Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In and out

Seems like summer just got going - but no, it's the last day of August, and fall is right around the corner.

The August SSP socks aren't done. I don't even have a picture of what I've got, because today is rainy and dark, and I only use an iPhone to take pictures for blogging anyway, so they would have been extra pathetic. I'm down to the heel flap on sock #2, though, so I should have a finished pair in fairly short order.

My attention has been diverted this past month, however, to sweaters. I finished up one for my sister that was supposed to be a quick knit, but I ended up having to effectively knit the body three times, due to errors on my part and learning curve type effects. I've also knit up a sweater for me - a Safire sweater (pattern by Hilary Smith Callis) that is currently drying on the not-a-table upstairs. It needs its ends woven in and some buttons. I need to go shopping.

Yesterday I ventured out to a local that I've been meaning to check out for a while now, because I discovered that I actually know the owner - our paths crossed in an entirely different context. The shop in question is Make One Yarn Studio. It's a bit of a trip to get over there - I live a good 25 km away, I think - but it's a nice, spacious shop, and I reconnected with Bess (hadn't seen her since, oh, 2008?) and picked up a lovely ball of Fantastic Knitting Zephyr Laceweight in Deep Purple. I'm thinking it could become a shawlette for my mother - she's a purple fan, and while she knits, I've never ever seen her knit lace.

The one thing I regret about my trek out to Make One yesterday was the timing - Bess got in a shipment of yarn I would have been all over if I had been there to see it. I'll have to go back.

I'm trying to figure out what my next sweater is going to be. This is tough because I have a birthday coming real soon, and I've provided my sister with a rather knitterly wishlist of patterns and DPNs in sweater gauges - 4 to 6 mm. If some of the desired patterns fall in my lap, I will want to work those up right away, provided I have enough of the right yarn, and I think I do. But I need to wait to see.

Then again, this morning it occurred to me to look at the listed gauge and yardage requirements for Julie Turjoman's Quercus. Gauge is given as 20 sts = 10 cm/4", which should work with the Naturally Merino et Soie I have in my little stash - I knit my sister a sweater with the same yarn (in a different colour) at that gauge and it was great. So I could just jump in on that.

I'd better work on the August SSP socks while I think about it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sha-wing!

Today's view on the couch:



Although the sock and the sweater sort of look like they might be the same colour in that shot, they totally aren't. The sweater is in Dream in Color Classy, in Torchwood, and the sock is in Claudia Hand Painted Fingering, in Cabin Fever. Browns vs. purples and blue and gold. Very different if your iPhone camera isn't lying to you.

The sweater is for my sister, and this morning I took about half an hour to weave in all the ends, tack the ends of the sleeves into place - they were knit flat then knit on as I started the yoke - and attach those two flower-shaped wooden buttons. And lo - it is done. She can take it home tonight. I can move on to something else.

The sock is going to get wrapped up pretty soon too, since I'm going to be starting in on those toe decreases pretty soon. Of course, there's still the sock's mate to crank out. Plus the sweater for me upstairs.

So I guess stash diving and pattern matching is a bit premature at this point in time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Goings-on

Well, August has pretty well come and gone. I mean, I don't mean to cause panic, but we're definitely shifting into late August here.

The end of August marks the end of my summer - I will be starting up new teaching contracts, officially on 8 September, but I will need to go down to campus to get some things set up ahead of time. Things like course outlines. Soon I will be back to the grind.

In the meantime, I am still knitting over here. Sure, there may not be pictures to show for it, but that doesn't mean the needles aren't moving. The August SSP socks are going, though a bit more slowly than I had anticipated - I've just turned the heel on the first one, so it's at that weird stage where pictures just look like an unholy mess. Meep. I wasn't too worried about making them happen by the end of the month because I was anticipating a couple of four hour flights in late August, but those don't appear to be needed anymore, and suddenly I am worried about finishing the pair of socks.

So. I claim to be knitting, but am also behind on the August SSP socks. So what's been going on?

Well, for starters, a sweater for my sister that should have been a quick knit had a second hissy fit and needed to be reworked. Really, the hissy fit was entirely my fault - I was experimenting with alternating skeins as I prepared to switch to a new skein of yarn, and the method I used successfully on sweaters worked in lighter weights is not well-suited to worsted weight yarn. Also, I found another fairly large cake of the yarn that had been tucked away and somehow forgotten, and that made me mad, since larger cakes meant fewer joins, and I wanted to avoid having to do a join in the yoke, and not having that extra cake had forced me to do one, and, well. The sweater was yanked back, and then reknit. Again. So I've basically knit that sweater three times now, and I. Am. Done. It's actually blocking. Once the ends are woven in, a couple of small seams are sewn, and the buttons have been attached, I can give it to my sister and have it out of my life.

Also, I've been working on another sweater for me - pictures will come. It's a Safire cardigan, and it is my hope that this will be a good layering piece for work. Given that the sweater is cropped and has 3/4-length sleeves, it also seems to me to be a piece that is ideal for early fall, or spring - so if I want to wear it this fall, and I do, then it needs to be finished up. Quickly.

So there you have a quick and dirty, pictureless update on the wooly goings-on around here. No new yarn has been ordered yet, but I feel the urge. I will be strong and wait for sales.

I cannot say that I will exercise restraint once those sales hit, though.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Get ready for it

Yesterday morning, I was entertaining ideas of a new sweater a bit more concretely, and so I went looking for the yarn I had in mind. I don't have a huge stash - though my Ravelry stash page has hit 70 - so it's not like this takes a large amount of time. I went to the stack of two boxes that brought me a couple of orders of sweater quantities from Elann last fall, and started rooting around in there a little.

Someone Else came down as I was rooting. Since the rooting is not part of my morning routine, he asked me what I was doing.

Oh, I replied, I'm just looking through my yarn to see what all's here. I wasn't sure if this bottom box was full or not, but I've added stuff to it, so it is.

As I stood there considering my yarn holdings, his next question came with a slightly amused tone.

Are you thinking of buying new yarn?

This question is a testament to just how well this man knows me, because under the new sweater enthusiasm lurked the knowledge that fall is practically here, which means that Elann will soon be having specials on the merino wool yarns that I favour, which means that sweater quantities of new lovelies are going to be finding a new home here with me.

No, I haven't knit up all the yarn I bought last year. Two batches are gone (one for me, one for my sister), another two are spoken for (both for me), but another three (two for me, one for my sister) remain after that.

Plus there's the two sweaters' worth in the box by my laptop. Plus the sweater's worth tucked in with the sock yarn upstairs.

Ahem. No, I don't think I have a problem. Just carry on, now.