Thursday, February 12, 2009

In which it has been a while.

There hasn't been much knitting chez moi lately, as school has kept my incredibly busy, and then winter break wasn't much of a break at all. Has it really been that long since my last post? Crazy talk.

On the knitting front:

I last posted about my <a href="">Secret of the Stole III</a>. I fell horribly behind when school started up, and so was able to watch the pattern get revealed... and decided I really didn't like the finished product. To the frog pond it went! I'm now keeping my eye out for a pattern that will look good in my lovely orange Zephyr...

Last fall I went to Europe, and decided I needed cowls to keep my neck warm. The first attempt:

Not horrible, but with a lot of room for improvement. I didn’t use a pattern: just cast on and started knitting. The diameter wound up being far too large for such a drapey yarn (no idea what it is as the skein was a gift, but it's a silky single), so I made an impromptu brooch by sewing a matching button onto a pin back. It's pretty enough, but lacks any warmth, so not so much the goal.

The second try:

This one is The Fidget (Ravelry), which was a quick knit. I’m pleased with the pattern, though I cast on extra stitches to make it wider, and wound up wishing I hadn’t. I’d like to replace the buttons with something more appropriate, but these ones were in my stash and aren’t too horrible, so they’re okay for now. The Lion Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton is a nice squishy yarn, and the loosely-spun nature meant it didn’t hurt my hands to knit with like cotton usually does. However, while it’s soft against the neck, it’s not terribly warm; again, not much protection against cold winter winds.

Enter the hat:

This was my first attempt at actually designing something, and while it could have gone better, it also could have gone a lot worse. I knit Mountain Colors Bearfoot doubled in a simple 2x2 rib, and threw in a twist every five rows on every other column of knit stitches. I tried to work the decreases to keep the pattern intact as long as possible, which kinda worked… but not really. I didn’t decrease quickly enough, so there’s a little bit of a point at the crown instead of being a smooth curve. I may go back at some point and reknit the last dozen rows or so to make a product I’m really happy with.

I finally managed to finish my simple ribbed scarf out of the yummy di’Ve Autumno that I scored a while back. I managed to splice the three balls so that the gradient remained constant, and the ends even almost match. As soft as the yarn is, I’m concerned that my skin just doesn’t like wool; it scratches a little bit (when it really shouldn’t), and I’ve had similar problems with other wooly things. I think I need to stick to alpaca (woe!) and cotton for against-the-skin knits like scarves and gloves.

There’s something new on the needles (which is a gift, so no photos outside Ravelry just yet), which is horribly behind schedule. Was going to be a Christmas present… not even close. Bumped back to Valentine’s Day, and that’s not going to happen. At this rate, I’ll be lucky if it’s done as a birthday present come November…

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