Saturday, February 20, 2010

This Week in WIPs

Now that the knitting is done for my secret project of doom, I'm finally free to work on other things again!  Or, work on them with a clear conscience, since I was occasionally working on them anyway.

First, my progress on the new and improved (by which I mean, smaller) Wisteria.


I know, I know, it looks the same.  It won't when I put it on, or so I hope!  I'm just about to start the bottom cable chart, I hammered out the whole waist shaping section while watching a huge block of The Big Bang Theory episodes with my husband yesterday afternoon.


A few weeks ago when I couldn't bear not having cast on something with this wonderful yarn, I started a Garden of Alla shawl (Ravelry link).  This is a long-term, in-between-other-projects project.  I should have included something for scale...those are size 0's.  The yarn is so incredibly fine, that still feels loose to me.  And see that orange thing?  That's a lifeline marking the end of the first chart.  Never let it be said that I cannot learn.



In the "I can't believe it took me this long to get around to this" department, here I have a wrap from VK Fall 2005.  I bought the issue specifically for this pattern, and somehow, just never got around to it!  I have friends coming to visit next month, and we're going to be doing a bit of traipsing around Michigan, so I need some car knitting, and this seemed to fit the bill.

This is the Moda Dea Washable Wool I picked up super cheap last month, and what do you know, it's enough, with a hundred or so yards to spare.  I didn't try to get gauge before I started, but it's only two inches wider than the original...close enough for a wrap, no?  Normally that would mean I'd run out of yarn, but I'm not worried.
I'm compensating by altering the construction.  The pattern calls for the body to be knit first and then the borders knit out from either end, but that's a bit silly.  Why would I want two cast off edges in the body of my shawl?  So I knit the first border from a provisional cast on, then started the body on those stitches.  This has the advantage of telling me how much yarn to save for the other border--I have used one full ball of yarn plus a few yards of the next for the border plus one repeat of the body lace pattern.  Thus, when I start my last ball of yarn, I know that I need to finish the lace repeat I'm on, not start a new one, and work the border.  Voila! I won't run out before the border is done.

Finally, that dyeing project I mentioned.  I had yarn leftover from the secret project, enough for a shawlette or large scarf, and I was overcome by the notion of dyeing it Kauni-style (or Effektgarn, if that's your poison of choice) and having it shade from the original deep red all the way down to black.

I divided the remainder into four skeins (still connected, a feat of mastery with my swift that I'm a little proud of) and dyeing three of them over with black.  I'm trying a simple time-based gradiation method, but I think by the time I dropped the third and final skein in, I had left the other two too long and exhausted most of the dye.  We'll see how it turns out.

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