I’ve finished my Pompa scarf and I’m thrilled with it! It’s perfect for spring, and the color is fabulous. Thanks, Julie, for that skein of Tosh Merino Light — it was the perfect match for this pattern!

My only modifications were to knit this much longer than the pattern specified (Anne Hanson’s scarves are always so short!) and to do my standard lace-bindoff so there’d be sufficient stretch for blocking. I just knit this until I felt like it was long enough, and when I weighed it I found to my amusement I’d used 100 grams — exactly what a current skein of Tosh Merino Light weighs, but this must have been one of the older skeins that had 440 yards instead of 420.

The earrings I’m wearing in the above pictures are my own creation — I remembered today that I haven’t blogged them (or the necklace that matches) yet. Here they are up close:

I bought the beads when Pat & I were in Portland in January, and I finally strung them a month or so ago.

I’ve also started knitting my Acer Cardigan, and I have something to show you that is going to blow your mind. Are you ready?

That, my friends, is a full-on, four-inch-square, washed and blocked gauge swatch. Possibly the first I’ve ever knit in my life. I do swatch, especially for sweaters, but I usually either knit a tiny two-inch swatch (which sometimes results in heartache), or, in the case of my Leaving cardigan, I knit a whole sleeve as a gauge swatch and then had to pull the whole thing out. This time I wasn’t taking any chances, and I also miraculously hit gauge on my first try as you can see here. So now I’m off to the races with the sweater itself:

So far, this sweater has been a lesson in hubris and, accordingly, in Advanced Fixing of Mistakes. The charts seemed complicated at first, but after a day or two of meticulously moving my handy pattern magnets through the chart, I realized that all the non-cabled rows are the same and started gliding along more quickly. BUT because there are two very similar charts (what you see here is actually two charts that mirror each other), I started making mistakes after the next cable row, doing things like working “k3” instead of “k2tog yo,” and I didn’t realize it until last night. So I had to do a LOT of multiple-row local fixes, turning whole columns of “k3” into whole columns of “k2tog yo” or ¬†“yo ssk.” But I surprised myself by being able to do this passably on the fly, without consulting youtube! And now I know to pay close attention on the rows after the cable crosses.

My other new project is this simple side-to-side garter-stitch scarf that I’m knitting Pat for our anniversary:

Pat has never wanted me to knit him a scarf before, because we live in Southern California and he almost never feels like he needs one. But we went camping in the desert last weekend and I thought to throw in an extra scarf for him since it gets cold in the desert at night, and he was immensely grateful. So I’m knitting him this scarf out of the leftover yarn from the socks I knit for him and me this past winter. The colors remind me of dawn in the desert, which makes this a triply wonderful anniversary present.

That’s it for now, but tune in next time for Adventures in Steeking!

Spring Break Woo

For the first time in several years, Pat and I actually got to enjoy our spring break — not having dissertations to write makes vacations feel a lot more possible. So we drove up to San Francisco for a quick trip — we went on the “murder tour” at Alcatraz (even grimmer than you’re imagining, seriously), ate at a bunch of our favorite restaurants, saw a bunch of friends (but not everyone we wanted, or for as long as we wanted — we’ll need to do another trip this summer!), and went to some yarn stores. What you see above is the new project that I took with me on the trip — it’s much longer than this now, after being worked on during (parts of) two seven-hour drives, but I already had such a good shot of it that I didn’t bother taking a second picture. The yarn is Tosh Merino Light in the colorway “Forestry” — I bought this skein off of my friend Julie who’d ended up with more than she needed. I’d been wanting to try this yarn for awhile because I love Madelinetosh’s dye jobs, and guys: I am in love. Look at that stitch definition! The pattern is Anne Hanson’s Pompa¬†scarf. I didn’t have a particular plan for this yarn right away, but shortly before spring break I had the brainwave that its strikingly bright color should really be paired with a pattern of equal boldness, and the strong lines of this scarf seemed perfect. This pattern had been in my Ravelry queue for awhile, but I didn’t realize until I actually bought it that the triangles are not stockinette: if you squint, you can see patterns of purl bumps in there. I actually love that about this pattern: it makes the knitting more interesting, and the finished product more reversible!

I kept my knitting tourism to a minimum because of our limited time, but I had to go back to Imagiknit, which is a magical, wonderful place. I picked up a sweater’s worth of Madelinetosh Vintage in the “Charcoal” colorway, to finally knit the light gray sweater that my wardrobe has been needing:

I’m going to begin swatching for an Acer Cardigan, maybe as soon as tonight!

I also, having fallen head over heels for the Tosh Merino Light, bought some more of it:

Left to right, these are “Sequoia,” “Amber Trinket,” and “Saffron.” The one on the left I actually picked up at A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, but the other two are from Imagiknit, and my plan is to stripe them together in some yet-to-be-determined stripey shawl pattern.

At Imagiknit, I also finally succumbed to something I’d had my eye on for ages and ages:

Apologies for the crappy photo, but yes, that is a set of ADDI CLICK LACE INTERCHANGEABLE NEEDLES OMG. I decided that they would be an early birthday present for myself, and also that I may as well buy them in the store since it was the same price as buying them online but I wouldn’t have to pay shipping. I love regular Addi Lace circular needles more than life itself, and a whole lovely, superbly-designed set of interchangeable ones is practically more amazingness than I can handle. My old Knitpicks interchangeable needles (see photo 1) have been reasonably reliable, but they’re made of wood and seriously starting to wear down with time.

The other yarn-related stop I made on this trip, as I’ve already mentioned, was A Verb For Keeping Warm. I visited them three or so years ago when they were still in their warehouse space, but I hadn’t been to their new store yet, so it seemed pretty mandatory. I picked up this skein of “Shimmering,” their 100% tussah silk lace yarn:

The colorway is called “My Hand and Yours.” This is one of their indigo-dyed yarns, and the photo doesn’t quite do it justice: the color leans into purple more than this picture shows. I also picked up these two impossibly soft hanks of fiber:

This is undyed fiber that is 60% merino, 20% yak, and 20% silk. It’s insanely gorgeous — shiny and snuggly and heathered. Once I picked these up in the store I literally could not put them down.

Between this trip, our Portland & Seattle trip, and the two knitting festivals I went to in the fall, it is definitely time to cut myself off for now: no more new yarn until the end of the summer… probably.