Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yarn Along: waiting in the wings

In addition to savoring Middlemarch, I've spent this past week poring over a book full of Icelandic patterns that I checked out of my parents' library. It has been a tremendous inspiration. I find it strangely difficult to imagine the various patterns in alternate color schemes, but that's where Ravelry and Instagram come in. I am plotting lopapeysas for all and sundry.  
It seems I am always one sweater ahead of myself. I finished up Lucy's pickled beets cardigan, complete with ideal buttons from my visit to Twist.  
While putting those finishing touches on it, I couldn't help but daydream about making another Davies Mashup out of what remains of my Ecological Wool
Yet as soon as I cast that on, I began planning how to best use the Lopi my husband brought me from his fortuitous layover in Iceland. 
With the help of that book, I've got a pretty clear picture of how to use it, supplementing with a skein or two of contrasting color. Lucy would love a cinnamon sweater and I think Pete will look great in this oatmeal unspun wool. I am turning color combinations over in my mind as I churn out another sheepy yoke sweater. Does anyone else daydream about what's next on the needles while knitting away monogamously?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Yarn Along: dwindling

I finished the body of Lucy's pickled beets cardigan and wove in the ends, even though I still have to knit the second sleeve.  Lucy brought the scraps of yarn outside and sprinkled them around for the birds to use in their nests.  She wore this sad much mended cardigan outside that has somehow both stretched out and shrunken in the two hard years of use since I made it.  I want so badly for her to wear this new one that I don't mind wrestling with it a little longer.  In the meantime, let the quest for the perfect buttons begin.

Middlemarch has been keeping me occupied.  It has so many amusing moments.  George Elliot is a master of human nature. I'm on Chapter 37 (of 86) and already started pinching what's left and wondering how long it'll last, as though it's my final ball of yarn.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yarn Along: pickled beets

I'm happily listening away to Middlemarch, which means this giant tome is going by surprisingly quickly.  I'm on Chapter 20...out of 86.  Never mind.
At least my knitting is flying by.  My Kate Davies mashup sweater was completed in only 10 days from start to finish.  
This was my first real color work, so there was definitely a learning curve, but toward the end it had a wonderful rhythm to it.  I instantly started planning on a second version, with the colors inverted, for my daughter.

Unbelievably, this one fits both Lucy, who wears size 3T, and Sebastian, who wears 6-12 month clothing.  Lucy insists it is the baby's sweater, though, and then goes to get one of her too-small cardigans to wear instead.  
Seeing how shabby they are has made me want to concentrate on her new cardigan before I start any more sweaters.  I'm nearly done with the first sleeve.  It feels good to go back to this luscious color after so much grey.
This color no longer reminds me of raspberries, but rather pickled beets. She loves them more anyway. Let's hope this yarn is better at hiding the stains than her other handknits have been.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Yarn Along: double duty

I'm still reading Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting and I just started Middlemarch.  Pete gave me the audiobook on our anniversary and my friend Joanna gave me a copy of the book for Christmas.   I'm going back and forth between them, depending on the situation.  The Audible gal is truly excellent, and I take back my reservations about her.  When a few characters debated the proper way to store papers, I had a good chuckle, since that has been a preoccupation of mine lately.
I've added a few stitches to Lucy's raspberry cardigan, but most of my week has been spent on whipping up a pullover for Sebastian out of leftovers from Pete's sweater.  I intend to add a little herd of sheep around the collar in a pale grey.  I'm doing a mashup of two Kate Davies patterns--owlet and Sheep Carousel.  
A couple of years ago, I knit Lucy an owlet out of this yarn in the 12 month size, with a couple of extra inches in the sleeves and torso, just right for my long, lean baby.  That owlet fit her until just a few weeks ago, when I plucked it off her and immediately put Sebastian in it.  He is much more roly-poly than his sister was, so it's more of a tunic on him at 5 months, with the sleeves rolled up.  
Thanks to EandKVloggers for this picture!
For this new sweater, I wanted to see if I had enough yarn left before embarking on the project, so out came my trusty kitchen scale.  I weighed the finished sweater against the grey wool, which wasn't quite enough.  So I'll just knit the sleeves and body as written in the pattern.  Though that will mean he won't get as much use out of this rendition of the sweater, his baby cousin will profit from my yarn shortage.  We'll happily pass this sheepy sweater on to Sampson when the time comes.