Monday, 31 December 2007

Not a Roundup

Christmas was lovely - laughter, tears and all the other drama of a family Christmas. I'm finding life back at home rather quiet by comparison. I had some success with the scarves I knitted as Christmas presents - you can see a full report at the Knitting New Scarves KAL.

I have been flogging round and round Mavis and am on the third ball of Silk Garden now. I will have to make a real effort to find the pattern soon as I can't remember how much of these chevrons I'm supposed to do. I know roughly where it is but it's a folded-up photocopy so it's easy to lose. It isn't an illicit photocopy: the friend I am knitting this for has bought a copy of Naturally Noro but she obviously realizes that if she sends it to me she stands very little chance of ever seeing it again, so she sent me a photocopy of the Mavis Pattern.

I have been thinking about what to start next. I'm not someone who makes New Year Resolutions: I either do something or I don't, at any time of year. And I'm not given to looking back on my knitting in an annual cycle. I do look back at the year and think of the worst and the best that has happened, but that's in terms of major losses and compensations in the larger scheme of things. But coming to the end, for the moment, of that great burst of all-consuming scarf-knitting has left me in a place where I am having to think a bit about what I want to do alongside Mavis... and the Stacked Wedges in silvery grey Malabrigo that I intend to start just as soon as I get a pair of needles organized. This may involve waiting for me to buy a set of 6mm rosewood dpns as I am in my customary state of post-Christmas skintness and not even I can persuade myself that rosewood dpns are an essential - not this week, anyway.

I sold some odds and ends on eBay (not yarn) and had some credit, so I got some lovely plain grey Jaeger Matchmaker Aran called Flannel from Jannette, one of my favourite sources of yarn. I want to make something very simple and classic from it and have been toying with this pattern, Montparnasse from Berroco. The yarn is a good match. I love asymmetrical things, and deconstructed things. The back starts with a single stitch.

I also seriously think it's time I started doing something with the huge skein of Habu Shosenshi linen paper yarn which I bought a while ago, ahem. I got it at K1 Yarns in Glasgow, a heavenly shop. The Shosenshi is grey too. They also have Habu's stainless steel yarn, which I have been coveting ever since I first began to see it on blogs. I wonder if one could substitute Rowan Kidsilk Haze for the Superfine Merino in this scarf? I'm not usually terribly into felting as I have difficulty with the idea of taking the time to knit something large only to end up with something small, but I might be prepared to make an exception. I have some striped-in-shades-of-grey Kidsilk Spray and I like the idea of using it with stainless steel. Maybe this is going to be a grey year?

I have Setsuko Torii's book, Hand-Knit Works, which I bought from Amazon Japan. I still get emails from them which I assume say, 'People who bought Hand-Knit Works also bought this,' but I can't be absolutely sure. It has pictures like this, which make me swoonand this, which is nice,
and this, which makes me hyperventilate, but in a good way.
There are lots of guides on the Interwebberies to understanding Japanese knitting patterns so I'm willing to give it a go, but I would probably start with something easy, and not a stainless steel cardigan. I have my own little swoony photo, which I took when I first got the Shosenshi. Katherine Walker, who owns K1 Yarns, told me that she soaks the yarn and leaves it to dry before she starts to knit with it, so I did three little swatches. Unfortunately, the one I liked best was the one that didn't get wetted and was never washed. I ended up in a complete state of indecision anyway. Katherine also gave me a worked-out-in-English pattern for a jacket so I could do that if my struggles with the book end in tears.

I treated myself to Victorian Lace Today with some of my Christmas Cash. I'm not in a great hurry to knit anything else from it (I did a very simple scarf already) but I want to have it for the historical content. However, having raved on here for hours about grey wool and deconstructed Japonaiserie, I will probably spend the year knitting fluffy pink shawls. I hope you will be kind enough not to point this out to me.

1 comment:

Knitting Linguist said...

You've got some gorgeous projects lined up there -- the only question is how to choose among them! Those Japanese knitting books are lovely. I love my copy of Victorian Lace. I've only knitted one project from it, but since I, too, bought it as much for the history of lace knitting as for the patterns, it still feels like a very worthwhile book in my library. And I just like to look at the pictures. Someday I'll knit the great big huge round shawl. Maybe.

Pictures of the Malabrigo soon, I promise! Meanwhile, I love the idea of a cowboy on a train telling you to try the soup -- a very Malibu moment, indeed :) Happy New Year!