Knitting the second sleeve of Vivian was not the most exciting thing ever, having knitted the first one of course, but now I have joined the sleeves and body and am working on the yoke decreases... very exciting!
Well, resolved for now. I ended up going with a lazy version of option 2, that's to say I ripped out the second skein and reknit with a different skein that looked lighter and like a better match. I did not rip out any of the first skein to alternate the new second skein in, which was kind of stupid as it wouldn't have been that much more work to do so, but it worked out pretty well. Here we have "before" and after":
I think you can still see a little bit of a line, but not more than you might see in the middle of a skein, so I am trying not to obsess about it! I will definitely alternate rows to transition to all the rest of the skeins but I don't want to alternate throughout the whole thing (although I may change my mind on that, I don't know).
Of course, now I'm worried that I overestimated the stretchiness of this thing and it's going to be too tight, but I'm trying not to obsess about that either.
So, I have come to a bit of a... pause on Vivian. I started the second skein and it is darker than the first. As you can see, I went for about 10 rows in denial before confronting the situation, and I'm just not sure what to do.
I know it is common with hand-dyed yarns for there to be variation, but the skeins looked so well matched I completely forgot about the usual recommendation to alternate rows with different skeins.
1) Rip out the second skein and some of the first skein and reknit by alternating rows and do I alternate every 2 rows or every other row (the latter would require more attention as I'd be working from the WS for some RS rows and vice versa). But won't it just look stripy?
2) Rip out the second skein and some of the first skein and reknit with another lighter skein, also alternating rows (I still can't see a difference between skeins but if you compare strands of yarn at the start of each ball, there is a slight difference)
3) Leave as is but start alternating the other lighter skein in now and hope it will all generally blend in once you have the context and scale of the whole piece
On the one hand, ripping out is really annoying, especially with my precious little available knitting time. It would be even more annoying if I ripped out and it didn't look any better or, heaven forbid, even looked worse.
On the other hand, it would be really annoying if I didn't rip out and continued to be bothered by what to me is a fairly obvious transition.
I knew writing this out would help me decide though, because looking over my options spelled out, I'm thinking of going with option 2. Option 1 doesn't really make sense. It looks like I have possibly two slightly lighter skeins, the first of which I have already used, so it makes sense to put those two together and then gradually blend in the darker skeins.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated though! I'm probably going to mull this over a little longer.
One of the hardest things to give up with the baby has been knitting time... but I've been squeezing some in anyway. Vivian is coming along nicely - I finished the first of seven skeins earlier today in the park (good thing I spent precious sleep time in the middle of the night winding the other skeins!)
I'm loving how the MadTosh Worsted is knitting up - lovely and fluffy and soft! The pattern is as great as everyone says too, and easier than it looks, at least so far.
Finally managed to cast-off by getting baby to sleep in stroller and heading to a local cafe for some knitting time. Hopefully it isn't too small already. Of course, now I'm kicking myself for not bringing a needle so I can do the finishing too!
I will definitely be doing this more often if it means more knitting time! I love knitting and it's so relaxing - I miss being able to do it more.
And of course, blog posting is way down too, but I am still around and things continue to go pretty well. You can follow me on Twitter (see blog sidebar) for more frequent updatelets...
So I never pulled the trigger and ordered the yarn for Girasole... I'm thinking maybe I start that late summer in preparation for next winter...
In the meantime, I have a fast developing new obsession - Vivian (ravelry, pattern). As is often the case, I love the color it's shown in, except that it's called olive and looks a lot more aqua on my screen so is probably not true to life. Also the specified yarn is not readily available in the US anyway. I'm thinking of using a worsted merino and knitting a size up... I love and am comfortable working with merino. I can't really find the right aqua so actually, I'm thinking,,, pink! Of course, I already have my pink Sundara FSM that I'm planning on making Tempest (ravelry, pattern) with. What is it about pink right now? I think I'm just longing for spring,
Of course, the question is, could I possibly finish this sweater before it's too warm to wear it at all? And is this a crazy pick for my first "real" sweater?
The baby's room is coming together. The sofa was delivered on Friday and a friend came over on Saturday to take some pregnancy self-portraits. However, she seemed rather more interested in photographing the giraffes than me... ok, just kidding, but only slightly!
I do so love the giraffes, even if I say so myself. They work perfectly in the room, and I love the room too.
Citrus Zinger captured my imagination from the start and for some reason lead me to... giraffes. Although I wasn't able to obtain other Sundara Sock for the contrast colors, the MadelineTosh worked out great. This was one of those projects that came together just how I imagined it, or possibly better. No, we didn't pick the paint color to match the giraffes but that worked out well too!
Now that I have more Sundara, I'm planning on 100% Sundara giraffes at some time in the future...
I'm not sure it's really possible to remain unspoiled about a Sundara Seasons shipment but anyway, here's some blank space if you are...
