One of my favorite things about this knitblogging community is reading running commentary about works-in-progress–seeing how projects take shape, getting fresh impressions of how a particular knit goes rather than the sum-up feelings at the end, the vicarious thrill of others’ triumphs and the keen empathy when I read about a stumbling block. The creative process fascinates me, and I love to think that I might be able to offer others the same glimpses they grant me.
I was looking through past entries on a shawl I knit, the other day, and noticed two things I don’t like about my own blogging: When I do take notes, they’re never as detailed or useful a year down the road as they seemed when I wrote them, and my WIP posts are much less frequent than they used to be. Part of the latter, of course, is that I’m doing a lot of baby stuff lately. Most of the knitting is done within a week, so there’s only an opportunity for one or two posts at most for this stuff. But I think some of it is laziness on my part, too–it’s tough to get good pictures of WIPs, particularly something like lace or colorwork that looks (let’s be honest) less than appetizing pre-blocking.
Still, to increase my own satisfaction and reward from what I’m doing here, I’m really going to try to make an effort to (a) better catalog my thoughts and impressions and problems and solutions while I’m actually knitting a piece, and (b) post more WIP shots. So here we go!
I’m mostly focusing on gift knitting this week, but while I waited for the yarn to arrive in the mail I picked up the Cleopatra Wrap (ravelry link here) I started ages ago. I’m knitting it in the Sundara silk lace I received as part of the Seasons Club that just ended, and I put it aside after only 7 rows back in January because I couldn’t for the life of me follow the simple chart. While preggo brain is still definitely in evidence, I’ve come to my knitting senses again and found the lace both engaging and easy this time around. The pattern uses what I think is a really neat construction: You cast on, do the edging chart, place the live stitches on a spare needle, and then repeat for the second edging (followed immediately by the body). At the end, graft the stitches together.
This technique has three big advantages that I see at the moment: First, the edges of the rectangular stole match. Second, I get to use up all of that precious silk with no guesswork. Third, once you’re done with the first edging, a progress shot is really easy!
I’m a little stunned at how much more I like the lace when the points are pinned out vs. when it’s straight across the bottom. The points add such a grace to the piece that’s not evident when it’s just hanging from the needle. One thing this picture doesn’t show, though, is the way the yarn is knitting up. I was a little unsure about this first installment of Sundara’s club–the color (“copper over bamboo”) seemed too bright, too pink, not subtle enough. Something was off about it, wound into a ball.
It knits up much more nicely than the ball might indicate. The sheen is incredible, and when the yarn has a little bit of room around it in the lace, I see less fuschia and more of the subtle bits of “bamboo” peeking through. There’s depth without streaking, delicacy, shine. I just can’t wait to wear it. I can’t wait to pick it up again after my current deadline wip is finished.
So what’s the secret knitting, then? A birthday sweater for one of our most special friends who is turning 2. I’ll talk about it more next week after the reveal, but details are in ravelry and here’s a sneak peek:
And finally, here’s a knits-in-action shot for you. You’ll have to excuse the glazed, slack-jawed, post-nap expression! I woke up from my nap with Jacob the other day and NEEDED POPCORN. So I threw on my new favorite maternity sweater and stumbled downstairs like a zombie.
As it turns out, the shaped v-neck sweater I knit myself a little over a year ago can accommodate a belly, too.