Monday, August 04, 2008

Mid-summer round-up


(I love Michelle's caption for this photo -- Stop: Mitten time!)

It's August, and I just finished my Vinterblomster mittens. They'd been done but for the thumbs for the last couple of months, and I finally picked them up and did it. I'm not madly in love with them, but I like them and I'll wear them. I like that they are lightweight (two layers of sock yarn). They would've looked better with a lighter grey, but no biggie. I'm glad they're done. When projects linger, I start to feel stressed out.


I also took a photo of my (languishing) February Lady Sweater, which I started knitting when I was out in B.C. -- and which I haven't touched since I got home. The wool is Peer Gynt, which is much coarsar than what most people have used for this sweater. I think it can work. If I ever work on it again.


Before I headed to Toronto two weeks ago, I told you I was talking a ball of alpaca and the pattern for Matilda. I spent most of the train ride working on that project, but it has since been frogged. The yarn (the mysterious alpaca I bought at Birkeland Bros. in Vancouver) was too heavy for what I wanted; plus I wasn't enjoying knitting with it because it was a little greasy and still had guard hairs in it. Who wants to knit with alpaca that isn't soft? Not me. Here's how Matilda looked on the train; I was enjoying the pattern, but that yarn was all wrong:


In the last few days I've started a brand-new project, and believe it or not, it's not a shawl. Remember when I bought a bunch of charcoal Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and thought I could crochet the Butterscotch Cardigan? Well, I made the back piece, and I ended up with 15 fewer stitches than I was supposed to have. Now, I think I could probably figure out how to do the decreases correctly, but I no longer feel the need to make this particular sweater. I still wanted to make a cardigan with this yarn, though, because I love the yarn (and because buying nine skeins of it was quite the splurge!). So I turned to a pattern I've loved for ages, and I started swatching. I knit swatches, washed and blocked them, and it all looked good.


So I'm now knitting a Grannie Smith Cardigan! I like the idea that I'm turning (char)coal into diamonds. :) I'm starting with a sleeve, and so far it's looking good. Actually, the pattern had me at the picot hem.

I still have plenty of shawls in my queue, of course, and when I was in Ancaster last week I bought a skein of alpaca/silk Fino in the prettiest shade of light blue.


Why do I never think to have yarn wound into a ball when I'm at the yarn store? Arrgh. I have a ball winder, but Bill is my swift, and 875 yards of laceweight can get a little challenging to wind.

My Flock of Triangles quilt is still on the go, too; I've hand-quilted around almost every triangle, so I'm hoping to be attaching the binding in a week or two.

Equally exciting, but in a different way, is that for the first time in many months I find myself wanting to do schoolwork! This past year was a real struggle for me -- to the point where I doubted that I belong in grad school -- but I think I've turned a corner. I've planned another research trip to Toronto for later this month, and in the meantime I'm reading and thinking and feeling (tentatively) much better about things. So if I'm not blogging as much, it's because I'm being productive with my research. Hallelujah for that.

16 comments:

gleek said...

wow, lots of knitting going on between the mittens (love them!) and the FLS (fantastic!) i have been thinking about shawls a lot too lately. it's been entirely too long since i made one.

DJB said...

Look out, it's Ali Balboa!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever posted, but you really struck a cord with me! Firstly, the mittens look great, and I'm sure they'll be appreciated come Dec.! Secondly, I'm in grad school, and I've been thinking daily that I don't belong there! I'm desperately trying to find my inspiration and drive, and it has fallen by the wayside. I guess a month off will do that to you! So, anyway, congrats to you for finding your mojo!

Dísa said...

Hahaha! Wow, seeing your picture of the Matilda shawl cracks me up because I´m knitting that very same shawl in the exact same shade of brown alpaca! Your picture actually looks like a picture of my project. I intend to keep my version of the shawl, however, because my alpaca is soft (it's Garnstudio) and because I want it to be a heavy winter shawl, so the alpaca is great for that. And I'm sure Hammer would wear your mittens with pride:)

Stacey said...

the mitts came out great! hopefully you won't need them for a while...lots of stuff on the needles - a nice variety! that light blue lace weight is beautiful!

Cassy said...

That cardigan is going to be awesome. Like the mittens. I'm also planning to do a February lady sweater. Too precious to pass up.

claudia said...

Yay for the research breakthrough! I know exactly how that feels, both the bad and the good.

Kat with a K said...

The mittens are gorgeous! And congrats on the school breakthrough. :)

Jennifer Lori said...

I looked up the sweater on Ravelry and found this note on the pattern repeats, I thought you might be interested:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/pamelamama/grannie-smith-cardigan

Michelle said...

I won't tell you, then, that immediately after posting that Flickr comment I jumped up and did the M.C. Hammer dance.

(not really.)

(but I was thinking it.)

Thanks for the Granny Smith cardi link! I just queued it and am mentally going through my stash for appropriate yarns.

Seanna Lea said...

I was going to ask you about your Butterscotch Cardigan. I still want to make mine (I bought two monster skeins of laceweight to double strand), but I am a little intimidated. It's been ages since I've made anything significant using my crochet skills.

Good luck with your new cardigan!

Preita said...

Lots of knitting! I like your FLS so far. I did mine out of Beaverslide worsted & THAT was way more rustic than anyone was doing. I think the choice of diffrent yarns makes it really intresting. Everyone doens't have to make it out of Dream In Color "Classy" colorway Happy Forest :P

Good luck with all the projects!

Chris said...

Oh man! I couldn't even finish reading your post before jumping back to Ravelry to queue those mittens - Fantastic!!

Knit and Purl Mama said...

The gloves are fantastic!

I also want to make the Lady Sweater, love the color you chose for yours!

La Cabeza Grande said...

Wow, Alison! You're needles are totally on fire, and the output is looking fine! I so wish I had your drive but I'll just be content to praise yours instead.

Thinks too much said...

I love the first pic. What an elegant arm you present.