Set to Rights

I took time this week to get a grip on my knitting projects, and it was time well spent.  While the knitting needle drawer remains in frightful disarray, the stash still threatens to attack me from its perch in my sewing room cabinets, and many books and sources are not yet cataloged in my Ravelry library, I have managed to beat back the chaos with regard to my current projects.

I decided to park the Shetland crepe shawl for the week, so that I could focus on the problem children projects.  I’ll pick this well-behaved project up again when I head over to Mom’s for Sunday dinner.  It’s easy enough to work on while we have our after-dinner chat.

Finished object for the week:  the Coronet Hat.

Coronet Hat finished

I wanted this fun and easy project to come off the needles pretty quickly, so I used size 9’s.  When I make another, I may knit the cable in something a bit smaller, like a 7, but still keep the body in a 9.  Anyway, this week, I picked up the correct number of stitches (84), and was off and running with the stockinette.  About the only thing I’d do differently next time, other than the needle size adjustment I just noted, would be to lengthen the body to a full 9 inches, instead of the 8 1/2 called for in the pattern, just to make sure it’s got plenty of ear coverage.

I think the three-needle bind-off produced a tidy seam, and is easier for me than Kitchener:

Coronet Hat back

Now, I have a nice hat and scarf set to add to the gift pile:

hat and scarf set

 

The scarf pattern is Palindrome.  Together, these took a little under three skeins of Chroma Worsted in Lollipop.

I also gave some much-needed attention to the Encompass Cowl.  I frogged the beginnings of it last week, when I realized that the modifications I’d made just didn’t look good.  For this project, I’m making the squares all smaller, so that they are 9 stitches across by 12 rows.  I didn’t care for Chart 1, so I replaced it with a sort-of moss stitch that’s a checkerboard of three stitches of knit, three purl, and three knit (and then the reverse, and so forth) to produce a reversible pattern that fits within the block parameters I came up with.  So far, so good, although it’s not particularly photogenic yet:

Encompass 2

I love the yarn and colors:

Encompass 2 close

You can see that I’ve gone a little crazy with the stitch markers.  To keep this project as brainless as possible, I’ve got them at each block and extra markers after each repeat of four blocks.  The only downside to this project is that it’s destined for the gift pile, so I can’t knit on it around extended family.  Taking it to Mom’s on Sundays is out of the question unless I rule her out as a possible recipient, which I’m not willing to do just yet.

Then, there’s the Shawl-Collared Shawl.  Heavy sigh.  This shawl has patterning on every single row.  This is typically a dealbreaker for me.  Yeah, I know.  I design Arans from the ground up, do colorwork, and also knit complicated lace without a whole lot of issues.  But patterning every single row?  I hate it.  It’s a grind.  I love the rhythm of alternating complexity with simplicity.

I sat down for a good, long knit yesterday with the shawl, hoping to develop some sort of rhythm that I could enjoy, but to little avail.  I’ve carefully placed stitch markers at the repeats, marked up my charts with the places where repeats start and stop, and noted rows with highlighter tape — all of my usual coping mechanisms for tricky projects:

Shawl Collar Shawl started

Those coping mechanisms have fallen short.  In more repeats than not, mysterious extra stitches — or missing ones! — keep appearing.  There are no rest rows to bring relief.  I pulled it out today to examine in daylight.  It’s too soon to tell whether the scarf emerging from my needles is going to bear any resemblance to what the designer had in mind.

I debated frogging it and making something else.  I poked around for another suitable pattern, but I still think this pattern will show the yarn off better than anything else I’ve come across.  So, I’ll keep knitting it, at least for a few more rows, and see if the process of knitting it is going to be worth the finished product.

I packed away the yarn for the colorwork mittens.  I still need mittens for winter, so I decided I’d design something simpler in just two colors — a pattern that could later be converted to a traditional multicolor Fair Isle scheme, when I have time for that.  I’ve pulled out my Fair Isle motif dictionaries, knitter’s graph paper, and colored pencils and am excited to get to work on the design.  I may not have time to put pencil to paper this weekend, because I’m right in the midst of getting ready to send off husband and younger son on a Scout backpacking trip, but once they’re off and hiking, I’ll have time for some design and swatching sessions.

All is set to rights, at least for today.  Small victories.

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