Thursday, June 10, 2010

On and Off the Needles

When I was younger and had my whole summer to look forward to during the last week of school, the idea of no schedule and endless possibilities was very delicious.

As an adult it is a little scary. I made it through my first week of “unemployment” feeling just a little bit un-tethered.

The whole concept of just getting up and doing whatever with nowhere to go and nothing special to accomplish is just a little daunting. Fortunately I had a couple of private lessons and have plenty of knitting goals to keep me going.

I finished a couple of things and started a couple of new projects just to keep myself occupied.

Here’s what I’ve finished:

2 pair of socks, a shawl, and a couple of dishcloths for gifts:

Sock pair #1

Pattern: basic sock
Yarn: Panda Cotton baby blues; deep blue and Ivory
Size 2.5 dpn

Just a quick pair of crew socks that I cast on for traveling over Memorial Day weekend, I had a lot of yarn leftover from two pair I did before so I thought I’d see if I could get another pair out of it. I managed to have just enough of the light blue and the white. I have enough of the dark blue left to use as striping or heels and toes in another pair. I did pick up a few skeins of this yarn during the going-out-of-business sales at the shop. One interesting note about this pair; since I made the entire cuff in ribbing I tried the technique for making neater stripes by doing the first round of each new color in stockinette before switching back to the ribbing. I think it does make a nice looking stripe.

Sock pair #2

Pattern: Annetrelac (IK Holiday Knits 2007)
Yarn: Knitivity in Chocolate covered cherries
Size 2.25 magic loop

I am extremely happy with how these turned out. I had tried a couple of different patterns for this yarn and didn’t love the pooling effect with this limited palette. When I got to the feet and the yarn started a nice thin spiral of reds and browns, I knew I made a good choice. When the second sock turned out to be nearly identical I was just ecstatic.

Simple shawl

Pattern: improvised
Yarn: Brooks Farm Harmony
Size 10.5 needles

I have had this yarn for quite a while and never really came up with a good project for it. I knew I had less than 500 yards which wasn’t enough to really do much. It is silk, wool, and mohair blend, so I didn’t think it would be very good for a hat / mitten set. It was way too pretty to give away (not to mention probably expensive too). I bought it in 2005 at my very first Stitches Midwest and so I had a sort of sentimental attachment to it as well. I finally decided I could probably get a nice wrap or shawl out of it. I tried one wrap pattern, but didn’t like the way the lace looked. So I decided to work up a triangle shawl and experiment a little with patterns. I tried a couple different lace designs, but couldn’t get my mind around how to work in the increases without messing up the pattern. (I’ll get there one of these days). So I just alternated garter bands with two different eyelet sequences. The result is simple and completely plays up how pretty this yarn really is. The finished shawl is about 68 inches wide by 33 inches deep.

I also worked up a couple of washcloths:

I discovered during my last workshop at the store that a dishcloth is a great way to work up a pattern stitch for demonstrating so I've been using these for swatching and my samples for teaching. Plus I have a surprising amount of heavy cotton in my stash. Win, win.

It’s hard to believe this, but I really only have two WIPs right now:

Flower Child by Nora Gaughn

This is a long in the queue project that was delayed due to trouble acquiring the right yarn. I won’t go into the hairy details, but suffice it to say that I am happy to finally get going on this! This is going to be for my DD2 who will be visiting in July so I have a deadline.

I’m using Berroco Pure Pima in the Nectar colorway and size 6 needles. Hopefully this will be a quick knit.

I know you’d be really disappointed if I didn’t have more socks going, so I won’t disappoint. I started my June challenge pair and my am trying to pick a pattern for my June personal sock club pair. The June challenge pair is the Chevron Lace pattern from Getting started Knitting Socks. I’m using Claudia Handpaint in the Ocean Depths colorway. I’ve already had to frog these once because the pattern makes a very tight fabric. I cast on and started over with more stitches, but may need to use bigger needles as well. I think it’s a nice pattern though. I have a picture, but it's more needles than sock at this point.  I'll try to have more done for the next update.

I picked a nice skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock from my personal sock club, but I didn’t like the pattern I had previously paired with it. I’m considering a couple of others I have in my queue right now. I think I just need to start one and see how the yarn knits up. I did a little searching in Ravelry to see what patterns others had used and there are so many!  I guess you’ll have to wait for an update to see what I choose.

And of course, I’ve got about 4 other projects on my “on deck” circle.  I want to try to focus on Flower Child for the moment.  The socks are for when I need a change from the cotton and for carrying around with me. That's what I've got going.  Don't forget Saturday is WWKIP day (or the kick-off for WWKIP Week!) So be sure to do some knitting out and about. 

Happy Knitting!



SciFiTVFanGirl said...

Wow, all of those finished projects are amazing!! My favorite are the ankle socks though--so cute.

I know a certain little sister who will be quite happy to learn of the sweater in progress as well!

Happy knitting! You won't have to worry about getting used to not having a set schedule as you will make one up for yourself. It runs in the family, I think. :o)

Lynn said...

well when you are in school, you're most likely living with your mom and dad so there are no worries of food or mortgage. when we are grown ups, well it cuts into all that time off.

KnitTech said...

The shawl is very pretty.