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August 15, 2010

"Heat lightning." "Heat Lightning" by John Sandford ♦♦♦♦◊
*Yes, I know the last line and the title seem to be a bit, uh, redundant. Feel free to click over to the (fairly unexciting) review for more about that. Or just carry on as usual... your life won't be irreversibly altered one way or the other.

Heh. Challenges could be the title of so many of my posts, don't you agree? That's not always a bad thing, though. Sometimes the act of learning a new skill or increasing my proficiency in something is what qualifies as a challenge. And sometimes just not throttling Mr. W. or someone I know or meet is enough challenge for the day.

But enough navel-gazing, on to the post!

Time TravelerThis is a scarf/shawl I'm knitting called, "Time Traveler". It's a MMario pattern (link to Yahoo! group) that I might be testing. I say 'might' because I'm not a very fast* knitter and someone else may post their finished object to the group before I get this baby finished and blocked.

Made from Patons "Grace" 100% Mercerized Cotton in the color called "Cardinal" on size US9 needles. Unblocked, the scarf is about 12" wide. Blocked, I expect it to make it to 16" or more - hence the scarf/shawl designation. Who knows what it will end up to be?

MotifsI've got 2 skeins of this yarn, so I figure I'll just knit until they're both gone. If the scarf gets to be "long enough" before I finish the 2 skeins, I'll quit. If it doesn't seem to be long enough at the end of the 2 skeins, I'll get another.

The challenge with this piece is not the pattern (once I figured out the special 'language' of the designer and actually read the chart rather than assuming I knew what it said...) but the need to be fairly neat with my knitting. Using cotton yarn is nice and all but it shows every change in tension and every bit of inattention.

This is my second lace project with cotton yarn. I wonder why I keep doing this to myself? Oh yeah: For the challenge.

Royal Arches
I've also been putting in some serious time* on the Royal Arches socks. It took me awhile to get back into the rhythm of the interesting architecture (can I say sockitecture, or is that a term reserved for Cat Bordhi?) combined with the decorative pattern.

Royal Arches detail
I took them to work yesterday and showed them to one of my sock-knitting customers. I surprised myself when I told her (and the room at large, because we're all in each others' business) that I'm not one of those people who can do a sock from memory like so many seem to be able to do. I realized while talking about it that it's because I don't do the same pattern two times in a row - I like the new and interesting ways that clever designers come up with to shape a sock.

But Wait! There's more!

This is what I refer to as my "Peacock Sweater", started at the end of February*. Knit in Naturally Caron.com "Country", a 75% Microdenier (???) Acrylic/25% Merino wool blend. The color (surprise!): Peacock. The yarn's a bit splitty, but a switch to blunt-tipped needles (the Denise interchangeables work well) saves some frustration.

Even more so than the cotton, this yarn shows every burp and wart and change in mood. (And on my monitor, it's showing more blue than the greeny-blue it really is.)

Can you see the subtle stripes in what I have so far? Well, that's because I took advantage of coupons and got just a couple-few skeins at a time. When I finally decided on the actual project, I sat down with my different dyelots (the Knit Police have my mug shot on a poster in most quality yarn shops) and did some complicated figurin' about mixing it up so there weren't huge swaths of obviously different dyelots. I'm only doing 4 or 4½ rows at a time with each of 4 different dyelots, but upon close examination - or a well-lit photograph - it's pretty obvious where one of the skeins is notably lighter than the others. :sigh:

Here's my clever, high-tech way of managing all of those skeins: Four skeins in four sandwich bags closed with four twist-ties and wrapped with four numbered ball bands in one large zip-top bag with holes poked in four far-from-each-other spots. I had a picture, but apparently I got a bit delete-happy and it went bye-bye.

curlingSo, what's the deal with this, though? I did six rows of seed stitch to avoid curling and what do I get? A flippy-uppy hem! I am so not gonna rip this thing out. I guess I'll just have to investigate ways to fix it after the fact.

Oh! The pattern is Garnstudios' cleverly named Knitted DROPS Jacket with cables in ”Karisma” with 3/4 or long sleeves. Seriously. That's the name of the pattern. The Ravelry link calls it '115-1 Jacket with cables in ”Karisma” with 3/4 or long sleeves'. Now, I know how hard it is to come up with clever names for stuff, but really? I'll stick with Peacock Sweater.

* Do you think that maybe the reason I'm not a very fast knitter has less to do with the speed of the stitches and more to do with not sticking with one project at a time?

Block ChallAbout that Block Challenge adventure: I didn't win. I was a teensy bit disappointed, but also kinda relieved. The guidelines say to enter a 12½" block and I can tell you for sure that all 15 blocks entered were NOT the same size - what would I have done with my 'winnings' ?? I'll tell you what I would have done: I would have gotten out my seam ripper and spent untold hours "fixing" blocks. Then I most likely would have put them in a neat little stack and moved on to something else. THEN in about 6 months or so, in a cleaning frenzy, I would move the stack to the closet to join all of the other stacks, bags and boxes filled with blocks to be put together, quilts that need borders and tops ready for basting.

I'm having second thoughts about entering the next challenge, even though I totally heart the fabrics. Maybe I'll just make my own little quilt from the fabrics and have the pleasure of playing with the fabric and call it Good.

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permalink 1 Comments:
At 8/16/2010 5:27 AM, Blogger Crispy Babbled Back:  

Yep lots of different projects but variety IS the spice of life. I like the dye-lot stripes in the sweater....gives it texture :0)


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