How funny that you have to ask me these things. I have a blog, I should post! And, now that The Event That Shall Not Be Named is over, I will. Perhaps I'll even post the answers to your questions – what an excellent thing! Thanks for the idea, and sorry for being such a mystery.
To answer your questions:
I'm not a monogamous knitter at all, so there are several things that I'm currently knitting (and thus, last knit). The last knitted item that I finished is a Shifting Sands scarf (pattern by Grumperina), while I was in Tucson. There are a few pictures on my blog, though no finished ones as of yet. I'm in love with it – the texture, the colour, the length. It's like the surface of a pearl, or the moon, or a choppy sea, or the sky about to storm. What good things! With this same yarn, I made a pair of shootin' stockings for my dad. I used a different stitch pattern, but the results are the same. I'm a bit sad that I can't get more of the yarn. But, then, if I could, would I have purchased it? Sometimes limited edition can be a good thing – I have to get it then then then, or I regret the chance missed.
Now, I'm in a sock phase. On my needles I've got:
1) moss green knee socks (though I might turn these into gauntlets instead, with perhaps a hat to match)
2) red and white striped anklets
3) pink lace stockings
I'm also working on a Lizard Ridge blanket, square by square, and a couple of little mohair triangle shawls as gifts for my niece and sister. Accessories are easiest for me. I'm busty AND plus-sized, so the investment required for a jumper or vest is quite a bit, even in an inexpensive yarn. I'm looking at knitting a sweater in the vein of the hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I'd like to keep the yarn the same, but aiee! I have to buy over a bag's worth of Cash Iroha, and that's stressful in more ways than I care to think about.
So, on my knitter's wish list? Something to felt, I think. I'd like to felt a bag, a largish-one to take with me to the farmer's market. Maybe a neck pillow or something equally sweet and modern-ish. Gloves. Knee high striped socks. Thermal, from Knitty.com. Placemats. A pair of socks using the motif that Eunny Jang created for this sweater.
Some days, this is all you can ask of me. The Event happens in less than a week, and THANK GOD for that. I’ve done my calling and sent my emails; designed the posters and tickets and decided on the menu and decorations. Now it’s just a waiting game, and waiting is what knitting is perfect for.
I’ve got a few (ha!) projects on the needles, but since it’s a new month for Project Spectrum I’ll talk about this: Lovely, no?
It’s Sundara yarn, a superwash sportweight merino in Rust over Green. Given that I live in the Pacific Northwest, the colourway is quite apropos. Moss, evergreen rainforest, marshes…I love it. The swatch makes a lush gauntlet, doesn’t it? The yarn is destined to be a pair of knee socks for me. The first effort (top picture) was frogged and then re-started, but the swatch shall remain in gauntlet form until I'm ready to start the second sock. Despite how dreadfully short I am on yardage, I’m going for it! Akin to Shedir, I’m on a mission.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Design two matching knee-highs, using available moss yarn for the top and a yet unnamed complimentary colour for the rest of the sock. This message will self destruct.
Ok, enough with the Inspector Gadget references.
The plan is this: Design as I go. Knit with one ball until it runs out, then switch to another colour and finish the sock. Disregard the fact that the “other colour” is yet to be determined. Frantically Calmy, serenely search for a suitable “other colour” while knitting up the socks (anyone got any ideas?). Repeat for other sock. It's a good plan, no?
In other knitterly news: my KTE spoiler contacted me! She's from Ireland - how exciting is that? Hello, Lisa!
I'm back in Tucson visiting family again. Even though I have yet to spin up the delicious fiber I got from Kathy Withers last time, I passed her booth at a street fair and bought more. Who can resist? The colours are lovely, and it's wonderful knowing exactly where your fiber is coming from. What's more, I got to meet the artist this time (last time she was away at a conference, I think) and we exchanged blogs. Hello Kathy!
Knitting is going slowly. Shifting sands is in my bag constantly and is close to complete. My little brother (23 and still immature) broke one of my needles while we were at Old Tucson studios. Gah! Luckily it wasn't the pointed end, and it was a Brittany needle. With some tape and a rubber band, I'm ok until my replacement arrives.
I did start a new pair of socks, however. Pictures soon, when I can get my hands on the digital camera.
I've been all sorts of
sick for the past month, so my knitting has progressed much more slowly
than usual. My list of works-in-progress is scandalously long, even
for a such a polygamous knitter as myself. (See the sidebar? See how
it's devoid of a WIP list? That's because I need room for a blogroll
and calendar and archive list. Yes, there are that many). Gift
knits? Don't even ask! Both Shedir and the Bare Tree scarf are in
various stages of "unfinished".
But you know what?
Everything is just fine, and will be fine. I'm not knitting to win a
race or a prize – it's just for me, and my timeline is my own. So
while I didn't wind any of the 4936 yards of yarn waiting for me, or
complete shifting sands, or finish up my swatches for the Walker
Treasury Project, I don't feel guilty. Well, maybe a little bit about
Shedir, but that's only because my brother is totally hatless. However,
it DOES need a fitting before I can bind off, and I can't fit on a head
that's not around, so…yeah. Not my fault. Really. Move along,
people, move along – nothing to see here.
