October 08, 2013

Frantically knitting for Fall

It's been over a month since my last post, and I'm not even remotely sure where September went!  It's been such a busy few weeks around the farm that my best blogging intentions have just gone unanswered.  There was the finishing of designs for submissions, the winding and dying to prep for the Georgia Alpaca Fiberfest at Callaway Gardens (smashing good time!!), attending that event, a week of recovering the house after the family was home without me to clean up after them for three whole days, knitting like mad, spinning, carding the 10 lbs of alpaca blanket fleece that I acquired at the end of September, working around the farm to get ready for the cooler weather and get more fruit trees/bushes in the ground before the first frost arrives, the building of a new addition onto the back of the house so that I could have a laundry room and studio (that's still, on the inside, a cosmetic work in progress), dying more yarn (50/50 alpaca/mohair heavy weight lace debuts tomorrow!), and trying to finish up the testing of this pattern, my female counterpart to The Sportsman Gloves.  We'll call these The Sportswoman, and apologize for their rough appearance because we're in the test phase, not the finishing phase.

This is the medium and large, and I'm casting on today for the small size.  Now I realize that there is another pattern that just came out on Ravelry that looks a lot like these, but they are one-size-might-fit-all (which is totally unrealistic) and I think the Ravelry poster offers the pattern for free because the pattern's not well-tested.  Besides, I'm thinking hers look A LOT like my Sportsman, which has been out for two years, and I'll leave it up to you to read what you like between those lines. Just sayin'.  Anyway, the small size is the last to test and I am hoping to have that wrapped up by early next week with a pattern finished and available.

Other things that have been harassing my knitting brain in the last month … There's the Skywalker lace shawl that I've been working in red cashmere.

This is actually a bright Christmas red, but Blogger keeps changing the color in the picture for me, so you will have to use your imagination. This is also actually NOT the original Skywalker shawl pattern, though it looks pretty close in this picture.  I had to make some modifications to one section and remove a second because, well, I'm going to blame my yarn.  The pattern stitch just looked frickin' UGLY in this yarn, though it looks great in the pictures of shawls that follow the pattern completely.  Sometimes the yarn just doesn't want to be knit in a certain pattern and no matter how many times (three, in this case) you frog and re-knit, it's not going to play nicely.  Anyway, I'm on the interminable edging and, although the body took me about a week and 1/2, the edging might take me through the end of the year.  It's tedious for my currently very short attention span.

And let's not forget about this top-down hand-painted BFL v-neck that I started in August.  I just wanted something simple that I could throw on in a pinch.  This project is also giving me fits because I can't decide what I want the final outcome to be.  I've finished the neck and knit to about 6 inches below the arm holes, and now we're in a holding pattern.  It's great through the boobs, but WAY too baggy beneath.  I'm taking a deep breath and mulling over whether or not I want to hazard ripping back and putting in a long section of 2 x 1 ribbing for the body.

So more to come on this one.  I was hoping to have it done by now, but sometimes you need to step back and re-group.

I do, believe it or not, have an FO to report.  The Peasant Shawl, by Fiesta Yarns, that I started as a KAL with my mother in July is finished.  I ended up using about 150 yards less than the pattern called for, but this one just got to the point where I felt that it needed to be done.

I don't know why this looks like two different yarns between the pictures. The yarn is a Knit Picks super cheap Wool of the Andes tweed in a chocolate brown with tan flecks.  I haven't blocked it yet, but I have determined that the pattern should have suggested using a loose bind off because it's stretchy except for the bind off edge, which happens to be the bottom edge that wraps around the body.  It's a good little thing to throw around the shoulders while computing, though.

Finally, here's a peek at a couple of the new extra fine alpaca DK weight hand paints in the shop for your knitting or crocheting pleasure.




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