i got lots of knitting done while i was away—i completed several FOs, including the extra “family” knits i squeezed in and made great progress on the projects i brought from home as well. i’m trying to keep up the pace since i’ve returned home; maintaining a higher proportion of knitting time in my day is a big priority for the new year—i’ve gotta cut back on the time i spend at my desk.
on the road i finished a biggish secret project, then i started and nearly finished the second sleeve for david’s new sweater. the other night, i put that piece to bed as well—basta.
i love the woolen rabbit sporty kashmir and apparently, so does everyone who sees it. i can’t count the times i’ve pulled this sleeve out of the bag only to have a room of knitters go quiet, haha. then they begin to murmur: “what is that?” “that color is, is—wow—that color is just beautiful.” “where did you get that??”
the color, BTW, is enchanted forest—so david.
now i’m on to the big body pieces; i’ll probably cast on tonight for the front. this sweater makes for great TV knitting because it’s so mindless, yet it has good rhythm; i can get lots of inches done in a short amount of time and i’m enjoying that immensely. the body pieces will have cable details at or near the side seams and armhole edge (much like the highlander sweater). i just have to pick a cable i like; something smallish and flexible will be best, i think, but a nice twist stitch panel would work, too . . . we’ll see.
i’ve also been trying to decide whether i should work the body in one piece or two. unlike many knitters, i dislike working in the round, especially for david’s garments. they just end up sooo heavy and unwieldy. i’m always sorry when i get to the armholes that i knit them that way. in fact last christmas, i pulled a chest muscle from hauling those rounds over the needles and turning the whole sweater repeatedly.
heh, yeah—i think i’ll stick to my guns and do it in pieces (but a garment like this is easily converted for those who are avid circular knitters)
now that the biggish secret project is off the needles, i’ve been making great headway on the shawlette i’m knitting with hazel knits divine (and believe me, it IS divine; a luscious merino/silk/cashmere blend that makes every stitch a delight.
i’m working with a colorway that i dyed myself when i was playing in wendee’s studio with cookie last march. but actually, it is VERY close to wendee’s arroyo colorway, so i would refer you to that choice if you like this brown/gold/gray blend a lot.
i realized the other day that i haven’t done this piece justice in terms of photographing it attractively. it’s kind of hard because it’s so bunchy on the needles and i’m often traveling with it where the circumstances do not favor styling a photo well.
so today i worked with it a bit to get some nicer shots and hopefully they will show it in a better light. i just love the textures in it—it’s worked from the neck down with the top part in a sort of zig-zag eyelet that includes a garter row here and there.
the hem is comprised of an ornate medallion motif set in a field of garter stitch—very dense where it’s solid, so that the medallions show up like stained glass windows in a stone wall
now that i’ve got a lot more of the hem completed, i’m wondering if i’ve set the vertical columns of openwork too far apart, but i’ll only really know after i block it. i may knit another version with them set closer together to see which i like better. these projects go so fast once i get going that i usually knit a couple of them anyway.
i came home to a couple of really nice yarn packages that i want to share before i end today.
the first was from karen berglund of ilLOOMinated yarns. karen dyes yarn with both natural dyes and jacquard dyes; these examples are from her colors from nature series, in which she uses natural dyes on a variety of yarn bases.
and this is brazilwood, dyed on the feldspar base, which has glimmering threads of gold stellina spun in (sorry, my photo doesn’t show the glitter that well). it also has a bit of nylon, making it a great choice for socks.
i also got a much-anticipated box from rita at yarn hollow, whose wares i first saw last spring while teaching at the spinning loft spring retreat. beth stocks rita’s vivid spinning fibers (when she can keep them on the shelf!) and had a selection available at the retreat which disappeared before i could see most of it. what i glimpsed poking out of bags carried by other retreat members made me drool, though . . .
rita’s not shy about going right for the silk and luxury blends, the better to display her dyeing talents. above is a seacell and silk blend lace yarn—a nice weight, not too, too fine. it’s got a relaxed twist that reminds me of the nona or kashmir blends i’ve worked with recently.
then there is this lovely skein of 80/20 merino/silk fingering yarn in rich paprika, mmm, with a generous yardage; great for a slouchy hat and/or mitts, or even a nice sweater. lots of merino bounce helps much-worn items to keep their shape nicely.
and lastly another relaxed 2-ply, this time in fingering weight with a more generous proportion of silk to merino—better suited to drapey accessories such as shawlettes, cowls, and scarves. this champagne colorway will look like liquid gold in the right stitch patterns (les abeilles would be brilliant in a color and blend like this).
yarn hollow is now sold in many local yarn shops or stop by the studio if you are in the area (please call first for information and hours)
ok, that’s it for today. i’m going to go find my knitting and proceed. see you next time.