Monday, February 21, 2005

Violet, who is working on a lovely shawl called "Shoalwater" using variegated yarn in a gorgeously rich colourway (I'm a sucker for red), is a kindred spirit in the need for multiple WIPs. She gave me some lovely compliments in the comments. Thanks!

Itchy-and-Scratchy mittens for baby Macdonald
Started these last night! I'm having to work with fine fingering weight wool and 2.25mm needles in order to have enough stitches in the mittens to embroider the Itchy and Scratchy motifs, so the going is slow. At the moment I'm still doing the ribbing on the cuffs.
Cape Cod sweater for MIL
I won an eBay auction this morning for 15oz of what the seller thinks is 100% silk in a pale apricot colour. I'm hoping that when it arrives, I will find that it works perfectly for this project. I suspect I will have to double or triple the yarn to get gauge, but with any luck, the yarn will look beautiful in the texture pattern of the sweater.
Hillhead slipover for Grandpa
I made a mistake in my last blog entry - I said that each row at the moment is 330 stitches. I double-checked and found I was wrong, it's actually 352 stitches. So...quite a lot of time is required to finish one row. It doesn't help that my fair isle technique is extremely unsophistocated. I suspect seven-year-olds on the Shetland Isles have more efficient technique than I. As you can see from my Knitter's Geek Code (right-hand side of my blog pages), I throw my yarn with my right hand. Moreover, when I throw the yarn, I hold it between my thumb and middle finger. The idea of not having my thumb to secure the yarn to my working finger while I throw is incomprehensible. I've tried looping a strand over one finger and then just moving the finger over to wrap the strand around the working needle. Quite frankly, doing it this way sucks rocks. I find it incredibly hard, slow, and scary - like doing the trapeze without a safety net. Plus it gives me nothing that remotely resembles even tension. I need that thumb. So when I switch colours in fair isle, I have to drop the strand of the colour I'm working with, and then pick up the second colour. Needless to say, this is a colossal waste of time, even though I've gotten pretty speedy at it. I know I should practice the better ways of doing it. I have found videos online showing me how to knit with one strand in each hand, or the two strands on the same hand (just different fingers), I have books which illustrate this technique, I could probably sit down one day and really go at the practicing of one of these techniques and improve my speed. But...well, I'd rather be knitting. :) I'm also nervous that the new technique might alter my gauge. But probably the biggest reason I keep putting this off is how "scary" knitting feels without that thumb. I hate the idea of feeling awkward and unpracticed after years of feeling pretty darn savvy about how I knit. So...I keep putting it off. One day I will hold my nose and figure it all out. But today is not that day. And in the meantime, I have now done this much on the slipover:
Self-designed poncho for baby Ashthorn
Done! Blocked it yesterday - it's now drying.
Carnival Coat for DD
This is what the cardigan looked like before I left work this morning:

However, after monstrously bad traffic extended my morning commute by over an hour, the second sleeve grew by several inches.
Spanish Knight sweater for Mom
Got quite a bit of work done on this over the weekend! I haven't finished a single set of the pattern yet, but it's definitely starting to emerge nicely. It now looks like this:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That fair isle looks gorgeous. I haven't tackled a sweater-sized fair isle -- I found mittens were stressful enough. But yours truly is beautiful -- I like the way the blue (green?) pops.