With in flight time totaling over 46 hours to and from New Zealand and then another 15 hours to and from Germany, I’ve gotten a good bit of knitting accomplished or started. I did spend some of the time pretending to sleep (as opposed to actually sleeping), but much time was put in on Cookie A’s German Stocking (which I’m calling Kniestrümpfe) and I did a repeat (as in another entire copy vice a single pattern repeat) of Casual Traveler called On the Road Again and cast on a new sweater I’m calling TGIF.
I had a real mental block in getting these started — they are actually a re-start of a project I had begun in 2007 — and left on an airplane. The original was out of Wollmeise to make it even worse. The trip was to Hawaii and these were to be my beach knitting. I did make it to a local shop to replace the yarn and needles, but then couldn’t get past my “grieving” to cast on and get moving on them. I had another project with me which ended up getting my attention instead and when I got home, the little aloha pattern project bag got set aside. I’d look at it wistfully on occasion, but I just couldn’t move past the lost effort.
Then came Yarnover and classes with Cookie. In the patterns she had available for sale, there was the “German Stocking” pattern. It goaded me into contemplating my mental block — and finally, I moved past it. I cast on last month and have made great progress. That is, once I studied the pattern — it’s a bit confusing in points, but can be worked out if one takes it deliberately and spreads out at a desk. Not the wisest choice for airplane knitting with bad lighting and a yarn colorway that wasn’t a great choice given that I was working on black needles! (Graphite, Baby!!) Anyway, I do love the way it’s turning out — except I should have gone down an inch or more in the calf size. If you decide to make these (and I’m speculating this may be good advice for any of Cookie A’s knee socks) GO FOR THE NEGATIVE EASE…turns out the twisted rib is plenty stretchy and if you knit to gauge and to the stitch count for your calf measurement, you stand to get a slouchy sock. When I’m finished I’ll do a swatch with my remaining yarn and toss it in the wash to see if it snugs up or semi-felts….if the former, the socks will get that treatment and they should be fine. If the latter, I’ll sew elastic thread through the cuff and that will be fine too. I’m not entirely sure of the yarn — the shopkeeper wound it for me, and I’ll be damned if I can lay hands on any ball bands at this point. It was early enough in my return to knitting that I wasn’t all that focused on keeping track of my projects. I’m pretty sure it’s Cherry Tree Hill, and definitely a semi-solid, but the skeins I got were smaller than they offer today, so either CTH has changed their yardage per skein, or I’m just wrong about the yarn after all.
On the Road Again should look very familiar. I told my executive assistant that I wanted to make her something for her farewell (she’s transferring next month) and she asked for a shawlette. I pointed her at a grunch of shawl and shawlette patterns and she picked out Traveling Woman. I laughed that our tastes were so close. Then I pointed her at some on line sites and yarn weights to choose a color. She chose the exact same yarn I chose for mine. And, yes, she had seen mine — once — but that had been a while ago. I will miss her. Now I know why she was so good at anticipating my needs and desires! I did add one extra repeat of the lace motif just to inject a bit of difference!
I also cast on with some of my new yarn from New Zealand. I’m working on Girl Friday which I couldn’t resist naming TGIF. Corny, yes…but reflective of how much I do look forward to Fridays…especially when I don’t have to go to work on Saturday. I swatched the yarn the day I bought it and cast on two days later. I knit the bottom ribbing of the back section so that I could legitimately claim having started this sweater while still in New Zealand. The yarn is Naturally Aran Tweed in colorway 82 which is a gorgeous melange of autumn colors…gorgeous. It’s a heavy aran weight so though I’m knitting the L, it will fit loosely — more like an XL — at least if my math based on the gauge swatch is right!
I have a few other projects begging to get on the needles — yes, including swatches for the Master’s!