Saturday, January 19, 2013

State of the Knits 2013: Part 1.

A belated happy new year to all! I've been fairly busy during the blog silence of the past month or so - and only a portion of it (albeit a substantial portion!) involved yarn and fiber. Let's get up to speed and see where my crafting stands now:

First, I told myself that I wouldn't work on any project except the stress scrap mitts until all my final papers were done. See, knitting is good for dealing with stress - sometimes a little too good. I was finding myself turning to my knitting as a way to run from all the things I had to do. So when there were only four rows remaining on the second mitt and a paper and a half still to write, I reminded myself that if I finished the mitt now, I'd be knitless for the next few days. I ended up turning in all my papers in record time.

And the mitts were fixed. After the photos in the last post were taken, I decided to rip back to the wrist and knit with the grey Road to China until I ran out, then resume knitting with the black angora again. This solved the bear-paw problem quite handily. I love how elegant they look now, and of course they're as soft as a dream. The top portion is starting to loosen from repeated use, though, and I'm considering ripping back yet again and reknitting that portion with a smaller needle size.

I spent the holiday season with my parents. On the long flight there, I worked on the Alliance Lion mitts:

Well, that picture was taken in late December, and I actually haven't made much progress on it since. I discovered that colorwork is fairly easy to master. I also discovered that it's, well, tedious. This is not a good project for travel knitting, despite how small the FO might be. It requires two balls of yarn that I have to constantly untangle from each other, a tiny row counter that I dare not lose (and therefore need to stuff into the middle of one of the balls of yarn), a printed-out chart that I have to keep referring to... and twice I've nearly lost stitch markers. Plus, as this pattern is written to be knitted flat, I'm not looking forward to all the seaming and finishing when I'm done. Every time I was traveling, I found myself reaching for socks or something else small and tame, and this lay neglected most of the time.

While I was there, my mother helped me block Radiance for the first time. I'd been wearing it a few times unblocked, and it looked fine enough, in an artistically rumpled sort of way. But the blocking made a distinct difference. Since the yarn was silk and alpaca, we didn't even have to use pins; we just arranged it on a large towel while it was damp and it lay there obediently. After it dried, we picked it up and it was still all orderly and neat, crisp and refined. My mother clearly envied it so much that I just gave it to her as a gift.

Next part: people start giving me gifts!

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