Monday, March 23, 2009

More New Projects

Yes, I seem to have developed a slight case of startitis! None of last week's projects are close to being done, but I have started another 3 projects.

One of my patrons who knits and crochets has been making hats this winter in an effort to teach herself Fair Isle knitting. She has brought in at least 3 of her hats to show me lately, and of course this has lit a fire under me to try my own hand again at adding some color to my knitting. I decided that for my first attempt, I would make a plain vanilla solid color hat and just add a band of Fair Isle to the middle to jazz things up. Here's where I am so far:
I am using a basic hat pattern from Ann Budd's book The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and a motif from Sue Pearce's The Knitting Stitch & Motif Directory. I really have to concentrate on the colorwork, and I haven't done everything correctly (which is why I'm not putting up a picture of the inside of the hat). But I am happy with how it is coming along.

Then, on Saturday, we had a crochet program at my library. Dee has a great post up about the program, complete with pictures. We had a lovely day teaching people about crochet. While we were there, one of my sock students, Nancy, decided to start her sock again. Apparently, I am really open to the power of suggestion, because when I got home after the program I just had to start the second sock of my pair. Here is the start of the second one:

Finally, yesterday, I decided to start another crocheted scarf, which I will hopefully get finished and donate to my crochet guild to sell on April 2nd. The yarn was staring me in the face, so I went on Ravelry and found a suitable pattern on Bernat's website. (The pattern is free, but you need to sign up for a membership to get it.)
Unfortunately, the color doesn't show up very well in the photo. The color is a lovely blend of blue, yellow, and green, which makes me think of the ocean. So far, this is growing very quickly, and it will get another 3 skeins out of the stash. I am going to modify the pattern slightly. I am going to work half the scarf and then go back to the starting edge and work the second half of the scarf down from there, so that both ends of the scarf match. I'll see how that works.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Catch-up Post

Despite the lack of blog entries lately, I have been working away on some projects. I have realized that I truly have become a lace knitter, and that knowledge pleases me no end. I have 3 major knitting projects right now, and all 3 involve lace.

First up, the Estonian Garden Shawl by Evelyn Clark. I started this shawl several years ago as my first lace project and promptly screwed up the pattern. I put it away for a long time, but I pulled it out again this year. I had to start from scratch, but this time I am not having any problems with it. (Well, except for the YO I missed yesterday afternoon, which I didn't figure out until about 5 rows later. But I ripped back and fixed it, so everything is good again.)

I am also working on the Classic Elite Premier Vest. (This pattern is out of print, so I don't have a link for it.) This one has lace and cables, although I am not quite up to the cables yet. Right now, I am working on the back, and it seems to be a little big. But I am hoping that the cables will help pull it in a bit. If not, I think I can adjust the top part of the vest to fit. I should add that I am getting gauge, which is why I am going ahead with the knitting and will adjust if I have to.

Finally, I am still working on the Japanese Waves scarf. (PDF link) However, I think it is too wide, so I am seriously considering frogging it and trying again with fewer pattern repeats across. Luckily, I really enjoy knitting this pattern!

With these 3 patterns, I have truly become a process knitter. I am taking my time with them and just enjoying the knitting. In other words, they will be done eventually but probably not any time soon.

There's been some crocheting, as well. My crochet guild is having another sale at the local hospital at the beginning of April, so I have been making a few baby items for them.
Hopefully I will get a few more items made before April 2nd.

And I am continuing to read like there's no tomorrow. I have finished 19 books so far this year, and yesterday I started #20. I am finally taking a break from Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick. Since I am leading a book discussion on The Daughter of Time next month, I picked up Nicola Upson's book An Expert in Murder, which features Josephine Tey as the main character. So far, I am really enjoying it, and I feel like I am getting to know Josephine Tey better as a person (bearing in mind that it is a novel). I will have to see how well the novel stands up to reality once I do some research on Tey myself.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tunisian Preemie Blanket

Thanks to Monday being a snow day here in CT, I had time to start a preemie blanket using the Tunisian Simple Stitch. There are other Tunisian stitches, but I decided to start with the most basic stitch and work my way up. I got out Pauline Turner's book How to Crochet, read through her chapter on Tunisian, and got started. Here's what I have so far:
All I can say is that it's a good thing Pauline says that "Tunisian crochet curls while being worked". Otherwise, I would be really freaked out right now, because all I have is a tube. When I spread the tube out, the stitches are nice and even, and the blanket is going to be dense and warm, which is great for a preemie blanket. I am already planning a shell stitch border, which should cure the curling problem. But I don't think the blanket will look good in a picture until it is completely finished.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I'm Not Sure Where February Went To...

...but I have decided to start March off right. I decided yesterday that, after 2 months off, I am ready to do some stash busting this month. So I got busy yesterday and finished the scarf that I had started last May to work on during the MS Walk. I had finished the first skein of yarn before the end of December, intending for this to be one of my first FOs of 2009.

I also finished my 15th book of the year last night. It was Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman's book Neverwhere is one of my all time favorite books. While Stardust was no Neverwhere, it was a very sweet take on a fairy tale. I've been meaning to read Stardust ever since I saw the movie in 2007.

Reading in March is going to revolve around Josephine Tey, since I am leading a book discussion on The Daughter of Time in April, and I think it might be a good idea if I read some of her other mysteries as well. There is also now a mystery series featuring Josephine Tey as the main character, and I would like to read the first book in that series as well.

Crafting in March is going to revolve mostly around crocheting. March is, after all, National Crochet Month, and I can stash bust much more effectively if I crochet. My guild is going to be teaching a class at my library on Tunisian crochet at the end of the month, so I really need to brush up on my Tunisian crochet before then. I think I will try a preemie blanket and see how it goes.