Thursday, November 6, 2008

Business as usual

I'm about 12 rounds away from finishing the knitting on the Pimlico shrug. Granted, those rounds contain 480 sts each, so it's not an inconsiderable amount of knitting, but I haven't been making the kind of progress I really should be. Then I just have to sew the goofy little sleeves in and I'll be able to cross her off the list of projects under construction.
I finished the back last week and blocked it. The stitch pattern is kind of interesting, with almost a smocked appearance pre-blocking. You can see what look like diagonal lines of texture here.
Those vanished after blocking:
I had to block it on a towel on the floor, since the timing worked out that it needed to dry overnight. Usually I block on my bed and pin directly into the mattress, but couldn't do that on the floor, which is why random items that were within reach — votive holders! my piggy bank! a wood box I got in Morocco in 1996 that has swollen and warped to the point where the lid no longer comes off! — are holding the edges down to prevent curling.

It's an odd garment, construction-wise. You knit that gigantic rectangle, then fold it in half lengthwise and seam the sides, leaving room at the fold to sew the sleeves in. Initially, when I was planning this project, I was going to pick up and knit the sleeves down. But for yarn conservation reasons, I wanted to make sure the sleeves were done before I used up all the yarn, save what I had set aside for the ribbing, for the body. Since this is my handspun, there was a fair bit of variation among the skeins. It wasn't too bad, but there were a couple of skeins that fell closer to sportweight than the rest of the batch, which was securely in the worsted-weight camp. The difference between the two was pretty clear; I accidentally started the second sleeve with the finer-gauge stuff and they even looked different.

(Clear as mud? And about as interesting?)

Here's how it looks when I'm working on it:
But this should give a better idea of how this nutty creature is actually shaped:
(I think that's a 60" needle the ribbing is on.)
Obviously, even at 480 stitches, 12 rounds shouldn't take me THAT long. And the reason I haven't been working on it even so though I'm so! close! to! being! done! is that I've been seduced by a new love, an exotic and slightly intimidating one:
It's crochet, for god's sake. I barely crochet. My crochet knowledge is roughly equivalent to Sarah Palin's grasp of geography. (Strike that — I know that I don't know anything.) And it's going to be many, many colors, which is not my particular poison — texture over color! is my rallying cry. AND it's a blanket, which is Not Something I Make, being an adherent to the if-I-can't-wear-it-I-don't-want-to-know-about-it school of making stuff. But here we are. And I love my embryonic ripple blanket with a fierce and unyielding passion.


Anna said...

Ha. You are also embarking on the ripple blanket that never ends. I hope you are at least being smarter than I am and not making it to fit a queen size bed.

Ashley Word said...

I wanted to learn to crochet just to make that darned ripple blanket, but I couldn't make it past two classes. :(

I love the color variation you can see in the close-up of the sleeves! So pretty.

Carolyn said...

i dearly love the ripple blanket melanie made me. i'm sure you will be pleased you did it. ;)