if wishes were horses …

My dearest friend in Nashville — and one of my dearest friends full stop — will be leaving this evening.  She’s off on some exciting academic adventures and though I’m very happy for her … it’s always sad to say goodbye.  She’s been such a big, generous, wonderful part of my life, Nashville won’t quite be the same without her.

So I’m glad I could send her off with her hat.  Finally.  8 months late.

I always did need a deadline.

Selbu Modern
Rowan felted tweed in billberry (151) and ginger (154), less than one skein each
tiny needles for the brim, US5/3.75mm needles for the body

you know what this means …

… I finally, finally, FINALLY finished selbu two.

(apologies for the dark photos)

According to my ravelry page, I started this hat on January 8.  For a friend’s birthday in February.  Hmm … all things considered, 9 months isn’t so very long to wait for hat.  I did, after all, change horses in midstream, starting over with two glorious shades of Rowan felted tweed: Billberry and Ginger.  Yum.  It was a lovely yarn to work with, and so much better suited to stranded knitting than the sock yarn I’d chosen before.

 

(furry stuff)

Though I’m sheepish to admit it, part of the reason I’d been dragging my feet on finishing this particular hat was the two-color knitting.  I need much more practice– my tension is wonky and I have no idea how my stitches are either loose or tight, but never nicely in between.  And I am no natural-born continental knitter.

Maybe I should start in on one of Kate Davies’ incredible tams?

That will have to wait.  Right now, I’m enjoying a mad rush of finishing … today’s project: knit a heel and toe for a long-lost sock.  I’m feeling in a very sock kind of mood, maybe it’s time to cast on for more?  I also have plans for a job-market cardigan

At least Alice is comfy.

more knitting!

I caught a moment of sunshine this morning and got busy with the documentation.  Or evidence, if you will, of my very crafty Saturday.

Nothing but knitting, the whole darn day.  It was just what I needed.

twenty eleven

twenty eleven

Twenty eleven is finished, blocked, and awaiting buttons.

I love how very sheepy this yarn is: I swear, it sheds more than Alice … I keep finding bits all over the house or in my books, on my clothes … everywhere.

As you can see, I added some rather dramatic waist shaping.  I wanted it to cinch at the waist, and cinch it does.  Let’s just hope it’s not too much, since I did also want it to close without extensive corsetry or girdles … I did try it on about a million times while knitting, just to make sure, but still … one never knows.  And I eat a lot of pizza.

blue buttons!

It’s that “awaiting buttons” part that are going to be a challenge.  I was set on bright blue or turquoise buttons and, indeed, that was what I found.

14 of them; 14 buttons that were suprisingly expensive when bought in quantities exceeding two or three.  But I was impatient to find buttons and didn’t want to wait … so, very precious buttons it is.  I plan on spending the afternoon stitching … and stitching …

Not that the cardigan is going anywhere.

i got this

Alice has got this.

And I’m already daydreaming about new projects …

starting over, again

two of my favorite things

two of my favorite things

Happy Sunday!  I’m dreading the return to the real world tomorrow, but at least I got some sleep.  And have a pretty new cardigan to wear.

starting over

I don’t like messes.  In fact, I try to avoid them whenever possible … of course, that doesn’t mean that I don’t make them.  I make lots of messes; I just try to tidy them away as quickly as possible.

This often happens with my knitting.  A project doesn’t work out, something goes spectacularly awry … and I attempt to pretend it never happened.  At least, not on the blog.  I don’t share the messes.

But the other day, something happened: I let all the mess out, without really meaning to — all the ragged edges, all the whining and complaining and self-pity, all the sloppy pieces that didn’t fit — and it felt really good.  It’s out now.  And I thought, why not do the same with my knitting.  After all, there is plenty of mess to be had there.

Exhibit one:

selbu two

Oh, selbu two.  It was just not working out: too uneven, too loose, too not right.  It’s a gift after all, and I don’t want to saddle someone with a subpar selbu.  So back to the drawing board, time to be an adult and admit that I need to knit a guage swatch and possibly buy the appropriately sized 16″ circular.

The yarn is so pretty and I do not want to cringe every time my friend decides to wear the hat …

Exhibit two:

twenty eleven

Twenty ten.  This started life as the Golden Wheat cardigan, which was knitting up just dandy … until I decided that I didn’t necessarily want another swinging cardigan; instead, I wanted something that could cinch a bit in the middle.  Because if it doesn’t cinch a bit, well, I then towards the rectangular.

So I thought: twenty ten!  Perfect.  I’ll knit it up with less ease — as seen on Ravelry –, add three-quarter length sleeves, and voilà! cinchy cardigan.  I’m still cautiously optimistic, with reservations about my choice of yarn: ístex létt-lopi.  It’s wonderfully sheepy and has a lovely sheen to it, but I’m concerned that the gauge just might be a bit too loose.  It’s a quandry: continue and see what happens? or start over and hope for the best on smaller needles?

twenty eleven

This is what happens when I start a project on the fly.

selbu two

selbu!

I’ll be honest: I was kind of dreading starting this project.  Last year, my very dear friend here in Nashville requested a selbu modern for her next birthday (in February) after seeing mine out and about in the winter.  Of course, I said yes.

Then the dread started.  Even after I thought up a perfect color combination for her and got it approved … even after we bought the delightful yarn itself … I was dragging my feet.

Now, February is almost here and I realized that I would feel absolutely awful if I didn’t have the hat ready for her birthday.  So I cast on last night.  Turns out, I really do enjoy color work, even if I’m not particularly, um, practiced in the technique.  And I’m hoping a good soak and blocking will even out some of the wonky stitches.

selbu!

I’m a little worried about gauge.  I went up a couple of needle sizes because I was sure that using the recommended sizes would result in a very tiny hat.  But will this version be much too sloppy and loose?

Again, I’m putting my faith in the power of blocking.

selbu!