Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My knit's back...

I sort of had a break from wanting to knit. It didn't, however, last too long. You know how if someone yawns, you can't help yawning with them? Well, the Yarn Harlot had a post the other day about her severe case of startitis. Just like yawning. I broke down and started the Mystery Shawl (along with 6,700 others?!) and found at the Knitting Guild meeting on Sunday that there are about 8-10 others in the Guild also doing it. So far, I'm liking the pattern.

Of course, I've also started a sweater. Last year I designed a fisherman's rib sweater (remind me to tell you the story). I wrote out the pattern but I've never tested it so I want to do that before making the pattern available. Fortunately the body of the sweater goes pretty quickly. Once I've tested it, I'll post the pattern here and tell you the story behind it.

I finished my silk shawl (didn't use the beads, after all). I didn't get photos of it in progress (as promised) but here's what it looks like finished. I really love how it hangs and am pleased that I decided not to put a lacy pattern in the body of it. The colors are so pretty.

One other lovely thing about it is that it only took about half the hank! I was worried about what to make with the yarn because it was only about 660 yards. This shawl is a pattern of mine, too, that I previously made with a beautiful lace weight alpaca yarn (Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud). I had been wanting to try it out on a heavier weight yarn so it seemed a perfect opportunity. Of course, I had no idea of how much yardage it would take but I figured I would be okay. As you can see, I didn't skimp on the size. I was trying to be careful on the lacy edging, again not knowing how much it would take. I found this edging in an old book I inherited from my Grannie. I really think it came out the perfect size to set off the shawl. Once I rewound what I had left over of the yarn, I weighed it - 150 g. I weighed the shawl - 150 g. Couldn't do it again if I tried!

I also started a grannie-square purse with some cotton yarn I found on clearance at a local store ($1.70 a skein!). It's perfect for a purse, cotton and acrylic, not much give so it'll hold it's shape quite well, I think. Can you believe after 25 years of crocheting, I've never so much as made a grannie-square? Well, I have now because I started the purse but I hadn't before now.

What else? Oh, yeah, baby housecoats!! I love making baby stuff! Instant gratification and so cute! Several years ago when I worked in D.C., there were about 5 ladies who all had babies within about a month. I think every baby needs at least 1 homemade thing so I try, whenever possible, to make something for babies of colleagues or friends. For one of the babies, I designed this little housecoat. I also needed to test this pattern so when 2 ladies I work with came up pregnant, it was the perfect chance. Here's the original one:

I really like it in white. This is using Red Heart's Baby Teri yarn which is very forgiving. I'll post the pattern after my upcoming trip but if you want to use the Baby Teri yarn, you'll probably have to order it on-line (unless you have some stashed). None of our local stores are carrying it anymore so I wonder if it's due to be discontinued. If you can get some, do so because it's great to work with. This project took about a skein and a half.

I also tried it in Paton's Be Mine. The gauge with this is much larger but it still came out cute - just a little more cuddly! Here's what it looked like in yellow:

You can see (sort of) that there is a little more detail definition with the Baby Teri and I think I like that better but the other is definitely more fluffy!

One other thing I got started was a knitted wire and bead light catcher (I'm not sure that's what it's really called but that's what I call it!). I think it's going to be really cute - I found little ladybug beads along with little blue flowers, yellow beads and green glass leaves. I'll post when I get it done. It's one of those things that, if it looks like what I see in my head, will be really cute. But you know how that goes! Odds are about half and half, I think...

I have one more day of work and then I have my little mini-vaca. To me there's nothing more fun that just heading out, not knowing exactly where I'm going or what I'm going to do. I love to just be open to whatever comes along. I'm going to go through Iowa to Omaha and then up to Sioux Falls and then back through Minnesota. It'll be a lot of driving (about 1100 miles!). Who knows if I'll make it or not but I have found some interesting things to see along the way. Making a trip soon? Try the AAA map service - it's very cool. You can map out your trip and then they have little buttons that pop up with hotel info, events, sites, etc. Especially for little out of the way things to do, this is great.

I doubt I'll be able to post much along the way but I'll take photos and fill you in later. Guess this is enough for one day!