Thursday, June 19, 2008

ahh... summer reading and knitting

The papers are all officially finished, graded, and taken care of! And I've dutifully started in on the reward yarn! (actually, to be totally honest, I may have started in on the reward yarn before I finished that last paper...) I'm happilly knitting away, while listening to The Age of Innocence on CD -- the first installment in the summer Comps-prep reading.

Though a chevron scarf is in the offing, I decided to start with a La Parisienne beret first, so that I could just knit until the yarn was through for the scarf. The two have very similar chevron designs. It's been a bit of a humbling experience for me, since I always think I know a better way to do something; I started out by using my go-to increase instead of the kf&b increase the pattern specified, because I thought it would look nicer. It is true that this kind of increase creates a clean, etched-looking line of stitches that matches very nicely the line created by the double decreases. However, all of that knitting into the row below was basically creating a line of EZ-style fake seams of slipped stitches that were much less vertically stretchy than the increases, and I had to rip out and start over again, following the directions as written.

It's also been a lesson in color theory. I chose these two colors because they looked good together in the skeins; they are pretty much the same value. Knitted up, the fact that they are the same value makes for a somewhat bright color combination, just on the edge of what I'd call garish, and not at all what I was expecting:

I think I like it though (and if not I'll gift it). The yarn I'm using -- Claudia handpainted and Koigu (the Gems sportweight was too big) -- doesn't stand up particularly well to frogging, which leads me to suspect that the finished product will not be very hard-wearing. I'm hoping that a scarf and a hat are not particularly hard-worn items.

The next knitting project in the hopper is to pop this baby on the swift:

That's one of a bag of Reynolds Candide, which I am going to use to knit my mom a Radcliffe Cardigan. It will be fun to follow my own directions like any other knitter, and see where they could be clearer. Candide is totally not the yarn I'd choose for my own sweater -- it's pretty darn scratchy -- but it promises to be very hard-wearing, and my mom is not bothered by itch. It is disappointing when your lovely hand-knit item starts to pill and stretch, as in fact happened to my own prototype Radcliffe (Swish DK? Not such a great yarn for adult sweaters). I am hoping that this Candide one lasts longer.

Hurray! Here's to summer knitting, finally here!


Miss 376 said...

I was thinking how well they go together, I sure the finished article will look great

Rachel said...

I think your hat will look stunning!