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March 16, 2009

Now that Jan’s little Hawaiian interlude is over for another year, she and we are all back to reality: it’s March and it’s not spring yet. Sigh.

But the knitting goes on.

Deirdre got finished in the middle of February. It fit very well and I just loved that Zephyr DK yarn. I’d show you a picture but I am at work where I can’t see Flickr and that’s where the picture is. So I’ll just have to be a wimp and give you the Ravelry page for it.

The red angora/merino piece is sort of hibernating. I keep passing it by for things that are more fun. It has grown some:

I can see this hanging around a long time – once the weather is warmer and sweatier, I won’t want to touch anything that sheds angora!

I seem to be on a jacket kick, which was started off by the Sweet Pea jacket. I cast on for “Go Retro”, a jacket from a recent Knitters magazine, but quickly found that I was not getting gauge with the size 10 needles, so I frogged and sent off for some Knitpicks points in 10.5.

Of course, I couldn’t just work on the red thing, though, so in my jacket mania I cast on for something called Isobel of Mar. OK, those photos are pretty crappy and you can’t really see what you are looking at. This is a sized-up version of Alice Starmore’s Secret Garden swing coat for little girls. I love the Hebridean yarn but just can’t afford it anymore. However, I was lucky enough to get my hands on the pattern amendment for a size I can wear, and cast on in a lovely jade-ish shade of Galway Highland Heather that has been discontinued for years (it came in a hank, if that gives you any idea how old this yarn is).

When this version of the design came out, a lot of people laughed and said, Why would anyone want to wear something that looks like maternity clothing? I kept quiet, and waited for my chance, because I really am a sucker for the swing coat shape, and I love that neckline in the adult version.
I am happy to report that only Chart A has bobbles in it, and I only have one more row to go that contains bobbles. I didn’t realize until about 4 rows later that I had made an error on the second row containing bobbles – instead of one bobble stacked above the first one, there should have been two, rising in a slant. If you look at the photo you can see how that row doesn’t really fit with what comes later. But I was damned if I was going to rip back three or four rows of knitting so that I could put in TWICE as many bobbles. So there it sits, and at the bottom of the skirt no one will notice it.

When my size 10.5 needles came, I recklessly cast on for Go Retro also, so now I have TWO long jackets on the needles. Just in time for spring. Haha.

I have exactly the yardage of yarn called for in the pattern, and this color of Cascade 109 has now disappeared from the face of the earth, although WEBS had it as recently as the end of December. If anyone has any Cascade 109 in shade 9404 lying around – call me on the batphone, I’m wanting insurance.

After finishing two pairs of plain white wool socks for Emmy, and applying an afterthought kangaroo pocket to her blue hoodie, I wanted to make more socks for me. I settled on a pattern called ‘Francie’. The info about it is here. I loved the idea of the construction and wanted to try it out. Since I didn’t want to obscure the pattern with a painted yarn I grabbed a ball of Lisa Souza Sock in Elektra that I had scored from a stash box swap once upon a time. (The color in these photos is a bit washed out, it runs more to navy blue.)

The leg is standard-issue, with a pattern based on 2×2 rib that resembles tree bark. The heel flap is also standard, if a bit wider than usual to accommodate the math of what’s coming. Once you have made the heel and picked up gusset stitches, you begin decreasing at the center bottom of the foot, and continue until all decreases are finished. Then, you begin increasing underneath the foot and decreasing at the sides so that ribbing grows back out of the center bottom of the foot and wraps up the sides of the arch.

The toe decreases are distributed around the toe, and basically gradually get rid of the purls so that you end up with a toe that is all knit stitches. Very clever, and a nice diversion from basic socks. I should have the second one done by the end of the week.

In other news, we have begun volunteering on Saturday afternoons in the cat adoption room at our local Petsmart, just being there to let the cats wander around, and pet them, and try to make their lives a little better while they wait. The adoption rate there is actually very good, and in the month we’ve been doing it we’ve seen quite a few cats get adopted. I’m keeping a running album of photos of them on Picturetrail so everyone can see what great cats are available to be your best friend forever.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2009 6:55 pm

    Ahhh, spring startitis!!
    Sweet thing to do for the kitties.

  2. March 17, 2009 10:27 pm

    I am smitten with the border of your Isobel of Mar. Alice does have her moments.
    The sock is really interesting, and it’s pretty too. Do you notice the ribs on the sole of the foot?
    I echo Kerry on what you’re doing for the kitties. You’re a kind soul.

  3. March 19, 2009 10:55 am

    I am a sucker for swing coats. Where did you get that pattern? I really love it…and that includes the hard to see photos of it. Wow. I second everyone else about the cat volunteerism. Good for you! Good for Emmy! Good for cats, too…
    PS: I got your comment on my blog about the book, and I hope you like it. 🙂

  4. Jan permalink
    March 22, 2009 6:39 pm

    A nifty bunch of projects in progress. I love your Electra socks, expecially how the stitch patterns show up in that yarn. Great work with the kitties, so much needed.

  5. Sam permalink
    April 11, 2009 10:21 pm

    Wow! I can’t believe I haven’t checked in earlier to see all this gorgeousness. Those socks are fabulous, and I have deep Isobel envy. I think it’s looking beautiful, and can’t wait to see it. Great job on Emmy’s hoodie, too! 🙂

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