Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blog? What blog?

Ugh, I've gotten busy. This month is kind of packed. There was Easter, and my birthday is coming up and the festivities are spread over a couple of weeks because of availability issues in my various groups of people. I have major deadlines at work this month, too.

I've been asked to donate some knitted items to my church for an event on May 1, so I have been working on stuff for that. This has really cut into my Evenstar knitting time, which is disappointing, but it's not that big of a deal if I get behind (so I keep telling myself) and it's for a good cause. I've knit a couple of hats (well, I've knit one and I'm 90% through the other) and I've got supplies for some beaded ornament covers. I also started a Brandywine shawl out of Schaeffer Anne, but I'm not sure I'm happy with it. I'm going to work a little farther and if I'm still not liking it - well, I don't see the point in torturing myself by knitting a project I hate, so if I don't like it I will frog it and save the yarn for something else. The colors just aren't working up in a way that I like. I have another skein of Anne in greens that I think would be really pretty, but I was saving it for socks for me. But...I may just break down and use it. We'll see. I'm actually not sure I would like Anne on my feet anyway, it's not the softest yarn I've worked with and I have really spoiled myself with supersoft yarns up until now. I wish more people carried Schaeffer Heather - it has a much nicer feel.

I finished Hanami. That was a great knit, so much fun and it went by so quickly once I got started. I really like the yarn, too, Schaeffer Trenna from Little Knits. Sadly LK looks a little low on stock. Oh well, I've already spent way too much money on yarn this month, and it's only the fifth.

I'm really pleased at how Evenstar is working up. I really like it. At the risk of stating the obvious, you're always taking a risk with mystery knits. You never know if you're going to like it or not. Happily, the designer's aesthetic seems pretty in sync with mine, and I'm loving both the design itself and the thought that went into it. The area of the design I'm in now has lines of twisted stitches in it with purl stitches on either side, and I had my doubts - I thought, why put such an architectural element in a lace design? But as it's working up I think I see where she's going with it and I love it. These twisted stitch lines make rays out from the center star design. Very cool...if something of a pain to knit.

There have been a lot of errata coming with the shawl, so I have taken to waiting a few days after each clue is released to begin it. Since Friday nights are not generally ideal brain-intensive knitting time for me anyway, this has worked out well.

I'm looking at other projects, though, that I may want to knit next. I have one pattern in mind that I want to try to get a jump on Christmas knitting. I ordered yarn for it this weekend.

I'm also looking hard at the Heere Be Dragones shawl. I really want to knit this, but I am also really intimidated by it. Now, in my experience most knitting is not that difficult if you break it down into its component pieces. Work step by step and try not to worry too much about the whole, and it's really not that complicated. It's a metaphor for life, really - focus on the step you're taking right now, and trust God's design to put those individual pieces together into something beautiful. Don't worry about the big picture, just follow directions and it will come out all right in the end.

However, even though there's not that much that's difficult to knit, there are things that are tedious and annoying to knit. That's my fear - that I will get into it and be so frustrated by the fiddlyness of it (and the size - the thing is HUGE) that I won't enjoy the knitting of it.

The other issue is...I'm really taken with the idea of knitting it in one of Blue Moon's Raven Clan colorways. Can you imagine a black dragon with shimmers of color throughout? So awesome. Blue Moon offers a couple of laceweight options, one that is entirely wool and two that are entirely silk. I don't like to work with 100% wool laceweight yarns, they are usually rather delicate and, since I am not a delicate person, I am forever in terror of ruining the finish product. But, we all remember how much difficulty I have had with the 100% silk I am working with now. I'm hesitant to take on a design that involves heavy stitch manipulation in 100% silk (not to mention picking up stitches for the border, which sounds like a complete nightmare to me no matter what yarn you attempt it in. Wool-silk blends like Jaggerspun Zephyr and Schaeffer Trenna are my preferred yarn choices. Maybe I will surf etsy and see if I can find an indie dyer with something similar. I really like Thraven or Rauen as a possible color concept...Maaaaybe Corvid.

I could go with a slightly heavier weight yarn and try their wool-tencel blends in fingering weight, but the shawl is already so huge I kind of hate to increase the size any. Plus, I will worry about having enough yarn.

What I may do, and what a smart person would do, would be to finish Evenstar and then use the leftovers to swatch with the funky stitches in the pattern to see whether I can manipulate the stitches the way I need to in the silk. It's the horizontal stitch that worries me. If I can make that one work, I think I can make the others happen too. Picking up stitches along the edge still might kill me, but pfft - that's at the END of the project. I can worry about that later.

You there, in the back - stop laughing.

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