Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flirting with monogamy

Knitting monogamy, that is. For the last three days, this is all I've been knitting on:

I'll give you a hint: it's knit on size 8 needles with Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton. Still no idea? Maybe this will help:

It's Que Sera from the latest issue of Knitty.  I've used up almost two skeins (out of a projected 6) and the pattern is moving along pretty quickly. All of various write-ups in Ravelry say that this is a speedy project and I was a bit disappointed at first because I didn't think I was knitting it all that quickly. Admittedly, the pattern is a bit fiddly in places and I have to be a touch more careful about tension since this is a cotton yarn, but this is a pretty impressive amount of knitting given that I cast on Monday afternoon.

So what was I doing over the weekend, other than modeling Haruni? For starters, I finished knitting this:

It still needs blocking and buttons but at least the knitting is done. Actually, I can say the same thing about Audrey in Unst - it, too, is just waiting for blocking and buttons.

Buttons are always tricky for me. I live in a big, metropolitan city but I've yet to find a good button source. We used to have a fantastic little shop right off the Magnificent Mile that had button boxes stacked floor to ceiling. Unfortunately it closed down a couple of years ago and I've yet to find a replacement. I know there are great online options but I don't want to order the same style in three or four different sizes just to figure out what fits in my buttonhole. (If I'm really smart, I'll order the buttons first and then knit the buttonhole.) I'll venture into my LYS this weekend to see if it has something appropriate in stock.

I've got even more to show from that flurry of finishing (two sweaters "finished" in two days isn't bad in my book). I started and finished Koolhaas while we were away in Maine last week, but pics will have to wait until next time.

So what happened to Juneberry? Monogamy struck. I brought Haruni and yarns for Juneberry and Koolhaas with me on the trip. I cast on for Koolhaas in the car as we were leaving the airport on Saturday and never looked back - that was all I knit. To be fair, most of my knitting that weekend took place in the car and I really needed something that I could work without paying very much attention, which ruled out both lace projects. I still need semi-mindless knitting this week so I'm hoping to find some time this weekend to sit down and dig into Juneberry. It's about time - I'm sick of monogamy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

FO: Haruni

As you probably guessed, I finished my Haruni shawl a couple of days ago. I just can't get over how pretty it is.

Actually, I'm astonished that this is a free pattern (yes, I said free, you just have to log in to Ravelry to get it). It's a clever combination of a couple of common lace motifs, easily worked in a single skein of laceweight yarn. Ok, enough gushing, here are the specs:

Pattern: Haruni by Emily Ross
Yarn: Malabrigo laceweight in colorway Paris Night - less than 1 skein. I had enough left over that I didn't worry about being able to finish the edging but not so much that I felt like I should have done an extra set of repeats in the main pattern.
Needles: size 4 addi lace circulars and a size B/1 (2.25mm) crochet hook for the edging
Mods: absolutely none. The pattern was delightful as written.

Working those big leaves at the end was a ton of fun. Don't get me wrong, I could happily knit fern lace (the main body pattern) all day long but the designer seemed to know the perfect moment to switch gears and knit something new. None of that feeling you get with some shawl patterns when you burn out on one motif a repeat or two before it's time to start the next one.

This particular color of malabrigo has proved quite tricky to photograph accurately. It's a deep blue with washes of blue-green and subtle splashes of purple. This showed up perfectly when I was looking at this pic in iphoto but the color looks a bit washed out now that it's up on blogger. You'll just have to take my word for the fact that it's really lovely in person.

For all that the pattern looks frilly and complicated, it's really quite an easy knit. It might even work as a first lace project for an adventurous knitter, but it's interesting and clever enough to keep more experienced knitters engaged, too.

