Adventurous April 2018

Drachenfels

Here's the sneak peak I promised you yesterday at progress on Drachenfels, which for those of you who haven't seen it, is a large, asymmetric shawl, knit side to side.

Drachen

I've completed just about the first third of it here.  It's rather lovely just as it is, but I want the full large shawl to use on cold airplanes and winter nights.

This thought made me curious about the final dimensions, so I did a quick download of the pattern to check.  Apparently I was a little bit too quick, as I downloaded the French version, which tells me:

            Dimensions finales

            Châle triangulaire légèrement asymétrique de 83“ [210 cm] par 25.5“ [65 cm] (voir le schéma) 

It sounds so charming!  And I'm guessing, since I speak no French, that it's indicating my final version should be around 83" in length and 25.5" as the maximum height of the triangle.

One note about color placement.  If I were following the pattern as written, I would have only used the pink (The Plucky Knitter's Decorum Dictates) and the gray (The Plucky Knitter's Medieval).  The yellow/green (The Plucky Knitter's Good 'Ole Days) would have only come into play in the midsection stripes.  I wanted a bit more of a uniform feel, so I tucked two of the green stripes into this side, and will balance that with two stripes of the pink on the far side. 

Adventurous April 2018

The Zissou Hat

If you know someone who loves Wes Anderson movies, then this is the perfect Father's Day (or any day) gift.

Zissou

Anderson's movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a comedic take on Jacques Cousteau, sea explorer and icon of my childhood (oh the Sunday afternoons spent watching Jacques take on creatures in exciting underwater locales!) And this hat, the classic Cousteau/Zissou hat, is a lovely reminder that even guys with no fashion sense whatsoever can sometimes start a trend.

Since "guy with no fashion sense" is pretty much the guy I married, this hat should be perfect for him (she said lovingly).  Modeled here by one of our boys, it's sweet and charming, and just a little bit silly.  Everything a good hat should be.

Hold your breath along with me — he's notoriously picky about presents.  I'm hoping this one will make the cut!

Adventurous April 2018

Cast on All the Things!

Sometimes that mood hits! The perfect new pattern comes along.  Or an irresistible yarn. That happened to me this week — times two.  Both the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn came along.  So despite an impressive array of works in progress, I'm swatching for two new sweaters.

image from images4-d.ravelrycache.com

First up is Isabell Kraemer's Criss Cross Sweater.  This one went into my favorites as soon as I saw it.  But when I swatched with Plucky Scholar for a vest (it wasn't going to happen, the miles of twisted rib would have killed me) and realized my gauge was spot on for Criss Cross, I knew it was meant to be.  I'm in love with this Bohemian Blue colorway, and the minute I opened the yarn two days ago, I knew it had to be knit with right away.  

Swatch

Then there was Katya Gorbacheva's Winter Weed's sweater pattern.  Its difficulty level is clearly over my head, but how could I resist?

image from images4.ravelrycache.com

The pattern is written for Plucky Primo Aran, and although I don't have a sweater quantity on hand, I have been hoarding the December Classics Heartstring's colorway on snug worsted.  I didn't get gauge on my first try.

H snug worsted swatch

But I'm not horribly far off — only 1.75 stitches over four inches, so I'm going to go up a needle size and see what I can do.  I love this colorway and think it will be perfect for this sweater.  The verdict is still out on whether I have the skills to knit it, but I have good knitting friends to rely on in a pinch.

So it looks like I'll be casting on all the things in the next week or so.  I've also got a couple of projects I want to swatch for ahead of the start of the Malabrigo March KAL.  I expect to be doing a lot of prep and set up work for the sweaters as well as for Mal March, so there won't be a whole lot of knitting progress this week, but I do love having a number of projects in the works, which makes it easy to pick one up to carry around or travel with.  

Adventurous April 2018

New Knitting Project: Tipperary

I liked my last Norah Gaughan project, this capelet, so much, that I decided to try another.  This one, straight off of her beautiful new website in her Volume 15 pattern book.  It's called Tipperary.

