just a little something

I had high hopes that my never-ending sweater (which would only be never-ending because I…um…don’t work on it) would be finished by now.  I was going to spend an afternoon and seam it all up.  First FO of 2009, nice ‘n easy.  Right.  It’s black.  The stitch pattern isn’t very clear to read (especially in black).  I seam a sleeve – and end up with an extra inch on one side.  Every. Single. Time.  The sweater is in time-out.  At least until I see some sun again and can maybe see to seam the thing!  Given the weather forecast, that could be awhile.  (Of course, given the forecast, it would be nice to have the sweater to wear, but I guess I’ll have to manage with the “old” ones.)

So I’ve primarily exclusively been knitting on my bee shawl.  I’ve been slowed down since the holidays by a double whammy of going back to work and a nasty cold (better now, thank you).  I have made progress, but nothing really blog-worthy.  (Although, Bee is currently front-runner for first FO of the year.)  Fortunately, I still have a little project I haven’t yet shared.  In the midst of the holidays, while awaiting the arrival of the relatives-who-gave-me-the-cold (not bitter or anything), I cast on for one of Anne’s “little nothings.”

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This would be the first two repeats of Alhambra, which, visually is my absolute favorite of the “little nothings”.  I just love the geometry of the piece.  So far it’s a fun knit, too.  I’m using Suri Elegance from the Alpaca Yarn Company, which is probably the finest yarn I’ve knit with (without doubling) so far.  I keep wavering on if it is too loose, but looking at my pictures, I think it might be okay.  I reserve the right to change my mind, though!  The pattern does appear better when I spread it out a little.

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I think blocking will do wonders for this.  Hmm…maybe I need to skip the Bee and finish this first – it’s certainly a bright burst of color for a drab winter day!

of progress and plans

Happy Belated New Year!  I seem to be off to a sluggish start, but I’ll opt to blame an excess of relatives over the holiday…and recovery there from.  Some of my relations I can spend any time among and not be bothered.  Others…not so much.  It would be those relatives that were in town over the New Year holiday.  On the other hand, this meant plenty of knitting time (defense mechanism, of course!).

It was such an incredible relief to finish my mom’s shawl (and on time!) that I felt this desire to cast on for something new – anything – right away.  Either that or run screaming from the sight of knitting needles!  I opted for a break.  So I took one…just long enough to attend Christmas Eve service, sleep and wrap presents (so…I was little behind on that little detail this year…)  Then Christmas Day arrived, and I needed something to do, so I picked up my much-neglected Bee Shawl.  Break over…and I even avoided another episode of startitis.

In fact, I’ve been rather faithful to Bee lately. I did start another little lace project…and I started the seaming on a much-neglected sweater…but other than for a few short hours it’s been all bee all the time. Or something like. In other words, I completely exceeded my own expectations for the over-the-holidays knitting (I’ve had off since the 25th) and not only completed the first full chart (excluding the set-up chart) but the second chart and am 5 rows into the third.

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Probably a bit more than half of what is currently done on the shawl was completed in the past week!

I decided to participate in Seasons of Lace again for their winter season.  It’s a pretty reasonable decision – I primarily knit lace.  This will probably be the first lace object I finish for the season.  Although….between Winter of Lace and the new year I’ve been assessing my knitting plans, and I may fall prey to temptation:

  1. Leavened Raglan sweater.  The aforementioned sweater receiving seams.  Very slowly.  It’s black, so it’s hard to see to seam. However, I am bound and determined to finish this before I work on anything else.
  2. Alhambra.  I just started this a couple days ago.  Pictures to come.  This should be pretty quick.
  3. Braided Pullover.  It’s started…barely.  I have to pull back most of what’s done because I’m not quite getting gauge and it’s too big.  I think I can leave the rolled hem, though and just restart the ribbing on a smaller needle.
  4. Alpine Lace.  I started this last summer but never got past the first 8 or so rows…gauge issues of course.  I think one needle size smaller will do the trick.
  5. The kicker.  The one that could toss all resolutions aside.  Mediterranean Lace.  I have the yarn, I might have the needle (I still need to knit a swatch), I have the pattern…and I really want to work on this one NOW!  But I also really want to finish my Bee shawl first.

There are a couple other projects I have on my mental list too, but this seems like more than enough to start with.  I have some other goals for the year as well.  I’m planning to start for the Architectural Registration Exam here soon.  (Which reminds me – I need to investigate just what exactly I need to study for that!)  I also would like to read a lot more this year than I did last year.  I used to read a lot, but in 2008 I only managed a grand total of 10 books!  Eek!  I’m aiming for 24 books this year, or 2 a month.  I have no idea if there are actually enough hours do everything I want this year, but I intend to have fun trying!