Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On and Off the Needles (Dogi complete)

I am trying to keep my UFO’s to a minimum. On top of that I seem to get myself into knitting deadlines. They help me get projects done that might otherwise have turned into UFO’s. However, I definitely start too many projects as they appeal to me and then realize, uh oh, this other one needs to be done ASAP because it has to have its picture taken for a pattern to be sent out, or that other one has to be mailed as a swap deadline is approaching, or the Holidays near and I have started way more than I can ever get done unless I sit up mucho late at night for many nights and watch a hundred Netflix DVD's. Fortunately the Holiday knitting is behind me for several more months. Although I did just dye up some sock yarn for myveryownsister (mvos) who reads this blog, so she will be pleased that at least the yarn is ready.

Antique Lace Vest by Ilga Leja.
I saw this pattern in an Annie’s Attic catalog and just had to have it right then, that very day. You know how that is. I just loved the drape of the vest and the lace and how it would look in some of my fingering SW merino/tencel yarn. It’s a pricey pattern but since I was in love with it thought, “Why not?” However the shipping from Annie’s was going to cost half again as much as the pattern, which would bring the total cost of the pattern alone, to over $18. That seemed a bit excessive for a pattern that I had not really investigated yet. Hmmmnnnn… I searched on the Internet but found only the Annie’s reference.

Then I remembered Ravelry! I had looked up a cardi pattern just the week before and loved that I could see what others had done and their comments. Sure enough there it was with 9 people’s efforts displayed. Most of them loved it and had added hearts to their comments. This gave me the assurance that I too would love this as I hoped. AND right there was a download option for this pattern. I got to have my wish and get the pattern immediately. How delightfully middle schoolish of me (well I did teach middle school for 22 years and had noticed in faculty meetings just how much like our students we all behaved). 

I printed out the 8-page pattern and actually made myself NOT immediately ball up the yarn. That took fortitude, as Ruth wanted dto help me do just that when I brought it to show at Wednesday Night Sacred Knitting. I promised myself I could when I had gotten to a certain point on the Art Deco Socks. See I can have discipline in knitting, just. I made that goal not too far away, reached it, then balled up one skein and allowed myself only two sets of the pattern. By then I had figured out just how beautiful it would be and that I could get very immersed in it to the exclusion of everything else.

I think I will be carrying some of Ilga's patterns in the near future.  Please let me know which ones you might prefer.  They range from simple to complex.

Art Deco Socks
Are now done, photographed and printed with the pattern. Happy Dance time! I think I frogged these socks more than any of my others for the Sock Hop. One reason was I decided to go with 3 sizes which I know really complicates things but in my enthusiasm conveniently forgot. Another was that Bonnie, the wonderful woman who does the test knitting and pattern editing for me, had some problems with it so I frogged the sock back trying to figure it out.

The pattern has some slip stitch vertical striping, regular horizontal striping and some Fair Isle geometric work. These also took some frogging until the correct numbers of stitches for each section were determined. I love the colors, which kept me going on this one. 
I wanted to give the feel of Art Deco that I remember fondly from growing up in NYC. Many of the buildings were built during that design era and certainly the murals in Radio City Music Hall came to mind. I remember standing in line with friends for shows; we usually went each year around Holiday time, and admiring the murals and architecture. Even the bathrooms were done in Art Deco.  I normally only make one of each sock as that is all the time I get before the next one calls but, for this sock the heels, ribbing and toes are in different colors and therefore, delightfully cocooning BOTH my happy feet.
(And for those of you eagerly awaiting this kit, they will ship early next week.)

Hogwarts Sock Swap 3.
I am an ardent HP fan. Of course I read all the books, have seen all the movies out so far plus I am now listening to book 6 in the car as I drive around. I even took the hat sorting personality test that happily placed me in Gryffindor House. Then I gave my grandson the test to fill out as he loves HP as much as me. The sorting says he’s a caring Hufflepuff.
So when I saw this opportunity for a sock exchange in February I just could not resist. Anyway the deadline was so far in the future as to be silly. “Hey, April 15, no sweat.” I do some mighty impressive mind games with myself. But since I already had some Gryffindor sock yarn dyed I thought this would be a cinch so waited rather impatiently for the email giving me the person to knit for. The Universe plays some interesting games too.
I was given a Slytherin pal. Somehow I thought the houses would be kept separate, but evidently not so. OK, I had already ordered Gryffindor stitch markers from Sunnelite on etsy so quickly asked her for a Slytherin set. I was going to send the Gryffindor ones back but liked them so much I have kept them for myself (and am having fun using them on the Antique Lace vest as shown above). Once I got my head turned around I thought of a neat snake like pattern, began writing and dyed up some silver grey and green sock yarn. Now that the Art Deco socks are done I can concentrate more on these. They are a size large so take much much longer than mediums; well that is how it seems anyway. I have also included a non-pointy toe option in the pattern.
Two socks were started on 3 circs but gave me grief.  I kept getting confused with all the needles and the yarn.  Plus it was going way way too slowly for my need to see progress.  I separated the socks and am now moving right along.  Jim says, "Half the progress at twice the speed."  Whatever!

And I just heard from Maarit, in Finland, who knit socks for me that mine are in the mail! Guess I’d better get cracking so I am not the last one to send a package out. I have the stitch holders, the pattern, the needles, but still need to finish the socks and get her a notebook. I am putting a pic of Dobby wearing Hermione’s hats on its cover.

Dogi Vest Complete
This vest was so fun to knit and took a reasonable amount of time to complete. It blocked well and is slightly blooming from the angora in the yarns, as I wear it. I would definitely recommend this pattern although I did use heavier yarn and larger needles to get my size. Except for the really big Kimonos in the book Knit Kimono I think they are all for skinnies. However on Ravelry you can see this vest on many sized people and in many variations too.
And, I had plenty left over to make a tam and still add to my extras stash.

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