close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Thursday, January 5, 2012

On the Needles

Hello, yarn loving friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season full of knitting, eating, and relaxation.  It seems like no matter how low I set the bar for holiday expectations around my house, I still seem to be "needed" much more than I would like by many short (and tall) people.  Sadly, the knitting suffers a bit.  Now, after many lovely people in my house, too much cleaning, multiple colds, and way too many no-school days, things seem to be returning to a more manageable pace.  Time to evaluate what's in the bag and on the needles.

I have been working on a sweater for myself since October, and the end is in sight.  Kaari has been on my list ever since Berroco released Norah Gaughan Volume 1 several years ago (still the best volume in my opinion).  

After much internal debate on yarn and color, I decided on Manos del Uruguay Rittenhouse in Brick.  I love the A-line shape of the sweater and the big smock pockets.  I just have to finish seaming and crank out the neckband.  I hope to be wearing it by next week.  I'm a bit concerned that it's going to be a little tight under the arms, but hopefully a good blocking will relax it a bit.  This yarn is so soft and wonderful, and I only needed 5 skeins for the sweater.

I have been working on felted Elf Shoes for my big girl, and she is getting impatient.  I'm using Manos Wool Clasica for the main body of the slipper, and a little Cascade 220 for the sweet little trim.  These things go so fast, especially in the kid's sizes; I really have no excuse for these taking so long.  I blame the fat double-pointed needles for slowing me down.  The pattern is free and very satisfying.  Even though elf season is closed, I think my girl will still love them.

Because she is cold when we play outside, I started a sweater for her, too.  The littlest girl gets all the good handmade hand-me-downs, but the big girl is sporting a ratty hoodie passed down from our neighbor.  I had three skeins of beautiful purpley blue Dream in Color Classy laying around, so I started Rubble from Alison Brookbanks of 6.5 Stitches.  I like the swingy quality of the design, perfect for a girl who gets hot and itchy in clingy sweaters.  I plan to block the bejezus out of all of the ribbing to keep it loose and relaxed.  It's going pretty fast, so hopefully I can show you some modeled shots soon.

I have a few other sweaters for myself on the needles, too.  Apparently I am a selfish knitter.

I started a cardigan last spring, and I put it down over the summer when it got too hot to have a big wad of sweater on my lap.  I'm not sure why I didn't pick it up again in the fall.  I guess I was seduced by new projects, but I do love my V-Yoke Cardigan from Interweave Knits Spring 2011 by Amy Christoffers.  I chose to stripe the lower portion, because I really like how the stripes show off the unusual construction of this sweater.  I'm making mine in sport weight wool (maybe that's why I stalled out), although the original was designed with Classic Elite Firefly, a linen blend.  I need to finish the body of the sweater, complete a serious I-cord bind off, and make some sleeves.  I'm hoping to have this by February, but please don't hold me to it.

I'm also working on a really unusual pullover from Amy Christoffers (I love her stuff), and it's striped, too, in a way.  It's the Division Pullover, knit with fingering weight yarn held both single and double to create a really interesting texture.  I'm using some silk/cotton we had in stock years ago, but any fingering or sock weight would be perfect.  I screwed up the armhole shaping, so I needed a little break from this project.  I'd love to have it ready for spring, which seems pretty reasonable at this point.

I am working on a little headband pattern for you all, too.  Hopefully I'll have that in the next week or two, provided I don't get taken down by another holiday or school closure.

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