Saturday, March 31, 2012

Whole lotta knitting going on

Ok, let's start with the largest sigh of relief first--this is the first, and possibly last, afghan I have knit. I have a house full of afghans that I crocheted, but knitting is somewhat more time-consuming than crocheting, and I didn't think I would ever knit an afghan.

But then there was a 75% off sale on Cascade 220 wool yarn, in a color that pretty well matches my couch, and wool is cozier than acrylic, and I saw a pattern for a cute baby blanket, and it just seemed like a good idea. Last October!

So I got going on it, and then Christmas came along, and I put it aside, and then there was considerable traveling in January and February, and while whipping a sock out of your purse to knit on a plane has a certain panache, whipping out an entire afghan has much less panache.

So it was threatening to turn into an aborted project--and then in February I made up my mind to just power through it. It still took another 5 weeks or fairly dedicated knitting, but I bound off last night and it is currently blocking, smelling sort of wooly. I hope to take this with me to the nursing home, when I am old and befuddled. I call it Amber Waves of Grain.

In the interim, I knit these socks, Trekking XXL, in a colorway that was one of about 3 available at a small quilt shop in Newport Maine that only grudgingly carries any yarn at all. I would never have chosen it otherwise, but it turns out that I love it!

I have also discovered the fun of knitting for babies! Jelena at work was expecting, and I decided to whip up a sweater from some yarn that I hand-dyed several years ago with koolaid. It's called something like Stupid Easy Garter Yoke Baby Sweater, and it was fast and fun and only semi-ugly--variegation is almost always semi-ugly. but the colors! So cute!

Also cute as a curious little Origami purse! Not actually functional for carrying around, but a cute place to stash a small collection of coins.

Then I got busy on a *pair* of sweaters for poor Jenny, who is having boy and girl twins. This yarn was also hand-dyed by me, this one with Wilton Food Coloring. For the girl, I decided on the famous February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann. It was fast and fun.

And then I got creative and used the same pattern, but instead of lace, I used a dish cloth pattern for a textured body for the boy twin.

Same but different is always cute, and baby clothes are always cute, so this was a sure thing!

And all unknown to me, when I chose this color yarn, the baby shower was held on Saint Patrick's Day! Perfect!

Finally, a sweater vest that was less than a total success. I got the yarn at the Torrance Fiber Fest the first week in November, and I love it--it is called Fez and is 15% camel and the rest merino. Soft as a cloud....but...

a sad tendency to pill. And to look ratty, almost instantly. Also, due to user error, I didn't start the neckline soon enough and ended up with a crew neck rather than a lovely scoop neck, as the pattern indicated.

And also, the waist shaping isn't in quite the right place, and the end result is that this is a warm hug of a sweater vest that makes me look 20 pounds heavier than I am, and I am quite heavy enough, thank you!

Still, it is so cozy!

So, all those projects are off the needles, and I have nothing left to knit! I cast on a wash cloth today, in desperation! But I *do* have a gift certificate at Twist, and a couple of sweater patterns in the queue...I think I can remedy this problem tomorrow.

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