17 April 2011

Lizard Ridge Update #3

Here's another progress shot of Lizard Ridge. SOOOO CLOSE!!!!! 3 strips done, one more well on its way.

I'm starting to think about what color to use as a border. The downside of using as many different skeins of Kureyon as I could get is that there's not one single color that makes the most sense for a border. But it definitely needs a solid-color border to ground it. I'm kind of thinking that a dark green would be good -- there's a surprisingly large amount of green in this blanket -- but I could also see arguments for a medium-aqua. Or a medium/light gray, not so heavy?

Thoughts? Suggestions? Is there another color I should be considering? Help me, loyal readers! You're my only hope!

14 April 2011

Things That Will Look Better When Blocked

That last post about the Sunflower Tam was originally titled "Things That Will Look Better When Blocked" because... well, really, that hat looks a little bit terrible right now, and could definitely use some time drying on a soup bowl.

The other item I've knitted -- and, I'm not ashamed to say, I've been wearing -- that desperately needs blocking is this shawl. I made it a year ago (literally! According to my Ravelry notebook, I worked on it April 10-16, 2010) and just haven't gotten around to blocking it. It's pretty like this, but I do know that the blocking will really make a positive difference, too.

Anyway, this is the Trinity Shawlette, made with a gorgeous locally-made yarn from the Fuzzy Bunny, creatively called "Wool 2-ply yarn," which I bought at Nido. The colorway is a bit crazy -- mustard yellow, apple green, and aqua -- and totally not something I would normally buy (or something you would probably think of as a colorway I'd like at all), but I LOVE IT. And it turns out it works with so much of my wardrobe. And this shawl is perfect in spring and fall, with its wacky bright colors. It makes me very happy.

Seriously, click on that last link for an amazing photo of the yarn in skein form. It's GORGEOUS enough that I need to use all caps to describe it.

Maybe one of these days I'll get around to blocking it properly, so that when I wear this shawl I will be doing justice to the amazing yarn.

11 April 2011

Where DID I See Myself in Five Years?

I did need to take a break from Lizard Ridge. Just to knit something else. And I'm glad I did, because I quickly found that I've been short-row-ing for so long that it was actually a challenge to get my hands to knit plain again. Weird!

Anyway, I decided that I needed a new hat. I have been wearing the same Sunflower Tam (Rav link) for a zillion years now (I knitted it back when we lived in Atlanta -- living in the South, knitting a hat was an act of faith!) and I love it but it's not holding up in the New England winters as well as I'd like. The problem is that it's 100% alpaca (again, act of faith! Alpaca is 4x warmer than wool!), and the ribbing "relaxed" enough that it's no longer tight around the ears. Although the hat itself is very warm, the wind comes right in and defeats the purpose of wearing a hat at all. So I decided that I need a wool one. Voila:

Knitting up a new Sunflower Tam was a really good exercise, not just for getting past short rows, but also because it gave me a chance to reflect on how far I've come in the five-ish years since I knitted the last one. There's "far" in the literal sense, moving from Atlanta to Burlington, but there's also "far" in the knitting-skill sense. Five years ago, the Sunflower Tam was a really challenging pattern for me. The fact that every single row was different was intimidating. The funny crossed stitches that stood out over the rest of the pattern were difficult to understand. I learned so much from this pattern, and I was so proud of myself when I'd finished. Five years ago, the Sunflower Tam was hard to make.

Now, not so much. It took me two evenings to finish. The crossed stitches took a moment for me to figure out, but I didn't have to read the instructions for them every single time I encountered the direction to do one. I watched TV while knitting, because I didn't have to concentrate so hard on the row-by-row pattern. The Sunflower Tam pattern was FAR more intuitive the second time around.

What a difference five years makes, eh?

Makes me think back to my life five years ago -- and that classic interview question, "where do you see yourself in five years?" Most of what I expected for myself has come true. By now I figured I'd be married to Husband (check!), working in a church (check! -- although 5 years ago I didn't think I was going to be a solo pastor, and now I have a hard time imagining anything else), a homeowner (check!), and a mother (ummmm, not-check). The other details, like where I'd be living, were less important at the time -- although 5 years ago I don't know if I'd dreamed I could be fortunate enough to live in Burlington, Vermont, a place I adore. It's really wonderful to look back on where I've been over the past five years and know that I'm far more satisfied with my life (aside from the no-kids thing) than I really expected I would be five years ago.

Knitting a new Sunflower Tam made me reflect on how truly blessed I am. I guess knitting will do that sometimes.

Details: Yarn is Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran (now discontinued) in Merlot, ~1.5 skeins (two different dye lots but you'd never know), on size 9 needles (size 8 for ribbing -- I might take out the ribbing and redo it on 7s). It will look much better when blocked.

03 April 2011

Lizard Ridge Update #2

Another plane ride, another Lizard Ridge strip begun.

I worked pretty furiously to get the second strip finished before I went on my Great Midwestern Tour 2011 (Des Moines, Grinnell, Iowa City, Madison, AND Milwaukee! With a drive through Dubuque for good measure! Wooo! Again with the exciting life!), but it just didn't happen. And I wasn't going to cart around that whole strip for just those final rows.

So I started a new strip on the plane leaving Burlington (cast on during take-off!), and knitted my way through the Midwest. (I did not knit while driving through the Iowa or Wisconsin countrysides, Mom. I was too busy looking out the window.) And after a week in the Midwest and another week home (where I mostly worked, and did very little knitting except when I saw some knitting gals one evening), I'm about 2/3 of the way through the third strip.

I am really digging how this is turning out. It doesn't look nearly as garish in person as it does on the computer, for one thing. But also, I am totally fascinated with the way the colors are changing in the Noro as it progresses. So cool! It's like every row is a new discovery. I know I've said that before, but it still feels true. I am starting to itch to work on something else (don't know what, but just to be done with the darn short-rows for a while), but I fear that if I take a break I won't pick it up again for a long time, and then I'll have 3/4 of a Lizard Ridge blanket sitting on the UFO pile. Dumb dumb dumb. Gotta push on. My fascination with the ever-changing colors will have to carry me through.

Doc really seems to think this blanket is for him. He's certainly making himself comfortable.

(Please tell me I'm not turning into that lady who posts a picture of her cat at the end of every freakin' post. I don't want to be that lady. I stopped reading her blog altogether because the cat pictures were that annoying. Nobody cares about your fancy-pants purebred whatsit cat as much as you do. This will have to be the last Doc picture for a while, because OMG you don't care about the upside-down kitty, and I should be able to keep it to myself.)