Knitting in Pink

Life is still very stressful here for M and me, and I can’t yet say anything definite about career plans/changes. This stress has made my blogging, responding to comments (which I always read and enjoy!), and reading all your blogs more sporadic than I would like. I can but try. So I have decided to make the blog a stress free zone of happy knitting and crafting as an antidote.

Pink is happy color. I like to wear pink, and I like pink flowers. I don’t consider it my “favorite” color; I usually say that is yellow or green when pressed. But I don’t wear yellow much, as very few shades of it look good on me. And I’ve yet to come across a shade of pink that made me look bad. So I like to knit with pink yarn. Originally, I wanted to get my La Gran cable-rib cardi done by Easter, but my sore knuckle held me back, but now the sleeves are done and blocked!
La Gran Cardi: sleeves
I also did the neckband, and I have purchased buttons (the colors are better in this photo compared to the sleeves).
La Gran Cardi: neck
The first time I knit this pattern I used some beautiful Czech glass buttons, which were soooo heavy. The lightweight mohair yarn just couldn’t support them properly. So here I chose plastic in a matching pink. I like the square shape, and I hope their considerably lighter weight will work better. So now I just need to seam and sew the buttons on.

But this past week I wasn’t in the right mood for neat seaming, so I cast on a new project. I had planned to switch back to the nubby cardigan, but then I finally found a vest pattern I liked for some pink yarn I’ve had in stash for a while. I bought this Goshen from Valley Yarns at Webs to make a short sleeved top, but then decided I didn’t want to do that. After buying a couple of blouses at an after-Christmas sale that had the same pink as the yarn, I decided to knit a vest. Apparently, I am very picky about sweater vests, because it took me until last week to find a pattern I liked.
Glace vest: colors
Not that you can tell much about the style from that photo–but the yarn pink is the same as the light pinks in the two blouses, even though it doesn’t look exact on my computer. So far the front is 18 cm of 2×2 rib. The pattern is Glace from Rowan Classic Summer Delights (Rav link), and it has interesting construction that I haven’t started yet, so I’ll talk about that later. But I do like the Goshen yarn which is 48% Peruvian cotton/46% Modal/6% silk. It knits up quite well, and it is making a nice fabric. Since it is a cotton blend yarn, and I’m knitting a vest, I decided to knit this before going back to the all-wool-worsted-weight nubby cardigan (it was over 90 degrees here last week when I decided that). I am also knitting the size recommended for my bust size, which I have been too timid to do in the past, thinking the result will be too small. So, with a vest and an easily frogged yarn, I thought the time investment and risk of failure were not too great to knit the “recommended” size. We shall see if I end up with a wearable piece of clothing!

Lace: A FO and a WIP

Thank you to everyone who wished M the best. We will get important news some time next week. In the meantime, we are trying to be calm. Cocktails are involved. As is knitting! However, not together. I’ve had to rip back too many times when blithely knitting mistakes after a too-strong-to-read-a-chart-properly cocktail. Who am I kidding? I can mess up 2×2 rib if the drink is big enough. Anyway, not mixing the two together allowed me to finish and finally block Tudor Grace the lovely lace scarf pattern by Anne Hanson of Knitspot. (BTW, Anne seems to be knitting sweaters to make patterns–very exciting!). Back to the scarf. I gave up on getting a modeled shot of it. M is a gifted photographer of all but knitted items.

This blog post was interrupted while I took M to the urgent care clinic for two stitches in the end of his finger. He cut himself while mincing garlic, and it wasn’t clear that it would stop bleeding and hold together on its own. He is doing fine now, and urgent care took about a fifth the time the ER would have. So back to the lace.

