Fall is for Frogging and Felting
Posted by Janis on October 26, 2008
I can’t even bear to start off with an apology for not writing in ages yet again. So I’ll just jump in…
The summer’s huge kitchen renovation project is now officially FINISHED. Hooray! Though we didn’t do the work ourselves, it was more stress-inducing than I could have ever imagined. The end result is just lovely, though, and I enjoy it more ever single day.
So on to the knitting news. I’ve had a rather severe bout of startitis this fall, thinking about cold weather and wanting all sorts of fab new knitted garments for myself and others to sport. In September, I started a project that’s been on my list and in my stash for well over a year, Sasha Kagan’s Floral Lace Shawl (VK Fall ’06). It looks so beautiful in the mag and I thought I just had to have it. Except knitting it was a royal pain, for several reasons. First and worst, the little flowers that look Fair Isle-ish in the pictures are actually accomplished by the evil INTARSIA. This involved about a dozen bobbins across the back of the piece and a lot of twisting of yarn and, well… cursing. I had vowed never to do intarsia again after the Weekend Getaway Satchel (still awaiting final finishing/sewing in the basement), so this was a rude awakening. Secondly, I realized after about one full pattern repeat that the shawl would only be beautiful on one side – the wrong side would be very wrong and not at all suitable for public viewing, no matter how tidily I wove in the ends. This was very disappointing indeed. Thirdly, the charming leaf lace pattern that goes between the little flower motifs is almost completely lost on the dark colored yarn. It’s Rowan Felted Tweed in treacle, which is a gorgeous dark raisin-y color, yummy stuff, but the lace pattern was lost. Finally, it just wasn’t any fun — and at the smallish gauge, would have taken me the rest of my adult life to finish. Please bow your heads for a moment of silence for the Floral Lace Shawl. It is no more.
Abandoning a project still pains me, but I must say it is liberating to just say no to projects that I do not enjoy once I get going. I knit for pleasure and for peace of mind. Irritating or annoying projects do not meet these criteria, so buh-bye.
Also in the startitis pile: a Branching Out scarf for my pal Eileen on her birthday (late now), I’m about halfway through on it. I love the yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, my first time using it. I’m finding the lace pattern kinda boring, though it looks nice and will look really fine when blocked.
Whipped up a pair of Maine Morning Mitts for another friend’s birthday right before the scarf started. Those go so quickly, they hardly count as startitis. (And now you know why I don’t work as a hand model.)
I did finish a pair of socks for my brother for Christmas — one knitted gift down, ? to go! They’re simple garter rib in Moutain Colors Bearfoot — what nice yarn to work with! The colorway is Sapphire Trail, I think. I had the yarn in my stash and chose it for him because it has all the colors of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in it — that’s where we took a big family vacation at the end of the summer. Here’s a pic of one unblocked one:
I’m all set to join in the NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater in a Month) festivities in November. I’ll finally pry out all the Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed out of my stash and make the Sunrise Circle Jacket. I hope. If that starts making me crazy, I’ll switch to the February Lady Sweater that’s so popular these days.
Oh yes — almost forgot the felting part of our show. I am possibly the last knitter in North America to make a pair of Bev Galeska’s felted clogs, but I did it! I see why they’re so wildly popular — it’s like magic to make this giant floppy sock-like thing that becomes a real shoe in the wash. Here’s a before-and-after pic of the clogs: