Knitting and Other Tangles

I don’t have a finished project to show you this week, but there are a few things nearing completion. I’ve been a bit of a butterfly lately, flitting from one project to another, then on to the next. That’s what I usually do when things are at sixes and sevens or when I’m distracted. I can’t be the only one who was distracted by the US elections. I’m also participating in NaNoWriMo, plus alternating between two book projects. I’m participating in several promotions this month which are new to me, which mean four newsletters going out in November. Then there are plans to make for the holidays ahead. It is a busy, busy, time of year.

So, let’s review my flitting! First up, I’ve knitted the front and back of Homeland, a cabled pullover in Rowan Big Wool by Martin Storey.

Homeland back knitted by Deborah Cooke in Rowan Big WoolThis is a very textural project and I like it a lot. The colour isn’t true in these pictures—the green is more of a dull pea green and the red is closer to burgundy. I thought the green shade was a bit flat (ironically, it’s called Zing). It’s a discontinued color that I expected to be more lime, like Reseda. (In the pattern picture, Homeland is knit in Reseda. These are the perils of buying yarn online.) I’ve perked it up with some leftover red Big Wool at the cast-on edges.

Homeland front knitted by Deborah Cooke in Rowan Big WoolThe red colour is discontinued and is called Bohemian. It actually is a marl, with two shades of red twisted together. Really pretty yarn. I made a sweater-coat with it, which I’ve never worn, and I’m thinking of ripping it back to make another Barista, maybe an over-sized one. It seems more likely that I’ll wear a pullover (especially if it’s red.) Sweater-coats always sound like a good idea to me, but don’t get much use. Maybe they would if I lived somewhere else. In my corner of the world, if it’s chilly enough for a sweater-coat, chances are good that there’s either rain in the forecast or there’s a biting wind, which zips between the stitches. What’s interesting about the two shades of the same yarn is that the red is much wider than the green—it’s more fluffy, not heavier—and it’s so much softer, even though the content is the same. The red is almost silky, while the green feels like wool. It must have been spun by a different mill, or from the fleece of happier sheep.

I’m waffling a bit on the sleeves. They seem wide and I’m wondering whether they’ll be too bulky with all those cables. One clever Raveller has knit her Homeland with simpler ribbing on the sleeves, and I’m thinking about going that way. While I think, the sweater waits on my decision.

I’m also still charging along on my Bohus-Inspired pullover. This is my tv-knitting.

Bohus Inspired Pullover knitted by Deborah Cooke in Rowan ColourspunIt doesn’t want to lie flat for the picture, because of the circular needles. Look at the angle of the sun! Winter certainly is coming.

I’m knitting the stockinette-stitch body down from the underarms to the hems. The pattern calls for 13″ and I’m closing in on 10″. I actually took a break from the body and knit the cowl instead. (I picked up the stitches at the neck and knit up. The instructions said to knit the cowl separately then sew it on, but less seaming is better in my universe. It’s about 1/4″ shorter than called for because I knit to the end of the ball and cast off. I wasn’t going to add a second ball just for a little bit. That is a one-ball cowl.) I need to get a new television series to binge-watch and get this body done. The Colourspun is really pretty, with lots of little flicks of colors in the charcoal. It’s very soft, too. I’ll wear this one a lot once it’s finished.

Bohus Inspired pullover detail knit by Deborah Cooke in Rowan Colourspun

And, while I think about the Homeland sleeves, I picked up my Audrey cardigan again, in purple Angora Haze. (Angora Haze was discontinued and replaced with Mohair Haze.) This yarn sheds and I get it everywhere, even with having a tea-towel in my lap and wrapping it up when I’m not working. Mostly I find it in my mouth. 😛 I hope it sheds less once it’s knitted up. It’s very VERY soft, the yarn is a beautiful deep purple and I love the cable stitch. This one isn’t television knitting—even though I have the pattern memorized at this point, I still have to pay attention to my knits and purls on the wrong side. I’m finding the dark wool a bit challenging at night, after I’ve been on the computer all day. It’s a much darker purple than it appears to be in this picture.

Audrey knitted by Deborah Cooke in Rowan Angora Haze

I began with the left front but had to put it aside. Rowan often provides instructions that assume you knit the pieces in order, starting with the back. So, the instructions for the front at the neckline shaping say something like “knit until X rows less than the back before the shoulder decreases”, which means you have to knit the back before you can knit the front in order to count back those X rows. (Other companies and designers give measurements: “knit Y inches after underarm decreases, then shape neck as follows…”) So, the left front is on a stitch holder and I’ve been knitting the back. It looks wide, but I’m not going to frog this cable or this yarn. It will just have to be wide—which means it will be warm and pretty, but not fabulously flattering.

I also went into the attic a week ago to find a piece of fabric. I didn’t find it where I expected it to be, so had a big hunt through all my various stashes. They were due for a sort and a reorganization, and they got it. I found the fabric that launched the quest in the first plac (ha!) as well as some treasures I’d forgotten all about. I’ll share those with you next week.

The final big distraction this week was that the New Girl got up close and personal with a skunk on Wednesday night. Yuck. I’ve never had a dog do this before, but Mr. Math had. She took the spray right in the face and was frightened. She peeled back into the house to find me (apparently, I fix all woes), raced up the stairs and into my office where I was working, then tried to get into my lap from under my desk. She weighs 55 pounds, so the lap thing doesn’t happen. Mr. Math called her down to rinse out her eyes and face. There we were at 11 on Wednesday night, washing her face with tomato paste dissolved in water (I didn’t have any tomato juice), then giving her a shampoo. I dumped everything that had touched her into the washing machine with detergent and a cup of vinegar. She doesn’t smell like skunk anymore, but the house does. This old house has hot water radiators, which are wonderful, except when you get a stink into the house. It takes forever to get rid of it, even with the fans going and some windows open. There was frost on the ground this week, so we won’t get too crazy with the open windows.

I hope your week was a little less scattered than mine! Inspire me with your favorite show to binge-watch.

One thought on “Knitting and Other Tangles

  1. Oh poor doggie, poor you too!
    Never had to deal with skunk, (knock on wood).
    Series we have enjoyed- Suits, The Crown, Homeland, Scot and Bailey, The Bridge (swedish/danish w subtitles), Doctor Foster – all on Netflix I believe.
    First Monday in May-documentary,


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