Moss Don't Grow

I haven’t talked about the moss green shawl in a while, but I have been working on finishing it. Got some done Sunday when Kris came over to knit. It’s really, truly almost done, but it’s at the slow stage, where a few rows takes an hour and makes little difference in the size. Maybe I’ll finish that today. The trouble is (here comes the waffling), I want to keep it small so it is not unweildy for the friend I am sending it to, but I am afraid to end it and have it be too small. And I have lots more yarn, so I am always tempted to do another repeat of the pattern. Today was not a good day for taking pictures in the house (it’s gloomy here), and this is the best I could do:

Green shawl

I love it. Truthfully, I am starting to want to make it bigger. I know this yarn (patons Kroy) is superwash and will stretch a lot, so I am not sure HOW much bigger it needs to be. It’s pretty close to the size I intended now; it could be a little bigger, no? Well, we’ll see. BTW, though this yarn was inexpensive and I thought at first it was not good enough for the project, it has proved to be very soft and springy knitted up. I have come to like it quite a bit! It’s not a luxury yarn, but it’s a good choice if you have to make something delicate that must be washable.

On Mondays I am at the LYS all day and evening (I know, lucky me!). I offer four classes on Monday and usually at least three of them are booked. You know, I always leave with the impression that I don’t get any knitting done while I’m teaching (and some days I don’t, truthfully). But yesterday I actually got a LOT done, even though I also snuck out with Stephanie to eat lunch at Bombay Sitar.

I got a good bit done on a striped hat to match the Noro scarf I made:

Noro Scarf

 I really, REALLY like this hat!!

Noro Hat

It’s just a dumb, rib-knit hat without a turnup brim or anything. I like doing really simple things with Noro that show off the rustic texture of the yarn. Using a bigger needle than you would think, helps to get that effect as well.

I also worked on a sweater I started right after the olympics, but only worked on for about a day. It’s a top-down raglan with a very interesting cable at the center front and back, and down the sleeve. I’ve had my eye on a certain obscure and little-used (ok, I’ve never seen it used anywhere) cable pattern for several years. I've swatched it numerous times, but it’s hard to find a yarn for which it is just right. It is a very heavy cable and a lot of yarns don’t work well with it because there is such a big difference between the density of the cabled and the non-cabled fabric. This yarn, which is handspun from a mix of coopworth and cotton, worked very well I thought, probably because of its uneven texture and weight. I am very excited because I love the yarn and I finally get to use this cable in something! I have been waiting quite a while for just the right marriage of materials to do this sweater. The cable is so quirky and the yarn is so rustic that I think they play off each other very well; I am very pleased at the combination. Plus, this yarn is very lofty and light, so the sweater won’t weigh a ton.

Cabled Sweater start: Tangled ropes

You can see that the cable chart is complex (more info later). That’s why I got such a slow start on it; I haven’t had time to sit and knit with good focus for a while, and I do need to focus on this in the beginning. It has four total cables which begin at the neck, so I have to keep all the cabling straight while establishing the increases and shaping the neck at the same time. And to top that off, the sleeves begin in the center of the cable so there is not a complete repeat of the pattern right away. It’s a lot to keep track of at first. Now this cable, which I will not reveal the name of yet, is not symmetrical at all. It does not mirror itself from side to side or from top to bottom. For that reason, I did not flip the cable on the sleeves. Since it is interesting from both sides, I wanted to be able to see both sides from the front view of the sweater. I may decide later that this effect is not desirable, but rather than change it, I would probably just not use it again on another sweater.

Anyway, when I picked it back up Monday morning, it appeared that I had gotten through the start, and down to the area where the sweater is joined at the front neck. I needed to establish the cable at the center front and continue, but I needed to start a new ball of yarn at a back seam area.

You can also see that even though I said I had got a lot done yesterday, it appears that I am delusional. Actually, I had about 3 or 4 inches more done on the yoke and ripped it out. Why? As I said, the yarn is handspun. I had two smaller skeins that I spun on a different day than the rest, and they had more cotton, and so, looked busier. I thought I might be able to get away with using them, but I realized after a few inches that it did not look right. The busier yarn definitely did not match, and also distracted from the cable so as to hide it. Back into the “for hat” bags those balls went . . . I don’t mind working a tough cable, but I DO want to see it when I’m done!! And as to the mystery cable, let’s see if anyone can guess in comments which one it is! A hint: I have only ever seen it in one stitch book. I’ll display it’s progress and give another hint each day, and let you know when somebody has guessed correctly. 

I have been working away at socks as promised; one for David:

David Andes sock

And one for me:

Anne holly sock

Ok, I know this is lame; I can’t even say I’m inching along on it because I’ve only done about a half-inch since I showed it last! But I am doing it while files upload and I wait for stuff to happen at my desk. And the stitches are small, so the progress is less evident.

And as for David’s sock, I really hate the yarn. But I’ll make another sock. Maybe not today though. And yes, the proportions DO look very strange, but YES, it fits. This is why David gets handmade socks; he needs them!

I did a lot of spinning over the weekend too. I had a bunch of that blue mix fiber spun up, so I plied it with itself, and then a couple of different browns, just for fun:

Blue and brown sock yarn

The browns are Louise’s Romney and that Wensleydale. I also spun some browns together, and got started on the plum/brown mix from Hollie:

plumb fiber on spinning wheel

Which I love! It’s much softer than some of her other stuff but still it’s hairy. I hope I will like knitting with it, cuz I really like the colors . . .

Time to go write my essay. Tell you about that later. Ooh-ooh, and vogue knitting just came in the mail! Definitely gotta go!

Bare Naked Wools Yarns

Originally posted by Anne Hanson on March 21st 2006

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