Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer Knitting

Usually, summers are filled with gardening, vacationing, animal care, and many outdoor-type activities. This year, however, we've had an unusually large number of hot, sunny days. I am, you know, in the Pacific Northwest, and we just don't see temperatures in the high 90s. Well, not often, anyway. We're truly weenies when it comes to dealing with heat. But here we are. We're in the 80s today. It's pretty comfortable – certainly better than a few weeks ago. So during these warmish days, I've been spending much more time indoors, parked by a fan. . . most conducive to knitting.

I've finished another shawl. This one is the Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark, available at: I love this pattern. It is an easy knit (for lace), and has just enough variety with the lily-of-the-valley portion to make it just a bit more challenging, and interesting, as well. It is now hanging in the Wool Show at the NW Washington Fair, and I am happy to say it has a blue ribbon on it. It's not the “Best in Show” (that award went to a friend) but I am delighted. BTW, nupps are not that difficult if you remember to make the yarn-over loops loose. Loose nupps (that rhymes). Then when you go to purl the five stitches together on the back side of your work, you can actually get the needle into all five stitches together. :-)

I'm nearly done with a pair of socks for hubby. I've been using the “Magic Loop” method, and, despite the fact that I don't often fall for what I consider to be trendy techniques, I think this one is a real winner. I am particularly pleased that I can stuff the sock, complete with yarn, needle, and its mate into my purse and not risk losing stitches. I've found that the 40” length works best for me, especially during the heel knitting. 32” is just too short when I get to that portion of the sock. So I am gradually adding to my stash of 40” needles in various sizes. I think this method will be great for mittens & sleeves, too. Oh, and if you're wondering about “ladders”, those annoying loose stitches that often form between the front & back, it's not been a problem for me. The stitches on one side are on the cable of the needle, so are easy to pull a bit snug. That eliminates the problem.

I'm off to work on a little crochet pattern, and maybe to finish those thrummed mittens that I started last January. Looks like it'll be awhile before I need those. . .