Sunday, November 22, 2009

Little FO

A small Finished Object to show:

A pair of Ayanna Mitts in Elann's Baby Cashmere, in pewter, a medium size knit on 3 mm needles. They're wonderfully soft and the lace is pretty, but not so holey that your hands would get cold. Amazingly, one 25g ball was exactly enough to make the pair. 100 meters with only that little stringy bit laid on the pattern left over!

They are a prize to be contributed to my water aerobics class's attendance promotion, hence the display on cardboard hands. And there's a whole ball left over, enough to make a pair to keep! I can't help thinking that what would really enhance them is beads.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Ptarmigan Goes Fibrous

For a long time I have followed knitting blogs, laughed at, learned from, been appalled by, bored by, frustrated by, energized by, inspired by, and enlightened by knitting blogs. For almost as long a time I have itched to have my own. Now that blogs are becoming passe and twitterbook and inyourfacespace are all the rage, here I am finally knitblogging. Thank goodness my self esteem is not founded on being the vanguard of the latest trend.

I pledge to myself (and you, O mythical reader) that I will post at least once a week and that said self-imposed structure will surely help me document my projects and egg me on to challenge and achievement with this craft.

For starters we have my Big Project To Be, the Winter Sunset Cardigan from Jamieson's Shetland Knitting Book 1. I have been inspired by FAIR*ISLE to do another big fair isle project. Trouble is, I am too cheap to use the original real Shetland yarns. That would be at least $130 plus shipping, I figure. Only about $30 (plus shipping) to use Knit Pick's Palette yarn, and Palette is softer, not as scratchy as Shetland wool. But of course, Palette does not come in the same shades as the original yarn. That and potential difference in gauge mean serious swatching. So I have swatched. Seriously. That's them in the photo at the top.

The big problem is the main background color--none of the Palette options are really satisfactory. The original Shetland is a color named Eesit, a heathered tan named for one of the many natural color variations of Shetland sheep. Clockwise, from upper left, I have tried Oyster Heather, Marble Heather, Camel Heather, and Iris Heather. The photo makes Oyster look like a match to the photo, but it's not. Oyster is not different enough from the Cream contrast stripe (despite what the photo makes it look like). What I need is something between Oyster and Camel, but it's just not available.

Swatching has helped with a couple of things, though. I know I need to go one needle size down to get gauge, and I like Oyster for the light contrast stripe in the darker colors. I still haven't made up my mind about the main color yet. Camel? I really don't want such a brown sweater. Iris is ok, and I really like the variation in the heather, but the other contrast colors (aquas) don't work well with it. Marble is probably the best of the lot. Knitted up it looks more of a steel blue-grey, darker than I'd like, but the aquas really pop with it.

Thank goodness I'm not in a rush--I can let this all marinate a little while longer. There's plenty of pre-Xmas knitting to be done before I can even think about casting Winter Sunset on. What do you think?