Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sixty-Six Percent Off

At last. Two down and one to go, 66% off my back, and the last one's half done. Maybe I should say 75% off? I completed my two store projects, and they go away today. The next time I see them they'll be hanging at Webs on dummys by the Berkshire stacks.

I can take a breath, a small one, before forging ahead into Christmas deadlines with three weeks to go, and no shopping done. Very unusual for me - by now shopping's usually done and ready to wrap. I did get my mother in law's sweater done though, which is always a relief. It's done in a JCA yarn, Devotion, an angora/acrylic blend that I picked up at their fall sale on my way to my sister's wedding in Maine. No other holiday knitting of merit is done, but it's mostly small things; scarves and bags, so I should be fine once Annie's Plaid is off to NJ. I can then focus on Christmas, and maybe something for me...just a little something....

First is the Knitting Pure and Simple Neck Down Hooded Tunic #244 in Valley Yarns Berkshire. Delightful. Super easy to knit, top down, finishes smoothly. It's cute as the dickens, and comfortable. I will get a button for it at the store today, and toggles for the tie and it will be perfect. If I had time I'd whip one up for my daughter in her favorite Berkshire color before Christmas. It bears a striking resemblance to her favorite Hanes hooded sweatshirt. She stocks the Berkshire and feels a particular fondness for it. I love it; knits smoothly and quickly, no distortion, shows stitches well, has a soft alpaca halo thing going on that I just love. Felts beautifully, and just is a wonderful yarn. We use it for anything that we would have used Lamb's Pride Worsted for in the past. I've used it with an old Lopi pattern, and it's perfect. It is a wool/alpaca blend, and is much softer than the LP Worsted as a result.

Last is Loop-D-Loop Corrugated Asymmetrical Pullover. We did it in Berkshire Bulky, also a wonderful yarn, same as Berk only...well...BULKY! After knitting between distractions all weekend I sat down last evening to block it before assembly. Teva Durham does not block the garment, but I found the curling of the edges annoying and needing a little puff of steam. First, my 15 year old flat iron will not steam anymore unless shaken violently. Now, we've had the conversation with Annie Modesitt about the Scunci steamer, and I KNOW I should have one but I don't. Yet. I laid and pinned the pieces out. But something was amiss. The diagonal portion of the sweater did not meet the schematic dimensions. I rechecked my gauge. I re-read the book. I stretched it a little more and gave it a bit of steam. I assembled it. Then I returned to the book and did some finer reading, and though still confused I am slightly vindicated. At the beginning of the pattern, the "Knitted Measurement" which I take to mean "finished dimension" states that the width of the thing will be 32 inches. That's good, because that's what I've got. The schematic says 35 inches. I have decided that the "Knitted Dimension" figure is correct, and will stand by that decision. This was a fast and easy knit. It made up like nothin'! If I had been able to focus with no distractions over the weekend it would have taken me a day and a half, including seaming. I don't dare try it on. I have not been 32 inches since grade school and fear my...urrr... assets might permanently alter it's shape...and not in a happy way!

Now it's onward and upward...More plaid for Annie, and some scarves for the holidays; one modular lace, one slitted special request no pattern but we'll just make it up as we go. Socks for my grandson's mom, his Gansey that's half done and he wants something with intarsia cars also (he's 2, but he wants, he said so), and maybe, just maybe, something for me to wear Christmas Eve!

No comments: