Saturday, May 3, 2008

Knitting Report

Not sure if it's just a coincidence, but the progress on my rotator cuff wasn't so good this week; in fact, I seem to have slightly less range of motion than the week before. Wonder if it's because I've been knitting more. Knitting readers will know just how funny it is that when I mentioned this possibility to my physio, he asked, "Oh, so do you have a project or something?" A project? As in one? Well, let's count:

1. I finally finished this pair of Serpentine Mitts in Handmaiden Colourspin yarn, colourway Sangria. I made the smallest size, no mods, and once again found this a quick and enjoyable commuting knit, although you need to pay attention for the cabling rounds. These, along with the Odessa hat I finished earlier, were my knitting contributions to Project Spectrum: Fire (although I'm finishing them a month too late), and they were also part of my stash-busting Mission Possible.

2. Project Spectrum has now shifted from the element of Fire to that of Earth, featuring greens, browns, and metallics. Well, I'd say this next project definitely qualifies:This is the beginning of a lace scarf I'm making in Handmaiden Seasilk -- I have no idea what they call this colourway (does anyone else find it a tiny bit annoying that Handmaiden doesn't put colours on their skein-tags? 'course we'll forgive them almost anything as long as they keep making such beautiful yarns.), but I love it. We have dirt roads on our island that occasionally get a top dressing of gravel as pothole filler, and as I'm walking or running along them, I often think how beautiful is the subtle mixture of colours underfoot, where you'd not really think to look for beauty. This skein (I have two on my Mission Possible list) seems to have captured those colours precisely.

Now that the fingerless mitts are done, this will probably become my commuting project. Right now, I've got it beside the computer and I knit a row here and there as I wait for pages to load or as I read through my blogroll. The pattern is a simple 2-row repeat, with the chevrons being formed on one over 11 stitches (8 repeats), and the other a straight knit. I'm working with Addi Lace needles (love those points!) in a 3.75mm. I'm liking the results much better than my earlier essay with this yarn -- that time, I got 8 or 10 inches done in a tumbling blocks stitch pattern that was way too busy for the variegation.

3. I'm about four inches from completing the sleeves (I've got both on the needles at once) for the Dollar and a Half cardigan (link has all my posts mentioning this project; scroll down for pics). Lynnette, at my fabulous LYS, Mad About Ewe in Nanaimo, phoned around to other BC stores last week and found me another skein, thank goodness, 'cause I was getting a bit panicky. I went into the shop this week and got her to supervise me trying out a 3-needle bindoff on the shoulders, first time, and I wonder why I haven't been using this technique forever -- simple and invisible! I'm going to go back in when I'm ready to do the seaming to get some guidance as I perfect my mattress stitch.

4. I cast on for the Indigo Ripples skirt from IK and finished the waistband eyelet section. I'm using the Rowan denim cotton in a dark denim. So far, other than the denim staining my fingers, I'm finding the cotton surprisingly comfortable to work with, although there's a slight tendency to splittiness (many fine strands plied together for this yarn). The photo below is borrowed from the IK website, and I know one is always wise to expect a discrepancy between the modeled and the finished version, but I've seen so many on-line versions, both on Ravelry (only accessible to Ravelry members, sorry) and on the KAL, that I'm anticipating success with this baby!

5. Finally, if any of you have seen Handmaiden's Flaxen yarn, you'll know why I'm seriously tempted to get enough for a summer cardigan or long-ish v-neck pullover. I mean, 65% silk, 35% linen, how yummy is that? You know what that blend does for dye-absorption, right? The colours are sumptuous yet muted, if you can imagine. I'm thinking of the Colourway Cedar, a semi-solid which gets into those olive-y greens that are so wearable. I'm considering the central pattern below, from the latest issue of Vogue Knitting, but I'm not sure if it's not fussier than what I want. Someone's done a beautiful version in orange on Ravelry though (again, sorry, but only Ravelry members will be able to access this), and it's pretty convincing -- seems to be a tiny bit longer and perhaps looser, more tunic-like.
I'm also thinking about Glenna C's Basic Black Cardigan, first featured on now-defunct MagKnits, now available on Ravelry (which is where I borrowed the photo from -- I believe this is the designer herself, modeling her sweater). It's the opposite of fussy, but might be too plain -- although that allows the yarn to speak for itself, no? Silk and linen, fabulous colour, mmmmmm. I'm also thinking of a longer, body-skimming-but-not-fitted simple pullover, and have been trying to search out a pattern for a DK-weight yarn. Might have one in an older Vogue. We'll see.
So you can see why I chuckled at my physio's question. Oh, I have a project. Or two, or three, or . . .

