Finally, Knit Time!

At long last, I get time to knit. I should explain. As a Japanese university lecturer, I roughly follow the Japanese school year schedule. That is, school is in session mid-April to mid-July, off from mid-July to mid-September, school from then through  late-December, off for small winter break, then back for two weeks, then off from mid-January to mid-April. I get paid all year but work for about eight and a half months.

So, projects in queue: Forks in the Road sweater, Seraphim shawl, and Bold Zebra sweater vest.  each has its own good points and difficulties.

The Forks in the Road has been started and stopped  so much. I need to jump in and really enjoy what I began. Have frogged it twice due to mistakes, not easy with mohair. I think it will go well now that I can get a rhythm.  

Seraphim Shawl: I’m not exactly feeling it and I had a big shock yesterday. One of the Livejournal diva/sages, sleepsong,  generously pointed out that I have been purling incorrectly, twisting each purl stitch from the wrong side. She was spot-on correct; all projests I have done to date have been flawed with this. At this point in Seraphim, I have totally finished the 58 repeats of stockinette before the lace pattern begins. It took me forever. If I frog it, I will abandon the project. I just can’t redo that boring expanse. So, go on correctly with the lace pattern? Or should I keep purling the wrong way on this project to make it consistent? My inclination is to now continue, purling correctly. I think I will just proceed on and see how it goes, if the change is very apparant but I can justify it with ” this is where it changes to the lace pattern” then I will keep it, If not, maybe froggy pond, here we come. 

Bold Zebra is my current passion, fueled by the fun new yarn I created from odds and ends.  I’ll devote a whole entry just to this. 

More later on my great Christmas knitting ideas this year and plans for a podcast in the New Year!

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New Inspirations

This summer was a big lift for me, knitting-wise. I really speeded up my knitting, making it much more fun. I discovered that while cotton and I will not be soulmates, we can at least be friends. I learned alot more about new techniques and EZ’s various projects. Worked diligently through three (count em!) three different  wool and sizes of baby Surprise Jackets. Currently, making the EZ Snail Hat to match one of them.

Lil Skunk Toddler Surprise Jacket

Lil Skunk Toddler Surprise Jacket

I’ve begun a vest in Silk Garden yarn to rev up my attempt to do the Knee-length Coat in Silk Garden. I’m concerned about the seaming . . . but, happily, I have a lot of support from Alana and the gang at the NeverNotKnitting fan forum on Ravelry. Just between you and me, I don’t know if i would go for it if they weren’t there to support me. It’s been a very helpful group so far, knowledgable and friendly. But then, that seems to be the rule with knitters, not sure why . . . 

Mango Lace

Mango Lace

The Sunset Picnic lace yarn Series

The Sunset Picnic lace yarn Series

Got two great samplers of lace yarns from Knit Picks, one in blues and greens, one in reds and salmons. Both rich and sophisticated palates. First thing I had to de-skein all of them and came up with a good system for these really fine-easily tangled yarns. After balling them on my yarn-baller, I get a fine plastic mesh food strainer bag (we use them in the drains of Japanese sinks), pull the bottom through the center of the yarnball and wrap the rest around the ball. Keeps the yarn from tangling/falling apart but allows it to feed to the work. Good system for me! I’ve started Miriam Felton’s Seraphim Shawl in the red series and am planning to use a bit of all the red/salmon yarns in the shawl. The series goes like this: Shadow (100% merino) Sunset Heather, shading into Gloss Lace (70% merino, 30% silk) Chipotle, shading into Shadow Hot Rod, shading into Alpaca Cloud (100% baby alpaca) Papaya, shading into Shimmer (70% baby alpaca, 30% silk) Sunkissed, shading into Gloss Lace Mango. Have also started the same shawl in Filatura di Crosa mohair fingering weight #3001, an opalescent blue-grey shading into lavenders and pale pinks. Why two? Well, this lace knitting is some fine and tedious shit. Even with sharp Addi Turbos, each stitch is hard to see and pick up, easy to split and will take beyond my life expectancy to complete. When I cast on the same thing in my favorite yarn, even though it is mohair and I know lots of people have issues with that, I had doubled what I did with the other within twenty minutes. Encouraging! So, I will continue with this lace spiderwebby stuff as practice but will actually get a shawl in reasonable time out of my workhorse fingering yarn. That works for me.