I think I may have to split these projects into two.

Image

I think Etude No. 1 is destined for a natural, off-white cotton that I’ve had sitting around for awhile. Or maybe my bright green Tosh Merino Light. I have plenty to make a nice length summer scarf with that.

Meanwhile, I have to think of something for this Manos. I know any cables will get lost in it. Also most textures will be useless, unless highly embossed. I think a very simple, repetitive lace motif would be my best bet. You know what that means… It’s time to consult with Ms. Walker!

20140425-005521.jpg

I am sure I will find something there that will do the job nicely.

Onward and Upward

After a harrowing six-day work week, I finally got a day off today and made a trip to my LYS for supplies for my next two big projects. I ordered some of Rowan’s Aran Tweed in Dent for a birthday present from my mother and picked up some Spud & Chloë Sweater in Grass.

It is great to have a new big project to start. I finished my Swallowtail Shawl last week and had all weekend to kill. So I picked up my Block of the Month and got caught up on that. Basically Block of the Month is a year-long project where you knit one square foot block of an afghan every month. At the end of the year, you have a nicely sized afghan. At my LYS, Amy writes the pattern every month and gives it free to anyone who buys their material for it from her shop. We all meet on the second Sunday of every month get started on the next month.

Image

I’m using Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mountain Mohair. Since we’re knitting the blocks in columns of four, I am knitting them in a repeating pattern of three colors; Elderberry, Moss, and Raven. This month was honeycomb stitch, which is a pleasantly mindless motif after all the grief and frustrations of Swallowtail. Cables are my comfort zone. They are the first moderately advanced technique that I learned, and the repetition of CB4, CF4 had a soothing rhythm to it.

Image

 

Now that I am once again stocked, I’ve started plugging away at my scheduled pieces. First up is Wool Leaves a new baby that is due to one of my oldest friends. She’s due in September, but the baby shower is at the beginning of July, so I’m trying to get it done by then. Wool Leaves knits up so fast, I don’t think that will be much of a problem. I just started today and I’m already a full rep in. Holding a worsted cotton/wool blend double on US 13 needles makes for a quick knit.

Image

 

In fact, I may have time for a little side project for myself. Remember that Manos del Uruguay that I picked up while on vacation? Well, I have a plan for it. I found this lovely etude by the talented String Geekery, who is pretty genius, if you ask me. I think it will transform it into a long, skinny scarf. S.G. was thinking of it as an edging pattern that repeated horizontally, but I want to work it into a vertical pattern. I am trying to work out some variation of Jared Flood’s tubular cast on and slipped stitch edging that I loved so much on Afton. I’ve done the cast on and the broken ribbed border, but my math was wonky and I’m finding it difficult to blend this seamlessly into the etude. I’ll probably have to frog and recrunch the numbers… math… hmpf…

Image