Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Have Been One Busy Knitter

Dear Blog-

When last I left you my sister had just lost her beloved pet, and I asked you all to drop her a line and a hug. Many, many thanks to all of you who took the time. Your thoughtfulness was very much appreciated by Carol and also by myself. Knitters are the best people.

As soon as I heard about the tragedy I started digging through my books of knitted toys to see if I could find something to take the edge off of her loss. I know I've mentioned here before that I think that British toy pattern designer Alan Dart is a certain part of the dog's anatomy, and that I mean this as the highest of compliments. Alan never fails one. I found one of his patterns of a hedgehog on his way to bed, complete with bathrobe, slippers and hot water bottle. Dug around in my stash and came up with some alpaca in a suitably animal color, and started knitting.

The project was a quick knit, and I like to do the sewing up and stuffing as I go, because those are my very least favorite parts of the process. By Monday evening his body was all knitted, sewn, stuffed and assembled. DH took one look at him and said, You know, he doesn't need to have a bathrobe. Hmmm... I thought, he's right. So I turned his slippers into track shoes, and turned to the felting machine and some red roving to make a sheet of felt that I then cut the heart shape from. Some quick whip-stitching to sew the heart to his front and he was ready to go do his job of bringing a long-distance hug to my sister.

I could swear she was almost in tears when she called me, so he must have been a hit.

How can you not love those eyes? I had some felt in the perfect color to match him.

And I think the shoelaces just make him all the cuter. He looks as if he's going places in a hurry. He is a hedgehog with a mission.

My own mission accomplished, I turned to working on her Christmas present socks. Obviously I can't discuss those here and now but we'll get back to them after Christmas. The only thing I can say at this point is that sock one is finished, and I suddenly felt compelled (I am quite sure that hormones were doing all the talking, as I was feeling quite, quite sorry for myself) to put Sock 2 into time out while I cast on something for myself. After all, I reasoned, I've been knitting for others since June. Time for some knitterly self-gratification. Um, not sure that sounds right, but you know what I mean.

I've been admiring the February Lady sweater, a woman-sized variation of an Elizabeth Zimmerman baby sweater pattern. If Ravelry is anything to go by,then everyone and their mother is making one of these right now, and I have been seriously lusting after one for myself. About two years ago when the Evil Queen stopped selling yarn the shop had a going-out-of-yarn sale, and every knitter in Tucson was there daily scooping up anything they could get their hands on. I picked up some lovely Cascade 220 Heather with another sweater in mind, but I've decided it would be much better put to use as a FLS.

I started with a Latvian cast-on because I love how it imitates garter stitch. Another choice I made was to make my raglan lines stand out against the rest of the fabric by purling the center stitch of the increases on the wrong side. I like the mitred effect that it gives. While you're at it, notice how I am slipping my edge stitches. This cardi has the buttonbands knitted right in, so there is no going back later and refining those edges. So much easier to take care of that as you go.

When you separate the sleeve stitches from the body stitches and begin working on the body,you are instructed to cast on 7 stitches at the underarm. These then become part of the body stitch count. Later, when it is time to pick up the stitches held on the white waste yarn and begin to knit the sleeve, the knitter is asked to pick up stitches from the top of that cast-on. As I don't relish the challenge of picking up stitches neatly at the top of a section of lace, I instead used waste yarn to do a crochet cast-on. I then slid those stitches back to the left needle and worked over them once more with the working yarn before going merrily on my way. When it comes time to work the sleeves I can zip that waste yarn out of the way and have live stitches right there where I need them.

The color in this last photo looks like the equivalent of a sucked-out Popsicle stick, but you can see how far I've gotten.

I have also, FINALLY found and put buttons on the Color on Color scarf, so stick a fork in it, it is done!

As you can see, it fits more like a short stole. Especially after you felt the living daylights out of it.

I found a couple of tagua nut boomerang-shaped buttons at Kiwi, and then a square glass button at Joann Fabric, of all places. Who knew they finally have cool buttons? Might need to look there for buttons for the FLS when the time comes.

I love the details on it. They made the whole ordeal worthwhile.

You may remember way back last - um, okay. I just went back through my archives to reference the particular blog post, and realized that I have NEVER blogged about this next project! I'll be back next time to talk about this in detail. Great detail. Until then, here is a teaser...


Anonymous AlisonH said...

I love its eyes! And Lynda--my stars, that scarf is *GORGEOUS*!!!!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Gaile said...

I came across your Color on Color scarf while surfing around Ravelry and had to come by and take a look at your blog. It's beautiful, really a work of art! I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from it, because it's a one of a kind.

10:36 AM  

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