Monday, July 21, 2008

One done, two begun!

Yesterday was a rare day for me. I had absolutely no work to do! This is both a good and a bad thing. The good part is that I got to spend the day knitting! The bad part is that I had nothing going on to generate income, and unfortunately my main income-generating gig has been pretty slow lately.

Balance is important in life, so I'm choosing to look at this as a balancing act -- I've been tilted towards the "work too much" side for a long time, so this is just leveling things out a bit. I just hope it's not the beginning of a trend.

So, as I said, I spent the day knitting. (I watched movies, too, but knitting was the priority.) I didn't plan to do that, though. I had grand plans for doing some cleaning, going to the hardware store to get a couple of things I've been needing, taking a drive into the country, and even sitting at the spinning wheel for a while. But then I started knitting and the next thing you know, it was nighttime!

February Lady sweater blockingThe result is a completed February Lady Sweater! I finished it in the afternoon and put it in some Soak for a little while, then laid it out to dry. No need to pin it as the weight of the wet wool and some gentle shaping is plenty to get the lace to open up.

I discovered two things about Malabrigo. It holds a tremendous amount of water! After gently squeezing out as much as I could, then rolling in towels and pressing out more, it was still pretty heavily saturated. I left windows open in the fiber room overnight to help with the drying process and it was still plenty damp this morning. Thus the resting on the sunny deck.

Secondly, it smelled and not in a nice, sheepy way. It smelled bad. Not really like the sheep barn, but a strange scent that I haven't really smelled before and can't describe adequately. There was definitely a barn smell involved, but. . . yuck! Some sunshine should help that, too, although it's much less smelly this morning than it was las night. I used citrus-scented Soak, which smells nice on its own. I'm not sure if it's a combination of that and the wool that made the unpleasant result or not. I'm just going to make sure I don't wear this in a rain shower! Is this common with Malabrigo or is it just me?

I really, really, really love this sweater and I can't wait for it to get dry so I can put on the buttons and the ribbon accent. I know it won't be cold enough to wear it for a while, but that's okay. It's my second sweater ever and it was a totally enjoyable knit.

February Lady Sweater, pattern free from Flint Knits
Size XL
Malabrigo worsted in American Beauty - 7 skeins with only a small amount left over
Addi Lace Turbo needles US8 (5mm) I used one 47" needle and did the sleeves with the Magic Loop method

Started June 20, 2008
Finished July 20, 2008 (except for buttons and ribbon embellishment)

None, really. I did a few extra rows of garter stitch after the eyelets and I made 22 lace repeats for both the body and the sleeves. I also left off the buttonholes since I will use clasps instead of buttons.

Once it dries, I'll put the finishing touches on and try to get a picture of me wearing it. :) Oh, and bonus! This fulfills two KALs -- the February Lady Sweater KAL and the Loopy Groupies RED KAL (both Ravelry links). Sweet!

So, it's on to the next project, which will be for the Loopy Groupies DIC Baby KAL (also a Ravelry link).

I've been waiting to start the Hanami shawl for a very long time. And yesterday, I did. I'm using Dream in Color (DIC) Baby in Petal Showers. I think the soft colors fading from light brown to cream to pink are perfect for the pattern. Sorry, no picture yet. I'm on row 9 of the first chart, so there's not much to look at yet. The beaded cast on took me a while, but it looks great.

Since we don't sell Dream in Color in the shop (not yet, anyway), I need a project that I can work on while I'm there.

Knotty wrap startSo, I pulled the Ella Rae Silkience from my stash and started a Knotty Wrap Top (Ravelry link) from Gardiner Yarn Works. I bought this yarn with this top in mind and I don't think it's going to disappoint. Rather than swatching, I just started in on one sleeve. So far, so good!

I think I'm going to make the sleeves shorter than the pattern calls for, sort of like an extended cap sleeve instead of a total short sleeve.

Geez, after never having made a sweater, I'm now starting on my third one this year!


Chrispy said...

Congrats on your second sweater!

I have been working a lot with Malabrigo recently and have blocked several sweaters and small objects. I do agree they take a while to dry.

I have never had a bad smell experience with the yarn. It smells like wool but not overly so. It smells tons better than washing a fleece. I use soak but have not used the citrus so I can't comment on if it was an interaction.

MicheleLB said...

Nice job with the Lady! I think the clasp will be great for this sweater. I spent the day knitting on mine, too, but I had completely frogged it the day before, so I'm still not that far along. Past the armhole division, though! I just posted on my blog, too. I'll bet there are a lot of us doing that today with the Ladies.

Dawn Sellers said...

The February Lady Sweater is beautiful. Love the color and I agree with Michelle, the clasp will look great. If I start now I bet the weather will be cool enough to wear it by the time I finish.

Ann said...

Nice color for the Lady Sweater. I have also finished mine & thoroughly enjoyed knitting it - a great design.