Tuesday, September 28, 2010

And September quickly zips to a close...

...and I'm trying to catch up! I don't feel like I'm doing a very good job. There are always more things on my to-do list than I have time...to do. Sigh. :}

So, looking back at the month, it's been a full one. We started the school year, which has been mostly painless, so that's a good thing. It's been a month full of extra activities, like check-ups and such that always seem to come due in the fall. Hoping there will be fewer of them in October.

Knitting-wise, there've only been two FO's...my Nantucket Red, which I already shared, and this pair of socks, which I knit for a friend. They were originally going to be for Christmas, but I ended up giving them to her for her birthday instead.

I knit them toe-up using Zitron Trekking XXL for the main color and Mondial Ciao for the afterthought heels and the cuff. These were generic stockinette toe-up socks, but they were my first pair of afterthought heel socks, and I'm really happy with how they turned out.I did a pretty decent job of making the stripes all matchy-matchy, too. :)

I've done a fair amount of casting on for other projects this month. Well, technically I cast on this, my Random Cardi, at the end of August, but I've been knitting it consistently all month.

I named it the "Random" cardigan because it truly is random. I had no pattern in mind when I started it. I mainly wanted to see how this yarn (Lorna's Laces Swirl DK in the Tuscany colorway) would knit up. I've had this yarn in my stash for ages...love, love, love the colors...and decided the only way to really see what it would look like in a garment was to knit a garment-sized swatch. So, I cast on enough stitches to accommodate the back of a sweater and off I went. I've basically been winging it ever since. The back and fronts turned out just fine. My first attempt at a sleeve, however, was not good. Had I been knitting, say, I leotard, it would have been GREAT, because that's how snugly it fit. Ahem. So, I ripped it out and started again, this time using the numbers in Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns as a general guide. Miraculously, the finished sleeve turned out as close to perfect as it could have, especially considering I hadn't knitted the rest of the sweater to the corresponding pattern numbers. However, I'm not questioning it. LOL I'm just working feverishly to try and finish it up by this Friday -- the start of Socktoberfest -- so I can both enjoy wearing it now that the weather is turning cooler, and I can focus my October knitting efforts on SOCKS, and a couple other projects.

Speaking of socks, I also cast on these...

This is Kirsten Kapur's Ampersand pattern, which was one of the patterns in one of my Mystery Bags. The yarn, however, was not the yarn I originally put in the bag. Because these are going to be a gift, I opted to change out the yarn to a color that is more suited to the intended recipient. This is JulieSpins M370 Superwash Merino in the Jasper colorway. I love how they're turning out.  The pattern is a cuff down pattern but I'm working it toe-up, as it was an easy conversion. The heel, however...argh, toe-up heels continue to be a challenge to me! I'm substituting Wendy Johnson's basic toe-up slip stitch heel, which is working fine, but man, I still cannot envision it intuitively the way I can when working the other direction. I have to say, I think I may prefer gusset heels better for toe-ups.

I also cast on for another Traveling Woman shawl, this one to be another gift. I've gotten as far as the stockinette top of it. It's stalled there until I finish my cardigan. I'm hoping to have it finished by the time I see the recipient in late October. I'm using Misty Mountain Farm Highlight yarn, a merino-tencel blend, in the Evergreen colorway.

I also cast on for another shawl, a Haruni, which was going to be a gift for my MIL for Christmas. I may have mentioned her desire for an all-white shawl before, and my extreme hesitation in trying to knit one, mainly because white is booorrriinnngg. I had some Suri Alpaca laceweight here in white, and so I started it in that. It was going fine, but I have an inclination that though it will undoubtedly be both pretty and warm, it is not what my MIL had in mind. I can't bear knitting yet another thing for her that she is not excited about (whole other issue there), so I instead have ordered some white fingering weight yarn from The Loopy Ewe and will either start this over or I may do Bitterroot instead.

OK...I have more to say, but no time to say it! Story of my month. So, until next time, let me leave you with this:

Only THREE DAYS until SOCKTOBERFEST! Woohoo!!! =)

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