Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sidebar stacking

You may have noticed a few new additions to the sidebar in the last few days. First is the 'Bandwagons' section, since I've actually jumped onto one recently. It's the 200sox thing, which is perfect for me because this year I have lots of socks planned.

The other new section is 'The Schedule', which keeps track of how I'm doing with my knitting goals for the year. I know, I know, you probably couldn't care less about that information, but I care, rather desperately in fact, and since this blog is just as much for me to keep track of my knitting as it is for your enjoyment/edification/whatever, I thought it was important to keep track of this sort of thing here. (I say that now, of course, because I'm ahead of schedule. I will probably be less enthused about putting my schedule status up for all to see when I fall behind...which I will invariably do at some point, knowing me.)

Minnesota Mitts for DH
These got started yesterday. I finished the cuff of mitten #1 this morning and started on the hand. Then I promptly screwed up by forgetting to start increasing for the thumb gore. Okay, it's my first mitten, easy mistake to make. I tinked back to the error point and started over, this time increasing for the thumb gore...on the wrong side of the mitten. Sigh. (Loser.)

After much tinking and re-doing, I finally seem to have started to move ahead now, although there have been a few minor mistakes along the way. At the moment, I'm about halfway up the thumb gore. And I've gotten the hang of the purling/stranding texture patterning in Tsvaandsstickning. The instructions in the book weren't specific on what the non-purling strand should be doing, but I've got it now: it should stay at the back of the work out of the way, and is used to knit stitches when the other strand is supposed to float over the front. I'm glad I worked it out because the texture motif will really add extra oomph to the whole thing.

Unfortunately, the Lettuce Knit SnB was not an option for me this week, due partly to bad weather and partly to really wanting to spend as much time as possible with my girlie. (We are having sleep issues these days.) So I'm still not in possession of any 5mm DPNs. Therefore I'm using the two circular needles technique, which I'm finding pretty awkward. I suspect this is largely due to the lengths of the circulars. One is almost too short for the purpose, and the other is ridiculously long. It's driving me a little batty. So I'm going to pick up some DPNs at the first possible opportunity.

No pictures yet - the black really isn't photographing well. I'll have to wait for natural light, which is of course rather hard to come by at 10:30pm.

Self-patterning socks for DH
I'm zooming up the leg of sock #1 pretty quickly.

Ribbing has just started. When to start the ribbing turned out to be a pretty easy decision thanks to the very regular self-patterning nature of the yarn. It turns out that the amount of yarn in one full repeat of the colourway gives me somewhat more than three inches of stocking stitch on this sock. I've guessed that this will probably work out to about three inches in 2x2 ribbing (and three inches just happens to be how long the ribbing should be). Last night I wound what remained of the skein into a ball (which killed two birds with one stone, since this particular skein has not stopped tangling since I started using it) and as I went, I counted how many colourway repeats were left in the skein.

The goal is to use up as much of the yarn as possible without falling short, and even to leave myself some 'wiggle room', partly to account for any tension variances in sock #2, partly in case skein #2 has slightly less yardage than skein #1, and partly in case I need to start sock #2 further up the skein than sock #1 for purposes of sock identicalization. If that makes sense. It certainly does to me...

Anyway, the upshot of all of this blather is that I'm fewer than three inches away from finishing sock #1.

Christmas gift for MIL
This morning, I found myself seriously considering The Garden Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting for my MIL's Christmas present this year. (Seriously, click on that link. And while you're there, click on 'View Details' too to see just how unbelievable this thing is.)

If I make this, the yarn would be the silk/cotton blend that I used to make DH's aunt's wedding shawl. However, I am totally waffling on whether or not to really do this.

  • Pro: Have you seen this shawl?!? I so want to make this. Eternal glory will be mine. Any excuse will do.
  • Con: Have you seen this shawl?!? Hundreds of mistakes just waiting for me to come along.
  • Pro: MIL would love it. Seriously, she would totally and utterly plotz. If I'm really lucky, she may even shed tears.
  • Con: MIL would probably show it (off) to her sister, who may in turn get annoyed because my MIL's shawl would be more elaborate than her wedding shawl. (In truth, this would probably never happen since DH's aunt is a gorgeous, non-petty person, and even if she does notice, would probably not care since it makes sense to put out more effort for a MIL than an aunt-by-marriage, right? But still...I apparently am petty enough to worry about these things.)
  • Pro: I already have the yarn, and the pattern costs $12. This would make an inexpensive gift, which is good, since Christmas has to be lean this year (again). (We shall not consider how expensive this project would be in terms of my time and sanity, since I am an obsessed knitter and that kind of cost is par for the course.)
  • Con: It may be considered tacky to make two shawls from the same yarn for two sisters?
  • Pro: I could dye the shawl to make the yarn for MIL's shawl look different.
  • Con: I have never dyed anything before. Plus, I don't know if I would have the time to dye it. And speaking of time...
  • Pro: It took me seven weeks to make the wedding shawl, and The Schedule has allotted me seven weeks to make MIL's Christmas gift. Perfect.
  • Con: The wedding shawl was accomplished in seven weeks only because I really hustled. This year I am trying to cut down on all the hustling.
  • Pro: I am a more experienced lace knitter than I was when I started the wedding shawl, and should therefore be faster at lace knitting and make fewer mistakes.
  • Con: The Garden Shawl looks far more complicated than the wedding shawl. The product webpage itself says things like "It is not a quick knit" and that warning word of all warning words, "heirloom". While this information doesn't scare me, it does probably cancel out any time savings gained by my experience doing only one previous lace knitting project.

So, AAUUUUGGGHHHH! I don't know what to do.

Fortunately I have lots of time to decide.

(I suspect the shawl will win. I have little immunity against this kind of gorgeousness.)

1 comment:

rachel said...

It is such a beautiful shawl, I've never done anything that complicated, I just started the Northwest Pacific shawl from Fiber Trends but it took me several days to get the first 24 rows of a triangular shawl done so I wouldn't risk anything so complicated, but I've seen how skilled you are and I'm sure you can do it! My tiny attempt at lace is here but is most insignificant!