At the same time, I have completed my first Regia sock and have completed most of the ribbed cuff on the second; this is the smallest yarn I have knit with yet. I love the colors and self striping just keeps me motivated to see the next color. Over and over again, like it's new each time. Simple pleasures are something knitters know about. If you look carefully, you can see a ripe raspberry in the photo - we've had a bumper crop this year!
In this session of Rebecca's Build Your Skills class at Village Yarn & Tea we suddenly blossomed to a larger number and many of us decided to knit the February Lady sweater. Besides enjoying knitting another top-down so I don't have to sew on the sleeves, I'm loving knitting the same pattern with several people. It's fun to see how the different yarns make the same sweater, how different buttonhole techniques make for a different finish, different buttons, different number of buttons, or none at all, and how different people approach their projects. For example, we used all different cast-ons. I decided to do the German twisted or German long-tail cast on for extra give. I like the way it's looking and feeling so far. On the 5th row is the first buttonhole, and some people went with the online choice recommended in the pattern while others went with the buttonhole in Meg Swanson's Sweaters from Camp. I am behind since I've been concentrating on finishing my Lynton, so I used my swatch to try the technique recommended for garter stitch in Margaret Radcliffe's Knitting Answer Book. I like the results (I don't know how well the buttonhole shows up in the photo), and found that I want to insert the buttonhole while knitting RS (right side), which means I needed to deviate from the instructions in order for the buttonhole to be on my right (as opposed to left) side. All of this is elemental for most of my knitting friends, but requires planning for me! My yarn is Debbie Bliss' Rialto Aran, and I love the knitted texture and the loft as I knit. An added benefit is that I'm knitting with size 7 needles and getting gauge when I usually have to go down at least two needle sizes.
Elaine is at left with her striped top-down cardigan - not the February Lady, but her own very classy design and colors. Joanne is using navy blue Lamb's Pride for February Lady, although she decided to set it aside to complete her Peace Fleece cardigan which is shown to the right. She always adds her own touch to her knitted creations, so she has changed the sleeves from drop to set-in and added a green accent design. Gail and Danita are using Cascade 220 in a periwinkle marl and dark teal respectively; Gail is shown to the right, frogging back to improve her last buttonhole. Peggy, on the left, has completed the yoke and is using a light olive green (it might also be Cascade 220) and Rebecca is already into the lace, using a reclaimed yarn she dyed a lovely soft rose.
Besides class, Village Yarn & Tea held a farewell party for Ellen (here on the right with Naomi and Amy), who is leaving at the end of the month. I will miss her willing spirit, amazing knitting ability and speed, as well as her smiling assistance with yarn and all knitterly things. At the same time, I know she will never be sorry she is choosing to dedicate herself to her family and working on her home and garden. I know I'll be seeing her at Stitch'n'Pitch where she gets to be a "civilian" for the first time, and I hope to see her at Ferals and other knitting events! Congratulations, Ellen!
We're heading into our busy season at home. George scraped and pressure washed the entire exterior of the house in preparation for painting. He found a painter who will work with us at an hourly rate so we can have his expertise and equipment, but we can help. I like to do the detail work like trim, and I'm looking forward to taking vacation time to putter. George expects to finally return to work healthy next week if he gets the doctor's release at his next appointment. And we're expecting my niece from Georgia overnight on Saturday in addition to a family BBQ and on Sunday, a surprise 50th birthday party. That leaves today, Friday, for a dash to the big Bellevue Arts & Crafts show, since it's an annual tradition. However, after walking around the yard with the dog in the sunshine this morning, the tension of a busy schedule just kind of began to diffuse, and I wonder why I can't just wait until next year.
And besides, the Anacortes Arts Show is only a week away...