I suppose it’s time to wrap up August, and it will need to come in two posts. I had rather intended to post sooner, but I found my photography delayed by a wonderful period of rainy weather and a delightful 20 degree temperature drop. Fall cannot come soon enough, which is as good a lead in as any to the projects I’m sharing. Every year, I find that I’m starting my Christmas knitting earlier, which should keep me from the joyful experience of desperately knitting on Christmas Eve, but somehow I’ve still been in that position two years in a row, so this year I started the last week of July.
Sofia’s Christmas present is straightforward but yardage intensive. It actually had more plain stockinette than I realized, so I actually finished the whole gift in about 10 days. I realize this doesn’t sound like a fast turn around time, but I did knit an entire monkey and two outfits for her. I really like how it came out, and she’s a very cute match to last year’s Mr. Foster. This is Carmen Banana, a kit offered by Knit Picks, and worked in Essential/Stroll. I’m very pleased with how she came out, although it makes me wish, once again, that my embroidery skills were a little stronger; her face took me quite a while to get right. I do love the tiny monkey clothes.
Having wrapped my first Christmas present, I decided to next work on Karen’s birthday present, which is inspired by Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, based on Penny’s Wristers. I knit them in Knit Picks Andean Silk in Cranberry and Mustard. I found the 3/4 buttons at Hancock Fabrics, and they took me three hours to sew on, see above note about sewing skills. I had a bit of leftover yarn after I finished, so I also made a Turn A Square from Jared Flood.
The next project I tackled was a bit of a disaster. I had purchased the yarn on the way back from Florida at the absolutely marvelous The Knit Studio in Jackson, Mississippi. I had admittedly fallen in love with Wandering the Moor as it was knit by the designer, Celeste Glassel, and was delighted to use the recommended yarn, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in 4205 Dark Chocolate. Unfortunately, it was pretty much downhill from there. My shawl, it turned out, was a bit cursed. I finished the run of stockinette without issue, but while capturing a WIP photo for the project page, I accidentally snapped one of my beloved wooden Harmony needles off at the base. Since I was already at a transition in the pattern, I changed to metal needles and continued into the patterned portion. I was three rows from the bind off when I dropped a stitch out of K3tog and had to frog back eight rows to repair it. I also noticed after it had dried from blocking that I had pinned the wrong points for a quarter of the shawl, so I had to re-pin it and spray it down. Finally, I realized that the person I intended to give this to might not like the alpaca content, so it’s homeless as well. Right, so if you happen to love this shawl, let me know and it’s yours (Claimed!).
Next, keeping in a theme of seasonal knits, I decided to knit a sweater for Piper. Piper is not possessed of an undercoat, and as such, she starts getting chilly outdoors toward the end of October. One of my very first knitting projects, and maybe my first actual finished object, was knitting her a hideous purple acrylic sweater. This pretty, red merino sweater is a bit of an apology to her. She seemed to like it and didn’t even ask to have it off. The pattern is the very well-written Diagonal Dog Sweater Pattern by June Bowman. The yarn is Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash in 3. Sorry for the pictures, Piper only consented to hold still while on her favorite perch.
Last for this update is my birthday present for Susan, which I’m giving her tonight, so hopefully she won’t look in on the blog in the interim. I love knitting for Susan because she is compulsively clad in knitwear, and so I know my gifts will go to good use. Occasionally, I see a project that I know will be lovely for her, and I thought that was certainly the case with Emily Dickinson, a loosely knit garter shawl that is embellished with 6/0 crystal beads. I used Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb in Purple Pansy 257 in my version. This skein was purchased by Abbie at Purl Soho in NYC. I am sad to say that I found the pattern rather sloppy in construction, for instance there is no given gauge, so I do not intend to make any future purchases from knit/lab, which is unfortunate since I think Blackbird is gorgeous, but I’m unwilling to pay for badly written patterns.
I spent the last week of the month wildly knitting a baby gift, and I say wildly as in I knit 1000+ yards in about a week (This is not my highest week ever, by the way, that occurred last December, when I knit 1900 yards in the week of, can you guess it?, Christmas). I’m pleased with the results, and it certainly should qualify for its own entry!