Sunday, August 16, 2009

a knitted bandana, Springtime Bandit

In between the sweaters and dishtowels, there are other projects.

This one used yarn I bought at my guild's stash sale last year. It was silk and merino, and fairly expensive for a stash sale. It is probably fingering weight. I wish I knew more about it, mostly because it is quite nice and turned out to be a great buy. Digging through a large plastic bin of yarn looking for something for last year's uber-popular Lace Ribbon Scarf, I came up with two hanks of a mottled indigo-blue. In the end, the idea of a lightweight scarf lost its appeal and the yarn, though wound and ready, was never knit.

This summer, one of the popular patterns is Kate Gagnon Osborn's Springtime Bandit. Though the Bandit calls for worsted weight yarn, I reached for the stash sale leftover that had been sitting on my shelf for over a year, bagged with the right size needles and pattern for the Lace Ribbon Scarf. I'm so glad I did.

It turned out to be a great combo. The weight is perfect, the drape is enhanced by the beads I added on the second-to-last row of eyelets, and the color will go well with my blue coat. Looks like Springtime Bandit is a fine fall knit.

Although the sweaters may dominate my knitting, they don't encompass it. Socks and hats and scarves are sprinkled in and among the sweaters. Probably that explains why I struggle to complete a sweater each month. I'd rather risk missing that goal than miss the fun of knitting a little project that is more complex or more portable or faster than a sweater. This week I'll be closing in on my first original completed pair of socks, sans pattern. Nothing special, but most practical.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lucky Leafy 7, knitted in time

I've enjoyed a zippy week, one which saw the start and finish of my latest sweater. Spurred on by the sudden realization that I had one week left in the month, and one more sweater to knit to keep up with the sweater/month goal of NaKniSweMoDo, I turned my full knitting attention to this quick project.

I have wanted to make the Leaf Yoke top (in purple on the 4th row in that link) since the summer issue of Knit.1 had arrived. I had no idea I would have so much yarn left over from my recently finished Sallie pullover. As it turned out, it was just enough yarn, in just enough time. I used the same brown Jaeger Aqua and the same tan Tivoli Santos Aran, but I threw in some Filatura Di Crosa Millefili Fine in a bright olive for the i-cord trim. This smooth yarn makes a lovely i-cord and certainly livens it up. I've detailed the construction mods on my Ravely page for this project.

I knitted most of it during a lot of car time. Besides spending several long days traveling for business, I enjoyed a little jaunt to the local county fair. This small fair, with only one tiny ride on the "midway", focuses on ranching. There's lots of events involving cattle and horses. Cutting horses are amazing animals. I wish we'd had one on our cattle farm when I was a child. Instead we relied on shouting and waving arms. A smart cutting horse would have been much more fun.

We did have tractors on our farm. I can't say that I'm overly thankful for that, as I became all too well acquainted with tractor operation during my childhood. Still, I appreciate a nice tractor, especially the antique ones at the tractor pull, which are more similar to the ones I drove than the modern, air-conditioned ones I see today. I thought I'd seen all types of old tractors, but I'd never seen a steam tractor until this weekend.

It is huge, and sounds exactly like a train. It even has a whistle! Seeing it unexpectedly was a fun surprise, like the hem of my sweater. Again, I found the finer cotton yarn made a great, though bright, hem.


Big Announcement: The pdf version of my guest towel pattern is up. Check the original pattern post for this improved printable version, or use this direct link.

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