March 1, 2010

In which I surprise myself

I've joked before that the secret to my happiness is low standards and minimal expectations.

Despite this, I fully intended to challenge myself for the Knitting Olympics. I chose a project I knew I could finish, if I just devoted a moderate amount of time to knitting. Since I haven't been devoting much time to knitting, I figured this would be a fair challenge. I cast on the day after the opening ceremonies. And, much to my surprise I finished it a week later.

So it is with a glow of knitterly pride that I present Gold Medal the First: Just Enough Ruffles.

Details: Lobster Pot Yarns Hand-Dyed Cashmere (gifted to me ages ago by the very thoughtful and knit-friendly boyfriend I had at the time), size 9 32" Chiaogoo metal circular needle. Mods: none, unless you want to pretend "picking up the wraps incorrectly" is a modification. So yes, let's pretend the funky pick-ups were intentional, for, uh, added textural interest.

A stylin' scarf, if I do say so myself. Even modeled in a hoodie.

Thoughts: This is a nice, straightforward pattern, mostly stockinette so it really shows off a lightly variegated hand-dyed yarn. The pattern has some nifty short row shaping to give it a nice neck-drapey crescent shape, which had the added benefit of spicing up the endless stockinette. It definitely seemed kind of endless at times, despite substantial amounts of Torchwood being watched. I should remind myself that if I knit this again and think "HEY! I've only got three rows to go," I should remember that all three are 600 stitch purl rows and one of them is a purlwise bind-off. Those are some long-ass rows.

Since the first project went so well, I figured I should just continue with the red cashmere theme. So, with pride verging on glee, may I present my second Gold Medal project, also completed well before the closing ceremonies: A Noble Cowl.

Details: Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 4-ply, in a gorgeous true red that my camera refuses to capture, knit on a size 6 16" Chiaogoo metal circular needle.

Thoughts: This is another sweet little pattern (the original is written out, not charted, but the ravelry pattern page includes a link to a chart, if that's what you prefer). Quick and fun. Plus, I think I finally get the cowl thing. Cowls have many of the same virtues as knitting socks: portability, minimal purling, fun patterns and textures, and you can get an entire project out of one skein of yarn, so it's a perfect use for a special skein of something delicious.

I'm damn impressed with myself for finishing both these projects in the allotted time and almost wish it would be colder so I'd have a reason to wear them (almost, not quite). The only downside to all this cashmere knitting is that I may be spoiled for other yarns. Picture knitting with a cloud made of orgasms, only better. And less obscene. Good lord, so much better.

I may have to go buy myself some Malabrigo, just to ease myself back into regular wool.


Kristy said...

Well, congratulations Dark Horse Gold Medalist! They're both really lovely, and those ruffles must have been a pill! And also I agree: Yay for cowls.

LookBusy said...

Cowls rock! Especially if you remember not to call them Snoods.

Sarah said...

Very impressive!! They both look great. I made the ruffle scarf for someone else and now I want one for myself...