Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Coral Snakes, Twisted and WIPs

I have spent the last few weeks in a funk completely unrelated to my online or fiber life. I find myself slightly behind again on blog reading, commenting and returning emails. On the bright side, my apartment is mostly clean, my shop is mostly stocked, my to-read pile is getting smaller and knitting has happened. This being a knitting blog, happening knitting is a good thing.

Finished Project:

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Project: Coral Snakes Scarf
Pattern: Alexio Ocean Waves Scarf
Yarn: Dyeabolical Yarns Super Ego in color Firefly, 155g
Notes: I widened the scarf by casting on 60 stitches rather than the 36 the orginal pattern calls for. The designer is sheer genius and makes a wicked omelet. The yarn was smooshy and pooled in delightful ways. I highly recommend going to this indie dyer's etsy site and buying all of her yarn. Ahem.

Projects in progress:

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I am so relieved to find the Regia Mosaik socks (left). These were my line and waiting room socks. I finally had to cast on a new pair from Rio de la Plata (right) to throw in my bag until these socks decided to reveal where they were hiding.

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I finished the second sleeve of the reverse stockinette Oat Couture sweater. I love the softness and drape of the yarn I'm using (Plymouth Jeanee, 50 cotton/50 acrylic) but it shows every tension problem. You can see I am rowing out pretty badly. I'm not quite sure what to do about it. If every other row had loose tension I could use two different size needles. This is more a case of not maintaining even tension throughout the row, possibly because I get bored halfway through the row possibly because I am not paying enough attention to what my hands are doing. I thought I had this problem licked by switching to combination knitting. Guess not. The good news is that washing the pieces will help some of the tension issues. This sweater is supposed to be a comfortable throw in the washer and dryer and lay around the house sweater so it doesn't matter as much if it isn't perfect. There is miles and miles of stockinette to improve my tension on. And finally, if I decide it is too horrible I have plenty of yarn to reknit the sleeves with.

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This morning I decided I will never finish the Irish Diamond Shawl. I love the pattern, but I am about 30% through and the rows are already 400 stitches and take 15 minutes to knit on the lace side. I'm not even sure I like the color. I marked it "frogged" on Ravelry and shoved needles and everything in a bag and hung it up on a hook to be forgotten about until such time that knitting a teal lace table cloth sounds appealing.

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My plan for the rest of the day is to jump start the star project. Have you tried knitting a small intarsia star before? I'm finding the shape of the star isn't suited well for the geometry of knitting. That explains the lack of knitted star charts, too. I have had these designs brewing in my head for so long that I'm determined to work it out.

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I have fallen out of love with the Noro Sakura side-to-side cardigan jacket by Adrienne Vittadini (left). I am thinking about ripping it and casting on for the Falkenberg-esque DROPS side-to-side cardigan (right). I have to think about this some more. I'm not even sure I like the color of the yarn, but it is a matter of principle. How could I have possibly have walked past a sweaters worth of Noro yarn at 40% off and not purchased it regardless of what color it was?

Shop talk:

My creation
I added a new yarn to my etsy shop yesterday. This new yarn is a 4-ply DK weight merino. 1 of the 4 plies takes the dye up faster than the other 3 plies giving it an interesting barber pole look. I love this yarn and the way it knits.

I did a few things differently with this yarn. About half of the batch was dyed in 200g skeins, the rest in 100g skeins. Each 100g has 260 yards and sells for $18. The 200g skeins are 520 yards and sell for $36. I used a dyeing technique a little different than I normally do. This technique created skeins that have more variation from skein to skein, but those variations are subtle and subdued rather than the bright and colorful like my normal colorways.