Not quite from the dead, but ready to party.
I've spent much of my downtime knitting, and have the pictures to prove it. Here's a FO to start the new year off with:
Field of Flowers by Evelyn Clark in Knitpicks Shimmer, "Happy Dance." Yes, I actually used someone else's pattern without modification. I may be struck by lightning for doing so.
It was an okay knit--luxury yarn for cheap, I loves me silk and alpaca, and I loves it even more at $5.00 per ball. 3 balls made this shawl with most of a ball left over. I may have to dunk some cashmere in a hot pink dyebath and go to town with the combo.
But, but, but. I don't like the colorways Knitpicks uses for their variegated yarns. Nothing's wrong withe the hues so much, but the values just don't fly. It's like someone read a quickie design blurb--Graphic Design for Dummies, perhaps--and found a rule: "Use three values of complementary colors." So here, they used yellow for the light, pink for the medium, and maroon for the dark. Perfect, right?
No . . . the three colors stick out completely separately from each other--and I don't mean the pooling. If they were all medium shades (gold, pepto pink, fuschia) or even light shades (yellow, baby pink, bubblegum) then the colors would work wonderfully. Here you have dark, medium, light and yellow, pink, maroon. Blap, blap, blap. It's a very balkanized shawl.
Fortunately, I have a dyepot and I'm not afraid to use it--just busy. Sigh. That WILL change this year.
I actually cleared all the projects off my needles, and got down to working only on the aforementioned Field of Flowers. I've since added projects back on, and might actually send some updates to the blog for your perusal, Tonstant Weader.
Though you prolly won't see many progress pics of this one.
It's a binkie for DH Gareth; the one I made him ten years ago is rather shabby. It's Feather and Fan in Lion Brand Homespun--he didn't want wool, he finds it itchy. And he wants it big, like a coverlet. There was no way I was working in anything finer than 4 stitches to an inch. This is gonna be a lot of inches.
I'm working it in thirds--I started by casting on what I thought would be enough stitches, and was miserable within an inch. So I ripped it all out and started over. I'm much happier now, even though I'll have to seam the thing when it's through.
Why no progress pics? Look at it--it's a big black/charcoal lump. In a few inches it'll be a bigger big black/charcoal lump. And when it's done, it will be a big black/charcoal lump that covers roughly an acre of land . . . okay, maybe just a city block.
Remember the castle blan project? I've actually dipped into my stash o' squares. One of my resolutions this year is to actually get rid of some of the stash. NO MORE YARN. Anything in the stash as of January 1, 2007 or that gets given to me as a gift is fair game. But no more yarn will enter this house in my hands. No, not even free acrylic for charity--ESPECIALLY not free acrylic for charity. I choose not to give space to any more of that.
Further resolved is to knit FOR ME, dammit. I was going to knit JUST FOR ME this year, but then I found myself wistfully looking at the plans for Gareth's binkie, and remembering how much fun garter stitch is when you have good movies to viddy, so that one fell apart, but I am going to stand firm and keep me in the mix from now on.
So having finished one shawl for me, here's the next:
I'm loving this one, Leda's Dream from Pink Lemon Knits . The pattern is just complicated enough to keep me interested, but simple enough to keep me happy. I don't care much for rectangles, the stoles I've had didn't stay where I wanted them without constant rearrangement and outright clutching--but the pattern is pretty enough that I'm willing to give it another shot. It's in Shetland laceweight wool--I think this was a purchase from Blue Heron Yarns before they dropped the retail end of their business. It's harsh with spinning oils off the cone, and still smells of lanolin, but once washed it relaxes and fluffs a bit so it's not as strung out as it looks here.
And that's it on the knitting front. Next time, let's talk books, mebbe. Or possibly a writing exercise. It's so good to see all your shiny little faces again. < grin>