Monday, February 20, 2006

Final Lap

Ding, Ding, Ding.......the bell for the final lap has sounded and the olympic knitters are pressing toward the finish line. Let's check the progress in Colorado Springs....... Isn't it cute? There has been a slight pause for blocking and buttons, but I'm definitely in the final lap. The buttonhole band gave me a little trouble....the directions said that the band should fit the front when "slightly" stretched. What is slightly stretched? The left front went without a hitch, looked great and fit nicely. The right front, where the buttonholes go was another story, my first attempt just didn't look right after I had it sewn in place. After looking at it for a bit, I decided it really needed to be done over (insert dirty word here). My second run produced a better looking band, tiny little buttonholes evenly placed and altogether a much better look. Here's what the back looks like... ...though I'm sure it will look much better on an infant than it does on my teapot. The wool/cotton has a nice soft hand and a nice drape after it's bath. When it's completely dry, I'll add the buttons. What I've learned: Intarsia is not suitable for TV knitting, unless you really don't care about what is on the tely. ....Experience in counted cross-stitch is a plus. ....The "wrong" side will never look as tidy as you think it should. ....Debbie Bliss is a brilliant designer, but one should do a thorough read through and maybe a bit of translation before launching into the project. I had to work through all the sleeve shaping on paper before it all made sense to me. Worth the time. ....When you finally "get it" you feel very clever. ....While I don't think I'll ever love knitting intarsia, it doesn't scare me anymore. After the knitting was done yesterday, and the little cardie was nicely blocked out on the kitchen counter, I opened the box from KnitPicks. Inside, as expected, was blue wool for Emory's clogs, dark red for Eva, a pretty cranberry for felted apples, two patterns and a color card for cotton yarn. I saw a really cute cardigan pattern in a magazine over a year ago and have been waiting for the time to be right for knitting it up. I think the time is drawing close, but as with most projects it isn't a straight forward as one would like. What originally struck me about this particular cardigan was the color, a bright tangerine, and the stitch pattern, that while not difficult, is very interesting. The model in the mag is knit up in a cotton/wool worsted weight yarn. Enter KnitPicks "Shine", a machine washable and dryable cotton/modal blend with a lovely soft sheen. The downside? It's sport weight, which makes figuring how much to order a bit more tricky. The other thing is that out of the 14 very pretty colors available, none are quite what I had in mind. I think I've just about decided to go with a nice vanilla color....ever practical....instead of something wild like apple green or cherry red. KnitPicks also has a lovely line of Merino, which has a color (rhubarb) that I adore.....but the idea of being able to toss a handknit into the washer and dryer just flat turns me on. I think I am willing to give up vibrant color for convenience, at least in this case. The big plus, aside from ease of care, is the cost...the sweater will be less than $35. That means hours of guilt free knitting pleasure, and knowing that if it doesn't turn out to be the "it" sweater I hope it will be, I haven't spent the equivalent of two weeks worth of groceries on it. Finally, the countdown has begun for Camp Knitaway. I can hardly wait. I still need to make a trip to Old Colorado City for supplies, and decide what I'm taking along, but as the time grows closer, I get more and more excited. This year we will be learning to knit with beads, but the best thing about the weekend is all the interesting people that attend, seeing what they've been working on (a mix of awe, intimidation and inspiration) and spending an entire weekend doing what you love with people who share your passion. Until then, there is plenty to keep me busy. The final lap needs to be completed and the finish line crossed.....I've got a gold medal to claim.


At 2/20/2006 11:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi from not so sunny WA today...the 'cardie' is beautiful!! To bad we don't have girls...maybe grandgirls one day?? :) See you soon...what day is it?? M

At 2/21/2006 08:20:00 AM, Anonymous ICHermes said...

Looks great, I recommend that all other knitters in the Olympics lay down there fettered projects and recognize defeat. :)


At 2/21/2006 08:11:00 PM, Anonymous Eva the Diva said...

Lookin' good girlfriend!!!


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