Whispering Along

As much as it feels like I haven’t been knitting, I’ve been making quiet progress on my Whisper Cardigan.

I’m about to finish the second sleeve, and I have to say, this is going much faster than I thought it would. I’m encouraged that one day soon it will simply slide off the needles finished like a sigh.

The fabric created is so lovely. Using a fingering weight yarn makes it feel substantial, but still airy and light. I think this is going to be really pleasant to wear.

I think this is true love.

Keeping Busy

I feel bad doing these drive-by posts where I slap up a few photos and scurry back to what I’ve been doing, but I am exceedingly busy with work, getting ready for my trip, sorting out a mess with my student loans, and figuring out where I’m going to live once this lease ends.

I guess the good thing is that the prevalence of anxiety and insomnia lately results in lots of knitting.

While I sort out what to do with my Eleanor socks (I am going to knit a third one to match the more open eyelets of the second sock, I think), I have continued working on my self-designed socks. Look – they’re actually looking like socks!

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I’ve decided to name these Springtide socks. In designing them, I was going for something that evoked the new life of spring growth, delicate chutes emerging from the soggy ground and vibrant leaf tips glowing in the sunlight. I hope to have these finished soon, as the deadline for their particular Sockdown contest is rapidly approaching.

I also cast on a really cool pattern for July, Scrolls Socks (Ravelry link) by Charlene Schurch from her book More Sensational Knitted Socks.

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I love the swooping movement in this pattern, which is deceptively easy to knit.

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It’s amazing to me how such different patterns can emerge from simple combinations of knit, purl, increases, decreases, and YOs. I am utterly charmed by these.

I’m planning to bring the Scrolls socks and a few other small projects with me to work on in Italy. I am also planning to bring my newly-finished Jellyfish shrug (which we will talk about in all kinds of depth soon).

For now, a peek…

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Yeah, I’m pretty happy about that.

FO – Cropped Raglan Sweater for Elise

I am very glad to have finished Elise’s cropped raglan sweater today.

I took photos before blocking, but I think you can see I’m pretty happy with it.

Pattern: Cropped Raglan Sweater (Ravelry link), free pattern from Lion Brand
Size: Large (41″)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted 10-ply worsted weight, color #8067 Sea Spray (dye lot 3740), 60% Pima cotton 40% Modal; I used just under eight 50-gram balls, totaling approximately 400 grams/14.08 oz or 600 yards/552 meters.
Needles: Knit Picks Options interchangeable circular needles, in US size 7 (4.5 mm) and 8 (5.0 mm)
Recipient: my aunt Elise
Modifications: none

Started: February 1, 2008
Finished: June 27, 2008

The usual disclaimers apply, in that I started this months ago and put it down for a long time, then finished it this week.

My aunt lives in Hawaii and works in an air-conditioned hospital. She mentioned how her shoulders and upper arms often freeze at work, so I wanted to make her something light and appropriate to the tropics, but substantial enough to keep her warm. I also wanted a soft and easy-care yarn, and I knew she adored this cotton/modal blend when she was admiring my grandmother’s shawl.

One of the most interesting aspects of this project for me is that I’ve made this pattern before, a little more than a year ago, and in acrylic. I really enjoyed knitting it in cotton and seeing the way it was intended to drape. As much as I love my first version, I found the cotton to be swoon-worthy in wonderful ways.

There were several technical differences this time around as well. Apart from general speed and confidence, now that I know how to seam, I knit the sleeves flat rather than in the round on DPNs, which I found made them go a lot more quickly.

As I only just learned how to properly pick up and knit stitches last week, it was quite a different experience doing the front band ribbing. I picked up 2 stitches for every 3 rows, which gave me about 74 stitches when the pattern called for 94. I feel like if I had picked up more stitches (as I’d done in my acrylic version), the ribbing would sag in the heavy cotton.

I used a stretchier bind-off on the arm and waist ribbing to make for a more comfortable fit. I learned this bind-off from toe-up sock knitting and figured it would work as well for upper arms and to give the waist some stretch. I wanted this sweater to be easy to pull on and off, fitting with the easygoing drape of the cotton. I worried that this bind-off made it flare slightly, but I can happily say that all evened out with blocking.

