Slow Progress

Some weeks just aren't knitting weeks.  Unfortunately, this is one of them for me.  The Paint by Numbers had really is not as slow of a knit as it looks like if you're following along on the blog.  It's a straightforward pattern and a couple of days worth of knitting.  But I've been inching along, knitting a row here and there when I have a moment to pick it up.  Saturday soccer mom status is the key to finishing this one for me.  I'm looking forward to wearing it next week.

At

New Yarn & A Bad Old Toe

I came home from a rather interesting week away to some really great yarn mail.  My week was spent in the phenom beautiful landscape of New Mexico, which was dotted with beautiful cacti and pretty little desert flowers.

Cactus

The yarn I came home to, in total contrast, was full of rich colors from The Plucky Knitter's most recent update.

Newplucky

I'm planning on knitting some striped, speckled & solid hats for Christmas presents and think this yarn will be perfect!  Two of the sets are worsted and one is fingering.  I can't wait to start looking for patterns.

There's another project I need to take on.  I had some unplanned, minor, but very annoying toe surgery done last week.  I spent the whole week wearing Birkenstocks with my business suits, probably not the greatest look of all time.  I'm hoping to graduate back to grown up shoes this week, and am wondering about knitting a "big toe sock" for a little bit of extra padding until it stops hurting every time my toe comes into contact with anything firmer than a hand knit sock.

Toe

I'm continuing to alternate knitting (I actually knit through the whole toe mess much to the doctor's amusement) between Grannie Annie, one of my favorite knits of all time, the Paint by Numbers Hat, which I'm trying to avoid knitting too quickly as it's a very fun knit, and my Sjølingstadkofta Sweater (no worries about knitting this one too quickly — it's going to be at least a year).  You can tell I'm on a bit of a Plucky binge — all three of these projects are knit in the Plucky knitter's yarn; Cachet, Scholar, and Oxford, respectively.

There's a reason for all of the Plucky knitting.  I'm looking forward to spending the end of the month at the Plucky Knitter's retreat.  This will be my second year and I'm looking forward to classes on fairisle and the mechanics of knitting, but most importantly to seeing some wonderful friends and making new ones.  I can't wait to get away and knit, while hanging out with people who understand the making dinner doesn't trump finishing those last few rows in a chart!  The retreat is going to be spectacular and a much-needed few days away!

Sjølingstadkofta: A Fairisle Yoke

Sjølingstadkofta in progress.

Image

I love the little flecks of contrast in the yoke. It reminds me of the LL Bean sweaters we wore in college.

Image

Hiya Hiya Sharps are perfect needles for managing the yoke increases in this fingering weight yarn. I was surprised by how easy it was to get through this section.

I'm looking forward to finishing this one and moving onto the first chart, which is a roses pattern.

Progress…

I'm progressing on my Paint Brush Hat, which is now well into the colorwork.

Paintbrush Hat

And, my Sjølingstadkofta sweater is also breezing right along.  I'm a bit further along than in the photo, below. I've finished the collar ribbing and the portion of the collar that is knit flat, and have now joined in the round and added stitches for the steek that is in my future.  I'm knitting on new-to-me needles that my LYS recommended, Hiya Hiya Sharps, and although I didn't like them at first, we are now BFF. They make immaculate increases and wrap & turns (especially when it comes to lifting the wraps to hide them, which I do this way).

IMG_3284

Packing for travel is always a huge challenge for me.  I'll sacrifice just about anything to get my yoga mat and my knitting into my small rollaboard and carry on bag.  But, my current three works in progress all contain multiple, large balls of yarn.  The hat has five, and they are all still huge at the point.  I can manage just two along with me for the sweater, as it's fingering weight and they'll last.  And my Grannie Annie has four balls of yarn, although at this point, they're all about 1/3 of their original size.

IMG_3114

I've been negotiating with myself over who comes along with me this week.  I've got too very long flights.  I'm frankly a bit nervous about running into trouble with Sjølingstadkofta, so I don't want to travel with just one project.  I think Grannie Annie, which takes up less room, likely gets to come along, while I leave the hat at home.  I hate to do that as it's a wonderful pattern and I could finish it on this trip, but it's just too large at this point.  Hopefully I can knit a bit more of it at home and take it along to The Plucky Knitter's retreat, Glamping, at the end of the month.

This Weekend In Knitting

Look, they made a meme just for me!

Crabbybitch

I don't really think it's accurate, at least not all the time.

This weekend, I'm definitely not crabby, because: good knitting.

Ebfairisle

Leuntje's gorgeous Winter Blumen hat, knit in Elliebelly Talia Sport, showed up in my mailbox from Holland this week.  It's a gorgeous fairisle pattern, and I love it knit up in this yarn.

Justdesserts

This stunning beautiful aran weight cashmere from The Plucky Knitter arrived too.  I don't think it will last in stash for very long.  I'm itching to cast on with it.  The color is stunning and the yarn is the proverbial to-die-for spin.

