Monday, July 29, 2013

And once again, I'm knitting socks.

Yep. I finished my Alhambra scarf. It was so nice to have a project that had no deadline - just being able to pick it up or put it aside without the pressure to finish it has been really helpful with my work being so stressful the last couple of months. The scarf is just the right length, but I won't know its finished length until I block it, which probably won't happen until Christmastime. I'm sure this will end up as a gift for someone, but I haven't yet decided whose it will be.

Once I'd finished the scarf, I was casting about for my next project. After having done so many green projects lately (the Team Flora hats, the Alhambra scarf, the Portico shawl), I was feeling like a pink project might be the way to go. I had two skeins of a pink variegated Shibuiknits Staccato sock yarn in my stash, so all I needed to do was find a pattern that was right for it.

The first thing I did was look through all my books - I have seven books with sock patterns in them, and there was really only one pattern I wanted to knit. Sadly, it was a pattern that really needed a solid yarn, so I had to keep looking. After a Ravelry search, I thought I'd try Zirkel, by Stephanie van der Linden. It's a cute stranded pattern that turned out not to work with my chosen yarn, as the yarn had too much variation and obscured the colorwork. It was back to the drawing board.

After another look through the pattern books, I decided that I would knit Hummingbird again. It's been about a year and a half since I knit that pattern, and I remember that it knit up quickly. I thought that this time, just for kicks, I'd knit the socks toe-up with gussets and a heel flap, rather than cuff-down with a short row heel. I started a little more than a week ago, and I'm already doing the gusset increases. I'm sure it won't be long before these socks are finished.

Well, that's all I've got for today. Until next time, Friends.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summertime, and the knitting is easy.

So, Friends, I've been away for an age, it seems, and even though I never wanted to be one of those bloggers who starts a post by apologizing for my absence, I guess I just became one: I'm sorry I've been gone so long. My work has been pretty hectic for the last month and a half, so that by the time I get home at the end of the day, I can barely decide what to have for dinner, much less write a coherent blog post. I hope it's at least some consolation that I have been thinking about posting often since I was last here, and really wishing I were posting more.

Anyway, since the last time I posted, I finished my Lanata cardigan, which I love! The sweater ended up draping beautifully and it fits just right. I was able to re-use the buttons from the Peasy cardigan, with a few left over for some project in the future. I really love the Rowan Revive yarn, that I've now used for 3 or 4 projects by now. The next time I'm in Indianapolis, I'll have to take a look at the current colors and see what's out there. I'd really love to have another Vesper (one that fits, since I've lost all this weight) and maybe something sleeveless, too. As for Lanata, I love the way the lacy bits ripple up and down and I love the 3/4-length sleeves. The only thing I think I would change, if I ever do it again, is that I would probably change the shoulders/sleeves from the raglan style, which never really looks as nice on me as I'd like, to a more traditional shaped shoulder and set-in sleeves. I prefer raglan sleeves on smaller frames than my own - on me, they tend to be too wide and end up wanting to slide off my shoulders. I might even try to add the lacy bits on the sleeves as well - they feel a little heavy compared to the lightness of the body of the sweater.

I've also made progress on my most recent Alhambra scarf that I'm knitting up from the rest of the Jade Sapphire cashmere that Cindy gave me to finish Portico. I've been doing a little here and a little there, and bit by bit it's nearly finished. I probably have enough yarn to do two or three more pattern repeats, after which time I'm going to have to figure out some new commuter knitting. I just can't say enough about how lovely and soft this scarf is coming out - it's cashmere, after all, and even though it's been hotter than Hades here lately, this project has been a pleasure to knit. I'm going to kind of miss it when it's finished.

So that's all I've got for today. I have another triathlon this weekend, for which I've trained minimally, but for which I have a little more motivation to do well. My sister-in-law has recently started chemotherapy to fight non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, so I'll be wearing the t-shirt her husband had made up to race in her honor (my husband will be wearing the shirt too). I've also painted my nails lime green (which is the lymphoma awareness color) as a reminder to myself not to give up. Susan and her family have many challenging days coming, but I know she's tough, and has the best support around. I haven't done any fundraising as part of this race, but if you'd like to help fund research to cure leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers, here's a link to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's donation site.

Until next time, Friends.