Progress pictures of shifting sands, courtesy of blogless Jazlan.
Soon it’ll be free of the needles, and I’ll wrap it around my neck as
protection against the blustery weather.
I'm really pleased with how
the yarn and pattern play so nicely together. The stitch texture is
akin to stormy skies or a choppy sea or the surface of the moon; so
pleasing that the colour is, as well. Perfect. I can’t say enough
about the loveliness that is Sundara yarn (and I’mnotalone). The
colours are lusciousness itself, and the yarn is springy and soft and a
joy to knit.
Such a joy, in fact,
that I’m swatching for another project. I’ve desired well-fitting knee
highs for years, and lately I’ve been so inspired. Just look:
The subject heading is the equation I used to dye my yarn last night (I heart chemistry) with various red-toned Kool-Aids and very, very little sleep. Despite my careful math, the yarn came out far more varied than I had planned. If I had to guess, I think it has something to do with how very acidic Kool-Aid is. The dye uptake is very quick, even with careful wetting and stirring. I hadn't planned on a solid colour, luckily. The finished result is something like what you see if you pile all your Valentine's candy together and cross your eyes. You know, kind of like this:
The blue and yellow and green yarn is the VERY FIRST ONE that I dyed.
and a close-up:
Yes, I hear your cries for pictures! Soon, chickens, soon. How about now for pictures! Instant photo gratification!
I've planned out a few patterns for stockings and knee-highs. This may seem a little ambitious as I've knit only one pair of socks, but really it's quite logical. I have very large calves and (in proportion) small ankles. Shapely? Yes, but a complete impossibility when it comes to patterns. Any length between knee-high and ankle slouches unbecomingly (one can only defy gravity and physics for so long). I have A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker at my side. Such excellent guidance and a good grasp of knitter's math should see me through just fine.
Besides, who's afraid of a little frogging? Not me!! (Pay no attention to the post about the shooting stockings.) With socks knit for myself, with no impatiently excited recipient keeping time, I have no compunction frogging until the cows come home.
Voila! The Western Gentleman Gotta Do Some Shootin’ Stockings:
Beautiful, aren’t they?
Click on the pictures for a larger version.
They’re as yet unblocked, and I left the ends on the second sock unwoven so everyone could see what an excellent job my cat does of cutting the yarn for me. Right in the middle of the leg! She’s so helpful – and such sharp teeth!
What? You can’t see them? Hmm. Well, I’m going to knit circle tonight, and hopefully will have the use of a digital camera. Until then, you’ll have to believe me – fraternal twins as they may be, they’re quite lovely. Pictures galore! Thank you, Jazlan!
Pattern:Gentleman’s Shooting Stockings from Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn:Sundara Yarn’s Somewhat Solid superwash sport merino in Grey over Petal.
Yardage: Roughly 400 yards, although application of a scale might tell me otherwise.
Needles: US 2, 2.75 mm Clover Bamboo DPNs, set of 5
Gauge: 26 stitches per 4” over stocking stitch in the round.
Finished dimensions (some of them, anyway): 10.25” from heel to toe, and 11” from top of cuff to bottom of heel flap.
Modifications: Plenty. Aside from adjusting the pattern to fit the yarn I used, I had to take into account my dad’s thin legs and huge feet. So, the ankles are tiny and the feet look like flippers when not worn. There’s a few purl lines in the basic 3x3 ribbing to set the eye up for the patterning (and because I liked it). I changed the decreases down the back of the leg for a more pleasing line. And, of course, there’s a good chance I’ll have to add some thin elastic to the top of the cuffs.
And next time? Hmm. Well, despite the changes I made to the leg decreases, I’m still not entirely satisfied with how the pattern melds. I’d like the disappearing pattern repeats to become a single line of knit stitches that then make their way into the finalized ankle pattern. This shouldn’t be too hard to do, and I look forward to knitting this pattern for myself.
I finished the first sock while in Tucson, and had my dad try it on. Such a perfect fit! Oh the joy! Oh the excitement! And will the next sock be finished before you go home? Well…hmm. The first sock flew merrily along, with a minimum of frogging. The second sock? Apparently it’s knit to a tighter row gauge, since there are more pattern repeats down the instep despite the fact the socks are identical in length. I also completely messed with the gusset and didn’t realize until partway through the toe decreases. I’d already frogged the toe three times (due to complete spaciness on my part), so eh. I grafted the toe and called it a day. As my father is extremely excited for his shootin’ stockings, I’ll send them off just as they are and fix anything that needs fixing when I go back to Arizona in March. Usually I’m more discerning about these things, but – hey! It’s my first pair of socks! And they’re awesome! And Dad is quite anxious to wear them, and he promised to take pictures for my knitter’s brag book blog.
I've got a few (heh) projects on the needles, and more yarn coming from Sundara. Seriously, it's like crack only lovelier. The Shifting Sands scarf (from Grumperina) is just over halfway finished, and I dyed some sock yarn last night with three different sorts of Kool-Aid. And yes - I promise pictures. Later.