Monday, June 18, 2012

Learning that Sore Hands Means Less Knitting Time

So, I am continuing to work on the Argonath. I have just completed the tenth repeat,which brings me to the halfway point in my journey on the river. The yarn is just as yummy and the cabling looks so beautiful. However, (and must there always be an however?) cabling tends to leave my hands sore. So much so that I don’t want to knit on anything else after having knit a few rows on the Argonath. So, I have learned to space out my knitting through out the day instead of bunching it all up at the end of the day. Any other project I would knit at night when I am relaxing. This stole demands that I break up my day and knit just a little at a time. Good thing I work from my house! My plan is to knit a couple rows, then move on to something I need to accomplish. Then take a short break and knit a couple more rows. This way I get what I need to get done, done and I can still get the knitting done on the Argonath. As an added bonus, my hands don’t hurt so much at the end of the day!
Argonath Halfway

I should not have had to relearn this painful lesson. A couple of years ago, I knit a cabled sweater for my sister. While I don’t begrudge her the work that was involved,my hands nearly fell off knitting it. I hope that in the future, I remember this lesson. If I ever make a project with lots of cables, I need to allow time and realize that it will be slow going. Happily, I don’t knit for my job which would require me to have things done in a reasonable amount of time.
The sweater that nearly made my hands fall off!

Planning is done on my future projects. A couple of birthdays are coming up so I have two pairs of socks to knit before I leave. I have two projects to finish as well. The Gentlemen’s Socks and the Pov Socks. I am on the second sock on both projects so I only need a few days time to finish them. The Evenstar shawl is lined up for next month and the yarn bought (hopefully a much-needed break for my hands). I am going to knit it out of a silk and merino lace weight I bought from Rebel Yarns in the UK. It is a lovely silver color called Selene. When I waswinding the balls, I thought it looked like spun moonbeams. As the shawl has a beaded edge, I bought some beads in a hematite color. They pop against the wool and I think they will look stunning in the edging. Can’t wait to cast on!

Selene yarn and Hematite beads. YUM!
Speaking of winding wool, I have begun the physical preparations for my furlough. I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done in the next three and a half months. The first item off my list was to wind all the wool I am taking with me (as this is a relatively easy thing to cross off the list ;). The yarn is for the projects I have planned for the rest of my selfish year. I don’t plan to take much as I will only have three projects left and they are all lace knitting. I also have to plan how many knitted items to take. I have a limited amount of space and will have even less on the return trip. I am planning to take two sweaters, two shawls and a cowl. I am afraid that if I take more it will get left behind for lack of space. Now on to my next item on the list,cleaning the house.

Wound up yarn.
Since my last post I have learned that slow and steady is better than fast and in a sling. And when knitting cables it is better to be the tortoise than the hare. I also learned I like to knit lace more than cables. Until next time, keep on knitting and learning.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In Which I Learn a Sad Lesson

I have putoff writing this post because I have not wanted to admit that I messed up. Asyou know from the previous post I am working on the Isengard Stole by SusanPandorf. However, due to differences with the yarn, I had to frog the stole.The yarn I chose was not right for the project. It was too thin almost laceweight. That may have been fine for some, but I prefer a more substantial yarnwhen working with this pattern. So I have learned a sad lesson. Sometimes theyarn just screams at you ‘Don’t knit me into this project!’ I guess it isbetter to learn this now than later after much work. I had only knit about 4inches of the pattern so I was not very far along. The good news is I love thepattern and am already looking for a better yarn. I have some Bare Gloss yarnfrom Knit Picks that I am thinking of dyeing and using for this pattern. Thiswill probably be a project for next year when I get back from furlough. As forthe yarn, I think it will end up being a lightweight sweater for summer. In themean time the year of knitting selfishly continues.

The yarn that screamed.

Instead ofIsengard, I have been knitting on the Argonath stole. I am up to the fifthrepeat of the center motif. So far, the yarn and the pattern are working outgreat. Since I no longer have Isengard in the lineup for this year, I havedecided to substitute this pattern in its place. The pattern is very fun toknit and fairly intuitive. After reading the Argonath thread on Ravelry, I havebeen able to avoid some of the mistakes that others made. I mentioned last postthat I appreciate the fact that I can look up a pattern on Ravelry and see whatothers say about the pattern. This saves me some hassle and stress, both ofwhich I do not need right now. The yarn I bought for my birthday is yummy. Ilike watching the color changes and feeling the soft yarn as it glides throughmy fingers and onto the needles. Beautiful!

The Argonath
Thecraziness is still ongoing, however. After frogging the Isengard, I cast on asweater in Gloss and Essential from Knit Picks. Some months ago, I watchedLaura Bryant’s video ‘A Knitter’s Guide to Color.’ She stated that you couldtake any three colors in the same value family and make a fabric that appeared tobe a different color by using a single row stripe in the three yarns. I just ‘happened’to have three different colors in the same yarn and in the same value family. (Infact, they were in the same color family too. I do like my Blues.) So I swatchedto see how the colors would interact and decided to try it. I have added afourth blue in Essential to be a stripe at the waistline and across theshoulders. It is also the lining in the turned hems. I am using a variation ofElizabeth Zimmerman’s set in sleeve in the round pattern for the sleeves and adeep v-neck. I am hoping that instead of reading as stripes, the differentcolors will look like one color. We will see how this experiment turns out. Ihave named it ‘Rhapsody in Blue.’
The yarn for Rhapsody in Blue.

Since thelast post, I have learned that yarn DOES scream at you sometimes when you are knittingit into the wrong object. I had heard of this happening but had not reallyexperienced it yet.  I have also learnedthat designing is a lot of fun and I may do more of it in the future. Until thenext time, keep on knitting and learning.