53,272 stitches . . . or so

Posted on Posted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

it’s been kinda miserable here for the last few days . . . alternately rainy, snowy, and icy, with bouts of heavy wind and/or cold calmness. and dark . . have i mentioned that it is dark here most of the day this time of year?

nothing to do but bury myself under wraps and furiously knit to the end of simurgh. i pulled out a triumphant late-night finish 14 days after receiving my yarn in the mail.

and it looks like crap, right?? hee-hee!
this is what i love about lace knitting. it looks like a dog’s dinner til it’s blocked.

the edges are lettuce-ing to the point where you wonder if they will ever be straight

really, if i hadn’t been through this so many times already, it would be enough to make me worry in two different ways: either the side edges will always look riffly next to the body OR this stole is going to block out way longer than i’d planned.

and don’t even get me started on the hems.
the beautiful feathered edging looks like so much used and shredded tissue

and is currently so much wider than the rest of the stole that it looks as if it was purposely knit with a flare in it.
but as you can see from jocelyn’s blocked beauty, everything evens out in the wash.
isn’t she stunning?

so this morning i put in on to soak while i write this post and soon i will be blocking (insert chorus of crows here).

on saturday we celebrated her finish with a blocking dance provided by our buddy kim (sadly blogless!). go on, watch it . . watch the WHOLE thing . . . i’ll wait. i love living vicariously through other dancers.

you might remember that we have several different size configurations in progress from the pattern as written. now that two of us are completely finished, and rachael is over half done, i can give you more info.

jocelyn knit the straight-up petite version as written and ended up with a stole that is approximately 19 inches wide and i think around 76 inches long. the silk/mohair relaxes out a LOT more than the merino does. since this is longer than i intended for petite people, i fixed the pattern so that it should now be 72 inches total length, and i am testing that length in my own piece.

rachael is knitting the straight-up tall version but in the merino laceweight, which should giver her a petite sized stole. she also found that hers was running a little long, so the need for that fix i talked about was confirmed.

not one to follow any pattern as written, apparently not even my own, i knit a hybrid version by casting on for the tall width and working the petite length (conversely you could also knit a tall length/petite width if you wanted).
but i wasn’t just being ornery; in actuality, i wanted to see if i could squeeze a hybrid out of one skein of geisha.

well, you can . . . but for most knitters, this might be cutting it too close for comfort.
i dunno why, but i was completely unpanicked about the diminishing yarn as i knit the last hem edge. i just felt like i’d have enough. but this morning, when i measured and it turned out to be all of 2 yards, i really had to take pause and consider why i do stuff like this.
i mean what was i going to do if i ran out??
i didn’t even think about thatβ€”why worry about what didn’t happen?

anyhow, my finished length unblocked is 58 inches and the width is about 18.5 (it varies from one motif to the next). later today i’ll know what the blocked size is.

one last note about the stole today is that i’m really happy with the way the motifs run in it. the diagonal line of the small feathers is mirrored on each side and the feathered hem also has a mirrored bias . . .

just like the faroese version. it shows up strongly in the unblocked fabric and lends the piece the appearance of a real wingspan without slamming you in the face with it.

after i cast off last night i was way too excited to go right to bed, so i worked on these for a couple of hours while we watched a movie (prime, with meryl streep and uma thurman).

i got most of the foot done and should be able to finish them off tonight. meanwhile, kim and jocelyn (she’s a glutton for punishment i tell you!) have the pattern and are busily test knitting. writing this one was a bit complex . . . so i am really grateful for their help. and i know kim is anxious to start skeining and dyeing for those kits she’s putting together.

i also have been steadily adding inches to oh! canada, and arrived at the halfway point by the end of classes yesterday.

this one is worked from the hem and then grafted in the center, so i may just go ahead and block the first half out once simurgh is dry. OR i could try to finish the second half over the next day or two and block it then.

we are SO getting david to model this one. i’ve noticed he’s fixed his eye on it and keeps touching and squishing the fabric, so i’m pretty sure i can sweet-talk him into selling his body to possess it.

don’t yell at ame but . . . i still haven’t begun my christmas knitting.
i might try to start a pair of mitts today . . . we’ll see. it’s a tough choice . . mitts or finished geese wrap, hmmmm.

meanwhile, i still also need to go stash diving to find yarn for david’s gifts. his cranberry red sweater (the first one i ever made him, when he was still my boyfriendβ€”proving that, at least in some cases, the curse is bunk)

is on its last legs (ya think? don’t laugh, but this photo is from last year and it’s worse now. let’s just say, he gets very attached to his knits).

he looks so good in that color that i’d like to find something to replace it. i’m not sure i have anything though. it would be great to come across a nice red aran or chunky wool tweed for it.
i have a feeling i am fresh out of cranberry red in that weight of yarn though.

i’ll find something good for the guy who makes this happen on a regular basis

the other sign that winter has set in for real: many, many wool sock in use.

ok, enough with the talkingβ€”it’s time to go find the blocking wires and start stringing up simurgh.

