Saturday, January 27, 2007

You Like Me, You Really Like Me*

I’d like to thank The Academy. I also want to thank my one and only, Cascade 220 in Natural White, without whom I never would have passed TKGA Master Hand Knit Program Level I!!!

I did it! I reworked and resubmitted my tension challenged swatches and they passed. I heard via email last Saturday and my swatches were returned in today’s mail.

To celebrate I ordered some beautiful yarn from Morehouse Farm for a sweater for ME. I also ordered the Level II instructions from TKGA (In for a penny, in for a pound), and they arrived in today's mail as well. (Daunting . . but here I go ..)

To distract myself from all of this waiting, I embarked on an immediate gratification knit: a Sally Melville Shape-It Scarf. I love these simple scarves not only because they are quick to knit, but because they are the perfect shape for scarf-challenged-people. (Read: ME) It doesn't require any sort of fashion sense or artistic flare to get these babies to fall into pleasing folds and drape cleverly about one's neck. I have never been a "scarf person" before. But since our move to Juneau, it suddenly all makes sense - a bit of soft woolly goodness wrapped around your neck really does keep you warmer!

This particular scarf is made out of approximately 2/3 (or maybe 3/4?) of a skein of Colinette Jitterbug. This yarn is lovely to work with, soft and beautiful. I have just one complaint. There was a knot in this skein. I'm always peeved when I come upon knots in skeins of fine yarn, but this one was especially irksome. A few rows post knot, I could no longer deny there was a distinct change in the variegated pattern. What had been very, very subtle was now a busy, bright yarn. Clearly, two different dye lots had been joined into a single skein. If you look closely, you can see for yourself:

Still, it's a fun scarf and I can live with its idiosyncrasies.

Jitterbug Scarf
Pattern: Shape-It Scarf by Sally Melville
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug (colorway, Toscana/100 g)
Needles: US size 10 1/2
Notes: I increased the stitch count until I had 119 stitches (this should be a number divisible by 3, somehow I came up one short) and then cast on 45 stitches at each edge for 209 total stitches. I worked these even until they were wide enough .. about 3 1/2 " in this case.

* What Sally Field almost said when she won the Oscar for Best Actress in 1985. The real quote is here.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

So Much Sock Yarn, So Few Socks

Sock yarn. You've got to love it. Beautifully colored, tightly spun, smooth and lustrous. Self-striping, variegated, nearly solids - I like it all. I like that when you find some you can't resist, you know how much to buy, and it doesn't have to be much. And I love wearing socks I have hand knit. But the truth is, I'm not passionate about knitting them.

Are you still there?

Oh, I like knitting the occasional sock. I loved knitting my Olympic socks (in spite of the questionably dyed yarn), and I loved knitting these that were on deadline for a birthday. But so often when I have a sock on the needles as backup knitting to grab and go, instead of getting up and going, it languishes and progress is barely discernible for weeks on end.

But still I can't ignore the Call of the Sock Yarn. So periodically, if I'm not knitting socks, I have to find another use for it.

What we have here is the same blue sock you've seen before. This is still the first sock, even though I love the yarn and can't wait to get it on my feet. It's just taking its time. Clockwise from there is the square I couldn't resist knitting for this knitalong. It just seemed like a fun thing to do and I had left over Koigu from last winter's Mitten Period. And rounding out the trio is a Sally Melville Shape-It scarf. I never used to be a "scarf person," but that's another story ...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Skier or Snowboarder?

Uh, mm , knitter?

I have no desire to pay a lot of money to hurtle my body down a steep and slippery slope, risking life and limb and great humiliation, but I am happy to sit in the lodge knitting while my boys do. So on Saturday, I filled my knitting bag and we headed up to Eaglecrest.

I needed a quick fix to fill the gap between Ene'’s Scarf and the yet to be determined next big project. I'’m not a hat person, but the ears do get cold, so I thought I'd give the Drops Design Headband that has been making the rounds a chance.

Just in time, too. Temps are 15 degrees colder today than yesterday and my headband made it's debut as we shoveled last night's snow off the driveway.

Pattern:Drops Design Headband

Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 in cotton. I knew I shouldn't make it out of cotton, but I had it on hand, I liked the color, and it was the right weight. It's working for now and when it stretches out and falls to my knees, I'll make another.

Needles: US size 6

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Auspicious Beginning

I finally finished my Ene's Scarf on New Year's Day night. I seem to have been the victim of reverse, reverse psychology on this one. I was SO sure beginning with many stitches and working my way down to few would go faster than working few to many. I expected it to practically knit itself, but au contraire - it seemed to go on forever. However, done it is! Soon it will be on its way to a most special woman, a second mom to me, and one of my first knitting mentors.

Shawl for Pam

Pattern: Ene's Scarf by Nancy Bush.
Drops Alpaca ~3 1/2 balls (50 grams each)
Needles: KnitPicks Options, us size 4
Finished size: 65" across the top (56" before blocking)
33" from point to top (30" before blocking)
46" along diagonal edge (40" before blocking)
Started/Finished: 10/28/2006-1/1/2007