29 June 2009

Kiki Mariko

I don't quite know how it happened. I think I must have been putting myself to sleep -- I often fall asleep thinking about future knitting projects; it's much more conducive to relaxing than thinking about work -- and I decided that what our house really needs is the Kiki Mariko rug [Rav link], in the same wacky colors as we've painted the walls. Bright yellow, bright orange, bright red. Like I said, I'm not quite sure how the idea crawled its way into my head... but it made itself at home there. It may have had something to do with the fact that the house is coooooold in the winter, and a cozy wool rug may be something of a solution.

I already had two skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky in creme from the swap, and a partial of an orange that I eventually decided was the wrong orange (ain't that always the way?), so I hied myself to Kaleidoscope to figure out what to do with this hankering to knit a ridiculously-colored fair-isle rug for my living room.

What I got did end up matching the walls perfectly, which makes me wonder: why the heck did I pick those crazy colors for my house? I like them a lot! I love my crazy-colored house! My yellow room makes me so happy! My red room is so cozy and comforting! My orange room... well, the orange looks really awesome with the red and the yellow, and I normally detest orange, but not in this case. And I do spend most of my time there, I'd say. But together? In the living room? (that's the orange one) This rug may end up being too much.

Actually, if it's horrible, or a bad size, Kiki will live in the yellow room, which is my office. There, the rug will be slightly less in the full-on pattern of traffic (and public eye), but still serve the warmth function quite nicely. I will be very appreciative on freezing February nights when I'm up writing my sermon.

I do kind of wish I'd forgone the black, or chosen brown instead -- I really had myself convinced that I needed another neutral, but now I'm not so sure it was necessary. The truth will reveal itself in the final product, after it's felted. I don't dislike it so much that I want to take the trouble of undoing all my work.

Anyway, after just a month of knitting (and the labyrinth rug has been a couple of years and I'm only halfway!) I'm pretty close to where I want to be. I think I want to knit the tube about 7' long, and I've probably got about 5' now. (My hope is that the length will be around 5 1/2 feet when its felted.) It's been a satisfyingly quick TV-knitting project, good for the end of a long day. And great for getting used to stranded knitting. I've really gotten the hang of the tension in my left hand, and my speed with two colors is almost what it is with just one. All in all, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself with this one.

11 June 2009

Not an Accident This Time

I made mittens! On purpose!

These are from Selbuvotter again -- I am loving this book, and may very well make everything in it! I really prefer the corrugated rib cuff though, so I'm sticking with that rather than the silly regular-rib cuffs in the book.

Both yarns are Frog Tree Alpaca sport weight. I love this yarn in skein form and in fabric form, but I'm not such a huge fan of it for mittens, I've decided. Too much halo, the fibers get knit together and the pattern gets kind of muddied (on the inside of the hand, especially). Still, I am happy with the final result.

And they're a gift anyway (as are many of the mittens I'll be making in the upcoming months), a surprise for a friend, so that's all I'm gonna say about that now. Next winter I can do the big reveal.

Also, I'm definitely getting the hang of stranded knitting now, and loving it. Just enough challenge that it's interesting, but not hard enough that it's discouraging.