something new!

I must confess to being a lazy blogger. Or perhaps, more accurately, a lazy photographer.  I had knitting to talk about and no motivation to capture it on camera. It doesn’t help, of course, that we’re still in the midst of the winter blahs and the only chance I have to get decent pictures is on the weekends.

For those of you despairing at my recent spate of finishitupitis, the end is near!  I started something new! I’m also running out of WIPs and UFOs that I am definitely not going to send to the frog pond.  I’ve been evaluating my project list on Ravelry and have realized that I would really rather reclaim the yarn from some of the “sleeping” projects for patterns that have since grabbed my interest.  Well, that and the socks were destined for frogging anyway, as they were victims of a severe gauge issue. After the evaluation,  the only for-sure projects I have left are Alhambra and the Braided Pullover I started this fall.  And um.. Alhambra is almost done.

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I’ve actually finished the knitting since the picture’s been taking, so all that remains are ends to be woven in and blocking.  Severe blocking – this thing really pulls in on itself. Finished project coming soon.

Braided Pullover is coming more slowly. I’m still in the midst of the 4-1/4″ of ribbing, so I only pull it out when I need something pretty mindless to knit.

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I will admit, I was becoming a bit worried by my finishitupitis – that I wouldn’t be able to start anything new.  Then came the arrival of a fortuitous combination: new yarns by way of Colourmart and a really really rough week at work (that particular Monday was a true “Monday” and things went downhill from there…). I needed comfort knitting, I had cashmere, I had an internet connection…

Welcome “Girasole,” my newest obsession.

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Of course, I’ve made a good bit of progress since this was taken.  I fell in love with the pattern the moment I first saw it on BrooklynTweed, but hadn’t really thought about it again until after this yarn arrived.  It’s a cone of 100% cashmere laceweight (oh so lovely – although more so after the spinning oils are washed off), in just the right amount for the pattern.  I like the warmth of the color for this pattern too.

This is my first shawl knit “in the round,” which necessitated learning new technique – a circular cast on.  At the pattern’s suggestion, I went to TECHknitting™’s instructions.  And promptly encountered an issue I had not run into before:  I’m left-handed.  My right-handed grandma taught me to knit “English” without any difficulties.  I later taught myself “Continental” without any real problems.  But I just could not catch on to that cast on – until I gave up, held the yarn in my right hand, needle in left and just tried something.  It worked – I had a perfect mirror of TECHknitter’s images, so I just had to flip the knitting over.  Since I never had a left-handed knitting issue before, I was a mite surprised, but now that I have it figured out, I rather like the method.  Although the first few rows were a bit fiddly, casting on circularly seems to work much easier than casting just a few stiches and trying to join them in a round.  I’m really enjoying Girasole, too.  There’s just one little problem…everytime I see the name, I get the song stuck in my head…!

Finished…and finished…

There’s been a lot of finishing around these parts lately.  I don’t know if I should admit it, but I believe I have a serious case of that rare disease, finishitupitis.  In the days following the completion of Bee, I managed to finish off not one, but two projects.

This first has been mentioned before, most lately as a trouble maker that didn’t want seamed.  I’d had it on the needles for well over a year, an absolutely ridiculous amount of time for a sweater knit on US 15’s!  (To be fair, after sitting around for months, I completely ripped and restarted.)

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Pattern: Leavened Raglan (Interweave Knits, Fall 2007)
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Aura + Cascase 220 Superwash
Needles: US 15 (10.0 mm) and US 17 (12.75 mm)
Verdict: I mostly like it. The seams really fought me, and I’m not completely happy with them, but I’m not ready to re-do. It fits, however, and is nice and cozy.

The second finish of the week has not yet been blogged.  I started it a while back, but it hadn’t really reached the photogenic stage.  And by the time it got there I was, um, finished.

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Pattern: Delicato (Anne Hanson)
Yarn: Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn (colorway “Smoke”) – leftover from my Rococo Socks.
Needle: US 0 (2.0 mm) with a 00 (1.75 mm) for the final ribbing.
Verdict: I like these. A quick, enjoyable knit.

Now, on to the next thing.  Or maybe I mean the previous thing – despite yards and yards (OK, miles. Literally.)   of yarn (mostly laceweight) sitting around, trying its best to lure me, I’m still on this finishing kick.  At this rate, I’ll be out of WIPs/UFOs by April.  Like I said, a really bad case…

Spring Bee

Knitting has  been a little sparse around here lately.  Primarily, I blame a second cold, hard on the heels of the first, which wiped me out unacceptably – it took away my will to knit.  Secondarily, I can also blame it on a certain lack of excitement in my WIP pile.  There was the unseamable sweater, the bland mitts (not yet blogged), and the pile-o’-gauge-issues.  None of which were exactly appealing in a less than whole state of mind.  Of course, there was also Bee Fields…which was (mostly) finished in the first days of the cold.  Meaning, of course that I no longer had that more entertaining option.  I finally blocked the shawl over the weekend, and after much delay, have something to report.

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Winter continues to whip its foul winds and smother us in blankets of snow, but the greens of Bee speak of spring, new life, new growth.

Pattern: Bee Fields by Anne Hanson

Yarn: Wooly Wonka Fibers Merino laceweight (colorway Tupelo Gold)

Needle: US 3 (3.25 mm)