Friday, October 17, 2008

Winter soon; knit now

In my last post, I lamented about missing the peak of fall color. It was easy to see where all the pretty leaves had gone--all I had to do was look down. I've since discovered a fascination for the subtle differences in these fallen beauties, some red, some silvery-green, some tinged with brown, and many mottled combinations of these colors. I've spent some time just sorting through the bounty of fallen leaves, admiring the variations.

Then, when I look up, I can see the first snowfall has coated the peaks with white. They make a nice backdrop for The Castles which stand above the aspens west of Ohio Creek.

This week, the weather has been outstanding. I wake each morning to clear, blue skies and walk in the cool, still air, listening to the geese honk as they come in for a landing on the nearby pastures. I'm determined to walk every day, because I know that my days of walking outdoors are soon to end. As soon as next week, we may get snow here. Not just snow to look up at, but snow right at our doorstep. I'm not much for walking in snow. I'd much rather curl up in front of the fire and knit.

With the imminent change in the weather on my mind, I've been keeping track of patterns and mentally organizing my stash of yarn.

One pattern that really grabbed me was this excellent reinterpretation of last year's popular pidge-style neckwarmer: Brioche neckwarmer

I was so taken with it, once I figured out how I'd like my version, I cast on and finished it in just three days. I used Brooks Farm Solana on size 5 needles (two sizes smaller than what works for stockinette in this yarn, making it narrower and slightly more tightly knit. The lucky combination of my stashed Solana and brioche stitch produced a lofty, squishy, bury-your-fingers softness better than anything else I've knit. This yarn and stitch pattern are so happy together, they're permanently married, convenant marriage style--no breakups for this duo.

For me, however, the garter stitch edging tenten used just didn't work. Mine looked messy, and I wanted something neater. I considered alternatives, but my edge-less swatch looked nice enough. After much dithering about it, considering adding an applied i-cord edging in gray after I've finished, or using some other type of selvedge stitch, I just knit it plain, sans edging. I also reduced the cast on from 30 stitches to 20, casting on in k1, p1, knitting for 24 or so inches, adding two buttonholes a couple of inches from the end, and then switching back to k1, p1 before casting off. I found the Brioche Stitch website most helpful for these decisions.

Waiting patiently behind this neckwrap and yet another I've started is the beginning of another towel, a guest towel this time. I've got a nice edging from one of Nicky Epstein's Knitting on, or over or something books, lots of cotton yarns and a couple of ideas. I may be able to concoct another simple pattern to post, along with the pattern for yet another neckwrap I have in progress.

If you'd like to see a finished photo of the alpaca cowl, or details on the neck things, check here on the Ravelry project I created for them.

On our recent drive, K noticed that the aspen leaves hung up in the little evergreens, making them look as though they were decorated for Christmas. I know the holiday is not far off, so I'm knitting small gifts now, hoping to get everything I have planned done early this year. While looking for patterns, I found this cute seasonally-inspired scarf pattern--Christmas Garland Scarf . I haven't yet found an excuse to make one, but it is a cute idea.

I'm gathering up my knitting and heading out for more long drives in the beautiful weather this weekend. I'll be curled up in front of the fire soon enough.

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Wool Enough said...

The brioche neckwarmer is lovely. I like the way you handled the buttons, gives a very polished look. And thank you for the fall color pix. I miss seasons. I even miss snow (a little, sometimes).

sydney said...

Beautiful fall photos. I love kicking through big piles of leaves. The neckwarmer turned out nice.

Corwink said...

You always take the best pictures! LOVE the neckwarmer. I think I have a few of these in mind for Christmas gifts.

Wool Winder said...

The yarn and stitch do look lovely together!