Time for a project update! As you already heard, we made it out the other side of yet another major storm system and resultant power outage, which led to some knitting time, but no hat steaming. Today was a fabulous spring day, and after working all morning, DD and I took a drive over to the South Fork of the Yuba (flowing high, strong and serpentine green!) and hiked along one of the trails. I also gathered some oakmoss lichen, which I will be steadily collecting all spring for my CSA shareholders. So, here's where the major projects stand in my life:
Carnivale and Gone With the Wind
Both hats are languishing, since the power returned just in time for my work week to begin as scheduled. I expect to spend time with the hand steamer over the weekend, shaping and blocking each, then doing the wiring process. I posted a photo of the unblocked Carnivale in last week's Wednesday update.
Garter Rib Sock
My sock got lots of attention during the power outage, and then last night at Knit Night. While chatting away, I started my toe decreases, only to come home and realize the toe was too pointed... I didn't have my usual instructions from Sharon on drawstring toes (which I really like and which have been hole-free for her over the years) and hadn't shifted to decreasing every row at the right point. I printed off a new copy earlier this evening, quickly re-worked the toe and have one whole sock and the second cast on and ready for knitting. I am pretty excited about this, as regular readers will probably note that my sock mojo took an extemely long sabbatical, and only returned when I promised to make sport weight and worsted socks before tackling the smaller needles again.
Here's a photo of sock one earlier in the week; we figured out how to keep our phones powered up while the electricity was off, so I did take a few project photos to share.
I wish that I could more easily locate Grayce's wonderful yarns; I want to make more socks in this lovely, soft yet rugged, yarn. Anyone want to keep an eye out at fiber festivals for me this year?
The garter rib does an excellent job of turning the multi-colored yarn into a tweedy look rather than striping or pooling, and I am quite happy about the whole process.
I have another pair of socks waiting in the wings, a worsted weight kit from Morehouse Merino, gifted to me by dear friend Ruinwin, and will have a few pair of handknitted boot socks to help launch me into the hiking season. Then, Steph pointed out to me last night that we can get a sock pattern along with our Irish Mystery Shawl KAL (which starts in just a week!!), also done in worsted. The love story/mystery behind the KAL has our heroine making a pair of men's socks from her beloved's sweater that she unravels. There is still time to participate in this KAL that Meggie Ryan of the Ravelry Ryan Eejits group has put together. Besides the KAL excitement, she is matching all the pattern fees collected and donating the funds to victims of the Japan earthquake/tsunami.
Since the weather was soo nasty and cold, and I had already fallen in love with Margene's warm, high-top mitts, I decided to spend a day and a half of my storm-induced down time making Susan's terrific mitt design. This is the best-designed mitt I have made to date, with a great, fitted thumb. I chose to use some lovely Nature's Palette Green Organic worsted (Columbia sheep!) in a cherry red that probably contains cochineal. I bought this yarn last month at the sale when Fibers was closing the shop, and am pretty excited to be using organic wool naturally dyed by Darlene Hayes less than 100 miles from where I live! If you get a chance, please support this small, woman-owned yarn company.
I have worn my mitts daily since completing them, as the weather is still frosty-cold in the mornings, but now I can hear birds before dawn, and frogs this evening! I can't begin to tell you how exciting this is... this year's winter has been long, wet, dark, cold, etc., etc. I am NOT complaining even one bit, but can say that seeing the light returning and feeling the warmth is wonderful.
Fairwind and Kaellingesjal
Both didn't get much attention in the past week; I did commit to finishing my sweater... sometime this spring, and also managed to put a few rows more in on the shawl, though there's still a lot of stockinette knitting to go. Last night, Steph and I put our heads together and figured out how to use a Mc Morran yarn balance (calculating whether she had enough of her chosen yarn for the Mystery Shawl) and I realized that I would have plenty of my chosen heather green yarn to help me fill in, if I run out on the K shawl... all will get done in good time. The only question I really have is why I knit shawls so compulsively! I am already so excited to see that Romi is teasing us with another new pattern, that I will be pawing through my stash and eager to start on it, later this spring!