For the first time in a long time, I'm going to post about knitting. Here goes nothin'.
The current situation: I'm working on Kelly's gloves again (since I finally got the needles I needed after repeatedly losing one after another of my old dpns). I've started on the ring finger of the second glove; when it's done I'll just have to do the pinkie. I'm also fixing to start knitting an Interlocking Balloons scarf for Karen. I knitted one before for my friend J, which you can see on Karen's flickr here. I'm looking forward to it--it's a really fun pattern. I also still need to finish Salina. I found the pattern really confusing when it came time to split the front into two sides, but I think if I sit down with the instructions and chart out where everything goes on some graph paper I can make it work. Once I do that I should be able to finish it pretty quickly.
Even though I have two projects on the needles that I've been plugging away on for months and another I'm getting ready to start, I'm thinking about what to knit next. Maybe it's just the weather, I don't know, but I'm feeling like getting back into knitting in earnest. It usually doesn't take me very long at all to make stuff, it's just that I get sidetracked and get out of the habit of knitting. Well, and sometimes I don't have any discretionary income for yarn purchases. Now is one of those times, actually. But I might as well think about what I might do when that changes. So, here's some stuff I've been thinking about.
I've been thinking for a while about knitting this shawl, despite its dopey name. Adrian from Hello Yarn did a nice version of it a while back. I'd like to make it out of Morehouse Merino, one of the naturally brown colors (from brown sheep). But I wonder about the whole shawl concept. Would I actually wear such a thing? As nice as it is, any shawl knitted in worsted weight yarn is going to be kind of like a wearable blanket. Which sounds kind of appealing, but maybe it's just appealing to my frumpy tendences in a way I should avoid.
Cardigans are a lot more unequivocally useful. Poking around the knitting blogs for the first time in forever, I came across lucy in the sky, by Laura who does the Cosmicpluto blog. Karen pointed me toward Forecast by Stefanie Japel. I'd use different yarn and make the sleeves less blowsy and probably shrink down the bobbles, but I've seen some really nice versions of this sweater on blogs and on flickr.
But the most practical thing would probably be to make myself some little things for when it gets cold. I have a nice cabled hat I made out of my own handspun last year, but I could use another hat if I found a pattern I really liked. Lately I've been seeing a lot of nice fair isle hats. I'd like to knit myself a scarf but I haven't seen a pattern that really grabbed me more than lots of others. Maybe I should just resign myself to making a few different ones and rotating them around. Or I could just keep my neck warm with something else. Somewhere buried in my papers there's a pattern for a neckwarmery thing called a Flared Lace Smoke Ring--you can see a lovely version by Cassie here. The notion of a lace neckwarmer sounds dumb to me in the abstract, but in practice I think it looks really nice and it could be less of a hassle than a big scarf but just about as warm. And making Kelly's gloves makes me want to make gloves for myself, though given the Texas weather I'd probably cut off the fingers around the first knuckle so I could still use my hands.
I could also use a new pullover, especially if Salina doesn't work out too well. Most of my sweaters are old and full of holes. One thing I've been thinking about is making something out of a nice self-striping Noro yarn like Kureyon, like Alison Brainylady's version Interweave's Retro Prep pattern. I'm also thinking about knitting a top-down raglan out of all the interesting scraps of yarn I've accumulated since I started knitting. There used to be a few nice scrap sweaters you could look at online, but the ones I used to look at have all been taken down for one reason or another. Suffice it to say that even though a scrap sweater sounds like it would look totally insane, the ones I've seen were actually really wearable.
But I have another idea for a pullover that is totally impractical. I was watching The Science of Sleep back when it was in the theaters. There's this scene, one of the dream ones, where the main character is using this instrument that has piano keys but stuff rolls out of it like pages from a typewriter. But the stuff that comes out is knitted--it's a knitted landscape. It reminded me of something in a book I have. It's a compendium of stuff on various needlecrafts--sewing, knitting, embroidery, pretty much anything involving a needle. It's from 1978 so the design sensibility is a little dated, but in an interesting way. There's a project in there called a "picture sweater." It's not a pattern per se, more a set of instructions on how to design something using an existing pattern. It's a pullover with a landscape across the front. I should try to scan the photo and post it--it's really strange yet oddly compelling. Anyways, ever since Michel Gondry reminded me about that landscape sweater I've been thinking about knitting one myself. I just don't have any good ideas about what sort of landscape it would be. Maybe watching the movie again would help--it's coming out on dvd soon.
So that's what I'm thinking about right now, knitting-wise. It might be another six months or whatever until I post on the subject again, but I hope I'll have something to report sooner than that.
eta: Of course as soon as I post this some new Knitty patterns are released and I actually end up liking one of them. Bonus: it would be my excuse to try to do a three-needle bind-off for the first time.
Yeah, sometimes you just really want a wearable blanket. Like, I think the day I decided I wanted a thick shawl I had gone to a movie during the summer, with the requisite excessive air-conditioning. When I picture enjoying such a thing I don't imagine myself outside during cold weather, but inside dealing with excessive climate control.
Yay! I never understood why they got rid of Cotton-Ease. It was so well-loved! I'm surprised by the organic cotton thing as well, but pleasantly, of course. It's all exciting news for me, but it's even better news for vegans.
all good ideas, i think. i see what you mean about the shawl, but i don't think it's really such a problem that you should avoid making it. just don't necessarily wear it every single place you go once you've got it. anyway, who knows. it might not be frumpy at all in practice. i often find shawls to look kind of fashionable on the right person.
Yeah, I know shawls work sometimes on some people, I just don't know if I have the chutzpah to pull such a thing off. I think if I was looking at knitting a wispy lace kind of shawl, like a Birch (which I'm also still thinking about in the back of my mind), that definitely wouldn't have to be terribly frumpy. I could use something like that as a scarf, pretty much. It's the heavier-weight shawl idea that I'm apprehensive about. But I still want to do it. I just like how it looks and I think it would be really comfortable and interesting. And that pattern looks like it would be an interesting thing to knit. I guess in posting about my reservations I was really just trying to get everybody to reassure me that it's ok to knit a giant heavy shawl. Now that I've gotten some positive feedback maybe I'll feel better about doing it if I decide to go through with the idea.
Thanks for validating my shawl tendencies, snookiepants.
I bet it would be pretty easy to find another kind of yarn in the same gauge that you could use for that pattern, if you wanted. Or looking for that yarn could be your excuse for some NYC yarn-shopping in March.