Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where did that month go?

It's been over a month, mea culpa. The month of June flew by with all the end of school obligations and festivities, and very little in the way of knitting going on. Coupled with trying to settle in to the new house, still in the works, my energy was simply syphoned off in other directions.

Happily, on many fronts life has returned more or less to normal. Yesterday I managed to finish (yes, FINISH!) the first room in the house - the all important kitchen! Now that one space is completely, utterly finished, I can turn my efforts towards tackling other areas still littered with cardboard boxes and assorted piles of stuff. I really want to have a housewarming party this summer, but the boxes need to go first!

I've also been able to focus more on my knitting! Just in time for summer, I completed the knitting on a little jacket I've been making for the past 3 or 4 months (conservatively speaking). I bought some adorable buttons, but have yet to sew them on. I'm not in much of a hurry given the positively swampy weather in NYC. I would have taken the required self-portrait-in-the-mirror but we have no mirrors up yet. None. I've been getting dressed using a compact mirror, which explains things if I've been looking particularly dodgy of late!

Getting back on track, this sweater used about 7 skeins of Frog Tree Merino in a color I called kermit. The yarn is a super soft single ply worsted weight, and probably destined to pill like a mo-fo. It was a simple knit during a stressful period of transition, a top-down raglan. When I was designing (making it up as I went along), I was thinking about a layer that would work during the transition between seasons - too warm for a full sweater, too cool for only a shirt. Transition-transition. Hey! Clearly this wants to be called the Transition Cardi!

Next up: two projects started in the last couple of days.

First we have another cardigan I'm making up as I go along. Muchas gracias, Barbara Walker! It's another top down raglan. This one will have a crew neck, maybe puffy sleeves, and have an assymetric button placket. I am using the "Edie" sweater from YarnPlay as a jumping-off point design-wise. I like the idea of assymetry, but I really did not like the shoulder cap/armscye shaping of the actual sweater. It looked like a modified drop-shoulder, which is definitely not the best look for me. Raglans are better on me, easier to figure, and let me add in cute girly eyelets around the armscyes. The yarn is some random wool I bought on ebay a few years ago. I'm sticking with my plan to only use yarn from my stash for the foreseeable future, and the happy colors here called to me. There was no label information on the balls when I bought it, although it was advertised as 100% wool. It's definitely not the softest wool out there. I'm hoping this will become one of those workhorse sweaters this winter. Gotta love a workhorse sweater - they may not have the fanciest needlework, but they get you through the cold, cold months.

The other project I'm currently working on is the Josephine top from the latest Interweave. I've seen this sweater in real life, and it's lovely. There also seems to be a lot of people making it out there in the blogosphere, although I'm not sure if there is an official knit-along happening. I'm having a lot of fun knitting it - the stitchwork is keeping things interesting. I'm using some sportweight mercerised navy blue cotton, Elann Cotton Sonata I think, which I bought a few years ago. As Jenn pointed out last week, the navy is a departure for me, colorwise.

I'm looking forward to the final product, although I must admit that the mercerised cotton is angering my wrists. It's reminding me why I generally don't like to work with plant fibers. I also have concerns that the resulting fabric is starting to bias. Is there any way to prevent that from happening? Since the eyelets and decreasing only go in one direction I think I have to accept the biasing as part of the territory. Hopefully my fears are unfounded, or can be remedied through aggressive blocking.
I'm off to see whether others are having the same issue on RAVELRY!
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