Before we get to the fiber arts, I just have to gush a little bit about this recent acquisition (purchased at a yarn store, however, so it fits). Isn't it just wonderful? It was made by Janey Katz of Lizard Breath Ranch. M and I went to Silver City, NM a couple of weeks ago on a (working, for her) mini-break. While there, we were directed by friends to Yadda Yadda Yarn because, well, we needed souvenir yarn, right?
We also knew we wanted a "Critter" and that we could get one at the yarn store. The friends who put us up for the night have one of her larger pieces (made from an entire truck door), and we were captivated. So our first stop (after checking in with friends at The Curious Kumquat) was to fondle (and acquire) yarn and admire (and acquire) art.
Pattern: Faux Russian Stole from A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swanson
Yarn: A two-ply wool jumperweight I can't otherwise identify because the tag is all in some Scandinavian language. Photos cannot do this yarn justice. It reads mostly as brown, but it's got a lot of green to it as well -- and then there are bits of orange and blue and red and other colors -- in the sun it just glows with light and color.
I loved the pattern, and the knitting was fairly straightforward (if anything with a 95 row chart can be straightforward). I found that it was easier to keep my place and make sure I didn't miss any YOs (I don't tend to miss the decreases, just the YOs) if, in addition to the markers between the edge stitches and the body stitches, I placed markers 28 stitches in from each side of the body. This way I could keep track of the stitches in each of the three sections of the body chart. As long as I had 28-25-28 stitches in these sections each row I was good to go.
Before blocking, the shawl was 22x54" -- after blocking it is now 30x72". Yep, it's BIG, and it'll be perfect for snuggling into on cool winter evenings here in the desert. Nothing worse when you're chilly than a shawl that's too small.
When Stefanie started her Daybreak Shawl I was intrigued (maybe it was the Manilow reference), so I went to the Rav page and looked at the other projects there, then wandered over to Stephen's blog and decided that I had to make myself a Daybreak. I had purchased some Kureyon Sock (#185) at Yadda Yadda Yarn during the aforementioned visit with another shawl project in mind, but Daybreak captured my attention, so on a visit to Tucson Yarn I picked up a ball of Nature Spun Fingering in "Orange You Glad" and as soon as the Faux Russian was off the needles I cast on for what I'm calling Enchanted Daybreak ("Enchanted" for the motto of New Mexico, "Land of Enchantment").
I am making the largest size which calls for 325 yards of the solid color; Nature Spun Fingering comes in 310 yard balls. I finished section 2 with just a few yards of the 310 remaining. Phew! I am now a couple repeats into section 3 and the rows are each taking 12 or so minutes to knit (yes, I timed the last one because I needed to get dinner started and it was a race to see if I would finish the row in time).
Stefanie has some tips on her blog post (link above) for working the solid section. I will just add this: I put a locking stitch marker at the center of each of the side sections. As long as you remember to move the markers two stitches toward the outside before each increase row, you can then just do the increase on the outside of the marker and not worry about counting stitches.
Now if only that package would arrive from Knit Picks so I can do something with this:
That's two skeins of Indigo Moon Yarns Merino Fingering in Salad and Crabapple (I'm guessing you can tell which is which). They're to become socks. The Salad will likely become Feuilles de Vert, a pattern designed by Debbie O'Neill for Indigo Moon; the Crabapple may become Nancy Bush's Fancy Silk Sock or perhaps something from Sock Innovation. We'll see if Trish has other ideas since these are ultimately samples for her, but she's given me a lot of leeway with choosing the design.
I think that may be just about caught up. Of course, there are other socks on the needles (the reason I need the KP package before I can start the socks for Indigo Moon), and I've made some decisions about the Log Cabin Blankie whose squares are right now resting in the corner of my office, done but not assembled, and I there's a pink blankie for the hospital, and I know there's other stuff. Oh, and I just heard from Susan that she's sending me a new test knit. Ah, the fibery goodness!