Dahlia is Done

I finally finished this sweater!  I started it ages ago – almost two years ago – and put it into time out a couple of times.  All the stockinette was just so boring.  You see, the back lace part was the only interesting part.  The rest….

… is all just plain knitting.  Ho Hum.  I like it, but it’s strange to wear.  I have only worn it once so far, to work for a whole day, and it felt like it was constantly about to fall off my shoulders.  Most of the time I wore it open, like this.

The yarn is fantastic and feels wonderful and soft.  It’s Madelinetosh Pashmina, sport weight, 75% merino, 15% silk and 10% cashmere, color Duchess.  The pattern is Dahlia from Interweave Knits, Fall 2011.

It’s basically a rectangle with 2 holes for sleeves.  There’s no shoulder shaping at all, which is why it feels so weird.  A shawl with sleeves.  I will wear it more, for sure.  I just have to figure out how to get it to stay where I put it!

Hosta is Finished

Here is my just finished scarf! I’m very happy with it and I’m sure I’ll make another one.

The brown yarn is Madelinetosh 80/10/10 (wool/cashmere/nylon) in color Sand Dune.  The green yarn is Madlinetosh Vintage (100% merino) in color Terrarium.  The pattern is Hosta, designed by Nancy Marchant, sold on Twist Collective.

It was really fun and fast to knit.  I finished it in exactly 1 month, even with THREE OTHER projects going on! I know! THREE!  I actually finished one of those projects today, but I can’t show it to you because I’m going to submit it for publication.  If it’s not accepted you’ll be the first to see it, and I’ll publish it myself.

Meanwhile, I have a new job!  Yes, I will soon (in September) be working full time again, which will take some getting used to.  No more trips to the beach in the mornings, or knitting all afternoon.  I also won’t be teaching English anymore.  I might just write a post about THAT adventure sometime soon.

The good news is that I will be able to afford to do the fun things I love doing again.  Like traveling and eating out at restaurants a lot more often.  Now that I know I’ll be working, I’ve already started on a little pent up retail therapy.  Mainly shopping for work clothes since I don’t have ANYTHING to wear to a new job.  And a little yarn.  Always a little yarn.

Wool is Warm

Despite the warm weather, there is knitting going on.  Every day.  With wool.

The above is my Hosta, which is a little over half way finished.  I have 2 ~115 gram skeins of worsted weight yarn and when they are done, I’m done.  This is one of Nancy’s patterns and it’s really addictive knitting.  It’s easier than it looks, really, and it looks pretty impressive.  I love brioche!

I’m knitting this for 2 KALs.  Yes, double dipping!  KAL 1 is the Yarniacs Colors of Fall 2013 KAL where you are supposed to use the design colors for this Fall, as ordained by Pantone.  KAL 2 is the Twist and Shout KAL on the Madelinetosh Lovers forum.  For this one you have 2 choices – you can knit anything you want in Madelinetosh DK Twist yarn, OR, knit with any Madelinetosh yarn using a pattern from Twist Collective.  Nancy’s Hosta appeared in Twist Collective in Fall 2011 and I had this yarn on hand, so that’s what I went with.  I’m determined not to buy any more yarn for a long while (undyed yarn exempted, cuz I need something to dye!).

The other thing I’m working on is Dahlia.  This thing has been a WIP for almost 2 years!  The center lace section was pretty interesting, but the rest of the stockinette was just so boring.  I put it down a couple of times and picked it up again in July because I hate having WIPs.  Either finish or frog is my philosophy.  Yesterday I finished the second front piece and sewed the lace center to the knitted back sections.  At this point it’s a big rectangle.

The red lines on either side of the lace is where the sleeves will go.  I’ll take out that red yarn, pick up the stitches, and start knitting the sleeves in the round from there outwards.  There are little lace motifs at the cuffs of the sleeves too, which will hopefully keep me from stabbing my eyes out from boredom.  I am determined to get this thing done in the next 4-6 weeks.  The yarn is Pashmina, Madelinetosh of course, and luscious to work with.

I also have 2, yes TWO, other projects going.  One is a pair of socks for DB.  One sock is finished.  The second sock is about 2 inches underway.  It’s a long term thing.  It’s too hot now for them anyway.

Finally, I’m working on a new design that is nearly done.  At least the version in my size is nearly done.  The back piece is soaking right now.  The front is already done.  A little sewing and some ribbing and I can see if it fits as I intend it to fit or not.  If so, I will go ahead and grade the rest of the sizes and get on with knitting a second one and seeing about some test knitters.  It’s a slow process, but I get there in the end.

And that’s my knitting!  Lots on the needles, making progress, keeping an eye on my shoulders and hands so as not to cause RSI injury.  I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Summer So Far

This has been the best summer weather we’ve had since I moved here 10 years ago.  At least in my opinion it’s the best.  Some people are complaining about the heat, but for me it’s wonderful to be able to actually wear summer clothes!  Normally I get my shorts out of the closet about 5 days per year.  Since the first of July we’ve had mostly sun and heat.

I’ve been biking to the beach a lot these days.  It’s helps that I’m unemployed.  OK, it helps to have the time for fun things, but there’s a definite down side (moola).  (And that is all coming to an end… more news later.)

Here are some sights from my trips around, on the bike and on foot, to the beach and back.

This little frog was seen on a street in Bloemendaal, during an early morning walk/run.

A typical sight here – Mom with a couple of kids, on bikes, going as fast as the kid’s little legs will go.

Parnassia, early Thursday morning.  Pretty quiet.  But it’s early still.

Wild horses hanging out in the noonday sun.  Seems like a hot place to be if you ask me.

Parnassia Friday morning 11:00am.  People streaming down to the beach.  The parking lot is sure to be full by now.

The horses and cattle have moved to the “lake”, now a watering hole for animals in the dunes.  Seems like a good place to be in this heat.

My last free days of summer will see more trips into the dunes, that’s for sure.  It’s been too warm for me to do any running.  These trips on the bike are all early in the morning.  We’re all trying to beat the heat.  And will remember these lovely summer days long into the cold dark winter to come.