I’ve had a chance to regroup after the holidays and consider what’s in my knitting bag, and what I’d like to be knitting on this winter. While I’d like nothing more than to curl up and knit my way to spring, duty calls. Once again, I’ll be making 40-odd fleece hats for my sons’ Boy Scout Klondike Derby campout in February. It’s a big project with a hard-and-fast deadline, so it takes precedence over knitting. Come to think of it, it’s the only thing that happens during my crafting year that does take precedence over knitting. So — Project No. 1 is:
1. The Klondike Hats
The Hat Maven will once again take over this blog for a few editions, and will publish lots of photos and (she hopes) valuable information for anyone interesting in sewing fleece hats. This weekend was busy with prototyping to ensure proper sizing, and the beginnings of cutting pattern pieces. Which endeavor cut into my knitting time for Project No. 2:
2. The Offset Diamonds Aran
I still hold out an irrational hope that I’ll have Steve’s Aran done before Klondike so he can wear it then. It’s good to have a goal, no matter how crazy. This weekend, I reached the point where I’ll shape the armholes on the front:
The rest of the front will go faster once those extra stitches are bound off. Next to the hats, this is my priority. Even if I don’t have it off the needles by mid-February, I do want to have this finished by spring. It’s my heaviest, bulkiest project going, and I don’t want it in my lap once the weather warms.
3. The Miranda Shawl
I started this before I had surgery a few weeks ago, so that I’d have something simple to work on while I was on painkillers and dared not pick up something as complicated as the Aran. Now that I’m mostly recovered, it’s a little too simple to knit on for long, but is perfect to work on while I’m waiting for dinner to cook or am out at appointments. I’m almost done with the first of two skeins. The side-to-side construction will let me use up about all of this rather expensive yarn. When the first skein is used up, I’ll start the decreases for the second half.
4. Capretta sweater
I’ve been swatching Capretta (colorway: Celestial) in preparation to make the pullover in Light Basics by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence.
It’s deceptively simple. It’s all stockinette, with some shaping. Deceptive, because I’ll have to use several different needles and maintain consistent gauge nevertheless: size 1 DPNs for the sleeve cuffs, then size 3 DPNs for the sleeves until the stitches don’t fit anymore, then size 3 16-inch circulars. For the body, I’ll need size 1 24-inch circulars, size 3 24-inch circulars, and those size 3 16-inch circulars for the neck. Although most of the sweater is knit in the round, the tops of the sleeves and the yoke is knit back and forth. Every needle change and the change from in-the-round to back-and-forth changes my gauge. So, I swatched a whole bunch of swatches to figure out what needles I should use and when. I’ve gotten burned before on these seemingly simple sweaters, and I really don’t care to repeat that experience.
The Capretta goes on the needles when the end is in sight on the Aran.
5. Orenburg Scarf
I surprised myself by queueing up this Lacy Scarf Meteliza in Kid Seta Noir. I’ve been wanting to try Orenburg lace for a while. This particular scarf is destined to be a gift — it’ll give me a chance to think about making a more complicated Orenburg something-or-other for myself, and check another person off of my gift list for the coming year.
The yarn gave me pause. The pattern called for a mohair-silk blend, which I’d expect in an Orenburg pattern. I duly toddled off to my LYS and asked the salesperson there for a recommendation. She walked me over to this:
Hmm. It’s the very sort of sneezy, floofy-doofy stuff that makes me glad I don’t have asthma. This particular yarn has a very fine little shimmery thread running through it, which I think will be perfect for my MIL. With cautious optimism, I swatched it up in garter stitch:
What I found was pleasantly surprising. The yarn that seemed so floofy and rather silly on the needles behaved itself just fine, and blocked and bloomed into a delightful fabric that looks like snow with a glint of ice crystals. I’m really glad I gave this a fair chance, and I’m looking forward to getting it on the needles.
6. Sylvan Spirit Something
Ever buy something at your LYS just because it looked intriguing? With no idea what you want it to be when it grows up? That’s exactly what I did. I’ve never knit with a wool/Tencel blend, and I’m going to give this one a shot. It’s soft, sort of like a wool/silk blend, and the color is a lovely marled blue. I bought enough to make a scarf or cowl, and it’s destined for my niece. The blue will match her eyes.
Those are a few of the things I’ll be working on in the early part of 2014. Subject to change, of course, fickleness being what it is. For now, though, I’m doing my best to withstand the startitis impulse and knuckle down and sew the hats and finish that Aran before spring overtakes me.