on the needles

Monday, February 07, 2005

I've been too busy knitting to be blogging - but thankfully my burst of activity had some productive results! First off I hit a major snag in the Clapotis I am making for my sister. This was potentially a big disaster since I am on a deadline with that project. I was so frazzled by this that I'm not even sure I remember rightly what I had done wrong - I guess that's what comes of knitting until 2:00 am! The result was that I had to spend about three hours unpicking five rows & fixing one of the (correctly) dropped stitches in the process. Luckily - I am back on track. Hurrah! I am using Mango from HandpaintedYarns.com.

I LOVE this yarn. It is the only thing in my life I have ever wanted to call scrumptious. It's so soft you could use it for underwear! I will be knitting Clapotis for quite a while since I also have Verdes Esperanza for my mother and Oriental Night for myself. I am still a beginning knitter in terms of branching off from the basic knit & purl stitch so I really appreciate how easy the Clapotis pattern is - but yet I have learned many new techniques (knit through the back of the loop, knitting in the front and back of the stitch, dropping stitches and fixing dropped stitches). I guess like everyone else in the knitting world I am in love with this pattern. Thanks Kate!

So while I was letting the messed up Clapotis cool down in the yarn can. I picked up and finished the back piece for the Gedifra Chapello sweater - henceforth known as the evil yeti sweater. The pattern in the book has patches of plain yarn interspersed with poufy, hairy patches. In real life it is not so interspersed - more like a hairy beast with a bit of demodectic mange. Not that I really mind that look. I have a penchant for clothing that looks like it was made from Muppet skins. The really bad part is the evil pattern instructions. I tried to start the front piece which is knit from the bottom up starting at the tip of the point. I'm not even going to get into the pure evilness that is the yeti pattern for fear that my head will explode. I had to write out my interpretation of the pattern which took me a couple of tries to get it to make sense. Of course by then I was thoroughly sick of yetis - so back in the box with the evil sweater.

At this point I needed the sweet sanity of miles and miles of mindless stocking stitches. So out comes Myrtle which has enough miles of stocking stitch to make anybody happy. The Shinano is a better yarn than the Kureyon which has billions of knots in each skein. I've been through 4 skeins of Shinano and not one knot yet. :) I've got about thirty rows left on the back piece until the pattern switches to moss stitch - but it took about 100 rows of calming stocking stitch before I felt able to go back to Clapotis.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this I decided to frog the Rebecca poncho. I realized that the Golden Tweed color I was using looked very nice when you are just looking at one skein - but tons of it all knitted up together turned into what looked like (and I'm not just being dramatic) a big pile of vomit with bits and pieces of lunch and dinner in it. Look at the color & imagine yourself draped in it. Not a pretty sight.

I think the yarn will be great if I use it in a project mixed with other yarns but by itself - puke! So that yarn is in retirement. I still really wanted that poncho though so I hit the internet & found some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in River which will be MUCH prettier.

The poncho was my first project beyond scarves so I don't feel too bad about it - you live and learn. :)

So tonight I will be happily knitting Clapotis & watching Medium. It's been a crazy yarn week but satisfying - only a breakdown like that could have powered me through the miles of stocking stitch on Myrtle, rid myself of the vomit poncho and gained a yeti sweater. :)


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