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)

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!

projects

A couple months ago, we were swamped at work.  There weren’t enough hours in the day.  Overtime, although not required was highly appreciated.  As I work in a small architecture firm in an economically depressed area of the country this was is highly unusual.  Contractors are scrounging for work, and some are even closing for good.  (On the other hand, some of them are keeping very busy with small jobs.  It’s all in who you know and what you specialize in.)  We expected to keep this busy for months – definitely until fall, at least.  And then our very big client decided he wasn’t so sure about the site he originally selected.  So we’re now on hold while the client tries to negotiate for a different site, which means, while we’re still  relatively busy, overtime is now banned.  (Yes, odd as that may seem, we’re not allowed to work extra!)  All this to say, while I was really overloaded with work this spring, you’d think I’d have plenty of spare time now…except…I can’t seem to stop adding projects!  And as these are non-knitting projects, knitting has been severely compromised.  Especially, as the major one involves a lot of wallpaper stripping and painting, the projects can really wear me out to the point of not feeling up to knitting!  It’s tragic, I’m quite sure…

I did manage however, after a few false starts to finally start on Bee Fields.  I’ve had the kit since last August, but wanted to wait until February/March to work with the wonderful spring greens in the dead of winter…Of course, then another little knit got in the way, so I’m just now moving forward.

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The merino is absolutely lovely to knit with.  But then, merino is one of my favorites anyway, so I’m a little biased.  I’m pretty much enjoying the pattern, but my impatience/lack of knitting time makes me kinda wish I didn’t have to repeat the second chart (first after setup chart) quite so often.  I want to get to the next thing!  Of course, I’m developing the same problem with all the different lace patterns I want to try…startitis has been running rampant around here.  Pictures on the other hand… Here’s crossing my fingers I get something finished this summer!

miscellaneous friday

i’m a little too excited about this, considering i’m planning not to touch this until it’s gloomy and winter and i need something springy in my knitting life, but my bee fields kit arrived today!

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i opted for the ‘tupelo gold’ colorway as i absolutely love the springy greenness of it. which is why it gets to wait until the gloomy months…if i can manage to have enough self-control. anyway, i have too many projects ahead of it…such as a much more summery project, my very own monkeys:

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i’m using tofutsies for these and they’re knitting up like a charm. this have been primarily a lunch-time knit, but it seems to be going quickly, anyway. (for me at least. i have a nice pair-a-month average going on at the moment.) i can see why it’s such a popular pattern though. very fun.