Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Knitting in the works

I've started working on Lempster... a new pattern on Knitty by Norah Gaughan. I'm using Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Macaw - which is a BRILLIANT, BRIGHT jewel-toned green. This yarn is super soft and is the same yarn I used for my Velvet Morning Cardigan (also, I believe, a Knitty Pattern) ... which I am wearing today in the sub-zero freezing temperatures.

While she seems to be a brilliant pattern designer... her take on top-down construction is new-to-her and a bit unusual... and ... challenging. It's turning out ok... and now that I'm at the upper shoulders and in some repeat rows, I'm loving it. It's still challenging now, but it's no longer scratch my head and frog it three times - hard.  After the set up, it's been pretty smooth sailing and I am loving watching the complex cables start to really show off in the yarn.

I've got one other heavily cabled sweater that I've made for myself, - only that one gets a little too warm. With this one having the nice wide neckline and being made in cotton/tencel blend, I'm hoping it will make a great warm, but not too warm sweater for me. The yarn is a joy to knit with and I really do need to plan on buying more for sweaters and/or other tops for myself in the future.

HPKCHC Note: This is part 1 of my Herbology OWL, option 1 (heavy cables). I expect to use only about 1100 yards or less on it... so there are some heavily cabled charity hats in my future once I'm sure how much yarn I need to get to the 1200 yard minimum. Had a rough start... but the yarn is flying off the skeins now... and I'm LOVING it.

I'm also working on learning how to knook. I did a washcloth last month and learned how to avoid twisted stitches on my purl rows... so this month, I'm branching out further doing a Sampler scarf.  The pattern is great... and basically, you are alternating each section of knook vs crochet stitches. I'm having a hard time sticking to the pattern as-written... but the ghist is in my head now, and I'm off and running. I've only got about two more stitch patterns to go to get to the half-way point... which then has you repeat the stitch sections again in reverse order (so you end with the same pattern you start with). But, I'm kind of thinking that I might do some of the sections I had done differently than written  the way they were written... and the ones where I followed the directions, I might swap those out for something new. The possibilities are pretty endless as long as you aren't doing any SSK's (which I suppose, I could figure out an alternative to).

I picked another Knit Picks yarn for this project... only it was their Diadem DK Special Reserve - which was a special order, no longer available product. It's actually quite 'unspun' as far as yarn goes. But the combination of alpaca and silk is divine to say the least... and the sheen? Is stunning. Add to it the bright gold color? And it's no wonder I had to have it!  The camera I'm using is not doing my colors justice. but, hopefully the FO pictures will be magnificent.

Knit picks does have fingering yarn with the same base - Diadum fingering; and if I worked with lighter weight yarns more often, this would be a big 'luxe' prize that I would purchase. As it is, DK is thin enough. Though the yarn does have subtle variation in thickness. At times, it's worsted weight easily enough. Great for something like a heavily textured scarf... not so great if one were working on intricate colorwork socks.

This particular project is 'ok'. I don't hate working on it... after all, who doesn't love alpaca and silk running through their fingers, especially in an almost-liquid-gold like feel. But, I'm not in love with the knook. I don't suppose I thought I would be... but that it felt like a nice tool to have under my belt in case I wanted to expand my teaching opportunities. In my brief exposure, it's not something I would recommend to existing knitters. It's something that 'might' be ok for existing crocheters who have trouble learning to knit. Mostly I find crocheters do better if they learn to knit continental style and don't really need that 'hook' to do it. But, it's still probably going to be my go-to tool if I'm working with someone with physical impairment. If their hands shake, or they have other fine motor skills issues, it's an option. But to be honest, it still is a challenge even with the hook and the cord helping ... but it's an option when there might not be many other options open to them.

HPKCHC Note: This will be class #2 for the term... there are lots of options between classes and badges for working with a new tool... and since I'd been procrastinating on working with the knook so long, it seemed like it was time. I'm planning on turning this in for Arithmancy!

And lastly, a semi-secret project.... in some Bernat Jacquard Jr (also discontinued yarns) that I picked up some time ago waiting for the 'right' project and the 'right' recipient. No more clues available at this time other than the picture. Again, colors are deeply faded - but you get at least a glimpse of some of the fun I'm having as the 'picture' is being painted on the project.

Now, this project? This project is hard to put down. It's in sport weight yarn, which I don't normally love. But it's simple, mindless knitting. It's growing fast, and every time I turn around I think... oh, I can knit a couple of more rows, then I'll get to the green & white section... or then I'll have the blue section finished, etc. Very fun, very quick (I started this just the other night)... very easy... well, what's not to love? Add that it's a special project for a semi-secret person... well, all the better!

HPKCHC Note: I figure this will fly as a reducio'd muggle garment for the Muggle Studies class this month.

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