I'm really enjoying this group. Although I only seem to be posting YOP updates, at least I'm posting something!
In the last few weeks I've started my next listed project: the cardigan for myself.
In the end it isn't one of the patterns I had listed, but who cares.
The pattern I've chosen is 'Chocolate Passion', a jacket-cardigan kind of thing with cables.
I made the first sleeve while watching the last two days of the Olympics and made the second one while travelling back from the UK ten days ago. On that same trip I started the back, but I had to leave that aside for a while because it has been too hot to knit that kind of thing for the last week or so. But the weather has taken a turn for the cooler end of the spectrum and made some more progress on it yesterday. The colour of the yarn is just gorgeous, but sadly it doesn't show very well on photos...
Although I didn't work on my cable cardigan, the heat didn't stop me knitting. I cast on a shawl(ette) to take me through the hot spell and it is blocking as I'm typing. This one really needed to be blocked! The pattern is 'Lunatis Folium'. It's my second bottom-up construction and I still haven't decided whether I like the idea or not. I think that it's main advantage is that it's a better idea is your yardage is just slightly under what is required: you can just play around a little with the short rows, whereas in an top-down shawl you can't just not knit the last row of lace, you have to rip it all back. I don't really mind monster cast-ons either. The thing that keeps me from loving this construction is that I like to see the shawl's basic shape grow, something that just doesn't happen in bottom up.
Anyway, this particular one is not your traditional shawl shape. It's very long, but also very shallow, so I can't really decide whether it's a shawl or a shawlette...
As you can see, blocking really does miracles for this thing. Without it, it's just a sausage with points on one side. When I blocked the Ginko Shawlette, I used some improvised blocking wires for the first time and when I did some more research into them, I read that some people use cotton thread as a blocking wire, so I thought I'd give that a go.
The verdict: not as good as real wire, but miles better than pins on their own. I didn't really look for any techniques, I just gave it a try, so I think that I might just do some surfing around later to see whether I can find anything...
The other project I've make a little bit of progress on is my green granny blanket.
I'm now working on the final part, the long rounds. My lime green is practically finished and I've got one more skein of the other green left, so I'm looking for one last skein of dark green to do the final stripes and bring the whole thing together. After that, there'll be a few ends to weave in (but not too many) and that should be it!