I Get Carried Away

So… I may have a million things on my needles right now. It’s been forever since I’ve posted, and I’m terribly sorry. I promise I will get better and consistently writing. That’s one of my goals for the fall. I want to get to the point that it’s as instinctual to blog as it is to exercise every day. There just aren’t enough hours, I tell you. Today will be a lightning round of where I’m at with each project, then I’ll give you more in-depth updates as the week goes on. 

Three Tree Town

I ended up frogging this poor little bugger. About halfway through the second chart, I was just not loving the pattern. It wasn’t working for me like it had before. I still love the yarn, though the variegation does make it a challenge. It’s all ripped out and patiently waiting for me to find the perfect pattern for it. I may try and find another Elizabeth Clark pattern for it. Jury’s still out on that. 

IMG_0209

What Wonder

Finished and handed over to the expectant momma just in time for the baby shower. I also received a lovely text from the daddy (also an old friend of mine) saying how much they love it. It is currently folded neatly into the crib, waiting for little Eleanor to arrive. 

IMG_0107

Hartford Sweater

Well, I finished the body and the sleeves, which is terrific. But I botched the seaming. This is likely partially due to the modifications I made while increasing and decreasing, to account for the difference in the width of my gauge. I need to rip out the seams and redo them, but I haven’t yet built up the courage. Needless to say, Mom did not receive it in time for her birthday, but she says as long as she gets it by October, she’s happy. 

IMG_0222 IMG_0223

Wool Leaves

The baby blankets are never ending these days. I’ve pulled my first attempt at Wool Leaves out of hiding. I want to finish it in time for my niece’s (actually cousin’s) first birthday party on 20 September. This is entirely doable, because I’m holding the yarn double again and I’m over 3/4 of the way through. I just have to be disciplined enough to actually do it instead of all the fun things I could be doing…

IMG_0228

It’s Thunder

I’ve entered my first knit-a-long! Because I OBVIOUSLY don’t have enough on my plate as is… The lovely and tallented Hanna Maciejewska is hosting a fall KAL. We can choose any one of her patterns to work on in the months of August and September. The deadline is September 30th. So I took this as an excuse to buy more madtosh and cast on her Ink. I’m working it in tosh merino light in the manor colorway. I tell you, pictures do not do it justice. This is my first raglan cardigan, and I am loving it. The only downside is that since it’s fingering weight, it is very slow going. 

IMG_0225

IMG_0227

Rambling Woman

Since It’s Thunder is so slow going, I decided I needed a little instant gratification. For most knitters, that would mean a hat or something. Not so with my crazy little brain! I went for another pullover! This one is in worsted though, and it’s very simple. I cast this little guy on last weekend and I am already finished with the hip increases. So it did feel instant and very gratifying. 

The pattern is Seacoast by Joji Locatelli, and it’s yet another Brooklyn Tweed pattern. I used a little variegated tosh vintage in the Crumble colorway for the ballet neck and the rest is in a Cascade’s Red Wine Heather. It’s gorgeous and cozy and I can’t wait to wear it this fall. 

IMG_0224

Good News/Bad News

Good news first. The yarn for my mom’s birthday sweater came in, and it’s gorgeous. It is even better than I expected. The texture, the color, the weight, all perfect. And there’s a lot of it…

Image

 

Now, here’s the bad news. My gauge is all sorts of wonky. The pattern recommends US 8 needles. I’ve ended up on 4s. Honestly, it’s not that bad of news. The yarn still looks great and that means the weave will be nice and dense, which usually means durable. I just don’t happen to have a pair of circular 4s lying about, so I’ll have to order them. Also, since my main needles are 4s, I’ll have to go two sizes down for some of the details… That means knitting aran yarn on 2s… Somehow, I feel this won’t go well.

Image

 

Another pro, though. Belle seems to like it and cat’s have very discerning taste. 😉

Image

All the Things! Finished Things!

Welp, I managed to finish Wool Leaves before the yarn I ordered for Mom’s sweater even arrived. It turned out even prettier than I expected. The color is perfect. The yarn is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see how it blocks. That’s on my schedule for tomorrow. Right now it’s about two foot by two foot. I’m hoping to get a little more stretch out of it once it’s soaked. I know it’s for a newborn, but I want it to be large enough to be useful for more than just the first year. Even if it stays small, I am still really pleased with the result.

