Monday, May 21, 2007

Rain, Rain Go Away

Let's talk about UFOs. Mine have spent over a month packed and waiting for moving day. This was an excellent strategy for finishing Patti since it left me with nothing else to work on for several weeks. The only drawback is now I have all these unfinished wooly items that frankly I don't want to knit in warm weather. So do I put them on the back burner until Fall and cast on something cooler or do I force myself to finish up and get them off the needles? Here's the line up from left to right... The Somewhat Cowl in KnitPicks Andean Treasure, Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardi in Silky Tweed, and the IK Greek Pullover in Rowan Kid Classic. Both the Greek Pullover & the Shrunken Cardi are 2nd timers for me, but this time I'm using the suggested yarn for both patterns. The Silky Tweed is gorgeous by the way and no pictures I've seen of it have ever done it justice. I love this yarn! I don't include the Cathay Boatneck Aran in this list because I've cast on the back this week and made some good progress which you can see here...
But what's that next to the boatneck aran? Not the oranges. I mean the little yarn cakes pyramid. Hmmm, that just might be a little Classic Elite Premiere and Artyarns Beaded Silk destined to be a shortsleeved Sahara. Considering that I cast on the boatneck sweater over a year ago and I've only just now cast on the back, I'm thinking that another work in progress might not be such a hot idea. On the other hand, I know that when I'm crazy about a pattern, especially short sleeves with a worsted weight yarn, it flies off my needles. I guarantee that by sundown I'll have come up with at least 3 more rationalizations for casting on and I'll have a gauge swatch done. Can you blame me? Tempting, isn't it? In the midst of all this UFO guilt I was suddenly struck with cabin fever. It's been raining for days here and I'm a stranger in a strange land. I needed to go in search of my people, so I googled local yarn shops and found one over a 1/2 hour away, but worth the trip. They were running a special where you could bring in your gently used knitting books in exchange for store credit of 50% of the cover price. While packing for the move I had discovered many of my newbie knitter books really didn't see the light of day anymore and here was a chance to turn them into new yarn! I have to confess it seemed too good to be true and I thought for sure there was a catch, but dreams do come true and I turned over my old books and received an $85.00 giftcard. WooHoo!!! I was so overwhelmed, I think the shop owner must be a sock knitter. There was Koigu, Claudia Handpaints, Trekking, Regia, Twisted Sisters, Colinette Jitterbug and more I'm sure I'm forgetting. They also had the 2 Noni bag patterns I've coveted for months, but could never find in the shops.

I finally settled on 2 skeins of Claudia Handpaint sock yarn in the Red Wagon colorway, 2 balls of Zephyr wool/silk laceweight in teal the new Interweave Knits Magazine, the Portofino pattern from Dolce Knits and these 2 Noni bag patterns. Prism & Adventure. The baby likes them as well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Space... The Final Frontier

How long ago did I first post that we were house hunting? It's been at least a year. I know I was knitting the Clapotis. (I mark time by knitting projects now.) All the while folks kept telling us the perfect place would come along at the perfect time and they were right. Blogging's been light because we've been moving house. After moving the belongings of all 9 of us, I never want to move again. At least not till the children have grown and taken all their worldly possessions with them. You know what's kind of fun about packing up everything you own? Finding hidden yarn you forgot about. I used to know this fella whose Mother was an alcoholic and growing up he'd periodically find a flask of liquor hidden in a bookshelf or the breadbox or what have you and after stumbling across various skeins I barely remember buying, ah yes... I think it's like that.

I love our new house and the yarn actually has it's own little room. The one drag is the lack of yarn shops. I've gone from feast to famine. Of course anyone who saw the boxes marked "YARN" coming off the moving truck might say this is a good thing. It got downright embarrassing after about box #5.

Now I have my first project finished in our new home. Patti from Rowan Studio, issue 1. It nearly broke my heart, but we worked it out and I love it. Here she is on Sally Stitch filmed live in my real live actual knitting/sewing room.

Sally Stitch has far narrower shoulders than I, so here's a back shot of the pleats. The reason Patti nearly broke my heart is that I knit an entire side reversing the slip stitches, so the pleat wanted to fold out instead of in. Keep in mind this is a sportweight yarn for a swing jacket no less. It took me a few days to make peace with the fact the whole thing had to be unravelled and re-knit, but eventually I pulled out the ball winder and just resigned myself to doing whatever I had to do to get it right. This was my first time working with Rowan's Felted Tweed (I used the camel color) and I would knit a big ol' swatch before substituting another yarn. Besides just personally liking the fabric it creates, I think the wool with a touch of rayon makes for a very light and forgiving fiber, but with a nice drape.

Next up, I'm reviving an old work in progress. The Debbie Bliss Boatneck Aran from the Cathay pattern book. I started this while pregnant with baby #7 and was knitting merrily along until one day, about 8 months along and sleep deprived I flipped open the cable charts to pick up where I left off and the whole thing may as well have been written in Greek. I knew I had better put it away until I could concentrate again or it was just going to be a nightmare. I'm using the Cathay yarn in the Duck's Egg Blue. The front is done. I'll cast on the back tonight.