Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Train coming...or The light at the end of the tunnel

So here I sit, typing away for my blog when I really should be knitting. I've been knitting like the proverbial demon for the past week..maybe two...trying to put the wraps on the Christmas knitting. Internet adventures have been curtailed in an effort to get to the bottom of the Christmas knitting pile, and I'm scraping the bottom even as we speak. The only "official" project I have on the needles right now is mom's "mystery" project, which is rather close to completion, or at least, rather close to completing the actual knitting part.

I finished the last hat today. It's a hat for mom's defacto. He owns a racecar, and I was going for something racey with the colours of his car in it. Why I took the photo on the side with the jog in the stripes I'll never know, but here it is none the less:

I used some stash yarn, about 1 and a half balls of Shepherd's Colour 4 me yarn for the main colour, and some scrap wool of undetermined genre for the stripes. The pattern is a pretty standard hat pattern, with a k4,p2,k2,p2 rib stitch pattern.

Non-officially, I'm also knitting a 7in by 7in square in a bright cheerful yellow shade of the Heirloom Easy Care 8ply range. Lots of us are making squares, and then we send them to a Ravelry friend who is going to sew them all up (lucky her, lol) and produce a blanket for another Ravelry friend who hasn't been feeling well lately. As I'm not sure if a square can technically be classified as a project, I haven't added it to my project list. I will finish it tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest anyway, so it's of no real concern. I'm further along on it now, but this is what it looked like this morning:

There's a project in my Sculptured Knits book called the Vasarely Vest, which is more a halter top than a vest. While it's not dynamic where style is concerned, I just loved the stitch pattern in it. It's called the Gordes stitch, and is rather simply: Row 1 *yo, k2, pass yo over 2 knit stitches*, Row 2 purl, and of course, repeat for pattern. For the square, I'm making it in a bigger gauge than in the Vaserely pattern uses, but I just wanted to get a feel for the stitch, to help me make up my mind if I wanted to make the top or not. Or perhaps use it for a design of my own. I do like it. I think I'll try it again in a smaller gauge, maybe make a dishcloth out of it, and see how that flies. At any rate, I got more bang for my buck out of the square, and killed two birds with one stone.

So in real terms, I only have 1 (as in ONE) project on the needles right now, Mom's Christmas present. This 1 WIP phenomenon doesn't happen to me that often. My average is three. Three is a good number. Usually, that's one "big" project, one smaller but complicated project, and one simple dimple small project.

So, by tomorrow at the latest, the time will have come. Yes, that glorious time when you choose a project, find your needles and yarn, and cast on those first stitches. Most knitters agree: Starting a project is more satisfying even than finishing one. When you start a project, the possibilities are endless, the anticipation devine.

These projects will have a special significance. They will be the first knitting I've done for myself in months. I've already decided on knitting the top I mentioned in the last post, using the beige Cleckheaton 4 ply cotton from my stash. I'm also going to cast on a sock, probably the Honey Bee Socks by Kiri Fitzgerald-Hillier from the Spring 09 issue of Australian Knitting magazine. Australian knitters might recognize the designer's name, she's the owner of Yay for Yarn, an Australian online knitting store that I have shopped at and would certainly recommend. The pattern calls for Lorna's Laces Sock yarn, but I have sooo much sock yarn around here right now, I can't see buying more, so I will stash dive for this project.

I'm positive I'm going to knit these socks eventually, but I did mention my desperate need for plain wearable knit socks in my last post. So option two is to cast on some simple stockingnet stitch toe up socks first, and do these later. Option 3 is that I could cast them both on, work on the easier socks at work or whenever mindless knitting is handy, and the more difficult Honey Bee socks at home when I have some concentration time.

That sounds like the perfect solution, and would be, if I didn't also with a passion want to cast on a lace shawl from my Victorian Lace Today book. Which shawl I'm not sure yet, I like them all. This was my dream at Bendigo S&W show(when I was buying all that laceweight yarn), to go lace shawl knitting nuts after the Christmas knitting was done. It's still an appealing dream. The trouble is, aside from wearing to fancy dress balls at Western Action events, I don't need a lace shawl. The next fancy dress event of that nature is in May, so there's plenty of time. Meanwhile, I desperately need the socks, and I would really love to get a summer top knit and on my back before it's too late and it's winter all over again. So necessarily, they must take priority right now. If I don't start a shawl project this week, I will definately start one as soon as I finish one of the projects mentioned above.

Well, enough of the future talk. I'm just so wound up and excited about getting started on some selfish ME knitting that I could ramble on and on about it for decades. Lets move on, though, to what else I've done this week.

The double knitted Celtic Beanie project went very well and very quickly. I'm happy now that I was "brave" because double knitting was neither hard to learn, nor was it particularly slow. Sure, it was a bit slower than regular knitting, but not by much. I think it took me 5 days to finish the hat, four of which I had to work, so that's not too shabby at all. The reversability of it is just fantastic, and I got lots of ohhh's and ahhhh's from my coworkers who knit, or at least, know how to knit. They were impressed, and curious as to how it was done, and none had ever seen the technique before, so it was definately a novelty item there for awhile.

Without further ado, the "right" side, or the "dark side" as I like to call it:

and the "wrong" side, or the "light side":

I'm very proud of this project, and had about as much fun making it as I've had in ages. It's great to learn a new knitting skill, and double knitting is incredibly cool. You feel awesome when you've mastered it!

Yesterday, I decided to get started on my blocking, so I put the first load into the utility room sink and gave it a wash. Here it is, all layed out on the dining room table to block:

I still have a couple more loads to do, but at least I've gotten started with it.

While I am nearly done with my Christmas knitting, I do still have little finishing details to do here and there, such as sewing a button on Ayla's cardi. I'll take care of those details here and there when I have days off and such.

So there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all.

I have another couple of days off coming up in less than a week. I'll try to do a small update post during that time about what I have decided to cast on. Until then...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic!!! as usual! Who is the inside out hat for?? That is sooo neat! And Jessie will LOVE his! I really wish more people that realize how much work and effort you put into your knitting / blogs would leave you a comment! I plan on getting your Xmas package in the mail before Thanksgiving. Still waiting on Aunt Pat & Sheri.
Again I say....awesome work!!
Love, MOM