Sjø

And, I am ever so slowly, knitting ribbing on 1.5 needles and looking forward to moving on to short row shoulder shaping for Sjølingstadkofta. It's a beautiful, almost-fall weekend, and I'm going to sneak in as much knitting as possible.

Good Knitting Mojo

You know it's going to be a great week, despite needing to be out of town for work, when this is around the corner from you hotel.

image from http://joycevance.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341ce9cd53ef01bb093418b8970d-pi

I cast on two new projects in one day, my Sjølingstadkofta sweater and the new Paint By Numbers hat from Plucky. I haven't made a lot of progress so far, but it feels great to have them started.

image from http://joycevance.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341ce9cd53ef01b7c890a171970b-pi

And, I'm especially happy to be using a favorite new stitch marker.

image from http://joycevance.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341ce9cd53ef01bb093418c3970d-pi

For the next few weeks, I'll be knitting three projects at once, the Grannie Annie shawl I've been working on for several weeks, along with the two new ones.

image from http://joycevance.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341ce9cd53ef01b7c890a177970b-pi

Did you laugh when you read next few WEEKS? Sjølingstadkofta is a fairisle, fingering weight sweater. I'm knitting the ribbing on size 1.5 needles and it's a slow, but very enjoyable, slog. I'm guessing it will be months (if not years) before I finish it, but I love the pattern, so I'm going to soldier on. I hope to finish the hat and the shawl in the next month or so, alternating between the three projects.

image from http://joycevance.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341ce9cd53ef01b7c890a17c970b-pi

There won't be any knitting for me tonight, though. I polished off this guy, along with a bunch of mussels and some corn on the cob for dinner. I'm so full that I'm not sure I can keep my eyes open any longer! So, knitting will have to wait for tomorrow.

Save

Linen & Lace

One of the Ravelry knitters who is testing knitting my yarn is currently working on a lace sweater using Elliebelly Chemise, the sport weight linen and silk blend.  I used this yarn to knit my Mithril Sweater earlier this year.

image from images4-b.ravelrycache.com

But Gail is using the yarn in a very different pattern than the one I chose, defined by columns of lace, called The Secret Life of Trees.  It's exciting to see the yarn used successfully for such a different purpose.

Fragment© GGailG

This fragment gives you some idea of how the lace patterning looks.  

And here's a full sleeve.  Even unblocked, you can see the lace pattern and tell that the linen yarn is perfect here.

Laceprogress© GGailG

Gail is one of those fabulously experienced knitters who seems to be able to pull off complicated patterns with the same ease with which I would knit a garter stitch scarf.  You should take a look at her projects on Ravelry (in the link to her name).  In particular, her lace shawls are incredibly beautiful.  

I often buy yarn because it looks beautiful in the skein.  Thanks to knitters like Gail, I'm getting a much better sense of how those beautiful skeins knit up and what they most want to become.  There is definitely a lacey project in Chemise coming in my future!

Knitting Slugs & New Hats

After my very sad swatching fail in linen earlier this week, I consoled myself with some silly knitting.

Slug

This little guy is a Pacific Northwest Banana Slug.  I'm heading out that direction for a knitting retreat later this month, and the group is planning to leave a rout of snails behind for the retreat facility to remember us by.  I used some leftover yarn from various projects, holding two different worsted weights together for the shell to match the gauge of the bulky yarn I used for the slug itself.  The Banana Slug-Snail pattern I used was a little bit confusing, possibly because I was knitting while watching TV in the middle of the night to see if Hurricane Hermine was coming near us, so instead of following the directions for the shell, I knit a 6 stitch I cord, rolled it up and stitched it in place.

Next up?  Swatching for a new striped hat pattern The Plucky Knitter has coming out early next week.  I have lots of great yarn to choose from.

Scholbasket

And then, I've got to search in my studio for some size 1 or 2 needles so I can make a second attempt at getting gauge for my linen hand towel.  I hope I have something in wood on hand, because I find it to be incredibly difficult to run in and out of my local yarn shop just to purchase needles without picking up some new yarn!

Save

Swatch Fail

 

image from http://joycevance.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341ce9cd53ef01bb09315447970d-pi

This is the swatch for my Mason Dixon Moss Grid Hand Towel and it is, sadly, a fail.

I'm a loose knitter. I know this. I routinely go down two needle sizes from what a pattern calls for. Routinely.

For some reason, I thought I could get away with this one on size 4 needles. The pattern calls for 5. I convinced myself I would tighten up a little. And clearly, that didn't work. I can't even see the pattern in the swatch. It's just a loose mass of yarn.

Swatch fail. I hate that.

But it's so much better to acknowledge it now and swatch a size or two down than end up with that bad feeling in the pit of your stomach midway through the project. You know, the one where you put the project down, knowing you will never pick it up again even though it was once your beloved.

I had hoped to get a start on this project later this week, but I'm going to have to wait until I can get my hands on some size 2 needles and swatch again.

Save