Monday, March 19, 2012

It's been an age!

Since the last time I posted, I completed the yoga socks. Sadly, I have made no progress on the Chawton mittens. It seems that over the two weeks since I last posted, all my knitting has been done during my commute to work, so that's why the yoga socks got finished in such a short time. It also helped that the stitch pattern was easily memorizable. I think the only thing I would have changed about this project would have been having a longer circular needle for knitting up the legs. The pattern called for a size 3 needle, which I had, but I only had a 32" length, rather than my preferred 40". I was still able to knit it alright, I just didn't have as much slack on the cable as I like. Not the end of the world, though.

What I've been spending most of my time on lately is training for an upcoming sprint triathlon. It's been 5 years since the last time I did one, so I've been making a point of going to the gym. I've been getting there almost daily, which was kind of my point in signing up for this race. I've also managed to lose 17 pounds so far, which was another reason I decided to get back into triathlon. Needless to say, all this time at the gym has cut into my knitting time, but I'm hoping I knit a little more in the evenings. And now that Spring seems to have arrived, I'm looking forward to knitting outdoors on my front porch, or out back on the deck. It's so much nicer not being cooped up inside.

So that's all for now. Until next time, Friends!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Seeing the bigger picture

Sometimes it takes seeing a photograph of my knitting to realize that I haven't noticed something. I'm not sure why this is. Maybe it's getting the project into a frame that makes me notice something new. Or maybe it's that I've held the camera farther away from the project than I hold it as I'm knitting it. But anyway, today, after I photographed the Prana socks, I noticed that the colors were variegating differently one from the other. One sock has a wider spiral of bright color while the other seems to be much darker with a narrow spiral of bright. I haven't noticed this as I've been knitting them, probably because I've been paying more attention to the stitch pattern than the color.

I don't think the intended recipient of these socks will mind - I mean, if it was up to her, both socks would have the wide bright stripe, but I'm sure she'll like them anyway. The variegation adds to the uniqueness of the socks, and she's a pretty unique girl herself.

The socks are knitting up quickly. I've already completed the feet, and since there are no heels to turn, I'm ready to get going on the legs. I'm pretty sure they'll go quickly too.

I've also made some progress on the Chawton Mittens. I've gotten through 15 rounds of the chart and have found that the stranded knitting isn't as difficult as I thought it would be. It is a little tedious, but nothing I can't get through. The yarn I'm using is producing very distinct stitches that I'm not sure I like. I think I might have preferred a fuzzier yarn, but maybe they fill out a little once they've been washed. I do like that the yarn is superwash, which is a plus for mittens. We'll see how they go.

That's all I have for now. Until next time, Friends.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

So much sock yarn

It could be said that I have a lot of sock yarn. I don't have as much as a lot of people, but I have enough to keep me knitting socks for the rest of the year before I had to buy more. But sometimes I want to knit something other than socks, so it was nice to stumble upon the pattern for Chawton Mittens. This pattern was published in Interweave Knits' Jane Austen Knits special issue magazine that came out last fall. I'm not sure why the mittens didn't really catch my eye the first time I saw them, but when the photo turned up in my email last week, I decided that I'd like to knit them.

As it turns out, I happened to have some yarn in my stash that would be appropriate for these mittens: it was the right weight, the right yardage and the right colors. I even had the right size needles! Well, duh, I have three of the right size needles, five if you include double points. Anyway, this seemed like a no-brainer. I already had the pattern, I had the yarn and I had the needles. But of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I decided that I had to knit these mittens two-at-a-time. This is stranded knitting we're talking about here. I haven't really done that much stranded knitting (one pair of socks, I think), so this will definitely be a challenge. I've managed to complete three color work rounds so far. It's been a bit slower than I usually work, but I think it will be fine. Since this project will require a measure of focus, I'll keep it at home. It's definitely not for social knitting situations.

For knitting with friends, I have another project, the Prana socks by Cirilia Rose in Clara Parkes' Knitters Book of Socks. These are yoga socks I'm knitting for one of AmeriCorps volunteers. She's just started doing yoga and found that she really likes it. I'm knitting them from some Claudia Hand Painted that I bought early last summer when I was visiting my hometown. The colorway is called Zebra, but I have no earthly idea why. The colors are cobalt blue, electric green and some purple with some browns and greys and are pooling in a really interesting way. I have modified this pattern as well: I'm knitting them from the foot up, as the two skeins of Claudia are only 350 yards and the pattern calls for 420 yards or so. I'll just knit as far as I can on the legs before I run out of yarn. This pattern is proving to be easy to memorize, so they're perfect for knitting in public.

Well, that's it for tonight, y'all. Until next time!