I haven't written much lately about what I am working on... that tends to happen when I can't get good photos of my WIPs. It has been a long, dark and stormy month here at Slate Range Camp, and indoor photos in low light just turn out so un-inspiring! Here's the current, and mostly picture-less list:
This hat is the one that I have finished to date, at least the knitting portion. I have only rave reviews for my knitted millinery class, and if you are interested in expanding your knitting skills, and know some basic sewing, you can succeed at this too. The class site is very well organized, the videos clear and so helpful, and Annie is a witty and encouraging teacher. I hope to meet her in person one day!
I was going along great guns on my other hat (see below), when I ran into a snag and gauge challenges. In true procrastinator's fashion, I pulled out the 2nd Time Cotton I had purchased when I first started working for Fibers, back three years ago, and got the first edition of Annie Modisett's Knitting Millinery book, and started a second hat. Carnivale is done in worsted weight and just about flew off the needles. In fact, the hat laid around the house for a week while I waited for millinery wire ordered online to arrive. Then, I stumbled upon a small, hand-held steamer at the thrift store last Friday, and trialed it over the weekend.
The first time I plugged it in, I was pretty sure it didn't work, and struggled to shake all the water back out... I did decide to give the steamer a second chance, which was good. I plugged it into a bathroom outlet, and left for over a half hour to return to steam wafting out! I was shocked, and am not certain I shouldn't just keep the new model I had ordered earlier in the week, a larger Conair steamer with a bigger water tank.
However, I don't intend to make that many brimmed hats per year, and believe in being frugal, re-using things, etc, etc. So, I probably can just be patient enough to wait for the steaming element to warm up on my cute little travel steamer when I have the rare finished hat to steam.
This photo is a bit dark, but it does show the stitch detail of the Cable and Horseshoe pattern. The hat is sitting on my faux hatblock, described in the millinery book, though I still need to fully steam the hat, turning over a second bowl to make a stand and elevate the hatblock. I also might need to add more padding (several kitchen towels stuffed into a pillowcase) to the soft portion of the block, which you can see peeking through the hat, to get the proper head circumference. I hope to be able to show you a wired hat by next week!
This is the 'class' pattern, and my variation is a solid pink, to match an outfit I wear to officiate weddings. I don't have an updated photo, but am almost done with the knitting, only needing to finish the patterned tip (that portion on top of the crown where the decreasing takes place). Knitting should finish tonight and hat-steaming should be in full swing later this week, followed by hat wiring. It is a great, intriguing process, and I am loving the connection to milliners of past generations.
This is a pretty darn big shawl... I have completed the bottom borders, which are each as long as my wingspan, picked up and knitted the intriguing stockinette and reverse stockinette borders that are in the initial decreased shaping of the shawl and moved on to the long stretch of simple stockinette. I am finding it much easier to be decreasing towards a point of the last five stitches, rather than steadily increasing and seeing each row grow longer and longer. However, I began to be worried about running out of yarn! The pattern calls for approximately 900 yards of DK weight... I am using a light fingering, and decided to add an interesting stripe pattern to the middle section of the shawl, which will appear as chevrons when worn, since the fabric is diagonal because of the steady center back decreases, and save the last 100 or so yards of my deep green for the top border. I have a feeling this shawl has a long, long ways yet to go. It has been accompanying me to meetings and Knit Nights since plain stockinette, even with a striping pattern is so easy to keep track of, but there's a lot of other knitting to be done, so the poor shawl only sees part of my attention. I am sure I can have it finished by next fall's Celtic Festival to wear with my costume, but that is the only deadline for it.
Garter Rib Sock
I know you won't believe it, but there is a sock on the needles! I got some lovely Grace's Yarn several years ago, and actually cast this sock on last year around this time, but took it up this week and have about 5 inches on the leg of the first sock done. It will probably be a travel-along project until completed. I am using the formulas from Sensational Knitted Socks for the pattern. Photo to follow!
This cardi is our Knit Night's knit-along... I haven't touched mine in several weeks. This really IS a beautiful sweater, and my group is planning to have a fashion show of our efforts in June, so I better get to it! To make matters even worse, Stephanie sucked me into another KAL, which will start in early April, to make the Irish Mystery Shawl.
There are a few other items in my queue, including this cute pattern for my dear granddaughter. I actually have some Frog Tree Picoboo to make it up in, and expect I will cast on and make it in April, once the hats are finished. I also want to make a sleeveless top for when warm weather finally, finally gets here. I already have appropriate yarn for this tank, but favor this design a bit more.... decisions, decisions. What are you up to?