What, I haven't shown you the whole shawl yet? How about this:

But you know I'm much more likely to wear it like this:

You've probably noticed a couple of changes to the blog lately, mostly in its layout and design. I'm having fun tinkering with blogger but it's a slow process. Now that I've figured out how to put my own images in the background (you may recognize the handspun that became Coraline) my next goal is to put up FO lists, since I love clicking through those on other people's blogs. Here's hoping I can get to that this weekend (and figure out how to include pictures with the links).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sneak Peek

I finished a little something yesterday (and blocked it, too!). Here's a sneak peek before I get some FO shots this weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone!

Monday, June 14, 2010


The DH and I are getting away for a mini vacation this coming weekend. We're popping out to New England to see my parents on Saturday and Sunday and then we'll take Monday for ourselves to relax and walk along the ocean.

Naturally, now I'm wondering just what knitting I want to bring along on the trip. I'm as guilty as the next knitter of over-packing (at least when it comes to knitting) whenever we go anywhere, so this time I'm trying to be responsible. But what to bring?

I've been working along on Audrey in Unst:

(Yes, I do seem to be on a bit of a Gudrun Johnston kick, don't I?) I had such high hopes of finishing this one before we left on Saturday so that I could wear it on the trip. But even I now acknowledge that that is never going to happen. 

So, this sweater has some nice, mindless knitting to do on the sleeves and then picking up for the button bands - nothing too onerous but not quite trip knitting in my book. 

Plus, before I can knit the cuffs on the sleeves, I'll need to finish this so I can reclaim the needle:

I've finally jumped on the Haruni shawl bandwagon. I'm about a third of the way through the final chart and probably will have several rows left to go by the time Saturday rolls around. But once I finish them, I'll have miles and miles of crochet bind-off. That sounds a bit too fiddly to try on the plane/in the car but for now I'll keep this project in the "tentative" list.

Well, that pretty much takes care of the two things I am currently knitting. What about the February Toddler Sweater? That's definitely a possibility. And I'll probably be able to finish it on the trip.

So what I am really thinking about? Two things. First, knitting up a Koolhas hat in this:

Some Dream in Color Classy in the grey tabby colorway. This hat is destined to be a gift for the husband of the recipient of the Aestlight shawl I knit a couple of months back. I think it's safe to say that this project is definitely coming along - small but interesting. Perfect.

But what I really want to knit is Juneberry, from the new St. Denis Magazine. I have a skein of Zephyr silk/wool laceweight that would be perfect for this. Do I have to finish Haruni first? It's lovely and I'm enjoying knitting it, but trips are special circumstances, right?

What should I bring?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Just in time for summer

Last week I finished Kerrera - just in time for the temp to hit 90 here (we were back down in the 60s today but, sadly, this sweater isn't exactly work-appropriate).

Size: 34.5"
Yarn: Domy Heather from Old Mill Yarn (I picked it up at Maryland Sheep & Wool several years ago). This is a fingering weight yarn that I held double in order to get gauge. One nice bonus of using a lighter yarn held doubled is that the whole sweater is incredibly light for a piece that size. Hopefully that will help prevent everything from sagging too much.
Needles: size 8 and 9 Addi lace circulars. The pointy tips on the Addi lace needles were incredibly helpful on the double garter sections.

As you've probably seen on ravelry, yes, the double garter sections do take forever. That said, it's kind of fun and the result is a really nifty texture.

Mods: Absolutely none. I got gauge with my swatch but, as you'd probably expect, the finished piece didn't behave exactly as expected. My row gauge ended up a bit looser than I'd expected. Thank goodness I'm on the tall side, so everything worked out.

This is a fantastic pattern! Normally when you get a pattern, all of the instructions come with a long string of numbers. Here, the designer provided all of the numbers in a table so that you just had to plug the numbers from the column for your size into the actual instructions. It's much clearer and easier to follow.

The sleeves involve a really nifty technique: a set-in sleeve worked with short rows. The fit is amazing. My only issue is that the stitches at the edge of armscye are a bit loose and you can sometimes see the shirt underneath. I'll probably go back and run a crochet chain around the inside of the armscye in order to close up that edge.

That said, I'm really happy with this one.