A little progress, and some great tutorials to explore

Japanese Feather Scarf progress

As you can see in the above picture, there has been some knitting. The scarf is now about halfway done, despite a significant mishap involving Little Fox and both cats that required ripping out several rows, picking up dropped stitches, and splicing the yarn in three places. It’s lucky for me that the Malabrigo Laceweight is super easy to splice since it’s a softly spun single. It’s also really lovely. This is my favorite laceweight I have worked with thus far. It is soft, fuzzy, subtly variegated, and I am completely charmed with it. Little Fox and Willow have colds, so there has been sniffly, achy, miserableness that has needed extra mothering. Since reading is one of the few activities readily compatible with comforting a sick toddler, there has been a plunge into knitting books, a whole bunch of knitting books. I’m thinking a series of book reviews would be appropriate blog fodder for sometime soon. At this point, suffice it to say that I love my public library system. I’m still fantasizing about colorwork, and also about spinning. I’ve been playing around with charting using Excel, thanks to Marnie’s fabulous tutorial. Marnie’s tutorial series is really amazing, and if you are doing some designing, whether for some form of publication or just for yourself, I bet you’d learn something new from these. For me, there’s probably enough material there to keep me playing around for a year or two.

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Knitting Daydreams

There has not been much knitting.  Little Fox loves is intrigued by my knitting and loves to come and pull on it, and so unless he is asleep or otherwise occupied, I can’t make progress.  I have to hide it somewhere out of reach or he pulls it out of the bag and plays with it, sometimes collaborating with the cats, resulting in tangles,  dropped stitches, and yarn strewn across the whole apartment.  The Japanese Feather Lace scarf is about twice as long as it was the last time I posted, but it is my only active project and looks about the same as it did in the last picture.  To console myself and you, I will post some links to things I have been fantasizing about while occupied with the little guy.

First, Kauni sweaters have been going around the knitting blogs, but I was never much taken with the original blocky pattern.  I’ve been seeing some really gorgeous ones on Ravelry over the last few weeks in other patterns.  For example this one from Freddy and this one from laknitgirl.  This brings me to Jessica Tromp, whose website has lots of great stuff including a ton of knitting charts.  Be sure to browse around the site, as many of these would be suitable for this sort of project.  The Kauni cardigan from laknitgirl makes use of one of Jessica’s charts, as does this one from Knitternutter.  I like some of the alternate colorways people are using, especially Babbz’ which combines pinks and purples to lovely effect. (I’m using links to people’s flickr pages instead of Ravelry links so everyone can access them easily, but please let me know if Ravelry links would be preferable.)

In the colorwork fantasy vein, I’ve been flipping through my copy of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting, which is a great source for charts and information about how the traditional Fair Isle sweaters are designed and constructed.  (It is also in print and quite reasonably priced.)  I was intrigued to notice that most of the traditional sweaters seem to use only between 5 and 8 colors, with the simplest designs using only 4 colors.  Most of them use between 1 and 3 light colors for the ground and between 3 and 5 darker colors for the patterning.  This really has me thinking, because it opens up a lot of possibilities.  Not every yarn will allow for 18 or 20 (or more) coordinated color selections, but most provide enough color options to allow for a colorway of 5 or 6 colors.  Also, this would considerably simplify the process over knitting up a Starmore or Fassett design.

Sadly, at the moment, colorwork like this is just not doable for me.  Even the simple Japanese lace scarf is probably more complicated than would be ideal.  I shudder to think of the sort of tangles I would wind up with if Little Fox got into a colorwork project of any size or complexity.  Ah well, he won’t be at this age for very long, so I’m just going to try to enjoy it and stick to simpler knitting.  Maybe I can satisfy my urge for color knitting with something like a hat or fingerless mitts in just two colors.