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Knit, Knit, Knit!

Wow, I am just nuts with projects. I delivered the purple sample Guitar Herringbone Hat to Threadbear today. It looks good. I lost one test knitter earlier this week but I gained another today, the trusty AnneMarie who also was a tester for my tea cosy. We will hope to have a hat pattern for sale soon. Crossing fingers.

Project 1
I knit a bit Thursday on the Lucy Neatby Equilateral Vest. In fact, I finished knitting the back (there is a lot of mattress stitch still pending there, and then blocking). And then I realized that somehow I was all excited last spring, that I got gauge on the first try, for the smallest size which calls for 3″ triangles. Except that I tried on Lucy’s sample and it was the second size, with 3.33″ triangles. So now I’m making a vest that is expected to measure 36″ which is my exact bust measurement. I will have a tank top rather than a vest? In worsted-weight wool? Ugh.

It took me since June to knit the 80 triangles for the back. I am not going to do that again! Either I can block it larger, or I can’t. If I can not, I will try (thanks for the suggestion, Rae) knitting some triangles in a strip, which would go exactly where the side seam is designed to go. That would take the circumference from 36″ to 41″ (Lucy’s is 40″). I bet that will work just fine, although the item will be a little shorter than I expected. I just plain will not be ripping out these 80 squares! If it has to be a worsted wool tank top, so be it! I am actually sure it will be really cute even if it fits differently than originally planned. I can wear it with a skintight turtleneck underneath if I must.

It took only 2 skeins of yarn to knit the back. And the front (two sides) takes less yarn than the back. And I bought EIGHT skeins of this gorgeous yarn for the body of the piece, plus 3 skeins of Kureyon which I planned to use as the I-cord trim. We’ll see what I actually use when it’s all done. I wonder if I would like legwarmers out of the remaining yarn??? I probably have enough yarn to do that!

Project 2
I worked further on the Scribble Lace stole. Oh, such joy that brings me! I sit there just imagining how it could be used. It would be a gorgeous wedding veil. It would make a great curtain for my back door (this I really think I might do). It will definitely be a wonderful stole. And what else might it become? Only time will tell.

Project 3
At least a year ago I bought at a resale shop, a Ralph Lauren sweater. In Manos del Uruguay yarn, burgundy multi. A colorway I’ve seen in several yarn shops. With a label inside the garment indicating that it was made in Uruguay.

It was a raglan, pretty short, snug fitting, all the things I don’t really prefer in a sweater. I figured I’d rip it out and re-use the yarn. I did try to wear it once but it was not comfy the way my oversized sweaters are.

But it’s not as intensely colored as many other yarns in my stash, so it didn’t call out very loudly. Until…

Until Rae knit a skirt from the Sally Melville Color book. And I looked up the skirt, and Sally had specified Manos Del Uruguay for that item. Hmmm… And I really love knit skirts.

So I pulled out the sweater. And thought about skirts. I don’t really want to do the Sally Melville skirt, it calls for lace/eyelets and I’m not excited about that. I like my little tight tube skirts with huge sweaters over them. And then I looked again at the sweater. It was exactly the same circumference as my favorite cotton/lycra tube skirt! Bingo!

So last night I took the plunge. I ripped out the seams from the neck down to the armhole. I detached the sleeves. and pulled on the sweater, over my hips. It is going to be perfect!!! I need to rip both front and back more, so that I am at a point at the base of the armhole where I can pick up stitches around the sweater and knit up circularly into a skirt. Voila! I’ll take advantage of a bunch of knitting I don’t have to do, and create a garment I’ll really enjoy.

Project 4
The Threadbear Watercolor Bag needs more felting/shrinking. I’m bummed, but I remember that my own bag in the specified yarn even needed some hand felting and it’s still very soft-sided. I asked Rob, Matt and Rae about the bag today and all three suggest a temperature shock treatment. (Good rubber gloves, and a hot bin of water alternated with a bin of iced water. Dunk in one, dunk in the other, repeat…)

I’m not happy with this development, but I’m clear that they are right. Ugh. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t love doing, and this would be one of those times.

The bag is absolutely gorgeous, though. Totally gorgeous. The K1C2 Paintbox yarn is just lovely… pink to purple to blue to purple to pink and back and forth. Soft and even and wonderful. And the fabric, unfelted as it is, feels so soft and fuzzy and wonderful! It will be a great bag when I get it going.

Project 5
The other day I started a Watercolor Bag for Rae. It’s totally not my colors but really beautiful and rich. I started with eggplant and now I have grass green working down to eggplant again and then a lighter green, to be followed by some autumn oranges. I am only maybe 3 inches into it but it’s my “brainless knitting” right now. It could be finished soon. Watercolor Bags are really easy to knit quickly.

Project 6
Except that when I went to Threadbear Friday, I totally forgot my knitting bag. I left both Rae’s and Threadbear’s bags at home. Pooh!

So of course I found myself some Plassard Merinos washable wool in multiple turquoises, and bought some double pointed needles, and cast on right then for a First-Time Toe-Up sock. I made it extra big because I know this yarn is not supposed to be dried and it sort of settles in a bit, not really felting but denser, when I wash it. I’ve made 2 pair socks from its thinner cousin whose name I forget. Worst case, it doesn’t settle in and I wear it as oversocks in the winter when I’m at home complaining of cold feet.

So I’ve knit on those socks today while out and about, buying lunch, waiting in line for the post office. I have about 3″ done on the first sock. I have not done much socknitting at all this year, and it felt so right to have that sock in my bag!!! It’s soft and will be a great sock.

Un-Project 1
Less than a week ago I bought some Louisa Harding yarn (machine washable cashmere blend) from Rae to knit some DK-weight gloves for myself. The yarn is still in the bag.

I finally was so cold Wednesday night that I admitted I needed gloves instantly. I went to Sears and found that they had ONE single style of glove that was mostly animal fiber. Polyester makes my skin uncomfortable and wool makes me happy and warm… luckily even though the gloves were sort of thin, they cost a mere $7 on sale and I can wear them under my bulky alpaca wristwarmers. They are exactly what the doctor ordered.

Well, once more I’m falling asleep at the keyboard. My watercolor bag is now through eggplant, green, eggplant, green, yellow, orange… So I’ve done well today… and I do have photos to illustrate my column today… but I need to sleep. See you later!

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