Sunday, February 22, 2009

What a Lot to Do . . .

Added this evening: I had to jump back on and share that my St. Patrick sweater is now blocking on the guest room floor. Yeah, baby - it's done! I tried it on and it looks to be a perfect fit! Yay! Oh Yay!! I tried taking a photo, but it's awful - you can't see any of the details so I'll have to wait for a better day - or beg Knifty Red for some photo assistance :-) I hope it dries by Thursday so I can wear it to Connecticut!

Written this morning: There's always a lot to do, isn't there? It seems that way to me.

I've been making an effort to take better care of myself lately, which entails getting more exercise - not always so easy here in Chicagoland. It's way cold again, and even I, who loves all four seasons, am getting very tired of this weather. Cold, warm, quickly cold again, rain, more ice, more snow, nasty windchill . . . I live in Chicago. It's February. I don't really know what else I could expect ;-) But the days are getting longer and Spring is on its way - even if we can't quite see the evidence yet.

I am spending more time on myself, which is somewhat limiting other activities. Still, I think it's best for me, so I don't really mind. And today is my day "off" so I have a little time to get a few things caught up.

I managed to get my Ravelry projects and stash updated, and photos taken, etc. Yay! And I'm working steadily on the baby afghan I promised to finish for a friend of my cousin's. I don't normally take on projects from someone else, but there is a story here - the friend's mom made baby afghans for each of her daughters as they had children. The youngest daughter hadn't had any children when the mom was diagnosed with cancer. I guess the mom knew that her prognosis was not good, so she started on an afghan for this daughter, even though she didn't have any children yet. The mom passed away, and the daughter eventually had a baby girl - and asked my cousin if she knew anyone who might be able to finish the afghan that the mom had started. That's where I came in.

I did my best to capture the mom's gauge, and the afghan is a simple ripple. I wasn't able to duplicate her exact stitch pattern, but I'm close enough (I think) that only I and a crochet expert could tell. It is crochet, so it goes a lot faster than knitting - thankfully. I've been working on it first each time I sit down to knit to get a little more done each time. I've had it since last fall, and they weren't in too much of a hurry - still, they've waited long enough, so I'm working on it as I go with all the the other projects. I tried taking it on the train the other day, but it's getting to be too bulky and large for train knitting, so it's relegated to comfy chair knitting at home.

Earlier this week, I made a list of the projects on the needles that I want to finish up before starting any more (yeah, right). Having so many things in various stages of completion is starting to mess with my head. The day I made the list, I finished the first pair of socks, and I put them on the list just so I would have something to cross off and feel like I'm accomplishing things :-D They are made with Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in the Night Lights colorway. For all its faults, which I listed in detail a few posts ago, it knits up quite nicely. But I won't use it again. I've already discovered that bamboo is just not my favorite fiber to work with. Guess I'm purist in that - give me plain ole' wool any day of the week. Well, maybe a little cashmere now and again, but for the most part - wool. Woolly sheep wool :-)

Speaking of which, there is good news and bad news about the Iona Sweater. I had a wonderful lesson last Sunday afternoon with PatsyZ and we spent a great deal of time with the Corriedale that has the Iona wool blended with it. The good news is that (1) the pin-drafted roving that I got back from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers is just stunning; (2) the color is the most amazing silvery gray; and (3) I'm already loving it even though I've only spun a wee bit of it for test purposes.

The bad news is that there is only about 3 lbs., and between 8 and 10 oz. of it. What this means is that unless I spin spot on for every bit of it, there will not be enough of it to make the sweater I want to make. I've gone back and forth between a cardi (October Frost, from A Fine Fleece) and a pullover (Celtic Dreams, by Beth Brown Reinsel). I've decided on the pullover (again). But unless I get a really lot smaller, I will be right down to the wire in terms of yardage for the size I want to make, and that's assuming that I actually am able to spin it exactly right and completely consistently throughout. I'm looking for something else maybe to make with it, but I really had my heart set on a sweater. I'm considering making it a little shorter, maybe going 3/4 on the sleeves - I'm not sure yet, and guess I will have to wait until I get it all spun up to figure it all out.

I've decided to spin a few other things first, just to get myself focused. And first on the list is the beautiful cloud of grey Shetland that Michelle at Boulderneigh gifted to me. I weighed it, and there is 4 oz. there - should be enough for a pair of socks, and a challenge to me to spin it very finely to make sure I get the yardage. Then I will spin up the rest of the BFL I did recently. It's very close to the size I want for the Iona wool, and will challenge me to come back up to a thicker singles. It's important to be able to move back and forth between thick and thin yarns, else you run the risk of being stuck making only fine yarns - not what I want to happen to me :-)

I went to the International Kennel Club dog show at McCormick Place yesterday - always big fun. I went with my friends, Barb & Bob and we had a great time. I don't get to see them enough. Even more fun - caught up with Rachael and Jamie there, too!! Yay!!

Well, that's the news from The Third Coast this weekend. :-)


Knitterary said...

I'm with you on the rayon. Don't care what fancy marketing name they give it -- bamboo, soy silk, corn, whatever -- it's still extruded vegetable fiber, which makes it rayon in my book. I'd rather knit with just about anything else, even acrylic.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Can't wait to see what you do with "Rechel"! As for the Iona sweater, could you use a contrasting color for the waistband, cuffs, trim, etc.? What about spinning the Corrie/Iona as a thick single, and plying it with a thin single of something else to get plenty of yardage, and a nice, tweedy result? You've probably thought of all of this already....