It is ironic that on this most exciting week for my knitting I do not have a camera. At this point, you might as well click away from this blog - or stay and imagine beautiful things being knitted.
First of all, and first finished object of 2008:
(imagine crazy colorful cotton table runner)
After spending Sunday browsing through and thinking about Kaffe Fassett patterns, my life needed some more color. Inspiration? A table runner from YarnPlay, but with lots of colors! I remembered various odd balls of cotton that came my way, and they sort of went together. They became a length-wise knitted runner for my kitchen table, and I have to say that it doesn't look too bad! Cotton hurts my hands, though.
Secondly, and this should probably be the first: I am no longer a steek virgin!!
See, I really should have had the camera this week. I bound off the Venezia steeks yesterday, did the shoulder 3-needle bind off, cut the steeks (in semi-darkness, what was I thinking??) and started on the neck band. Picking up that v-neck band sucked big time, but the whole process was so absorbing that I stayed up 'til 3am messing with needles, yarn and scissors. I am pleased to announce the amazing discovery that Shetland wool does indeed felt to itself very easily and that cutting steeks does not immediately destroy a sweater!
It also sucked to get up this morning way too early, my head still full of wine, and not being able to fall asleep because the sweater was calling my name. Half-asleep I finished the neck band and did that insane "pick up the base purl bumps and do a 3 needle bind off with them" (one of those maneuver that requires a few extra hands). The pieces of the sweater are now blocking - I'll cut the sleeve steeks and sew in the sleeves in the morning.
The almost-conclusion to this Venezia madness is that I loved this so much I can't wait to start another stranded project. There is something so satisfying about that folded neck band that holds the steek securely inside (see, a picture would have been priceless here!). Check out Maud's photos - I used her v-neck instructions and my sweater is virtually the same.
Third and lastly, I've found a beautiful, beautiful book about textiles: World Textiles: A Visual Guide to Traditional Techniques. It's everything you'd want such a title to be, and the photos are gorgeous. It's very touching to see old French shepherds knitting while watching their sheep, or a former king of Cameroon wearing traditional cloth. I am also very humbled by the fact that knitting takes 6 pages, is described in very basic terms, and yet we know how complex the craft is. What about the other few hundreds of pages? There are dozens of other techniques mentioned in the book - and each of them might be a world in itself!