Thursday, March 29, 2007

Is This Thing On?

*Dusts off keyboard*
Sorry for the prolonged absence. I've waffled back and forth over whether I should bring up the reason for it, and finally decided that I should, just a little, because I talk about my pets so much. My white rat, Squirrel, became ill last week. She went to the vet almost every day, and seemed to be improving until Saturday, when she took a turn. She died on Sunday, laying in bed with me while I read a book and stroked her. We're planning to bring home a new friend for Eunice (who is so lonely) as soon as we find her, and I'm sure I'll post about it when we do, so I thought it would be best to just get it out there now.

Naturally, I didn't get much knitting done, but I did do a little, and my pace has been picking up the last few nights. I've been working exclusively on the Cinched Waist Top, and let me tell you, this top has earned it's three (out of four) star difficulty rating. Not because it's hard, per se, but it's fiddley, and every time I get to a new part in the pattern, my jaw drops open because it's nothing like I would have expected.
Surprise the first: I may need to use hooks and eyes for closure along the corset edge.
Surprise the second: You have to knit the front, back and sleeves in a specific order (I usually skip around), because they are joined and then seamed.
Surprise the third: The lovely raglan detail is from a new technique (to me)! A cabled decrease. Fun to work, and it sure is purty.


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The rounds are long right now, so I only work maybe three or four a night, but I plan to hit it hard this weekend! Doesn't it look cute?

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The sweater in the magazine is made with cotton, but I think my cashmere version will be perfect for spring. It pretty much stays chilly up here until August, when we get a heat wave, and then fall arrives. I'm toying with different ideas for the ruffle. Maybe making it less... ruffley... and a little flatter? It kind of depends on how much yarn I have left over, though I've gone through surprisingly little.

Seeing how this project is taking longer than I expected, I am so looking forward to Amy's new knitalong, starting in April, the Quick-Fix Knitalong! The idea is to break up the tedium of long projects with some short and sweet ones! It's a low pressure knitalong, you can do just one small project, if you like. I have an informal goal of completing a quick project once a week. This may include one week to knit my second Jaywalker, and one week to knit my second World's Ugliest Mitt.

Oh, I haven't yet shown you the WUM?

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I don't even know how long ago I dyed this yarn, but I dyed it myself using Kool-Aid and Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. If you haven't used Fisherman's Wool, please be advised that it is very scratchy. I suppose that it's just as well that I experimented with this wool, since I find this colorway so appalling, but it made it difficult to choose a project. I don't think I have enough for adult mittens, and I didn't want to be responsible for playground taunts by making kids' mittens. A hat was out of the question. So I finally (after years and years) settled on some mitts that I can bring into work and leave for when my hands get cold. It feels good to get this out of the stash! The last bit of yarn I have from the Kool-Aid experiment is a not too bad red/orange/yellow mishmash that I will probably make into mittens for my nephews.

Anyway, I'm pretty psyched for the Quick-Fix Knitalong! In addition to the sock and the mitt, I'm planning to make a February baby sweater from EZ's Knitter's Almanac, and Rusted Root. If I remember correctly, I finished Green Gable pretty quickly, so I'm pretty sure it can be done. I'll save it for last anyway, and have it to wear in May, when the air becomes more mild and I want my skin to soak up every drop of sun (through a layer of SPF, of course!)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh- that mit isn't ugly! I love the browns and turquoise together! Maybe I'm the strange one- I love variegated yarns, and prefer knitting with those than solids. I've often wondered about that Fisherman's Wool- better avoid it, as I don't do scratchy!

Your cinched waist top looks lovely- cashmere, yummy!

-Gretchen

Marlena said...

It does look sort of brown on this monitor! It's actually purple and electric blue. :) The purple goes from dark to washed out, and still kind of smells like grape! I like variegated yarn, too. But since I hate pooling, I have a contentious relationship with it.

casey said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Squirrel. My condolences. :(

I think I've dyed worse-looking yarn than that, but I probably shouldn't admit that. Heh.

tammy said...

I'm so sorry about Squirrel. We lost our last two mice last week. It's such a hard thing.

I do like your mitt though. Koolaid yarn always makes me smile. :)

Amy said...

The mitt cheered me up, totally. And I'm so intrigued and excited to see the sweater! I do think that the cashmere will be more sproingy than the cotton, so you may want to decrease the number of stitches in the ruffle.

Ellen said...

Oh Marlena, I'm so sorry about Squirrel. I hope you find a friend for Eunice soon. It's so sad when we lose critters.

On a happier note, I love that cabled decrease. I think I'm going to need to incorporate that into something...