Saturday, October 30, 2010

Making progress

When I began knitting, the idea of a knitted sweater seemed... oh, I don't know... insane. A scarf - sure, no problem. Hats? I'll give it a try. Why not? Even a baby sweater - a much smaller scale, so a little crazy, but doable.

But a sweater? A full-on, me-sized, knitted-by-my-own-hands sweater? With the seaming, the blocking, the pattern following and, ack, worst of all, swatch knitting? Even the idea of it was daunting.

But somewhere along the line, the idea becomes... less daunting. A pattern calls for blocking, so you give it a try. That little baby sweater seems a little too Mr. T-like without sleeves, so you learn to seam. And, yes, your daughter ends up with a few extra blankets for her little dolls as you learn the value of knitting swatches.

So the idea of knitting a sweater for myself, as crazy as it seemed when I first picked up a pair of needles four years ago, became less crazy. A pattern was found, yarn was ordered, a sleeve was started... and quickly discarded. Perhaps a mid-thigh length lacework cardigan, as gorgeous as the Celeste was, wasn't the best choice for a first sweater.

So I scaled back the plans, using the same laceweight yarn on a simpler, more manageable project - the very lovely Featherweight Cardigan. With its basic stockinette and top down construction, it seemed like the perfect first sweater. And it was. Until it was eaten by moths. Yes, really. Moths. Fun, right? Nothing like pulling a project out of the bag you had it in and seeing a fat little moth come out with it. (Consider this your public service announcement on the importance of proper yarn and project storage.)

So the third time, so far has been a charm. New yarn, new pattern: the tried and true February Lady sweater, from Flint Knits, knit up in the very lovely Berroco Weekend.

It's actually coming along nicely.... with a caveat. I feel like I really messed up the button holes. For some reason I have a large, loose piece of yarn going down the middle of the top two. Unfortunately, I'm the kind of knitter who would rather make due with mistakes in the interest of getting it done (and then point out the mistakes to myself years after the project is complete, of course), so I'll be figuring out a way to salvage those once it's almost finished. I can't believe I just used the words "almost finished" in the context of a knitted sweater.

Could knitted socks be too far behind? No way. That's just crazy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And it's mine, all mine

As promised, I am posting pics of my already much loved Clapotis. There is something about a scarf or wrap that makes me feel very jaunty and put together, and this one is no exception. The feel of the yarn - Brooks Farm Solo Silk - is divine; it's ultra soft and very warm at the same time. The photo to the right, of course, is me showing off my very lovely Clapotis (notice the jauntiness) while imagining your jealousy that you are not ensconced in its warm and soft loveliness.

Of course, it isn't all perfect. This project was boring. Really... incredibly... boring. And LONG. As I wrote about before, I really had to force myself to keep going. But, really, aren't most big projects that way? I'm trying to tell myself that as I dive into my next knitting project - the February Lady sweater. I've already got the yoke done and am a few repeats into the lacework body. So far so good - it's knitting up relatively quickly, and the yarn - Berroco Weekend - seems to work well with it. The green color is gorgeous - it was the first thing that drew me to the yarn. I kind of/sort of made up a swatch to test my knitting gauge, but I quickly unraveled it to make sure I had enough yarn to complete the whole thing. So if you see my 5-year-old sporting a rockin' green February Lady sweater, you'll know why.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's done! It's done!

I'm so excited to post pictures, but that will have to wait - in the meantime, I just wanted to share my excitement. My Clapotis is finished!

Did you ever have a project that seemed to, for the lack of a better term, gum up the works, creatively speaking? This was mine. I felt like I couldn't work on any other projects until it was done - it seemed like if I just put a few good evenings into it, I could get it finished. Unfortunately, there is a stretch of this project that is just SO boring, I didn't want to work on it. So I was stuck. I couldn't post on my blog because I wasn't "making" anything. (As an aside, I need to correct that and figure out what I can do to keep my blog active while I'm in the midst of projects. I am baking stuff all the time, but it was never really my intention to do a baking blog. I really wanted it to be a mix. But that's a conversation that's best left to my own mind - likely late at night, when I should be sleeping. )

But now, it's finished. Finished! I'm so happy. I can't wait for the weather to cool down a bit again so I can wear it. And I'll take some pictures this afternoon. As an added bonus, I'm feeling incredibly creative again. It's like the floodgates have opened back up. I'm ready to start... HOLIDAY projects. Family, you've been warned. And maybe a sweater for myself too - my first! I'm thinking I'll continue jumping on the bandwagon of popular Ravelry patterns and try out the February Lady.