I'm still knitting Olivia. For the record, that's almost seven inches of fisherman's rib. It has taken me just about all of two skeins of Plucky Primo Aran (more like a light worsted weight that an aran) to get to this point.
It has been a long slog, as you all know, because it's just about all I've blogged about for weeks. But it is so worth it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is as cushy as fisherman's rib and I can't wait to wrap Olivia around my neck. That is, if I ever manage to finish.
For a brief moment in time yesterday (about 45 minutes) I was as close to knitter nirvana as I can get.
I managed my weekend work to squeeze a bit of time out of the office, sent one child to ballet and the other off to play soccer, and urged Mr. Knitter off to the grocery store (thankfully, dogs, cats and older children were cooperative as well) and I engaged in blissful knitting while getting a pedicure. Not just any pedicure, but the most fabulous pumpkin pedicure of all time. I am told it exfoliated my feet and made my skin baby-bottom soft. Personally, I was just happy to get the uninterrupted knitting time!
It paid off too. The rickety fisherman's rib on my Olivia is almost at the seven inch mark (that's one and two-thirds skeins of Plucky Primo Aran to get there). Olivia and I got off to a rough start. I didn't know how to knit this quirky rib and had a hard time getting directions that explained "knit into the stitch below." And I may have misread some directions regarding the last stitch on wrong side rows. But none of that matters. We are good friends now and I am embracing my early mistakes as learning scars. Olivia is beautiful and I am in love with her.
I'm going to need a hat to wear on my travels this spring. I want something lighter weight than the hats I have managed to keep out of my children's greedy little hands and also a springy green color. Since I didn't seem to have anything the fit the bill in stash, I dyed this.
It's a new-to-me yarn, Kraemer's Maria, a 50% silk/50% merino blend with 225 yards in 100 grams. The yardage and the look are both about right for me to call it a worsted weight yarn. For patterns, I'm still deciding between a Plum Tree Slouch
They are both tempting choices and I feel sure I'll end up knitting both of them. The yarn itself seems to almost completely lack a Ravelry presence, so I'm knitting blind here. But I tend to like Kraemer's yarns and this one dyed up beautifully, so I have high hopes.
A note about the dyeing process. I like to apply color to yarn in layers, rather than all at once, to get more organic color variation in yarns that aren't going to be level-dyed a solid color. This yarn was originally dyed a pale yellow and then overdyed with a blue that was a dilute almost-navy solution, before being glazed in a yellow-brown. Although I'm often asked is glazing is worth all the work, there is no doubt in my mind that the same principles I used to use in painting collage backgrounds are equally at work in dyeing yarn, and there is simply no substitute for carefully applied layers of dye, each of which makes the final color full and rich.
I cast on my Vodka Lemonade cardigan on the last day of 2014. As of today, I am here:
It has taken me all this time to knit a mere five inches of collar. In my defense, it is in seed stitch on a sport weight yarn (The Plucky Knitter's Crew). And, I've simultaneously knit a hat, finished off a capelet, made significant progress on my Olivia wrap, and knit close to two skeins’ worth of a Sugarloaf Cowl. But I am admittedly slow at seed stitch, although I enjoy it. I do hope the rest of the sweater comes along more rapidly!
Here is a quick picture for a Friday morning. My kind UPS lady dropped off this box, full of The Plucky Knitter's Scholar, a rustic textured yarn that is a cashmere/merino blend. Oh the possibilities! Whatever will it become?
I'm thinking about this sweater, or possibly this one for the red yarn, which is called Strawberry Wine. And this one has caught my eye for the blue yarn, which is Thank You Note. What to knit next is always one of my favorite questions! Happy Friday everyone.
It started innocuously enough, with a couple of pretty skeins that I purchased during a trip to a favorite local yarn store in Tuscaloosa. I'd never really thought about chartreuse. It looked like Shrek. And, my Mom never really liked me in green. But those first skeins jumped into my cart over the summer, and suddenly that color was everywhere!
Have you ever developed a color obsession from out of no where? It's not even a trendy, Pantone scale color for 2015. It just suddenly caught my eye. And my needles.
