Friday, January 21, 2011

Sunny Snow Day Knitting

Snow day! No school -- which made sense at 5 this morning when the snow was pretty bad, but now the sun is shining and this is the view from my window:

So a good day to catch up on some knitting and finally photograph some FOs.

First, I finally finished my Daybreak Shawl, and it is just gorgeous! I've been wearing it nonstop since.

It's a pretty great size -- I knit the large, but then I stopped at 18 stripes of each color and 5 garter ridges at the end. This is an easy pattern to knit, but it did take quite a while, especially when those rows got really long at the end!

When I finished the shawl I made myself a matching beret. This was the Purl Bee beret pattern, which I think I added some stitches to because of a gauge difference. A nice simple pattern. I didn't like the way the decreases made the top pucker on the Purl version, so I spaced mine out a little differently. It came out to a nice size, a tiny bit bigger than I'd like perhaps. Sorry not to have a modeled shot -- I'm still in my pj's with no makeup in lazy snow day mode!

I was wrangling two and sometimes three balls of yarn, because I had two colors of orange that were slightly different and I decided to work them kind of like a gradient. Then at the end I was running out of one of the oranges so I did stripes of the two oranges together. It worked relatively well. I like the brighter orange better, though -- "Smaller Yellow Ant," if you are looking for a really gorgeous, rich, slightly brighter than pumpkin color. Fabulous. The other color is "Ruddy Daggerwing," which looked much darker and redder online, and is in fact only slightly darker and browner than the other orange (still a lovely color, but not as rich and bright). I had originally planned to stripe the two oranges, but they weren't different enough in color, so I ordered some more contrast yarn. The green is "Juniper Hairstreak." Again, a gorgeous color with a lot of depth. I had heard a lot about Sanguine Gryphon colors, and it was all true -- such beautiful, rich, sophisticated colors, with a nice variety of tones, but no pooling -- a truly gorgeous yarn. Bugga! is really soft but seems relatively strong. It did lose a little of its elasticity in blocking. This was fine for the shawl, though if I were to do it again I'd use smaller needles (I knit this on size 4). For the beret, it meant that I had to thread some elastic through the ribbing band. No big deal. Anyway, Bugga! is by far my favorite fingering/sock/light sport yarn now. So far it's wearing quite well, though of course it's a scarf, not socks. I don't think I'd use it for socks -- too soft, maybe not elastic enough, probably would wear out quite quickly. It's a tad on the pricey side, but the yardage is really generous. When I win the Megamillions, I am going to buy a skein of every color.

What I'm working on right now (somewhat furiously) is a super-late Christmas present for my bestest friend. She's the only person I've gifted knitting to who really seems to appreciate it. Non-baby knitting, that is -- I've knit a lot for babies and the moms (and grandmas) are always super appreciative. Anyway, I had ordered some pretty blue DK cashmere from Colourmart before Christmas to make her a cowl, but it still hasn't arrived a month later! This is a real fluke for Colourmart -- I have ordered from them a few times in the past and things always come shockingly quickly, considering that they're coming across the Atlantic. [update: it turns out the delay is due to US heightened security measures that were in effect between November and January. So their shipping should be at normal speed now if you order from them.] So I finally gave up on waiting and bought some Madelinetosh Pashmina to make a Honey cowl -- bandwagon knitting again!

It's a really beautiful fabric and a sophisticated final product, but it's kind of a tedious knit, especially because I decided the larger size really looks much nicer, and because I'm using a finer-gauge yarn than the pattern specifies. I am using Fleegle's garter-in-the-round hack, as suggested by Christina (Bowie on Ravelry) -- a brilliant way to avoid purling! But it does leave you working with two different balls of yarn, which is a little less portable, I find, and it also means that you have to keep peeking behind the slipped rows to make sure you're on track, because the wrong side is facing you when you knit these rows instead of purling them. And I find that I am just absent-minded enough that I mess up whether I am knitting or slipping a given stitch with relative frequency. Luckily the fabric is pretty easy to read so it's not a huge deal. The Pashmina yarn was nice and soft in the store, and really beautiful colors. Knitting it now I'm a little underwhelmed -- it doesn't feel quite as soft knit up, and it looks to me like it's going to pill and halo pretty quickly. For yarn that expensive I was expecting higher quality, I have to say.

Anyway, it's a lovely day to be sitting here in my cozy apartment, with a warm dog sleeping on my feet and a warm piece of knitting in my lap! Happy snow day to you all!

1 comment:

Maryse said...

I'm gonna have to knit myself one of those stripey shawls! Yours is beautiful and I can definitely understand that you be wearing it all the time! Have a great weekend!