Surprise! It's me again. I don't know where the time has gone and can't believe it's the middle of March already. You will be relieved to know that I have been knitting up a storm despite my silence but have been doing a little reassessment of how I spend my knitting time.
One glance at my sidebar will tell you that the garment that I have knitted most over the last three years is socks. Now I am very fond of hand knitted socks and wear them exclusively all winter but one glance at my dressing table drawers will tell you that there are only a certain number of socks that one woman needs to either wear or to keep on hand for gift giving opportunities so I have set myself the task of knitting other things this year and with any luck learning a few new skills along the way.
The first thing that I did was to joint the Ilga Leja scarf club. After all, a girl can never have too many scarves and it will be an opportunity to knit on larger needles and to make some inroads into my ever increasing stash.
Every month Ilga produces a pattern based on a different country. January's scarf was inspired by Norway and is basically a mobius tube using a range of simple colour work techniques using aran weight yarn.
For the main colour I chose this Dream in Color Classy in Grey Tabby.
And for the contrast some Schaeffer Marjaana, a lovely wool silk blend now sadly discontinued in a shade called Toni Morrison.
I'm really enjoying the way that the semi solid shades of the Gray Tabby are working with the more vibrant but still earthy colours of the Toni Morrison. IN terms of skills development I have been attempting to master the jogless jog where the colours change. As you can see from the photo the jog is not eliminated but certainly looks less harsh. Gentle blocking should blend things in even more.
I am about a third of the way through the scarf but the patterns come thick and fast. Hot on it's heels came February's pattern based on Austrian lace and cable stitches. In this one I made a significant departure from the original which is a rather staid and elegant white scarf knit in four ply yarn. Not my style at all. Then I remembered some lovely squishy bulky yarn that I have in my stash - Jo Sharp Silk Road Ultra in a shade called Elm.
It's quite the stylish thing round my way at the moment to wear a huge, over sized scarf. Most of the examples I have seen have been in rather ghastly sugar pink and white acrylic so I thought I would do something slightly different.
The scarf is certainly over sized - nearly six feet of it so far and I have another 8 inches or so to go. One of the aspects of this pattern that lends itself well to this adaptation is that the scarf is designed to flare out at each end so some of the bulk around the back of the neck is reduced. The scarf grows satisfyingly swiftly on size 8mm needles so I really need to get it finished so I get the benefit before the cold weather comes to an end.
Not satisfied with joining Ilga's scarf club I have also signed on for the Ravelry 10 shawls in 2010 as I really want to get to grips with lace knitting. Next time I will show you what I have been doing on that score but I warn you now - nothing is finished as we speak but a lot of things are approaching the final 10%. I really must focus - these WIPS take up an awful lot more space than socks!