better

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I am feeling slightly less like death-on-a-stick than I was the last time I posted, thanks to spending most of this week in bed. Not the most exciting thing I’ve ever done, but it was worth it for the sake of not getting even sicker. And hey, I did some knitting, while I was at it. Wanna see?

Beech Wood Cowl

Yep, that would be another cowl. Here are the details:

Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Beech Wood, by Ilga Leja, but cast on 96 sts. instead of 108.
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, in “Roanoke”. 1 skein.
Needles: Size 7 Denise circular.
Time to knit: 2 days.

This was a really fun project. The pattern was simple, the yarn was scrumptious, and I really, really love the color…it’s a nice rich auburn sort of color. Sort of the color of my mom’s hair. Is it weird that I love the color of her hair that much? Anyway, the weather was absolutely gorgeous this afternoon, so I went outside to model it:

I made a cowl. [365.16]

Check out that sky…perfectly blue! (Oh, by the way, I’ve started doing the 365 days thing. We’ll see if I can come up with interesting ways of taking self-portraits for an entire year. If nothing else, it’s a good way to learn more about my camera).

There will be another FO making an appearance shortly, since I finally scrubbed the upstairs tub, and was able to wash my Syncopated Ribs. Which means I finally got unlazy about finishing the seaming. Who knows, maybe I’ll get my trip to the beach for a photoshoot with this sweater, after all. Here’s a preview of it drying on the floor (with its fellow made-from-Rowan-Cork sweater, the Sienna Cardigan):

Two sweaters, drying

(dear weather: don’t thunderstorm tomorrow, ok?).

As promised, an FO post

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Sienna Cardigan is finished!

I finished the Sienna Cardigan (a very Project Spectrum-appropriate knit!) earlier today (after a marathon session of seaming and end-weaving…oy, now I remember why I love knitting sweaters in the round!), and we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and walk up to Highland Park (which is essentially in our neighborhood, lucky us!). The walk maybe wasn’t the best idea, given that I am once again basically in the same amount of pain as I was in before they put me on nerve pain meds (I suspect it would be much worse without them), except, you know, medicated into a haze, but it was so nice to spend some more time outdoors before the sun gets too harsh and the bees get too thick in the air.

Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be a post about the park or about nerve pain, but rather, a post about my new finished sweater! So on that note, here are the vital stats:

Pattern: Sienna Cardigan, from Fall 06 IK
Yarn: Rowan Cork, in “Mouse”
Needles: size 8 Denise circulars

Me in my new sweater

I knit it at a tighter-than-recommended gauge, hoping to get a sweater somewhat smaller than the 36″ smallest size. My plan worked just a bit too well, but I’m fairly sure that once I block it, I’ll get a little bit of growth (at least, the swatch grew a bit after I soaked it!). It does fit, but it’s a little snugger than I’d prefer right now.

This is actually the very first cardigan I have ever knit! I’m not sure why this is, really, since cardigans are really very useful. It won’t be the last cardigan I knit, that’s for sure!

things that are not socks

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super-closeup of cuff

Yeah, it’s Socktoberfest, but there’s more than just socks on my needles. My poor non-sock projects just haven’t gotten much blog-love lately! The picture up top is my progress on my dad’s Escheresque mittens…about 1 inch of cuff. It doesn’t look like much, but remember, it’s 104 stitches on 00 dpns, so it’s rather slow going (especially with the corrugated ribbing). Since I’m planning to have a short cuff on these (both because I think longer cuffs tend to look rather feminine, and also because I don’t want to run out of yarn!), I think I’m pretty much ready to start the colorwork chart, so expect a picture of that sometime soon. For now, one last shot of the cuff:

the cuff

I really like it. With the two sock-weight yarns knit at such a tight gauge, the cuff has a nice, substantial feel to it. And it’s so good to see that the two yarns contrast against one another so well.

The other thing that hasn’t seen much blog-love lately is the Shetland Garden Shawl that I’m knitting for my soon-to-be sister-in-law. I’ve not made it terribly far, since I was having so much trouble knitting it on the plastic Denise needles that I just started it over once my nice pointy Knitpicks needles arrived. Here’s a closeup of the progress through row 20:

Closeup of Shawl Progress

I’d show the whole thing, but all of the photos I took except for this closeup were horribly blurry. Anyway, it’s coming along nicely, and I’m starting to get used to knitting fine yarn on such (relatively) large needles, though it still feels a bit awkward. I’m really liking the Knitpicks Harmony needles…they’re nice and pointy, with just the right amount of “stickiness” (that is, my yarn doesn’t go sliding all over the place, like it did on the plastic needles). And oh-so-affordable, which is another huge plus!

Last but not least, I’m cranking away at the sleeves of the Sienna Cardigan. I forgot to take a picture, but I’m almost up to the elbow on both of them. I’m knitting them at the same time so that once I’m done, I’m done! No second-sleeve syndrome for me! And then there’s just the button-band/collar to knit, and I’ll have myself a brand new cardigan. I’m shooting to finish it by October 18th. Why the 18th? Because that’s my husband’s birthday, and I promised myself I’d cast on for his sweater on his birthday, but I need the needles from Sienna to do so!

new house, new month, new project(s)

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For anyone who would like to see our house, I’ve put some photos up on flickr. There’s obviously still a lot of unpacking to be done! But I haven’t been feeling particularly up to doing much of it, so it will probably be quite awhile before we are truly settled in.

So, it’s a new month. And with that new month comes a new trio of colors for Project Spectrum. And this time, I’ve already got a color-appropriate project ready to go, and might actually finish before the end of September! (You may remember that I started several projects back in February which still aren’t finished even now!). What project would this be?

Sienna Cardigan begins!

The Sienna Cardigan, from the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits. I’m knitting it using a bag of brown Rowan Cork that I picked up on sale, back when it was discontinued, and I think it’s making a very nice substitute for the Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted that’s called for in the pattern. I really like the way the Cork feels when knit up. It’s hard to describe…it’s almost like a well-worn sweatshirt or something, but that doesn’t sound as complimentary as it should. In any case, it’s a nice easy pattern for me to knit while I’m trying to get lots of rest, and it should be a very useful cardigan to add to my wardrobe once it’s finished. I just started it yesterday (yeah, I cheated and started a day early!), and I’m actually even further along than that picture shows…I’ve used up the first ball of yarn now, and have about 10 inches knit of the back. It seems like quite a fast knit, so far.

But that’s not the only project on the docket. Well actually, that’s probably obvious; if you’ve been following along for awhile, you know I have quite a number of projects that aren’t quite finished yet, for various reasons. But anyway, there is another project that is likely going to be hogging the show for awhile. It’s a very special project, and I’m using very special yarn:

Yarn for Jenny's wedding shawl

Undyed Shaefer Trenna, a laceweight silk/merino blend. It’s absolutely lovely. And I’m going to be using it to knit the Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl for my soon-to-be sister-in-law. That’s right, my baby brother’s getting married! (It’s a bit silly to call him my baby brother, really…he’s just barely over one year younger than me is all, we could practically be twins. But I’ll call him that anyway, just to annoy him!). While I’ve knit and swatched some smaller lace projects before, this will be my first big lace project. And I can’t think of a better person to be knitting it for. I’m just so, so happy for them, and I wanted to be able to give them something very special, and I think this will do quite nicely. I’m going to spend a bit of time studying the pattern before I cast on so that I don’t make any silly mistakes (at least, that works in theory!), even though I’m oh-so-eager to ball up that beautiful laceweight yarn and just take off.

Thanks for all of the well-wishes regarding our move and my health, they are all very much appreciated!