40 thoughts on “53,272 stitches . . . or so

  1. OK, do you even sleep?? Here I am thinking I’m getting a lot done and you go and blow past trailing little scraps of waste yarn…

  2. that last photo looks like my bathroom yesterday! sock washing day here too!

    that stole is beautiful – all the versions…

  3. Hmm….I think it IS time for David to have a new sweater! I am enjoying the test knit and wow…I am so impressed that Jocelyn is testing again so quickly. She did a FABULOUS job on her stole!

  4. Ooh, cool that it’ll work for one skein. As you know, I’m very interested to see what happens with the tall width and petite length.

  5. The color of Simurgh is amazing! I checked out Joycelyn’s blog. Wow! Do you think a man can wear it? πŸ˜€ I can’t wait to see yours finished. Really loving Oh Canada! too.

  6. I can’t wait for the blocking shots! THe links aren’t working for the moment (blogger’s problem, not yours) and I REALLY wanna see. *pout*

  7. Sheesh, you must live on the knitters diet of chocolate and coffee to get that all done!

    I am going to knit Irtfa out of cashmere/alpaca laceweight that I am dyeing myself. I can’t wait to see how the stole turns out too! Le Blogger is not working at the moment, error messages all over the place.

    Don’t depress me with the darkness thing…our days are short enough, roll on Midwinters day when it all starts getting lighter again.

  8. I’m excited to see your shawl blocking, it’s going be be gorgeous!
    I love how much David loves his sweaters:) Hope you find something wonderful to replace it with. Good luck with the Christmas knitting!

  9. The shawl is crinkled bird, right now! It will be like one of those figures you place in water, and it rises like a phoenix (except, just not out of fire, but water!)! I am so in love with the colors in Oh, Canada! Wow. The sock is beautiful. I’ve already ordered it! How did you ever figure out the heel! It’s amazing! Dark? You want dark and dreary? In Maine, it’s dark by 4:00, this time of the year!

  10. I can’t wait to see the finished lace- I love that transformation. Also thank you for the snow picture. I know it wasn’t a LOT of snow, but hooray for winter!

  11. Anne, just a thought…have you ever considered adding an optional scarf variation with your shawl patterns? I have only rare opportunities to wear a shawl but a scarf would be basic winter gear, and I would certainly be willing to pay more for the pattern. Also, a scarf variation wouldn’t be as big of a time investment to make.

  12. How am I ever going to choose which version I want to knit? This is the bee dilemma all over again. Still haven’t solved that one, either. πŸ˜‰

  13. Oh Simurgh is a BEAUTY! and that Bee sock should be made into oh so sexy stocking me think! and I don’t understand, if he loves it so much, why don’t you fix it for him,you wicked woman!?!

  14. Look forward to the blocking pic’s. I love oh canada, it just looks squishy and wonderful. And wow, you certainly DID cut it close at the end with that tad little bit of yarn left lol πŸ˜‰

  15. Hahahaha!!!! You linked the Dance!!!!! That is so hilarious….. Also your knitting looks great!!! So sorry for you to have such dark and dismal days…. you know where it’s warmer….. hahahah
    -Sadly Blogless

  16. I am really excited for this bee sock because I have not been able to start my bee stole because I am in stupid school, but I have a break coming up in a couple of weeks and this would be the perfect project!

  17. Ok,the man needs a new sweater and soon judging by the first photograph. Hope you aren’t too cold. I love the sock, and simurgh like all lace is an ugly duckling that turns into a swan. Oh Canada looks very soft and snuggly, perfect for a cold day. Re christmas knitting dare I say, forget it, or aim for two or three little things?! Good luck. You make me laugh, don’t know anyone else who would risk running out of yarn.

