Yarn Along:: Knit Lit & Lace

Playing along with Ginny again this week. I find that this blog along is keeping my knitting and reading moving forward at a nice pace so that I have something different to show you each week.  Thanks for the weekly inspiration!

I decided to indulge in a light bit of romantic knit lit this week.  How to Knit a Love Song is better than I was expecting it to be, if I’m honest, and I keep reading to see what is going to become of Abigail and her inherited cottage full of fiber and spinning supplies.  Each chapter begins with a Zimmerman-like bit of knitting wisdom, which has me chuckling here and there.  Then there is the somewhat adult matter of the love story which has good tension, but that makes me roll my eyes every few chapters. I love a good love story, but this moves a little too close to the bodice-ripping genre at times for my taste.  Of course, I don’t mind a little sensual description of the yarn and knitting… Overall a fun, quick read that I am enjoying very much.

After finishing my Socktoberfest socks last week, I decided it was high time to bring another older project out into the light.  I started the Hamamelis shawl last July as part of a summer lace knit-along with my knitting group.  It got off to a good start, but somewhere between packing, moving cross-country, and getting settled in a new place, the chart was just too much for me.  Fortunately, I took good notes of my progress and was able to pick it right up and knit without any problems.  Hopefully I will finish it before July 2011!

What are you reading or working on this week?

Works-in-progress Review

The airing of the stash also resulted in an inadvertant airing of the unfinished objects.  I only had 2 forgotten projects lurking in the dark corners of my craft room: the Hemlock Ring Blanket and Juliet.

I started the blanket in the spring of 09, intending it to be a wedding gift for my friend that June.  The knitting was going smoothly, quickly even, until I got off track int he feather and fan section.  Somehow the stitch count was off and the motif wasn’t looking right so I set it aside.  I think I tried picking it up last fall when I was attempting to clear the decks before PB was born.  But the problem wasn’t resolved, and so it got shoved away again.  This is a lovely pattern, and I was knitting it in a luscious turquoise blue Malabrigo worsted.  I am again trying to clear the decks of all ufo’s before we move, and so I am faced with a decision: finish or frog?

The next project up for judgement is my Juliet.  I started this more recently in November of 2009.  The pattern calls for a bulky yarn, but I thought I would knit up a lighter-weight version for myself out of Berrocco vintage wool.  I did a couple of calculations, and got started knitting, figuring I could block the garter stitch yoke to gain some length.  Then, partway through, I noticed that this yarn is not entirely wool; in fact, it is 50% acrylic, 40% wool, and 10% nylon.  It’s not even mostly wool.  I don’t know how I missed that in the store!  To me, the name implied pure oldey-timey wooly goodness.  I don’t think I even looked at the label for the yarn’s contents, although I do remember thinking it was very soft.

Once the yarn’s true ingredients were discovered, I set the sweater aside, worried it would be too small if the yarn wasn’t blockable.  I was also knitting it on plastic needles because my size 8 Addis were otherwise occupied at the time.  When I pulled this sweater out and tried it on, I was pleased to see it wasn’t so small after all.  Granted, my bust line has increased since I started the project (thank you, breastfeeding), but I figure it’s meant to be worn open anyways.  I switched out the needles and have been knitting on it monogamously all week.  We are back on track!

I have also been plodding away on my Hamamelis shawl.  This is a lovely pattern, and I am thrilled with how it is turning out, especially in the lovely Madelinetosh sock yarn.  I’m getting hang of the lace patterning, and soon hope to not be so reliant on the chart.  Of course, I may be moving on to the next chart by the time that happens as I can be a little slow to memorize!

And lastly, I have some vacation sock knitting plans on my mind.  This BMFA Pond Scum will become Lenore socks if all goes well.  I’m choosing it for travel based on the fact that my friend Nutmeg Knitter knit her pair in something wild like 4 days, and that once I get past the cuff it’s a simple repeat all the way down.  Perfect for travelling, and the stop and go knitting that tends to take place while on the road.

Summer Shawl-along

My Stitch ‘n Bitch group is doing a shawl-along this summer.  It’s an informal gathering of knitters in which we are simply knitting something lacy at the same time.  No deadlines or matchy-matchy shawls for these b!tches.

I cast on alongside some other great knitters on Tuesday. This is my budding Hamamelis shawl by Kirsten Kapur.  And that lovely yarn?  That would be Madelinetosh Sock in Denim, a sumptuous, silvery blue merino.  The pattern is coming along fairly quickly during stolen moments of knitting throughout my days.  Of course, these triangular shawls always go quickly in the beginning; it’s when you get to the point of having hundreds of stitches on the needles that it really begins to drag.  But I choose not to think about that moment just yet, instead plodding happily along on these short, lacy rows.

Happy knitting!