Saturday, 11 June 2011

On the Needles

I have two projects I'm working on atm, a red shawl for me and a yellow baby sweater for Baby O'Connor:

Summer Mystery Shawl 2011 - Wendy D.
Supreme Possum Merino 4ply - 50g/210m - 40% possum, 50% merino wool, 10% silk
This is my first Mystery Shawl - a pattern where you don't know what the finished object will be (other than, in this case, a "shawlette") and you get the instructions ("clues") over a span of weeks, rather than all at once. The idea is to finish each set of instructions before the next one is issued. I joined this one later, before the third clue had been released and then accidentally knit the second clue first so I had to frog everything and start over. When the third clue came out, I only had time to knit the 24-row repeat once before setting the project aside to work on shawls for my bridesmaids so the fourth and final clue came out and I was nowhere near ready. I've since done two more repeats of the third clue and, because I added an extra repeat to the shawl, probably only have two more. It's bottom up so with each row there are less stitches to knit and it's going, ahem, increasingly quickly.

Basket-Weave Baby Sweater - Frances Hughes - Creative Knitting Sept. 2004
Baby Classic DK - 50g/151m - 50% acrylic, 50% nylon
Back when I started working for Barnes and Nobles, when magazines didn't sell, the covers were "stripped" and returned to the publishers and the rest of the magazine was recycled or thrown away (depending on the facilities available to that particular store) or, and this is the relevant part, employees could take them home. During this time, I acquired a lot of issues of a variety of knitting magazines (which I eventually tore apart and sorted the patterns I liked into plastic sleeves and binders - yeah, I'm that person). When I moved to Inverness I pared this collection down to bare bones and, even though I wasn't at the time knitting any fitted garments, I kept this pattern for a baby sweater, hat, and booties. I don't think it'll be a favourite pattern, but it's a nice project for when I'm lying (sitting up) in bed and have caught up on my RSS feeds and Twitter.

I learned to knit at a Renaissance Faire and loaned yarn and needles from one friend and taught to knit by another. This second friend is allergic to the wool I was using and taught me without touching anything and as a consequence my technique wound up a little...unique. For a while I was twisting my stitches and when I realized that, I changed my technique to prevent twisting and somehow wound up getting everything backwards. This was fine for most things, but both my k2tog and ssk leaned the same way and I only just recently realized why (I was wrapping my yarn around the needle the wrong way) and decided to fix it. A few projects ago I corrected my purl stitches so my stockinette lace would be correct and on this project I'm practising wrapping the yarn under the needle on the knit stitches.

This sweater set will be for Baby O'Connor, who is due later this summer. His mother is having a really rough time of it and they're hoping to induce as soon as the foetus is viable, so if I have time, I hope to knit some premie-sized stuff as well.

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