Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Oh, for a lottery win

Christmas 2007 gift for MIL
In the absence of my Peacock Feathers Shawl pattern (although the shop tells me it's coming soon and, if I'm really lucky, it'll be there by tonight so I can go to the SnB), and given that DH's Christmas present is racing rapidly towards the finish line, I figured it was time to turn my Schedule-obsessed attention towards something else for a while. Specifically, to my MIL's Christmas present. (Never say I don't think ahead.)

The problem here is not a lack of ideas. Heavens, no. Ideas and inspiration I have tons of, enough to last for years. Projects like...

Alice Starmore's Mary Tudor cardigan

Helen Hamann's Lliclla wrap (drooool)

Elsebeth Lavold's Emma jacket

Anne Feitelson's Sandwater Jumper

And Hanne Falkenburg's Mermaid blazer (ivory/sand mix/dove colourway). To name some top contenders.

(Incidentally, just to toot my own horn, am I not the best daughter-in-law EVER?)

All of these would suit my MIL bee-yew-tifully and would deliciously satisfy my penchant for advanced projects. (Well, okay, the Lliclla wrap doesn't look like a big deal, but the payoff of an absolutely glorious finished product would more than make up for that.) The problem is...budget.

Bleargh. Money (or the lack thereof) raises its ugly head again. Fact is, our Christmas budget is about $500, and it's used to buy presents for 10 or 11 people. For my individual gift from me to my MIL, therefore, I have a limit of about $25-30. Now, sometimes we do pool both DH's and my gift money for one person in order to buy them one big thing. However, as DH pointed out (as I was trying to convince him that we should use this strategy so I could afford the 400g of Peruvian Highland Wool I'd need for the Lliclla wrap), a handknitted gift to someone is going to be perceived primarily as a gift from ME, no matter who else's name may be on the tag under the "From:" heading. And, sadly, he's right.

Thus I was left with no real alternative but to stash-dive.

What I found that got the creative juices flowing again was a bunch of New Zealand wool that I had bought a few years ago in various gauges and colours from a very nice eBay seller. And I began to think about another contender...

Jade Starmore's Elizabethan Jacket

I chose three colours that seemed to work well together and that would suit my MIL (cream, sage, and red), and swatched. I realised on the first swatch that there were two main problems. Firstly, the red was far too prominent. It's sort of an orangey-red, but it has enough of a blue undertone to not be completely suitable to my MIL's colouring (she's a redhead). So I wanted the cream-and-sage striping to be dominant, and in the first swatch, it just wasn't. Secondly, the swatch was a touch too big for gauge.

So I made some changes. Firstly, I went down a needle size to 3mm. And secondly, I reversed the colourway: instead of the background being a single colour and the main pattern being striped, I made the main pattern solid (red) and the background striped (cream and sage). Behold the result:

I like it. And I'm pretty close to gauge, too. I'm sure I can block it out to the right measurements. (No, I haven't washed the swatch. What can I say - I've used the yarn before, so I've got a good idea of how much 'bloom' I'll be dealing with; plus, I like to live on the edge.) The yarn should bind together with the steeking, and I'm pretty sure I have enough of each colour. (I know, I know, again with the living on the edge...I haven't actually weighed all the yarn to make sure I have enough. But it seems like enough. Oh, stop rolling your eyes at me. If it doesn't work out, you have the right to mock openly.)

So, Monday I cast on. And now...

It's my new favourite project.

Larry's Cabled Cashmere Sweater for DH
Armhole shaping on the front is complete. I'm now working up towards the beginning of the neck shaping.

The Girlfriend Shrug for DD
So I called the LYS where my MIL bought the yarn, to see if they still had any left in the same dyelot. Nope. They don't even have the same YARN any more. A thousand curses.

Now here's the thing...I'm almost positive that I saw Sockotta on sale online SOMEWHERE within the last two or three weeks. I just can't remember where. I thought it was Yarn Forward, but I checked, Maybe WEBS? Nope. Elann? Nuh-uh.

Of course, even if I could find the place I saw the sale, there's no guarantee that the dyelot of the new ball will match closely with what I've got now.


So I've put this project away for a little bit. I need to regroup.


Craftygrrrl said...

try wool-tyme.

Carrie K said...

#1, you are the best daughter in law EVER.

#2 That Elizabethan Jacket is lovely! I love the swatched colors.

Didn't hear anything at all about Socketta being on sale anywhere but I'll keep my eyes open and my fingers crossed for you.

#3 - CHRISTMAS? Good gravy.

Trico said...

For Sockotta, how about this?

I have read your blog over a year but never posted a comment. I like very much your blog though!