Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh the knits you can knit

My beach weekend was fun, although far too short, especially for the length of drive we had to get there. Normally we go somewhere closer, but we were going with friends, one of whom got a deal on a condo, so drive we did.

Well. The SO drove. I knit.

And knit.

Then we stopped for lunch and switched places for a while. I drove for maybe three hours before I was too grumpy to take it anymore and we switched back. I knit some more.

We arrived just as I finished the last of the gusset decreases. I chose to work on this sock instead of this sock:

Knitting - 053

Or this sock:

Knitting - 052

Because I don't see the recipient often, and since she was going to be at the beach with us, it seemed to me a perfect opportunity to make sure I knit socks that fit. I was determined to finish at least the first sock before we left, so that I had something to measure the second sock against. Mission accomplished.

Yarn is Schaefer Heather in an unknown colorway. The person who is to receive this sock went to the Knit Happens closing sale, since it happens to be near her office, and bought yarn and gifts for all the knitters of her aquaintance. In return for two skeins of Schaefer Andrea, a beautiful little needle rollup, and a big bottle of Euclan, she asked that I knit her "rainbow socks" out of this yarn (which she also purchased). Seemed like a great deal to me.

Color isn't the best in these iphone photos, but these are in fact rainbow-ish socks. The red predominates but in between the red stripes there is blue, green, pink, and a little yellowy-orangey color. Not quite a full spectrum, but close enough.

Of course we visited a local yarn shop, and since there were two other knitters in the group (including my knitting mentor, she who taught me to knit without realizing what she was creating), it was a group trip. I didn't take a picture of the yarn I bought but I believe it was Mirasol Tupa yarn. I got two skeins in Sapphire and two in Viridian (I think - I don't have the yarn in front of me and foolishly did not immediately log it into Ravelry when we got back to the condo). I'm thinking of making a Textured Shawl and striping both yarn, so that each texture panel alternates in color. I hope that the two colors striped together will remind me of the ocean.

My knitting mentor was working on an Esplanade hat and I was so impressed by the cleverness of the pattern that I had her text it to me so I could look it up later. She in turn was quite taken with my Phoneix Shawl, so we traded pattern info.

One of my friends sends me yarn for Christmas from a handcrafting festival in Texas (I think it's this one but I'm not sure). Last year, she sent me two skeins of fingering weight, about 260 yards each, one white and one red. I've been unsure what to make with it as neither individually is enough for much, and striping red and white together can be dicey business (in my opinion). But, I think the Esplanade hat is perfect. I've already cast on for one using white as the contrast color and red as the main color, and I think I should be able to make a second one with the reverse color scheme. The yarn is very soft and beautiful to knit with, although I find it's not very tightly twisted, so I'm glad I went in a direction other than socks. I cast on last night (because clearly I don't have enough projects OTN) and knit the ribbing. Of course, I fail at following directions, so I forgot ot knit the two rows of stockinette I was supposed to do before the ribbing. The ribbing is hidden on the inside of the hat using an ingenious little trick involving a provisional cast-on, so I think when I undo the provisional cast on, I will knit those extra two rows of stockinette from that end before folding it up and joining it to the rest of the hat. Hopefully this plan will work. We'll find out.

But we probably won't find out too soon because Celaeno has been released! All other works in progress will be promptly ditched in favor of this shawl, which I have been waiting on for freaking ever.

Only one uses M1 increases heavily. I hate M1! I might just KFB instead, for the sake of my own sanity. I don't think it will make a huge huge difference in the look. I was so glad that it didn't come out while I was away, because I was so excited to make it I didn't want to have to wait at all, but tonight is my first choir practice of the season, so I probably won't get started on it tonight.

Oh, who am I kidding. I'll start - I just won't get very far.

Anyway, the other knitting I did while I was away was on the Phoenix shawl, and it doesn't look much different. I finished the fourth repeat, so I have one to go. My extremely dedicated sock knitting led to very sore fingers, especially my left pinky, so I switched to the shawl to try and use a different set of muscles. Next time, must plan better and bring projects that have a greater variety of yarn weights and needle sizes, so I can change up more effectively. But, even the change from a size 1.5 16" needle in the round to a size 4 32" needle flat helped. On the way home, we switched drivers more often rather than just swapping at the halfway point, which I found to be a great help in preventing both the aches and pains and the grumpiness of such a long drive. While it was the SO's turn to drive, I worked on the Phoenix shawl. I still love it, and I'm excited that I only have one repeat left to go. I do find Helen's Lace rougher than some other silk/wool blends that I've used, and after hours and hours and hours of knitting on it, one of my tensioning fingers is feeling a little tender. I wrap the yarn around my middle three fingers and then again around my index finger, so the yarn runs between my ring finger and pinky, and that spot is a little sore, so I'm trying to give it a break.

It's a little odd for me to have this many items in progress. I wonder if it's the fall weather, or just a general lack of discipline? I'm not going to worry about it, since it's not bothering me much at the moment. At some point, I will pass the magic number of WIP's that sets off my crazy meter and then I'll have to finish some stuff up before I go totally nuts. Generally speaking, I don't mind having multiple projects going that take up different types of knitting time. Mindless knitting that can be done while reading, slightly more intensive knitting that's still simple enough for TV, charted knitting to keep me occupied when the SO is playing video games. It's only when I get too many of the same kind going that I tend to really get jumpy. Starting so many socks at once was probably a mistake, but I think what will probably end up happening, is that the two that only have a little ribbing will sit idle until I finish the rainbow socks, and then be done each in turn. I'll just think of it as planning ahead, so I don't have to worry about spending time on the cast-on when I'm finished with the current pair.

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