Thursday, October 11, 2007

On the Sticks

Now that cooler weather has arrived, knitting just feels like the thing to do. You know you are hooked when you have four projects on the sticks and several more stashed away waiting to get started. The main project I am trying to get finished is appropriately for this time of year called, Cobweb, from Rowan Magazine No. 40. I am making it in black so that I can wear it for concerts. It's a bolero with beading at the bottom and lace at the top.

What happened was, I ordered some beads from England to make my daughter a sweater, Anya from the same magazine, but they sent the wrong ones. After I notified them of the mistake, they very nicely sent out the correct ones with no shipping charges, but I told them I would keep the wrong ones anyway for use in other projects. They are perfect for Cobweb and it gives me a chance to learn beading technique before plunging into Anya which will be quite complicated. I have finished the back and the left front of Cobweb and am halfway through the right front. I think the sleeves, which are long, will take the most time.

Along with this, I am working on the Where's the Opaque? sweater again. This one is from the book, The Knitting Experience: Book 1: The Knit Stitch. Knitting this sweater, which I started a year ago, was supposed to be a learning experience, but I got bored with it and went on to other things. I also decided I didn't like the yarn I was using, a micro fiber, because it wouldn't stretch out and stay stretched out. It kept wanting to go back to its original shape which didn't show off the open weave effect very well. Recently, I got some Rowan Cashsoft 4-ply on sale and started the whole thing over. I have almost finished the back already. This yarn is so soft and light. I love it. But I think it is a discontinued yarn. The pattern is all knit stitches with two different size needles (5 and 10.5) to create the sheer effect. My Options interchangeable needles make the work easy so I can watch DVD movies while I knit.

The third project I have started is the Maltese Shawl for my daughter-in-law from Victorian Lace Today. I just couldn't wait to try out the pattern. I knitted about 20 rows and realized I had made several errors further back and couldn't decide whether to rip it all out or keep going and hope no one would notice. The Kidsilk Haze is very hard to rip back, so I got discouraged. Grace said to send her a picture and she would give it the 4-foot test. So here's a photo, but I have already frogged back to the row where the mistakes occurred. Now I just have to make sure I have the pattern and the number of stitches right before I continue.

The yarn is very fine and the needles are size 7 so I am always dropping stitches. And the pattern uses a SSP (slip, slip, purl) stitch that I find difficult to do with this yarn. You slip 2 stitches as if to knit and pass the stitches back to the left needle. You then insert the right needle through the back loops starting with the second stitch and then the first, and then purl the two together. You get a left-slanting decrease without a twist in the stitches but I haven't quite got the hang of it yet.

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