Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FO: scarf

Hey check it out I finished something!

Transpacific Scarf

I didn't the entire yarn, because I realized that I wouldn't be able to block the thing if I did.  Before blocking, the scarf was 59" long; it blocked out to 74".  Which you can see is the largest my blocking surface could accommodate. 
The process of blocking lace, which I hadn't had to do before, is pretty straightforward but I can imagine that it's a real pain for a more complicated piece.  But even on this simple scarf, it completely changed how the yarn behaved.  The lumps smoothed out, the YO holes became more uniform in size, the pattern itself became more clear.

I'm not exactly sure what to do with this scarf.  The wife of one of my coworkers is moving to northern Europe next month and I suspect a warm cuddly scarf would be welcome, but I'm not sure if I should gift it to her or not.  It's that weird social distance where we are friendly enough that we can have a conversation without my coworker around, eg when we cross paths at the bus stop, but not friendly enough that I would contact her on purpose.

Regardless, mostly I'm just excited that I finished it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

travel knitting

Woops, it's been a while since I posted.

One of the reasons that I haven't posted in almost a month is that I took a trip home for a couple weeks. I've never been so happy to see my family and friends and I'm truly rejuvenated after some downtime in my hometown. I'm also a little bit heavier - I made every meal count while I was there. While home I picked up a bunch of knitting-related stuff that will surely pop up on this blog soon, as I'm itching to dig into all the goodies.

I definitely got some knitting done during my travels - flying back and forth through twelve time zones without pulling a two-beers-and-a-slide would not be possible for me otherwise.  Two new projects were started specifically for the journey, even though I had plenty of projects on the needles. I had my circs cut at an airport once (kiss my ass, Peru) and since then I don't pack projects that I'm emotionally invested in.

First up is a scarf knit with some alpaca sock yarn.  I'm delighted at how this is turning out.  I had fallen out of love with this yarn, and chose the pattern not because I thought it looked nice but because I could manage it in the zombie-like state I enter during an eleven hour flight.
Pattern: Adia; Yarn: Classic Elite Alpaca Sock
In combination, though, they make for a fun project. The pattern is easily memorized and the yarn incredibly soft.  A gift-worthy item which works up quickly from stash yarn and a free pattern?  I'm a happy girl.
The full-body shot above doesn't do it justice - it's prettier than I thought it would be.

The other project in my carry-on was a pair of stockinette socks, on wood needles to avoid another Peru incident.  I'm using one of the patterns from Wendy's book - Gusset Heel Basic Socks. I picked up this yarn at a craft store in Singapore (Spotlight to be exact). It's not my favorite yarn - it feels plasticky despite the 75% wool content and the dye is sparsely applied. I can't tell if the thinness of the color is a desired effect or if it's the yarn producer being really cheap.  Anyway, bf is getting these socks and he likes the color so it's no big deal.

Pattern: Gusset Heel Basic Socks, Yarn: Moda Vera Noir
This pic was taken while I was still traveling, currently I am almost done with the first sock.  Bf isn't around to model right now, but this heel is fitting him way better than the other heel I knit from this book.  I did add two stitches' worth of gussett but the difference in fit is more than two stitches can explain.  I'll keep this observation in mind when picking sock patterns for bf in the future.

Now that I'm back in Singapore, it's all about WIPs. Most of the projects on my needles are at least half done, which explains why I've finished, like, 1 project this year despite knitting all the time. I think a dedicated effort can knock all my WIPs out by Halloween.

I understand people e.g. the Yarn Harlot who feel like establishing rules for oneself like "no new projects" or "no new stash" takes the fun out of something which we do purely for our own enjoyment. But I'll be tickled when I see an empty knitting basket for the first time since I started knitting.  And for the next couple months I can ooh and aah at all the patterns on ravelry and change my mind a thousand times about what I'm gonna cast on for in November. That's part of the fun too. I think of finishing WIPs like exercise - I hate making myself do it but I feel better afterwards.

I leave you with a photo of unspeakable cuteness from my trip home.  I assure you, no laws were broken and no nephews harmed in the actions portrayed here.