Tudor Grace Scarf
The only modification I made to this pattern was to knit 3 more repeats to make it a couple inches longer (45 rather than 42). The wool/silk yarn from Yarn Lust was wonderful to work with, and the semi-solid coloring knit up beautifully in this pattern. I’ve already ordered more yarn from her for a new scarf.
Tudor Grace Scarf in Currant
On the lace WIP front, we have a rather posh wedding to attend in early June in the Coastal Mountains. My dress is black and sleeveless, so as the evening progresses, I might want a shawl to combat any ocean breezes. I’ve had some Handmaiden Sea Silk, which I bought from Colorsong Yarns, marinating in my stash for over a year. The color is “Sunlit Glade” and I have two 400 m skeins. I don’t want a huge shawl, so I may need only one for this project. With such lovely greens, Evelyn Clark’s Leaf Lace Shawl seemed the appropriate choice. It’s an easy knit too.
Sea Silk Leaf Lace Shawl: 5 repeats
Leaf Lace Shawl: detail
I love knitting with the Sea Silk. I’ve been thinking that I knit lace on needles too small and make it more dense than it should be, so here I am using US 6 needles, and I think it is working out well. It really stretches a lot, and I’ve heard that silk yarns can grow a lace project by 50% upon blocking, so I’m going to be a little careful how much I knit. I really want more of a shawl to cover my shoulders than something I can sit on. So far I’ve done five repeats of the main chart, and 12 are recommended for a “small” 68″-33″ deep shawl. I think at 10 repeats, I’ll pin it out a little vigorously and see where I’m at.

Well, it’s been quite a day here at Molecular Knitting, and I still should treat our less than a year old cream colored towel that M bled on with some stain stick before retiring. If you’re wondering, blood stains (and other protein stains) often come out best in cold or cool water because then the proteins don’t get cooked into the fabric fibers. Just a little household science to end on.

Lightweight Knitting

Well, I have not been keeping up with my plan to post 4 times a month, but there are extenuating circumstances.  I can’t reveal details at this time, but I can say two things.  First, there is a very good probability that several months before the end of this year I will be able to say that I have lived in 7 states in the U.S. not just 6.  Second, wishing M the best of luck in all his career endeavors would be a very nice comment to leave to this post.

As for knitting, my sore first knuckle of my right index finger is taking its own sweet time to heal completely. I’ve resprained it twice now, thinking it was all better when it was still feeling a bit piqued. Once was while knitting on the raspberry throw I started early in the year. It was just too heavy. So it is lightweight knitting for now. Luckily, it isn’t the process of knitting that causes pain just the weight of the knitting (and knitting too much through the backloop). I can knit the sleeves from my La Gran Cardi (if you want a visual refresher, it’s in the same post as the raspberry throw above), as mohair weighs practically nothing. I was certain I would have to make the sleeves shorter than the pattern specified, so I blocked the body pieces, seamed the shoulders and then tried it on. Making the sleeves exactly as the patter dictates will work just fine. My Tudor Grace scarf is done and blocked, but I haven’t been able to take a good picture of it on yet, so that will have to wait.

But I have been able to finish some socks. This is important, as my feet love handknit socks and hate purchased socks. Last winter I had to rely more on the latter than the former, and my feet decided to be drier, itchier, and colder. I finished the stockinette socks in CTH Champlain Sunset:
Champlain Sunset Socks left
I tried a cable pattern with this yarn first that were staggered rope cables with no purling between the ropes. It was too subtle for this busy colorway and not stretchy enough for socks. I tried something else too, but I can’t remember what, but the yarn finally convinced me it just wanted to be stockinette. In the end, I agree it was the best choice. Moving along, I also finished the Nodding Violet socks in STR medium weight.
Nodding Violet Socks right
I have these socks on as I write, and the medium weight STR will work in some of my shoes, but I think these will be best as I am wearing them now–with my fleece-lined slippers when my feet and ankles are like ice cubes. In addition to finishing these two pair, I have two single socks also completed: a Spring Monkey and a Gentleman’s Fancy Sock.
Spring Monkey Sock 1
Gentleman's Fancy Sock 1
I love everything about the Monkey sock: yarn, pattern, colors. I’ll definitely be knitting this pattern again. I have the second sock started. The Gentleman’s Fancy Sock, which I’ve slightly modified from Nancy Bush’s pattern in Vintage Socks, is more of a disappointment. The colors knit up aren’t as pretty as the yarn in the skein. The duller shades of grey-blue stick together and the more intense purple-blue is then left on its own. This remained consistent though the leg decreased from 72 to 64 stitches, and the foot has only 60 stitches. I’d like better mixing. Oh, well. I will knit the second sock, but not just yet. Since I feel a desperate need for blue socks, I started a Retro Rib Sock from Favorite Socks in Knit Picks Essential Tweed in Blue Ox. That is going much better.
Retro Rib Sock WIP
I also started a shawl in some stashed Sea Silk I had on hand, as I realized we are going to an evening wedding in June in the mountains by the ocean. But that will have to wait for another post. I should go clean out a closet of things that I don’t really want to take to a seventh state. M is at work; I can throw more things away when he isn’t around.