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On the Needles

I am battling a nearly overwhelming case of startitis. I want to cast on everything in my queue all at once. (This might explain has no ranking of which object I intend on knitting first.) Consulting ravelry against the mental reckoning of my (limited) stash a few times a day has become my coping mechanism. Once I am sure that I do in fact have enough yarn for that sweater and those mittens or perhaps that wee toy, I am somewhat satiated, but not enough. I am chomping at the bit to get a few projects off my needles so that I might start more.

I am neither exclusively a process nor a product knitter. I am both. I knit to make warm woolly garments for myself and those I love, and I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it (mostly). Usually I finish projects off at a pretty good clip, but I think because I have had everything I am working on on the needles for longer than usual, I can’t help but fantasize about the potential in winding a brand new ball of yarn. So why don’t I? Partially because I am a knitter of limited means and I only have so many needles. Unfortunately, most of the things I am working on and most of the things I would like to begin require the same needles. Buying more is not an option. Also, I am so close to finishing all of them.

At this moment in time, I am about 2/3 of the way through every project I have underway.

First, since I haven’t been very good about updating you on the scarf’s progress, the Linen Stitch Scarf.

I have still been putting about an inch a day on it, despite my lack of updates. As you can see, I am in danger of running out of the lighter colored yarn. I only have four more rows left to knit with that color. However 4 rows at 375 stitches each is 1500 stitches, so you can see why I might be worried. I will make it work. There are only 19 more rows and a bind off to finish this scarf. I feel like I could finish it today, and I probably could if I had nothing else going on at all, and my hands didn’t give out. Unfortunately, today is starting to look pretty full (especially considering I have a class to teach tomorrow, yikes!) And then there’s the problem that after about ten rows, my hands start to get sore. In reality, this will probably be bound off and blocked on Friday, but that doesn’t stop my overzealous mind from thinking I can do it today.

My current favorite project, the one I want to finish so I can wear, and I want to knit with all the time because the yarn is so delicious (being Valley Yarns Sheffield) is the Vignette cardigan from Knitty.

I have all three of the body pieces done. In the photo they are placed as they would be if there were sewn up, and they do look quite attractive despite not being blocked. I only have the sleeves to knit, and I cannot wait to get started on them. My limited knitting needles are getting in my way again, because the needles I need to start the sleeves are currently in the scarf above. (This, of course, is not completely true. I have plenty of size 8 needles running around that I could use for sleeves knit flat. The truth is that I have been using my knitpicks interchangeable needles for the Vignette so far, and must continue using them on the sleeves, because they are my best needles. Plus, it is incentive to finish the scarf asap.)

And of course, I am working on the second striped pajama sock. I just started the heel last night. This is my designated car knitting (when I am not driving), so it is going pretty slow. Usually when I hit this point, I remove the sock from my purse and bang it out in an evening or two, but pretty much everything else is on the back burner until the scarf is done. Like many other knitters, I am almost always working on a sock. Though I tend not to hoard sock yarn. I buy a skein, knit a pair of socks, then find another pretty skein and start over. I have just dyed my the yarn for my next pair (which are for me)–a test skein for a new sock yarn line at the shop. You’ll know more when they are dry.

Last night I washed this:

A bright and beautiful skein of Cormo Rustica. The yarn came from Juniper Moon Farm. It was a special yarn spun from Susie’s cormos. It’s a little rough and there is quite a bit of veg matter still in it, and just the slightest whiff of lanolin. Washing it plumps it up just a bit and gets rid of most of the left over lanolin. It is gorgeous stuff. I am just lucky Susie put it on super sale the day before my birthday, made it affordable (for me) and a no-brainer birthday gift. This lovely skein is going to become a swatch for Skelf by Ysolda Teague. (Little Red in the City was also a birthday gift.) And surprisingly, I am not going to dye it. The last thing this klutz should be thinking about is a white sweater, but this yarn just doesn’t need dyeing.

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Linen Stitch Scarf, Day 2

The Scarf, Day 2

I put another 7 or 8 rows on the scarf yesterday. It is now a whole 2 1/8 inches wide. I feel very proud.

Part of what kept me from knitting too much on this scarf yesterday was the giant shipment of yarn I received yesterday morning. It included this:

Some bulky weight merino yarn. For some reason, since the fall I have been itching to knit with some good bulky yarn. (That might explain the closet full of commercially dyed bulky weight yarn. . . ) Even though I own plenty of large, cushy yarns in a few different colors, I was still hankering for colorful hand dyed stuff. So, of course, when it came in yesterday, I immediately skeined up a whole cone of it and test dyed a couple skeins in a lovely faded red type color. (Alas, it is winter, and it is still drying.) Today, I have turned my kitchen into a dye factory and am doing up the rest of the cone in rainbow colors. I have red and orange going right now. Look for it in the shop in a few days!

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Knitting, Fast and Slow

Last week I spent most of my knitting time working on the samples for the classes I am teaching next month.

I made myself a new scarf, which doubles as the example for my beginning knitting class.

The scarf is 60″ x 8″ after blocking, knit out two skeins of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky on size US 13 needles. Very quick and easy.

Then I moved on to the project for the hat class.

The Southern Lights Hat from knitty.com. It’s a simple ear flap hat with long icord ties and three pompoms. It’s a little silly, but it’s a fun knit. Done out of the same yarn as the scarf on size 10 needles. I did have to adjust the pattern slightly, adding 1 1/4 inches to the length of the hat before decreases are started. This was a very quick knit with fun construction.

Then I started on a scarf. A linen stitch scarf. Knit lengthwise. I knit on it most of the day yesterday.

And I only go through 14 rows. 14! True, that’s 14 rows over 375 stitches, but still. It’s a little discouraging, and it made my hands hurt.

Knit out of Cascade 220 in shades of grey on US size 8 needles.

My plan is to take a picture of this scarf everyday until it is finished just so I can see that I am making real progress. So check back tomorrow to see how far I knit today!

What have you been working on?