16 February 2008

Labyrinth Rug

I've been working on the Labyrinth Rug for months now -- I think I have four or five feet done, but it's my mindless-TV and between-projects knitting. There's a basket o wool next to my chair in the living room.

My strategy has been this: For a while, I bought a random skein of green worsted-weight wool from the sale bin every time I went to a yarn shop. Those, added to my stashed green scrap yarns, will likely go in to the rug at some point. I'm liking the yellow-based and olive-y greens better than the blue-heavy greens, so now I've got a couple of blue-heavy skeins that are just sitting here, and I'm not going to use them for the rug. (I'm not entirely sure that this picture does justice to the colors of the rug -- it's more vivid than this, I think.) There are also a few skeins that I bought that I've now reconsidered (do I really want to use my precious Blue Sky Alpaca sport doubled in a rug? And then walk on it??? No). So we'll see how this baby turns out.

Husband and I are having fun painting the new house. I haven't yet decided if this rug will go in the green room (which will not be done for a while) or or the orange room (for the great color contrast) or the yellow room (which is done but is currently the storage/staging area for the rest of the painting work). The orange room is very orange. The yellow room is very yellow. There are decisions to be made -- whenever I get this thing done.

13 February 2008

Back in Blue

Back from neglecting my knitblogging life.

So the last few months have been a busy and stressful time. Packing up one house, moving from Georgia to Vermont, starting a new job, buying and moving in to a new house, Husband finally able to join me in the frozen north, Christmas and New Year, Ordination, and now, February (which may be the most difficult thing on the whole list).

I finished the Vermont Sweater in November and knew that it would be silly of me to begin a new project while I was still in Georgia, so I waited. One night before Husband moved up here (but after the furniture had arrived), I was sitting alone in our house with a great need to knit, but with no knitting books (packed away) and no internet (not yet hooked up). So I grabbed a random ball of Jaeger (it was all I could find) and started making up something. It felt so good to knit! I whiled away many lonely Husband-less hours that way, and carried the knitting around with me for a month or so (yes, even after he arrived), and now the HolyKnitter household has another scarf! Here's an actual pattern. Enjoy!

Blue Diamond Scarf

Yarn: Jaeger Baby Merino DK, 3 balls

Needles: US 6 circular or straights

Notions: cable needle (cn)(optional - these cables are small enough you can cable by hand pretty easily)

CO 36 stitches (I like the Continental/Long-Tail Cast On the best, but whatever)

rows 1-4: *p1, k1* to end of row

row 5: *(p1, k1) twice, place next 2 sts on cable needle to front, p1, k1, then p1, k1 from cn* repeat to last 4 sts, (p1, k1) twice.
rows 6-9: same as rows 1-4

row 10: *put first two sts on cn to front, p1, k1, then p1, k1 from cn, (p1, k1) twice* to last four sts, put next two sts on cn to front, pl, k1, then p1, k1 from cn.
row 11: begin with row 1 instructions

Repeat pattern until scarf is desired length, and bind off in p1, k1 rib -- I'm stopping when I get to the end of the 3rd ball. I actually didn't bother to count my rows, I just cabled when it looked "right," so fiddle with the cabling until the look is right for you.

There's a funnyish story behind the yarn for this scarf. A year or so ago, a fantastic yarn store in my parents' town went out of business (so, so sad! I really wanted this store to succeed!), and when I found out about the closing, I convinced my parents to go to the sale and to call me from the store on my dad's cell phone so I could tell them what to get for me. I knew what brands I wanted them to pick up for me, but it's hard describing yarn colors over the phone, so we...tried. We really did try. And most of what they got was exactly perfect. And then there was this blue yarn. My mom said "oh! you love this color blue! I don't quite know how to describe it, but I know you wear it all the time! There are five balls left, I'm going to pick them up for you."

Famous last words, right? When they mailed the yarn to me in Georgia, I opened the box excitedly...and this blue yarn leaped out at me, and I was thorougly underwhelmed. Blue is my absolute favorite color. Or, rather, cobalt blue is my absolute favorite color. This turquoise/royal is not a color I would actually buy for myself ever. I wouldn't wish it on anyone I like. I would have dismissed it easily. But now I owned five balls of it, from a store that doesn't exist anymore (can't return!), and it's too much to make something small to give to charity, like a hat, but it's too little to make something worth the time and effort, like a sweater. So I just let it marinate in my stash for a while, well hidden under some yarn that I actually do like.

And then I moved to Vermont. And in the middle of the night, in a lonely house full of boxes I can't identify, and in a city where I know absolutely no one, this yarn was the first yarn I could find, and I figured I'd just let my mind wander and my fingers fly. I absolutely adore the result, and I'm so glad my mom thought I liked this color. Because now I kind of do.