plotting and scheming

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That’s what I’m up to these days. I’m pretty busy with the end-of-semester crunch, plus the research stuff that never ends (not that I mind, I enjoy it quite a lot, which is a good thing seeing as I’ll be doing it for the rest of my life, most likely!), so I don’t have a ton of time where I can just sit down and knit. Instead, I’m filling my free moments between running subjects or making presentations by scheming about future projects. Like I need any more of those, right? But I just can’t help myself.

First off, we have the gorgeous chevron scarves I keep seeing around blogland. I’ve fallen in love with the popular STR Farmhouse and Watermelon Tourmaline color-combo, and I think I may make a skein of each of those colors my one “frivolous” purchase when I get the paycheck for the extra grading I did this semester. I just love the colors oh so much…bright, happy, rainbow colors just make my day.

Lately I’ve also been thinking a lot about a sweater for which there is apparently soon to be a pattern, the tan sweater-coat that Stephanie of Glampyre Knits has been wearing in many of her photos relating to her book. When I saw the most recent photo of her wearing it pop up in my bloglines, I went to her site and perused the archives, hoping I’d just missed a mention of a pattern for it somewhere. Apparently she’s going to be putting it out this summer, which is excellent news. If I were to knit that pattern some day, I think I would use a deep purple yarn. So I’m noting that here, for posterity.

Other projects I’m scheming about include: a sweater for my husband, in a deep slightly greenish blue shade of Cascade 220 purchased on sale at WEBS, the aforementioned Escher project for my dad, possible mitten patterns for gifts during the Winter Holiday season, even more color combinations for my Mitered Square Blanket, a few pairs of socks, the sweater I hope to make in my gorgeous green Araucania yarn, a few stash-busting sweaters inspired by ones I’ve seen in magazine ads lately, and some baby items. How’s that for a list?

With the money I got from my grandparents and in-laws for my birthday, I decided to further my goal of becoming a proficient, self-sufficient knitter who can turn what’s in her head into a beautiful project in the real world. Which is not to say that I don’t like knitting from other people’s patterns, because I really do, but I also want to be able to design wearable things for myself, and as in all other endeavors in my life (language, computer science, running, violin, cooking/baking, etc), I like to have a good grounding in the “theory” before I do much else. So with that in mind, I expanded my Elizabeth Zimmermann collection (if there ever were a knitter more adamant about not needing to rely on patterns, I don’t know who it would be!), purchasing a few “Spun-Out” pamphlets, as well as “Knitting Workshop” and “Knitting Around”. I also got a set of yarn samples from Schoolhouse Press. My final birthday-purchase was Maggie Righetti’s “Sweater Design in Plain English”, since I’ve heard such good things about it on several people’s blogs lately. Here’s the loot:

Birthday Money Goodies!

The particular Spun-Outs include the “Bavarian Jacket” (which I really like the look of, so I was curious about its construction), the “Bohus-Yoked Pullover” (I have a sweater’s worth of natural Patons Classic Merino, plus a skein each of a couple of blues, creams, and browns that would make a gorgeous scaled-up Bohus), and, of course, the “Saddle-Shouldered Aran”. How could I not want to start working out the details of my own version of that sweater, after seeing Jared’s absolutely gorgeous finished one a few weeks ago?

Finally, I also have a practical question for everyone who’s managed to read this far. In addition to all of these projects I’m plotting for myself and my loved ones, I’ve been asked by a friend to knit a commissioned project. It having been ages since anyone’s commissioned something from me, I have no idea what a fair amount of money to ask for is. Without revealing what the project is, let’s just say that it’s a project from a designer whose patterns I’ve always wanted to knit, but which I’ll probably never get to make for myself due to my, ahem, “lack of voluptuousness”. I don’t have the pattern yet, so I can only guess from the picture of the finished object, but I’m thinking it would take somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 hours of knitting. Have any of y’all ever accepted payment for a knitted project? What would be reasonable?

Oh, and for anyone worried about the fate of my current projects, since my mind seems to have wandered off into the future without them, worry not.  I’m actually itching to finish them, and might make a bit more of an effort on that front this weekend.  In particular, I want to give Demi some love, since Not-So-Aprikot’s gone off and gotten  both fronts while I’ve not even started the front of Demi, which is quite a shame since I’m very much in love with the twisted stitches and cables.

(by the way, as promised in my previous post, I did in fact finish the fronts of Not-So-Aprikot, and knit a couple of squares for the super-secret project with the freed-up needles, but I’ve not bothered to get the camera out to take pictures yet, so y’all will just have to wait for photographic evidence!)

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