Saturday, February 10, 2007

Knitting Update

Actually, there has been a lot of knitting here in the past couple of months. First, I finished the log cabin baby blanket (a la Mason Dixon) for my friend Chrissy. Unbelievably, I forgot to take a picture. I don't know where my brain was. I think I was just stupid with the aftershock of the sheer frenzy of knitting I had to go through to finish the blanket. I am not kidding or exaggerating when I tell you that the blanket was still damp and in the dryer at 5:30 p.m. and the shower was scheduled to begin at 6:30. I bound off the edge on the baby washcloth that C. made for the baby standing at the kitchen counter, with my coat on, ready to leave for the party. "Under the wire" hardly begins to describe the last-minute nature of the whole enterprise. So maybe I should not be surprised that I forgot to take a picture. I'm just glad I got all those ends tucked anyway.

Here is the next project. In December and early January, it was so warm around here we were beginning to wonder if winter would ever come (ah, those were the days). My thick and fuzzy scarves were too heavy and warm to wear, but my coat looked naked without a scarf. I decided I could whip up a light, lacy thin scarf to wear doubled or tripled around my neck in nothing flat, and I did:
Above, my creation, using a little over 1 skein of Claudia Handpainted Merino in fingering weight. The color is Chocolate Cherry. This is nice yarn, but I don't think I will use it again. It is very lightweight. It really wasn't what I wanted for this project. I needed something with a little more, um, presence. It just needed more heft or weight to give it a good drape. But I really do like the scarf. It's light enough that I can wear it with just a sweater and it doesn't look stupid.

As luck would have it, winter arrived the week after I finished the Claudia Handpaint scarf, so I put it away and pulled out the Serious Scarves--the Heavyweights. Coincidentally, C and I were in Philadelphia for a Girl Scout event on the first really cold and windy day. When we were done, I dragged her to loop. I've been wanting to go there for so long, I practically whined to C in the car as she begged not to have to go a yarn store after a long cold day of museum-touring.

At loop, (sorry kid: we did your thing, now we're doing mine) I found myself transfixed. They had Koigu. Lots of and lots of Koigu, in fact.

I've seen Koigu in magazines and on the web, but Iv'e never been in a store that carries it. I've heard from local stores that Koigu has a five year waiting list, and that they just can't seem to get their hands on any. And there I was: facing an entire wall of it. It was too much; it was overwhelming. What to choose? I bought myself some Koigu Kersti, which seemed to be exactly what I wanted for the aforementioned lacy scarf project.

And then--get this--they, gulp, wound the hanks into balls for me. C and I were both transfixed this time, watching the swift and the ball winder do their thing. Wow. Hours of handwinding accomplished in between 5-10 minutes Must. Get. One. Of. Those.

Here is my progress on the Kersti scarf. After messing around with a lace mesh stitch, I found the perfect pattern to showcase the colors of this yarn: Argosy from the latest issue of I saw Argosy mentioned on the Mason Dixon blog and realized that it was exactly what I was looking for. Doesn't it look cool? In sock news, I finished the Austermann Step socks, which I love. I finally finished the second of the Regia Silk Color socks--which I don't love--the other day in the waiting room at the car dealership. I love the feel of the Regia Silk, I just hate the colorway and I hated my decision to top the sock with 6 inches of ribbing I did not enjoy working with it. The leg of the second sock took me months. Yes, I know that the striping patterns on the green socks do not match up perfectly. I don't care. I actually kinda like it that way. And no, I have no idea why the foot on the zebra socks looks so long. I guess I have big feet. Both pairs fit me fine, and that's the important thing.It may be hard to belive, but we have been doing other things in our house, besides knitting. We got a First Communion dress for C; we went to the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences with her Brownie troop; we've been selling (and eating) Girl Scout cookies; we bought and put together a new elliptical trainer; we found out immediately thereafter that it is defective and needs repair; I started doing physical therapy for my hip and finally am feeling better (limp free!). I am still editing for the Journal, but I also am going to be doing a large assignment for Rich's firm, which will help out a lot with things like summer camp expenses and school tuition bills.

Next up: I want to finally use the Lopi I've been saving for several years. Here is the pattern I would like to make, from The Best of Lopi. We'll see if I can get gauge--I had trouble before, that's why this pattern book and the bags of yarn have been languishing in my closet for so long....