Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The WIP Report

Warning: there is a WestKnits Mystery KAL spoiler photo in this post!! 

Startitis has hit me hard this summer. I know a lot of people quit knitting once the thermometer starts to rise, but I'm just the opposite: I grab a beer and some yarn so I can hide in the air conditioning til cooler temperatures prevail. My line of work is perennially enabling my yarn-buying, pattern-queueing, casting-on habit, and right now it seems to keep getting worse as the summer progresses...not that I'm complaining.  Far from it!

Last month, I indulged in some retail therapy by purchasing enough Canopy Fingering to make a Color Affection shawl. I've been making regular (yet slow) progress, but am nearly done with the short row section:
The short rows are getting longer!
I'm using Manatee, Conifer and Sarsparilla...my three favorite colors! I can't wait for this shawl to be done - I'm already envisioning myself wrapping up in it all winter long.

My WestKnits Mystery Shawl is coming along nicely. As you can see, I did a last-minute color substitution, and I'm so glad I did! Even though I have no idea what this will become, the greater contrast in colors is certainly going to be they key with my overall happiness once this shawl is complete.  This first clue was easy to memorize - a tiny bit of intarsia, a little bit of short row shaping, but not terribly complex overall (and that's a good thing!). I'm still using Anzula Cloud in Denim, but my pinch-hitter yarn substitution is Malabrigo Sock in Alcaucil. It's turning out to be a stellar combination!

Even the toe-up sock has gotten some attention finally. What brought it out of hibernation?  I needed a CTA-friendly project to keep me happy on my trip down to Union Park for Pitchfork this year (click here to read my husband's awesome synopsis of our day). Having three colorwork projects on the needles that were in various states of not traveling well, I avoided the temptation to start something new and instead started sock number two of the nearly-forgotten Traditional Gansey Socks.
A modest beginning on sock #2!
Finally, I've been chugging away at my colorwork sock, ever-so-slowly but surely. I'd like to finish sock #1 by the end of this month; I think that's a reasonably attainable goal.  I still love the yarn and pattern - and now I can tell you about the needles I'm using!  They are a sample from my client of the soon-to-be-out Karbonz from Knitter's Pride.  These fancy needles are made from the same technology that brings us the Stealth bomber - they're supposed to be ultra-light and very, very strong.  They're a lot grabbier than metallic or wooden needles (but yes, the stitches still have a nice glide), so I think they'd be a great choice for beginners whose stitches have a tendency to fly off of more slippery needles.
I know that's not a very good photo of them, so here is a better image from the Knitter's Pride website:

I chose them for this project because I tend to knit too tightly when doing colorwork; the needles slow me down to a comfortable rhythm that allows me to keep a looser tension.  Translation: these socks will actually fit over my heel when I try to wear them!

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