10 comments:

  1. I like all your projects. Such great ideas. I seem to be in this black hole where I want to finish many but the opportunity is not there, the projects on the needles are too complicated for the time at hand, and I can't decide what to start that meets the "simple travel project appropriate for knitting around a not-quite-2-year-old".

    All your selections are on my ever-expanding queue and I love that "basic black cardigan". Hmm I might have to add that too. Let's see I wonder if I have an appropriate yarn in my stash?

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  2. Mardel: I've been in that "stuck" place before, but I'm definitely not there right now. My only problem is the tug-of-war between gardening and knitting. Yours must often be between sewing and knitting.

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  3. I'm so impressed with your devotion to Mission Possible. Ha! I very nearly forgot that I'd made bold pronouncements myself -- back when knitting and I were friends. I'm looking forward to seeing the next wave of finished items.

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  4. I'm just so impressed with your skill. Having never learned to knit, I'm just in awe of your ease with the different stitches and patterns! I think that earth-tone scarf will be quite lovely! Once as I was driving through the hills between California's coast and the central valley, I was struck by the beauty of the natural color scheme. It was winter, and the silver rain clouds, sienna brown patches of earth and bright green of new grass formed a triad of colors I've often wanted to try to duplicate somehow.

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  5. Gina: I'm not sure how dedicated I am to Mission Possible, but thanks for being impressed . . . you're being kind enough to ignore the fact that I've bought new yarn for a project (the denim skirt) and I'm planning on buying the Flaxen as well. I do hope to keep chipping away at stash through the year, though, so I guess I'll take credit for that.
    Pseu: It helps that I started knitting when I was five or six. It's something that's always helped me relax and also to express creativity (I feel as if I have no artistic talent, but I love colour and texture -- yarn/knitting lets me play with those). Silver, sienna, and new-grass green: that does sound like a subtly sophisticated trinity of colour. Let's see, a silver-grey jacket, sienna blouse, and one of your fabulous foulards . . .

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  6. Although I can knit, I have neither the patience or the fortitude it wuld take to complete a scarf, let alone a cardi, I do envy your skill when I see beautiful yarns though . It must be difficult to choose a style that is not so simple it can be bought from a shop or so complicated the sweater ends up wearing you. Of the three blue ones I love the middle one. Do you knit on the plane? or are the needles banned?

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  7. The name Handmaiden Seasilk makes me wish I could knit. It sounds like something ou of the movie The Secret of Roan Inish and I love that movie.

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  8. Alison: Choosing a pattern is sometimes difficult, but even if it's simple, it generally couldn't be bought from a shop just because of the quality of the yarns. My Local Yarn Shop is like a jewel box of textures and colours. Hand-dyed and hand-painted yarns in cashmeres, merinos, bamboo, soysilk,linen, silk, etc., etc.,
    As for knitting on the plane, needles have been officially allowed for the last two years again altho' they weren't for a while there -- still, it depends on whoever's working in Security, so I keep my fingers crossed and I keep a lifeline in my work so I can abandon the needle if I have to.
    LBR: I'd completely forgotten that movie, but it was lovely, wasn't it! Handmaiden (an Atlantic Canada company -- two sisters, I believe) lives up to the romance of its name as does the gorgeous yarn, Seasilk. Their colourways are always inspiring and it's very hard to resist coming home with a new skein or two every trip to the LYS.

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  9. Ooooo, love that periwinkle blue sweater on the right! Seems to me just the right mix of pattern plus clean lines. Would it work for your longer sweater? Too cool, to be able to knit or sew. All these things my parents and grandmother tried to teach me when I was a kid, and I thought, honestly, why don't you just pay for clothes, or dryer repairs, or plumbing work... arrrrgh.

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  10. Oh yes, Dana, if only we'd paid attention to our parents . . .
    The sweater on the right is very pretty, but it's knit in a lighter yarn than the one I've ordered.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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