Friday, August 12, 2011

More to Say

A woman came to my counter the other day to return a set of steel crochet hooks.  She said they were the wrong size, and assuming that she meant too small, I chuckled and said they were very much doily-making hooks.  She replied that they were indeed, but she needed a hook small enough to use in adding beads to a project.  My spider-sense tingling, I breathlessly contained my excitement and asked what kind of project.  Glory hallelujah, she said she was knitting a shawl.  I stuttered out something inane about my own attempts at knitting with beads, and we had something like a conversation about techniques, but all the while my brain was screaming, "Find out if she's on Ravelry!  Get her phone number!"

I fired up the camera, since my Ravelry notebook looked so forlorn with all of it empty boxes.  This is good news for my blog, because these posts aren't very interesting without graphics.

Here you can see the crude beginnings of my cabled riding jacket, which has proven to me that one cannot knit with wool during the dog days of summer unless one is in very good air conditioning.  The Fisherman's Wool is lovely and soft, but not very tightly plied and a rather light worsted weight.  Swatching (I swatched!) revealed that two strands would be necessary to get the stitch gauge, but my row gauge is hopelessly off.  I have no idea how to fix it without affecting the stitch gauge, so I'm just going to have a very long sweater.

I suppose I could attempt math, but how likely is that?

Looking ahead at the bodice instructions flip-flops my stomach.  To make any sense of them I will probably have to chart it out on graph paper with the errata close by.  I've never tried graphing out a whole pattern - only color charts, but it seems like a logical way of going about things.

On that note, I charted up this charming expy of my hipster husband as rendered by Charles Schultz, which I am applying to the Punk Rock Backpack from SnB.  It's turning out to be quite the stash-busting exercise, as I'm able to fill in the colors with some of the various odds and ends that have been kicking around in my bins forever.  On the other hand, I'm discovering that I really hate intarsia.

Which is why I have abandoned my ideas of making a colorwork-focused scarf for my husband's friend Andy, and am instead working up a Celtic Cables Scarf.  He has a Celtic cross tattooed on his back, so I figure that he should appreciate the motif, disappointed though he may be to not be getting the argyle scarf that I hinted at when he originally asked for a handknitted scarf.  The cables promise to be suitably impressive, so I'm not too worried.  I reckon it will be finished sometime in the next 20 years.

Having more or less finished Mirasol, I'm embarking on a new amigurumi, this time in knitting.  It's going to be me!  More or less.  The head is the wrong shape already, but I stuffed it with yarn, because that's what my head is full of.  The yarn is the same Sugar 'n Cream or Peaches and Creme kitchen cotton that I used for Mirasol, and I'm stabilizing the neck the same way I did for her: with a small wooden spool.  The gauge is just a little off, but I like the size it's coming out.  I was inspired by Stitch London and the Science Museum's 2010 Stitch Yourself project, but the pattern I'm using is Yarnigan's Blank Slate Doll, because it was free, and it hardly matters if I'm not sending the doll in.  I've added lots of mods to give the body more shape, which is also affecting the finished size considerably.

I dug out my old Pattern-a-Day calendar and found the pages for Cat Bordhi's Treasure Forest socks and the matching bookmark.  I don't have a suitable yarn for the socks just now, so I've cast on for the bookmark in Caron Simply Soft.

The Esperanza bookmark is growing gradually, with a few stitches jumping off whenever I pull it out of the bag - I need a better WIP storage solution.

Also growing - the Marple Shawl.

I've hit a literal snag with this one - it's so tangled up with the other projects in my bag that I can work no further on it until that is remedied.  It speaks volumes for my laziness that I'd just as soon work on something else as try to free this poor WIP.

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