In knitting news, I am SO CLOSE to finishing the feather and fan shawl. It's about 72" long now, unblocked. I have decided to keep going until the third ball of yarn is gone and then call it good. That should give me about 80" of shawl before blocking. But I could change my mind and go longer. We'll see. I'm actually pretty tired of working on it.
I bought some wonderful new yarn from South West Trading Company called Phoenix. It's a ribbon yarn in 100% soy silk. I got a colorway called Candy. Originally, I was going to use it to crochet a lacy pullover to wear over tank tops on my upcoming cruise. But it doesn't have enough body to the yarn for the pattern; it came out way too limp to look pretty. I do love the yarn, though, so I've decided to be a bit adventurous and try something on my own.
I searched and searched for a knitted, open lace bolero or crop top or shrug type thing. I found several patterns that come close, but nothing that screams "Make me!" Yesterday, I tuned in for a new episode of Knitty Gritty and was the episode with Stephanie Japel demonstrating The Better Sweater, knit in bulky weight yarn, in one piece from the top down. It's the perfect shape for what I want. I just need to figure out a lace stitch pattern to use, make the sleeves shorter, and adapt it to this yarn and gauge and my size.
Sounds simple enough, right? (I'm only partially kidding; I really do think I can do this.)
I've done a couple of swatches and I think I've settled on an Irish net pattern from The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns on a U.S. size 15 needle. This creates a nice, open lacework swatch that I think I can make work. We'll see, so stay tuned!
Aside from the feather and fan shawl and a lot of swatching, I made another dish cloth using the Ball Band pattern in Mason-Dixon Knitting and bundled it together with the one I made before to give as a hostess gift to some friends who invited me to Passover Seder. I told them the only rule is that they must be used! :)