(or How I Avoided Intarsia At All Costs)

There have long been links between smell and memory (a link which explains my long-standing aversion to Jaegermeister). My most recent knitting project has convinced me that my musical drive trumps smell any day when it comes to memory and recall.

To wit: I have had “Linus and Lucy” stuck in my head all week. I will likewise probably always move my hands in funny ghostly-knitting motions whenever I hear “Linus and Lucy” from now on. Because of this….

Charlie Browniest Sweater

Commissioned to appropriately clothe a still-gestating bald-headed kid, this seamless raglan baby cardigan served another purpose in my knitting repertoire: how to avoid intarsia for basic colorwork shapes. Because there was no way in hell I was going to carry multiple strands for these stripes. So I did short rows instead, using increases and decreases in the black stripe to keep the fabric basically flat.

Charlie Browniest Closeup

There’s still a little bit of puckering going on. If I were to do this again (and I might in colors that don’t evoke Charlie Brown in quite so dramatic a way), I’d probably increase one extra stitch on either side of the increase and decrease lines within the black stripe.

Still, it’s awfully cute. And jazzy.

A sleeve is done. The Suspension Cardi has a completed sleeve! And, to be completely honest about the knitting, there is more than one sleeve. Perhaps a sleeve and a third. Ish.

I’m not entirely sure if that’s an indication of time actually dedicated to knitting, or just time not dedicated to other things. For my own peace of mind, I’d like to think it’s the former; for the health of my ongoing projects, it should probably be the latter. On the other hand, knitting karma seems to work best when there’s actual dedication. To with, the Secret Summer Sock Project Of Great Import is being test knit (test knitted?), just as The Sleeve Of Doom that has stymied me since April reached past the one-third mark. Coincidence? I think not!

Still, I’m not sure if pictorial proof of dedicated knitting time is appropriate, given the gravitas (and workload) of orientation week. Sleeve, or discussion group planning? (We all know the answer to that, don’t we?)

sleeve_one.jpgSo, between reading and writing and getting ready to present a paper and all of the other stuff that goes with graduate life, I’ve been remiss in posting actual photos of the pattern project I’m working on.

I’m not about to change that….

No, seriously, folks, this cardigan has been killing me. I thought for a while that I only had 3 skeins of yarn left, which is not enough to finish two sleeves, and the mental anguish that yarn shortage causes just wasn’t something I could deal with. Instead of facing it head on and actually doing the knitting to see how things might progress, I let the project hang out on top of my knitting pile for more than a week, taunting me. I think the taunting was so drawn out because I had a deal with chemgrrl that I wouldn’t finish this spring/fall cardigan until she was done with her ill-timed winter mittens.

I’m happy to report, however, that the taunting was ultimately unsuccessful and I held up my end of the deal. I do, in fact, have enough yarn (a 4th skein was hiding behind, well, the other 3 skeins), and this photo documents the completion of the first third of the first sleeve of the second version of Suspension Cardi (full photos and revised pattern forthcoming).

The original was knit in a bulky cotton yarn (Blue Sky Organic Cotton, 3.5 sts to the inch) but I wasn’t happy with how the yarn held up (lo, the shredding and pilling!), so I reknit it in an easier-to-come-by alpaca/silk/merino worsted blend (KnitPicks Andean Silk, 4.5 sts to the inch). I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to include both gauges in the final pattern or just the worsted.

In other news, KnitPicks now has a lace-weight version of their merino/silk blend Gloss. Just in time for summer lace knitting. Woohoo!

armhole1.jpgYay! I’ve gotten to one armhole and the short rows are lurvely.It remains to be seen whether or not the armhole will fit, but that’s beside the point. (In all seriousness, I think the armhole will be fine, it’s just that there’s less curvature than I’d normally put in an armhole because of how I did the calculations.)

droppedsts.jpgIĀ am a total moron. I dropped the wrong stitch in this drop-stitch patternĀ during the three-needle bind-off process. In my own stupid pattern. You’d think I’d have seen it when I did it, but nooooooooo. It’s fixed now, but I’m soured on the project and have moved on to something more soul sucking: grading.