Wednesday, August 18, 2010

finishing nothing, starting everything!

major startitis has kicked in.  i blame several things:  1) the ever-present knitting ADD i just can't seem to shake;  2) a break from the crippling heat and humidity this week, reminding me that summer will eventually end and i will get to wear my sweaters and mittens and hats once more;  3) last night's fashion show at nina;  and 4) having lots of birthdays, special occasions, and holidays to knit for from now 'til the end of the year, with new ones popping up weekly! 

last night's show at nina was super fun - i don't get to attend many events of any kind, since most of them happen when i am working (thursday & friday evenings, saturday and sunday).  so to me, getting to come to last night's event was a bit of a treat.  i haven't been to many knitting fashion shows, but the few i've attended were definitely on the lame side.  not so last night - i was more than pleasantly surprised.   Really beautiful yarns,  interesting patterns, and even some things i would consider making for myself! 

for example, there were a lot of one- and two-skein scarves/wraps/mobius bands.  i am really not into knitting scarves at all, and quite honestly never got why everyone was into mobius bands.  perhaps it was seeing them in person, knit out of pretty yarns instead of fun fur or something reminiscent of semi-digested trix.  or maybe it was the realization that a mobius band is quite practical in a city like chicago, and since my new work commute involves walking over the chicago river twice a day, it might be a good idea to wear something that is not only warm, but well-attached to my body and therefore not likely to go flying off into the river.   i'm not casting on just yet, but the idea has definitely taken hold in the back of my mind. 

and then there's the tea leaves cardigan.  i'd already been thinking of making one for myself, but was holding off until i finished up the bulk of my gift knitting...but as i drooled over it last night, i  thought about how it only makes sense to start it now, even if i only work on it a little bit in between finishing up designs and gifts and such - because then there's a greater probability i could be wearing it by my birthday (or, more realistically, by christmas).   and then there was the wall of malabrigo rios, staring me in the face.  i already had two skeins of cumparsita at home....perhaps if i bought a few more, i could have the softest, squishiest machine-washable tea leaves cardigan ever. 

it's dangerous to go to a yarn store when you don't need any yarn (and trust me, i certainly don't at this point!  hence i will NOT be attending stitches midwest this weekend - because obviously, i can't be trusted).  it's even more dangerous to go when you have some money burning a hole in your wallet - which is why i will be casting on for the afore-mentioned cardigan at some point later today.   my to-do list for today is quite long, but if all i do is cast on and knit the first couple of rows, that's just peachy with me. 

i wish i had thought to take my camera to the show last night - i tried taking some photos with my phone, but they're all pretty crappy.  if you don't believe me, then behold:

yes, that is the best photo i took last night.  pretty sad, right? 

on the plus side, i do have some WIP photos to share: 

 first up, i am working on a monster using some of my tour de fleece handspun.  the pattern is rebecca danger's iris the gourmet monster, available only in a kit.  i'm using some mixed-wool fiber i dyed and spun myself; it's somewhere in the neighborhood of a light worsted/dk weight, and i'm knitting a very tight gauge on #4 DPNs. 


 again with the whale socks - these might appear to be FO's, but i assure you, hidden behind those sock blockers is mess of loose ends to be woven in.  i don't make it a habit to block socks unless they are 100% complete, but i was a little worried about the tightness of my color work.  i don't think i'll have to rip anything back and re-knit at a looser gauge (but if i had to, good thing i knit these socks toe-up!) 

though these socks did loosen up a bit in the blocking, i've decided that, from now on, i'm going to go up two needle sizes for my colorwork.
 i just knit too tightly - even when i think i'm making the world's loosest stitches, something happens (probably around the time i'm doing longer color floats - even though i wrap them every third or fourth stitch, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference).   when i'm not doing colorwork, i don't have a problem with overly tight stitches - which is what makes the whole thing so vexing!  so we'll see if i get back on the horse any time soon, and if my little plan actually works. 

it should also be mentioned once more that the pattern for these socks is from Wendy Johnson's Toe-Up Socks for Every Body - i used the Critter Socks pattern for most of the knitting, and then at the end, plugged in my own colorwork chart (see here or here).

 these intricate cabled socks have been slow going - i started them about a week ago, and as you can see, they haven't grown much.  i just really wanted to start knitting with this yarn - having the skein lying about was far too tantalizing.   the pattern is my own, and due to come out next month - more on that when the time comes.  the yarn is sanguine gryphon's skinny bugga! in gryphon's purple soldier fly (a limited-edition color that was only available for a day or two - but check out all the other amazing colors they offer on their site!).  i'm knitting on #1.5 needles and pretty in love with how it's knitting up.


last but not least, the samurai socks - so close to being done!  this morning i finished turning the heel and picked up the gusset stitches.  since the rest of the sock is knit in stockinette, i predict this will be done in less than a week.  it's the perfect train project, and tomorrow is the start to my work week. 

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