You Can Spin the Light to Gold

Finally, the last of my summer projects. This is an Infinitude Scarf, made from the yarn left over from my Leitmotif Cardigan. I finished this in approximately July, and envisioned a blog post called “Right Trend, Wrong Season,” but as we know, the crush of dissertation-finishing, job-finding, and apartment-hunting meant that no knit-blogging happened at all this summer. Instead, I’ve cleverly titled this post with a line from a Dar Williams song called “The End of the Summer.”

If you paid attention to fashion and/or knitting magazines last winter, you know that big chunky cowls were the “It” accessory. I was skeptical of this trend at first — doesn’t connecting the ends of your scarf together limit the number of ways you can wear it? — but I slowly came around. When it’s wrapped up like in the above photo, a cowl is very snuggly and more stable and secure than a scarf. And I’ve even started liking how cowls look when worn in this less-actually-warm manner:

This (free!) pattern is pretty great — it’s easy-breezy knitting, and the result is a cowl with some interesting texture and structure. It also used up the 300 yards of Madelinetosh Vintage that I had left over from my sweater with stunning accuracy — after knitting the large size cowl, I had maybe three yards left over. And the colorway – “ink” – goes perfectly with jeans. Yaaaay.

Now that the parade of summer FOs is over, you may be wondering what happened to the Leaving Cardigan that I was working on last spring. Well, it’s still a work in progress:

I guess you can’t tell very well from this picture, but I still have about a million ends to weave in. I finished all the actual knitting on this sweater in June or July, but I never found the time to do all the seaming during the Summer of Stress. I’ve only just picked it up to do the seaming in the last few weeks, so I’m crawling toward the finish line. To tell the truth, having no time to seam was only half the problem — I was also terrified that after all that work knitting it, this sweater might not actually fit after I sewed the pieces together. The last few sweaters I’ve made have been the try-on-as-you-go variety, so by the time I got to the finishing stage I was pretty sure they were going to work out. I haven’t knit something in pieces in years, and none of the ones I knit that way in the past quite came out right. Hence, the stalling. But now that I’ve finished the seaming, I’ve confirmed that it does actually fit, so I’m excited to finish up!

Next time on Doublepointed: I (finally) reveal what’s actually on my needles right now!

Autumn Arbor

I’ve finally finished my Autumn Arbor Stole! It’s my first stole ever, and I love it. I was worried that stoles would be weird and hard to wear, but I think it’s actually easier to pull off fashion-wise than a shawl. For one thing, you can just treat it as a really large scarf:

 

But you can also wrap it around your shoulders in a variety of ways for extra warmth, which makes it a pretty excellent autumn accessory:

So I’m pretty delighted. As usual, Anne Hanson’s pattern was lovely and intuitive. While the pattern is complicated enough that I wouldn’t say I ever quite memorized it, it was easy to anticipate what was coming next and to spot mistakes. The problem with any stole project, though, is that they take a million billion years and can get very repetitive — which is why I hadn’t knit one until now. I started this in December of last year, if you can believe it, and I picked it up and put it down a whole lot throughout the past nine months. I don’t think I’d have finished it at all — or at least, not anytime soon — if I hadn’t had to move to a new apartment in August. This was one of only two projects that didn’t get packed away during the move, so I had no choice but to focus on it throughout most of August and September. And lo.

The color is a little off in this close-up shot — it’s really the bluer green you see in the earlier photos and not so yellow/brown — but you can see the awesomeness of the lace pattern here pretty well. The yarn I used is Squoosh Fiberarts Sublime Lace, a superwash merino lace yarn that I highly recommend. And at $25 for 970 yards, it’s a steal — I made this whole thing in the petite size from just one skein!

If you’re planning on knitting this, I highly recommend bookmarking my Ravelry project page — I built off of another Raveler’s brilliant idea of how to knit the stole straight through without grafting, and I streamlined her modifications so that you end up with many fewer ends to weave in.

I still have one more summer project waiting in the wings — at this rate, it’ll be winter before I’m done telling you about summer!

 

 

Summer’s Spinning

What you see here is my summer spinning project — a light fingering-weight yarn spun from a mohair/merino/angora blend from Cheltenham Cottage. This was a serious pain in the butt to spin because it was very clumpy, so the finished product is not as even as I’d like.

Because of the high variegation in this colorway, I decided to knit this skein into a linen-stitch scarf.

Linen stitch is my new favorite standby for high-variegation handspun — I love the way this came out! The long color runs are visible, but broken up in an interesting way by the slipped stitches. The texture is just lovely! The only problem with this scarf is that the bind-off edge (at the top in this picture) came out pretty sloppy. I just did a regular knit bind-off, since it clearly needed a relatively tight bind-off, but it’s still not tight enough! Some people recommend binding off actually in linen stitch, and I tried that, but it seemed too tight. Sigh.

Here’s a quick-and-dirty modeled shot; we didn’t have time for anything more elaborate today.

The scarf is a little short, but I basically planned it that way since I knew I didn’t have a lot to work with — I knit this side-to-side, and I was worried about having enough yarn to make it a reasonable width. I think it came out all right!