Being snow-bound for a week has the distinct advantage of increasing time available for knitting. While not being able to get to work caused untold stress to my clients, myself and my budget, at least I had some great knitting!
And, I for one, am delighted to have the "stash" available to begin the project of my choice.
You may recall that a few weeks ago, I was trying to choose between projects, well this one won:
Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl. (from the book Holiday Knits)
This pattern was the perfect one to begin on Dec 20th (the eve of Solstice) for it is a design that is centered around the return of the sun, spring, flowers and summer. The top part, at the shoulders, represents the long dark nights of winter, and then slowly the daylight hours increase.
I cast on 12/20/08 (midst blinding snow and freezing temps)
Size one circular (60 " long)
(yes, you read that right, its a size ONE needle - gack... what was I thinking!)
It took me half the week to complete the top of the shawl, where only one or two stitches is added to each side per row, making this beauty grow slowly and be elongated.
Then the rest of the week was focused on the first section of stranded knitting.
I have just about finished the "sun" section
I am loving it.
New skill sets are being tried out with this shawl:
* stranded knitting. yes, you read that correctly. This is the first "real" project I have attempted with this technique. (they don't call me intrepid for nothing). The shawl is going to be ginormous, as it is supposed to be.. it wraps around the waist twice, and then ties in front. I am getting better at knitting loosely, and catching the strand in back if it carries over more than 4 stitches. Last year I made a scarf for my daughter - yet alas, I did a cheater version of stranded knitting.. not the real thing..
* KBB... yup - I am knitting back backwards. Wow. what a fabulous technique. I might never purl again! truly. Aside from the increases on each end of the row, I am knitting the entire "purl" row this way - AND stranding it at the same time.
You should have seen how long it took me for the first row or two!
Yet now, my speed is slowly improving.
This is NOT to say that this shawl will be a quick knit - ahhh no. For right now, on each side, there are about 300 stitches.. and in the end, the entire shawl will have about 750 per side. (yes.. on size 1 needles, and yes, increasing only one or two stitches per side per row.. you can guesstimate how many rows this thing has!).
The shawl is designed to be knit with Mountain Colors Bearfoot handpainted sock yarn, and indeed I purchase said yarn to make this with - yet in the end, I opted to knit it with several other sock yarns, as I did not care for the varigated colors in the stranded pattern as much as I enjoyed the semi-solids that I have chosen..
and so, dear readers.. should you be interested, I am willing to sell my Mountain Colors Bearfoot at a slight discount.. I will list the price I am offering it at, and if you send me a check plus a couple dollar for the postal service, I will get it out to you right away.
Note: all these are the following : 100 gram skeins; 60% superwash wool, 25% mohair & 15% nylon. The colors are fabulous, just not what I wanted for this project.
and if there is anyone out there who wants ALL of it, I will give you an bit better deal.
If it doesn't sell, no worries - it's gorgeous sock yarn.
Happy New Year to all.