May 20, 2018

Monogamous Me

Years ago, I was a fully monogamous knitter, but those days have been gone for a long time. I'm not sure exactly what prompted the shift, but somewhere along the line, I began weaving small projects and quick knits into the active project mix. 

That's all well and good, but as you know, I'm a slow knitter with very limited knitting time, so it takes very few projects to go from manageable to overwhelmed. When that happens, even less knitting occurs, because there are too many projects clamoring for attention or I succumb to temptation and cast on even more.

Technically, I have three projects on the needles, but for some reason, I've been focusing all my energy on the Herlacyn Breeze afghan. As a result of this happy but unexplained quirk, progress has been (relatively) swift and quite visible.

Just a few weeks ago, I cast on and began working the first strip:

Since then, I've managed to complete it ...

start and finish the second ...

and cast on the third (and final) one.

Things have advanced so steadily, in fact, for one fleeting moment I fantasized about having Breeze completed by the end of the month. As unlikely as that is, it's fun to think about. Meanwhile, I'm simply relishing the progress produced by the delightfully unexpected and undoubtedly temporary monogamous me.

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May 13, 2018

Swatch Stories: Full Circle

Many years ago, I fell in love with an easy textured slip stitch, which for reasons that escape my grasp, was dubbed the Pin Check stitch by the venerable Barbara Walker.

The stitch pattern creates two very different but attractive sides. On the front, a stockinette grid frames small purl bumps, while on the back, the pattern produces a lateral dot-dash or chain-like effect when worked in two colors.

I've swatched this stitch countless times in varied yarns and color combinations. The initial plan was to make a cozy sweater in neutral shades of black, grey and cream ...

or warm earthtones such as brown, taupe, tan and off white worked in a dark to light gradient.

Then I toyed with other possibilities, such as working shades of the same color to create an ombre effect against a black gridwork. 

Years passed, life happened and the sweater plans never solidified. 

Then one day, I realized this versatile stitch might be the perfect texture for an afghan. More swatching ensued, and eventually this stitch became the foundation for the Tikkyn Reversible Afghan, which I worked first in a fun rainbow scheme ...


then again in a combination of greys and burgundy.

Now, things have come full circle. While slip stitches are great for simple colorwork, they're texture stitches first and foremost. This rich purple yarn with its tantalizing touch of cashmere has for far too long been crying out to become a soft, cozy cardigan. It's possible this beloved little slip stitch with its plush, waffle-like texture might be the ideal way to make that happen.

Happy Mother's Day!

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May 6, 2018

WIP | Herlacyn Breeze

After a brief foray into whimsy world, I've cast on another afghan and am making headway. In one short week, Herlacyn Breeze has progressed from this ...

To this.

Strip one is well underway. I've completed the first color segment (Sugar Plum) and am halfway through the second (Lapis). With a bit of luck and some uninterrupted knitting time, I may be able to finish this section and start the next (Caribbean Sea) before the weekend is over.

I'm approaching this as a stashbusting project designed to use scraps and partials leftover from other projects such as Valere Summer Rainbow and Valere Vivid Rainbow. And while the exuberant spontaneity of random scrappy projects can be so appealing, a more controlled approach tends to work best for me. 

Because this is about leftovers, the challenge, of course, is the rather significant variance in yardage, as you can see by the different yarn cake sizes. This prompted a flurry of weighing, calculating and experimentation in an effort to pin down yardage and a color sequence. 

In the end, this version will feature a diagonal gradient similar to Herlacyn Heatwave, worked in a cool palette progressing from deep purple to soft mint green against an offwhite background. I'm eager to see how this all plays out, so I'd better get back to my knitting.


Ombres & Gradients: Which Would You Choose?

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