Friday, March 19, 2010

Odds & ends & more craft cheating

Some long overdue photos of the kimono shawl:

It's difficult to photograph black garments, and even more difficult to communicate how light and soft and amazing this shawl turned out. The yarn is a very thin lace weight cashmere from Hunt Valley Cashmere farm, bought a few years ago from Maryland Sheep & Wool. It took forever to knit the shawl, not only because it is a relatively fine gauge but also because the pattern itself is rather boring. I wanted a boring lace pattern for this, since I wanted to be able to see what is going on, but it meant that the shawl was never at the top of my knitting queue. Pair this with the desire to use up virtually all the yarn, and I ended up with a 2 meter long shawl that took over a year to make. I say it was worth it, though:

At the opposite end of the knitting spectrum, a quickie pair of socks for J, done mostly in ribbing, with a few twisted stitches at the top (before I realized that the twists all but invisible in this dark color, so why bother?).

What is that light green toe, you ask? That is what you do when the yarn is not quite enough. I am a bit bummed about this. I know the socks are on the longer side, as they hit mid-calf, but I've never had sock yarn run out before. Madelinetosh sock yarn felt wonderful on the needles and the color is great, I just wish it had 5 more yards in the skein!

Here is a closeup of the twists, inspired by a pair of socks in the Favorite Socks book. I hate twisted stitches with a passion, and this pair of socks confirmed that feeling. Not that I needed confirmation or anything...

Finally, what would my crafting life be without some dabbling in other crafts? On a recent visit to JoAnn's I wandered into the thread section. I think it's the most inspiring section of the big and sometimes scary store (who knew there is so much plastic crap marketed as "craft supplies"?) and armed with a 50% off coupon proceeded to ponder the counted cross-stitch kits. Something small to start with:

Peonies in a vase! I'm having a wonderful time stitching these and I am thrilled to see so many shades of pink and peach and mauve blend in one explosion of color:

The back of the work, for those who care about such things. I do, and it pains me that cross-stitch doesn't produce as neat of a back as petit-point: