I've still not been getting as much done, creatively speaking, as I'd like, but in the past couple of days I have managed to get an hour, maybe two of knitting in before Moisés jumps in and decides to do battle with whatever is in my lap.
I am also continuing to work my way through the mountain of UFOs. I got Mine out of its bag and on the blocking board, where you can see its really nice shape -- really it is more flattering on that it appears it would be here.
The weather has been damp enough, and cool enough that the air conditioning doesn't come on to suck that moisture out of the air, so that it took it a few days to fully dry before I could start sewing it together.
I am working on the neckline now, and I should finish and get the beads sewn on this weekend.
I am also hoping to get the Gedifra Milena sweater finished as well and on the blocking board by Sunday. I have a couple of sweaters drying on the blocking board now, at the moment there seems to be something of a sweater backlog, but it should work out.
My step-son is coming in for a visit and will be arriving late Friday night. I will have to go pick him up at the train station and that will probably afford me a little extra knitting time. Hopefully, even with the company, I should have two finished sweaters in the next week.
Oh my, the back of Mine has been completed for a week and I have forgotten to post. I am about 1/4 of the way up the front, perhaps 1/3, but I haven't really checked. I was really happy with the project and the way the knitted fabric was working up -- I really love the fabric produced by this Rowan Bamboo Tape. It really is too bad it was discontinued. I should have bought more. I love the way that my other sweater in this yarn, Granite, wears
But back to Mine. As I was saying, I was really happy with it until I laid it out o the cutting table to take a picture. Now I am having doubts.
Looking at it spread out flat it looks too short and too wide, not that I didn't know that this was the basic shape, but that my thinking may have been clouded by my dreams of how I wanted it to look.
But it may work. I have been skeptical before and been proven wrong. I shall finish knitting the front and then see how it turn out.
I haven't ordered the beads for the neckline yet, and I do want the beads along the neckline. I am wondering if I should bother -- perhaps I won't like the finished sweater. I can order them after I put it together. But then again, if I sew it up and like it I will want to wear it immediately. I have the perfect pants and top just waiting in the wings and it will be terribly frustrating to wait for the beads.
I suppose I shall order them anyway; surely I will find some other use for them.
Not much other progress. I haven't even looked at the pile of UFOs yet, despite my promises to sort them as soon as I got back from Knoxville.
The new Vogue Knitting arrived today and I have only looked at it very briefly; I am not yet sure what I think, my initial impressions are somewhat cautious. I will update you on that shortly.
The yarn swift needs some surgery as well. I had planned to get to that today but after steaming a sweater back into shape to wear tomorrow, I decided that I was much more inclined to paint my nails. So I read about the frivolous thoughts of the 14 year old Katherine Howard (fictionalized of course) while I pursued my own frivolities and admired my fingernails.
It was a lovely trip, we had a great time and it is wonderful to be back home.
The weather in Tennessee was dreadful, it rained the entire time we were there and I was so glad that I took my warm winter raincoat even though I had thought I would only need it on the trip back to New York (when I did not need it at all). But seeing our grandson was wonderful and that was really enough.
When we got home this afternoon, we had snowdrops by the front door to greet us. I was very happy to see them. They are really the only sign of spring except for the smell of wet earth and the increasing warmth of the sun. At least the mountain of snow on the side of the driveway was finally almost all melted.
When we were in Knoxville we saw Bradford Pears in bloom everywhere; apparently they are quite popular because they are the first tree to bloom, followed by the redbud. They reminded me that I was thinking of planting a couple of witch hazels to add a little early color to the garden just when I need it most. I should really start thinking about where I should place them as I will undoubtedly have to dig up a substantial amount of rock and clay and prepare the soil before they can be planted.
Although I took two projects with me, very little knitting was actually accomplished. I suspected this would be the case, but I am always hopeful where my knitting is concerned and there is nothing worse than running out of knitting projects (it has happened, so I know).
I started with Mine because I already had the needles out. A good part of what you see here was knit on the trip south as I did about half of the driving, which left me around about 6 or 7 hours of knitting time, plus a little bit of knitting time in the evenings. Truthfully though, very little was accomplished in the evenings. We would chat, I would read a little, and then fall soundly and deeply asleep. I did all but about 40 minutes of the driving home so again the knitting languished except for four rows that were knit during that brief 40 minute "knit and nap" period before I resumed driving.
On the way home we stopped at our local Fed Ex depot in Newburgh, where a package was waiting: several new (to me) Japanese knitting books. I have been looking through them this evening, between unpacking, laundry, and kitty cuddling.
I do think the nicest thing about coming home was having Tori and Sam greet me at the door and follow me around the house. They would sit with both of us on the sofa, but they know that I am the human most likely to stop whatever I am doing and indulge in kitty cuddling on demand, so they have been my faithful companions. I had almost forgotten how much I had missed having feline companionship, and I was also surprised at how much I missed them when we were away.
I decided not to take the blue sky alpaca pullover on the trip, mostly because it is at a stage where it is large and cumbersome and because I had hoped to finish it first, but that is not likely to happen. Even so, I am thinking spring knitting for this trip and alpaca thing will not take that long to finish when I do get home.
Saturday was packing day. I am one of those weird people who, in ideal circumstances, likes to have everything packed and ready to go well in advance. I don't forget things that way, and I am not running around like a maniac tearing the house apart. I really do not like returning to a house that looks like a cyclone-ravaged disaster area, which is the likely result if I put things off until the last minute. I also planned to pick my knitting projects and knit swatches, but I actually didn't finish the swatches for the second project until today.
I am taking two projects with me. This may be too much, especially considering that the last couple of trips I have not gotten much knitting while I was in Knoxville, and I did most of the driving. I am hoping that G and I will share the driving this trip and that will, of course, add to my knitting time.
The first project on my list is the boatneck pullover with ruffle from the new Spring/Summer 2009 Filatura di Crosa book.
I will be knitting it of Brilla in this lovely deep green color:
It seems that my gauge is getting tighter or perhaps just more consistent because I automatically cast on with smaller needles for the swatch, which is usual for me, only to have the swatch turn out too small. The pattern calls for 7 skeins and I have 8. I hope that is enough to lengthen the sweater by about 2 inches. The instructions say the longest size is 23" but that the sweater is about 2 inches shorter when worn because of the width-wise stretch.
I am also taking along some Rowan Bamboo Tape in a lovely gray color in order to knit Mine from last summer's Rowan book (#43).
I could have sworn I had a photo of the yarn as well, but can't locate it now. It is dark gray, similar to the color in the photo; it might even be the same color.
This swatch was easier since I knit Granite last fall with the same yarn at the same gauge. I did make a new swatch just to be sure.
I sat and made the swatch this morning while I was reformatting my old Ipod and downloading some audiobooks onto it since G has decided he wants to try listening to books on tape and learn to use the Ipod so he can listen to music while he walks It was a rather pleasant way to sit and do that kind of otherwise boring task. And it looks like our "computer" classes will be expanded to cover computer, Ipod, and Kindle, as he is also having trouble seeing the typeface on most books and finds the large print on the kindle much easier to use, even though he doesn't like holding the device as much as reading from a regular book with pages.
I don't really intend to start either of these projects until we are actually on the road. Any knitting tonight or tomorrow will be on the bulky alpaca. When I return I will have these projects to finish up and it will also be time to finally face the UFO corner.