just can’t get enough.

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As is probably obvious to anyone who has read this blog for awhile (or who knows me well in real life), once I’ve found something I like, I tend to…well, I tend to obsess a bit. I mean, look at me and yoked sweaters! But this post isn’t about yoked sweaters (though there is a yoked sweater in the mix). No, it’s about a few other things that I just can’t get enough of right now.

One of these things is garter rib:

garter rib in silky wool

(Still working on the ribbing on Tangled Yoke). Oh, how I love it. It’s so squishy and beautiful to look at. I want to use it on everything. And in fact, I sort of plan to do so…as I mentioned here awhile ago, the sweater I’m knitting for a friend for a quilt-sweater swap is going to be heavily garter-rib based. Expect to see some swatches soon! I am sort of ridiculously excited about the prospect of designing and knitting a sweater with lots of garter rib in it. Especially since that sweater is going to be knit from Cascade 220, which is a yarn I’ve grown to love quite a bit.

On that note, I also just can’t get enough of the Silky Wool I’m using for Tangled Yoke. I just love the feel of this yarn. It’s got a sort of dry hand, and knits into this deliciously snuggly fabric that almost feels like a well-worn towel (but I mean that in the best possible way, if that makes any sense). The combination of the slightly uneven yarn and the tweediness adds a really nice depth to the fabric. I just love it. So much so that I’ve cast on for something else in it, too:

ishbel in silky wool

I’ve joined the ranks of half the knit-blogging world, and have cast on for Ysolda’s Ishbel pattern. I’ve had 3 skeins of natural-colored Silky Wool in my stash for at least 4 years now, and decided that a lovely little shawl would be the best way to use them up. I’m knitting the shawl as a gift for someone, but I’m not saying who, at least not just yet! In any case, this brings me to yet another thing I can’t seem to get enough of: lace.

It used to be the case that whenever I finished a sock, I had to cast on another sock, because I just didn’t feel right without a sock on the needles. These days, I just can’t get that excited about socks (I’m sure the urge to knit them will come back, someday). But the second I have a piece of lace off my needles, I feel the need to replace it with a new one. I didn’t even wait an entire day after finishing my mom’s scarf to cast on for this new bit of lace. Lace is pretty much as good as socks for me on the portability front; it fits in the same little bag I used to use to carry my sock-in-progress around with me, at least until it gets too big. And since I’m a big fan of the sorts of lace scarves and shawls that have a lot of stockinette in them, they’re just as simple to knit on the go as socks, too. I had two no-shows during my tutoring hours at the Writing Center this morning, so I got some good knitting done on the plain section of Ishbel while I waited in vain for my students to show up.

One last thing I can’t get enough of: time! I’m so, so busy right now, with end of the semester/grading stuff, research stuff, planning my reading list for my comprehensive-exams stuff, Symphony stuff, tutoring stuff…it just doesn’t end! And I’m starting to get a bit run down and exhausted from it all, and need to be careful about getting enough rest so that I don’t totally crash. So I’ve been struggling a bit to find the time to write up the Stripes! pattern. I promise I’m still working on it, but my goal of having it ready to go by the end of April is just not going to be met. And that’s ok. I’ve got a few people lined up to test-knit it for me once I’m finished writing it (thanks for your patience!), and my awesome friend Kris helped me turn my hand-drawn schematics into nice graphics, so all that’s left is for me to finish the writing/photographing. We’ll see.

Flutter Scarf

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The Flutter Scarf, it is finished:

for mom. [365.315]

I’m modeling it in that picture, but it’s not for me. It’s being sent off to my mother tomorrow, and it’s going to look beautiful on her. We have very different coloring, but those olivey greens look great on both of us.

The details:

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Flutter Scarf, by Miriam Felton
Yarn: Dream in Color Baby, in “Spring Tickle” (leftover from Icarus)
Needles: size 3 Knitpicks Harmony circulars
Time to knit: March 7th – April 18th, 2009
For: my mom :)

This scarf was the result of having nearly an entire skein of yarn leftover from my Icarus shawl; I only needed to break into the second skein for the bind-off. So, with somewhere around 600 yards of beautiful heavy laceweight yarn in a color I knew would suit my mother just as well as it suited me, I set off to find a pattern to make her…something.

