Sax Fiend

Meet the Sax Fiend. Pat bugged me for months to make a small monster to function as a sax mute, since our band is somewhat prone to generating noise complaints, and finally a few weeks ago I did. He is crocheted out of some random bulky-weight acrylic from my stash (probably Lion Brand?) that I chose mostly because it was thick so I could bang this guy out quickly. I didn’t follow a pattern; I just made sure his bulbous bottom was the right size to fit in the bell of the sax and otherwise made him up as I went along. The body is crocheted (since I find it’s much easier to freehand three-dimensional shapes in crochet), but the arms are I-cord, knitted at a fairly tight gauge so they would stick out rather than flop down. For the flippers/hands I just knit the I-cord back-and-forth for a a few rows, increasing a bit at the bottom and decreasing at the top. The mouth and fangs came out pretty well, given how badly I suck at embroidery. The thing about embroidery is that it’s basically sewing (which I’m bad at) plus drawing (which I’m really bad at).  So I try not to do it very often.

The eyes are from my, uh, stash of eyes. I seriously have a bag of about 60 pairs of stuffed animal eyes in various colors and sizes in my craft bureau. Hey, you never know.

Otherwise, I’ve been sort of wildly promiscuous with my knitting; I’ve been picking up and putting down projects as it pleases me and therefore have been making slow progress on all of them. But I’ve finished one sleeve of my Lady Gray shrug, as you can see here. I love the way this yarn (Alchemy Juniper) & pattern go together; in the main body of the shrug the colors are all mixed up, but I also like how they look here in the cuff where they’re a little more predictably stripey. I had a little bit of trouble conceptualizing how the cuff was supposed to be picked up and knitted, and the designer was quick to respond to my query and very helpful!

My Aestlight shawl stalled out two weeks ago when I decided that knitting the edging was annoying. I had to turn the work every 10 stitches or so, and the pattern was a little too complicated to memorize, so I had to look down every 15 seconds or so — which made it pretty bad TV knitting. But a few days ago I sucked it up and started working on this again, and I should finish it up tonight. So in a few days it should be blocked and ready to show you! (And FYI Gudrun is having a 20% off sale until October 17th, so this is a good time to grab this pattern if you’d been thinking about it!)

Here’s something you haven’t seen before — this is the Citron shawlette from Knitty that everybody and their mother was knitting this past winter. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres Silk/Merino Lace in the “Pilgrim” colorway. I thought about making something fancier with this yarn, but the fact that I had 700 yards of it was a little awkward — too little for a wrap, too much for a scarf, and I really wasn’t in the mood for another triangular shawl. But then I saw that some Ravelers had done the math recently for expanding the Citron larger than the original pattern, and I realized that 700 yards would be just about perfect for a slightly larger & therefore more versatile version of the original pattern. (These charts are on the Ravelry page for the design, if you’re curious.)

So that’s three in-progress projects, and I of course also have my Buncha Squares blanket lurking in the background. Just yesterday I started another small project that I’ll show you when it’s a little farther along, and I have plans to start a large wrap project, and I’m thinking about doing the Through The Loops mystery sock for “Socktober.” And on top of all that, I’m itching to knit another sweater now that fall is approaching. It’s almost as though my knitting is conspiring to distract me from something… like, oh, say, my dissertation?

The Best Laid Plans…

What you see here is the beginning of a Not A Drop scarf from Arlene’s World of Lace. It’s a genius pattern, and it was looking pretty awesome in this yarn, but I decided to rip it out for two reasons. Reason number one was that it was taking WAY too much concentration; I basically couldn’t do it in front of the TV if I wanted to follow the plot of whatever movie we were watching. Reason number two was that I have 690 yards of this yarn and this scarf was only going to take about 350 of them. I contemplated making some fingerless mitts to go with the scarf, and that would have been reasonably awesome, but coupled with the sheer pain-in-the-buttness of this pattern I thought I ought to scrap this project.

I bought this yarn, Alchemy Juniper in the “Good Earth” colorway, at Purl Soho over a year ago. I bought 690 yards of it because I was planning to make a largeish shawl, but I’ve since realized that I don’t really wear largeish shawls– and besides that, I already have two green shawls! So for a long time I fantasized about making a cropped cardigan out of it, but 690 yards is basically too few for somebody of my bustiness, especially if I wanted the cardigan to have elbow-length sleeves. (I feel that short-sleeved cardigans drastically fail at their intended purpose, which is to warm shoulders and arms.)

I was rescued from my despair when Ravelry’s newly-formatted search engine delivered up to me Rachel Erin’s Lady Gray Shrug. Behold:

It looks suitably leafy, it should use up a good chunk of my yarn, and it will cover my arms to the elbows. Perfect, perfect!

I’ve also been working on another Gudrun Johnson pattern. (Gudrun designed the Audrey in Unst cardigan that I knit a few months ago — P.S. I wear that all the time and I love it.) This one is her Aestlight Shawl, though it doesn’t look like much yet in this picture:

It’s actually much bigger than this now, as you’ll see in a minute. The yarn is Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! (the same yarn that I used for the baby set I knit recently), in the limited-edition “Reakirt’s Blue” colorway. It’s a mottled bright blue-purple and I love it to pieces. I chose this pattern for it because its simplicity really lets the yarn do the talking. Plus I’d been wanting to knit one of these since the minute the pattern came out! It’s a traditional Shetland shawl construction, whereby you knit a plain triangle first, then pick up stitches on the sides for the fancy edging. Just last night I got to the beginning of the edging, but unfortunately you can’t really see that in this little composition:

I took this picture because I’m kind of in love with the colors of all three of the projects I have going now, and I especially love them together. Something about the forest green, red-orange, and blue-purple really speaks to my soul, guys. P.S. the spinning is going well but is taking forevvvvver. I am questioning the wisdom of deciding that my first spinning project was going to be 8 ounces of one fiber plus 4 of another — that turns out to be an awful lot of yarn when you’re spinning it as finely as I am. I’ve been at it for over a month, and I’ve spun maybe a quarter of the first 8 ounces. (Of course, I spin for maybe 10 minutes a day if I’m lucky, so that might have something to do with it.) Oh well, onward and upward!