I've started new things, both grey or gray depending on your English or American language leanings. First up is the start to finish baby blanket, and second I've finally committed to knitting Featherweight by Hannah Fettig. I say finally as this has been in my queue for years, I am not alone, Featherweight is listed as a a project by 5982 Ravelers (as of Feb 2014) and is in 8222 Ravelers queues!
First things first, the blanket, I wasn't entirely sure what pattern to use, I had some requirements, center out, seamless, and that would suit outdoor use. I often see the MTB (mother to be) out walking, especially in the cooler months - so assume this baby will be in need of a thick warm blanket when out and about. I spent a session (or two, or four, or more) on ravelry searching for a pattern that would work with my Handspun. Eventually I found Quadrature for Korrigan, which surprisingly was already in my queue. I should learn to use my queue as a starting point when looking for a new project.
So I have started, using 5 mm needles and like with any center out project initial progress is blindingly fast and then slows progressively. I'm not sure if I will need to spin more yarn, but have a third bobbin to ply ... So will do that this weekend -- a knitters version of being prepared.
The other new project is Featherweight, knit in Filatura di crosa centrolavaggi, a lace weight merino two ply. It's fine, with 1400 m in 100g so maybe more correctly called cobweb. I thought I had documented all my stored stash in my ravelry stash - but found when I went to link to this yarn it was not listed - even though I was holding it in my hand and knew about it. That leaves me wondering what else I have stashed that I have not added. Perhaps there is something Psychological and denial like going on there, perhaps I'm just forgetful and disorganized.
I want to wear this, I've been browsing over the thousands of Featherweight projects listed on Ravelry and being inspired. There are some who have knit this seven or eight times - and given the Love that clearly exists for this pattern I wonder if my other skein of this yarn ( in ruby) might also become a featherweight.
All that said - I am usually a process knitter, knitting for the love of knitting and working out details, learning new things and fine tuning my skills. Featherweight offers none of that, it is a basic raglan, in plain stocking stitch, with a little rib. Some knitters have polished and customized the pattern with waist shaping, adding lace to the back or over the entire cardigan,and switching out the single ribbed bands for lace or cable work, workd it in a gradient or in stripes, or lengthened some or all of the garment, or even shapped the front bands to pull the cardigan in much like a shrug. All those tweaks are tempting - but I will admit I find knitting with cobweb tedious. Each stitch must be meticulously made, it is all too easy to knit into the loop below, or to split a stitch or knit two together. The yarn is so fine I can't (yet?) knit by feel - I must look. At each stitch. Every time. All the time. And yet I am continuing to knit, I love the promise of a lovely light and soft grey cardigan that will work with my dresses.
I am even considering knitting the 3/4 sleeves, something I usually don't even consider. I am tall and seemed to spend much of my shield hood with half mast sleeves and trousers, things still fit around but my limbs shot out the ends - I grew to hate things that were to short. I have a tendency to counter that outgrown-my-clothes feeling by making things with extended exaggerated long sleeves. My thinking is this yarn is soft merino, and while super wash will pill and fluff and wear. Bracelet length sleeves, which is another name for 3/4 or thereabouts will provide more durability, there will be less rubbing on desks and tables - besides then I can wear my jewellery without worry about snagging.
I begin to see the reasons behind the popularity of Featherweight - the design and finished garment ticks so many boxes, and could easily become a wardrobe essential in our modern world where we live indoors much of the time. There may be more Featherweights in my future - I have already begun to think of the other skein as a second one, and I have at least two or three sweater batches of fingering yarn which would knit up to the same gauge. Oh help - I am growing up, maturing and moving to product knitting -in don't know if i should worry or of this is just a stage?
Then again - it's just knitting, and it keeps me sane, and distracts me from more dangerous pursuits.