Round Two

What a mess outside!  We got another round of snow in the night...which has now turned to a cold rain, with the temps just above the freezing mark:  32.7 degrees on the digital thermometer.  I was going to post a photo of it, but how do you take a picture of "melting?"  Ugh.  Let's see if I can find another one from the previous round of winter weather...there, over on the right:  that was looking out our front door, toward the street.  The magnolia tree was weighted down with powdery snow (which has since melted off...and been replaced...and now been washed off again).   After a day of continuous rain, we will get re-freezing and more snow tonight.

It's definitely a good day to stay inside, with the fireplace going...a pot of stew on the stove...a cup of tea by my chair...and needles clicking in my hands.  I love a snow day...even if it's not as pretty as the last one was.

Here're a few photos of my latest FO, with the finished object shown on the left.  I completed my Argyle Country Silk sweater while I was in Louisville, and then wore it home.  Love it!  Feels so soft and warm...goes great with jeans and a turtleneck.  I changed the Cleckheaton pattern (naturally...:) to a V-neck, as I prefer that style, with deeper ribs on the sleeves and hem; also, I used different colors of yarn, which I think turned out looking better than the pattern-model.  I even received some favorable comments on Ravelry...always a welcome experience.  I don't know if this pattern is technically an argyle, as most argyles have outlines of diamonds of different colors superimposed over the solid diamonds to create a feeling of "dimension" ...but, even if you want to call this my Harlequin Sweater, I won't mind.  I still like the way it feels.  And that it is finished...:)

Of course, getting it finished required weaving in all those color-ends on all of those diamond patterns you see...and *even Equitorial Pygmies know how I feel * about weaving in ends..  An argyle is knit using the intarsia method of changing colors:  you use a different "ball" of yarn for each patch of color, since you would have to carry yarn on the wrong side over more than 5 stitches in the same row (like you can do in Fair Isle knitting), and that won't work.  I rolled six bobbins of yarn for each "set" of diamonds, then working from the bottom toward the top, I could knit blue and white in the same row, then blue and red, then red and green, and finally green and white...before I finally knit with "just white."

I made some photos of the project in the beginning (right)...and one of the reverse side with the green bobbins in action.  As Missy M made note:  I won't be doing any knitting with bobbins again any time soon.  A real pain.  And, woe unto the one who has to frog a mistake...all the wraps at the points of color changes = a great deal of fussing while frogging.  Spoken by one who would know about such things.

I'm still working on the Entwined Shawl for N/M/E with the Water Hyacynth rayon yarn.  I don't like working with this (beautifully colored) stuff, as it splits and sticks to my bamboo needles...but slides completely off my (metal) Addi Turbos.  I've knitted the back to the front; divided for the neck; and finished one side of "fingers" that will create the basketweave "entwine" pattern on the front.  Sigh.

I worked on my Woven Scarf a little more during a recent episode of Top Gear (I am definitely not a gear-head, and I still love that show...:), but have to pay too much attention to the pattern stitches to enjoy knitting while watching TV.  It requires slips and wraps and passing slipped stitches over on the right side; then, purling twice into P2tog stitches on the wrong side.  Double sigh.

Thought I'd take a break from both of these UFO's by starting yet another project:  two socks on two circs.  I'll tell you more about this UFO soon.  Just know...the yarn is from New Zealand, and contains 10% possum-fur (hair?)...!

I've got my yarn ready and swatched for my upcoming Ravelympics2010 entry.  I plan on knitting a sweater with Plymouth's Baby Grande Alpaca in a blue heather colorway.  I think I'm going to use a Vogue Knitting pattern that combines a simple Stockinette stitch for the body of the sweater (which is knit with a bulky-weight yarn for speed) with a lovely Fair Isle collar (which will provide the Wow! factor).  I originally had thought I'd do a vest, but then found this pattern that really spoke to me.  We'll see.  I have to make up mind soon, as I have to cast on my project during the Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver, which will be 9:00 p.m. EST on February 12.  Stay tuned...

Meanwhile, time to mind my knitting.  And, maybe to make some chocolate chip cookies to go along with that cup of tea, hmmmmm?

*Borrowed that phrase from an episode of NCIS.*


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