I think this is a great pattern. Because it’s such a versatile design, I find I wear mine all the time, over girly dresses or casual tees. I chose this soft greenish blue color because I think it’s beautifully subtle. I hope it will function almost as a neutral with the rest of my aunt’s vibrant wardrobe, making it easy to coordinate and enjoyable to wear. I also thought it would look great against her lovely tan complexion and blue eyes.

I am completely thrilled with the yarn. It is so nice to use and makes for a decadent finished project. I got to see how well it held up with my grandmother’s shawl, so I know that my aunt’s sweater will look great for a long time too.

My only concern is that this sweater may be a touch too big for my aunt. I tried it on myself to compare it with last summer’s version, and it’s slightly looser and more drapey all over. I think it’ll be okay, if a bit more casual in feel than mine was. I really hope she likes it! I’ll try to get photos of her wearing it when I give it to her for her birthday this weekend.

(By the way, for any Cure fans out there, I can’t look at this project without thinking of “A Letter to Elise,” but yknow, a sweater for Elise. Heh.)

Previous Entries on this Project:
So close
WIP it Out
About those resolutions…

WIP it Out

I think that show and tell is probably the best course of action to describe what I’ve been up to lately. (Isn’t it always?)

First, I’ve taken appraisal of the yarn situation in my apartment and determined there is entirely too much. I posted this photo to Ravelry, but neglected to post it here – this is my entire sock yarn stash:

Yikes. I have another labeled version of it all as well. My boyfriend did take a few photos of my entire stash covering our bed, but the colors are grossly inaccurate. If you can stand an HDR, here it is. Seeing it sprawled out reaffirms my decision not to buy any more yarn for a good long while.

A recent day serving jury duty provided ample knitting opportunity, where predictably I worked on green socks. I am well past the heel and up the cuff on my first Eleanor sock, which is good, as I am trying to finish them by the end of June.

I also worked on a design-your-own sock challenge for Sock Knitters Anonymous, and it has involved a little math and a lot of frogging.

I got pretty far along when I realized a minor (and mostly undetectable error) that I knew would drive me crazy. I was so frustrated that I ripped all the way back to the beginning. I think I’ve got the pattern sorted out completely now, so once I cast back on these should be pretty fast-moving.

I also have socks in other colors currently going – Spiral Boot Socks for the Knitting 19th Century Novels KAL for Around the World in 80 Days.

I’ve loved reading the book when I have a spare moment (or can’t sleep), but I have not made any real time for these socks yet, and it’s unlikely I will finish them by June with everything else I’m attempting.

My green fixation has combined with my need for practicality in a One-Tone Ribbed Shrug from Fitted Knits.

This shrug is an enjoyable knit, and it’s moving quickly. The latter point is crucial because I really should be using those needles to finish this other little sweater, whose recipient is visiting my parents in less than two weeks.

This is the Cropped Raglan Sweater from Lion Brand, and I’ve knit one for myself, so I know I love the pattern.

The one that I knit last summer was all acrylic, and this is in Knit Picks Shine Worsted (a cotton/modal blend), so the drape and feel are completely different. At first I didn’t think I liked it, and I worried about the color, but now that I’ve had some time away from it, I think it has the potential to be a really lovely gift.

On some weird compulsion, I forced myself to cast on the Lace Ribbon Scarf even though I already had too many projects going. I messed up not once, twice, or even three times, but more than four times, resulting in complete froggings. Of course then it became a vendetta. I had to make this scarf.

I think I’ve got it now.

This is a red cotton yarn, and I really love the way it feels. The color and the texture remind me so much of Kabbalah strings it’s uncanny.

As this post probably makes perfectly clear, I’ve got a lot of projects going on and have failed miserably at my three-projects-at-a-time goal. I think this is an accurate reflection of the rest of my life at the moment as well. I hope to knock out some FOs quickly so that I can get it all back under control.

Oh, and I’ve also got this to deal with.

Sigh. We’ll talk more about that soon.