Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The espadrilles, or the wedges?

Do you all know that cell phone commercial, where a couple is out shopping, and the girl asks her guy--"what do you think? the hoops or the danglies?" "the espadrilles or the wedges?" And no matter what the poor guy says, he never gets it right. "the danglies???" "I think the hoops!" (Of course, he finally wins in the end with the phone he really wants.)

I feel a bit like that girl, with my hank of Fleece Artist Blue Faced Leicester DK: "Do you think the Clapotis, or entrelac?" "Socks, or a cowl?" Thanks to everyone who left helpful suggestions; I think I may have responded to each one with a different whim. First I was sold on the entrelac, based on all the fun everyone else seemed to have with it, but Meg thought that the variegated yarn might not do so well as, say, Noro, with it's longer color repeats. Now, I'm back to thinking Clapotis, not because I think it'll be a fun knit, really, but because I really want a yummy scarf, and I want to use all of the yarn, without any left over (there's a generous 500 yards in this hank, approximately).

In the meanwhile, while I dither away, here's a better picture of that fine woollyness:

In the almost-finished-object department, I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on the Back to School U-Neck Vest! Just two armholes to finish, and ends to weave in:

I had to rip out the back because I didn't do the decreases right--they're once at each end, while I did them as for the front, at every other end. If anyone is thinking of knitting this, be sure to check the errata, but also look at the Ravelry discussion boards, if you're on there. The pattern is sprinkled with mistakes, and when you get to the part about decreasing for the back, the numbers don't add up and they aren't corrected on the errata. It's OK, though, because you can just do an extra decrease or less here to make the number of stitches fit what the book calls for.

Got something else cooking too. Next up on the needles is a project that a friend asked for--a guitar strap. I took him to Gauge over the weekend to pick out the yarn, and give him a lot of credit for not doubling right back out. You see, Gauge has become my Cheers, where everybody knows my name, and since I haven't been there in over a month, it was all about squeeing and catching up and showing off my in-progress Malabrigo Easy Flame Lace Scarf

We also walked in on Lisa Shobana Mason's signing for her new book, Yarnplay at Home. She was super nice, and had on the cutest grey felt skirt.

Despite all the excitement, I managed to concentrate on the task at hand, and my friend and I picked out these colors, to reflect the colors of his favorite soccer team (Barcelona, I think?):

I also may have walked out with a new skein of Malabrigo, for a hat and neckwarmer. More on that next time.

I was thinking of swatching for the guitar strap a couple of different ways, one with a crochet stitch, and another with a knitted slip stitch, inspired by Anna Bell's tweed stitch belt pattern. The fabric should be firm and not stretch out too much. My gut tells me crochet, but I'm not too confident in my crocheting skills yet. Does anyone have any other ideas?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A winter dispatch.

Happy New Year!

I was going to wait until I got back to Austin to post about my newest yarn purchase, because I forgot to bring my camera cord to Chicago for the holiday break. But I just couldn't wait, and opted to do violence to the beauty of this Fleece Artist Blue Faced Leicester DK by snapping a picture with my cell phone:

Ohhhh. The loveliest shades of pinks touched with a hint of brown. The colorway is "burgundy," but really, if you wanted to be poetic about it, it should have something about chocolates and cherries in the name. Yum!

After a nice lunch of Indian food catching up with old friends from grad school (hi, Vim!) Ashley and I escaped from MLA madness on Saturday and had ourselves a little yarn excursion to Loopy, on south State Street. I was going to take some sock yarn, but Ashley pressed this hank of BFL into my hands and declared that it was the best thing she'd ever knit with, or some such thing. Well, how do you walk away from yarn with that kind of endorsement? It was the perfect way to spend some holiday money and treat myself for post-MLA exhaustion.

So now the question is, what to knit? Ashley suggested a hat and some mittens. There is definitely serious yardage (metrage?): 450 meters. Other possibilities I found by combing through Ravelry:

Clapotis (I haven't knit one yet. No, really.)
Cowl (perhaps ala Joelle Hoverson's in Last Minute Knitted Gifts?)
Counterpane accessories pouch (from Handknit Holidays)
Entrelac scarf

Any other suggestions? What to do with this pretty, pretty yarn?

In other news, I saw this at my local Target:

Thirty dollars for a set of six sock-type sleeves for the Ipod. Really????