Image

Swallowtail just came off the blocks as well and it is looking gorgeous. Rowan Fine Tweed definitely softens a bit after blocking and feels much better next to the skin. I’ll hopefully get a few action shots of it later to show how nicely it drapes around the neck and shoulders. I am in love with that tweedy texture.

Image

I only have one thing on the needles right now, which feels very strange. It’s that Manos del Uruguay scarf that I was struggling with in my last post. Well, I ripped it back down to the border and started again with Barbara Walker’s seaweed stitch. It’s turning out a lot better than my last attempt. I’ll have to write out the pattern for you all and see what you think. I keep wavering between naming it “Come Rain or Come Shine” after and Ella Fitzgerald song, or “Old Pine” which is a homage to my favorite singer-songwriter, Ben Howard. Oh, or I could call it “Gold Across the River” in reference to Laura Marling’s song “Alas, I Cannot Swim.” We shall see.

Image

Vacation Knitting Binge

Due to certain perks of my job, I have the next eight days off. I don’t have enough money to travel far and there’s not a whole lot to do around here, but I do have quite a bit of knitting that I would like to get done. The good news is that both Oshima and Afton II are finished. I’m sending Afton II to Moura in a day or so and Oshima still needs to be blocked, but they are both off the needles! I even wore Oshima to work on Sunday. I wish I had made the torso and inch or two longer, but now I know. My torso is a tad long and I’ve learned that I need to compensate for that in judging dimensions.

ImageImage

I had a single skein of dark purple Malabrigo Rasta that I’ve been struggling to find a use for for weeks now. I finally decided to give it a whirl and improvise something of my own. I landed on a cowl, since it’s a short project that enables you to easily try out a new stitch and knit it up quickly. Looking through Barbara C. Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting, I found a German Herringbone Rib stitch that I quite liked. I did four panels of it and repeated the pattern seven times on 9mm (US 13) needles. Since I only had that size of needle in straights, I knit it flat and plan on seaming it together after blocking is complete. I like the results so far.

Image

 If I did it again, I would change a few things. I almost ran out of yarn and there are a few things that I could have done to change that. I would have done a simpler cast on, instead of long-tail, because I feel like that used extra yarn. (Though it did give the bottom edge a very nice crispness) I would have knit in the round, and I would have sized the needles down by about a size or two. I’ll give it another pass some day and actually publish a pattern. The rib looks terrific in bulky yarn and I feel like it will be super cozy when wrapped around one’s neck. This one is probably destined for my Etsy shop once I finish the seaming.

Once that was done, I was left with an empty basket and a monumental stash of yarn with no clear idea of where to start next. I finally decided on a Rowan Fine Tweed in Reeth that I picked up at my LYS earlier this month. I bought enough for having a go at Evelyn A. Clark’s Swallowtail Shawl. I’m not a huge shawl person in general. But I’ve been meaning to get better at lacework and reading lace charts. I also need to knit something besides Brooklyn Tweed patterns at some point in my life. As my guru and LYS owner told me, Clark is old school, but in a good way and it would be a good step in my development as I begin to take the plunge into journeyman level. And reading her patterns will help in developing my own voice as a designer. You can master a lot of great basics under the tutelage of Evelyn A. Clark. Plus, I can always wrap the damn thing tighter around my neck, and BAM!, asymmetrical scarf.

Image

 So far, there have been a few grumbles as I tried to figure out the rhyme and reason of her charts (which were not automatically apparent). Clark, unlike Flood, assumes you know what the hell you’re doing and does not take the time to parse out the delicacies of how her charts piece together into a whole. She expects you to just know these things. Speaking from experience, you can follow a Jared Flood pattern even when you’re about two beers into the night. Whereas with Clark, even when you’re stone cold sober, you still find yourself squinting in concentration. I’m a little over ten rows in and I’ve finally got the hang of it, but it still looks a bit garbled. A little voice in my head is worried that the yarn is too busy for the pattern, but I think once it’s blocked, it will look much better. I just have to trust myself for now.