There seems to be no end in sight. I have some coming for a sweater -- slightly different, and in different fibers, than the one I already have in progress. And a few skeins for a cowl that will likely be a gift for a friend.
I wonder if it's just me, or if everyone picks up color obsessions over time; only it's magnified for knitters and other crafters who work with color. I would love to hear about your color obsession!
I seem to be having a glut of "welcome to the new year, everything is going crazy" overtime at work and insanity with kids, but despite that, I did find a bit of time to knit over the weekend. And especially, a big thanks to Downton Abbey, when everything in my house comes to a halt and I can knit and indulge.
I devoted my knitting time this past weekend to Olivia. Olivia is the first project I ever cast on in yarn from The Plucky Knitter. It's Primo Aran in the Holloway color, a delicious teal. This is the first time I've ever done a Fisherman's Rib, and the number of mistakes in this project (I've found the rib almost impossible to rib back and make corrections in) attest to my learning process. Although it's slow, I've reached the point where I really enjoy it. I'm about four inches into what needs to be seven inches of rib.
For the next couple of weeks, I'll probably have painstakingly slow photos of "oh look, I've knit another half inch of Fisherman's Rib" to show you, so in an effort to make up for that in advance, I'll share this odd but intriguing cell phone video my daughter shot in her ballet class, because she knew I would like the music. It's grainy and off kilter but really moving. If you're interested, she comes in midway through in a black unitard with a white top and sleeves. Yes, it has absolutely nothing to do with knitting, but imagine all the warm ups you could knit for those dancers, if you really put your mind to it!
The week I go back to work after the holidays is always a bad week for knitting (as much as it is good to be back with good friends and getting the job done). I manage to get in a bit of knitting when I wake up and a bit at night, so this week wasn't a total knitting loss. But progress was slow.
Thea Coleman'sVodka Lemonade pattern is my most challenging project at the moment. It's a sweater pattern knit in The Plucky Knitter's delicious Crew yarn, a merino/cotton blend. That is the collar that you see above. It's knit in seed stitch. I'm in the decided minority of knitters who enjoy knitting it. It's slow going and time consuming, but it's very pretty. At this rate, it will take me quite some time to finish the collar before I get on with the body of the sweater, but I don't mind at all.
Paddle Mitts are a Tin Can Knits pattern. Like the other patterns I've knit from this designer, the pattern is straightforward and the finished item is utilitarian. And I have managed to create a small disaster with what should have been a simple project. I decided to use my favorite skein of yarn, this beautiful skein of Plucky Scholar, which is a worsted weight blend of cashmere and merino in a rustic spin.
That would have been just dandy, had I seriously contemplated the fact that Scholar was a bit heavier than the yarn the pattern was written for and sized down, but no, I did not. That was okay in the body of the hand, where the ribbing made it work. But there was drama with the thumb and I overcompensated with rapid decreases after picking up the stitches for it. I've pulled that all out and am starting over for a thumb that works with the rest of the mitts. This will go into the man-sized pile for gift giving, darn it. I hope I have enough yarn to do a second pair for myself.
When The Plucky Knitter introduced her first collection of patterns, All Bundled Up, last weekend, I enjoyed looking them over and admired several enough to add to my Ravelry queue of patterns to knit this year. I even contemplated buying yarn for one of the sweaters in the near future. But then it hit. The Sugarloaf Infinity Scarf pattern was so tempting. It was written for my favorite yarn, Snug, and it just so happened I had the perfect colorways for it in my stash. So on my needles it went, and it's unusual little rib was an enjoyable knit while we watched a move on TV last night (The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou, which you should watch if you haven't seen it and like slightly snarky, self-indulgent humor).
I have plans this weekend to work on my Olivia wrap, and I wanted to get in more work on Vodka Lemonade's collar, but I'm afraid Sugarloaf has captivated me, and may end up as the attention-getter in whatever time I have this weekend. Fortunately, it's cold outside and there is a lot of appeal to sitting inside where it is warm and this is hot tea and I can knit.