Friday, September 14, 2007

Endless miles of Garter Stitch

In sheer frustration at running out of yarn again on my Solstice Slip socks, I started still another project, a biggish one, a lovely reasonably mindless one which has been lolling in the stash since the trip to Rockin' Sock Camp in the spring. Joy and I stopped in Everett, Washington at Great Yarns on our way to Anacortes and the ferry to the islands. We had a grand old time. I watched Joy put together the yarns for their Kimono pattern to make a jacket for herself. Then she did it again to make one for her daughter. Then I thought what the heck, get one for yourself. I do love it when yarn shops have examples of their best patterns and it is possible to try them on. Joy and I both tried this jacket on, and although our figures couldn't be more different, it looked good on us both.
This is a sleeve to sleeve pattern, the most basic pattern imaginable. In fact, I kept looking for a second and third sheet to the pattern, and there wasn't one. Let's just call it minimalist. A hint or two on the bind-offs and cast-ons would have come in handy, but I eventually figured out the best for me to use. In fact I ripped back a good chunk of the long rows to recast those side seam edges exaggeratedly loosely. I had first used a loose cable cast on, which might have been just OK, but I decided that a crochet cast on would be even more flexible, so frogged and reworked that. With the help of several knitters on Ravelry, it seems the best CO/BO for the fronts will be a standard BO and a crochet CO, which give a perfectly matching edge. Joy ran short of yarn, as did her daughter. And I'm looking like 3 to 4 balls short and I had bought an extra ball to begin with! I'm waiting to arrive to the middle before calculating the final needs.
The combination of the different yarns is quite beautiful, better than this photo shows. I wish I had paid more attention to the yarns the shop had chosen. I was focusing on color and didn't notice content so much. The MC is only 52% wool. But I still think this will be a very practical jacket, which I would quite possibly knit again in Noro or something else. It fit quite nicely. The only change I made was widening the sleeve to 20" for a real kimono effect.
Isn't this just lovely? My friend Micol spun this beautiful light fingering weight yarn for me. 8 0z. = 880 yards, which should make a perfectly lovely shawl. Her spinning is really very nice and this color, which was quite variegated in the bat with greens and other colors, came out the most gorgeous dried blood red. I've been playing with a drop spindle, but haven't even begun to approach the quality that Micol does. And there just aren't enough hours in the day. Sheri of The Loopy Ewe has been talking about using glass containers to store the odd bits leftover from sock knitting, in plain sight but decorative at the same time. So I've been searching for proper containers. This one was the children's cookie jar. I dumped the cookies and gave it a good wash and voila! Of course, since this isn't even half of my yarn ends, I may be needing more jars. I'm eyeing the flower vases at the moment.

Speaking of The Loopy Ewe, I missed out on yesterday's Sneak-Up by minutes. I was at the doctor's and just happened to check TLE when I got home. It had been up for about an hour and every possible thing I might have wanted was gone. All the Wollmeise. Wendy's sock patterns, etc. I understand that this is unavoidable considering how nutty everyone is about that site, but it is highly frustrating and stressful to have to check constantly, then miss out by minutes. I just have to let that go. Brawling over sock yarn is just too hilarious.

Back to those Solstice Socks, with the yarn W sent, I was able to finish the toes. Then a care package that Sheryl sent late August got lost in the postal system for over ten days. But it finally arrived this week and now I can do some sort of ribbing to finish the socks and be done with it. I can't tell these wonderfully kind knitters how much I appreciate their help! Now if I can just find my sock mojo again, I will get them finished. Running out of yarn on that project really soured me on socks.


Micki said...

Micol's handspun is awesome! Lucky you. :)

Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said...

Hey I can't believe this! We're all tucking beautiful yarns into gorgeous containers! I started it a few months ago and then noticed it on other people's blogs. It's such a lovely way to show off yarn (which is, after all, far prettier than a depressed banana).

Your kimono looks stunning. SO it takes more yarn. All really good things tend to do that.

Eclectichick said...

Ahhh... endless garter stitch. It's fun once in a while, but after my baby poncho, I'm ready for some variety. Perhaps you'll be back in the sock mood at the end of it. And putting yarn in plain sight would be more productive -- I keep finding myself standing in front of my closet with a blissful, glazed-over look on my face... See you in a few days!

Teyani said...

your kimono is going to be fabulous! - I just love "Great Yarns".