Nov 20, 2014

Code Breaker

You're probably going to laugh at this post, but I just started watching season two of The Bletchley Circle and was suddenly struck by how much the current project I'm knitting is like reading code.  If you're a TBC fan, you may recall that in the opening scene of season one, Susan is reading a knitting pattern while clicking away on her needles.  Of course, that's a hint at her secret past of being a code breaker during WWII.  

As I'm trying really hard to knit down my stash, I pulled out my one skein of The Fibre Company's Road to China in the malachite colorway, my US3 dpns, and cast on for a pair of Nalu fingerless mitts. I'm in the mood for a small'ish project with some teeth to it ~ you know, a bit of chart reading, some simple stockinette, and a thumb turn to add interest.  I started this project at the same time that I began watching season two of TBC and when I got past the cuff ribbing and started on the cable chart, I couldn't help but notice the similarity of me and the Bletchley girls.  Okay, I admit it ... being a code breaker would be one of my dream jobs!  Yeah, I'm that kind of geek.

Nov 13, 2014

A Sleeve ... or Two

There are those of you who aspire to have a variety of projects on your needles. You've got a hat, a sock, a mitt, a sweater, and a blanket all having a party in your knitting basket.  And then there's me.  If I have more than two projects calling for my attention, I get a little antsy and, yes, even a little dazed.  It's not that I can't multitask (I'm the queen of multitasking), but I find it hard to work on one project and not feel like I'm neglecting the other one.  Anyone willing to offer knitting therapy?

And then there's the UFO (aka unfinished object) lurking in the back corner of the closet or at the bottom of the project bag or stuffed under the couch cushions.  Okay, hopefully not under the couch cushions, but I have a feeling you know what I'm talking about.  So, here I was, at the start of fall knitting season feeling very proud of myself for having individual clear bags filled with yarn, needles, and pattern waiting for when I would finish one project to then cast on a new pattern.

And then I dug just a little deeper into my knitting basket and saw it ... my UFO from last October! It was my Bailey cardigan begun with some gorgeous Uncommon Thread Yarn that Mark brought back all the way from Loop London in summer 2013.

You can be sure that I whipped that project out of its bag, read through the pattern again, found where I had left off, and started knitting.  And I have to say, with complete joy, that I have been enjoying my Bailey so, so much.  This is all to say that I have been monogamously knitting on my cardigan and am almost finished.  Yes, you see one fully completed sleeve and another one making its way to the elbow.  

I guess you can say that I'm not suffering from second-sleeve syndrome.  

Nov 5, 2014

Hat Face

There are some people who have what I call hat faces.  You know what I mean ... stick a hat on their heads and voila, they look completely adorable.  I, for one, do not have a hat face.  Stick a hat on my head and my forehead disappears, my eyes shrink, and I do not look completely adorable (cue the sad face here).

But as a knitter, knitting a hat is one of those amazing pleasures.  The commitment is long enough to feel invested but short enough to get quick gratification. I've even designed a couple of hat patterns, and have really enjoyed creating Autumn in New York and Miranda. Last but not least, because I tend to only knit hats with animal fibers, I get a lot of happiness working with yarns I especially love.  

Both these hats are the Citadel pattern, and I just love how they turned out.  The oatmeal-colored one is in worsted weight knit in Patons Classic Wool and the other is a soft white in dk weight knit in LB superwash merino.  I don't know who I'll gift these to, but as you can guess, I'm really all about the process.  Hmm, I may be feeling a hat phase coming on. 

*My talented and very beautiful blogger friend, Michelle, has a wonderful giveaway over on her blog ~ a gorgeous shawl pattern by my other talented and very beautiful blogger friend, Libby.  Go and enter!!

Oct 30, 2014

Shawls All the Time

I titled this post Shawls All the Time because that's how it has been feeling here at P:Stash. Every now and then, I go through periods when my knitting seems to be all about fill in the blank.  Over the last couple of years, I've gone through a serious hat phase and then a sock phase and then a blanket phase and this fall, my needles have been happily occupied by shawl patterns. 

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you know that I did my darnedest to finish my Shaelyn in time to wear to my niece's wedding, but I fell short.  Still, it was a real joy to knit, and I'm definitely going to knit another one.  The design in this Madtosh colorway is gorgeous and I can imagine knitting another one in a plum.

I then cast on and have since finished my first Lonely Tree Shawl which was a great knit.  I started this pattern several times a few months ago and just kept getting frustrated because I couldn't figure out how to read the charts.  So, I sadly set this pattern aside and then a month ago, I watched Staci's video tutorial for knitting a cabled cowl and once I saw her explain how to read a chart, the biggest light bulb went on over my head.  I grabbed a skein of LB superwash merino dk and cast on immediately.  I'm now an expert chart reader (not really, but I definitely get it now!!).

So, after the happy success of my Lonely Tree, it was obvious that I had to cast on an Elder Tree Shawl, this time for a dear friend who has a big birthday coming up.  I've had trouble with this yarn in the past ~ I guess I'm not the most comfortable knitting with yarn that has a silk content ~ but it's working perfectly in this pattern.

I'm tempted to really challenge myself with a heavy-duty lace shawl pattern but then again, it just may be hat season again!