Friday, March 16, 2007

Progress report

There is a reason for this photo - but it should be at the end of the post.
I'm suffering from a surfeit of WIPs. Above you see all my current works in progress in all their glory. From right to left: a felted bag in Twilley's Freedom Spirit (I am currently working the strap - garter stitch on 9 stitches for what feels like miles. Can anyone blame me for putting it down and hoping it somehow grows on its own? After all, Spring is nearly here); Chi's entrelac scarf in Zara (lovely yarn, and I'm using my Lantern Moon ebony needles, and it's my first real project in entrelac - but it's a scarf, for heaven's sakes. No shaping, no "yippee I am at the armhole," no "I think I can finish this cable repeat before Kittycat wakes up" - I was hoping that finishing my first 2 balls of yarn would motivate me, but they seem to be lasting forever); a scarf in a slipped-stitch pattern that I'm making as a thank you to someone who runs an online message board that I frequent (I like it and it's in Kureyon, so knitting to the next colour change is a great motivator - but I am saving it for mindless knitting time, when I am tired and need an easy pattern); at bottom left the ginkgo leave tunic (this is the swatch. I like it, but I know it will take a LONG time to do, and I need to get these other things done before I get really stuck into it); and so finally, at the left in green, I cast on for Kittycat's fall sweater. It is in Zara, it's LOVELY - the yarn shows the cables at their crispest, and makes my tension look almost perfect. I love the colour and it's knitting up very fast. It's the one that was meant to be in Snuggly DK - I like it MUCH better in extra fine merino (go figure!). I've posted a photo of Kittycat (aged 2 or 3 weeks) wearing the hooded version of the cardi, in a newborn size, in Snuggly DK, so you can see what the pattern is like. The version I'm knitting will have a sailor collar instead of the hood.

So, I have project ADD, but I think I can get Kittycat's cardi done in the next couple of weeks and then I will attack all my other projects with the appropriate amount of enthusiasm.

And my yarn diet is going well - I even went into a yarn store today and bought nothing!

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

A Hat of Her Own

Since Kittycat had such fun wearing my beret, I made her one of her own. I used pretty much the same pattern, but did it on 3mm needles in Lanett instead of 4.5mm and Freedom Spirit. I also added the stripe pattern so it would match her mousie pants, and finished the centre with a short length of i-cord to make it look more like a traditional beret. Then I blocked it on a dessert plate and voila!

By the way, in my last post I carefully positioned my gorgeous new Lantern Moon ebony needles (Valentine's gift from Chi) in the photo of the dishcloth, then forgot to blog about them. I'm a little ashamed that my first project on them was just a dishcloth - but now I'm using them to make an entrelac scarf for Chi in Filatura di Crosa Zara, which is a yummy yarn and quite worthy of the needles. I don't think my entrelac technique is entirely worthy though - it is not as even as I'd like and I have bumps showing through of the contrast colours when I work the p2togs. Still, it doesn't look bad.

Speaking of Zara I bought more of it online, to make Kittycat's next autumn sweaters. I have a pattern book for Sirdar Snuggly DK which I love, but that yarn is 100% acrylic, and lovely though it is to knit, after a few washes you can really tell it's acrylic. I realised that Zara will knit to the same gauge, is machine washable and it's 100% merino wool so it will be nice and warm and breathable and should wear better too.

You may be wondering why I bought yarn now for her fall sweaters. Well... I'm on a yarn diet. It started at the beginning of the month. So I had to get in a few frantic last-minute purchases in at the end of February. As well as the Zara (some in navy and some in green) I bought some ecoknit organic cotton to make the ginkgo leaf top (on sale, and it's lovely, lovely soft yummy stuff, although the colour is not me at all - I'm looking into natural dyes for it) and also treated myself to Zephyr wool-silk from Fiddlesticks Knitting to make the Caress lacy top. My yarn diet ends in September - hopefully it will help me cut a swathe through my stash so that by the time it's up I'll actually have room (and good reason) to buy more. To be honest, though, it would probably take me several years of yarn dieting to actually deplete the stash. To find out more about why I'm yarn dieting check out Chi's blog.

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