Thursday, June 22, 2006

On the Needles...

If you’re familiar with the Knitlist, you’ll know it as “OTN”, a stock phrase used to introduce a part of one’s post making it eligible for posting to the List. On the Needles – I suppose for new knitters or extremely organized knitters, or perhaps a great many knitters of various categories, the list of what’s “on the needles” is short. I am not one of those people.

I’m one of the many knitters for whom “on the needles” requires a follow-up question – In which room? With which yarn? At what time of day? My answers can include, “Depends on the weather,” “Well, in the den…” and “For Doodle, I’ve got a … going, and for Bunny, it’s a …, and I’m waiting for Spawn to get cold and ask for something, but I did pick out this nice Australian blue merino, which would look good with this avocado yarn for a modest chest stripe…”

I suppose it would be easiest to go by room. Upstairs in the master bedroom, I have a pink and white baby blanket in rev. stockinette/stockinette squares with a garter stitch border going. I can work on it in the dark or low light if I wake up (thanks, menopause) in the middle of the night and don’t want to go through all the folderol of turning on lights.

The living room has three projects going – the first is a nearly completed size 12 K4K sweater in fiesta type orange – I call it that because every time I see the yarn, I mentally yell, “Ole!” It’s down to the last 1/3 of the second side of the bodice region. The living room also hosts an interim garter stitch scrapghan; I take the leftovers from the sweaters and knit onto pre-existing work until I haven’t enough yarn left to knit another row. I suppose it’s a “memory” scrapghan, much like quilts made from scraps leftover from clothing made for children, in days gone by. And, there’s a stalled crochet afghan in there – I still have the yarn for it, I did 9/10 of it, and then my husband ran off with it. Now it needs to be washed before I can finish the last panel, sew it on and do the border.

The den holds my small projects, or those that I photograph for this blog. I also have a crafts table where I mount my swift and ball winder and gaze out the big window to meditate and ponder the project for which I am winding yarn. Sometimes I just wind yarn up because I need to wind down, and I think about all the nice things that particular yarn could be used for. Currently, I have a shawl in horseshoe print (aka “fishtail lace”), which I might wind up frogging (pulling apart) because the texture of the yarn obscures the lace. There’s also one sweater of Bunny’s, which needs darning across a color-patterned panel, and I need to scare up the remnant yarn to get that done.

The dining room is currently my main workroom. I do hope to move the majority of my “operation” to the den someday, but for now the dining room provides the best seating, lighting, and accessibility. OTN/dining room are: a plain garter stitch scarf in forest green boucle for charity, a blue flame stitch one-piece afghan in a wool/acrylic/mohair blend for Doodle (we have a deal, when he makes his bed before school, I do at least one full pattern repeat on it during the day, and with school out, I’m not working on it), a mitten cuff waiting for me to get inspired and create the mitten to go with the Stained Glass Hat I posted about a month or so ago, and this:

Which is a top down raglan (tips in an earlier post) made from donated black acrylic yarn and three strands of white “Ice” yarn (which comes in bulk in single ply – acrylic). I picked up the Ice yarn on Ebay, and then spent a good three weeks winding the enormous quantity of it, which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 pounds, all single ply, in four colors. The raglan will be going to charity, too. The patterning will probably be just across the entire yoke, and the body and arms plain black. I may wind up putting a couple/three corresponding series of patterns near the cuff and hems. We’ll see how it goes.

This pattern, “Candlelit Windows,” is from J. Fee’s The Sweater Workshop, and it’s credited to Janetta Dexter. I happen to like the philosophy behind her patterns – no floats longer than 5 stitches (I actually don’t much like floats beyond 3 stitches because they slow me down too much and tend, over time, to be the weak points in a garment for snagging or becoming holey or pinched), easy to memorize, nice looking, not really gender-specific.

For the record, here are the latest two sweaters completed for K4K. It’s nice to NOT be working with purple right now! Oh, and for anyone worried about flashing or pooling with stock variegated yarn in stockinette, I prevented that by including a line of plain purple every fourth row to "break" any pooling/flashing in the sweater in the back.

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