Friday, November 28, 2008

"realistic just means not very pretty"**

I'm taking the excuse of being at home to post about my mom's birthday present. You've already seen it in various forms, but here's the finished product.The pattern is the Old Shale Smoke Ring and it's knit in Plucky Knitter Merino-Cashmere-Nylon. The yarn is from the PK yarn club, to which EW and I share a subscription. (This offers us the opportunity to fight over who gets to keep what yarn every month. Really a good idea all around. But it also lets us get beautiful yarn.) This particular yarn is the Colonel Brandon colorway, from the months that the club was featuring Jane Austen colorways. I received this yarn while studying for the bar from home this summer and wasn't in love with it right away, but when I was talking about sending it to EW, my mom said, "Oh, but it's so pretty!" Well, that decided that, and EW got Miss Marianne instead. (Which clearly turned out for the best.) And I grew to love this yarn, with its variation and depth that were not immediately apparent: highly appropriate given its namesake.

I got the idea to add an Elk brooch to the cowl from a Raveler who'd used such a brooch to good effect. Although I thought I'd ordered it in plenty of time, coming from Australia took even longer than I thought so it didn't show up until the day before my mom's birthday and the whole package was delayed getting to her. I could have sent it without, but didn't think the effect was quite as good: ** Declaration by my five-year old cousin. She was coloring turkey shapes with her twin brother and asked whose was better. I said, "Well, they're both good in different ways. Yours is much more of a fantasy and his is much more realistic."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Miss Marianne

What once was a pile of string..... now a beautiful thing!

Ok, sorry, couldn't resist. I am rather happy with how this lovely cowl turned out.

I really enjoyed knitting with this pattern–it was easy to remember, easy to pick up in the middle of a row or repeat (crucial for transit knitting) and, perhaps most importantly, look how pretty! The color variation in the yarn (Miss Marianne Dashwood, from the Plucky Knitter) really looks lovely in the finished, blocked version. Soon it will be off to its recipient, who will hopefully enjoy a little Marianne in her life.

finished object parade

Thanks to a long phone conversation with CH on Saturday (and to actually remembering to bring my headset in from the car) I had some time to take care of some long unfinished objects. Like these fingerless mittens:I'd almost finished them about a month ago, but couldn't bring myself to finish one thumb and sew in the ends. Perfect mindless knitting for a phone conversation! These are the Mahayana Flying Gloves, using the Plucky Knitter Worsted Merino. When I first saw the Leyburn sock pattern, I thought that it would make fantastic gloves. Imagine my delight to find that someone had already worked out fingerless mitts using the same stitch pattern! You can find my mods here (rav link; if you're not on ravelry and are curious, let me know and I'll post them, but they are pretty boring...) I'm pretty darn pleased with these, so I hope to knit them again soon, probably with thinner yarn.

And then this hat, which is for my grandma to wear at the North Shore of Lake Superior over Thanksgiving.

All I had left to do was sew in the ends, but I hadn't been able to force myself to do so. However, it's got to get in the mail this week, so I couldn't avoid it any longer. I actually knit this hat twice: the first attempt was using 8s and 9s and casting on 70 stitches. I liked the way it turned out, but decided that my grandma would prefer a little tighter knit. So I frogged and reknit on 6s and 8s, with a cast on of 80 stitches. Now, I think it’s perfect for her.

This is the same pattern that I knit for myself last winter (Odessa, by Grumperina), and I was delighted to get to knit it again. (The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.) I used a skein of the Plucky Knitter Aran Cashmere and am so happy to get to gift such lovely yarn to my grandma!

I have two more recently finished knits that I need to post about, but they weren't finished during this conversation, so I'll save them for another day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

all inside out

I've knit a couple of things inside out lately. The first one was by accident. This is what it was supposed to look like.But the more I knit, the more I liked the reverse side better.

So I turned it inside out before gifting it (belatedly to Andrea to go with her new Orla bag).
The second one was on purpose. As I was working on converting a stitch pattern from straight needles to circulars, I realized that knitting the reverse side would allow me to knit much more than purl. And since that's a trade that I'll always take, reverse side knitting it is! Here's what that looks like:
You'll have to wait to see what this looks like when it's turned inside out since it's not ready to be gifted yet.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This is my Metro vest - lost and found.

I started this vest on our trip to Scotland/England last spring, but when I was over half finished with the back, last I left my bag in the Metro one morning in June (along with my Blackberry, a confidential grant proposal, and a $4000 tax refund check). Of course I was most upset about the knitting! I reported to Lost and Found but gave it up for lost when I got no response and replaced everything, including buying new yarn for the sweater, which I had become attached to. On the thirtieth day I decided to call, despite the message they had sent when I filed the Lost report, saying don't call us, we'll call you if we find it. They said they had sent me an email 4 days after I lost it, but I never received it. My bag and I were joyfully reunited, but I didn't resume work on the vest until after the county fair projects were complete. This was much easier and faster than the Ladybug sweater, because there were never more than two colors in a row, the yarn was heavier, and the pattern was repeated and symmetrical. If anyone really loves it, I have enough yarn for another!