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You know what I haven’t done in a while? I haven’t talked about knitting!

And I really ought to, because I did something brave last week.

Really, two things.

First, I knitted this:

entrelac1

It’s my first real entrelac project. I used a handspun yarn that I got in my RedditGifts exchange last year. Pretty and I made it a button scarf because it’s a 1-skein project and it’s not long enough for a full scarf.

My goal in knitting this was simple: learn entrelac. I want to knit the Forest Path Shawl, which is an entrelac pattern in lace, so this kind of project was somewhat mandatory if I wanted to do that without tearing my hair out.

I also finished this, although it wasn’t very brave:

20130825_090128   IMG_1278

It’s a lace shrug in orange, for my sister’s wedding. I’ll probably have to re-block it to make it fit the shoulders better. The wedding is September 14.

No, the really brave thing is that, with the help of some of this:

alcohol

I managed to do this:

20130901_142706

That, my friends, is this (endless, eternally endless, why doesn’t it ever stop?!?) circular shawl:

IMG_1236

which I then cut sleeves into and picked up and knitted. It’s going to be less of a shawl and more of a jacket when it’s done, which will be Very Soon Now.

The yarn is a sparkly mohair that my niece and nephew picked out for me a couple of years ago. I will not lie: I am not a fan of this yarn. I am not a fan of this project. I found myself thinking I was “almost done” when, due to the cruelty of geometry, I still had as many stitches left as I had already done. Ripping back was not an option– it’s mohair.

But even when I had just started it, I knew I wanted to make it circular with sleeves. Why? Am I a masochist? Maybe. But in the end, it’s working out, and working well.

For the afterthought sleeves, I didn’t pre-plan where they would go, which was a bad idea, in hindsight. Mostly because all the instructions on the Internet for afterthought sleeves rather assume that you thought about them beforehand and knitted in a row of waste yarn that you then pull out and pick up. That kind of defeats the purpose of them being afterthought sleeves, though, if you know what I mean?

The reasons to do true afterthought sleeves are: 1) it doesn’t interrupt the flow of your knitting to stop, bind off/cast on to make a sleeve hole. 2) if you don’t know the actual size the project when it’s finished and blocked (and you think your swatch might be lying to you), you can put the sleeves exactly where you want them. 3) some yarns, and some projects, deserve to have scissors taken to them. It’s the only way to show them who’s boss.

Instead, after I blocked the shawl, I had John measure my shoulders and armscye depth. I divided my remaining yarn in half– one ball for each sleeve. And then I picked one round that more or less matched up with the should width and would give me the right depth. I had a drink, then snipped out one strand between (two on the right sleeve… I had more to drink that time), and picked up the live stitches around the arm hole. Wove in the snipped threads. Knitted onward.

I’m about 50 sleeve rounds to finishing the whole thing. Then it’s a few ends to weave in and a final blocking (the sleeves need to be blocked to see their full beauty). And then… I suppose I can wear this as it gets cooler and cooler this Fall. It’s a fuzzy lace jacket, so it’s going to be extremely warm, despite its lightweight appearance.

 

 

 

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