this 'n that

You would think that finishing up a major work project and being done with overtime (for the time being) would lead to a  major spurt of knitting….but then you’d be wrong.

Unfortunately, hanging over my head was still the dreaded spring cleaning. Dreaded, mostly because it takes so darn long. I don’t feel like I have a lot of “stuff”…but there’s still more than enough to go through. And of course, I’m one of those people who feels the need to alphabetize their CD collection. (I’m also one of only two people at work who can find a contact’s business card in less than 30 minutes. No, I don’t think it’s a coincidence.) I seem to have two extremes – either I’m chronically organized with everything in its place or I’m nose-deep in piles that I haven’t taken time to work through and put away. Which makes cleaning oh-so-fun. High standards and a year’s worth of failing to meet them….

So, anyway, knitting has been sparse. But the spring cleaning is finished (yea!) and I’m on vacation all of next week (double yea!), so I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things. I do have some knitting I haven’t shared yet.

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This is a very scrunched up and almost finished Artichaut, in Briar Rose Angel Face. Earlier this year Anne asked me to knit a sample for her booth with Chris at Sock Summit later this summer. Since the pattern wasn’t released until June 1 (in the Summer Twist Collective), I couldn’t share it until then…by which point I was inundated with the rest of my life, of course! It’s another lovely Knitspot pattern, although trickier than most, as there is patterning on both sides. (My simplification solution has been stich markers between repeats. Lots of stitch markers.)  The yarn is also very lovely, an alpaca laceweight. It’s actually much nicer on the hands to work with than the yarn I used for my Alhambra. But then again, I’ve yet to have any complaints about any of Chris’ yarns.

Moving from challenging to even more challenging, I’ve finally started the Lerwick Lace Shawl from Heirloom knitting.

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I’m using a cobweb weight cashmere-silk blend (from Colourmart) which is absolutely lovely to work with. Even though I’m using 1.5mm (US 000) needles. (Eek!) I have so far about 8 points finished on the edging, out of 152. I think I’ll be working on this one a while… It will make good summer knitting though – it’s very lightweight and I don’t think the fine yarn will stick to my hands quite as much as heavier, woolier yarns do in the heat of summer. I may have to find a somewhat easier project to work on for breaks from this, however. At least I have plenty of yarn to choose from!

Finally, I’ll leave you with the strawberries…

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I had to go around to the side of the house over the weekend to check if the phones not working was a result of in-the-house or out-of-the-house issues (Answer: out-of-the-house. A very naughty squirrel chewed through the lines.) I don’t usually venture to this side as it’s just a narrow strip between our house and the neighbors, so I usually miss these. However, this year the timing was just right to stumble upon these bright little beauties. I believe they are alpine strawberries, and they’re not very edible (at least, not compared to the local farm berries my mom picks every year – I’m not sure anything beats those), but they are really a cheery little spot of color.

this ‘n that

You would think that finishing up a major work project and being done with overtime (for the time being) would lead to a  major spurt of knitting….but then you’d be wrong.

Unfortunately, hanging over my head was still the dreaded spring cleaning. Dreaded, mostly because it takes so darn long. I don’t feel like I have a lot of “stuff”…but there’s still more than enough to go through. And of course, I’m one of those people who feels the need to alphabetize their CD collection. (I’m also one of only two people at work who can find a contact’s business card in less than 30 minutes. No, I don’t think it’s a coincidence.) I seem to have two extremes – either I’m chronically organized with everything in its place or I’m nose-deep in piles that I haven’t taken time to work through and put away. Which makes cleaning oh-so-fun. High standards and a year’s worth of failing to meet them….

So, anyway, knitting has been sparse. But the spring cleaning is finished (yea!) and I’m on vacation all of next week (double yea!), so I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things. I do have some knitting I haven’t shared yet.

DSCN5194

This is a very scrunched up and almost finished Artichaut, in Briar Rose Angel Face. Earlier this year Anne asked me to knit a sample for her booth with Chris at Sock Summit later this summer. Since the pattern wasn’t released until June 1 (in the Summer Twist Collective), I couldn’t share it until then…by which point I was inundated with the rest of my life, of course! It’s another lovely Knitspot pattern, although trickier than most, as there is patterning on both sides. (My simplification solution has been stich markers between repeats. Lots of stitch markers.)  The yarn is also very lovely, an alpaca laceweight. It’s actually much nicer on the hands to work with than the yarn I used for my Alhambra. But then again, I’ve yet to have any complaints about any of Chris’ yarns.

Moving from challenging to even more challenging, I’ve finally started the Lerwick Lace Shawl from Heirloom knitting.

DSCN5192

I’m using a cobweb weight cashmere-silk blend (from Colourmart) which is absolutely lovely to work with. Even though I’m using 1.5mm (US 000) needles. (Eek!) I have so far about 8 points finished on the edging, out of 152. I think I’ll be working on this one a while… It will make good summer knitting though – it’s very lightweight and I don’t think the fine yarn will stick to my hands quite as much as heavier, woolier yarns do in the heat of summer. I may have to find a somewhat easier project to work on for breaks from this, however. At least I have plenty of yarn to choose from!

Finally, I’ll leave you with the strawberries…

DSCN5183

I had to go around to the side of the house over the weekend to check if the phones not working was a result of in-the-house or out-of-the-house issues (Answer: out-of-the-house. A very naughty squirrel chewed through the lines.) I don’t usually venture to this side as it’s just a narrow strip between our house and the neighbors, so I usually miss these. However, this year the timing was just right to stumble upon these bright little beauties. I believe they are alpine strawberries, and they’re not very edible (at least, not compared to the local farm berries my mom picks every year – I’m not sure anything beats those), but they are really a cheery little spot of color.

finally finished!

It has been a long hard slog, full of stress and nightmares and lunacy and way too many hours crammed together at the very end, but at last I can say, “It is finished.”

The never-ending project of continually moving target deadline is done. Or at least, mostly done on our end. The drawings went to the printer this morning, the construction manager will have them tomorrow, and we can breathe again. Briefly. I’m sure in a day or two we’ll start getting swampped with calls – the “can I substitute x for y” or “I can’t find x in the drawings” or “what on earth do you mean by y?” variety. However…just having the drawings finished, and out to bid is a major accomplishment and relief on this project. On the other hand, I’ve been so tied to this project for the past year-and-a-half (less breaks while the client tried to decide what they were doing…), that I’m feeling a little adrift.

But not too adrift. There was a little too much overtime there at the end! I actually didn’t knit from Tuesday until Saturday, thanks to this little project…and with all those lovely new yarns sitting around, too!

However, finally finished can also apply to another project that got finished (i.e., finally blocked!) just before work went into deadline mode.  Girasole è finito!

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(more pictures on Ravelry)

Pattern: Girasole by Jarod Flood

Yarn: Cashmere 3/28NM Heavy Lace Weight from Colourmart. (Roughly a light fingering weight.)

Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) (DPNs and circular)

I still love this pattern. The “plain” rows got a little tedious towards the end, simply due to the number of stitches, but it was still a very enjoyable knit overall. And I absolutely love the cashmere. It washes up to be very soft. Interestingly, my tension on the DPNs at the beginning was tighter than with the circular needle. In fact, it appears that my tension gradually loosened towards the end of the shawl, leaving the edging so loose it almost resembles filet crochet.