Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Second Sleeve Syndrome

Many knitters are stricken with the disease known as Second Sock Syndrome. This is a sense of hopeless repetition and lethargy that sets in once the first sock of a pair has been knit and the second one awaits. I am told that it is quite a common disease, but luckily, one from which I do not suffer.

For me, it is sleeves. Like feet, arms come in pairs. Sleeves are usually much longer than socks. Most often they start small (at the cuff) and then get bigger and bigger as one increases up the circumference of the arm. Once reaching the armhole, there is a freakishly long way to go to ultimate cast off at either the shoulder or the neckline. One sleeve is bad enough. But the knitter must face two of them. To me it is often the breaking point of sweater completion. The back is done. The front is done. The first sleeve is done. And there the sweater sits, huddled in the bottom of the knitting basket, hoping against hope that the knitter will come back to finish the final sleeve.
This time, I have decided that I am going to change the order in which I knit a sweater. The back is almost completed-no problem. Rather than doing the fronts next, I am going to cast on both sleeves at the same time (on very long straights) and "head for the hills"-in this case, my shoulders. Only after the sleeves have been done will I tackle the two small cardigan fronts. Let's hope this strategy pays off.

The sweater is the Creme Caramel Cardigan from the Patons book called Brilliantly Divine. I needed a quickie, no-brainer project that would knit up in no time and with relatively little yarn. Only after I was mostly through the back did I realize that the book is called "Brilliantly Divine" because each sweater uses both Patons Brilliant and Patons Divine yarns. I only have the Divine, but I figure I can improvise when I get to the trim. Pictures will follow.

In the meantime, here is a picture of my swatch for the April Project Yarnway challenge on Ravelry. It is going to be a grocery bag, but one that will stand out in a crowd.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

So Many Projects-So Little Time

Life has been very full and exciting of late. This week knitting and gardening are filling my time with pleasure.
In the garden, spring is well underway. The daffodils and primroses are in full bloom and the tulips are just arriving.

On the knitting front, I am thrilled to report my success in the Project Yarnway challenge for February! This forum on Ravelry is an homage to the Project Runway television show. In Project Yarnway, knitters are challenged to create designs which are then voted on by fellow Ravelers. In February, I designed a knitting bag I named "Highlands and Heather Knitting Bag". The bag features a fair isle "field" complete with sheep and a five rail fence made of bamboo knitting needles. The flowers in the fair isle are arranged so that a stitch marker can be moved from flower to flower to be used as a row counter.Currently, I'm trying to design a eco-friendly re-usable grocery bag. I've selected some gorgeous Sirdar Mohair from my stash. What a lovely yarn! I've doubled it for sturdiness and the project is knitting up quickly in the round.
Back to knitting!