This weekend was very busy, in the quiet, restorative kind of way. As of Thursday I had no plans at all. On Friday night The Baron invited some friends over to watch weird boy movies. One of the boys brought his girlfriend and she brought her knitting. So while the boys had a male-bonding night, I hosted my own mini-stitch-n-bitch. It was pretty exciting.
With some knitterly company in the house, I set aside work on the never-ending-edging for the Frost Flowers & Leaves shawl and started playing with a few yarns, thinking in the back of my mind about the knock-off sweater I want to make. I created two little swatches:
This one, out of Knit Picks’ Andean Treasure, which is 100% delicious baby alpaca fiber, and super-soft to work with. I have 4 balls in this color, Wild Rose, and I created this swatch on size 4 needles.
And this one, out of Jaeger Matchmaker, which is a slightly scratchy but very elegant and sturdy-feeling merino. I bought 5 balls of this yarn at John Lewis, in London, in a color that looks slightly drab in the photo above but is really a rich grey-green. The swatch is on size 6 needles.
Like that little sheep? A very special shout-out to the Baron, who provided me with my favorite knitting notion, the sheep tape-measure. He bought it for me in Ashland, Oregon, where we were visiting with my mom (thanks for that too honey). We found the most extraordinary yarn store there – Websters – I would say it’s my favorite LYS, except it’s nowhere near me – and to commemorate the amazing place and a fun day, he got me one of these little sheep from Lantern Moon. Baaaaa.
But anyway, all these swatches, and a few more fiddly things as well, were really just procrastination. I want to cast on for my next Clapotis, for a pair of Monkey socks (two at a time, of course) and maybe even a baby sweater. But all the yarn I need is in skein form. Poo. I was pretty ecstatic when my ball-winder showed up in the mail at work today, but I’m still glad I got a chance to fool around with a few different fibers this weekend. I learned quite a bit, actually: mainly that I don’t know what I’m doing yet and I don’t know enough to just make up patterns all footloose and fancy-free, expecting a good result. There’s no way that just making a tiny swatch, doing some quick multiplying (and let’s face it, I never really learned my times tables, so there’s nothing “quick” about it) and then casting on is going to get me where I want to be.
Yeah, there’s a bit of math involved in knitting, but really it’s more than that. I don’t have the design gene that Glamorous does. I think it’s time I plan and make a real, grown-up sweater. I’m thinking something really simple, in an easy, superwash yarn . . . suggestions welcome!
And finally, I finished up the weekend with lace edging and the end of The Knitting Circle, by Ann Hood. Although this book was strikingly similar to The Jane Austen Book Club (a central character learns about the various women in her book/knitting group and their stories reveal an interconnectedness among them all, blah, blah, blah) I actually liked The Knitting Circle – it’s pretty simple: A woman’s young daughter dies, and as part of her grieving process, she takes up knitting. Of course, everyone in the group has a similarly grim tragedy in their lives, but knitting brings them all together and keeps them alive. I really liked the reader of The Knitting Circle, and although it was more melodramatic than The Jane Austen Book Club, it seemed more real somehow, more grounded, not trying so hard. If you’re not into knitting or chick lit, skip it, otherwise, it’s a quick, easy listen.
Here’s a last peek at my frosty beauty . . . hopefully the last cocoon-photo before I rip her off the needles and block her into a butterfly: