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Archive for September 18th, 2006

Knitting Like a Madwoman

Monday, September 18th, 2006

Perhaps I am mad (in a good way)… I have been knitting more than usual by leaps and bounds in the last few days. I am driven to finish projects and I don’t want the inspiration to lapse so I keep going, and going, and going…

I finished my sock pair #131 on the 14th in the wee hours. They are light turquoise and gray fingering-weight “Disco” yarn (the yarn has a small strand of silver spun in with the wool/nylon blend. They have a rolled cuff. I knit them on size 0/2mm needles and they maSocks knit by LynnHy never wear out! Sometimes when I knit on 0 needles I still knit fairly loose, but these are so tight they may be bulletproof. I wore them Sunday and they were great.

Sunday September 17, I finished another pair of socks, pair #132. These are knit in La Lana Grossa Cool Wool Merino Big Print (a soft and washable DK or Light Worsted weight yarn that feels like my beloved Bingo but not as thick). This yarn comes in several multicolors but only one bright enough to make me happy. It also comes in a lot of solid colors, most of them subdued and muted darks but one incredible violet I’ll no doubt have to buy soon.

Usually, in order to inspire myself to knit, I have to tell myself I’m knitting for me. Then it seems I either end up turning over my work to a yarn shop for a sample of my patterns, or gifting them to (usually) my Mom or someone else. These are all really good places for my work and I don’t ever regret when it happens.

However, I have only knit 9 pair of socks this year, including a pair for Mom and a pair for my brother, Eric (Beloved Brian is still patiently waiting on a pair this year and Altu is waiting for a pair I started for her nearly 2 years ago). Six of those 9 pairs were in DK or fatter yarn, rather tSocks by LynnHhan normal sock/fingering yarn (this means fewer stitches and thus the socks take a lot less time to knit).

Just for comparison, I started knitting socks in May 2001. I knit 28 pair of socks that year, most of them fingering weight. In eight months. So this year I’m past 8 months and I have finished only 9 pairs. I’ve done a lot of non-sock knitting, and plenty of single socks for samples here and there. But I knit because I love handknit wool socks in bright colors, that fit my small feet.

So I wore both of these new pairs, already. Wore them so they are mine and are no longer spotless and display/gift-worthy. Why not? You all can see them here even as I am wearing them out. It was time for a treat, for some reason. I have never apologized for being a selfish knitter when I’ve done it, but as a professional teacher/designer I don’t get to be selfish as much as I once did.

SundLucy Neatby Equilateral Hat knit by LynnHay I also finished my Lucy Neatby Equilateral Hat. It will go to Rae’s store as a sample for the class we will be offering there on December 3 (a Sunday), from noon to 3pm. This hat was a very fun knit and is really warm and cozy to wear.

Lucy gives an option to line this hat (the outer hat is knit with Noro Kureyon (a handspun single-ply yarn which changes color very slowly), with a softer yarn. I lined mine with Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK which is just as soft and yummy as a yarn gets. I happened to have most of a skein left from one of my “Guitar Trim Hats” that I designed last year. It was the perfect lining. This will be a really warm hat, and it is delicious to wear.

Now I am working on the mate to a short sock I knit in Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool. This is wonderful yarn which is about a DK weight and I love the turquoise the best, though I’ve knit with the purple as well. The first sock has been finished for months and I started a toe for the second in a First-Time Toe-Up sock class a good long while ago, then the yarn got tangled and I ignored the project for a while, in favor of easier-to-grab-and-go projects.

So today I made sure I had the right number of stitches in my second toe-tube (the very start of the sock) and started knitting on that again. This will be my knitting-on-the go for a while.

I sometime soon want to get back to trying to seam four pieces of a funnelneck top I knit on the knitting machine last winter. What I found when I tried this before, was that seaming handknitting is easy for me and I did not find seaming the machine knit to be obvious at all.

I also want to go back to the Aspen bulky sweater from Threadbear I started (and stopped when I had to think, when I reached the armhole shaping). It is the right time of year to finish that and wear it, or will be very soon.

And my allergy-doctor waiting-room knitting for the last few weeks has been a wrap in hot green and light turquoise, in five different yarns. The colors are wonderful and the texture of the project is incredible. It has two green fuzzy yarns (one mohair, one a mohair wanna-be that is really soft), two multicolored ribbons (one silky-shiny and one glittery), and one supersoft light turquoise cotton (Manos del Uruguay Straia). I can’t wait to wear that wrap on stage if I can only get it done. I try to make myself knit at least an inch on it each time I get it out, which lately has been about twice a week. Soon… soon.

Of course, new things keep tempting me. Last night when I was perusing my printed materials, I found a wrap near the back of Bonnie Franz’ Double Exposure book. It would be a wonderful on-stage or summer-evening wrap in Silky Wool Turquoise. I’ve had two students (Sue R. and Suzanne) finish stoles/shawls in this exact color, one in precisely this yarn.

I love the Silky Wool yarn (especially that turquoise, no surprise). Its texture is light but warm and fluffy at the same time. It is like the whipped cream of yarns. I have been trying to find the perfect Silky Wool wrap/shawl pattern (or come up with one in my own mind) and this might be just the ticket. I’m ready to not have to think about designing one right now.

I don’t like girly lace, but Bonnie’s design has yarn-overs (a technique which creates a hole in the fabric on purpose) in diagonal lines. The openwork design looks almost more like a stripe than lace, and the edges are straight rather than froofy (is that a word?), which is exactly right for me. After I finish a few more hundred projects sitting there waiting for me, that is.

But with three finished projects in three days, I’m on a roll. You don’t know how happy that makes me!

Photos: Pair 131, Fortissima Disco on size 0, rolled cuff, size 6 narrow US/Ladies, using LynnH First-Time Toe-Up Sock pattern; Sock pair 132, Merino Big Print on size 3/3.25mm with slip stitch ribbed cuff and sewn backstitch bind off; Lucy Neatby Equilateral Hat, Noro Kureyon and more.

(For those who have been asking about the Harvest Gathering/music festival, it was a wonderful time. I took 270 photos in the last 3 days, mostly at the festival but also in polymer clay class as well as these new finished projects. Therefore, it will take a little time to sort through and process a handful for you.)