May's Perfect Combination

Three weeks jam-crammed with activity and mindless rounds of go anywhere stockinette - an ideal pairing of knitting and life!

My 40" "Elmont"-styled EZ seamless raglan has many miles on it since casting on three weeks ago.

First there was to and from the cottage for the opening at the first of the month...

 and then a second lovely weekend just past...

Between cottage jaunts, a trip to New York City for a fun few days with my aunt to catch a series of wildly successful events featuring my (pseudo-sibling) cousin's art. The need to kind of "save our strength" for the art events meant we stayed in town and minimized our tourist activites so we enjoyed knitting time before, between and after the scheduled activities with Pseudo-Sib and his family. Then there were the hours spent in airports. Honestly I do not know how non knitters remain sane while travelling!

Things have also been hoppin' in the house...

..."Excavating" a large poodle from his winter "wear", (A two day affair)

Delivery of some furniture ordered back in the midst of the desperately cold winter. I'd almost forgotten we bought the stuff. Of course new pieces arriving means others have to depart! Followed closely thereafter with a feeling of "wow that looks so much nicer we should really also upgrade the 10 other things surrounding it" syndrome.

Then there's been the usual seasonal work on the garden, the house and the wardrobe and our family cluster of birthdays to celebrate. Lots of to-ing and fro-ing to sort it all out, after each day of which its been wonderful to indulge in a bit of easy knitting.

While easy knitting isn't always what I want the roughly 30,000 stitches contained in the body between hem and underarms may well have driven me crazy were I not simultaneously enjoying the distractions of a busy month.

Especially so after working the re purposed Aran yarn so quickly into the (still- to-be photographed) seamless yoke in April. Beside that project this knit is sub-snail's pace. Without the benefit of markers tracking increases and decreases I'd be hard pressed to detect any day to day progress.

With another week to go in the month and a fair amount still planned to jam into it, I've finished the body knitting up to the underarms, have worked out the details for the sleeves and cast on a relatively scant 52 stitches for sleeve one. I'm hoping, in comparison to the body, the sleeves will seem to fly into completion!

Today I've got window washing to do - I'd better "fly" off and get that started. Thanks for dropping by!


Copy Cat!

I've been trying, since Saturday to download "Elmont" from the Brooklyn Tweed web site. They've responded to my emails with a temporary password that should get me in but so far, no luck.

Meanwhile I've got a washed, blocked swatch with a lovely, light fabric bang on the yarn's recommended gauge of 26st/4" and an almost manic desire to cast on already!

I've also got a rising sense of panic as Cottage Opening approaches yet I've no project to enjoy during the multiple hour drive there and back, an evening by the fire and a Sunday morning pot of coffee lakeside.

Sooooo what's a knitter to do? Be a "Copy Cat"! (Remember, in grade 2 or so, when being accused of copying was among the worst of possible accusations? Funny how, once grown up, doing just that morphs in the "uber" positive label of "being on-trend"!)

But I digress...

Yesterday, during subway rides downtown and back - knitting in my head if not my hands - I hatched Plan "B" wherein I embrace Copy Catting for all I'm worth...

After a virtual visit at Steven Self's blog this morning revisiting his 2x4's I've dug out remnant sock yarn from these...
in preparation for casting on what I will refer to as "Self Socks". After noting down the details Steven so kindly and clearly includes in his post I plan to shamelessly copy them - right down to the Eye of Partridge heel I've been meaning to use for years. They will serve as an insurance project in case my second copied idea flounders (don't want to waver on my year of project monogamy!) and may well stay at the cottage in the unlikely event I arrive there some time without knitting or finish something ahead of schedule while I'm there.

As for "Elmont" - I'm going to copy the ideas therein but work it without benefit of having the pattern. Its very similar to what I've just finished with the repurposed yarn and will give me a chance to work EZ's bottom up raglan decreases just now on the heels of working her yoke neck instructions.

I've used the eyelet detail before on this cowl...
And I'll work it again here in remnant cream yarn from my late mother's stash. This blanket...


...didn't come close to using it up. The creamy white will be of minimal contrast, like the version pictured in the pattern which, after looking at the other projects on Ravelry, is most appealing to me.

Kind of like this fellow...

Most appealing! Now I'm off to get this guy walked with a happy and now relaxed knitter's head atop my Copy Catter's body! Thanks for dropping by!


Job Done!

Re-blocking worked!

'Sprayed that whole bottle of water into the sweater without ever lifting it off the board. Spritzing with my right while squishing the fabric with the finger tips on my left. As the yarn absorbed the water I could feel it beef up, take charge and return a sense of resiliency to the the knitted fabric.

I then left it, rumpled just as it was for half an hour to allow the wool to really have its way. Then I gingerly kneaded it out, again without lifting it from the board and still using only the tips of my fingers to move it towards the pins that marked the margins I wanted to achieve and maintain.

Around the yoke I left the reintroduced puckers amid the decrease rounds as it dried thinking I'll see what pulling it on does to the fit. If its tight-ish as it was right off the needles the puckers will be pulled back out. If not they can always be touched up with a bit of steam without "disturbing" the rest of piece.

I learnt a big lesson through this process about using and blocking blended yarns. While the power of wool is not to be underestimated, neither should the value of careful handling post assembly. I feel like I've gained a better sense of the opportunities (and hazards!) of even the most careful of blocking efforts!

Darling Daughter (chief FO photographer) drove to Chicago for the weekend. (Hudson oversees all departures from the front window.)

So an FO shoot to capture the power of water and wool was out of the question Saturday or Sunday and since the ice went out on the 21st up at the lake we'll be heading there this weekend. Hopefully the longer days we're now enjoying will allow for taking a modelled "snap" or two one evening this week. I can't wait to post this finished product!