Sunday, February 24, 2013

Thorn in Snow

I finished my Thorn shawl yesterday. It feels good, and I'll enjoy wearing it. Hadn't made a swatch and that's probably why I ran out of yarn and had to go back two rows to bind off with enough yarn. Lesson learned. That was a really long row, over 600 stitches. Should have used a smaller needle. I used blocking wires and was pleased with the results. It is a bit larger than the schematic that came with the pattern, but not a huge difference. I did use my new ChiaoGoo Twist interchangeables. Love them, especially the tiny little connector that allows you to put two cords together. They are similar to Knit Picks, but are less likely to pull apart or come unscrewed. The cord is sturdier, might not be as good for magic looping as KP are.  Love the case, very portable and great for traveling.
We are having a snow storm today, it's keeping me from going to school...going to be a very early morning tomorrow. Really pretty snow though, sticking to the trees and branches-the winter wonderland look. The snowday calculator only gives us 41% chance for tomorrow.

The yarn I used was Brooklyn Tweed Loft. I love the fact that it was spun in Harrisville, NH, where we used to go to the steam baths many years ago. It is very delicate, breaks easily but also spit splices easily too. I was okay with that, but I will have to be very careful with pulls and cat claws. It does have a great deal of vegetable matter, tiny brown bits of straw/hay that you have to pick out. Sometimes I felt that the yarn would fall apart it I picked too vigorously, so I just left it in. Hope it doesn't feel scratchy. Glad to have this one done so I can move on to Kenny's sweater. I got past the heels on my Sweet Tomato Heel socks, now I just need to knit the legs and I'll have a new pair of socks. I'd love to finish some of my projects that have been hanging around for too long. Getting these socks finished would be fantastic.

My yarn order from Webs arrived. And now the Northfield is on sale...$3.84. I'm tempted to order a sweater's worth, but will hold out and swatch first. There were quite a few comments about how the yarn grows and can be problematic in garments. When we were in New York I stopped in at Knitty City and bought a skein of Tosh Merino Light in Cloak, which is perfect for the black in Eden Praire. So now I've got two extra skeins. Sure I'll find something to do with them, it is fabulous yarn. I've already bought more yarn that has gone into the stash than all of last year! Time to put on the brakes. Looking forward to the start of the class, but hoping that other knitters don't tempt me to go on a buying binge.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Progress, Planning, and ...Purchases!

Yikes! After flashing my stash you would think that I would have the sense to stay away from online and local yarn stores for awhile. But I fell in love with the Eden Prairie by Nancy Whitman at Whitknits. It looks like a Frank Lloyd Wright window. I ordered the Tosh Merino Light from Whitknits and the Loopy Ewe in order to get the colors I need. I wasn't sure which color to use for the black (onyx seems to be discontinued) so I ordered thunderstorm and graphite and will find a use for the extra somewhere.

Since the Perfect Sweater class with Ysolda is starting soon, I've been thinking about yarn for that. She is suggesting that we use DK and we'll be doing a lot of swatching. I have some leftovers of standard yarn that I can swatch with (CottonFleece, Malabrigo Silky, Silky Wool) but I also made the mistake of looking at Webs to see if they had anything interesting. At least I chose yarn from the closeouts. I ordered 8 skeins of Fibra Natura Oak which is a blend of merino, linen, and silk. I have high hopes for this one. Since it was a closeout I talked myself into ordering a sweater's worth, but at $4.49 a skein that wasn't too bad. Also threw in a skein of Northfield DK, a merino, alpaca, and silk blend, but only one skein of that since it is standard stock at Webs.

Pashmina in Copper Penny
Sticks and Stones Swatch
But my most exciting purchase this week was the Madelinetosh order from Spinning Yarns in Dover. I ordered this yarn in July knowing it would take awhile. You could order any Madtosh yarn in any colorway, with a minimum of 4 skeins at 20% discount. I loved being able to have the whole palette of yarns and colors open to me. It was really hard to decide what to get.  I'm going to make two sweaters out of Pashmina in the Copper Penny colorway. Kenny will get Anne Hanson's Sticks and Stones pullover and I'll get the cardigan. I know. Next we will be getting matching Aloha shirts and Moo moo's. I knit a swatch on the recommended 5/3.75 mm needles but didn't get gauge. Will try again on 6/4.00 mm. The swatch does look beautiful, I did the pebble stitch swatch and feels soft and lightweight. I think it's going to make a couple of great sweaters. I also ordered 4 skeins of Tosh Merino Light in Antique Lace. I think this will become a Walnuss/Same Same cardigan by Ankestrick. I loved the contiguous sleeve on Romy and would like to try it again. It was hard to wait 6 months for this yarn, but in the end it was a great opportunity and I hope they do it again.
Tosh Merino Light in Antique Lace
Finally the progress part of this post is my Thorn shawl. I am in the C section, and have 48 more rows to knit in this section. The rows are getting longer, and it is eating up yarn quickly now. Even though this shawl is only stripes of garter and stockinette stitch I have had to tink back with great frequency, sometimes a few stitches but several times a number of rows. I wised up today and threw in a mess of stitch markers. It is moving along much better already. We are heading to NYC for a couple of days this week and I hope to get on to the edge by the end of the week. I'm anxious to finish a few projects so I can really dig into Kenny's sweater and be ready to enjoy Ysolda's class. Not that a few WIPs ever bothered me too much.
Thorn at Section C