Last night I knitted like crazy and got my Reyna shawl (by Noora Laivola) finished. I wet blocked it overnight (hoping that sleeping kitties won’t notice it…) and this morning I took it outside to the garden swing to finish it up while I was watering the lawn. Of course my cat MacKenzie couldn’t resist helping out.
This shawl was a fast and easy project, but I learned a lot of new things while working on it and it led to some new insights. After all, while I love to knit, I really am more driven to play with new yarns, patterns and ideas more than I need a new shawl (or pair of socks for that matter). Every new project is an opportunity to learn something new!
I first selected this pattern because I had a skein of wickedly soft and colorful yarn in my stash. I knew that the colors would go with everything in my wardrobe, but there were so many of them in the skein that I needed a way to show them off without nasty pooling or something that looked muddy.
There are YO stitches to each side of the center stitch in the garter section. Hard to see aren’t they? That’s because they are hidden by knitting in the back loop of the YO on the wrong side row. Who knew? By hiding the YO stitches the garter stripe stands out better between the mesh segments.
I also noticed a difference in the mesh. Normally K2tog stitches slant to the right. In the mesh section of the shawl the K2tog creates a slant that goes to the left. Check it out!
As I was knitting along I realized that my ball of yarn was starting the shrink a little faster than I wanted it to. Yikes! How can I be sure to use as much as possible while leaving enough for the last three garter rows and then the BO? Well, this is when a yarn warrior really digs in and takes control.
See, it isn’t about the final object (OK, it is a little). It’s about being a YARN WARRIOR!! Capture the learning and master the craft. Be at one with the cashmere and bond with your fellow knitters.
I am knitting and crafting like crazy. Actually I’m enjoying the balmy weather of summer’s end and I’m a little nuts because I just can’t seem to get everything done. The flowers on my deck are at their best. The crickets are chirping. The temperature outside is just about perfect and I am spending my time clicking knitting needles and feeling a little less than my normal cheerful self (more about that below). Still I am making progress and the setting is just about perfect. This afternoon I decided to set up the laptop on my backyard deck and let you all know what I’ve been up to. Here it is.
My sister’s birthday was the 5th of September. I bought her a card a couple of weeks ago and I sat down and got these bowls done in plenty of time to send to her. Here the are!
I still haven’t mailed them off to my sister. They are now days overdue but I do have an excuse (OK, it’s pathetic, but still… It’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!). My rheumatologist started me on a new medication for my systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) called CellCept, and it just doesn’t like me. Every part of my digestive system hurts!! Boo! Today I got up and decided that I am done with heartburn (not to mention middle of the night barfing) and e-mailed my doc to ask for something else from the land of pharmacological wonders. This morning I didn’t take my pill and this afternoon I plan to make the trip to the post office. Hang on sis! They really are coming…
Now the knitting makes sense, doesn’t it. No matter how upset my digestive system is I still manage to eat (yogurt is my friend) and knit. Lots of knitting has been going on. I dug in this last week and worked like crazy on the mitts that I am designing for Alta Vida Alpacas for Alpaca Farm Days which happens later on this month. They plan to sell kits of yarn with the pattern to visitors to the farm. I’ve been trying to make simple patterns that show off the yarn. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Like those colors? This is Colorado (AKA Broncos Country) and the football season starts this coming week. Yeah Broncos!! The thumb on the stripped mitt is a little different from the usual shape that I favor and I’m still thinking of knitting a stripped version with slower increases. The thumb on the solid mitts is more like what I like to knit and wear. It fits your hand with no pull across the hand and the ribbing on the top of the thumb is loose enough to allow you to wear the mitts over gloves. (Reynaud’s makes you think about things like that!) Be honest here: does that stripped thumb look goofy? Should I change it?
So the knitting continues. I want to make the mate for the beaded mitt before the end of the week, and then will do a pair of stripped mitts with a more gradual thumb increase in blue and off-white. Next I have to write the patterns, but I’ve kept lots (and lots!) of notes while I knitted so I am feeling pretty positive about that next step.
Finally, I’m making some steady progress on the only knitting project that is just for me. Check out the Reyna shawl that is finally getting towards the end of it’s knitting journey.
That’s the week. I’ve been reading a lot too, but I think that should wait for another post. And the flowers that I’ve got blooming on my deck are so fabulous they are crying for a post of their own…
I am on drug holiday from methotrexate (the drug that was given to me to treat my systemic sclerosis) right now and I feel great. I have energy, my joints and muscles are happy, and there isn’t even a hint of dizziness. OK, my ribs are still sore and I have to be careful moving around, but still… Wow! It’s been more than a year since I’ve felt this good. It is now obvious that, even though there were side effects and some of them forced me to quit methotrexate, it was working. My goodness it made a difference. I am gardening, cleaning house, cooking up a storm, and rocking the knitting. Happy, happy, happy.
In the middle of upbeat gardening yesterday I remember that it is also August. Time to cast on the New Year Resolution socks for the month. I dug through the sock books again, found a happy looking pattern and hit the yarn stash to search for a cheerful yarn dyed with long color sequences. Here’s what I came up with. Say hello to the August Socks:
As much as I like the seafoam stitch I think that I won’t continue it down the top of the foot of the sock. I will be wearing these socks inside of shoes all winter and I’m wanting the socks to be really warm and long wearing. If the colors pool badly in the foot it won’t matter that much to me at that point. With cute tops like these, nothing can happen in the foot that will spoil things. 🙂
When I dug through the stash I also found this yarn that I bought on a whim but still hadn’t knitted up because it is really busy in the colors. I’ve been waiting for the right pattern.
These two projects have kept me pretty busy but I have also been out in the garden. I sewed on the garden chair a little more and started attaching the sides to the frame. It is stretching out just right but the midpoint is refusing to slide on the frame; it still hasn’t expanded to the correct proportion. I soaked the stiff area with the hose this afternoon and left it to think about what it was doing for awhile. Let’s hope that does the trick as I’m afraid to tug on it too hard because my ribs are still sore.
I’m on drug holiday until I see the rheumatologist on the 20th. Let’s hope that I stay symptom free until then because I am totally focused on happy right now.