Thursday, April 25, 2013

What else I'm working on

For my birthday, my favorite local yarn shop sent me an email coupon for 15% of my total project - yarn and needles.  In my mind, that's practically free.  I had been intrigued by a pattern I saw in the winter 2012 edition of Love of Knitting called Opening Night.  Instead of the recommended yarn, I splurged and bought 14 skeins of Manos del Urugay Wool Classica in this lovely purple colorway:

You knit the sweater in pieces, then stitch together.  I have successfully finished the back and two front pieces; now I am working on the upper trim.  Sadly, both the upper and the lower trim are 12" wide and about 65" long, so that part is not going so fast.  Also, it's a winter sweater and we're headed into summer, so while I am still excited about how it's coming out, I've lost focus.

Fortunately, the summer issue arrived on Wednesday, and in it was an article about a Summer Night Shawl calling for Metallic Rayon yarn from Blue Heron yarns.  I was delighted to see this, because I remembered that I had seen 3 skeins of it (and they are large skeins - 550 yards) in a slightly different colorway at Windsor Button in downtown Boston.  It is an expensive yarn - it retails for $46 a skein - but the pattern calls for only one skein.  Plus, Windsor Button was going out of business (sadly, they've lost their lease) so all the yarns were discounted.  I went online.....and discovered I had missed their final day by about five days.  I looked online but couldn't really justify spending the money plus the shipping to order it online since my local yarn shops don't carry it.

I decided to see if I had a substitution in my stash on Friday morning.  And discovered that I had splurged on all three of the skeins from Windsor Button at some point before they closed.  I clearly need more sleep if I can't remember a purchase like that.  I determined that I could use the other two skeins to make a summer sweater pattern I had recently downloaded, and that the shawl was a go.  I'm about 90 rows in of 145:

It is an incredibly easy pattern:  cast on three stitches, turn.  Next row, knit one, yarn over, knit to the end.  Repeat 143 more times, adding the yarn over as the second stitch on each row.

I am hoping to finish it by our anniversary this weekend so I can wear it out to dinner.  I am thinking that's a bit of a stretch, but it will be finished in time for me to enjoy this summer.  It might be a little fancy to wear to the movies, but I'll get over it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Little Something Different

For more than a year, I have been completely enamoured with this pattern designer named Susie Johns who has a series of books on knitting fruit and vegetables.

I am not making this up.  Either the books, or my long-standing infatuation with the idea of knitting food.  A few weeks ago, extremely tired of socks, I decided to order both books for myself.  The vegetable book arrived first, and I immediately bought the yarn to knit some peas:

Cute, right?  I made three peas/pea pods in just a couple of hours (the peas are stuffed with beads purchased at a local craft store) and can tell you I don't have any left.  Everyone I have showed them to has been completely dazzled by them and did not refuse the gift.  The first one went to my goddaughter E, the two in the photo above went to my good friend Stella Caroline yesterday.  She has small children, though, so I'm thinking about making another set and stuffing them with fiberfill, rather than beads, just in case.  I am also looking forward to making her some other vegetables - perhaps a leek or an eggplant or my personal favorite, corn.

There is also has a knitted alien book by a different designer, Fiona Macdonald.  That is less symbiotic than my knitting/gardening connection, but I do adore Halloween......