Do you like your peckers downy or hairy? Sorry, upon reading my opening line, I realize it sounds way to much like the language of our spam commenters, but to be clear, I am talking about woodpeckers. I believe this lovely bird is a hairy one. The two are remarkably similar with differences only in their beaks and outer tail feathers as far as I can tell. If those are black bars/spots on her outer tail feathers (yes, I can tell she’s a female — no red patch on the back of the head), then I’m wrong, she’s a downy. But I would expect to see the black spots a bit better and her beak is far more chisel-like than I saw on the pictures of the downy. Tough call. I’ll let you know after I post this over in the “Knitting Pipeline” group on Ravelry. Paula’s an expert.
I’ve made good progress on Manly. I have almost reached the “joining of sleeves” point in the body entirely with the first skein of Eco+ — was very pleased to see how far it went. I started the next skein, but realizing I’d need sleeves to join soon, decided to work on those before I continued on the body. I’ve got one ready to go and am about a third of the way up the second. I’d be there in no time if I hadn’t picked up two new projects that I need to crack out quickly.
The first of these is a helmet liner using that fabu pattern, Gusseted Helmet Liner from TwinSet Designs. I’m sure your familiar with it. (By the way, when I created my project on Ravelry for this, I became your 200th project. Do I get a prize? Oh wait, I already got one — that lovely Columbia roving and fun, fun gifts from China. I am particularly partial to the finger flashlight. Thanks!) I’m making this for a buddy who deploys in a few weeks. I found out he still only has the government issue crappy acrylic helmet liner and asked him if he’d like a good one. He was thrilled when I said I’d make him one. I’m making great progress, but am not thrilled with the stretchiness of my cast on — believe I will finish the helmet liner and then try to pick up stitches near the cast on, pick the cast on out and then bind off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast Off. Also, instead of doing a provisional cast on for the resumption of knitting in the round after the neckstand, I used two circs as the base and did a figure eight cast on to yield two lines of live stitches — one line oriented up and the other down. It worked great. When I go back to do the ribbing around the face opening I’ll simply pick up the stitches on the sides of the neck stand and be in business.
The next one will be a shawl for my friend Ann. You may recall that I designed Ann’s Cap for her when she first came down with ovarian cancer. She’s been in remission for a few years now, but her last scan showed that it’s back. Surgery is Monday. I’d like to be able to bring this shawl to her sometime week after next. The pattern, from Wrapped in Comfort is perfect — named Bigfoot, I’m naming this project Ann’s Big Heart. Her feet aren’t that big, but boy her heart is! (I have been meaning to knit from Alison’s book for a while, but was not able to lay my hands on it. It showed up a few weeks ago when I unpacked the last boxes from the move.) I’m doing it in Socrates — a yarn that has a very warm, very soft feel to it.
Finally, I decided to join in on a KAL on the Knitting Pipeline boards. Quince and Company picked up a pattern that Paula designed and it is lovely, called Piper’s Journey (click through to see a preview on their site). I’m not a Piper, but I’ve so enjoyed her podcast and being a member of the Ravelry group, so I couldn’t say no. Mine’s called Pipeliner’s Journey. It will, however, have to wait till I finish the other priority projects. As it’s not yet available (it should go on sale within the week), I may finish them up just in time. I’m making mine in Quince and Company Chickadee in the glacier colorway.
Spinning continues too…am through the 4 oz. braid of silk and merino and I have a question. What do you do when you can’t find the end of your single? Mine somehow disappeared after it broke during the spinning process and now I fear surgery will be the only way to recover it. As I’d like to ply next weekend, your advice will be valued!