Ever have one of those spots of time where it just seems to jump forward? I have no idea what happened to the last several weeks. I was there, I did work, I did the normal non-work things, I slept (sometimes), I repeated. But could I tell you all of the details? Not so much. I’m blaming it on the transition into summer – our weather is waffling back and forth between spring-like and summer-like, and it’s taking our psyches along for the ride. Or mine anyway.
As per usual, I’ve been project hopping to keep up with the hot/cold nature of these swings. Oh, who am I kidding? Like I wouldn’t be project hopping anyway. I wake up one day and feel like knitting lace for miles, another day I feel like sewing fabric, and another day I feel like spinning yarn. The only thing that stays the same is the making.
So, the Gradient Top that I ripped out and restarted is well on the way to being completed. I’ve knit the body up to the underarms.
It is currently languishing in the WIP (work in progress) pile because I need to pause to try it on before splitting the work to complete the fronts and back separately. No, that’s not a difficult thing. It will take just a half hour to do the fitting, then set up the work to continue. At which point this project will resume status as a moderately easy knit. (The fronts are worked in short rows, which require just a tad more brain power than simply knitting round and round and round without paying attention to anything.)
Meanwhile, I added a deadline project to the WIP pile. Of course I did! What’s life without a few deadlines? This is my heavy-attention project for the moment. Because I apparently needed to kick my lace knitting skills into the next level. This one has lots of complex stitches requiring so many needle gymnastics that my head swam just reading the pattern through the first time. But I am a fiber adventurer, and nothing can scare me now. So I boldly cast on.
Friends, here’s where my multi-craftual skills really paid off. I was struggling with the nupp stitches in this pattern, like so many have before me. (A Google search yielded no end to the helpful line of knitters sharing how they too tackled just this issue.) Basically, it’s a ton of loops (quantity varies by pattern depending on the size nupp you’d like to end up with) created in a single stitch on the right side, then purled together as one stitch on the wrong side, that makes a bubble of stitches in the work. In crochet, this is similar to making a bobble or popcorn stitch. It’s this purling together that frustrates so many of us. The loops either slide off the needle tip before you can get the purl completed, or you can’t get your needle tip into all of the loops to begin with. So I pulled out a handy dandy metal crochet hook a couple of sizes smaller than my needles and I used that to make the purl through all of those infernal loops. Take that, you pesky nupp!
Once I tackled the nupp problem, I was able to cruise along on the project. Cruising is relative here – I spent many hours at Knit Night with my head down and not talking very much, and this is definitely not TV knitting. I can now see the end less than a dozen rows ahead, and well within the deadline. Cruising.
To help balance the complexity scales, I’ve been spinning a lot as well. The alpaca spinning project quickly filled up two and a half bobbins. That’s more yardage than expected, but not unwelcome.
I plied the two bobbins together, mixing in the singles from the third bobbin when each of the two main ones ran out. The yarn washed up beautifully. I’m very happy to see that the plying preserved the mixture of colors too.
So now I have a little over 1000 yards of a rustic light fingering weight yarn that needs a knitting project to pair it with. Maybe a lightweight cardigan? Or a large textured shawl? Hmmm…
I’ll leave you with a little evidence that spring has gone and summer has come, despite the 55F day we had yesterday. The peonies have bloomed and wilted.
And the hydrangea blooms have opened and their color has matured.