Archive for November 2008

The dreams that you dare to dream

November 30, 2008

Pattern: Nalu Mitts (Ravelry link) by Leila Raabe
Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark (100% Peruvian highland wool), Snow Leopard colorway (discontinued)
Needles: U.S. 3 nickel Options 32″ circular, Magic Loop style

I’ve knit a lot of things that I love. My Ravelry notebook is packed with projects that show a great big grinning smiley face, and there’s almost nothing with the blahs. I think my knitting is awesome and the patterns are marvelous and the results are astounding, and I’m predisposed to be delighted with what I do.

But this is a whole ‘nother level of love. This is True Love. This is soulmate stuff. I look at these gorgeous ice-colored mitts; I feel their crisp, dry, rugged texture; I trace the sharply sculpted cabled ribbing that winds sinuously up their backs; and I want to wear them forever.  They.  Are.  Perfect.

I had my doubts that I’d be happy with anything I found to do with the two extra skeins of Telemark left over from that long-ago Moguls scarf.  Telemark is a hard-wearing outerwear yarn.  It’s not soft and squooshy — quite the opposite.  But I was trying to stash-bust for Christmas presents, and I liked this mitt pattern that called for sport-weight yarn.

Within twenty rows, I knew that this was going to be an epic love affair.  With one mitt done, I despaired of ever letting go of them.  And when I photographed them, I could have left them on all day — so warm, so light, so natural.  So me.

Will they go into a bag and give joy to some relative or friend?  Probably.  But I’ve had to put them away with the other handmade gifts to lessen the temptation of pilfering them for myself.  Stay tuned to see if I ultimately resist.

If I wait for just a second more

November 15, 2008

Pattern: Enjoyable Rib Scarf by Anne K.
Yarn: Yarn Bee Bamboo Spun (77% bamboo, 23% polyamide), Denim colorway
Needles: U.S. 9 wooden straights

A month of student presentations and other audience knitting opportunities, and another contribution to the Red Scarf Project is done. If anything, this slightly more open weave is even cozier and more comforting than the Scrunchable Scarf I made out of this same yarn in red.

And today was the perfect day for scarf modeling. A chilly wind blew the leaves around, and photographer and model alike wanted a thick, fuzzy scarf wrapped around their necks to tuck chins into.  I wish you could feel the silky, cushiony, lofty fabric through your monitors.  It’s ten times more fondleable and squeeably soft than fleece, but just as light.  It’s the Charmin of scarves.

May this gift of time and good wishes warm the heart of its unknown recipient!

Let me hear you say yeah

November 9, 2008

It’s a testament to how much travel has disrupted my life that I finished a scarf two weeks ago but haven’t blogged the FO yet.

Pattern: Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks by beforesunrise
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Hand-Dyed (100% wool), Graham of Monteith colorway (discontinued)
Needles: U.S. 10.5 Harmony Options 24″ circular (knit flat)

I was inspired to use up the leftover yarn from my Clapotis when I saw Amanda’s beautiful version. It seemed clear that this was a pattern that showed off hand-dyed yarn, and when I started knitting, I wasn’t disappointed.

See the way each of the star stitches seems to contain its own shade of blue? That’s what you want — not the subtle shading of one color into another that obscures the stitch pattern (because you’re looking at color changes and not at the fabric texture), but a stitch that pulls each color in the yarn together in its own part of the pattern.

I blocked this after knitting to combat end curl, but a little fringe at the end might have been a better way to accomplish that goal. Hm, time to check and see if anyone has this colorway for sale or trade on the Rav.

When you’ve got such stylish accessories, it’s only natural that everyone wants to be the model.

Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude

November 8, 2008

Last week I was in Chicago for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion.  Although I was scheduled to the absolute hilt, I managed to stop by Loopy Yarns on my way to the airport train on the last day.

I could have spent the whole morning in there fondling the beautiful, colorful wares. But I escaped to Midway with just a couple of purchases — two skeins of KPPPM and one of Malabrigo worsted. The nice ladies at Loopy threw in a tote bag when they heard I was from out of town.

When I got back, the election night coverage provided the perfect opportunity to start my NaKniSweMo sweater — the feted February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I’d be closer to finishing the yoke, but I skipped the eyelet increase row and need to tink back a couple of rows to pick it up.

And my mindless knitting project of the moment is another scarf for the Red Scarf project, once again in Yarn Bee Bamboo Spun (only this time in blue). The good folks at OFA extended the deadline and are accepting scarves until December 15, so I started another. This is the Enjoyable Rib Scarf by Anne K., as publicized on Norma’s blog. It’s well-named! The rhythm of this easy pattern — knit, k2tog, yo and purl, and repeat — moves quickly and creates an airy, lofty rib. Perfect for this fuzzy yarn that doesn’t want much of a pattern but could use some texture.