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Archive for December, 2009

Good-bye 2009!

For my final post of the year, I think it’s fitting to show off my final FO of the year:

Pattern: Hesperia Stole by Alison Green Will

Yarn: Suri Blue by Fleece Artist in Blackberry

Needles: US3/3.25mm

This is a great pattern, although I’m not sure my yarn choice was the best. I really like the yarn itself, but I’m not wild about variegation in lace. I hope it doesn’t obscure the pattern too much!  There were a couple moments when I severely questioned my choice, and considered scrapping the project, but now I’m glad I didn’t.  Sure, a solid yarn would have shown the lace better but I’m happy with how mine turned out.

I found the pattern to be extremely well-written, and I particularly liked the charts. There are quite a few sections that involve straight knitting, and rather than having to count all the little boxes yourself, the count is noted in the chart itself. Maybe I’m easily excited, but I loved this, and I felt like it saved me some time.

Gratuitous closeup of the lace-y goodness!

I followed the pattern as written, but I think I could have stood to do a few more pattern repeats. Blocked it measures 62” x 19”, which is a little shorter than may be totally functional. I’ve heard that a general rule of thumb is for these things (scarves, stoles, etc.) to be at least as tall as the wearer.  I fell short of this mark by a couple inches.  However, since I tend to knit lace more because I enjoy the process than to wear the finished item, I’m fine with it.

In fact, while playing around with different ways to wrap it when taking some pictures, I found a way that I really like.  I’m excited about the prospect of this being the first lace stole I knit that I actually wear too!

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Finally!

A little more than two weeks after completing them, here are some finished man socks:

Pattern: Gridiron by Anne Hanson

Yarn: Gloss Sock Yarn by Knit Picks in Parsley

Needles: US 2/2.75mm

I really enjoyed this pattern!  It’s simple enough to be “man approved”, but was still engaging enough to keep me from wanting to poke my eyes out with my spare DPN.  I can see this becoming my go-to man sock pattern for this reason alone.  I only did 1.5″ of 1×1 rib, only because I was ready to get to the good stuff at that point, and a total of 20 repeats (instead of the 16 called for for the large size) to get a 7″ leg.  My man is like his woman in the fact that he likes longer sock legs, I guess.  All in all, a very enjoyable knit.  Since they are made out of the same yarn as the disappointing man socks J is under strict instructions to limit the wear of these, instructions he is grudgingly following for now.

I need to get my hands on some Trekking to make some heavy duty socks for him as soon as I can.  However, I am sticking to my “no new yarn til 2010” resolution.  I’m so close now that I can’t see caving.  Although I’ve come close.  A few times.

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Once I started…

…I couldn’t stop!  I completely ripped out the owls cardigan.  I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t loving it.  I love the pattern, and I really like the yarn, but I’m not sure it’s a winning combo.  Or maybe I’m just not cut out for semi-solid yarn for large projects.   The large areas of really dark berry in the second skein of the Araucania Nature Wool is what initially caused me to consider ripping back, and then the sparse bits of the dark berry in the first skein compared to the third skein I looked at had me in fits.  Most any other person would be fine with it, I’m sure, but I knew it would bug me.  So rip it all I did.

Now I need to figure out what to do with four wound up balls of yarn.  Because it makes me twitchy to have it balled up without knowing what I’m going to do with it.

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A Big Decision

I’ve been fairly scatterbrained about my knitting these days.  It started with the ripping out of the Mystery ’09 socks.  They looked so small, and I just wasn’t feeling the project like I like to.  That then led to the start, and eventual abandonment, of several different sock patterns since last weekend.  I ripped back the last attempt two days ago and then put the yarn away.  I think I’m just not meant to knit socks right now.

There has been some fairly significant progress on the Hesperia Stole.  I’m feeling pretty optimistic about my chances of finishing it by the end of the year.  I might be getting a bit too cocky, however, since I have left it languishing these last three days.  I cast on for a pair of Bella Mittens (I feel somewhat embarrassed admitting that out loud.  I just like the look of the mittens, I swear.  The book was mediocre at best, although I did go on to read the second.  I stopped at that point.)

I also cast on for the first sleeve of the owls cardigan, which brings me to the Big Decision part of the post.  The Araucania Nature Wool Solids is kettle-dyed, and some of my skeins have more shade variation than others.  I did not think of this when I started the project, nor when I spliced in the second skein.  The second skein has a lot more of the darker shade than the first one, and I’m not sure I can live with it.  I’ve been trying to convince myself that it’s fine, but I just keep coming back around to the fact that I don’t want a ‘fine’ sweater I want a FANTASTIC one!  And I feel like I’ve already put the effort in to modify the pattern to a cardigan and for lighter-weight yarn, that to not rip back and fix what’s been nagging at me would be silly.

Wow, that was cathartic, and after putting all that out there I have made my decision – I will be ripping back.  I should have posted this a couple days ago and saved myself the aggravation!

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Sock WIPs

This picture is already woefully out of date.  The Gridiron socks have been finished!  The Mystery Socks ’09 socks are still accurately represented.  After turning the heel I lost a bit of the mojo.  They just look so small.  I’m telling myself two things.  First, ribbing pulls in.  Second, I just finished dude socks.  Certainly chick socks will look small in comparison.  Right?

I’ve also stopped working on them because I set myself what I thought was a reasonable goal: finish the Hesperia Stole before 2010 rolls around.  I thought I was further on the border than I really am when I set this goal for myself.  But, being the me that I am, I can’t back down from this challenge.  I am determined to succeed, or at least go down swinging.  So as soon as I kitchenered the toe of the final Gridiron, after allowing a little time to smile at the socks and pat myself on the back for a job well done (proof to come!), I gathered the stole and set down to work.

I found my place very quickly.  I completed a full repeat of the edging chart.  I spread out the project and surveyed how much more I had to go.  I have a ways to go.  And I’d better get to it.

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