I've had quite the knitting week. A knitting afternoon downtown last sunday, and two knit nites (in NDG and the Plateau). I decided to go to all of them to check out who goes to which ones and scope out the vibes of each one. I have to say that the ones downtown and in the Plateau are more preferred. Mostly because they are closer to where I live and partly because the atmosphere is a little more relaxed and knitterly. While there is still good conversation, people are pretty much there to knit. And they bring interesting projects. On thursday, there was a sweater, a furry scarf concoction, a shrug, a throw or two, some socks (Jaywalkers I believe) and some spindling.
I was totally bitten by the spinning bug. Watching how easy, quick and effective it was to use a hand spindle, I'm totally into the idea of spinning my own yarn. It first came to mind on a weekend trip to Toronto where I fell in love with a little baggie of luscious something or other fibre for really cheap. I can see how it could be the knitter's drug. I've seen so many nice handspuns in the lands of the internets, but am not sure I want to sacrifice the floor space to a full on wheel. I'm glad to see that the spindle is just as effective in creating a nice yarn. It's the kind of space saving device I can commit to.
My project for the week was the toe up Ravenclaw socks I'm making for my roommate from London. She's finishing up her Master's in International Relations at King's College London and will be happy to have some cozy socks for the upcoming winter. Central heating can be rather spotty in London. Plus I wanted the excuse to try some toe up socks. There are so many people who rave all about them and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I like the results, but not convinced it's better than the usual top down methods. I do feel like I'm knitting in a cartoon when I'm working on them though. The fully formed socks springing from the needles as if by magic, instantly ready to be worn, even if I'm not quite at cartoon speed. It takes more than 15 seconds per sock.
I've given myself the challenge of working these socks continental as well. Why? Because it's a 4 x 2 rib for the entire sock and let's face it, ribbing SUCKS when you do the English style throwing. My ribbing tends to be somewhat loosey goosey as well. One sock is finished and by the end I was more efficient working the pattern Continental rather than English. It seemed like it was slower going, but the economy of movements gave me more resulting fabric for less hand flourishes.
Because one project is never enough and my mind has been thinking about it for a while, I've also started swatching for my lace rib cardigan using my hand-dyed Lana Gatto VIP. I've figured out the basis of the pattern and need to work out the details of gauge and stitch counts. I've been reverse engineering the stitch pattern from a Gap sweater I bought a couple of years ago and ran into some of my classic over thinking when writing it down for myself. There has been much ripping out and starting over with the changing and rechanging of needle size. Finally I've settled on 2.75mm and have started to work on the final swatch for calculations. This is the first sweater that I'm building basically from scratch. I'm quite excited about it.
Oh and on friday I found two lovely little treats from my Secret Pal in my mailbox. Some lovely little earrings and a voucher for some free movies at Blockbuster, each with a nice little note attached. Thanks K2P2!