So yes, the latest Seasons shipment arrived at our house yesterday... and I did in fact manage to remain unspoiled up until then, although I did see the names of some of the yarns on the ISO/Destash list (yes, the trading frenzy has begun already). For those of you still unfamiliar with the whole Sundara thing, well, let's just say it's kinda hard to explain!
At first I thought my shipment was all wrong as many of the colors looked the same, until I examined the labels and saw that they were in fact different colors, all very dark though. Some people keep their yarn in the bags for better trading but, besides the fact that I don't do that, in this case unwrapping them was a necessity because it was only then that you could see the different colors.
The final verdict = love, of course. I am surprised that the colors are so dark and manly and similar this time around but they are beautiful and as usual look great together as well.
This photo shows the colors pretty true, at least on my monitor:
From left to right: bluebells (spring), aurora borealis (summer), brambleberry (autumn) and night blossom (winter).
I think the first three especially look gorgeous together. Night blossom has more of a reddish tint, although some people have described both their brambleberry and night blossom to be purple - not my skeins!
And of course, here are the obligatory more abstract shots... still loving my camera and the zoom lens. Colors here vary from relatively true to completely off (especially bluebells).
Girasole (ravelry, pattern) has captured my imagination! It feels like it's been a while since a pattern has done that... I did all of my baby boy knitting planning a few months ago and have been very focused on that. Many patterns have caught my eye of course, but I haven't really allowed myself to think about starting a non-baby project. Of course, I have enjoyed the baby knitting, and it's not going to be stopping any time soon, but I'm starting to think it might be a wise luxury to allow myself a project or two for myself as well, so it's not quite all baby all the time around here.
Plus, it's not entirely unrelated to the baby - we finally picked out a sofa bed for the baby's room (yes, the baby's room is huge and is in fact the largest room in the house, so it's more of a family/baby's room). Due to cost and availability, we ended up picking out something a little different to what I had been imagining - it's dark brown leather, but not expensive so it's kind of shiny and, basically, begging for a beautiful hand knit blanket to be draped over it. I think that Girasole would be a) perfect and b) amazing. I've yet to knit any of brooklyntweed's designs and by all accounts, everyone is raving about not just what a great project this is but what a great pattern it is.
The only thing is, what yarn? I know brooklyntweed chooses his yarns very carefully, and as this is a self-published pattern, no one else was involved in his selection for this pattern, so I'm tempted to go with the Cascade Pastaza he used. It comes in the perfect color too - a beautiful heathered blue (0085). The thing is, it's 50% wool, 50% llama, basically pretty much exactly the same as Classic Elite Montera which I used for the asymmetrical wrap and... didn't love it. It was a little hairy for my liking. The fact that it was dark brown probably didn't help. I'm thinking of giving it another chance and swatching with it to see what I think. But really I'm thinking I should probably go with something different... but what? Possibly Beaverslide Dry Goods McTaggart Tweed in Big Sky Heather... but it's out of stock.
And colors are so hard online too... should I just order 1 skein to see if I like it?
Or do I give up on blue and go with a natural color of Cascade Eco Wool? (I don't really like any of the Eco+ colors.)
So yes, Happy February!!!! It's amazing that after all this time, February, a month that would usually pass relatively unnoticed, is finally here. It's going to be a big month for us...
And yeah, obviously my goal of having all my 2008 FOs posted by the end of January did not quite come to fruition. Maybe before the baby comes? Which could be any day now (due date is mid-Feb but I am now "full term")... but hopefully the baby will give me a few days to relax. Last week was my last week in the office and I just finished wrapping up a few things from home yesterday.
Everything is looking good pregnancy wise, and we are pretty much ready - hospital bags packed, baby clothing and other items all laundered, baby gear unpacked and set up. The house still needs some tidying and cleaning though before I can completely relax... gotta ride this whole nesting thing!
So, here's another FO... from last year's superbowl.
Pattern: Really Warm Hat by Melissa LaBarre of Knitting School Dropout (ravelry, pattern)
The story: I needed, quite literally, a really warm hat as my other white hat was not really cutting it in the warmth department. This was the ultimate instant gratification knit - I shopped at Purl in the afternoon, swatched on the train out to my sister-in-laws, cast on right before the game started, and was done by the time the game was over!
Awesome pattern, great hat, although the yarn sheds like crazy, especially on a black coat. I actually bought more of this yarn in a really pretty pink and brown to make a coordinating scarf but ended up returning the yarn. Minimizing the shedding from a hat is manageable (although it's weird having to be so careful about where you put your hat..) but not for a scarf. I really should, um, wash the hat and see if that makes a difference.
This really has become my go-to hat though - it's warm, it goes with everything, and it looks like a fluffy snowball! Do you know how hard it is to take a self-portrait of yourself in a white hat though? Photographing anything white is hard, especially when you're not in the frame when the settings are set. Probably with my new fancy camera I could figure out how to set the exposure... or I could just ask someone to take a picture for me, but let's just get this posted, shall we?!