Monday, January 12, 2009

Lookie here!

The first FO for 2009. Except, before I post pictures, you have to hear about how long it took me to finish it. Plus some caveats.

On Saturday morning, Rick headed off early to do some trail maintenance work with a local organization, so it was my job to take the girls to the farmer's market. For a long time, I was the one who took them each Saturday, but for the last couple of years, it's been almost entirely Rick who goes. The girls know just about everyone at the stands that they usually go to (and everyone knows them!), and Rick isn't exactly unnoticeable; I had to laugh at the number of strange looks I got in my role as the girls' accompaniment for the week. People kept asking who I was (after some very fish-eyed looks; I appreciated that they keep enough of an eye on the girls to wonder why they're not with their usual adult guardian, so it was OK), and once they realized, every single one of them said, "You're a lot earlier than your husband!" Which made me laugh even harder, because in the days when I was the marketer, I always tried to get out fairly early to be sure to get the things I want; Rick goes at the last possible minute, and I get the feeling that he rushes madly through the market, hoping against hope that his favorite bread and vegetables will still be there (I also think that the folks there set things aside for him sometimes; he is a very regular customer, after all).

I then spent the rest of the day knitting like the wind, hoping against hope that I could finish the kimono in time for the dinner I was having out with some friends. I was supposed to leave at 5:30 to pick someone up; at 5:00, I found myself with still three rows left to go on the sleeve, plus an entire (207 stitch) collar, and seams and ends yet undone, and I knew it wasn't going to happen. The lack of a kimono in no way diminished the pleasure of spending an evening with friends, and a good time was had by all.

On Sunday, with the pressure of an immediate wearing venue past, I knitted in a much more leisurely fashion. In fact, most of the day was spent in non-knitting pursuits, including a two-hour hike (the girls and I had requested a one-hour hike; it turns out that Rick has a hard time judging how long it will take to walk something he usually rides). Tilly was overjoyed to be running loose in the hills for that long; she was much quieter than usual yesterday afternoon. The girls were a little less happy, because it was hot (in the 80s), and I think that they weren't quite prepared for it. Older Daughter also took a nasty spill and cut up her elbow pretty badly, but she recovered nicely (one more piece of evidence that all those people who say that girls are wimps are wrong. wrong. wrong), and we all went out to lunch afterwards to recover. In the end, hot or not, all of us agreed that going for a long hike together as a family is a Good Thing (we always agree on that, so I'm not sure why we still talk about it, but we do), and made plans to do it again next weekend.

Sunday afternoon was spent knitting and doing laundry, and by the time the girls went to bed last night, I had finished the kimono and steam blocked it. Here's the thing. It looks exactly as advertised. I really really like it, and am pleased as punch with the way the trim worked out. But (you could see the "but" coming, couldn't you?), the fact is that I was right in my private concern that the kimono style is probably not the best for my particular body type. I absolutely love short, squared off shapes myself, but they're not exactly flattering. So I knew what I was in for, and I am still entirely happy that I knitted it, and I know that I will wear it; I also know that, on me, it is not high fashion. My daughters, bless them, love it, think it looks great on me, and petted it the rest of the evening. They also commented on its pajama-like look (which is exactly what makes it not-as-flattering-as-it-could-be, but also exactly what they, and I, like about it).

So, without further ado or caveat, the Dofuku kimono.
Things are a little bleached out in these pictures, since I took them outside. (I also just noticed that the collar is flipped over in almost all of the pictures I took. Grr..)

I love the fact that it closes with a shawl stick or pin.
And I think that the trim worked out well, yarn weight differences notwithstanding.
So, to recap. This is the Dofuku kimono from the book Knit Kimono. I knitted it in Knitting Notions Classic Merino Sport, in the Ironstone colorway, which is truly delightful in its chameleon-like ability to appear either mostly blue or mostly green, depending on what colors it's near. The trim yarn is a merino/silk blend that I spun for this project. I used the better part of four 390-yard skeins of the merino, and about half of the handspun skein. I knitted it on a size five Addi circular. It's lightweight but warm, and I predict that I'm going to wear it quite a lot.
With that off the needles, I've turned my attention to the three socks which are lacking a mate. I picked up the Woodsmoke socks first, and am now halfway down the leg of the second one. After that, I'll probably finish the pair I'm knitting for Younger Daughter, and then the second conference sock, which should go quickly as I've already knitted the foot. Then I can turn my attention to new projects. I have been wanting for some time to knit Cat Bordhi's Spring Thaw socks from the summer Knitter's magazine, and seeing Stella's has inspired me to put them higher up on the list -- maybe that's what I should use that new skein of Sanguine Gryphon yarn for?

And I'm going to start swatching for The Sweater. I think I've decided on the edgings and shape that I want, so it's time to swatch and see if they work in that yarn, and to start some calculations and measurements. The plan is to knit a waist-length v-neck sweater with inset sleeves. I've not done sleeves like that before, so that'll be something new to try, but between EZ's books and Knitting Sweaters the Old Way (which I got for Christmas), plus Knitting Sweaters in Plain English (which I have from the library right now, but which my brother promised me for my birthday -- hi, Jon!), I should have it covered. Right? I'll be sure to show you swatch pictures as I get that done.

Meanwhile, my big decision for this afternoon is whether to knit outside, where it is warm and sunny and gorgeous (the dogs think so, too).
Or in my newly-arranged and cleaned-out knitting corner.
Or whether I should fold laundry.

Decisions, decisions.


Willow said...

Sit outside and knit and fold your laundry out there too. Be daring!

I'd tell you to wear the kimono but it's most likely too warm. I know it is here.

Hurray for finishing the kimono! Isn't it wonderful to know you actually spun part of the sweater?

Wool Enough said...

The kimono is gorgeous and the trim is perfect, but . . . where is the picture of it actually on your bod? C'mon, we want to see.

Gwen said...

Laundry of course! That's what I choose every time. (because the machine works while I do something else. folding is a whole nother story)

What's up with the heat in January? Will I ever tire of being surprised by the weather?

We're similarly funny about family excursions - so much fun! Why don't we do them more often? And I'm the only one on Farmers Market duty. With the kiddo of course. At our current one, I don't think anybody remembers us. So Crowded! And I haven't taken the time to chat with people, which is the real reason.

Jon Rybka-Wachhaus said...

Hey... I like the knitting corner (and the backyard...) maybe Mark & I will actually get a chance to make it to visit you in San Diego.

Lynne said...

Knit or fold laundry? Hmm? Is there any contest? Of course, one could always fold the laundry then knit with the satisfaction of knowing it's done!

Your weather is very warm for winter! We are expecting 100* today - but it is the middle of summer.

Alwen said...

Greenness! There will be no knitting outside where I live. :)

the boogeyman's wife said...

the knitting nook looks cozy, but i hope you opted for the warm outdoors. the kimono looks great! i think the trim worked out very well.