Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Earlier in the month KD and I went on our second annual knitting retreat. I love the place where it's held. Not just because the Kent Manor Inn is a sweet spot - are knitting retreats held anywhere else? - but because this particular sweet spot was unknown to me before we started going there on retreat, even though I've lived here for decades, and I could, if I had to, walk home from it. Somehow that makes it extra sweet.

Last year's focus was on color work; this year's was on finishing techniques. I didn't learn as many new things, but I took to heart a pithy lesson: learn to say to the pattern, "You are not the boss of me." (I may have taken this lesson so much to heart that returning to a job where  someone actually IS the boss fo me was a little harder than it might have been. But I digress.)

The retreat project was a knitted cover for a small pillow. Since I have no place for decorative pillows in my life, I made sure (with the help of the retreat's sponsor, the lovely Knitting Boutique) that the colors for my pillow and KD's pillow would compliment each other. This pillow is now at her house, waiting to be paired with hers. I decided the colors looked like earth, air, fire, and water, so I chose moss stitch for the green earth, a single star stitch for the purple night sky, dumped the rosy coals into reverse stockinette, and found a wavy cable pattern for the blue sea - which also let me explore seaming the top of one square to the side of the other. It was more than tempting to knit the whole thing at once, without seams, but the seams were the point of the project, after all. And I wouldn't have been able to make the waves horizontal.

Aren't the strips on the back sweet? If I wore striped sweaters, I would SO make a sweater of those colors. I love when other people pick colors for me. The original pattern called for buttons and buttonholes, but I went for an overlapping envelope, like my European pillowcases.

Meanwhile, I've finished a pair of socks and am on the second sock for three other pairs.

Pattern:    Nutkin
Yarn:        Paton's Kroy Sock FX in Copper Colors
Mods:      Instead of a purl row at the hem fold, I did a k2tog/yo row for a picot edge.
                Decreased the sole of the foot down to 26 sts.
                Decreased 4 sts every other row for toe until 24 sts left. The "earbumps" on the
                ends of the weaving disappeared after the first day I wore them, as they
                always do.

What ailed me wasn't Second Sock Syndrome. It was... Startitis. I haven't yet cast on anything - I think the pillow helped. But the pairing of yarn and patterns is well underway, and any minute now I shall break out and cast on about six things at once.

And NKD has hooked me up with an absolutely ridiculous project wish has me laughing before I've even started. More on that later.

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