Monthly Archives: May 2007

Lines of deliciousness.

TurtleneckShrug I think I am officially forgoing any claims of knitting simplicity for the duration of the Turtleneck Shrug project: I didn’t reclaim the yarn from a thrift store sweater or swap for it, I didn’t buy the yarn on sale, I didn’t go with my first choice, less-expensive yarn…and I am now buying more of the ridiculously decadent Classic Elite Waterlily to finish the shrug off.

Guilt-free knitting right here, baby! I am under the spell of Waterlily in a big way because it’s a. soft, soft, soft, and b. the slight variations in color totally ring my chimes. I have a complicated relationship with multicolored and variegated yarns, so pretty in the skein, often fugly knit up. This is just the right blend of lights and darks; combined with the texture the multiple plies give the finished fabric, it’s swoony. Veritable lines of deliciousness.

Why did I order more yarn, do you ask? Well, the Turtleneck Shrug calls for 600 yards of worsted-weight yarn, which I had. While I did swatch, I didn’t do so aggressively (when they say “ribbing, stretched” that gives a knitter a lot of leeway), I just tested needle sizes until I got a fabric I liked. Rowan Kid Classic (the yarn called for) and Waterlily are ostensibly worsted-weight with the same ball band needle size. So, in the end I’m simply using more yarn than the pattern asks for because my fabric must be more dense, er, more lush and sumptuous. I had planned on shortening the sleeves, but it was clear that keeping the sleeves short enough to use just 600 yards of Waterlily was going to compromise the wrap-around-the-neck scarf-like qualities of the garment. I want a warm winter scarf above all else, so more yarn it is! TurtleneckShrug-twosleeves

I’ve knitted the two TS sleeves in two weeks, which is surely a record for me; just one shoulder and the turtleneck to go before I tuck it away for winter (or begin wearing it with my bathing suit). Since we’ve last seen each other, I’ve also swatched for Lizzy from Naturally Noro and Ariann from Chicknits – I’m very close to gauge with Ariann, and bang-on for Lizzy, so there is evidence that I don’t just plunge into knitting projects willy-nilly without regard to fit.

Before I embark upon a new sweater for fall, I’ll be making five (count ‘em, five) hats for Dulaan – I took the “10,000 or bust” challenge because what could be better than making the wooliest of items for people guaranteed to appreciate them? I loved the idea of the Dulaan-a-thaan, but since I am thousands of miles away from Ryan and will be at a wedding on June 2, my “thaan” will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 3. I’m looking forward to it – after all, how often does a girl get to use three strands of worsted wool held together? [If that hat really does take just an hour, you can bet there will be more than five at the end of the day --ed.] I will, of course, document the entire freakin’ thing for the blog. Because it’s knitting, and because if the world needs a little more of something, it’s pictures of me in my pajamas splashed all over the Internet.

I hear crochet comes in handy.

Today is my birthday – shh, I haven’t told anyone else. I like the wild rumpus as much as the next person, but I am enjoying the 38th version of my birthday, low key and mellow, as much as the 29th (at which I threw myself a party) and the 21st (at which I convinced an entire movie theater full of people to sing “Happy Birthday” to me – and I have the pictures to prove it).

All of this is prologue to telling you about my day with Lucy Neatby – I had to keep reminding myself of that saying “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Everything is okay, but I blame the imbroglio in between on crochet.

You see, I consider myself an intermediate sock knitter – but I do not crochet, in any way, shape or form. Yet. So when Lucy started her “Even Cooler Socks” class by saying “Crochet a chain of 20 stitches,” I knew I was in the weeds. Lucy was gracious, kind, and helpful; I was chagrined, and felt like I should have been wearing a t-shirt that said “I hear crochet comes in handy.”

Even with my non-existent crochet skillz, I still managed to find the class mind-blowing; Lucy is the kind of knitter who invents a new technique because she’s bored with the old one or suspects that the same old thing we always do can be done more efficiently. Who could not love that? If you have a chance to take a class with her, I highly recommend it – just make sure you’ve got a handle on the provisional crochet cast on first, and you’ll be all set.

I feel like I walked away from the class with homework: 1. Practice the provisional cast on for 15 minutes a day, and 2. Make a pair of Fiesta Feet socks, which feature two of the stitch patterns we covered in class. Thankfully, Rob and Matt were able to set me up with supplies, so those socks will be making an appearance soon enough.

Turtleneck Shrug sleeve But in the meantime, I’ve started some birthday knitting: the Turtleneck Shrug from Scarf Style in Classic Elite Waterlily, a merino with multiple plies that give a lot of texture to the finished fabric. I was hoping to have it done by now, but the best-laid plans only gave me 14 inches or so. Next week, just in time for summer!

I was going to say a propos of my humbling experience in Lucy’s class that there are two kinds of knitters, those who stay wiith what they know and those who keep pushing themselves to learn – but I think it just means that as many times as I return to projects that feature my beloved ribbing, I’ll want to venture beyond what I know to new and different territory. First stop: the crochet hook.