david has been doing a spring cleanup in the yard for the last few afternoons and it’s amazing how much better everything looks . . . i thought it looked fine before (he spent a LOT of time on it already in the fall), but now that he’s working on it, i can see the difference.
all sorts of new growth was revealed once the remaining dried leaves and debris were swept away. the lady’s mantle above is growing and flaring its pretty fans and flamenco skirts to great advantage
the daffodils are still shut up tight but ready to break into smiles any day now. they must be frustrated—it gets somewhat warm in the middle of each day for a short time, but the night and morning temps are still dipping into the low 30s.
meanwhile, i think i spied my bleeding heart plant up out of bed and unfolding it’s tiny arms (sometimes i can’t tell them apart from the columbine when they’re little)
honestly, it seems too cold for all this but there you have it.
i really hoped i’d have my boxleaf wrap done this morning, so it could be soaking while i write this post. but i’m just a little shy of that goal; it’s not quite there (i get distracted from the work at hand sometimes, what can i say?).
as soon as i’m done writing i’ll knit the last two repeats and block it later today. i can’t wait to show you how different this piece will look once it’s blocked.
i’ll miss this thing—since i started the second half, the wrap has been long enough to keep my legs warm in the evening while i knit. i guess i’ll have to figure out something else . . .
actually my gray sweater is getting big enough now to provide a little warmth while i work on it. i just love that crazy knit/purl pattern—it makes me think munkey puzzle.
yesterday in classes i reached the underarm and knit the divider row for the armhole/shoulder shaping—one goal reached anyway. the top part will go quickly, then there will be the sleeves to knit, which always seem to take longer than i thought. i’m pausing to think about what i want to do with the shoulder area. i know i planned some kind of cable or other panel to run alongside the armhole, but i can’t for the life of me remember what, heh. three years ago, when i started it, i wasn’t taking notes as completely as i do now—i’m sure i thought i’d finish it in a month or so and didn’t need them, haha.
the cable i’m using at the side seam is a little wide for the shoulder area (at least, in my size), but i might use it anyway, because it will look great in bigger sizes. either that, or a condensed version of the same thing, like a single wave cable instead of the double. this is what i need to decide over the next two days or so, while i finish a couple of other things.
like these socks
the hoarforst yarn is picking up more of a blue tinge in the morning light than it actually has in person; click the name to see a better representation.
i’ll tell you what—these socks really go much more quickly than i would have dreamed before i started them. i honestly thought they’d sorta be a drag with all that patterning, but NOT.
i’m always so surprised by how many inches i can finish in just a couple of hours work. as you can see, i’ve got them heeled and am more than halfway down the foot already. one more evening’s work and i think we’ll be ready for photos. i thought about releasing the pattern with just one sock done but they’re so cute together, i decided to wait (just a couple more days, i promise!).
i’ve got all sorts of other stuff going on behind the scenes, too—it’s a madhouse around here. progress on my tartan sweater pattern is going really well. i have to come up with another name—much as i love the simplicity of tartan, it’s taken. right now, i’m calling it highlander, but i might dig deeper for a good scottish word.
now that that pattern is in healthy shape, i’m looking at working on the next one
this was my rhinebeck sweater in 2007 (click for more pictures), knit up in briar rose grandma’s blessing with made-to-match buttons from moving mud (if you’ve never considered this option, i encourage you to do so; i sent sarina a swatch when i first got my sweater started and she whipped up some absolutely perfect buttons).
i intended to get this pattern written up a long time ago. better late than never, right? it needs a few tweaks—the row gauge of the finished and washed sweater is a little looser than my washed swatches led me to design with, so i want to pinch out a little in the length everywhere.
that’s an interesting thing about working with a stitch pattern that has some garter in it (like my new gray sweater)—you can make and wash swatches til the cows come home, but you can’t really imitate with exactitude the effect of the finished sweater weight on the fabric. i’ll probably have to knit another one of these in the new proportions, which i don’t mind a bit; i love this sweater and it’s a good weight for fall and spring. i’d be happy to have one that fits me the way i originally intended (even though no one else will notice the difference, probably . . .).
so that’s one new project i’m thinking about. and then i have this gorgeous skein of alpaca laceweight (the blue on the left) from kristine at a verb for keeping warm
in the chance of rain colorway, it is screaming “soft spring day” all over the place and causing a regular ruckus in my stash. i think it’s the perfect yarn to knit with in april. i have an edging i’ve been keeping my eye on for a delicate yarn and i think this might be my chance to use it—i just need to decide on a field stitch to go with it. i’ve got a whole sky/cloud thing going on with this yarn that i can’t avoid and my idea is almost solidified.
then there’s another sweater that’s on my mind (don’t laugh; i’ve been bottling up my sweater thing for a very long time). i have this batch of briar rose glory days BFL (same yarn i used for the tarten sweater)
which chris custom dyed as a gift for my birthday last year. it’s about time i used it, eh? so i tried it out in a stitch pattern i’ve been lusting to use, but at the same time, saving for the perfect project
it’s an elegant lace and cable motif (not too crazy) with long, curvy lines that i think will be trés flattering. and i think all it needs is a nice rib in all the right trim places to make it a standout sweater. this one is a few days from going on the needles because i’m making myself wait until the boxleaf is blocked, the socks are done, and the cashmere scarf has a few more repeats before i start knitting. just sayin’.
and with that, i think it’s time to soldier on. time’s a-wastin’.