Monday, March 13, 2017

Knitting and oh, yeah, Knitting

It's a dark and rainy day here today but it's definitely warmer than it has been, though still not up to our usual temps. The forsythia is budding out more every day - at least the buds that survived the birds who like to munch them like a salad! I can watch them from my seat at the kitchen table. Thom has made a birdhouse from some old cedar boards, nailed it to the fence and hopes that a chickadee or wren will move in. We shall see. The birds are all pairing up and getting rather twitterpated so you never know.

I've written you a plethora of interesting my head. Apparently none of them actually got typed out. Instead I've been casually knitting and surfing Ravelry for patterns. Oh and succumbing to more yarn purchases on Craftsy. The last buy of their exclusive Cloudborn yarn pleased me so much that I decided to get more of it:

Because obviously I can't control myself! I figure this should come under the heading of "Clothing Allowance", right? Whatever. The light and heat are still on and we aren't going hungry so I don't have to justify myself, do I? This is at least 3 sweater quantities plus maybe an accessory or two. The colours of the Highland Fingering are Stone Heather and Oatmeal Heather. This is the same yarn that I'm currently knitting my Isabel cardi in the Espresso Heather. It's a light fingering fairly softly twisted 2-ply and the Peruvian Highland wool washes and blocks beautifully soft and drapey. I got 4 skeins of each.

The last yarn is a limited edition wool fingering yarn with a higher twist and lower yardage per 100g skein. So of course I got 6 skeins just to be on the safe side. I suspect it might be a little more "woolly wool" than the Highland which in turn is not quite as buttery soft as Merino. But since I'm not really a huge fan of super-soft yarns anyway, at least for sweaters, I'm sure I'll be as pleased with this one. Yeah, I know I already have a metric tonne of wool to spin but most of it is much coarser (Romney!) and more suitable for heavier yarns. Anyway, can you imagine prepping and spinning this much very fine 2-ply yarn in a reasonable amount of time? And then knitting it into 3 fairly large garments? I could do it - but why should I? Oops, do I still sound like I'm trying to justify my purchase? Nah.

Well, maybe I'm feeling just a tad guilty since FibresWest is this Friday and Saturday in Cloverdale and I'm planning to go out Friday with friends. However I'm willing to bet there won't be any of this type of heathery fine fingering yarn there. Most of the offerings are the usual bright indy-dyed skeins of superwash sock yarn and maybe some worsted-weight. Plus a lot of spinning fibre (dyed or not) and of course some weaving yarns and various tools and equipment. Just because I don't need anything doesn't mean I'll come home empty-handed. Yarn fumes, right? Ahem. And I mostly go for the visiting/schmoozing/hugging anyhow! It's always lovely to see old friends and catch up. I'll certainly get my fill of fibre friends this week since it's also Guild Meeting on Thursday evening. I'll be in the library.

So just what have I been knitting? I'm currently up to four projects on the go - at least 2 more than usual. The aforementioned Isabel Likes Espresso (but I don't) cardi is coming along:

This is a lot of teeny-tiny stitches but it's easy to work on while watching TV or reading because it's mostly plain knit except for the border/collar's slip-stitch pattern. I can still only get an inch of length done per session but I'm enjoying it very much because I do so love the yarn.

The After The Melting socks and the Spring Thaw shawl aren't moving along quite as well and are sitting and waiting for me patiently. The Spring Thaw is the only not-brown project (green!) so you'd think I'd be more excited, wouldn't you? But no, instead I'm working on the new shawl that I started in the Late Winter Fields snow-dyed and handspun yarn:

Hey, I think that's the most accurate colour I've managed to capture on this yarn! The pattern is "Shaelyn" by Leila Raabe and it's a regular garter-tab-start triangle with alternating wide stripes of plain knit and an Old Shale variation separated by a garter ridge. It's easy to do and the pattern includes hints for continuing without needing to follow the chart. Perfect. BTW, the yarn after it was finished puffed up quite a lot (thank you, Corriedale!) and is not exactly fingering weight anymore but more like sport or a light DK. This is going to be quite a good-sized warm shawl! Probably be done just about in time for warm weather when I'll wish I'd finished the Zephyr silk and wool Spring Thaw shawl instead, right?

So I kind of fell down the proverbial rabbit hole on Ravelry (while I was knitting!) and just looked at pages and pages of the most popular knits out of the gazillions on there. I've actually knitted quite a number of them myself, even if I'm often late to the party. While I was trying to decide on what the Late Winter Fields yarn wanted to become, I tried a very nice shawl called "Close to You" by Justyna Lorkowska but I didn't like the garter stitch in my thicker yarn. (I plan to revisit this pattern later with a different yarn choice. It's perfect for variegated or striping yarns that don't play well with more elaborate patterns.) So then I considered "Annis" by Susanna IC which I've knitted before and gifted the results so I don't actually have one of my own. But I couldn't find large enough beads that went with the yarn and didn't want to do nupps in it either. So back to the search. I was a little disappointed that the cost of the Shaelyn pattern at $5 US actually came to nearly $7 Canadian. Ouch. But it's a well-written pattern so I don't really begrudge it at all. Just annoyed with the crappy exchange rate! (Another good reason to stay in our own country for the time being.)

Have you ever noticed all the different shawl shapes? I've been kind of cataloging them. Excluding circles, rectangles and squares, there are regular triangles (top-down or bottom-up), elongated triangles of various sorts, crescents and curves, spirals and more. As if that wasn't enough variety, the decorative embellishments range from plain to elaborately fine lace and a single colour through variegated and long colour changes to stripes and short-row swaths. It's pretty amazing! The industry and creativity invested in a single piece of knitted drapery boggles the mind. I already own so many but that doesn't stop me from wanting more of them. If I get too many, I'll just cull my least favourites and either pass them on or frog them and reuse the yarn.

Life is short. Knit what you want. And be happy!


Sharon in Surrey said...

I know your cardi is in fingering weight but it looks sooooooooo soft & yummy!! I'd like it better in Magenta or Plum or even, OMG, LIME - and that's REALLY out of MY comfort zone!! hahahah I'm very fond of fingering weight yarns. And I love all the greys too.

Louisa said...

There are lots of other colours in the Cloudborn yarns though most are tweedy and muted and there are heavier weight ones too. I've been very pleased with the prices (which showed up for me in Canadian!) and the shipping is relatively fast and painless. You get a handy tracking number to follow and no unforeseen charges at the door. I sound like a salesperson, don't I? Satisfied customer, me.