The Week Ahead

This has the makings of an awesome week. A day off to start with (I got in some Farscape, yoga and a tasty, healthy dinner, too). Some time set aside for knitting with friends (hoping everyone’s around for my usual Barnes & Noble meet-up, but anyway I get to make a new knitter on Wednesday and I can’t wait!). 5th anniversary with the man. And I’m on track to finish 2 big projects this week.

The Giant-Size Man-Sweater was here yesterday:

My first experiment with steam-blocking.

My first experiment with steam-blocking.

Yesterday was spent finishing the buttonhole band and seaming. I hadn’t seamed a piece of knitting since my first hat, and I probably could’ve picked something easier than stockinette-to-garter for my first big try at seaming. Too late now. I originally planned to use embroidery thread because this yarn is so thick, but even though the color was a perfect match the thread showed through too much and I was not happy. Going with the same yarn made the seam less obvious. After seaming, this got a good long soak (10 of them, actually; that dye bleeds) and is relaxing on the living room floor for a day or two. Just need to knit one more pocket, figure out exactly where they should go once the sweater is blocked, and sew on the buttons! The sleeves grew about 3 inches while soaking, but that turns out to be the perfect length for Dan. He looks so damned handsome in this thing, I just can’t even tell you.

The stripey Jaywalkers are coming out just like I hoped they would.

Stripey Jaywalkers

These are for a trade on Ravelry – I’m knitting these socks out of someone’s sock minis in exchange for a whole batch of sock minis to keep. I have to say, 2-at-a-time magic loop with about 15 or so stripes on each sock – so, 60 ends dangling from these by the time I’m done? By far the fiddliest thing I’ve ever knit. I’m trying to go back and weave in a few ends for every stripe I finish so it won’t be too overwhelming when they’re done and I’m confronted with all of them. But it’s worth it, because the stripes match perfectly, which I couldn’t have done making them separately, and I’m getting to play with some yarns I’ve never even touched before. There’s some tosh sock, Shibuiknits Sock, and some Wollmeise in there. Beautiful colors in all of them. I think the tosh sock is my favorite.

The baby sweaters have been shifted to a slightly different schedule than I originally planned for. The one I wanted to finish by the beginning of September so it would be ready for a mid-September due date still wasn’t finished by the time the mother went on maternity leave 3 weeks early. It’s a wool sweater I was thinking would be needed this winter, anyway, so this is less urgent now that there’s no longer much point in trying to get it done before the baby arrives. The other sweater I was hoping to finish by the end of September for a mid-October due date, not realizing the baby shower would be held September 1. So, really, that one’s still on its original track, but I did feel kind of silly at the shower saying, “And I’m planning on knitting you the cutest things!” At least the mother likes to squeeze yarn, so I could show her a skein of CotLin and she could ooh over it.

Being just ohsoclose to done with Dan’s sweater has opened up some other knitting time, so I’ve started my September socks – and knit 4 whole rows so far! I had planned to use this yarn to design my own pattern, but the swatch alone threatened to take the entire month and when I thought about it some more I realized I was less attached to the idea of my own design than I was to just cranking out another finished pair, especially with cooler weather coming. So, I gave up the design idea (for now) and decided to go with a plain old stockinette-with-ribbed-top deal, but I’m going top-down so I can try a heel flap experiment I’ve been thinking about. That way I still get a quick-fix project and meet my goal of one pair this month but still get to feel like I tried something new.

Since the plain old top-downs should be a quick knit, I’m planning to start the October socks early, because they’re going to be knee socks and I just don’t think I could knit a pair of knee socks in a month. My birthday present this year was my very first Socks That Rock (aside from the minis I’ve gotten to use in the Life-Long Blanket):

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

These are mill ends obtained through a Ravelry sale. They looked just slightly different in the skein, but in cakes one skein is clearly much darker than the other. And you know what? I don’t care. They’re both gorgeous. I will have fraternal twin socks (why? why do I have to have fraternal socks? couldn’t I have sororal twins instead?) and I will love them.

I’ve enjoyed setting the pair/month goal for myself this year. I haven’t made the deadline every month, but I have had a pair to work on each month, almost all of them finished eventually (still working on July). I’ve turned a decent amount of my sock yarn into socks, which is what it was intended for in the first place, and in turn made more space in the sock yarn drawers for more sock yarn. So, all around, this is a success! I’m already thinking about next year’s goal. I’m thinking a sweater, shawl, or other suitably big project every 2 months. Get through some of that laceweight I’ve been buying just to fondle.

3 thoughts on “The Week Ahead

  1. I really like the color of Dan’s sweater! What type of yarn are you using? I am curious about the dye bleed; I’ve never had that happen. But then again, I knit with cheap acrylic.

    The jaywalker socks are very pretty colors too. They look like socks a mermaid would wear, if a mermaid had feet.

  2. I’m using Cascade Eco+, which is a really nice yarn overall. 100% wool, bulky weight, and it’s sold in these huge skeins (almost 500 yards in each), so it only took 2.5-ish skeins to make this sweater. Goes for about $15/skein, which makes it pretty affordable, too. I’ll definitely use it again, but considering the next 2 things I want to make with it – a sweater and a blanket, both for me – are pretty big, I’ll probably go with one of the natural colors to avoid the bleeding issue. The colors are pretty great, though: http://www.cascadeyarns.com/cascade-eco.asp

    I’ve had a few different yarns bleed, and usually it’s not a big deal to rinse a few extra times ’cause it’s just socks or a hat or something. This was only tough because it was a big garment and I was worried that trying to squeeze the excess water out, hold the sweater to the side while I drained and refilled the sink, etc., was going to make it stretch out of shape from its own weight. But it’s fine! And I’m so happy with it!

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