Non-progress happening here.

Well, I actually do have something finished to report on.

Ribbed Chameleon II

During our very briskly cold December past, my son got to wear my Ribbed Chameleon I scarf and soon started to lay claim to it. It became clear that I would have to make him one.  It turned out the yarn was on sale at Village Yarn & Tea, so there weren’t a whole lot of color choices in Karabella Chameleon, but I chose a blue/yellow combo. The whole thing was knitted up in a matter of a few car rides and he’s quite pleased with it and insists on wearing it even in the mildest of weather.

Pattern: Ribbed Mini-Scarf by Celeste Glassel
Yarn: Karabella Chameleon, colorway 3214 (one skein)
Needles: 4.0 mm/US 6

On the “non-progress” front—

Grand Duchess is in limbo until I can figure out how many stitches I dropped, and even a life line isn’t much help.  For such an undertaking I need about 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time during the day.  Now, where am I going to get that?  Here’s a thought that crosses my mind when I knit this:  mohair and lace are two words that probably should never be mentioned in the same sentence and, therefore, should never even enter anyone’s mind for a knitting project.

Nantucket Jacket is currently stalling for time, because I’m now almost back to where I frogged it the first time when I decided the size I originally chose would be too big. Now I’m trying to determine where to incorporate extra stitches for the bust in the smaller size without making huge changes to the stitch pattern.  If it weren’t for the sizing issue, this would breeze along, but I find it very refreshing to knit, and I particularly like knowing that I’m using stash yarn as I work on it.

Bird’s Eye Shawl is back out of hibernation because I went to a concert at Benaroya Hall last Monday to hear the amazing violinist Julia Fischer play with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (what a wondrous match-up that is).  I really wanted to take something with me, so Birds Eye happily volunteered itself for the mission.  And good choice it was, as it made a perfect concert companion.  Since then I’ve been enjoying it’s companionship in car rides or during occasional quiet times in the afternoon while my son plays with his toys.  I know it well enough now that I’ve become pretty good at fixing it without ripping out one single row when I make a mistake.  I just wish it didn’t take so long to make one row.

Matcha Market Bag, for those of you wondering, is in hibernation until spring.  After all, it’s really another lace project and I truly love lace, but at this time in my busy life, lace is probably the last thing I should be knitting.

Rib Knitted Shrug is also in hibernation, and at this point, may never see the light of day again.

Purple Autumn, of which I have not said much, is also hibernating.  It’s a sweet little project, but how many lace projects does one need to make at the same time?

Big news:  for my belated Christmas/every-other-2008-gift my husband gave me a Nikon D300 DSLR and it arrived this week.  The crazy thing is, I’ve been using a simple point-and-shoot all along, and I feel like I’ve been driving a minivan and have been put behind the wheel of a Maserati and can’t even figure out where the ignition is.  It’ll probably be a while before you see any product of this camera, but while wandering around 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle in the sun today with all the tourists, I kept looking at different things to photograph and I am delighted with the possibilities.


Chameleon Changes Form

Ribbed Chameleon

When I should have been fast asleep in a post-feast haze on Thanksgiving night last Thursday, I was up late watching the Alan Arkin classic The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and starting a new Ribbed Mini-Scarf. It turned out to be a welcome change of gears from my other projects, and in two days it was finished.

If the yarn looks familiar, it’s because I frogged Bainbridge Scarf I and used the yarn, Chameleon by Karabella for this my second Ribbed Mini-Scarf. As you may recall, when I made the first Bainbridge Scarf the results weren’t the best, and it was pretty much destined for frogging from the beginning. How satisfying to make something that knits up quickly!  I really like this yarn, too; it’s very soft. The button is a spare button to a cardigan I bought at Target last year. I used a 4 mm circular needle. This pattern is available directly from the designer’s website (click on Ribbed Mini-Scarf above) and as a pattern download through Ravelry.

We did some cleaning around the garden today and I have to show you the size of the leaves off the maples in the adjacent woodland….

