This and That

I’ve been feeling rather antsy. It’s January 24th, and I don’t have a FO for 2007! The knitting has thwarted every attempt at completion, but I have a deadline on the horizon, so a FO must be born. Karen is arriving a week earlier than I thought she would be, so I need to finish her mitts. Good thing: mitts are small. Bad thing: I didn’t write anything down when I made the first mitt. Why didn’t I write it down? I have no idea. Before this, I would have said it was inconceivable that I wouldn’t write down how I had modified a pattern to work with DK rather than chunky weight yarn. Apparently, I don’t know what “inconceivable” means, because I didn’t write it down. So, now I have to figure it out again by counting everything on the first mitt. Sometimes I really annoy myself.

All other knitting progress is added length. The Landscape Shawl is now 49% completed. It is beautiful but oh-so-boring to knit. I want it done. Bad. The Sea Silk berry scarf from VLT is about 14 inches long. It is lovely, but a total snoozer to knit. I have decided to give it to my Grandma Adeline who needs a new scarf. She is at best five feet tall, so a 48-inch scarf works very well for her. That would be far too short for me, and I don’t have it in me to make it longer.

I want to knit lace socks, like Grumperina’s Roza’s Socks, Sundara’s petal’s collection Lenten Rose socks, and Child’s First Sock from Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. I want to knit more complicated lace scarves and shawls from Victorian Lace Today in pretty spring-like, feminine colors. I want to knit nifty cables into sweaters. I’ve decided that I have to finish the Landscape Shawl, the Gingerbread cable socks, Grandma’s scarf, and the mitts. Then all other bets are off. The Aran Pocket Shawl, the Jaywalkers in the Trekking Yarn (my friend Elsie, who is a sock knitting fiend, has had bad laundry and yarn breakage problems with her Trekking socks, and I find the yarn pretty scratchy), they may be put on hold until I think about Fall again.

Today we put to use a little helper that arrived at Molecular Knitting yesterday.

M and I are very pleased. Scooba is such a good little worker. The water in the dirty water tank was really dirty, and it is hard at work on a second run tonight while I blog and knit. Now, if it only did windows…

Happy Knitting!

First WIPs of 2007

2006 was my most knittingest year so far. I completed 14 projects, including one sweater. However, not everything I started in 2006 I finished, and I am carrying some things over. As I have a lot of knitting I want to do this year, I have been knitting furiously the last several days to turn some of these WIPs into FOs.

First, I have made it to the moss stitch chevron of the Landscape shawl. 37% done! I really like how the yarn variegation looks in the different stitches. At the very top, you can see the green stitch marker sticking up indicating the start of the moss stitch chevron. I’m on row 188, and on row 244, I get to start the final chevron of reverse stockinette. When I get to row 308 I get to bind off.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had to wear store bought grey socks earlier this week, and I think my lone gingerbread cable sock noticed. I decided I better get its mate started before it rose up in rebellion. I really, really like how this cable pattern is working out on the socks. I will have to use it again.
I would have finished this pair much earlier, but I am using metal needles and I didn’t want to risk having them taken away by airport security when M and I traveled over the holidays. So, over the holidays, I started a pair of Jaywalkers in Trekking XXL (color 159) on my new 6-inch Crystal Palace bamboo double points. I love these needles!! They are by far my dpn favorites: slick, pointy and warm to hold. The sock isn’t bad either, but it will have to wait for the gingerbread cable sock.

Finally, I am knitting a pair of mitts for Michael’s college friend Karen, who with another friend, will be coming out to California from Chicago to visit us next month. Karen saw my screaming red mitts on the blog and wanted a pair in blues and purples. M promised her a very soft, warm pair of mitts and totally vetoed! fingering weight yarn, which the fine cabled mitt pattern calls for. I was a bit disgruntled at first until I realized I needed to go to my LYS, and then I perked right up. I found a skein of Lorna’s Laces Lion and Lamb Swirl DK in purple club. The merino/silk blend is really soft, and the DK weight should make a warm pair of mitts. My only problem was a complete lack of pattern. I am adapting the twisted cable mitts pattern I used in a chunky weight alpaca on the fly. So far, it seems to be working.

Once these become FOs, there’s a second sock to knit for my mom, a new scarf for my Grandma Adeline (she confessed over Christmas that she lost the scarf I knit her a couple years ago, which she loved), the Aran Pocket Shawl, a scarf for the Victorian Lace Today KAL, the ice cream sundae socks…Why am I still blogging? Back to knitting!

Alice Starmore and Citrus

First up, if you have always wanted a like-new copy of Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting, I am selling my copy through my parents on ebay. They are mingmags37, and the auction ends Thursday at 10 pm PDT. I bought the book new, looked at it a few times, and that’s pretty much it. Just thought you might like to know.

Second, Sunday afternoon was glorious here in Molecular Knitting’s little corner of California. I took myself outside for a tromp around the neighborhood to admire all the citrus trees heavy with ripe fruit.

Grapefruit tree

Lemons! Sidecar anyone?

Fabulous oranges

Many people don’t pick the fruit from their trees, which I think is a shame. I was very tempted to knock on a couple of neighbor’s doors and ask if they wanted to fork over a dozen or two lemons, but I feared that would be considered too rude. So, I just coveted them.

After my walk, I put in some heavy knitting on the Landscape shawl. 34% done! 4 rows from starting the next chevron, which is moss stitch. Once I get my chuck roast braising in the oven this evening (I’m still rendering some bacon to brown the roast in the bacon fat–evil, but oh, so yummy), I’ll get to that next chevron (and pretend the Christmas tree still isn’t up). So pictures of progress soon. I was very relieved to make the 34% mark with some of my first of three balls of yarn left. I bought what should be 200 extra yards, but the first ball seemed to be shrinking fast and I was stuck in the 20 -something percentage-complete for a long time.

Did you see the letter Trek’s black sweater vest sent her? I hope my gingerbread cable sock didn’t see it, or I think it may get some epistolary ideas of its own. It’s been a single sock for a long time. I even had to wear grey store bought socks today, and I think it noticed. I know the Harlot’s UFOs have also occasionally written her. I hope no one reads our UFOs, A Tale of Two Cities, or they may start a revolution. I’ll have to get to its mate soon.

I love seed stitch

I love seed stitch in diamonds.

seed stitch diamond from my first sweater

I love seed stitch in mohair.

seed stitch edgings on my second sweater

I love seed stitch in handpainted yarn.

detail from seed stitch chevron of Landscape Shawl

But I love seed stitch in basket weave most of all.

Aran Pocket Shawl

This past weekend I was freezing (I hadn’t yet realized the thermostat was set for 64), so after making chocolate chip cookies and losing my excuse to have the oven on, I felt I needed to knit with a substantial yarn. I was curious as to how the Aran Pocket Shawl from Folk Shawls would look in the Berroco Ultra Alpaca* I had. So I taught myself the cable cast-on (great and easy!), and gave the shawl chart a go. I’ve wanted to knit this shawl for a long time (because of the seed stitch), and I am really pleased how it looks in this yarn. Now I switch between the Landscape Shawl (great during TV) and the APS (great to take my mind off the day and relax). I’ll just have to make sure my next shawl isn’t green!

Speaking of Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle, Trek recently acquired a copy and is considering a KAL. So, if you would be interested, let her know.

*For those faithful readers who vaguely remember this yarn in the start of the Cambridge Jacket, well it’s toast. I didn’t get gauge well enough for it to be my first cap-sleeved sweater. But I like the yarn better in the shawl, so all is good.