Monday, January 30, 2012

On Schedule

So far, so good. I'm actually a little ahead of my self-imposed 2012 knitting goals. I completed two projects in the month of January and started two projects. I hope at least one of those new projects is fully completed before the end of February.

My number one project for the year was a cowl kit that I requested and received for Christmas. I had seen the kit on the Hill Country Weavers website, had visited the store and looked at it longingly and ultimately decided it was a little too expensive for my budget. I figured it would only be a matter of time before I decided the heck with the budget, but then when it got close to Christmas and little brother and sis-in-law asked what I might want, I offered the longed for Paintbrush Lace Cowl kit as a possibility. Santa came through and then once I had it in hand, I began to wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew. I was determined to tackle it right away and prove that I still knew how to knit lace.

There were a few bobbles along the way, but nothing that caused me to have to rip it out and start over. Knitting lace is really not hard, so long as you pay attention to what you are doing.

The cowl is knitted with two strands of very different yarn held together, one a mohair and one a straw-like lace-weight yarn. When I felt the Silken Straw, I had my doubts about how the finished product would feel around my neck but I forged on. The colors were selected from the color palette of the Indian Paintbrush, one of my favorite wildflowers, and I enjoyed watching them shift through my fingers. And, as scratchy as the Silken Straw feels in the skein, when it combined with the mohair, it became soft and luxurious.

Yesterday afternoon I reached the end of my January project and after weaving in the yarn ends and steam-blocking, I had my own Paintbrush Lace Cowl. I defy anybody, including me, to find the few errors hiding in the lace.

I really had not expected the cowl to move as quickly as it did, so I had started another project to be sure that I would finish something in January. Lo and behold, I completed both the cowl and the Flounce scarf over the weekend.

The scarf was an impulse project. I had visited Yarnorama in Paige on my way back home from an antiques run to Giddings and had seen a sample scarf hanging in the store. I was intrigued with the very odd "yarn", which is actually a mesh fabric. You knit into the edge of the mesh and fluff out the mesh as you progress, which results in a soft ruffled scarf. I'm not sure what else you could use the yarn for, but it makes a really nice scarf. You can vary the number of stitches to produce a narrow or wide scarf. I chose to make a scarf 5 stitches wide and ended up with enough scarf to be able to drape it twice around my neck. (I've since bought a second skein of Flounce and think I will start another one of these little scarves soon. I've also made another foray to Hill Country Weavers and have purchased yarn for a second cowl in a version that calls for mohair only. I am itching to get that one on the needles, too.)

Coco did not protest at all when I asked her to model the scarf and posed like she is aspiring to be a model. Mojo took exception to the attention she was getting and made it clear that he wanted to be a part of the photo party.

I try to always make my kiddoes happy. And, it seems natural that they should be included in the progress report. Mojo sat beside me and kept me company for every stitch that went into these scarves.

The heathen cats were absolutely no help at all. My next project is another scarf that involves very unique yarns of boucle, mohair and a hairy yarn that Dixie thinks is a wonderful cat toy. I've had to rewind the yarn three times because she steals it out of my knitting bag and runs like crazy, trailing yarn behind her. I've had to resort to using a zippered bag to store this particular work in progress.

We'll see if cat slobber has any effect on the feel of the completed object. It should be showing up here in the not too distant future. I already have a couple of inches completed.


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