Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Did I Ever Mention That I Knit?

It seems as though it’s been a long time since I’ve given an update on my own knitting activities. Although I haven’t had much time to knit lately, I have managed to squeeze in a row here, two rows there, and it does eventually add up.

I’m still working on the zipper-front sweater from the Winter 2004/05 edition of Vogue Knitting. Last time I gave you an update, I showed you the nearly completed body. If you recall, the picture showed a thin shadow-like line running across the back. The line was caused by a purl row I missed on the center back and right front. I hadn’t noticed it until I took the photo. Sigh. I finished up the last couple of rows of the body despite the error, telling myself that it was barely noticeable. Although that’s true, I’m pretty sure I’ll go back and fix it after I finish the sleeves. It just seemed like such a huge step backward right then, when I’d finally just about finished the body, but once the sleeves are done I think I’ll be able to go back and fix that without it seeming quite such a massive task.

I began the first sleeve a couple of weeks ago and still haven’t finished it! But good progress has been made:

Now before you think that I’ve done something crazy and stupid again, let me explain why the sleeve looks this. If you look at the photo from the magazine, you’ll see that the sleeves and very wide at the bottom and include a broad cuff. The huge line and change of stitch pattern you see in my sleeve-in-progress photo is where the turning row is where the sleeve will cuff upward. The pattern change is because the bottom portion of the sleeve will cuff over and so the wrong side will become the right side. With a P2,K1 rib, the front and back look different. Never fear … all is well on the sleeve so far. With such a broad sleeve and that extra 6 inches of cuff, it is taking far longer than any sleeve has a right to take, but I suppose I can blame some of that on the fact that I only have a few minutes here and there to add a row or two.

In the meantime, I had an urge to cast on something new in laceweight. I really wanted to do something with my Laceweight Merino in the Notorious colorway. I swatched and tinkered and flipped through patterns, but couldn’t make up my mind for quite a while. It finally dawned on me that I really just needed a simple, straightforward lace knit that would fit into my crazy schedule. Just like with the sweater, I needed something that I could pick up for a few minutes at a time without having to focus energy and waste time figuring out where I was in a complex pattern.

I decided to go with Anne Hanson’s Ostrich Plumes Shawl. I have a friend who lives down south where the climate is always warm, so a lace shawl will make a nice gift for her. She’s a fiend for oranges, yellows and peaches, so I decided to use my Sunny Peach colorway.

I hadn’t knit with this colorway yet and I have to say that I really love it! It looks even prettier and far more interesting when knit. You can see the varied shades of peach, tangerine, and sunny yellow much better in the knitted piece than in the skein. I had a hard time getting good photos today, as it's midafternoon here now and very bright and sunny.

I love the wide variation of tones that are still subtle enough to let the pattern shine through. The pattern is also absolutely perfect. It’s very straightforward and can be committed to memory almost immediately. It also perfectly fits the bill for knitting in small spurts. I can just pick it up whenever I have a minute and whip out a few rows. It’s knitting up very quickly as well. I really needed a bit of instant knitting gratification to help fight the feeling that I wasn’t finishing anything at all lately! You'll find the pattern over at KnitSpot and also available in my Etsy store.

This one’s also going to be fun to block. The stitch pattern has a lot of rippling and texture to it while knitting, so the blocking process will be a more dramatic transformation than you have with some flatter knit pieces.

And so you see, I do knit after all!

Everyone have a wonderful day and get some knitting done!


~Tonia~ said...

The shawl is so lovely. The color that you picked out is perfect.

Lynne E. said...

Oh, that's just gorgeous! And I have both the pattern and some Sunny Peach laceweight already on hand! :-)