Wow–I’ve kept knitting!

The way my knitting has been going lately, I was fairly certain after finishing Crocus that, new yarns notwithstanding, I would not be doing much with my knitting. Too busy, too hot.

Err…while I don’t really have anything new to show, I’ve been knitting quite a bit this past week! It started over the weekend when for the first time in forever I sat down to knit for more than a few minutes. I think perhaps all I needed was a “new” project. I picked up Ondule first, which at past the armhole shaping for the first front was further than I remembered. I worked on it for a while, then looked at it a little more closely–I was getting a different gauge. Whether because I’m “out of practice” or the weather or I’m just doing something slightly differently, I don’t know. So I ripped the new part out and tried a slightly larger needle (US 1.5 up to US 2 – only about .25 mm difference). Still not quite right, but I’m afraid if I go up again it will be too big.

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As I measured the sleeve, in the old portion (below the bottom lifeline), I’m getting 23.5 sts per 4″. Between the two lifelines is 24.5 sts per 4″. At that scale I might not worry about it too much, except that the bottom portion is noticeably looser to the touch. Then there’s the fact that going up one more needle would then match what the pattern calls for–and I never knit to this designer’s gauge with the given needle–so I’m not sure if my weekend knitting was unusually tight for me, and I’ll get back to “normal” with a return to regular knitting. I’m slightly stymied, but I’ve made the very easy decision to put it aside for now to figure out later–and maybe make a better assessment of  my natural tension. Even if I weren’t having gauge issues, it is entirely too hot to be working on a wool sweater right now!

So I did the natural thing and switched to an unfinished lace project.

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If you have a very very good memory and have been following along long enough, you’ll know I restarted my “mystery shawl 3” from 2007 back in 2009 (I didn’t like my original gauge, of course!). It’s then mostly sat as other projects pushed in front of it. However, it currently wins the “work on me” award as it is lightweight enough to work on in the summer and I didn’t have to do too much work to figure out where I left off. At the moment the pattern is very obscured and very messy-looking (blocking should be fun with this one), but if you want to know what it is supposed to look like, this is Swan Lake from Melanie Gibbons. I don’t actually have as much yarn as the pattern calls for, but there are instructions for shortening it, so I might go that route. Or not–I’m about to the shortening point, and it seems like I still have a lot of yarn left. Since I’m working in a lighter weight (I think) than most of the projects I’ve seen on Ravelry, I’m probably at a different gauge–I went with how it looked rather than measuring it–so I may have enough. Or not. I’ll use lifelines, but cross my fingers I don’t have to rip any out–it’s alpaca and a pain to undo.

I’ve actually been working on this pretty regularly this week–the miserable heat + another non-fiber project kept me from it last night. It’s fun to get back to regular knitting time though, and I hope I can keep it up. Some more FO’s to balance out the recently acquired stash would be great!

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Last Crocus of Spring

It took a complete frog and restart (pesky gauge issues–helps when you actually check the gauge…), but at long last, Crocus is complete:

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Pattern: Crocus Pocus by Susan Pandorf
Yarn: Knitting Notions Classic Merino Bamboo, colorway Lilac
Needle: US 2 (2.75 mm)*
Modifications: Omitted beads; omitted final pattern row & switches to “standard” bind-off due to slight yarn shortage. (Yes, 2nd time around as well. Oops–better actually check my gauge next time)

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Crocus is a nice shoulder shawl that will serve me well come fall. If the recent weather is any indication (Monday and Tuesday were near unbearable), I won’t need this before then. I just loved working with this yarn. It held up to the frogging, and has a very nice “spring” to it that makes it easy to work with. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t knit with 100% merino unless it is “superwash,” as I have a knack for felting it while knitting, but this bamboo-merino blend worked beautifully. It also blocked very nicely–going from 42″ wide x 17-3/4″ tall to 59-1/2″ wide by 29″ tall finished. Which is bigger than the patten states, so yeah, I still didn’t get gauge on the redo–but that worked out fine.

The only question now, is what to turn to next? Something completely new now that I’ve finished two projects without starting any new? Or perhaps a return to the long neglected Lerwick, which at least has the advantage of being very lightweight and suitable for summer knitting? A visit to the knitting basket is in order!

*Edited 6.4.11 when I realized I had the wrong needle size indicated.