Tipperary

In a mere five more repeats, this small start will grow into a beautiful, full shawl, that I intend to wrap around my neck like a large bulky scarf — there seems to be a lot of that going on in my life this winter, proportionate to the amount of time I'm spending up north this year.

The yarn is my new and continuing favorite, Plucky Snug.  Swoon.

This is in the Steel Cut colorway, and it is still like knitting with butter.  I really adore the merino/alpaca blend with just enough cashmere to make it perfect.  Alpaca sometimes makes me sneezy, but in this blend, I have no trouble with it at all, and none of the hairy halo that I have found annoying in other Alpaca yarns. Five skeins of snug, or roughly 550 yards of this yarn, should do it.

I'm doing something new with this one, and using an app on my IPad called Knit Companion, which makes dealing with patterns a snap.  Although I'm just learning to use it, it lets you blow up those tiny lace (or cable) charts so you can actually see them, and keep your place in the pattern with a row marker.  Some kind Ravelry knitters pointed me towards Knit Companion and I'm really glad I tried it.  You can download a free version and do a couple of tutorials to see if it's something that might work for you.  I'm really glad I found it!

 

Adventurous April 2018

Works in Progress

The week I go back to work after the holidays is always a bad week for knitting (as much as it is good to be back with good friends and getting the job done).  I manage to get in a bit of knitting when I wake up and a bit at night, so this week wasn't a total knitting loss.  But progress was slow.

Vodka

Thea Coleman's  Vodka Lemonade pattern is my most challenging project at the moment.  It's a sweater pattern knit in The Plucky Knitter's delicious Crew yarn, a merino/cotton blend.  That is the collar that you see above.  It's knit in seed stitch. I'm in the decided minority of knitters who enjoy knitting it.  It's slow going and time consuming, but it's very pretty.  At this rate, it will take me quite some time to finish the collar before I get on with the body of the sweater, but I don't mind at all.

Ogrepaddlemitt

Paddle Mitts are a Tin Can Knits pattern.  Like the other patterns I've knit from this designer, the pattern is straightforward and the finished item is utilitarian.  And I have managed to create a small disaster with what should have been a simple project.  I decided to use my favorite skein of yarn, this beautiful skein of Plucky Scholar, which is a worsted weight blend of cashmere and merino in a rustic spin.

Ogre

That would have been just dandy, had I seriously contemplated the fact that Scholar was a bit heavier than the yarn the pattern was written for and sized down, but no, I did not.  That was okay in the body of the hand, where the ribbing made it work.  But there was drama with the thumb and I overcompensated with rapid decreases after picking up the stitches for it.  I've pulled that all out and am starting over for a thumb that works with the rest of the mitts. This will go into the man-sized pile for gift giving, darn it.  I hope I have enough yarn to do a second pair for myself.

Inprogressclose

When The Plucky Knitter introduced her first collection of patterns, All Bundled Up, last weekend, I enjoyed looking them over and admired several enough to add to my Ravelry queue of patterns to knit this year.  I even contemplated buying yarn for one of the sweaters in the near future.  But then it hit.  The Sugarloaf Infinity Scarf pattern was so tempting.  It was written for my favorite yarn, Snug, and it just so happened I had the perfect colorways for it in my stash.  So on my needles it went, and it's unusual little rib was an enjoyable knit while we watched a move on TV last night (The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou, which you should watch if you haven't seen it and like slightly snarky, self-indulgent humor).

Yarnchoices

I have plans this weekend to work on my Olivia wrap, and I wanted to get in more work on Vodka Lemonade's collar, but I'm afraid Sugarloaf has captivated me, and may end up as the attention-getter in whatever time I have this weekend.  Fortunately, it's cold outside and there is a lot of appeal to sitting inside where it is warm and this is hot tea and I can knit.