Next?

I’ve been simultaneously struck by starteritis and indecision.  This is a lethal combination, and I’m feeling rather helpless before their combined might.

I have a few projects already on the needles, and a plethora of things I’d like to knit.  In the wake of finishing the Maude Louise pattern, I’m torn between starting a new design project and taking a short break from design in favor of someone else’s well written pattern.  I want something just right: a repeat that I can memorize, challenging enough to keep me interested, but mindless enough for relaxation.  And I want to use yarn with saturated color and a firm hand.

I picked up my Transparency sweater again, but find myself running into difficulties on the sleeves.  I tried knitting on two circulars for the first time, and wholly regretted it.  The sleeve laddered badly at the meeting points between the needles.  I switched to dpns and found that I was still getting ladders, less bad, but still noticeable.  I don’t usually, when knitting with dpns, but I think the very fine yarn can be blamed in this case.  I would go for Magic Loop, too, but I’m at a low ebb in my belief in new methods right now.  I am strongly considering the purchase of a tiny 12″ circular needle and just working with that.  In the meantime, though, I’m setting it aside.  It’s supposed to be a fun, relaxing project, and as long as I’m having these difficulties with the sleeves, it’s not so much.  I’m probably not going to rip the length of sleeve I have so far despite the ladders, because I worry about the fine weight mohair catching or breaking.

So then I cast on for Gabriel’s new new sweater.  Totally necessary and a labor of love, but not actually much fun to knit.  Lots and lots of boring round and round with a yarn I’ve seen far too much of in all the knitting and ripping it’s been through so far.  It’s absolutely something I’m knitting to get it over with.

I do have a mindless relaxing knit – my on-the-go project.  The one I knit on walks or while waiting to pick up the boys at school, or in line at the store.  It’s not something I particularly like knitting when I can sit and relax, though, as it’s not terribly interesting.  I’m entirely copying Elin on this one: I loved her simple laceweight shawl and cast on for something similar.  I believe I cast on far fewer stitches, though, so my idea is to knit one way and then the other.  I’m going from side to side at the moment, and then I plan to pick up stitches on one edge and knit down.  It should curl two different ways, and I think might look interesting.  It’s intended as a birthday gift for a dear friend (um, look away, Suzanne!) but likely won’t be ready exactly at birthday time.  It’s not the quickest thing I’ve ever knit, but I think it will be beautiful.

I also have a ton of new pattern ideas, as well as a desire to reknit and rewrite old patterns.  I cast on for one of these ideas: a simple triangle shawl with an initial lace pattern of split leaves that I thought resembled fish scales when viewed together.  It’s beautiful lace, and my set up went well initially, but I came to a problem that has temporarily defeated me.  When there was only one leaf/scale during the set up, my increases worked out perfectly.  Once I had three leaves/scales, the increases and decreases no longer worked in concert with the triangle increases.  I tried about five different solutions and was happy with none of them, so I ripped the whole thing.  This is the point at which I admit that I’ve never knit a triangle lace shawl before, and it may have been jumping the gun a bit to start with an original idea.

My March mitts are going fine, but I’m not a big fan of dpns, so I’m still itching for something that fits my just-right criteria for my down time.  Part of the problem is that my stash doesn’t match up with my desires right now.  I have some lovely yarns, but the ones I want to use are not the ones that work with the projects I think I want to knit.

So I’m experiencing a bit of knitting ennui.  What are you all knitting (and loving) lately?  Anything magnificent on the needles?

We’re definitely heading into spring here.  The pollinators are out and about, and my poor fava beans are finally producing.  They’ve been tall and strong and blossom covered for months now, but the pollinators were all hibernating, and the blossoms withered and died without ever producing any fruit.  Now we have beans everywhere, getting plumper daily, soon to be green and delicious and ready to eat with garlic and olive oil.  The light has been glorious, and most days now are clear and warm.

I’m thinking of chopping my hair off.  If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I used to have short hair, and that it’s grown out and out and is now quite long.  I tend to prefer short hair, but most everyone else seems to like my hair long, and I’m vain enough to listen to flattery.  But as it’s warming up, I’m becoming very tempted to reach for the scissors and lift some of this weight off my neck.  We’ll see.  It’s just finally getting long enough for me to play with it, and I do like trying new braids and suchlike.

I can’t find two of my favorite knitting books!  I’m hoping they’re around, but I’ve been looking for a couple of months now, and I still haven’t found them.  Very odd.  One is Barbara Walker’s Knitting from the Top, which is pretty essential and has me a bit worried.  If I lent it out to anyone and you happen to read this, let me know!  I am starting to think I must have done, because it really doesn’t seem to be anywhere.

Last thing, I promise!  I’m going to release the Paulette pattern this week.  It still needs a good schematic, but then it should be ready to go.  I hope you like it!
Edit: Oh, yes – emails!  I’m a little behind on those, especially personal emails, so if I haven’t gotten back to you, it’s not because I’m mad at you or not reading them.  I’ve had a very, very busy couple of weeks is all!  I’m sorry, and I’ll try to write you this week.

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4 Responses to “Next?”

  1. Tracy Says:

    The noro striped scarf is a fun, mindless, fast knit, even though we are coming out of scarf season. Another one is Cookie A.’s Monkey pattern. Even though it is a DPN project, the way the pattern falls, the ladders are not terribly obvious.

  2. Kate Says:

    Two things:

    1. I have a copy of _Knitting Lace Triangles_ I can lend you if you think it would help? (Along with a zillion other lace books if there’s one you think would be more useful that I might have.)

    2. If you want a really good popcorn pattern, I highly recommend Mabel’s Scarf (http://larissmix.typepad.com/stitch_marker/2008/01/the-mabels-scar.html). I’ve made about four of them in the last month or so, because it’s just such a neat pattern. Also, K2Tog is having a sale on some variegated Malabrigo that would be just lovely for this. (I made mine out of Malabrigo and I want to wear it *everywhere* now.)

  3. the Lady Says:

    Thing one: I can totally teach you magic loop in like one minute. Wanna meet sometime? I’m pretty free right now. I LOVE magic loop.

    Thing two: And I have a shawl that I LOVE on the needles right now – the Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace. Not exactly a “firm” yarn, but a damned satisfying knit. I can memorize each row, half the rows are plain knit, but the lace rows are entertaining enough. And it’s all going to look so cool when it’s done!

    Thing three: I’ve lately started wondering about designing lace triangles too. You’ll have to let us know what you find out!

    Thing four: I really like how your hair looked when it was short, actually. I think the shape and structure was really nice.

  4. the Lady Says:

    Oh ps – Article Pract is having a sale on sale starting tomorrow – 40% off of bags of 10 in the sale hallway, and 30% off single balls in the sale hallway. In case you are needing inspiration 🙂

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