I finished the knitting last night, so today was all about weaving in ends – and with a multi-striped sweater, there were a lot of them. Working in the round and twisting the colors created a tidy RS, but a bit of work to do on the private side. After a soak and block, I’ll see how the final result looks. And I’ll just mention that with the coming of spring (finally!), my mind is totally on sorbet; blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, pistachio . . .
There was that big sports thing this weekend . . . y’know, football? Championship? Kind of exciting, because it was held at the MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands, right here in my lovely state of New Jersey. Plus, even though we’re not real sports fans, DH was born and raised in Colorado so he’s for the Denver Broncos on principle – poor guy, that was a disappointment, but hey, at least there was a connection. Did I mention pro sports aren’t a priority for us? Instead, there was skiing. And a visit to the excellent sale at my LYS, Down Cellar. And lots of time working on my OWL project for the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup on Ravelry, which is like knitting, with wizards. It’s more plaid! A sweater this time, with a nod to the purples of 2014. You might notice the vertical plaids aren’t in there, yet. Sure hope all those sporty people can get home the day after the game. Fortunately, my Superb Owl will continue along at . . .
At my house, we have a word we like to use when someone is lazily, casually moving towards an objective: Slaunter. As in, “I saw you slauntering around by the coffee shop this morning,” or “Could you please pick up the pace from a slaunter to a stride; we’re late.” It’s meant to suggest relaxed and unconcerned action; maybe a little bit indolent, but typically in a good way. Weekend mornings are perfect for slauntering; we’re achieving things, but in a relaxed and non-stressful way. Slaunter is a little bit saunter, mixed in with a dose of slouch. It’s imperfect, comfortable and forgiving. The concept of slauntering is all over my next bit of knitwear, from a mistake-rib beginning, to an easy, relaxed result. I’m loving the concept so much that I’m exploring some accessories, like a split-brim hat: (Some color, huh? That’s tosh dk in Iris; I popped into the LYS near my daughter’s orthodontist the other day just to pass some time, and they had three cubbies’ worth of colors and bases. Can . . .
Those are two words a knitter doesn’t ever want to hear – ripping lace. And yet I was not only hearing it, but doing it. This is the summer of lace for me, specifically lace sweaters; the last of which is almost ready for release. But getting there involved a nerve-wracking interlude of ripping back the lace pattern. I kept trying on this tee shirt (with the shoulders pinned together, since they were to be finished later), and thinking, hmmm, it’s not long enough, just another 8 row repeat before the ribbing. Somehow I got off track; it was originally meant to be cropped and boxy, over a wide ribbed hem, but then with the short sleeves I thought that would be too square shaped. Then I thought about those generic length end-at-the-bottom-of-the-pants-waistband tops which are kind of boring, so I just kept adding on and adding on. And you know when you suspect you’ve done something that’s not really working out, but you think, oh, it’ll be fine, and keep going? Yeah, me too. . . .
Last fall, I contributed a design to Allyson Dykhuizen’s Holla Knits, and it was a great experience all the way from yarn support, to fun knitting, to blogstravaganza! Holla Knits always features innovative design with exciting colors and styling; these are never the same old knits. I’m pleased to share that I’ll have another Holla design in the upcoming Fall 2013 Collection, and as one might suspect, it’s not exactly the sort of thing you see around everywhere. Plaid! It’s got technique, and colors, and uncomplicated knitting – with a super fun finished object. For now, there are some more sneak peeks in my guest post on the Holla Knits blog, but it won’t be long until fall, when all will be revealed!
For whatever reason, I’m working on two projects with two giant skeins of yarn. The silver is a 620 yard skein of sportweight BMFA Woobu, which I picked up during the NJ Yarn Crawl at Knit Knack during my trunk show. The elecrtic blue is all of 1120 yards (!) of fingering weight, from the Sliver Moon booth at Rhinebeck this fall. Together they practically obscure my desktop keyboard. They seemed like a good idea at the time; top down summer cardigans, no joins, no ends to weave – and I’ve no doubt they will be good. The blue was a bit of a challenge to wind, though; not only did it exceed the capacity of my ballwinder (even with the metal arm pulled as far away as it could go without bending), but it also swallowed the beginning tail of yarn when I pulled it off. So of course I thought I’d just yank it back out again, and somehow it came out the bottom end in a tangle that refused to pull free . . .
The Arctic blast has come to the Mid Atlantic region, and we’re having daytime high temperatures hovering around 21 degrees F. What better time to be working on a chunky blanket-style cardi? It’s serendipity. The Biggo yarn from Knit Picks is gorgeous and wintery in Dove Heather, and is knitting up for me at 12 st and 16 rows on US 10 needles. It feels great, and promises to be easy care, too, with 50% superwash merino and 50% nylon content. I love me a warm, quick sweater! I’m calling it Alluvium, which refers to loose, unconsolidated matter that has been eroded, reshaped and redeposited – kind of like yarn and stitches forming new shapes.
Deadlines really motivate me; I suspect I might achieve close to zero if I didn’t utilize them. The current challenge is to finish my second contiguous cardigan by saturday midnight. It’s worsted, yes – but still a whole garment. I think there’s a good chance; I had to rip the first sleeve because it was too small, and I updated the sizing while knitting the second. Happily, sleeve in a day was achieved. Next challenge is the front edging; last night I ripped the 2″ I had because I decided some short-rowing would be just the thing. So less than 48 hours for around 25 long 200+ stitch rows. I hope it comes out well.
My first cardi using the Contiguous method is finished, and I love some things about it, while I need to revise a few others. I love: 1) the single, gently-ruffled cuff and front edge – just swishy enough; 2) the length – longish but not dragging, and because it’s open front, the fronts dip and drape nicely; 3) the yarn – Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4-ply – with merino/microfiber and cashmere, knit at a loose gauge; and 4) the way Contiguous lets you make a more refined dressmaker look, with the sleeve fit and easy construction of a raglan. But there’s the thing; my fit in the upper body area needs some tweaking, since this sweater method grows a little bit differently than a raglan or a set-in sleeve. The shoulder is quite sloped due to the rapid increases, and the back neck is high. A very square-shouldered person might find a problem with that slope, but I think that making a point to knit the shoulder increases loosely, and block diligently, resulted in a good . . .
My contiguous sweater is moving right along, unfortunately to the point where it appears highly likely I will run short on yarn. I’ve already reduced the front ruffle to a single layer, mostly because two layers was bulky, and one will match the one sleeve cuff ruffle. As you can see, the amount of yarn remaining is small (and frogged from the swatch), and meant to make 3-4 more 600-ish stitch rows. Not looking hopeful. The cuff ruffle really came out nicely, so I’m committed to duplicating that on the front edge. Off to stalk other people’s Ravelry stash for RYC Cashsoft 4-ply in Weather.