Sunday, January 25, 2009

Two New Starts!

Wrenna Start
Originally uploaded by sunasak
I am so thrilled to be finished with the orange alpaca sweater (named the "Damned Orange Sweater" by the gals at the LYS) other than the sewing up, that I started TWO new projects. As usual, I am tempted by new projects I've found, but I AM using either yarn I already had OR something free.

I admit that the yarn for this first project is new, not from stash. BUT I used the generous gift certificate that my friends on my special email list gave me to buy this sinfully soft 100% alpaca yarn (Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande). The project is Wrenna from the new French Girl Knits book.

I really love this book, because the patterns are imaginative and different, and the construction methods are new. She uses fun yarns and I like everything about the projects except for the huge amounts of grafting involved to keep them seamless. ARGH. I think I'll pay someone to graft any of the grafty ones I end up making. I like everything in the book, just about, but some is a bit young or unflattering for me.

Anyway, rather than review the book, let me tell you a bit about Wrenna. In the book it is knitted with that extremely bulky Twinkle yarn, which I don't own and they don't have at the LYS. So, I got the bulkiest thing in the store with the gift certificate. I checked on Ravelry, where Kristen Griffin-Grimes kindly gives suggestions and ideas for alternate yarns.

Though the brown yarn is a little less thick, I managed to get the gauge OK. Most of the patterns in the book are knit on larger needles than the yarn usually calls for anyway, so this will be OK, I think. I am really not used to knitting with size 15 needles, though, so it's a bit tedious. The photo shows the project up to the underarm break. When I am done here, I will see how much more I'll have done by the end of the night.

Because Wrenna takes a bit of concentration (lace pattern plus something seems to happen on every row), I also started something with great expanses of stockinette in it. And a yarn I love love love. This is Bridget, from the latest issue of Wild Fibers. In the magazine it is made from lovely natural black wool from Wales. I am making it with one of the yarns I got at Kid 'n Ewe, Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool. Co.'s sport/DK weight single ply yarn made from Texas wool. It is dip-dyed in shades of dark gray and brownish gray that really, really look wonderful (the photo hardly does it justice). I got the gauge perfectly, so I sure hope I am not making it a size too small! If it is, my friend Karen at church will probably snatch it off me--it so looks like something she would love!

I need to sew the Damn Orange Sweater together this evening (it took a while to dry), and then I will have photos for you of it.

I am pretty darned excited to have two new projects going. The Wrenna will be done soon, but I expect Bridget (named after my favorite goddess!) will be with us a while.

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