Thursday, February 23, 2006

Reading week and Olympic knitting

Nordic Lights capelet on
Originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
The second half of the Winter 06 Olympics coincided with university reading week, a long weekend followed by teacher's convention in Alberta. That, coupled by a few family members with colds, meant a lot of time indoors, a lot of time watching Olympic events on TV, and the space to be surrounded by multiple balls of yarn.

I got a good enough start on Lady Eleanor last week to be confident about ordering more Noro, but needed something to work on while waiting for that. In the meantime, Wrap Style arrived and I had gobs of Paton's Classic Merino in my stash. So I hauled out the colours that most closely matched the Cascade called for in the pattern, and cast on.

I've had mixed results in my earlier experience with colorwork this year (witness Road to Oslo and the Stocking that mistook itself for a Hat), so this was a great opportunity to practice getting something close to even tension. I'm now confident enough to try tackling a sweater with fair isle bands. Because there were few floats over 3 stitches long, I didn't do a whole lot of "trapping" the yarn in between. In the blue and white section, there were a few 5-6 long floats and I did practice there.
I also found that I really really hate purling with two colours, which only happens once in this wrap, in the shoulder section. I didn't like it at all, and that one row was the most challenging in terms of carrying the yarn and keeping even-ish tension.
pattern: Nordic Lights, from Wrap Style
size 7 Boye needlemaster
Paton's Classic Merino
knit Feb 19-22 through a whole lot of Olympic figure skating and hockey
Nordic Lights capelet, inside

I also finally finished Samus! Almost! I am having a hard time finding grosgrain and a seperating zipper that doesn't clash, but otherwise, it's knit, blocked, and so darn close to done I'm calling it a near FO.

Samus on
I was a little concerned about reports that Paton's Classic Merino grew when washing and blocking, but I really didn't have too much trouble. With a bit of pushing, prodding and massaging it came out to almost perfect dimensions. This thing will fit perfectly, once I have the zipper in.

Samus blocking

Pattern: Knitty's Samus
size 7 Boye for cable, size 8 aeros for body
Paton's Classic Merino
Modifications: added waist shaping from Knitty's Rosedale

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Lady Eleanor begins

Lady Eleanor swatch
Originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.
I'm not swatching for gauge, because it's a stole, for heaven's sake. But I did want to see how this colorway would come out (Noro SG 226) and whether I liked the drape of the fabric on size 9's.

Sassenach pointed out in in jmac's LE pic that it's the new Clapotis and I think she's right - I can see why. Like Clapotis, the stitch pattern is easy to learn, and repetitive in a way that is either tedious or addictive. I haven't decided which one this is yet...tediously addictive, maybe :)

I hated turning every 8 stitches, so I've also taken the opportunity to learn to knit backwards, from left to right. That's fun!

I'll make the decision on whether to order more SG at the end of this ball. I like the fabric on size 9s, I just need to decide whether I like this colorway enough to have a full sized stole out of it.

I'm also pecking away at my Rib and Cable socks designed by Nancy Bush, from the IK fall'05. I'm trying to make myself knit the pattern as designed, just to see why the heel is written so strangely. It comes out strangely puffy, and I almost ripped it out. But by the time I picked up the gusset stitches and knit on, it actually seemed to fit nicely. So, zooming on down the foot. These socks will take a while, since they're my "school socks", and I'm pretty much only working on them on breaks at university. It's good to have at least one portable project on the go. I doubt I'll do the toe as written...I like the pictures I've seen with it, but I think the p3tog will make me crazy when wearing them. I'll probably do a spiral toe like the kind she uses for Conwy.
strangely puffy heel

and finally, a pair of armwarmers for my daughter. They're just a simple 10 stitch rib and cable pattern repeat, in fact the same on Nancy Bush uses for the socks above. I just compressed the cable and put a 6 stitch button hole in when they got to the right length. These were in Paton's Classic Merino and size 8 circs. Cushy and soft.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I have a new knitting bag!

or, at least a tote bag, to stuff WIP in. I love's just a simple canvas tote, but the very cool logo was designed by my friend Sharon Frost from our group blog yogalila.

Yogalila tote bag

The same artwork is used with a different caption - "more cow pose", which was inspired by the SNL skit more cow bell, and it seemed perfect for us since so many of us continue to struggle with this pose.

So what am I stuffing into my bag? Well, not Cat Bordhi's Moebius banded Lotus Blossom Hat, because it's all done. It's in Lamb's Pride Worsted in a spectaular turqoise colour, sent to me by Loretta. :

Lotus blossom hat

It's not easy to take a picture of the top of your head, but here's my attempt at showing the lotus. So yogic!

Lotus Blossom hat, top.

Simple moebius scarves are so fast and gratifying. I quickly whipped up a purl ridge scarf in Noro Kureyon. I don't always love Kureyon, since it can be scratchy, but a little bath in Eucalan softened it up nicely.

Purl Ridge Moebius in Noro Kureyon

So much for stuff I won't be carrying in my tote bag. I will be carrying bits and pieces of Samus, though. I've finally started on the second sleeve, knit in the round, which I hope will not screw me up entirely when I sew it to the body, since I did not account for selvege stitches at all.

Slogging away on Samus sleeves

And since I can't stand not having some sort of sock on the go, I'm also carrying around the beginning of Nancy Bush's Rib and Cable sock from Interweave Knit's Fall 2005 issue.

Rib and Cable socks beginning

Although I think the leg is simple enough that I could probably knit 2 at a time without too much angst, I am going to knit these one at at time so I can decide whether I really want to knit them exactly as written. Also, I like the increased portablity of just one at a time. I can stuff this into my pack if the urge to knit overcomes me between classes at university.

I hope that one day I will also include the mate to this poor sad sock, one lone Whitby I've been knitting for my husband. I have no excuse for not having bought enough yarn, other than December absentmindedness, and I will have to order the yarn in. I've never gone this long between single socks before. It feels weird and wrong.

Sad and loney Whitby