Monday, September 29, 2008

Big decisions and silver linings

It's been a bit of a crazy couple of months with quite a few ups and downs of late, but the main gist of it is that I'm deferring my last year of uni until next year, which leaves a big empty year for me to fill. The idea of it is both exhilarating and terrifying, as at the moment the exact content of the next twelve months is incredibly uncertain, and uncertainty tends to not sit too well with me.

But, I'm looking on the bright side of things, and with the free evenings that a not entirely unwelcome lack of assignments and deadlines will bring, I'll have plenty of time to destress and catch up on some much needed knitting and spinning. There's something about the crisp autumn air and the quickly closing in nights that really makes me want to spend every minute curled up under a cozy blanket with a pile of knitting and a huge steamy cup of hot tea.

And speaking of knitting, onto some FOs...

P1010635 copy by you.

P1010633 copy by you.

Anthropologie inspired capelet  by Julia Allen
Yarn: Debbie Bliss alpaca silk aran

I absolutely adore this yarn because it is the softest fibre I have ever knit with. It was also an almost perfect match to my dress for the wedding, which possibly clouded my judgement concerning using this yarn for this project. However, as much as I love this yarn, it does have its downsides, the biggest being that it sheds like an absolute mofo! It shed on me, it shed on my bed, it shed wherever I happened to be knitting it. The boy continually woke up in the mornings with blue all tangled up in his stubble. Then when I wore it, it shed all over the boy's suit, all over the car, the seats at various parts of the wedding venues, and pretty anyone who dared to get too close! In short, I was leaving blue fibre absolutely everywhere I went! But at least it was very pretty blue fibre. Also, the yarn is probably a bit too heavy for a garment because it hangs a little awkwardly and it's pretty evident that it will grow quite a bit. It might have been slightly mitigated if I'd knitted a little tighter or used smaller needles, but I was too short in yarn to try.

Aside from all that though, it felt lovely to wear, and luckily didn't actually shed on me on the actual day thanks to wearing a silk dress! The pattern was an absolute delight to knit, and breezed by, which was good seeing as I had a mountain of revision to do. I finished it the day before the wedding before our morning flight down south and snuck a knitters needle into my carry on luggage on the flight so that I  could weave in the ends that afternoon! I probably wouldn't wear it again in a hurry, mostly due to the shedding issue, but would definitely knit another one soon in different yarn.

 P1010641 copy by you.  P1010642 copy by you.

Baby Sweater on Two Needles (February) by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly 4 Ply

Knit in acrylic for ease of washing, and in a neutral cream because the sex of the baby is a surprise! It's been pretty much finished for a while, save the buttons, and has been languishing in a folded up soft little pile in desperate need of blocking.

This yarn is the softest acrylic I've used yet! I know EZ touts the benefits of using nothing but wool, and generally I entirely agree, but I didn't think Gems would appreciate having to hand wash this cute little jumper. Knitted this in the round so that there was minimal seaming thanks to clever knits and a little bit of digging around in Ravelry. I love the way the pattern progresses, and although I got very bored of the gull pattern about halfway through, it does look pretty. One of the underarm seams ended up a little mangled, but I'm hoping that a little blocking will save it. Also, silly me completely omitted to consider the button holes until halfway through the yoke, and although I toyed with the idea of creating some sort of afterthought i-cord or crochet toggle loop a la the adorable carrot sweater by hildiesmom in the end I decided to admit defeat and frog back.

On the topic of this jumper, I met up with the recipents mother last week for Ro's home cooked birthday dinner, and felt the little baby kick! It's about four months old and apparently around the size of a red bull can at present. I also got a chance to see the little scan pictures, and in the last one it waved for the camera! I'm so excited that my first ever experience of feeling an in utero baby kick has been Gem's little bump. So cute! I''ve still got the hat, mittens and a bootie to go... plenty of excuses for knitting!
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