At long last, here are the promised photos of the Icarus Shawl after blocking:

Shawl_2007Jan24_Icarus1

And a more jaunty pose:

Shawl_2007Jan24_Icarus2

Pattern: Icarus Shawl by Miriam Felton, Interweave Knits magazine, Summer 2006
Yarn: 4 1/3 skeins Crystal Palace Yarns Kid Merino, 28% kid mohair, 28% merino wool, 44% micro nylon
Needles: size 4
Size: 6 feet across the top and 3 feet long

The rest of this post is the result of not posting for a number of days. Lots of stuff builds up when you knit every day. Back on January 17 I mentioned I was knitting Icarus on straight needles instead of circulars because the circulars were MIA. I found them, in a project truly worthy of the WIP Hall of Shame. The WIPHOS presents the reversible hat in its former sad, sorry state:

Hat_2007Feb11_OrangeBlackUnraveled

And looking much happier after grafting last week, when I told myself, “the heck with K2P2 rib, graft in stockinette!”:

Hat_2007Feb14_BlackSide

Hat_2007Feb14_OrangeSide

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride, 85% wool, 15% mohair
Pattern: own
Needles: size 9
Size: Adult average

This hat was my first attempt at double knitting something with shaping. I made it in December 2002 for my boyfriend. Well, we’ve had time to live together, get engaged, plan a wedding, get married, and live the married life for a while and this hat still was not finished. Why? There’s no excuse, really. The hat was completely finished, but the orange stuck out too far on the bottom of the black side, so early in 2003 I pulled out three rows of orange with the intent of grafting one row back in. The trouble is, I never found a diagram or description of grafting K2P2 rib and the way the stitches lay on the needles it was impossible to tell what I was doing. Double knitting in the round doesn’t allow you to see the other side of something. So I gave up, stuffed it in the bottom of my knitting basket, piled other yarn on top of it so I wouldn’t have a constant guilt trip, and apparently left my size 4 circulars in it as a stitch holder. In its dark home I couldn’t see it as a WIP and therefore didn’t register it as a possible hiding place for size 4s. Two or three weeks ago I remembered my 4s might be in the basket, dug down to find the hat, and let it stare reproachfully at me in between nearly daily bouts of attempting to graft the ribbing. I was ready to chuck it back in the basket strung on yarn instead of needles when my brain finally registered that if I change colors in ribbing by knitting a row of stockinette there’s no reason to not graft in stockinette. Sheesh, it certainly took me long enough to reach that conclusion. “I am so smart, S-M-R-T.” (quote courtesy of Homer Simpson)

The black was the outside and the orange the inside while I was working on it. Shaping the crown decreases on the black side was easy; shaping on the orange side took some trial and error. In double knitting you have to pull stitches off the needle and reorder them to get them in position for each set of decreases, plus I had to figure out some kind of decrease that I could work from the purl side of the orange side to produce something that looked good on the knit side of the orange side. It’s been so long that I cannot remember what I did exactly but I’m still impressed at how good the crown looks.

Progress has been made on the striped baby sweater:

Sweater_2007Feb19_BlueStriped_B_WIP

This little sweater was on hold for a few days because I need those aforementioned size 4s for the button bands and collar and they were stuck in the hat. When I finished the hat, I realized the baby sweater’s button bands and collar would be on hold a few more days (at least) because I’m delusional. I started my red cabled sweater in about November 2005 with the intent to wear it to Stitches West in February 2006. This week I suffer from the delusion that I can finish knitting the barely-started two fronts, block all the pieces, sew this puppy together, and add an i-cord border all the way around it in time to wear it to the Stitches West Market this Friday. Um, yeah… It’s Monday night now. Here is the back with the fronts on top:

Sweater_2007Feb19_RedCabled_WIP

The sleeves are done and all those safety pins you see in the back are buttonhole and v-neck spacing markers for the fronts. I added waist shaping in the hopes that this sweater will make me look curvy instead of like Spongebob Squarepants, its color notwithstanding. I based the shaping on a store-bought sweater I have that fits me reasonably well.

My homework for the class I’m taking at Stitches West is done, sleeping arrangements are settled, I have my driving directions and shopping list, and my cash is packed (cash is better than credit cards; I can’t overspend that way). Bring it on! Can you tell I’m looking forward to next weekend?

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