Although I still have some photos and stories to share with you from my trip to Fort Bragg last week, I realized that I haven't given a WIP update in a long time, though knitting is happening daily around here. I have three main UFOs that I am concentrating on this month, and I am optimistic that at least one will slide over into the FO column on the balance sheet of life before the month is over. If there is anything positive about a heat wave, it is that I decided to spend most of this afternoon hiding out indoors, with the swamp cooler keeping the temps in a comfortable range, and knitting and thinking about knitting. Here's the latest on what's on my needles!
The good news is that I will have this finished in plenty of time to use it as a summer cardi, even though I opted to make the sleeves three-quarter length rather than short as the pattern was originally designed. The pattern is from Knitting Pure and Simple, a local designer based in Truckee; all of Diane Soucy's patterns are clean and basic, well-fitting and useful, just the kind of designs I like, both for allowing nice yarns to show through and for best-loved wearing status after the knitting is over.
As you can see, I finished the first raglan sleeve this afternoon, though when I switched over to DPs, I fought a bit with my yarn, as the stitches kept wanting to slide off the needles. A top-down raglan has got to be the easiest sweater to make, especially since it is a simple matter to try it on and check how the fit is coming. The ease on this sweater is slightly loose, and I kept trying on my sleeve to decide where to stop and switch to smaller needles to do the last little ribbed cuff. I was pleased to have the live stitches waiting to become sleeve #2 on a circular, with a real armhole to slip into, so that I could make sure I liked what had developed... now it is on to the other side and the button band so that I can have something to wear in the cool summer evenings.
To refresh your memory, I am using Knit One Crochet Too's 2nd Time Cotton for this sweater, and mostly I like this yarn... though there were a few overspun bits, making the stitches a bit more ziggy-zaggy than I would like. I am waiting to see how a wash and block treatment smoothes that out before assigning my Ravelry stars on this yarn. I do like working with it, even though I have to watch out for splitting, and I can feel socially responsible knitting with it, but that ain't everything! If I am to be enticed to use this yarn again, I will have to be happy with it as I wear and wash it. Keep ya posted on that.
Ogee Lace Skirt
This pattern appeared in Interweave Knits Spring 2007, and the large, seemingly intricate lace stitch caught my eye back then, but I really couldn't imagine myself ever wearing a lace skirt, even over jeans. I have been on the Namaste Knitters forum on Ravelry for several months, and got interested as fellow knitters discussed items to make for yoga practice. I was looking for a wrap to make, but decided this skirt will be nice to wrap over my yoga pants, and serve as a light shawl to throw over myself while meditating or during savasana (literally, 'corpse pose', but actually the relaxation section after the workout is over). I just love multi-purpose items.
Ogee's lace stitch has proven to be relatively easy to follow, even though the set up is 56 rows long, followed by a 25-row repeat... I need to work on the pattern while sitting quietly at home with the chart by my side, but find it entertaining and enjoyable, and am thinking about making a stole in the same stitch in the future.... it would definitely make an elegant piece of lace!
Speaking of lace, Flutter has also seen a fair amount of knitting this week. There's no need to show a new picture, since you really wouldn't notice much difference in her growth yet. I am so comfortable with the simple four-row repeat (two are purl rows) that she has become my favorite carry-along project. Flutter is now about 65% completed, but may take all summer, since most of the work gets done while I am away from home, listening at a meeting or visiting with friends.
I was working on Flutter while listening to a presentation about the possibility of getting broadband service in our local community (don't get too excited - looks like it will take a year at best), and was approached by a lovely woman afterwards, asking if I knew of any knitting groups that met locally. She will probably be joining us the next time Stephanie and I manage to convene another Knit Night. We try for once a week, but meet more like once a month, and had agreed to skip June because there were so many conficts with school ending and vacations starting. Time to get serious, grrls, and get back together!
I don't know about you, but I almost always manage to slip in a simple, one-day or one-hour project while working on these longer-term ones. A few days before our vacation, I made another Mother Earth Market bag, at the request of a friend who loved my flashy Bali version, while watching a movie (really - from start to finish!). While waiting for photos to upload, I have been working on a washcloth from Patagonia Nature Cotton... one of two that I should be able to get out of a skein of this squishy, slightly bulky yarn.
I have been admiring the beautiful greens in this yarn since I started working at the LYS, but they aren't the greens I choose to wear. Now, I can enjoy them with each shower... they look good enough to eat, don't they!
As you can see, I have been working with a lot of cottons and some silk. The past few days, I have been wishing for wool knitting, even though it is really too hot for that. I am ready to start on my Haori vest or use some of my handspun to make a Circle vest, but what I have really fallen in love with is this pattern. I held off buying any yarn for it yesterday, since I am still soon-to-be-unemployed, and will start one of the items from my stash first. Be thinking of me tomorrow morning, as I meet with someone pitching a new job to me; I would love for it to be the right fit. Happy Knitting!