OK, so I completed my Pioneer, and showed it to you last post, taking one WIP out of the list, a very good thing. I have made a deal with myself that for every TWO projects I get off the needles, I can cast on ONE new project. Theoretically, this should help me get all the old projects off the needles because even if I start and finish a new project, I’ll have to finish an old project as well to begin another new project… This is what I tell myself. Because I finished my clapotis and my pioneer, I got to cast on for something new. I chose something quick so that I would be forced to return to the old WIPs… aren’t you proud of me?
These are Aran Isle Slippers by Jennifer Lang. I made them from Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in the color Calypso Heather. I used just over one 50g ball, so they don’t take much yarn at all. The pattern is a bit fiddly because of all of the picking up stitches and seaming. The Wool of the Andes is pretty fuzzy for plain wool (no mohair) so the cable pattern doesn’t really pop out, but they do keep my feet pretty warm in my cold apartment. They are sized pretty small I think. The women’s size says it fits a 7.5 shoe size, which is what I am, but they are very snug.
That project was finished very quickly, and now I am forced to turn my attention back to the old WIPs. The next-oldest one I have to show you is mind-numbing and may break my will.
This is my OpArt Blanket and it’s only about 20% finished. It’s done completely in garter stitch and it gets bigger every round until there are 888 stitches in the last round. Right now, it’s taking me about 25 minutes to knit one round… It’s not even made out of good yarn. It’s made of cheap Caron One Pound acrylic that I wanted to use up. I love how this blanket looks, but the inanity of it may push me over the edge. Needless to say, this is not the WIP I am currently working on… More WIP shame to come soon.
OK, I know I said I would be updating you regularly on all the WIPs I have on the needles, but I got a wee bit distracted. You see, I got super focused on knitting this:
It is Pioneer by K-bomb from the Spring 2009 issue of knitty. I started it back in October and kint through the v-neck increases (it’s knit in the round from the top down) but once I got to the torso I lost all hope and the project went on a long hiatus. It’s knit in sport-weight yarn on size 5 needles making it a good light-weight spring garment, but also meaning you need about 200 stitches for every single round. I used Knit Picks new sport-weight version of their sock yarn Stroll. The color is called Hot Rod Heather. The yarn is 75% wool 25% nylon and, best of all, is machine washable. I find the yarn very soft and have no problem with it touching my skin.
One of the things that makes this sweater a bit tedious to knit is that every other row there are itty bitty two-stitch cables that form columns down the back, down the sleeves, and under the arms. They look pretty cool and break up the plain stockinette, but they also mean that this sweater falls into a weird realm of not-quite being mindless take-anywhere knitting, but not really being that intriguing to work on. Here are the columns:
The neck edge is a shell crochet pattern. My crochet skills are by no means advanced, limited mostly to the few amigurumi I have made, but I did not find this very difficult to execute. I have found that even with the crocheting, the neck edge tends to roll under a bit and I have to keep straightening it and patting it flat… I’m hoping this will magically go away otherwise I may have to take the crocheting out and do the v-neck in moss stitch which is how the arms and bottom of the sweater are finished.
That is intended to be a close up of the crochet edging around the neck, not a close up of my chest… The reason it took me 10 days to get back to the blog is because I really wanted to finish this so that I could show you another FO instead of marching through my shameful number of WIPs. Unfortunately this didn’t want to be finished on the time line I had in mind. First I knit it to the length called for in the pattern, did the moss stitch, bound off, and tried it on. (Don’t remind me that I could have tried it on before doing the moss stitch and binding off, I know!) Anyway, it was too short. Not actually too short in the way that people would look at it and go, “that sweater is too short for her” but too short in the way that when standing normally it looked fine but when I raised my arms above my shoulders suddenly large swaths of my belly were exposed… Not my favorite look. So I added the crochet neck edging and knit the sleeves (I couldn’t bear to rip back just then) and after “finishing” the sweater I went back, frogged the moss stitch, knit an extra three inches of body, and re-knit the moss stitch. This meant that I finished a few days later than anticipated, and delayed my blog post. Good excuse, no?
Alright, so now that you’ve been apprised of my new house and my major yarn-related outing it’s probably about time for me to tell you about so actual knitting that I’ve done. First, though I know it doesn’t look like it, I’ve made some progress on my Op Art blanket.
The last time I showed this to you there was a giant tail of circular needle sticking out because I was magic-looping it on a 60″ needle. Now the entire needle has stitches around it and it’s not even half the total number of stitches. I’ll probably not show you any more pictures of it until I get it off the needle since it will just look like a bigger and bigger wad of knitting. If you really care a lot you can keep up with the progress on the side bar.
Next are a couple of FOs. The first was actually finished in time for me to wear to sock summit, which was very lucky because they’re probably my “funnest” pair of socks yet.
They are just a basic sock with a short-row heal. I decided to try the short-row heal because it is supposed to be the best kind of heal for striped yarn because it doesn’t screw-up your stripe length like a heal with a gusset does. I don’t much like it but at least I learned a new skill. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in colorway Coney Island.
Finally, I finished my Ishbel shawl two days ago and it finally finished blocking this morning. It’s made from yarn that someone handspun and sent to me as part of a swap. I managed to make the full large size with the yarn and still have about 15% of the skein left. It’s not made from very soft wool but I can wear it with no problem.
I never know exactly how to wear shawls but I enjoy making them and they make good gifts so I guess my lack of fashion sense isn’t really a problem. Next post I’ll tell you all about the new house guests.