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Does this happen only to me, or can I count the following phenomenon among the many unexplained mysteries of this universe: your phone is silent for hours on end. Then as soon as someone calls, two other people call within seconds, making you dance around call-waiting buttons. Similarly, you spend several days and weekends by yourself (blissfully knitting). Then comes one weekend when friends from all over the world you haven’t seen in ages decide to come into town and ask if you’re free to meet. None of them knows the others well, so it’s difficult to throw them all together for the evening. You want to meet all of them, cannot decide whom to ditch, and you agonise wildly about how to meet everyone and not go crazy. Next weekend is a case in point. Four friends from three countries all converging on the Bay area; plus a music concert that I made plans to go to with two others! I have no idea how I’m going to manage it all, but am determined to, somehow.
I knit the popular Rogue pattern last summer, but was really unhappy with the way it turned out: too short overall. I had another skein and a half left of the yarn, so I decided to lengthen it. I undid the two inches of the hem and with a deep breath, cut it at one of the corners:
I then frogged the hem up to the beginning of the cable pattern, picked up stitches all around, and knit a couple more inches down in stockinette (you can tell where the yarn is joined, no? Hopefully a wash will take care of that). I also added a small detail to the cable (if you’re familiar with the pattern you can already tell where I’d modified it earlier as well):
Also, I hadn’t liked the hemmed border earlier; it made the sweater too heavy at the bottom, so instead this time I added an I-cord edging. It makes it lighter and more manageable, somehow.
I am working on the sleeves, but have hit a snag. I need DPNs to do them in the round, and although I have two pairs each of size 4, 6, and 7, I don’t have what I need: size 5s. Typical. I tried with two circulars, but cannot bear them flapping about as I try to figure out which of the four ends to use at any given time. I was hoping to have the fully reformed Rogue on display, but looks like that won’t happen for a while, because in the next two weeks I have no time to go to a yarn store. But I’m delighted that I was able to repair it to the length I wanted!
Not much actual knitting happening, but plenty of fantasising about what to make. I am moving – yet again – at the end of May and the summer will be spent at home in India, where I will definitely not be knitting with wool, plus it’s not such a good idea to buy kits and stash them while moving, I guess.
But in the last few days I came across this sweater called Celtic Dreams, designed by Beth Brown-Reisel. And I cannot get it out of my mind… the link is to Mary Beth Irwin’s blog, and her arans are just stunning.
Also, funny how you haven’t heard of something, then you do, and then it pops up everywhere making you wonder how you hadn’t heard of it all this time. So with Blackwater Abbey yarns. Someone mentioned them to me the other day on Knitter’s Review, and since then all I can see everywhere is things knit with this yarn. The colours are gorgeous, and the gauge just right for the Celtic Dreams pattern. It’s not that expensive either, but I think I will first order a sample to test for scratchiness. Anyone reading this used the yarn? Would appreciate feedback. I also want to get some Peruvian Highland Chunky wool for the ribbed cardigan, but the only colour they have right now is something called Harvest Heather.
I knit loosely, so I think I need to look for a slightly chunkier yarn for aran projects. In search of the perfect 4 stitches to the inch wool yarn…
I charted one of the Rangoli patterns and started knitting one of them over the weekend, while watching Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Nizhalkkuthu (Shadow Kill) a fine Malayalam film by one of Kerala’s (and India’s) finest filmmakers. The film was good, excellent performances and an interesting look at (the lack of) choices available to people in traditional settings. The most interesting, and yet disappointing character was not the hangman protagonist with hang-ups (sorry) about his occupation (a wonderfully drawn character), but his Gandhian son who tries (somewhat unsuccessfully) to escape tradition by embracing Satyagraha. The film did well to show how nationalism creates these possibilities but often doesn’t deliver on them, but the son’s character was not complex enough to carry the theme through.
Anyway, I knitted up a small swatch of one rangoli pattern in Knitpicks’ Wool of the Andes, in the colour Asparagus. The pattern is only a quarter done, and the swatch will eventually be rectangular an long in shape. I’m happy with the way the yarn shows up the cables, but I need to work on my closed-cable increase/decrease method. So far I know two: one is Elsebeth Lavold’s method over four rows (used on the botton oval) and another improvised one on the other two, over two rows.
The rangolis, drawn by hand, are rarely perfectly symmetrical and I would ideally like my cabled ones also to have different shapes: some oval, some round and so on. I also need an increase/decrease method that will work for even-numbered increases. I used This increase method described by Jenna Wilson for her Rogue pullover, but that one was over an odd numbered cable of 5 stitches. Does anyone know of any other increase methods that will allow me to increase 4 stitches in the middle of the fabric, but without the stretched look that Lavold’s method gives? It’s really neat and tidy, but not as rounded as I’d like it to be.
The Wool of the Andes, incidentally, is supple and stretchy, great for cables. A tad rough on the hands, though.
Oh, and I knit about 20 more rows of the Russian stole. Pictures to follow soon!