Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Knitting Update (Spinning Update to follow)

It feels like it's been a month since I last posted, instead of just a week! Work got crazy busy, then just when it let off, I had all this free time to visit with friends and family, so I stayed busy enough to not blog.

A few months ago, I started listening to Faery Knitting, a fabulous podcast where the lovely Erin reads a fairy tale, gives us a few thoughts on it, and relates her knitting/spinning/goatherding/cheesemaking adventures. She had a contest a couple episodes back with the prizes being either some seed packets or one of two fairy tale books. I ended up winning one of the books, and it arrived early last week!

Package from Erin!
The book was wrapped up in that lovely bit of fabric in the back, and I got a very nice card. I saved the seed-packet sticker, it was just too cute. I'm looking forward to reading some of this on the plane, in between new episodes of the podcast. Thanks, Erin! I also got hooked on CraftLit via Erin's recommendation, and am currently working my way through back episodes. I love Pride and Prejudice, and although I haven't read as much Austen as I should, I am a total fanatic. I can't wait to get caught up.

Last Tuesday I went to a meeting of Purl Jam, a knit/crochet group that has started meeting at a cafe within walking distance of where I live. It was great fun, I'm sad that I'll only get to attend one more meeting (tonight) before I leave for the summer. Okay, so last Tuesday I get home from work, and I'm trying to decide what project to bring. I really wanted to start my Leaf Kimono, but I didn't want to be actually casting on at the group - I wanted something a little more mindless, so I could give some of my attention to meeting new people and the conversation. I also thought seriously about casting on for an adorable pair of mittens, but ended up taking another few mitered squares. I finished block #18 on Wednesday:

Gray-Green Square
I still have to catalog all the new colors I got from the last Webs grab bag extravaganza. I think this is officially the halfway mark. I really doubt that I will be able or want to knit a blanket with more than 36 blocks, I'm actually drawn to 35 as the stopping point, for a 5-by-6-block blanket. I guess this project is going to hibernate for awhile now, though, because it's rather bulky and not high on the list of what gets to come with me to Germany.

The mittens got so stuck in my head that I started them the next day:

Snail Mittens
These are the Norwegian Snail Mittens by Adrian Bizilla from the Knitter's Book of Yarn, and the yarn is Dale Baby Ull in the colors called for in the pattern. It's been awhile since I knit anything this blue. They're going very quickly, that picture is from Sunday morning and I'm actually finished with that mitten, save for the duplicate stitched green accents. I'm betting they will be done in time for Germany.

I also (FINALLY!) blocked my orchid lace scarf. I knit this is an astonishing twelve days or so over my winter break. The project was supposed to last me for three weeks. Then it sat on the shelf until I finally decided that I wanted to wear it to my friend's graduation this weekend, and thus would need to block it. This is my favorite photo, with the light coming through the lace holes:

Orchid Scarf
I soaked it in some Soak wash, squeezed all the excess water out with a towel, and stretched it out on the carpet to dry overnight. I didn't want to block this too severely, so my carpet was sticky enough to keep the damp scarf in place overnight, so I just stretched it out so it looked evenly rectangular. The yarn is Marisilk, dyed by Das Schneeschaf. The color is beautiful, and I was originally worried that the lace pattern and variegated color would look too busy together, but the color changes are subtle enough to work with this pattern:

Orchid Scarf

Last night I made the mistake of checking my work email right before going to bed (bad idea, I should have known better). Let's just say things are hectic and crazy right now, and I got a little worried and anxious after reading my email, which I hadn't checked over the holiday. There was nothing I could do until today, and even then I knew everything was going to work out fine, but it's hard to be rational when you're tired and feel threatened, however emptily. To try and calm myself down a bit, I ended up casting on for the back of the Leaf Kimono. It was pretty helpful in taking my mind off work for a little while, it's been awhile since I knit lace patterns and my brain had to focus more than usual (but that was the idea). When I started yawning every three stitches I decided I was tired enough to fall asleep as soon as I got into bed, and wouldn't stay up obsessing over work anymore. I did the first four rows of the pattern, and I can't wait to get back to it. No pictures yet, I will get some when I have a little more progess to show!

I have also done some spinning since my last post, but that will have to wait for another post as this one is already dangerously long. Hopefully a spinning update will happen before the weekend, and you can look forward to lots of fruit-related colors!

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