Monday, September 3, 2007

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

I have some bad news for you, Reader: the Summer of Crafting Fun is sadly at an end. Tomorrow, there are books to be read; papers to write; students, god help me, to teach. In other words, there is music to be faced. In such situations, there's only one thing to do: tie up one's belongings on a hobo stick and hit the rails.

I am ending the summer with four WIPs, violating, of course, the rule of 3 that I had semi-established for myself. Nevertheless, I think they're all projects I have a reasonable chance of finishing during the fall semester (knock on particle board). First, I have my Lucy in the Sky cardigan. I have not offered any pictures either here or on Ravelry because, quite frankly, they would be extremely dull. I'm working on the bottom now, which is about 18" of a knit/purl diamond/King Charles brocade-ish pattern; I'm about 8.5" in. I love love love the yarn; it's a 50/50 wool/alpaca blend from Berroco called Ultra Alpaca. The colors are designed, they say, to mimic plant-dyes. I chose, as I believe I have mentioned before, the Peat colorway. Anyway, it's soft like alpaca, but has the sturdiness and elasticity of wool, and it's not as painfully expensive as one might imagine. Also, it smells like the upholstery in a new car. If you have ever smelled pure wool, especially if it's been sealed in a Ziploc for awhile, you will know that this is a good thing.

I am also still working on my pair of plain stockinette socks from the Colortweed. One down, one to go.

Thirdly, I'm working on the Celtic Cable Scarf from Kraemer Yarns. I'm using Peace Fleece in the Tundra colorway. Now, I love the Peace Fleece colors and I love the mission of the company, but man, this yarn is hard to knit with. It's very scratchy. The thing about Peace Fleece, though, is that it softens well when washed; I rinsed the bottom four inches in ordinary tap water and noticed a large improvement. I think with a little Eucalan, it should be good to go. Some projects you want to have more than you want to knit them. But I've only got about a foot done out of a projected six, and the cabling demands my full attention, so I'm in this one for the long haul. ETA: Apparently I said the exact same thing with respect to "long haul" two posts ago. Don't think I'm not paying attention, Reader.

Fourthly, I've got my Almost Argyles going out of Knit Picks Essential in Grass. I had to rip a good inch or so back due to a pattern mistake, so I'm still working on the gusset. The other problem is that the Essential really does get as fuzzy as everyone says it does (you can sort of tell in the picture). It didn't look so hot when I was done frogging that bit. The experience I'm having with the Essential is really the opposite of the one I'm having with the Peace Fleece; while the Essential is soft and lovely with which to knit, I'm quite nervous about washing it. Someone on Ravelry suggested washing the socks inside out so the pilling happens on the part of the sock you don't see, which seems to me to be genius advice.

'Til next time, Reader--and do let me know if you've figured out how to charm yourself a bottomless purse.


Simon M. said...

Celtic cable scarf looks good! I like that pattern...ok, now the pics are gone, as well as the Beach Blanket post. I was thinking that you should make one for Lilyriver that is reversible: One side has words spelled out on the squares (one letter per square) and the other side has a jumble of those letters (one letter per square). ...Like an organized Boggle board.

Simon M. said...

No, I'm an idiot, I lost where I had scrolled to.