Now that I'm back home and have more (read: a ton of) free time on my hands, I've been getting a steady amount of knitting done.
The Cubism Afghan for my brother is slowly growing, as you saw a couple posts ago. I finished two more squares and took a picture to show you how they're going to piece together to look like an optical illusion. I've included my dog for size reference (not intentionally, but he was there, so it worked out). I feel a little less-than-happy with the fact that it has taken me 6 months to complete 15% of the blanket, but I think what I have knit is still a sizable chunk of knitting (it took almost 14 balls at 220 yards each), so perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on myself.
When I finished the last square you see there, I took a little break from knitting on the blanket and finished the first half of my Autumn Arbor Stole (I only needed to knit one more 40-row repeat).
Sorry, I know that's not the greatest picture. I now have a decision to make. This stole is knit in two halves and then grafted together in the middle. I have been looking at finished projects on Ravelry and on the few I have seen which actually show this join, I haven't liked the way that it looks. The issues of a tight kitchener stitch which causes the piece to pucker or the choice to use a 3-needle bind-off by others isn't what bothers me because I know those can be avoided, but I'm not sure I like the way the pattern itself lines up on the finished product. I don't think it looks symmetrical and it makes the seaming look off center as if the two halves weren't lined up properly before grafting.
One Raveler went through the trouble of creating an alternate finish that allows one to knit the entire stole in one piece, finishing it in a way that mimics the shape of the cast-on end. I'm tempted to knit my piece this way to avoid an unsightly seam in the middle, but I've set this shawl aside for a bit while I debate whether or not to do this. What do you guys think?
As graduation presents, I have received a few very welcome additions to my knitting book collection and I find myself flipping through them on a daily basis.
From one sister (the Deirdre one) and her husband I received a Japanese stitch pattern book, aptly named "Knitting Patterns Book 300".
This book has an unbelievable collection of stitch pattern to use to create any knitted item you could ever want. There are cables, lace, knit/purl pattern, bobbles, slipped stitches, twisted stitches, and countless combinations of two or more of these techniques. Some of the patterns looks so bizarre that it blows my mind to think that someone, at some point, had to sit down and play with yarn and needles until they figured out how to do it. Absolutely incredible.
In this gift, my sister also included a skein of Malabrigo Sock in the "Stonechat" colorway (picked out by The Brain, aka her husband). It is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks, D and Sir Brain!
While this present came from the West coast, another arrived from the East coast from another sister living in Maryland.
This is a pattern booklet that I have been looking for for what seems like ages. I have never seen it in any stores, and the only time I found it for sale online was from Australia. Well, as it turns out, my sister's boyfriend's mom is from New Zealand and my sister managed to have one of her relatives still living there find a copy in a local shop and then send it halfway around the world to me! Thank you so much, sister! There are 20 sweater patterns in this booklet, and I think they're all classic and great.
And, well, that model on the right?
He's a keeper.
Last, but not least, Anne Hanson was also kind enough to send me a gift! Ok, not quite, but I did win a book from a contest on her blog.
I won a copy of the fifth Vogue Knitting Stitchionary all about lace knitting. This is a fantastic collection of great patterns that can be used in a variety of ways.
Patterns are both written out line by line and charted, which I think makes this book more accessible to those who prefer not to knit from a chart (or from written directions). My only complaint about this book is that the swatches are knit from a pretty thick yarn (for lace) and it's sometimes difficult to see the lace patterns because the yarn is so plump and often fills in the holes. Other than that, it's a great addition to my growing collection and I hope it will serve as inspiration for me to possibly design a few pieces in the future. Thanks, Anne Hanson!
Yesterday my family celebrated Father's Day with a nice get-together where I was able to see most of my siblings as well as my nephews and niece. It was actually kind of funny - my two youngest nephews (very close in age, 28 months and 35 months) showed up wearing identical shirts, completely by accident! What adorable little kids.
One even managed to find the fish hat I had made for my sister this past winter and became a silly fish monster.
Which then attacked me...
I hope you all had a great weekend!