Yarn Along:: Skinny and Dirty

There’s something about knitting with skinny yarn in the summer for me; the two go together like ice cream and swimming pools, strawberries and chocolate.  Mmm….  Fingering weight yarn has a strong hold over me in general, most likely because it’s easy for me to commit to a single skein of sock yarn with seemingly infinite potential than to a sweater’s worth of a heavier yarn.  I know it’s not just about socks.  There’s a whole host of other projects to create with sock yarn: shawls, scarves, gloves, mitts, hats, baby items, and even garments.

This summer I seem to be sticking to knitting socks and shawls, and that is just fine with me.  I’m working through my stash and some patterns that have been on my knitting wish list.  The red and blue shawl is Chadwick, and it has grown quite a bit since you last saw it.  The green and purple socks are the Sunday Swing socks, my new take-anywhere autopilot knitting project.  And bringing up the rear is sock #2 of Haleakala.  I finished its mate about 2 weeks ago, and as usual am struggling to stay focused on the project.  I thought I could finish them before Sock Summit, although why I would want a new pair of wool and cashmere socks in July is beyond me.  So I decided to pay more attention to the shawl, which is much more likely to get used this summer in drafty air-conditioned rooms and on cooler evening spent outside.

On the nightstand is The Dirty Life, a book one of my lovely readers recommended recently.  Great pick!  In the author’s words:

This book is the story of the two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of my life: one with farming—that dirty, concupiscent art—and the other with a complicated and exasperating farmer.

This is the perfect read for anyone who daydreams of chucking it all to farm full time, or even those of us backyard farmers who enjoy getting dirty then scrubbing up and going out for sushi.  I’m loving Kimball’s writing style; it’s descriptive and insightful, and it flows together so nicely that I’ve been staying up way past my bedtime reading.  It’s just as well, though, as I’m working against that 14-day library checkout deadline!

What’s on your nightstand or in your project bag this week?  How do you feel about skinny yarn and living dirty on a farm?

Thanks, as ever, to Ginny for inspiring us all to join in her weekly Yarn Alongs to share our mutual loves of reading and knitting!

Planning and Knitting and Sniffling, Oh My!

I spent most of the weekend fluctuating between excited bursts of activity and sniffling in bed as I tried to fight off a spring cold.  Fortunately for me, it’s not an incapacitating cold, so I was able to get a little knitting accomplished.  I am pleased to say I’m almost finished with my first warm-weather knit of the season!

As always seems to happen when I round the corner into the home stretch of a project, I start dreaming about what to cast on next.  I like to dangle a little wooly carrot in front of myself, something to motivate me to keep on knittin’.  It’s an attempt to maintain focus while still allowing myself to feel that rush of excitement that comes from browsing patterns, shopping the stash, and putting the two together.

I have a small collection of summery yarns I purchased last spring that I never got around to knitting.  There are a couple I picked up for PB and a couple I picked up for myself that I am motivated to use this season.  Cotton blends are the name of the game, and I have these lovelies to choose from: Rowan Purelife Revive, Be Sweet Cotton Candy, and Cascade Luna Paints.  I have enough of the Revive to make myself a top or large shawl of some sort; I’m thinking thisthis or this.  The other two are for PB and her soon-to-be-born cousin, and I’m still browsing patterns. Ideas?

Of course, I couldn’t neglect a couple of the newer wooly additions to the stash that keep calling to me from behind the closed doors of my yarn cabinet: Becoming Art’s Agave worsted will be Windschief, and the String Theory Caper sock yarn is for a Cookie A. sock club pattern.  Neither is in the most seasonal of colors, but I think that’s what makes them good counterpoints to all that aqua and purple cotton.

And finally, because I have been wanting to knit a high-contrast Stephen West shawlette for some time, I’ve been playing around with my sock yarn, creating color combos.  I think I’ve settled on knitting Chadwick with this peacock-blue and raspberry red, out of Shu Bui and Plymouth Happy Feet, respectively.

The best part of all this planning is that the yarns are all from my stash!  I made the informal commitment to myself that I wouldn’t buy any new yarn between February (after my Stitches spree) and the end of July when I plan on going to Sock Summit.  With all these goodies lying around, it shouldn’t be a problem.

What are looking forward to knitting this spring and summer?