Sunday, August 06, 2006

Works in progress

Time for a knitting post, I guess; In the earlier part of the summer, I allowed myself a brief lull in yarn-wrangling activity, but now I seem to have gotten back in gear.

Actually, I wasn't completely slack. I did knit my mother a pair of yoga socks on and off from May to early July. But other than that, I've been more or less idle. Maybe it's the hot weather. Nothing appeals like wool when it's 95 degrees out, eh?

What got me going again was a conversation with my cousin Beth (the mother of my new niece Liadan). I had a moment of inspiration and asked her what size Lia would be by Christmas. And then I promised to knit the baby a sweater...which is kind of ballsy when you consider that I haven't even finished a dog sweater yet.

Luckily, Main Street Yarns & Fibers stepped into the knowledge gap and offered a baby sweater class. I signed up and no one else did--and would you believe they didn't cancel the class! So I've essentially stumbled into a series of private lessons. Perfect.

The first class was yesterday. We're making this sweater from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac, a book so astoundingly funny, useful, and ultraliterate that I would have paid the class fee just for the privilege of knowing about it.

You can see my progress so far in the photo. It's the mauve thing. The yarn is Silky Wool (why don't they name their colors? the number "12" really doesn't capture it), and what you're looking at is the yoke. Note the buttonholes at each end. My instructor very wisely suggested that I mirror-image the buttonholes because it makes it much easier to sew on the buttons on straight. I like the way she thinks! This is actually the second iteration. I had to frog my first attempt because in an increase row I somehow created three gaping holes. (For the curious knitters reading this, my guess is that I picked up the wrong piece of yarn once in a while when I was doing "make ones." But I'm all better now.) I managed to fix two of them--maybe even sort of correctly--but the third one was hopeless. Much better to start over and be really satisfied with the results.

And of course the grey things in the photo are the pair of socks I have been knitting...forever...for the s.o. I finally finished the first one last night. To avoid Single Sock Syndrome, I then proceeded to cast on for the second. I've already warned the s.o. not to expect any future plain grey socks from me. They turn out lovely, but they're simply too boring to knit. Future socks will have stripes, argyles, or stitch patterns. Anything to break up the tedium.

I'm so glad to be knitting again. Maybe my latent northernness is kicking in, telling me that sweater weather will be on its way soon! That's not actually true, but whatever works...