Thursday, February 25, 2010

Whip Out Those WIPs

Along with managing the yarn stash this year, I want to clear out my works in progress. I got two done in January. The non-purchasing of yarn is actually quite liberating, so far so good. It was nice getting yarn for my birthday, though. And I traded a couple skeins of Wollmeise, a guilt-free package of pinkness came in the mail.

I wasn't thrilled with my French Press Slippers, but I washed them one more time and assembled them. They are cute and warm. Just not quite tall enough for size 10.5 feet.

I just had to get my Rovaniemi Wristlets finished. They are from a class I took at Stitches West last year, and since I'm going to Stitches on Sunday for an all-day Bohus class with the same instructor, Susanna Hansson, it was time.

I was going to write a big entry about the technique, but the Yarn Harlot did a great post about it three years ago, and here is Susanna's class description, so I will keep it brief.

I signed up for the class because the Rovanimemi mittens are a Sami design. The technique allows you to knit in the round with color work only on the front. The back of mittens are patterned, while the palms are solid. The colors are managed on little butterflies on a long knitting needle. To keep holes from appearing as the colors travel left or right you knit through the back loops on certain stitches. Did I mention size 000 needles?

The class was great, lots of samples; info about the Sami; a bit about Finland; and how the technique was perfected. We even go to design our own colorways. Here are my classmates' interpretations.

I did come home and try to finish the project, but it really needs to be done at the table, not on the sofa, and not around a preschooler, to keep things from tangling. So I wasn't inclined to pull it out often, and it languished. I finally decided enough was enough and vowed to spend a half hour a day on the project. Once I got back into it, the slipped stitches came naturally and I powered through the first one quickly. I even got to the point where I knit on the bus.

I neglected to take photos of the inside, here are Susanna's nice and neat mittens inside out:

It's a really ingenious technique. The talented Janice Kang designed a pair of socks with this technique. Beautiful! (Crazy!).


Now I can go to Stitches guilt-free on Sunday. I believe the class project is a pair of Bohus wristlets. I know these won't languish because I want to get the technique down so I can knit the gorgeous New Azalea hat.

I'm not going to the Market Preview tonight. If it was, say, a bus-ride away I would, but I'm not going to drive an hour each way just to not buy yarn. I will take a peek on Sunday during the lunch break.


So that leaves these WIPs: my Fana sweater languishing for what, two years, that I want to finish by May; and my Garden Gate socks, which I pick up from time to time; Bohus hat kit which I put on hold once I found out I got into the class.


In addition to the WIPs, in the past couple months I knit:

a) A hat for a group project for the workers at the cafe where my knitting group meets. The pattern, Fenced In, was designed by a friend.

b) My first Wollmeise project, Karin, by Evelyn Clark. I wore it to two Valentine's Day events. The yarn is worth the hype and staying up late to purchase from Germany. The color is so saturated and the yarn feels good.

c) A beaded bracelet. Easy. Just string the beads on; knit and i-cord, lifted beads as desired; and graft.

d) Snow Chains mittens (more), a prize-winning pattern designed by a friend. Almost done, just need a thumb.

d) A Lopi sweater that needs the collar sewn down and the underarms grafted.

Once those two are done I want to try knitting socks two-at-a-time and get a spinning project going.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

The mittens are beauties but the process looks absolutely daunting. And you knit them on the bus?!
The little hearts shawl is adorable.