Friday, October 22, 2010

FO: Citron with an Edge

I, like so many others, loved the Citron when I first saw it in Knitty. I watched it explode in popularity for the Ravelympics and then continue to be added to queues at a healthy double-digit/day pace in the many months since. (Any statistics junkies out there really need to check out this cool feature, if you haven't already.) So by the time I got around to actually knitting it — not counting my first failed attempt with Classic Elite Yarns Silk Alpaca Lace (which is now taking an extended timeout in my stash bin, given that it was the second failed project attempt with said yarn) — I called it "Citron #1,000,001."

And off I went, casting on with Malabrigo for the first time. What can I say about this heavenly soft, color-drenched yarn that hasn't already been said? Sigh. Or about the mindless mindful knitting Citron's many stitches provide? (It was only that last 540-stitch ruffle that tested my patience.) Then I tried on my unblocked piece and, once again, was reminded that my neck is as short and stumpy as Ms. Callis' is long and graceful. (This probably wouldn't be such a sore point, but all my life it's a detail that's been rubbed in with silly zodiac descriptions proclaiming that as a Taurus I have a "swan-like neck." No, I'm not bitter.)

So after scanning Ravelry to see how else knitters were wearing it, I found a kinder draping. Check. Then I decided that as much as I loved the ruffles, it was a little too girly for my wardrobe liking. How about mixing in a few hard edges? So I blocked it with some random, angular points. (Promise: It wasn't just lazy pinning.) Must say, I'm pleased with the outcome.

And, for better or worse, so is Izzy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sweater Weather + FO: Cabled Bibs

Even before "sweater weather" meant hand-knit woolens, fall was my favorite season. But here in Albuquerque, crisp mornings continue to betray me. Midday temperatures climb with the sun, reaching for 80. So it was with great joy that I actually cast on a wool sweater this weekend — the "Transverse Cardigan," which has been at the top of my Ravelry queue since I bought the burnished terra cotta yarn in Taos.

And the desire to start that sweater meant I found the momentum to finish the straggling projects I'd decided needed to be done first. My "Citron" is blocking right now (stay tuned) and I completed the second round of "Modern Cabled Baby Bibs" (the blue ones below, alongside the girly one I knit earlier in the summer but never got around to blogging). This pattern is a fun variation on cotton dish cloths when you're looking for a cheap thrill. And the FO photos are a good lesson/reminder — I'm going to pull up these side-by-side pics the next time I'm tempted not to block anything.

Next up? The i-cord loops and button band for Izzy's "Finley" so I can cast on that "Oscilloscope Shawl."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Taos Wool Festival!

Headed north Friday night to Taos with my friend Jane, whose husband hosted a sleepover extraordinaire for their daughter and Izzy — backyard camping, telescope viewing of Jupiter, Saturday morning pancake making, and a visit to Explora ... all before ferrying the girls to their ice skating lessons, then pizza for lunch and "Little House of the Prairie" viewing. I'll, of course, leave it to Jane to decide whether she wants to submit the Husband of the Year paperwork, but I do think he's sure to place if not win the whole thing. Just sayin'.

With the lure of yarn winning out over our desire to enjoy Saturday morning solitude/sleeping in, we were up and ready to meet for the free hotel breakfast at 8 a.m., only to find the place overrun. So we headed into town, found the World Cup Cafe, and paid for coffee and pastries definitely worth the price. We then arrived at the festival, beating a few of the vendors. Definitely a plan I'd advise — we were able to do a full circle before the crowds descended and only had to deal with elbow-to-elbow tents and lines for our purchases.  As way of comparison, I'd say the festival is about 1/3 the size of Maryland Sheep and Wool (which I was last at when Izzy was a baby), but there was certainly no shortage of yummy yarn. Here's what I finally decided on.

The 500-yard skein of Brooks Farm Duet is going to be a lighter-weight version of the oscilloscope shawl and the terra cotta Striations skeins (75% mohair, 25% wool) along with the buttons (purchased later at Common Thread in the Taos Plaza) are designated for a Transverse Cardigan. Now, which to start first?