In the continuing story of what I have been knitting since June, here are the things I am currently knitting for the annual local warm clothing drive.
You may notice there are no thumbs on the mittens. I hate to knit thumbs. Do kids actually have thumbs on their hands? Maybe this hat and mittens set could go to some deserving child who suffered a terrible thumb amputation accident.
…and then I realized that my own delicate thumbs had gotten sore from knitting the DK yarn on US#2.5 needles for the mittens. That gave me the perfect excuse to set them guiltlessly aside until my thumbs feel better.
I am using a pattern from Ann Budd’s most excellent book, Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges. Tragically, the pattern for the children’s sweater does not have any instructions to raise the back of the neck, so I ad-libbed that by a few short rows. Seems to have worked.
Have you noticed that I am obsessed by helical stripes? The hat, the mittens, now the sweater, not to mention last year’s knits? They are such fun that I cannot resist.
The scarf-knitting continued through the summer into the fall.
Yarn: One skein Knit Circus Opulence (70/10/20 merino/cashmere goat/nylon) in ‘Cassatt Impressionist’. Yummy soft stuff, that yarn. Exactly what one would expect from a merino/cashmere blend.
Pattern: My own. See last week’s Unraveled post.
I have had this yarn for a couple years, but the colors struck me as insipid once it arrived in the mail, so I never had a burning desire to knit it into something for myself. When I took the modeling shot above, though, I realized just how delightfully soft the yarn was. Will this scarf make it into the silent auction next spring, or will I selfishly keep it for myself? No one knows, least of all me…
Let’s see the next scarf, shall we?
Yarn: The purple is Knit Picks Gloss fingering (70/30 merine/silk) in Blackberry; the variegated is Opal Schafpate (75/25 wool/nylon) in 8903, ‘Silberdistel‘.
Pattern: Sorta kinda mine own, detailed here.
The idea of doing a k2tog | YO row whenever I changed colors was groundbreaking to me. It eliminates those annoying purl bumps completely! I cannot take credit for it, though; I found it here when surfing Ravelry one day (as one does). I bought the pattern because I felt it would be unethical not so, since I was stealing her idea about the color change row. That Diagonapples pattern looks like a great stashbuster. ::files that thought away for the future::
Next up, another scarf.
Yarn: Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Socka Mit Bambou in the creatively titled ‘0004’ colorway and a teal merino yarn that never made it into my Rav stash, so I cannot enter it here. I remember I bought it, plus another skein in soft yellow, at Tall Tale yarn shop in Tofte, MN, when we were vacationing on the North Shore a few years back. I had plans to duplicate a pair of socks that were on display using those yarns, but that never happened. The color proved to be difficult to capture. It is somewhere between the solid bits at left and right.
Pattern: Same as the last one, above.
Aaannd that’s a wrap for the scarves. They were truly the perfect mindless knitting for the endlessly busy months leading up to the November election. Each one takes about 400 yards of fingering weight yarn, so it was perfect for using up half-skeins left over from other projects.
I learned the importance of blocking from these scarves, too. I stretched them out as far as they would go and that made them a much better length for wearing. It worked so well, in fact, that I went back and blocked a couple other scarves I had made in years past and that were a little on the short side.
I finished Robert Galbraith’s Lethal White, where “finished” means I got within 20 pages of the end and quit. The last bit quite wore me out, reminding me of that Dorothy Sayers book wherein Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey spend a good portion of the book endlessly discussing each suspect and his (or her, I don’t remember) means, motive, and opportunity. Five Rd Herrings, perhaps? It was exhausting in that book and it exhausted my patience in Lethal White. To be fair, such discussion was only the last 40 or so pages here. Just identify the killer and get on with it, I murmur in annoyance. I don’t want to have to remember precisely where X was at 6am on the morning in question, which was 300+ pages ago.
I fully recognize that YMMV, but I am compelled to give my honest opinion. Also, why is J.K. Rowling compelled to write such l-o-n-g books? I would have been much happier if this one were 350 pages, instead of 650. Longer is definitely not a positive attribute in my opinion. Just ask Smokey about how I respond when he draws out the telling of a joke.