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New and Shiny

Every year, when Fall arrives, I have the urge to drop all my summer knitting and start a whole bunch of new projects.  This September, the urge has been especially strong.  All through August, I faithfully worked on my light summer sweaters: Ivyle

and Westbourne Kinu Love.  I stopped working on this one because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to continue the stripes down the arms or not.  Any thoughts or opinions would be welcome here.

However, as soon as September 1 rolled around, I was casting on new things, on an almost daily basis.

First, was a Recoleta sweater by Joji Locatelli.  I didn’t get very far with this one yet.  It’s one that needs my full attention, so not a good one to knit at the end of the day when I am tired, which seems to happen most days now.

Then, Ysolda started her annual gifty knitalong, Knitworthy 4, and I felt compelled to cast on an Elska hat.

The next day, after a lot of stash sorting, I also started a What the Fade Mystery Shawl.  I am somehow strangely compelled by these knitalongs that use a lot of different skeins of yarn.  Part of it is that they are a great way of using up single skeins of yarn in my stash.

I got through clue 1 on this one when I discovered that I failed to do a couple of increases along the left side (a mistake that seems to be common among those knitting this shawl) and I decided to start over.

The second time, I chose more neutral colors because the first set of colors was not agreeing with me and I was afraid I would never wear it.

This is my first time knitting the brioche stitch and I have found that it is not as hard as I thought it would be.  There’s a certain rhythm to it that makes it interesting.  My only complaint is that since each row has to be done twice, the rows seem to take forever.

I’m not sure about this dark brown color on the back.  It’s a laceweight that I am using doubled and it seems a bit too heavy compared to my other yarns, but I am hoping that will become less noticeable as the shawl gets bigger.  Perhaps I will even leave it out in the rest of the shawl.

Sometime in there, I also started the September project with A Year of Techniques.  I thought this would be a great thing to knit while I was teaching.  It turns out, however, that I really don’t have a lot of time to knit during the school day.

Then last Monday, the new Knitworthy 4 pattern came out, and I had to start that one right away.

Unfortunately, that project suffered a little setback during which I had to rip out about 10 rows.  After moments like that, projects often lose their momentum and this one is no different.  It is languishing while I go on to knit other things, like this hat that I’ve had on the needles since May.

However, lest you think I never finish anything, both hats that I had on the needles are finished now.  Hats are such wonderfully quick knits.  Maybe I should just stick to hats?

Oh, I don’t know.  I think it might be time to cast on a new sweater.

After all, I already did the gauge swatch and got the right gauge on the first try.  It’s almost like it is meant to be.

 

Taking Stock

Today, I decided to get out all the knitting projects that I am actively working on and update them in my list of projects on Ravelry. There are a couple of things here that I have not even had the time to make a project page for, much less share them with you. I find that doing this every once in awhile helps me to prioritize them. For example, here are the two sweaters I promised to show you last week.

1. Rolling Rock

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2. Tea Leaves

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You’ll notice that both sweaters are sleeveless. This is quite a plight with top-down sweaters. Often, with a bottom up sweater, I will knit the sleeves first because, for some reason, I always get stuck on the sleeves if I save them for last. With a top-down style, though, I have no choice but leave the sleeves for last. Well, I guess that is not strictly true. I could put the body on hold after I divide for the sleeves and knit those first, but somehow, I never think to do that when en route.

Anyhow, while I had both of these projects out, I decided to finish the purple one first. Why? Well, first of all, the gauge is bigger, so the knitting will go faster and also because it is 20 some degrees outside today and this one will be warmer. The blue one has a lacey, cabley design on the back that is very interesting, but I suspect it will let in a little draft, so will not be as immediately practical. See?

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Ok, good. Now that the sweaters were sorted, I went on to shawls.

1. Hediye

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2. Autumn Oborine

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What is that orange one, you ask? Well, this is one of those that I never made a project page for or even shared here. I began it way back in September when I was out of town. In fact, I got the yarn while I was away. It started as one of Susanna IC’s mystery shawl knit alongs, which I love to do. I have yet to be disappointed with her patterns and the mystery ones are great fun. However, I lost my momentum with this one once I got home and got back in touch with all my other works in progress. Now, here I am, just 4 rows away from being done. Trouble is, these are the longest rows and they involve beading, so I have to have a good hour of uninterrupted time per beading row (of which there are 2 more) in order to get this one finished. I don’t seem to have that kind of time these days.

On the other shawl front, I have finished the finicky border and have moved on to the garter panel in the center. This promises to be easy and fast. Which shawl will get finished first? Who knows. It will probably all depend on what kind of time I have.

Socks are next.

1. Deflect

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2. Slipper Socks for the boys

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There’s really no mystery here as to which of these will get done first. The slipper socks are intended for the boys as Christmas presents and are fairly quick and easy. I did almost half of a sock while sitting in a three hour meeting last week. They are easy and good knitting for all those bits of time one has when one is out and about. The only tricky part at the end will be sewing on the leather soles. One pair is done and now I have to knit the other pair. Here’s the yarn for that one.

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At home, I am quite enjoying the deflect socks when I feel like working on them. The primo fingering has a bit of cashmere and the yarn is nicely spun, both of which make for a pleasant sock knitting experience. The pattern also has a nice balance of ease and interest. I did change the cuff from the original pattern a little; basically, I just did an inch or so of ribbing before I started cabling instead of cabling right away. It was just something I did on the spur of the moment because I thought it would be too fiddly to do a cable just after a cast on row.

Well, that’s it for now. It would be a little scary to look at all the projects I have started and not finished. My goal is to just concentrate on a few of these until a couple of them are done. It’s kinda hard. I really want to cast on a hat and some colorwork stuff, but there is too much going on right now. Can you believe next week is Thanksgiving? And we are just beginning to wrap up our cookie project! I think I have enough on my plate; piling on more would just be disastrous!

So, what are you working on lately?

Getting in the Groove

Well, there’s not much crafting going on around here lately. What with getting ourselves re-organized after vacation and then organizing ourselves for the new school year, there has not been a whole lot of extra time for knitting. Combine this with me just bouncing back and forth between all my unfinished projects instead of working steadily on a single one, I have very little progress to show for the last few weeks.

Except this.

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It doesn’t look like much, but it is a finished Twig and Leaf shawl. It’s just not blocked yet. Lace usually looks all wrinkled up like this before it is blocked. The only reason why this one is done is because I had done all the lace before we left on vacation and only had the garter stitch middle to do when we returned. This made it pretty easy to knit on during the few minutes I had during the day or while watching mystery shows at night. Hopefully, I can get this blocked in the next few days, and then I will have something pretty to show you.

Yesterday, I played with yarn a little.

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I woke up on Tuesday morning dreaming about color combinations for this sweater. Yes. I was dreaming about knitting, don’t you? Well, as any creative person should do, I took it as a sign that this sweater needs to happen. So, I dragged out my stash of fingering yarn and took a good look. Mostly, my goal was to use single skeins of fingering yarn that was in my stash that I knew would not make for sturdy socks. The only exception is that giant wheel of gray heather fingering that is probably enough for at least 10 pairs of socks or at least a few sweaters.

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I like the way my swatch looks so far. The light blue yarn is Swans Island Organic Merino and the pink is a skein of Rio de la Plata yarn that I picked up years ago on a trip to California. I think they look good together. What do you think?