Saturday, May 13, 2006

My First Clapotis Shawl Is Finished

I've finished my first clapotis shawl. Hooray! I think it came out pretty well, all things considered. Here's a picture of it, with our cat Burt looking on and wondering if he dares set foot...er, paw on it. Naturally, he's a smart cat and he recognizes the "just try it!" glint in my eye, so he doesn't touch it.

It was made with Cherry Tree Hill Oceania yarn, and the colorway I believe is called Blueberry Hill. This yarn has a thread of glitter material running through it, which you can't really see on the photo, but it makes it a little dressier and would work for evening. It comes in a 1440-yard hank, which my sister and I split, so I had about 720 yards to work with. Even though that's more yardage than the pattern calls for, by the end of the shawl, I had very little yarn left and the shawl was barely long enough, so I blocked it in order to get a few extra inches of length.

Here's another picture of it, a little closer up, with Burt still posing for the camera:

You still can't see the glitter thread in it, but you can see the colors a little better. They're really gorgeous...I loved the combination.

The glitter thread did tend to get caught or missed sometimes, and the thread is a little fuzzy so it didn't always drop without a lot of help when it was time to drop a stitch. Bottom line: next time if I used something similar, I'd get something without the glitter thread, just to make it a bit easier on myself, but the fuzziness of the yarn I liked enough to make it worth working with again.

I'd love to make another one in a heavier, worsted-weight yarn so it would work for colder weather. This one is great for late spring or summer.

Next project: finishing up a sweater I started last fall. Maybe it will be ready to wear by THIS fall! I'm making the Applegate Shirt by Oat Couture, and you can see a picture of it here:
http://www.oatcouture.com/patternpages/405Applegate.html

I'm using a denim-colored yarn and it's coming out wonderfully. I'll wait to choose the buttons till the sweater is finished. I can't believe it, but I'm actually anxious to finish the pieces so I can seam them! That's thanks to my recent finishing class.

Heading the the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival tomorrow for Mother's Day, with my husband, daughter, grandchildren, and son-in-law. IF the weather is at all reasonable. Today it's pouring rain, with more predicted for tomorrow, and with a cast on my foot and two toddlers tagging along, pouring rain just won't work. Mist I can take...or light rain...so I'll hope for that! Hope you all have a great weekend. What projects are you working on now?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Finishing Class

My latest knitting endeavor was attending a "finishing" class last Sunday afternoon at my LYS. I learned a lot, including three-needle bindoff, mattress stitch, kitchener stitch, short-rowing shoulder shaping, and lots of tips on knitting a project in a more customized fashion. The class was scheduled from 1-4, but actually ran until about 5 with all the material to be covered. It was definitely worth the $30 fee, and I know my finished garments will look better because of it!

I'm getting close to the finish line on my Clapotis shawl and can't wait to see how it looks when finally off the needles. Also, I've signed up with my state chapter of Newborns In Need (www.newbornsinneed.org) to knit hats, sweaters, booties, and blankets for newborns and preemies whose parents can't afford such things. Also, for those who can manage without too many tears, the organization provides handmade burial layettes for those babies who don't make it. :-( Anyway, it feels right to do something to show those parents that someone cares. Now I'm on the hunt for great patterns in newborn and preemie sizes, with minimal seaming (for comfort), no ribbon trim, easy on/easy off, etc. Any suggestions?

What are YOU working on now?