"Black Dragon" Lilly blooming in the garden today and filling the air with heady perfume

'Packing up today to head up north. Since I hope to finish the Nouveau Gloves over the weekend I'll also be taking something else to work on. The Lace Saddle Tee is still up there. I've pulled it out and looked it over recently and I'm trying to decide whether to rip both sleeves and re knit them according to the pattern or keep on with my original plan to match the second sleeve to the first technically incorrect one that nonetheless looks and fits just fine.

Ripping and re-knitting has been gratifying in my recent projects so that has me thinking I should take the plunge in this instance too.

I am also going to treat myself to a dive into my big basket of home made pre assembled "kits" and see what catches my eye.

Thank you to everyone who left such kind comments about my FO's this week. I was very interested to read Lyn's comment about superwash wool being difficult to block compared to untreated wool. I'll keep that in mind in future!  I was also pleased to read Lupie's comment that my approach to fingers in gloves was a workable one...if you follow her blog you know she has made a lot of gloves so I know she speaks from experience. Finally, the comment on my Bermuda shawl that just came in from Curlerchick Sandra was nice to receive as she was to have surgery on Wednesday so if she's commenting on my blog here on Friday she must be feeling well!

Have a great weekend, thanks for dropping by!


Its All About the Fingers

With glove number one knitted and number two about halfway up the medallion on the back of the hand, things are moving along nicely with the Nouveau Gloves.

Once the shawlette and slippers were done last week at the cottage I knit and re knit the Nouveau fingers. I wanted to get the hang of hole-free spaces between the fingers and having the length fit each of my fingers perfectly.

Talk about tedious! Around and around on three needles and a dozen or so stitches... try it on, with needles still attached, rip, rip, rip, around and around again...yawn!

But I made the effort because I figure gloves really are all about are the fingers right? (Otherwise they're mittens or  hand warmers but they're not gloves!) so I made a decent effort at getting them right. Not perfect but at least sufficient for a first try at glove knitting.

This week that effort seems more worth it though.  With one glove finished and coming very shortly up on that second set of fingers I'm hopeful everything will be easier and quicker the second time around. The approach I'm happiest with is to pick up twice the number of stitches stipulated in the pattern when joining on to the next finger then knit or purl those together in pairs on the next round to reduce the total to where it should be leaving a nice tight row of solid knitting free of unsightly gaps.

Next door to the thumb, however, things are not so gap-free. Those three consecutive holes at the edges of the thumb are stacked lifted purlwise increases. I've worked and reworked them too. I think I followed the instructions correctly so I've decided to just live with the holes. At least they're uniform and neat!

I can see the end in sight for this project! That WIP list is actually shrinking! What will I target to finish up next?


Grown Up Booties #2 FO

Colour Red and Oxford
Needles: 5mm
Start:May Finish: June 9, 2011
Modifications: None

Not exactly inspired seasonal knitting here in the sweltering days of early July but these are intended for the cottage so they aren't entirely irrelevant.

Having worn through the darning on my first pair of Grown Up Booties I decided to make another pair but this time with something a bit sturdier than Manos. Does it get any tougher than Tuffy? How about double Tuffy? I held the yarn double throughout and knit 'em extra tight.. It felt a lot like knitting with rope.

The fabric is stiff so it took a couple of tries to sew them up and get the toes the way I wanted them but I'm happy now that they're done. They softened up a bit after SOAKing but they still feel like they'll take anything I can throw at them for years to come. Wearing them at the cottage means they'll inevitably encounter grit, that nemesis of fiber, so they'll need all the toughness they can get.

They feel quite soft and springy underfoot due to their thickness and I have no doubt they'll be warm!.

The Manos Booties were more luxurious than practical and being a softer fabric looked a bit less like kleenex boxes on my feet.  These are the opposite of all that but they don't feel like kleenex boxes and if they keep my feet warm and cozy and they last I'll be just as happy with this version.

Thanks for dropping by today!


Bermuda Shawl FO

Yarn: Viola Superwash Merino Fingering
Colour: Graphite
Needles: 4mm circular
Start: May Finish: July 10, 2011
Modifications: Added 2 repeats of lace chart per side of shawl

This is my first honest to goodness triangular kind of lacy shawl and I can now certainly see why many knitters so enjoy knitting them!

Unlike the epic pieces I see on other knit blogs, this one is pretty straightforward and so a good place to start (at least for me!)  Its mostly stockinette with a 34 row lace edging. Easy even for me with my chronic wandering brain ever missing this yarn over and that skpsso!

Although I did put effort into blocking it, I can see how the end result can be so closely tied to the amount of care put into that step of the process. My edge is kind of woggily so despite using every T-pin and all the long blocking wires I own and even spritzing it with water after it was all pinned out I guess I could have/should have done better.

This tutorial by Eunny Jang (in a blog post from December '06!) covers the basics I guress I should have gone beyond the "basics".(As an aside, does anyone else ever wonder what Eunny might have done or direction she might have gone had she not become editor of Interweave Knits and instead maybe did a Ysolda-type or Brooklyn Tweedy thing?) 

Anyway I plan to get a lot of wear out of this piece next autumn and winter so I'll be laundering it before too long and so be able to try to do a better job next time.

Really though, this project is about the yarn - the colour of the yarn! From a distance its a cool, ashy brown with a bit of grey...

But look closer and you see the Robin's Egg Blue...

Look at those shots of rusty red that warm everything up so much, add depth and keep the overall impression from becoming just a cold shade of brown... 

 And check out that shot of brilliant turquoise!

How does the woman behind "Viola" yarns get all these colours and that single little turquoise shot into a hank of brown yarn? Its so unexpected and it works with no small measure of sophistication;. (I'm also kind of thrilled it made it into that cast off edge right at the tip of the triangle!)

Yet at its base its a handsome, no nonsense Brown and I love the way that takes the edge off the fussiness of the lace. I just know its going to go with a ton of things in my autumn and winter wardrobe. Its already gone very very well with my coffee this morning!
I'm so glad I took the time to rip back, add repeats to better use up all the yarn and then knit it correctly.

I'm also glad you dropped by to see it! Thanks so much for coming over!


Back in Town

'Back this morning from an uneventful and relaxing week at the cottage and happy to report my personal war on "Mission Creep" went very well!

Evidenced by good progress on my Nouveau Gloves (one done, the other progressing nicely up the hand.)

I also managed to finish the shawlette that had a rather halting start due to severe chart misreading.

In line for a SOAK today will also be my second pair of Grown Up Booties. They were finished a while ago but I didn't like the way I'd sewn them up. Last week I redid the assembly and I'm much happier with the result.

Last night on the way home, once it was too dark to knit I even indulged in a bit of daydreaming about new projects I'll soon feel I can jump into with all these other long languishing projects out of the way!

Its supposed to be a hot and humid one today so I'm off for a slow walk along the shadiest route I can find with my creamy white pal! Walking is very limited at the cottage so despite the heat I'm looking forward to stretching my legs. Then I've got some blocking to do!

Thanks for dropping by!