They are truly the size of dinner plates (diameter: 10.25″/26 cm), and if I’d thought about it, I could have used them as placemats for Thanksgiving.

Okay-Shokay Completed

Well that was satisfyingly quick and easy! In all I probably spent about 4-6 hours of time knitting my version of Ribbed Mini-Scarf (Raverly link or designer’s blog link), but life and other projects took much of my time, so it took a whole month to make.

It’s a good pattern and I recommend it if you are seeking a super-quick knit for a gift for someone.

The only thing I did differently was that I made the hole through which the end of the scarf should be strung through for wearing smaller, and made it more of a buttonhole for the really cool button I bought at Nancy’s Sewing Basket in Seattle. If you go to one of the links above for the scarf you’ll see that it’s meant to be worn in a manner that is far more interesting, than what I did, but I wanted the scarf to block-out more cold air.

Pattern: Ribbed Mini-Scarf by Celeste Glassel (free pattern)

Yarn: Shokay Shambala Yak Down in purple, one skein (100 grams, 164 yds/150 m – I had 15 grams left)

Needle: U.S. 6/ 4 cm

Finished dimensions: 4.5″ x 34″ (11.5 cm x 86 cm)

Gauge: 20 sts/4 in. (10 cm) in pattern stitch

Notes on the yarn: it is scrumptious to touch, but upon wearing it around my neck, it’s a tad bit scratchy which I find a bit disappointing, but that’s the nature of yak down, I guess. Also, it’s probably going to pill a bit, as when I frogged parts of the scarf as I worked to get the buttonhole just the right size, it released bits of fuzz, and then when I washed it, the water had a fair amount of fibers floating around; a bit of color also came off in the wash.

My son and I have been home sick with some kind of nasty cold lately, so I opened this mysterious package of tea my mother brought back from Japan last September:

Mysterious, only because I don’t read Japanese and all my mother knows is that it’s meant to be used when sick. I could break out my Kanji dictionary, but that would take about 2 hours of knitting time to decipher, and why would I waste my time?

Whatever it is, it’s quite good, and clearly has some green tea powder in it, some ume (plum), and maybe some yuzu (citron).

When one is sick, does one bake? Stupidly, yes. So as lousy as I felt yesterday, I made croissant from scratch and they were my best batch yet.

I have no idea why they turned out so well this time, except that there was the toddler factor: “Mommy, I want to see what you’re doing!” “Mommy, I want to stir!” “Mommy, what are you doing?” “Let me do it!” “Mommy, I need to go potty!” It’s a bonified miracle the croissant were so good.

Okay-Shokay Progress

“Progress?” You say. “What’s Okay-Shokay?”

Okay-Shokay is a scarf that is the result of pure lust and impulse buying, I have to admit.

From the instant I put my hands on that skein of Shokay’s Shambala yak down, I knew that there was no turning back. I had never felt yak down yarn before, and I cannot describe to you how wonderful it feels. I’ve heard it described as a lot like cashmere, but I think it feels much better than cashmere (is that even possible?). It feels like a soft cotton plant somehow had intimate relations with a cashmere goat and yak down was the result. I love it. I could not say “no” to that skein, however I did say “no” to any additional skeins (the stuff is expensive). I have no regrets, though.

Caressing my single skein of purple Shambala that night, I searched Ravelry to find a pattern to put the 164 yards (150 m) to good use with. Some have suggested that I incorporate the skein into a sweater with other yarns, and I politely accepted their opinions, all the while thinking to myself, “Are you absolutely insane?! Why would I mix something so delicious to touch as yak down with another yarn? ” I did appreciate their input, really, but I just couldn’t do that. Through Ravelry I found the pattern for Ribbed Mini-Scarf by Celeste Glassel and I think it suits the fiber perfectly, as it just screams that it needs to be next my skin. The pattern is written for two lengths and I’m making the longer one (26″ or so) since I don’t want to waste too much yarn. A very quick and easy knit, and it’s about 90% done.