It seems rather natural that I’d find the perfect pattern in the designs of the very same person who created the Icarus pattern. The Flutter Scarf pattern was just what I wanted…very simple lace for the body of the scarf, lots of stockinette to show off the beautiful colors of the yarn, and a little bit of frilliness at the ends.

flutter scarf

I knit the bulk of this scarf up in the sky. It traveled with me first to New Mexico, when I visited my grandparents, and then to California, to a conference. The pattern is ideal for plane-knitting, I think. The columns of lace running through the scarf are created in an easy-to-memorize 4-row repeat over a very manageable number of stitches, and you start from the middle, saving the ruffley bits for the very end (once you are off the plane and can easily check your chart again!). The only thing I found a bit challenging with this scarf was picking up the stitches from my provisional cast-on in order to knit the second half down from the center, but I don’t have much practice at provisional cast-ons, or picking up stitches in a lace pattern, and it all turned out just fine, anyway.

flutter scarf

Such a pretty little scarf! I hope my mom loves it. It won’t be enough to warm her neck on the coldest days of Winter up in Minnesota, but it’ll be just the thing for the chilly days of Fall and Spring.

help!

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stripes! from below

I have not finished writing the pattern/tutorial for Stripes! yet. Part of this is because I have been absolutely crushingly busy since getting back from the conference, but the other part is this: I have no idea what I’m doing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve got the writing part down just fine. But the schematics…that’s what’s killing me. I can doodle out my schematics with pen and paper, but I have no idea how to turn those doodles into something on the computer that I can put into my pattern. I’ve not done much in the way of graphics stuff since my MS Paint days, back in the late 90’s (and am running a completely different OS these days, too), so I am rather out of date when it comes to knowing what’s out there. And I don’t have Photoshop, either, but I do have the GIMP.

Anyway, any advice? What tricks do you guys have for making schematics?

april, already?

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Wow, time flies. I can’t believe it’s already April. I’ve been very busy these last few weeks, and spent last weekend in Davis, CA at a conference. I’m having a heck of a time recovering from the travel, but I’m very glad I went. I feel…I don’t know, intellectually rejuvenated, or something? Anyway, hence the blog silence. I’m hopelessly behind in reading everyone’s posts, and am unlikely to catch up before I give up and hit “Mark All As Read”, so if you’ve done something you’d like me to see, let me know!

I got quite a bit of knitting done on my mom’s scarf while flying back and forth from California, and now have only the last ruffle to finish before it’s done:

mom's scarf

This really is the perfect pattern for plane-knitting: an easily-memorized 4-row repeat across a very manageable number of stitches. And it’s looking so pretty in the leftovers from my Icarus shawl. It should be pretty easy to get this finished up in time to send it up to my mom for her birthday (which is at the very beginning of May).

Speaking of birthdays, mine is coming up quite quickly (it’s the same day as Easter, this year). I already got myself a little present:

an early birthday present

A Chevron Love Mitten Kit! I fell in love with these mittens when I first saw them on Flickr, and when I found out that Julia was going to be making kits for them, I knew I’d have to get one, despite my desire to keep new additions to the stash at a minimum. I also have already received the “Best of Lopi” book (as well as a few other goodies) from my parents for my birthday, and am thoroughly enjoying looking at all of the lovely yoked sweaters it contains.

There’s not been much progress on anything else, really. I’m still working the ribbing on Tangled Yoke (and am still madly in love with garter rib), and swatching for the quilt-swap sweater. And working on a pattern/tutorial for Stripes!.

a stripey day. [365.296]

Yep, you read that right, and it’s no April Fools prank: I’m really going to do it! It’s my most-loved sweater already (seriously, I wear it more often than is at all reasonable), and I know so many of you love it, too, so I want to share it with you all. I’m hoping to have it done by the end of April, because the month of April is Heifer International’s “Pass on the Gift” month, and I’d like to be able to donate some of the proceeds towards that effort. I’m not going to make any promises on this front, but I may be looking for proofreaders, and possibly even a daring test-knitter (anyone have the appropriate yarn on hand already? 2 skeins of Eco Wool + 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon?) in the next week or so. Let me know if you’d be interested.