Sunday, March 6, 2011

Forward Momentum

So I spent about a month putting off the next step in finishing the never-ending blanket project (shocking, I know). I told myself I was just waiting for a convenient time. A time when I wouldn't feel so bad about keeping the cat locked in or out of the bedroom. A time when I wasn't exhausted from work. A time when I felt like it.

Really, I think I was just waiting to finish something. In addition to neglecting the blanket, I've also suspected myself of neglecting the spinning wheel. After nearly giving myself a heart attack about renewing my subscription to the Hello Yarn fiber club, I immediately threw December's color, Minerals on Shetland wool, on the wheel.

Hello Yarn Minerals Shetland

It took a little time to get comfortable spinning this fiber. I've not spun a great deal of Shetland, and at first I was underspinning the singles and getting lots of breaks. I was much happier with my yarn once I saw it plied together.

Hello Yarn Minerals Shetland

Once that was off the wheel, I still didn't feel like looking at the blanket. So I thought then that maybe I needed to have another project on the go. I can't think of a logical reason why this would be so; it might have simply been a case of startitis. But I did start something:

Flocked Mittens Attempt #1

The yarn is A Verb for Keeping Warm Toasted (their new worsted base, debuted at Stitches) in Nugget and Thai Iced Tea. The pattern is Flocked Mittens from Hello Yarn. Just like all her lined mitten patterns, these are going to wear like iron. I'm knitting worsted-weight yarn on US size 2 needles!

Last night, I finally got a little bored with petting the spinning fiber stash and knitting the mittens. So I got out the mitered squares, and started arranging.

Blanket Layout 1

I apologize for the truly awful photograph. It was dark and raining last night, but I couldn't waste the impulse by not taking a picture. I spent about two hours swapping squares, trying to balance out lights and darks, areas of high contrast with areas of low contrast, green bits with purple bits, and trying to find a good place to put that darned orange square. I'm not 100% satisfied with this layout, but it's pretty close. I like the four center squares, they're some of my favorites. I like having the four corners of the blanket anchored with dark bits. I spent a lot of time getting the squares oriented correctly to eliminate strong vertical or horizontal lines in the blanket. The blanket probably only needs a few changes, and one last check in daylight, before I can start the second stage of seaming. After I seam it, I can start weaving in ends.



I think I need to lie down.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Smith! (Or, my continuing obsession with Ysolda)

Okay, so I entered Ysolda's Hedgehog contest. This morning I opened my email to find that I got the right number of hedgehogs!!!

And then I realized (belatedly) that I already own a copy of the adorable Smith pattern, since it's part of the Whimsical Little Knits 2 collection. So I've decided to pass the good karma along, and give away my own copy of the Smith pattern. Share the love, right? Here's the contest:

What pattern did I use to knit my wedding shawl (the white shawl in Ysolda's hedgehog contest blog post)? Leave a comment with your answer!

Multiple correct answers will be decided by random number generator, and I'll close the contest at 9:30AM tomorrow (PST).