  18. So, now I think I’ll try simurgh first to get used to the stitch patterns and see how they work in a bright color, and save the Faroese in the Raven color for when I can pay attention to the shaping…

    you are just killing me with all these gorgeous designs, and maybe, just maybe, does David deserve some specially selected and purchased tweedy red yarn for his new sweater??? (just askin’ in case you aren’t totally committed to knitting from your stash πŸ™‚

  19. The mirroring of the motifs on Simurgh is a great idea! It looks very promising already… it will be a feast for the eyes once blocked!
    I don’t think I have ever seen a sweater as worn out as David’s sweater! Clearly, this one has been well loved!

  20. I am so entertained that you figured out the stitch count on this one (at Older Daughter’s instigation, I came up with about 54,000 or so on mine)! I am dying to see it blocked out; those luscious purples and plums are going to look soooo good. I can’t believe you are teasing us with unblocked shots πŸ˜‰ I also can’t believe that sweater is still holding together! How is it not a pile of loose yarn by now?

  21. Well you can’t say that he doesn’t appreciate the things that you make for him. πŸ˜‰

    Oooo I can’t wait to see the blocking pictures.

  22. The Simurgh (sounds like a sigh doesn’t it?) will be georgeous! Can’t wait to see it finished πŸ™‚
    I can see why David is so taken with oh!canada, it looks super comfy so far, and Judy’s yarn is also heaven !
    That sweater will fall apart from his body while wearing it one of these days. BUT you can’t say he didn’t love it to pieces though πŸ™‚

  23. now I am completely convinced that you mus never sleep (grin)
    your knits are lovely. cannot wait to see it blocked.
    and poor David… must find you some lovely new yarn soon…. maybe he deserves one for Christmas πŸ™‚

  24. Since happening upon your blog I have become quite the fan! I’m searching for the perfect yarn for “that little scarf” pattern that I purchased and can’t wait until bee sock kits are available πŸ™‚
    The photo of all the wool socks hung out to dry would make a fabulous Christmas card ! very vintage. Have a happy dark knitting day!!

  25. The stitch pattern in David’s sweater…or the remains of it…look like the poster in school buildings of Einstein in a sweater. Have you seen it?

  26. Ha!! I am feeling a little smug. When I saw the socks on Knitty, I said to myself, “That looks like something Anne might design”. and you did!! I know it sounds kind of silly of me, but I like your designs and it pleased me to be able to recognize your hand on those socks.

  27. Anne, thank you so much for posting the “first dance” link. I laughed myself to tears. What a great sense of humor that couple has – surely it will see them through a long and happy marriage.

  28. I think he may need that new wrap, since the sweater is um, well-ventilated. And I hope you’ll tell him how sweet we all think it is that he’s worn your sweater to bits.

  29. Anne, you know I love you, right?

    You are EVIL!!!!! I’m in the middle of a burn out and am just knitting a bunch of garter stitch scarves for my head (long story). I’ve also been spinning, but not as much as I’d like.

    I know you work, and you do all that gardening, AND you knit such wonderful stuff. I don’t know how you do it all.

    You’re my hero.


  30. First of all, that dance was a crackup. Their kids may even think it’s cool someday.

    Second, that sweater is pathetic. In a totally good way, since a sweater could only get in that state through years of loving wear. But, really, woman, it’s time for a new one!

  31. David’s red sweater certainly has built in ventilation.:-) Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Love the geese wrap. Oh, and congrats on the Knitty sock pattern I spied today. I’ve queued it up.

  32. I have to say I love the textures of the unblocked wrap. I even like the flaring at the ends. I’m very tempted to knit it up in something smooshy and leave it unblocked for all the texture and coziness.

  33. I love David’s well worn sweater. What a tribute to you that he wears it so much. Did you create the pattern for his sweater?

  34. It’ll be a while before I’m ready to tackle simurgh (spelling), but I think flying geese has my name all over it! It’s beautiful, as all of your designs are, Anne. And I got a kick out of David’s sweater. I thought I loved some of my sweaters, but man! I haven’t got anything on David!

  35. I meant to tell you on the last post that I have the same color of Smooshy in Cocoa Kiss.

    David really loves his knits, eh? I’m sure he will love and appreciate a newer one.

  36. Simurgh is awe inspiring and so is the jumper(sweater) you have on whilst modelling the shawl.
    Is it one of your creations? can we have the pattern?

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