Monday, July 18, 2016

it took long enough

The fingerless gloves in the photos below have been in my Ravelry queue for QUITE a while. I think I've run through about 5 different 'plans' to make them during that time, each with different leftover yarn. Well. This May I finally got my act together and cast on. 

Having finished up one small project from my leftovers, I started this one that same day. I'm pretty sure we were watching Midsomer Murders the day the picture above was taken - easy pattern to follow. The leftovers I chose were from Kelpie, a Pendulum shawl I finished last summer. I still like this combination of Big Sur and El Greco, so I stuck with it. 

I knew I wouldn't have enough of the gray to get very far, so I weighed the skein and started the wrist and button straps with that color. As I went I weighed very few rows to make sure I was leaving myself enough wiggle room to have about the same length of gray on the second glove. These worked up very quickly, taking only about a week of occasional knitting. I just haven't 'finished' them yet by sewing on the buttons and straps. The whole thing is stockinette in the round - a simple thing that I think showcases the variations in this lovely turquoise very nicely. The hardest part, as always for me, was closing up the hole at the thumb after that was done. Even the ribbing on the tiny needles was ok! 

Eventually I'll get those buttons sewn on. The instructions weren't super clear about how or where to sew the straps on, so that's the hold up. I haven't sat down to think about it yet. No rush though, since it won't get 'cold' here for a while yet. It is the height of summer, after all.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

something for the road

This lovely skein of yarn, and a friend, hopped into my things just hours before hopping on the plane to return home from our Kentucky vacation. We were driving around town with Dave's folks after brunch (at a wonderful restaurant - Butchertown Grocery) and it occurred to me that since I had finished my Summer Sampler I would have no knitting for the plane. The horror! Truth be told, I don't always work on the things I take with me, especially on a red eye when I'd rather be trying to sleep, but it's a comfort to know I'll have the stitches to distract me if the ride gets long. 

Being a busy yarn I found a simple pattern to go with it. This is going to be a small cowl with ribbing on either side and a sort of waffle stitch body. Stockinette in the round with the occasional 1x1 rib row - easy peasy. 

Given that I found this yarn in the discount bin at the back of the Joann's I'm super tickled that I like it so much. It's soft and the gold/copper nylon thread that runs through it is looking so neat. This project is my new TV knitting I think!

Monday, July 11, 2016

appalachian knitting

Dave and I went on vacation to Kentucky last week. Not wanting to take along my increasingly heavy blanket in progress but also not wanting to have idle hands in the anticipated stretches of relaxation time (what a waste!), I started something new and colorful the week before we left. I began with a sort of blob of yarn like this:

And after a week ended up with this:

Not bad! Granted, it's currently a little lumpy because I haven't blocked it yet but still - finished! In a week and a half! I found the pattern by perusing Ravelry for a few days before our trip. I knew I wanted to take along my colorful experimental acrylic Mom got me last fall, but hadn't yet decided on a pattern. I have a harder time pairing variegated yarns with patterns so these lovely colors had been sitting in my stash waiting patiently for their turn. Searching for patterns other folks had made with this line of yarn (Red Heart Unforgettable) in the amount I had (2 skeins) turned up the Stitch Sampler Shawl.

It is essentially a rectangular wrap that has stripes of different stitch patterns. From the pictures I could see that this pattern is ideal for variegated yarns of all types. The section shown above is a double moss stitch (ish) that mixes the colors up in a way that makes them sparkle. It's my favorite part of the piece. Even though I don't like actually knitting long rows of k1, p1, it was totally worth it.

There are also sections of these neat loopy stitches that are made from dropping multiple yarn-overs. The effect is somewhat like hairpin lace crochet. Having never tried that before I can't say which is easier to do. These were the fiddliest rows in the whole thing to knit, though. They look a little floppy but I think they'll look nicer when everything is blocked out. 

It was quite a nice vacation, with most of the knitting time spent on a camp chair in the middle of the Appalachian mountains out of range of both internet and phone, truly unplugged. Downpours, bug spray, shitzus, canoes, banjos, and dulcimers all went into the making of this, jumbled and juxtaposed into the week much like the stitches themselves.