Today’s post doesn’t have a particular theme – it’s just a catch up of everything that’s been going on in my knitting world for the past couple of weeks. I wasn’t able to post last weekend because we took a quick trip to Madagascar, but there was still plenty of fibery action… Here’s the rundown.
First off, I finished a baby sweater. I’m not giving the full details yet, since I still have to block it and mail it, and I want it to be a little bit of a surprise. (Dana, please try not to go look at my Ravelry page, m’kay?) My *favorite* thing about this sweater is that I realized the baby and I have the same initials. I was going to knit in those letters, MH, in a traditional color-work style, but then I remembered a class I took with Nancy Bush at MD Sheep and Wool several years ago (2009?) where she walked us through a little sampler using the Roositud technique, which creates a little inlay. I *adored* this little sampler. Part of it was the color combination I chose, but it’s just so soft and little and beautiful… it makes me think of the Swahili word “Kazuri,” which means something small and beautiful. (Side note: there’s a bead factory in Kenya called Kazuri that employs women and sells their creations all over the world – check it out here.) For years I kept this sampler, not bearing to give it away, but not knowing what to do with it. Finally, a few years ago, I realized I could use it on all these long-haul flights I take. It now holds ear plugs, an eye mask, and lip gloss. You could also use it as a notions pouch, though you might want to add something that would make it close.
But I digress. The coolest thing about this technique is that the back side has virtually no color at all. You would think that you would have similar long floats on the wrong side, but you don’t. It’s magic. I realized it was a shame that I loved this technique so much yet hadn’t used it since I learned it. Thus I decided to add MH to the sweater in the Roositud technique – it’s half-monogram, half-autograph. I love it. Here it is from the right side and the wrong side. Once I get confirmation it’s been received, I’ll do a full post about the whole project.
I finished this on May 28. I could have finished it on May 20, but I had actually set aside just the last few rounds of knitting for… STASH DASH. I first started hearing about Stash Dash last year as it was already underway, so I didn’t participate. The Knit Girllls podcast has hosted this for the past several years, where you take the summer months (this year, May 24 – August 13) and try to knit a 5K (or 3K or 10K, new goals this year). That’s 5,000 meters of knitting, crocheting, spinning, or weaving. You can check out the full rules here (and join in!), but one important point is that WIPs count. In other words, if you have something started before May 24 but finish it during the Stash Dash period, you get to count ALL THE YARDAGE. Or meterage, really. This has led to some truly crazypants strategizing on the part of several participants, and I fell victim, in that I purposely didn’t finish this baby sweater until after May 24 so it would count. It’s small, of course, but I now have 250-ish meters on the board. 🙂
The reason I waited so long to finish (an extra week instead of an extra few days) is because we went to Madagascar this past weekend, and it didn’t make sense to carry a whole project just for a few rows. This is one of the things I love about living overseas – our spur-of-the-moment weekend trips aren’t to Pennsylvania; they’re to Madagascar! We had a great time spotting lemurs and chameleons and all the other animals. As I said to a coworker, “It was the definition of a relaxing vacation – I took a couple naps, gained a couple pounds…” The food was excellent, as were the walks through the rainforest. This is a knitting blog, so I won’t go overboard, but here are a few of the things we saw. I really want yarn dyed to match the chameleons!
For the trip, I took my Green River Shawl, which is what I’m working on for the Graduate Your Stash KAL, the knit-along that I’m running. There’s still plenty of time, so please join us! Full details are here, but the basic premise is that you find the oldest yarn in your stash and turn it into a finished knitted, crocheted, or woven object by June 30. Put your entry into the Kino Knits Ravelry group page to be eligible for prizes. I did a lot of riding in a car in Madagascar through lovely hills with rice paddies cascading down the sides, so I got plenty done on the shawl. The pattern was easy to memorize after the first few repeats, so I chugged along. Here’s the shawl at the base of a Royal Fig tree, which was only permitted to be grown in the King’s palace. The 12 stones at the base, long since taken over by the roots, were 12 seats for the King’s 12 wives.
Even though I only worked on the shawl, I did take along something I was calling my “travel insurance”: an extra skein of sock yarn. It’s the Knitting Boutique’s Anacostia Fingering in the color Amish Farm, a nice variegated orange. My best friend gave it to me for my birthday. I didn’t break into it on the trip and haven’t decided what to knit with it yet, but I’m picturing some sort of plain sock with a slip stitch pattern. I’ll let you know what happens.
Other than that, I’ve got some other knitting that needs to be done in June, one of which is another baby sweater. I was thinking I would make Ysolda Teague’s wee Cria, since I won the pattern from the Marly Bird Yarn Thing podcast, but Autumn Leaves is looking tempting, too. Has anyone knit either of these?