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.

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Evenstar, Complete

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This is the first KAL I’ve actually completed. Five months late, of course…

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Pattern: Evenstar Shawl
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silk Thread II, colorway “Winter Solstice
Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) DPN & US 2 (2.75 mm) circular
Modifications: none, save the graft

If I thought it was a never-ending edging, I swear the graft was worse. I’ve had to graft knitting before–sock toes, lace edges. No biggie. Except this time my perfectionist streak kicked in, and it had to be just right.

Initially, I followed the pattern grafting instructions, which were no different than a typical Kitchener stitch. This would be perfectly fine, unless you’re the sort which notes that there’s a bit of garter stitch to either side of the graft, there’s a yarn-over pattern that’s being interrupted by the graft, etc. Which I am. I ended up working a  modified version of the instructions provided here. I re-knit the last row of the edging with a contrast thread. As it was too late to start the provisional side with a contrasting thread, I had to do my best guess for that half of the grafting. And then I made several stabs at getting it just right. The best of the bunch had a reverse stockinette ridge down the middle. Opps. It finally occurred to me that instead of holding the live stitches on round needles, I would actually be able to tell what I was doing if I pinned them all flat to the back of a dark pillow. This proved successful, and I will definitely remember it for future troublesome grafts.

Now…what next?

Bad Blogger….

While on the one hand this summer seems to be flying (when did it get to be the middle of August already?), on the other, it feels as if it will.never.end. By which I mean of course, that it has been entirely too hot for my liking, by which I really mean, that it has been too hot to sleep at night. (Or in the day for that matter, but since daytime sleeping isn’t really an option anyway…)

There’ve even been times when it’s been on the hot side for knitting, even knitting with silk laceweight. Sigh. Given how stressful work’s been this summer (Deadlines! Deadlines! More deadlines!) it would be nice to be able to pick up some cashmere and let it work through my fingers…oh for fall weather…

Of course, the weather’s not been my only reason  for going nearly two weeks without knitting. Apparently it’s as easy to join a readalong as a knitalong, apparently I’m better at the former, and apparently Dante’s Purgatorio can really suck up a weekend if you put it off until the last minute. Oops.

This weekend went a little better, though. Despite the heat, I managed to find a cool enough spot to add some more edging to Evenstar. This is where I have to confess to my blogging sins. I had started the edging before my temporary abandonment of my knitting, and since the edging would be a perfect spot to share a new picture (aka you can actually see progress rather than just a blob), I really could have shared this two weeks ago. But I was a bad blogger and never got around to taking pictures.

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I’ve managed to make it almost 1/3 of the way around. It takes about 30 minutes to finish a repeat, and unfortunately there are still 36 left, so I’ve got a ways to go. I really like the edging pattern though, and it’s perfect for TV knitting, however, so I won’t begrudge it. I’m really glad I took an uncharacteristic knitting step though: I threaded a lifeline around the shawl before I started the edging. Considering the number of times the stitches have slid off the needle, this has been a lifesaver. (Note: I probably should have used a longer circular to fit all those stitches so they might actually have a chance of staying on the needles, but I usually just force the stitches closer together. When I’m not knitting with silk it’s not so much of a problem.)

Here’s hoping work improves, the weather cools, and I finish this before Christmas. I am starting to want a different knit to work on…