close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On the Needles

I have many, many projects in progress at all times.  Sometimes I just need simple back and forth knitting, sometimes I need a little chart to follow, sometimes I need some shaping and picking up of stitches.  All at the same time.  And in different yarns and colors.  I have accepted this about myself, and I don't let it stress me out anymore.

I have a few sweaters that have been on the needles for years.  I will be thrilled to wear them when they are finished, but I can be patient with myself.  Sometimes I get motivated to finish all of my unfinished projects, and sometimes I just need something new.

I knit grey sweaters all winter (only one of which is finished), so I decided it was time for something with a little pop and brightness to get me through April in Portland.  Fortunately, Manos del Uruguay sent us a box of Maxima last month with some of the brightest neons I could ever imagine existing in yarn form.  I grabbed a few skeins of the chartreuse color and waited for inspiration to strike.
After a few false starts, I cast on Julie Hoover's Palette and started working.  The stitch pattern is pretty simple, satisfying my need for the basic no-brainer project.  But the color and the resulting fabric is certainly mood-lifting.

This yarn is like butter, friends.  It is soft and lofty and squishy.  I have a few concerns about piling, but I wonder if the slightly felted nature of the single ply with prevent it.  Perhaps the textured stitch pattern will help, too.  Only time will tell.  Worst case scenario, I will just have to knit another one in a few years.  If all goes well, this will be off the needles and blocking tonight, and I might even get a little use out of it this month.
Thinking a little further into the future, I have been dying to try Leinen Los, a wool and linen blend from Schoppel Wolle.  Sally made a swatch with it and was really impressed with how nicely it bloomed with a little hand-washing.  It is available in some beautiful earthy browns and greys, but I decided to go out on a limb and try white.
Photo from Annie Lee Designs Ravelry page.
Again, lots of project waffling on my part, but I settled on Groovy from Annie Lee Designs, available as a Ravelry download.  (I'm doing the original worsted/DK version, but she has a sock/laceweight version, too.)  The pattern starts with just a few stitches and then grows asymmetrically.  Many Ravelers used a contrast color to bind off on one long side.  I love the look, but I'm not sure if I want to mar the pure whiteness of this shawl.  Fortunately, it looks like I have plenty of time to decide.
Who knows how far I will get before I cast on for more fun summer knitting?  Maybe it's time for a Lattice Top in linen.  Or a soon-to-be-published Cameron Hoodie in Blue Sky Cotton.  I clearly need a Lemon in Shibui Linen, I think.  And socks.  Gotta' get ready for fall.

With so much inspiration in the shop and the whole knitting community, it's hard to stop myself.  But it's okay...this is a hobby, right?  It's not supposed to be stressful.  Cast on to your heart's content, I say.

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