Friday, January 13, 2006

Knitting Update

I have essentially spent my entire winter break knitting. I wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, knit, eat lunch, knit, exercise, eat dinner, knit, and go to bed. Seriously. It's sort of a sadly boring existence, but I have enjoyed it. Nevertheless, as I've mentioned before, I am a pretty slow knitter, so I don't have much to show for my efforts. At any rate, here is what I have been working on:

Baby socks for Clerk the First's new baby, Olivia. They're from my own pattern, which I sort of cobbled together from your basic sock pattern, plus leftover Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock from the socks I made over the summer for the Aspiring Ecologist's Christmas present. I cast on 32 stitches and eyeballed how big the sock should be. The quarter is in the picture for scale.

Next up, a sneak peek at the Chairwoman's Opal cowl, which I finished yesterday. It's a pretty substantial piece of fabric, and it took me a while to knit it to the proper length so it will cover both the head and the neck in the back. You can't see the stitch definition too well in this picture, but it's basically a spiral stitch based on a k4 p2 rib. I only have to weave in the ends now and mail it off. Maybe I'll get GPG to take a picture of me modeling it for posting after the Chairwoman receives it.

I also started a new sock out of Knit Picks Essential sock yarn. This sock represents a new venture in a variety of techniques for me: my first toe-up sock, my soon-to-be first short-row heel, and my first sock knit on two circular needles.

The pattern is Marnie's Wyvern. Unfortunately, mine doesn't look as good because I have plain, solid green yarn instead of the nice variegated Koigu that Marnie used. But since this is primarily a learning sock for me, I don't mind how relatively boring it looks. Plus, I consider these to be my TLR socks, since the green is similar to the green of the cover of the law journal (TLR) that I work on.

Here is a treasure trove I found today at Half Price Books:

It's Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, which was a steal at just $11. Plus, the flap peeking out from the top edge of the book is The Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements! An added bonus! It's sort of sad to think of the poor knitter who had to sell this book to Half Price Books. But it definitely has a good home now. I have a ton of projects queued up in my yarn diet, to knit up my stash, but I hope to knit some sweaters eventually.

Last up, here is what I did with the remnants of the red Opal yarn I used for the Chairwoman's cowl:

The picture isn't too informative. It's the front and back to the Carpetbag Pouch from Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays. (Top piece is wrong side; bottom piece is right side.) However, because I had so little yarn left, I had to make some serious modifications to the pattern, the main one being that I only did 2 scallops instead of 3. Also, after knitting one side, I feared I had so little yarn left that I didn't cut the yarn after binding off. Instead, I unwound the rest of the yarn from the skein and started knitting from the other end! I didn't want to cut the yarn if it turned out that I didn't have enough to finish the second side. If you look closely, you can see that the side on the needles is connected to the other side by a twisty bit of yarn.

I ended up having to frog part of the top of the finished side and compromising on length for both in order to be able to have two identical sides. Instead of doing an extra 2 rows of knit and 1 row of purl before binding off, as the book instructs, I had to bind off immediately after finishing the scallop pattern. After cutting the yarn (finally), I had a piece about as long as my arm. Talk about cutting it close. As a result, the pouch will probably be a bit shallower than I had hoped, but I plan on blocking the life of the pieces to try and get a bigger bag so that it doesn't look too much like a pouch for sunglasses. I also hope that vigorous blocking will prevent the bag from getting too saggy after a while.

Finished pictures of the pouch will have to come much later, though. I have to wait until I go back to Austin next week to sew a lining out of fabric, and then once I'm in Austin I won't have GPG's nice digital camera. Pictures will probably come in a couple of weeks. And hopefully I'll have more progress to show on other works in progress, too.


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