I Love a Good Yarn

Yarns, stories, and sometimes stories about yarn


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Thursday threads

I was going to do separate WIP Wednesday and FO Friday posts, but instead I’m globbing them together in a single “Thursday threads.” It’s almost summer, and we all have things we’d rather be doing than writing/reading blog posts, right?

The Felicity top is finished, and the fit is really nice.

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This is even without blocking. Because of the large eyelets, I have to wear something underneath, but I knew that going into the project. And I loved the construction. The lower bodice is knit so that cast-on and bind-off edges are seamed to make a tube. Stitches are then picked up from the top of the tube and worked in the round, adding little four-row sleeve extensions. The decreases worked on the upper bodice form a really flattering neckline. I’m often confounded by bottom-up sweaters in trying to get the length right, and with top-down sweaters in trying to get the waistline fitted properly. This construction takes so much of the guesswork out, as you just have to use your gauge to determine how long the lower bodice needs to be and cast on the appropriate number of stitches, and then work up from there until the desired height of the neckline is achieved. And the addition of the eyelets makes a very pretty and feminine fabric. I will definitely use this approach to do some long-sleeve sweaters in heavier weight yarns for the fall/winter.

The WIP is another project from my The Perfect Blend yarn-of-the-month club, the My Cup of Tea Socks.

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The yarn is by Whole Knit ‘n’ Caboodle (access to the yarn selection is only available to wholesalers, unfortunately), which is based in Delmar, NY. The colorway is tea leaves, and it is the most nature-inspired green I think I’ve ever seen. It is almost the exact hue of my lawn after a gentle rain (I know this, because I’m looking out my window now after a brief rain shower!). Verdant is what I’d call it. And it’s very nice to work with, even on size one DP needles.

I love making socks, but I think I’ve I’ve only made six pairs in the 17 or so years I’ve been knitting, so it was high time to make more. And I’ve only made one pair for myself – the very first pair, which is a bit misshapen and amateurish, but I love them anyway. But I’m so excited to expand my sock collection this summer, as they make for the perfect warm weather project.

 


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Naknicromo day 31: End results/thoughts

File Mar 31, 9 27 52 PM

The knitting is finished on both the projects I wanted to have completed by today, but neither are done, done and done. The Om Shawl above needs to have ends woven in, blocking, and 19 buttons sewn on, so still a good amount of work before I can wear it. And I ran out of grey yarn at the very end, hence the blue edge on the final two rows and bind off. That’s the button hole edge, so I think the extra strip of color will actually look kinda cool.

The Swirl has been languishing for almost a week. Still much seaming to be done, and then the braided tassels for the left front lapel. I think it will look great when it’s done, and I will be keeping my eye out for a nice shawl pin, which it needs if I want to wear it closed. All in all, I’m pleased with what I accomplished this month, even if I didn’t bring either project to the finish line by today.

This setting of deadlines for my knitting is not something I want to make a habit of. I love knitting, I love how relaxing it is. I have deadlines at my job, I have chores that tug at me and can’t be ignored, and I have other obligations that demand my time. I don’t want to subject things I otherwise enjoy to deadlines, and I don’t want to turn them into chores, so I doubt I would ever do another one of these challenges again. I may actually be more productive when I’m not racing against the clock.

And the same goes for blogging. I don’t want it to ever feel like a assignment or another task I have to check off my list. The knowledge that I had to post every day sort of robbed it of its fun. I like challenging myself, but I’d rather the challenge here be quality instead of just quantity.

Happy weekend to everyone!


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Naknicromo day 28: Share your progress!

Ugh, it’s time to share progress again …

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Swirl: All yarn tails except for about 1/2 a dozen are woven in … hundreds of tails. One sleeve is seamed. More seams to do, and the braided tassels. The sleeves are WAY too long. Some Ravelers noted that in project notes, but unfortunately I didn’t see those comments before diving into the project. I can cuff them, so it’s not a big problem. It should still be a really nice piece.

Om Shawl: About 26 more rows to go. The knitting on this one goes quickly, so I’m hoping to be done by the end of the month. There will still be blocking to do and 19 buttons to sew on, but I remain optimistic!


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Naknicromo day 27: One WIP at a time? Or 100?

I definitely embrace the “one WIP at a time” approach. Right now I have two projects going, and it’s annoying me to no end.

A little over a week ago at my last Swirl knit-along gathering, I was talking with the other knitters about just this subject. I believe, without exception, they all had multiple projects going at once, with some doing more than one large project, such as the Swirl sweater and an Einstein Coat. What’s more, before even finishing the first Swirl, several knitters were already planning their second one.

We discussed the difference between knitters who are geared toward the finished object (that would be my approach), and those who simply love the process, and are happy when knitting anything, regardless of whether they finish the piece within X number of days/weeks. If a large piece takes me longer than two months, or a project like socks stretches out longer than one month, I feel I’m not really being productive. I need that finished object to justify the time I spend on my couch with the needles.

I also need to vary the types of projects. I can’t imagine doing two shawls back to back, or even a shawl followed by a scarf. I even chafe at having to do that second sock, mitten or glove! I’m wondering if this mania for finished objects will diminish at all when I retire (unfortunately, many years from now) and don’t have to squeeze my knitting in around a work schedule. Maybe then I’ll be more inclined to enjoy the ride, rather than rushing to the destination.


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Naknicromo day 7: Share your progress!

My Swirl had been coming along wonderfully – but then I ran out of yarn in one of my colorways. My local yarn shop where I’m doing the knit-along doesn’t have any more, and the producer is out as well, so I’m left with a conundrum: wait until my LYS can get more once the producer has completed the new dye lots? Or find a skein elsewhere online and order it so as to keep the momentum going. Regardless, I won’t get a skein in the same dye lot I’ve been using, but it’s really more a matter of timing. I wanted to get this sweater done by the end of the month. I think I’ll check today with my LYS to see if there’s any estimate as to how long it will take.

The good and bad news is that the yarn is from Malabrigo. It’s bad news, as they do extremely small dye lots, and there tends to be a lot of variation between the lots. But, the good news is that, even within dye lots, there’s a lot of variation, so my Swirl is already quite vivid (the pattern is called Coat of Many Colors, so I almost can’t go wrong). Using another skein from the same colorway but a different dye lot probably won’t produce a startling result. And I’ve loved working with this yarn (Malabrigo Rios superwash merino).

I’m on welt 45 of a 61 welt sweater (five rows per welt), and the rest involves a lot of decreases, so I’m actually well over 3/4 of the way there.

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I can always take care of weaving in some of the tail spaghetti to keep me busy until I can get that last skein.

And I also have my Om Shawl to work on. Last night I started on the second section of color work. After viewing some videos on two-handed stranded color work, I started using this technique, which is much more efficient than constantly stopping to slide the working yarn under the ball of yarn I’d just worked to get that twist in the two colors to avoid gaps. I’m very clumsy with the stitches knit English style, but I’m sure with practice, that will get faster and the stitches will be more uniform.

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It was hard to get good photos today, as it’s a typical early March day in New York – cold, dreary and rainy. But I shouldn’t complain. The overnight low this coming Friday is forecast for 8 degrees Fahrenheit! Ah, March … but more on that later.