Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Lots of progress, no more finishing

I may bite my tongue later, but I don't think I'm going to finish anything else this month. Although it'd be nice if I did!

I was home sick from Friday until yesterday, and I got quite a lot done as a result! Well, up until Sunday, which was when I got to the dysfuntional part of the cold. On Friday I managed to finish the green and yellow mitts for my mother, and I'm quite pleased with them. They were very good practice for working corrugated ribbing, of which there is a lot on the Ivy League Vest I'm hoping to make some time this year. And because I've finished the mitts, I can now add the remnants of the yellow and green yarn to the mini-Who scarf and finish up a fourth goal! Mmmmm, mindless garter stitch.

After finishing the mitts, I decided to indulge in a new project. One of my goals was to knit up the crimson Posh laceweight that I've been hoarding. Trouble was, it was only 400m of yarn, hardly enough to make a shawl and I didn't really want a laceweight scarf. And then Knitting Daily published the e-book of old patterns that was supposed to have come out back in March. Contained therein was the pattern for the Swallowtail Shawl, a truly gorgeous pattern that calls for... exactly 400m of yarn. And just after they published it, the Posh Yarn Group on Ravelry decided to have a knitalong for the Swallowtail. Destiny, surely. So I cast on. The pattern is delightful. It flows beautifully, and each pattern repeat is only 6 rows long. And only 3 of those rows actually have pattern on them - the others are just purling back across. I've finished the first chart and done 4 of the 14 repeats of the second chart. There are then 3 border charts to work through, although they are each only worked once.

The 3rd and 4th charts are interesting. They contain nupps, which are a bit like miniature bobbles. On one row, you do a whole bunch of increases into one stitch, and then on the following row you purl all of the increases together to get back to where you started. There is a popular alternative to the nupps where you add a bead to the knitting instead of working a nupp. Much easier, and uses less yarn, so very good if you're worried about running out. Now, I live close to a bead shop, but I was concerned about being able to do the beads. You see, unless you want to go to the trouble of prestringing all of the beads (which is really bad for the yarn), you need to have a tiny crochet hook. Tiny enough that the head and the shaft fit into the opening of the bead. I had some pretty small crochet hooks, but nothing on that scale. And then I went to the shop on Saturday.

It was an honest trip - we were going to the recycling centre on our way somewhere else, and the shop was just before the centre. So I waited in the shop where it wasn't raining while the lovely spouse got rid of an ancient computer monitor. And I found a tiny crochet hook! This sucker is only 0.6mm in diameter. So, I bought the hook and some black beads to go on the red shawl. Goth I may be, but I was inspired by the Kitri Socks.

And then we headed off to our somewhere else, and I got to be even more productive! It was our monthly Shire Revel, and we'd decided that it was going to be a day of garb-making. So I spent Saturday morning cutting out the pieces of a chemise, and spent Saturday afternoon assembling them. Well, I pinned, and our Seneschal ran them up on the sewing machine. I can use a machine, but she's much quicker than I. Especially since it's her machine! So the result of the afternoon was a completed seamed chemise. I just need to hem the skirt and cuffs, finish and apply trim to the neck, and finish the insides of the seams. And the insides aren't really a priority. I can work on them here and there as the mood strikes me.

One of our members is a whiz-kid with a tablet loom, and had brought a load of trim for finishing her most recent gown. And when she had a bunch left over, she offered it to me for the new chemise! And this of course inspired me to strike a bargain. She's going to weave me a belt, and in exchange I'm going to knit her a pair of elbow-length fingerless gloves. She can knit, but isn't really good at it (her comment, not mine!), just like I could probably figure out a loom, but don't really have any desire to. So it works out well for us both.

On Sunday I dived into my husband's tunic, the one I've been working on for AGES. Or so it seems. The incredibly productive Saturday inspired me, and I've just about finished attaching the bias tape to the collar. There's still a lot to be done on it, but getting the neck nearly done makes it look a lot more like a proper piece of clothing.
And then my cold caught up with me, and I spent the rest of Sunday laying on the couch feeling like hell with a fever, and Monday mostly in bed resting. And crocheting the ripple bedspread. I went through the bag with my Mission:Possible stuff in it (and the contents are shrinking!), and pulled out all of the acrylic that isn't for the bedspread. It's now in its own bag so that I can just get on and make all of the little scrappy projects I need to do.

Pretty busy, huh?

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