Saturday, March 1, 2008

Knit, Knit, Knit. Read, Read, Read.

In spite of having read about 2 dozen books in the last couple of weeks - fantasy from Mercedes Lackey, cozy mysteries from Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown, 3 Torchwood novels, etc. - I have *lots* of fun knittery projects to share.

In terms of Finished Objects, the pretty Leaf Lace Shawl (Evelyn Clark, Fiber Trends) that was part of my Chinese New Year greetings has been finished and blocked. With 3 skeins of Hacho yarn from Mirasol (411 yds), this blocked out to a nice shoulder shawl, 58in x 28in. I love the vibrant fuchsias and purples.

Plus I also finally blocked my pretty Misty Garden stole (from the Scarf Style book) that I finished late in January. This is a monster! I just wanted to open up the feather-and-fan pattern a bit, not really to stretch it any, but I found myself patting the strands back together just to keep it on my big blocking sheet - it's now a foot wide by 8 feet long!! This was knitted from one skein (480 yds) of Cherry Tree Hill's Sockittome! sock yarn, in a lovely mix of abalone shades.

And then a KAL reached out and yanked me in. My friend Joan started a KAL for the hugely popular Clapotis (klah poh tee) shawl from Knitty in 2004. I knitted one back then, in Schaefer's Laurel mercerized cotton, a nice springtime colorway of pinks, corals and greens. But it is *such* an easy knit, and so much fun to drop those stitches and run them down the rows. So I thought about it, browsed the CBM Yarn Shop as listed at Ravelry, but didn't find anything that just screamed to be this versatile stole. Then my special order of more yarn from Lonesome Stone Alpaca arrived, another huge skein, this time their 50/50 alpaca/merino blend, in their Hot Rod Red colorway, and it said, "Oh, yeah, I'm gonna be perfect!" Having only 500 yards of DK yarn, I had to hum and haw about how many repeats to include, but I guessed absolutely right - the leftover bit is the size of a walnut! I managed 5 repeats of the increase section and 12 of the straight section, on a US7 needle. Unblocked, just sort of straightened out, it's approximately 60in x 13in. I think I may steam it, just to uncurl the corners, but I don't want to flatten out the pretty ripples.

This flew off my needles, though I admit to a rather late night last night - it was so much fun to work through the decreases! And it was great knitting while watching Captain Jack's debut on Doctor Who, from Season One. (I'm a huge Torchwood fan, and regardless of Jack's orientation, he *is* great eye candy!! Snicker!)

The UFO's are moving along. I've nearly finished the left front of DH's entrelac vest, though it seems a bit short. If I can get his attention long enough, I'll be able to check it out on him. I do like the way the greys are working out, though I did decide to interchange 2 different skeins, just to avoid really large pools of light or darks.

Having finished the Misty Garden scarf, my chat-and-knit project, I started another easy but relatively interesting scarf. This is a fun, zig zag scarf pattern from Cindy Guggemos, aka Baxterknits, an online friend from the Knitting Forum. It doesn't seem to be available on her blog any longer, though she has lots of other lovely projects both free and for purchase. Last year, she authored a sock-knitting book for Leisure Arts, and there's a new kids' knits book out now. I'm using KnitPicks' Gloss yarn in Burgundy, though I have to say that I find the color is muddy, not as clear or vibrant as I thought from the skein.

My charity project for February did not, sadly, get done; the '8 rows and cable' pattern (Palindrome scarf) is just incredibly boring, and compared to Paton's SWS soysilk-wool or the merino and alpacas I've been working on for DH and me, the Lion Brand Jiffy is just squeaky-icky, even if it is better than Red Heart acrylic. So I'm pondering if my Mission Possible promise to knit a charity project a month is met by the 3 projects I made in January. Moving on. There'll be 12 for the year, at least.

A kind and generous friend sent me a fabulous gift last week: a skein of Sea Silk from Handmaiden yarns. Oh, yum! I'm wondering what project will be right for the lovely fiber and the perfect colors - greens, blues and lavenders. It makes me think of those pictures on TV of tropic waters, just a foot or so under the surface, with the sunlight shining through. Thanks, Joan!

Speaking of gifts, I wanted to show off the best gift my mother ever made me. Back in the 80s when I was living in Denver, she asked what I'd like for Christmas, and I asked for an afghan. This was the result. It was made from a Herrschners kit, so it's an acrylic yarn in a sport weight, and it is in Mom's favorite pineapples motif, with a pretty little ruffled edge. It's a full-sized throw, probably 40in x 60in, and considering the wear it's had over the years, it's in great shape. Oddly, nearly every cat we've had has been very partial to this throw. I just wish more of Mom's lovely crochet work had survived, but she didn't keep many things. Thanks, Mom.

And, just to round off a long and photo-filled post, here's a shot of dear Midnight, having a nice stretch before heading off to check her food bowl.


Grace Yaskovic said...

absolutely beautiful knitting and such nice thoughtful gifts, the yarn and the afghan from the past, I finished my first clapotis tonight and I am pleased with it, tomorrow is more mystery shawl knitting!!

smariek said...

You mom's throw is gorgeous! And it looks like it has held up very well over the years. Boy have you been a busy girl. Beautiful projects.

Joan said...

My gawd! You have certainly been busy. Those books must have been audio books. :-}

Enjoy your treat. You've been my pal and now I can return the favor. :-D


Nice projects, beautiful hats for "charity" then Midnight!
Go on "knitting" (=_=)Greetings,