barb and i joined up to mail our red scarves together—here they are friday evening, about to go into the box. every time i visited the knitspot ravelry group this weekend, the red scarf emergency KAL was packed with new photos of finished scarves about to make their way to virginia—the mood throughout the thread is truly celebratory; a joyful christmas memory i will treasure.
thanks so much to all who participated in making the emergency KAL such a success: as of this morning, we have 91 finished scarves (give or take a couple) and counting—that’s just what’s been knit in a little over two weeks. see how much good a
little group knitting nation can do when we decide to kick it up a notch??
sigh, it’s happy day.
the new cité neckwarmer, knit in dye dreams classy socks (colorway smoke)—all soft and dry now. it feel de-lish when i pull it on.
friday seems so long ago that i hardly remember it; the weekend was packed with such a variety of activity in the house that by this morning, i felt it had been years since i last knit a stitch.
but apparently, it was just a trick of the mind—somewhere in all the confusion, i managed to steal away to my needles and there are results to show for it this morning.
friday evening i worked on swatching for a little winter shawl i want to knit with my cashmere/silk handspun. i had a tiny swatching skein of 40 or so yards that was perfect for this use
i’m closing in on a specific design now, though i’ll be tweaking some of the elements in this first draft. i love the ivy vines design and wanted to expand it into a shawl, but with an additional element that suggested pine cones. i decided that a narrow panel down the spine of the shawl would be a good to incorporate that, but the panel i first chose isn’t exactly what i’m looking for, so i’m reworking it.
we’re also going to knit it up in a yarn that’s available to everyone—tranquilo alpaca lace from the woolen rabbit. kim’s alpaca lace is the softest ever. i’ve had three skeins of the black velvet colorway since last winter, saving them for just the right project—something that would really suit the yarn and color. i think this little shawl is it.
my one problem with the shawl is that i haven’t the faintest idea how much yarn i’ll need to knit it (haha, often when i show swatches, people write to ask me this question, but since we have to work through the sample knit to find out all that information i can’t tell til after it’s done, see? and i certainly wouldn’t want anyone to end up short by making a bad prediction).
normally, i have enough yarn on hand to cover the project i have in mind, or have a line of supply if i somehow run short. but in this case, i’m working with yarn i made from fiber i purchased long ago. all there is of it is what i have in hand—about 525 yards, plus my swatch. that should be plenty for the size i’m thinking of, but it would be nice to know for sure.
what to do, what to do—i’m thinking i may actually knit one up first in a very similar yarn that will act as a draft, maybe a merino/silk or another cashmere/silk blend i have. that way i can see how far my handspun will go and make adjustments as needed to the pattern (i could even kill two birds with one stone by netting an extra giftable item from this exercise).
the other option would be to write the pattern completely and send it to karolyn (who has offered to test knit) so that she can knit the very first one. i haven’t done that before . . . but it might be a good solution.
i’m still mulling it over; i’ll keep you updated.
it was good that i had all that to think about over the weekend, because as i said, it turned out to be pretty chaotic—as in, we never even cooked or ate an actual meal, or prepared any food for the week, i’m just realizing now.
it all started innocently enough when i headed out bright and early to susie’s to knit with her and debby and celebrate susie’s special birthday.
we had breakfast and coffee and presents of socks and project bags—the dogs enjoyed every minute of susie’s fun new wrapping paper toys.
i cast on the front of my henley sweater for the fourth time and got all the way through the hem and one pattern repeat without a hitch. i’m going to put it out there that i think i’m now past my bad henley patch and on my way to a brand new sweater.
after susie’s, i came home, did some bookkeeping, and was just contemplating my afternoon knitting goals when david announced that the back studio room was complete, and that we should start moving everything from the (extremely messy and disorganized) front studio room so he could get to work on that space directly.
i just stared blankly up at him thinking “you mean, this weekend; the one that is just 12 days before christmas??”
he also added, “or i could do all that for you”
bless him. i mean, he would do all that moving for me, and he has done so in the past, but i have learned my lesson—there are some jobs you just have to do yourself, or at least supervise closely.
so, off we went.
first, i wound a bushel full of yarn for all of the projects i could possible conceive of starting in the next week, before the swift and ball winder were dismantled (i know, those tools will probably only be out of commission for a day or so at most, but you never know—the last time we moved my studio i lost track of them (and my box of knitting needles) for two months and i’m still recovering).
while i did that, david started moving boxes of yarn and fiber into the next room so i could organize them on the shelves once i was done
obsessing over my future yarn supply behaving like a yarn squirrel prepping for the week ahead.
he also moved the pressing bench and the sewing machine into place in the new room. all the spinning fiber went into one half of the cedar closet—the other half houses a dresser where i can finally organize and store all the shawls and scarves.
of course all that stuff had to be labeled—i’ve been relying on fond memories to remind me what i have and where i got it, but i’m realizing that my system was flawed, as so much wool is simply white or brown and my memory is only useful for useless information, like what kind of fair food i ate at rhinebeck 2006, instead of what farm that amazing brown wool came from, or what breed it is.
after spinning class on sunday, i dug right in again, organizing the yarns and labeling boxes so i could locate things more easily—i love the new cabinets and shelving that allow for only two boxes at a time to be stacked—no more yarn avalanches, i hope.
in the other room
david removed all the books and bookcases to our downstairs
dining room classroom area, where they will reside til the studio is done. this is actually going to be a nice change, since the our office is next door—i can run over and look things up a lot more easily.
we still have a bunch of stuff to pack up and sort through—we’re moving everything from the bigger room to the smaller one for the interim, so i need to rid of a lot of junk as i go; there’s just too much that i don’t use often enough. i’ll have to sort and weed through the yarn at some point too, but for now it’s more important to concentrate on getting rid of stuff that takes up floorspace. ugh.
david thinks he can get the second part of the studio done in a couple of months. i sure hope that’s the case—with this house, we never bank on smooth sailing, but it could happen, right??
we were on a roll, so we didn’t even eat dinner last night—we worked right through to about 10 pm. i was so tired by that point, that i didn’t think knitting was possible. i worked for a while on collecting stitch pattern together for a new sock design (the orange yarn at the front of my yarn basket up there).
when we went up to watch TV. i pulled out my second flaming desire sock and surprised myself by adding another half pattern repeat to the length. i didn’t think i had it in me.
i did have some pictures to share from spinning class yesterday, but it’s getting late and my knitting class is arriving now—i think i’ll save those for next time.