There’s been small amounts of progress on many needlework fronts lately, and closure on a few smaller projects. Flu has kept me indoors more than usual, and there was a work-related trip to Boston, which has meant more knitting. I’ve been switching from project to project, small to large, fine to chunky, straight needle to circular, to see if the variety minimizes carpal tunnel symptoms. It’s hard to tell yet, as the condition seems to have stabilized at moderate chronic discomfort. Typing seems to aggravate it, so I’ve been slow to share progress on projects and ideas.
What’s been happening? I finally finished knitting the second of two pairs of Turkish-style slippers with SWS from the stash; these go quickly, and I look forward to seeing how they felt once I have a large enough pile to start the machine. I’ve also finished a pair of mitered booties a la Elizabeth Zimmerman the first of two new booties (for demonstrating mitered knitting techniques to the RS Tikkun Knitters), and I’m having a go at a new pattern available through Ravelry, Jolene Mosley’s Baby Shoes, a knitted knock-off of the standard cloth or leather booties on so many infants’ feet. I’ve used some merino worsted in the stash from Handpaintedyarn.com leftover from the felted clog fest a few years ago. The blue booties are as diminutive as the usual Saartje’s booties, and I’ve tried to enlarge the orange slippers by working with worsted and slightly larger needles.
Three ideas for the Patterns for Peacebuiders have been started and then frogged. I was particularly inspired by a cabled sweater that crossed my path one night on Ravelry, theyarnmonkey‘s gray man’s sweater – he’s set it aside as an “ugh” project, but I was inspired by the edge treatment, which reminded me of the columns of poplars and cedars I remember during a trip to Israel/Palestine long ago. This sweater inspired the idea to create a set of projects based on the flora of Israel/Palestine, starting with cedar and fig motifs. The test swatch with Peace Fleece’s Shabu Green just didn’t seem to work, so it’s been set aside for the time being (frogged before I remembered to photograph it, but theyarnmonkey’s is here).
Brioche berets seem to fly off the needles – they’ve become a standard project for the recumbent bike. The Rooftop Beret is worked in 4 sections. The spiralling Ying Yang Beret is my favorite of Nancy Marchant’s patterns, and this (second) one will go to auction for the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia.
When a Ravelry editor asked to use a photo of a hat I’d made last summer, inspired the vintage Five O’Clock Hat pattern,
I thought I’d best provide a proper example as well. My Kureyon striped hat was really only inspired by the stovepipe shape of the vintage version. The second one is was knitted with Rowan Felted Tweed doubled, which gave it fine weight (the pattern calls for a sportweight boucle). The strip of garter ribbing up one side works like ruching, creating the jaunty tilt (in the original). Unfortunately, I tried to be clever and close the top by “turning the heel”, so to speak, rather than binding off and sewing a seam. I’m not satisfied with the shape of the top, so it will just have to be reknit when there’s time.
There’s also the top-down Valentine’s cable hat I’ve been working on designing (cables have been the order of business for the past few weeks, now that I’ve finished the owl cap and Nottingham hats, and finally received my copy of Vogue’s Stitchonary, Vol. 2). Working out the interlocking knots was quite a challenge – at one point I was reduced to working with papercut images. I’m still not satisfied with the circular cables, but it’s been knit and reknit so many times that the merino has acquired cloud-lets of fuzz. My hands will be full of hearts for the rest of the week.