04 January 2009

Knitting in Oh Nine

So! The last few weeks have been wonderful in terms of knitting. This holiday season was relaxingly devoid of knit gifts, though I did help my dad block the alpaca scarf he got for his birthday last year. It's now keeping him warmer than ever, I hear.

For Christmas, my grandmother gave me a gift certificate to Crafty Planet, a neat little yarn and fabric shop in northern Minneapolis. I got a soft, enticing, colorful skein of Misti Alpaca sock yarn. Behold!

I also received a skein of Patons Shetland Chunky as a gift. It's variegated, so it's trickier to figure out what would work well. I think there's three colors, I might be able to do something like that hat from the last issue of Knitty, where I switch from knitting to purling every time it changes colors, or something.

As far as what actually clicked around on the needles, I finished a lovely little red cowl during break. Cory made up the pattern a while ago, and it produces this adorable little cowl that's soft and stretchy enough, but is also stiff enough to be really warm in place of a scarf. Since it isn't bulky, it was great for traveling (it looks like the neck part of a turtleneck sweater), and since it was a 2x2 rib, soft yarn and my favorite needles, it was the marvelous project for finals week. In fact, it was a productive thing to have around. I mostly worked on it while trying to formulate thoughts and sentences in Russian.

On the Megabu... AMTRAK trip to Chicago, Liz made significant progress on a scarf, and showed some really adorable kids at the Amtrak station how to knit. I worked a little on my orange and green socks, which were finished by the end of my Minnesota stay.

These socks have been just great. They're the first toe up socks I've made, and the beginning was a little fidgety, but it worked out nicely. Since I couldn't find size 1.5 needles, I made a larger size on size 1s, and added some ribbing on the sole. They fit perfectly.

The most interesting part is that there were two really great moments with these socks where I found out about some technique from someone else, thought it was really neat, thought about trying it on these socks, and decided against it, choosing to stick with the pattern as written, only to realize that the pattern included the technique I'd just found! This happened with the eye of partridge heel flap stitch (thanks to Stash & Burn) and the twisted rib (thanks to Liz). I think I've been solidly converted to sock knitting, if I haven't mentioned this already.

I also finished one of the Flying Trapeze Socks (from the newest IK), AND IT FITS! (I wasn't sure it would) and am working on the gusset of the second one.

I have decided that I'm not happy with the not-fitting-ness of the orange lace socks I started for the ExCo. I ripped out the beginning of the second sock, which had only been an inch or so, and I think I'm going to make it a little bigger, and then rip the first one out. I like the yarn (Araucania Ranco) too much to make socks that don't fit. I like the way my high arches make my feet look, but not the way they make socks and shoes not fit normally.

Alas, no progress has been made on the Laminaria shawl. I need some motivation for that; I don't know what it will take to get that off the ground again.

I talked and talked about my resolutions for what would be done for the new year, and it didn't really come true. But if the Malabrigo Fetchings and Ranco socks are in frogging stages, here's what's left in progress.
1. Laminaria
2. Flying Trapeze Socks
3. Tatiana (nesting doll gloves)

And just barely...
4. Mosey (still need to finish adding cords and pompoms)
5. that penguin

I'm basically down to three, and those socks are going to be done before knitting circle next Friday. Mosey will be done, too.

Basically, I'm down to three WIPs. Which feels SO good.

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