Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Since I've beenhome....

After coming home from my wonderful Wyoming trip had some vacation time to spend at home before I had to go back to work, which I put to good use by getting back to knitting and so dispelling most (if not quite all) of the nagging doubts about my sanity. I was able to finish up a few almost completed projects that had been hanging around since before the trip, such as the Pinwheel sweater for Madi (for the pattern look in the free pattern section of elann yarn's website.). I had planned to do the loopy I-cord border shown in the pattern, but failed to actually read the directions thoroughly before I completely bound off the outer edge, only to discover that the loops actually were the bind-off. Rather than unravel the bind off I settled instead on a pretty crocheted scallop border to make it girly for my very girly-girl niece. It will be her birthday sweater for her 2nd birthday in September.

As part of my project clean-up mood I also did a stash clean up and found some stuff to give to Goodwill as well as a few items to knit up quickly into projects - the kind that could be done in an afternoon and use the whole ball up as well. So I got a bunch of hats done to be donated to something or other; probably Afghans for Afghans but I haven't decided yet for sure. In the picture one hat is still on the needles but it's done now. (Not all the hats have been done since I came home - some were in progress before the trip).

I also made a quickie felted box based on the pattern in the Mason Dixon Knitting book. I knew the yarn I was using (a one of a kind skein purchased at the Bath, Maine farmer's market a few years ago) didn't felt completely but it was sturdy enough that even partially felted it would work for a box. It was knit with a double strand on size 10 US needles by the pattern instructions, with the only changes being that I put handles on 2 sides instead of all 4, and made all the sides a few rows shorter, as I ended up running a bit short on the yarn. I felted it inside a pillowcase cover by running it through the washer and dryer once, and then a second wash before shaping it to air-dry. While the stitches are still quit visible it did get a nice soft texture but firmed up enough to make a great project box for all the little balls I'm using for my mom's vest (see below).

Let's see; what else have I gotten done? I finished the Sockotta socks I started right after getting home. I used the Ripple Socks pattern from Not Just More Socks. I like Sockotta because of the high cotton content but the yarn colours bled quite a bit in the warm water I soaked the socks in before blocking them, and now the background colour is a light blueish grey instead of cream. I don't really mind but I'm sure glad I pre-soaked them before tossing them in with a load of light coloured laundry. It seemed to be the purple that bled the most.

And last but not least I've made progress on mom's vest. It starts in the center back and is knit from side to side rather than bottom to top, and I'm finding it trickier that expected to work in all the shaping, the stripe patterns, and the limited quantities of the yarns. But I'm finally happy with how it looks and am almost done with the back. All the little markers in the photo are my tracking method for the decreases, increases, dart shaping, etc; it's proving to be much easier to use the markers than to try to make notes of what I've been doing. This is a design that will never have a chance of being replicated, to say the least.

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