November 18, 2009

Pink and Blue and Cream All Over

There's been a bit of a lag since my last post, but don't for a second think this means I have not been busy. On the contrary, my fat but long fingers have been whipping up many knitted delights; the problem is that most of them are gifts, and hence to be kept on the Q.T., you dig? I'm excited about them all and look forward to a time in late December when I can share them with you. While I've been Christmas planning, I've also been feeling a bit grabby lately, like I see yarn and think "Ooh, I want that and I want it now." I don't feel guilty about this, since I seldom make things for myself, but I do have to be careful: On Monday I "accidentally" dropped $60 on three skeins of Malabrigo Sock Yarn in lettuce, an electric green. My plan is to make Laura Chau's Honeybee Cardigan, the cropped version. After the holidays, I imagine.

While there's much I can't reveal, there are some projects which I can. Like this:

Pattern:My Kind of Town Cowl, by Trish Woodson
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick
Needles: US19/15.0mm
Started: September 15
Finished: September 19

This started out as Jane Richmond's Marian, but I wasn't feeling the combo of the yarn and the pattern, so I ripped it out and started over. The cowl I ended up making is chunky and dramatic, but it has the problem that plagues so many of the new and trendy cowls: it leaves a gap in the front of my neck through which the wind can whip me. Wind whipping is precisely what a cowl is supposed to stop, so this project rates only an OK from me, and therefore, is unlikely to find another home.

Now, this next project made me much, much happier:

Pattern: Fetching, by Cheryl Niamath (highly modified)
Yarn: Noro Retro
Needles: US7/4.5mm
Started: October 26
Finished: October 28

I love these! Love, love them. I wear so much grey and black during the winter and have been looking for ways to bring some color to my wardrobe, so when I saw this beautiful ball of yarn at Seaport Yarn downtown, I couldn't walk away from it. I tried, because I was just there to buy some crochet hooks. But it was so pretty: chunky, bold and rustic yet feminine. And the blend of wool, silk and angora just felt so good. Later I learned that it's a new yarn from Noro, which somehow made me feel better about the impulse buy.

I used Fetching as the jumping off point for these, but I modified heavily. I omitted the cables, adjusted the number of stitches cast on to accommodate my gauge, knit the wrists longer and wear them inside-out. I like the look of the reverse stockinette; it has a more open and textural feel than regular stockinette. I call them my Pink Shockers, in part because they're shocking pink in color, but also in honor of some Minneapolis friends. They know why, oh yes, they do.

And now, so do you.

Earlier this fall, I was seduced by a Webs sale. It seems that Sheep Shop Yarn Company is going out of business, because their yarns are on sale all over the place. This was the first time I've purchased anything of theirs, because I found the yarns to be rather spendy. Hmm . . .perhaps this is why they're going out of business.

Pattern: A Little Ruffle, by Jennifer Lang
Yarn: Sheep Shop Yarn Company Sheep 3 Yarn
Needles: US7/4.5mm
Started: October 1
Finished: October 25
This yarn gets a mixed review from me. It is incredibly soft and was a great choice for this project. However, and this is a big however, the skeins were drastically different. One was a bit of a semi-solid pale blue, while the other was variegated blue and cream, heavy on the cream. The result is that the wrap appears to be almost striped in one section. It's super annoying, and I've never had such a problem when ordering yarn on line.

On a more positive note, the pattern was well written and I think the project came out really well (ignoring aforementioned color issues). This did involve yards and yards of stockinette, which came to be incredibly boring, which is the only negative thing I have to say about the pattern, and that's not even a criticism, just a comment.* So beware: If you're not up for a few days of straight up stockinette, work a different wrap. But if you think you can stomach it, this project is well worth the monotony.
*That was a bad run-on sentence up there. Sorry for that.


littlebirdbigcity said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the ruffle! Not sure I have the patience for it though. The wristwarmers are awesome! I really like the idea of having brightly colored accessories to accompany a dark wardrobe, which is what most New Yorkers wear! Great work, as usual.

Oiyi said... Best Blogger Tips

I have to say that Lettuce is my favorite colorway from Malabrigo, yet I don't own any. Your honeybee is going to look awesome.

Rima said... Best Blogger Tips

That cowl is ridiculously cool. Have I said that before? I totally get that wind getting in there anyway though. Well.

craftivore said... Best Blogger Tips

That IS a lot of FOs, interesting that you're hiding a few more. That Noro yarn looks tantalizing, very nice Fetchings. I'm in the midst of holiday knitting too, but am still trying to make it interesting for me somehow.