Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer is arriving!

Hard to believe it's July 6th. The Pollyanna in me is loving the lush greens everywhere and is happy that all the rain could mitigate the need for water rationing this summer. The cynic in me really would like to avoid the morning chill and the soggy grass. Still, living here in the Pacific Northwest is nothing if not unpredictable! The forecasters tell us summer weather will arrive after July 4th. Today, it looks possible!

A really nice thing about grey and rain is the increased motivation to be knitting instead of getting wet! I'm closing in on my Cocoknits Marta cardigan. The instructions for the body shaping are clear and the end product is beautifully invisible. I was confounded by having to choose which M1 increases on the sleeves will do the same while knitting in the round on each side of underarm "seam" and considering the best technique for the new stitch as a knit or a purl to be in pattern. My frustrations have been a little humbling, especially when I found the answer readily available on my Elizabeth Zimmerman Knitting Workshop DVD. Naomi and Melinda had both suggested I try various techniques on my swatch, but I took some time to pout before I did so and got back on track. Both sleeves are now complete (and lovely) so now after checking DVD "knitting with jean" for the shoulder seam technique (since the first two I tried, mattress and grafting, didn't give what I was hoping for).This technique is the best yet, so I didn't mind the do-over time.

While pouting, I focused on some fun socks - the Chevron pattern from pages 70-72 in Sensational Knitted Socks is knitted with Aussie Socks Fiesta color way. They were not only fun to knit, but striped better than I had anticipated and are quite comfortable on my feet. I have already recommended them to Joelle (in my BYS club class) and my friend, Pam. Joelle began knitting a pair for her sister but grew frustrated with the yarn and started a scarf instead. For now she's recovering from a broken foot/ankle and gets around on a little scooter, which also means she's got time for some serious knitting. Pam is a self-taught knitter and not accustomed to patterns, and I haven't heard how her socks are progressing. Maybe I'd better check in with her.

A pair of purl-less Monkey socks knit from Blue Moon's lightweight yarn were a quick knit, for a change. The color way is Jubilation, and while it looks lighter in the photo, it is rich browns with the earthy purples and blues of shadows. Until today's weather, I thought I'd be able to wear them all summer! At the moment I have a pair of socks for George in progress; I completed the first this weekend in the Nutkin pattern from Blue Moon's medium weight Grawk. This is the first time I've been able to knit socks on US3 needles - George says it fits beautifully.

At the same time, I couldn't resist starting the Citron shawlette in Mirasol's lovely heathered pink (#1007) merino, silk, and bamboo Nuna yarn. I bought enough yarn to knit a full size shawl, so we'll see how long I really want it to be. My only shawls have been more like scarves or wraps from rayon or cotton that I bought in Greece and Italy, so a real shawl will be a new experience.

Only knitting this time! I have lots of thought tumbling around in my head, but not yet in any form worth sharing. So now, the yard: weeding, picking raspberries, laying flagstone... I'm inspired now that the warm weather has begun!