Saturday, June 9, 2012

Transitions

You would think that, now that the semester is over, I'd have more time for things like blogging and knitting, but somehow it hasn't worked out that way.  I have, in fact, still been knitting (although less than you'd think), but I've been spending so much time at the computer trying to get through several really big jobs that have been waiting for my summer "free" time, that whenever I am not working, I'm avoiding the computer like the plague.

I am done with two of those tasks (or at least, they're in someone else's hands for now), so I'm hoping the computer allergy will abate.

It also doesn't help that I tend to think of Sunday as my blogging day, but I've been travelling the last several weekends (lots and lots of driving up and down the state involved), so Sundays have involved cars, more than anything.  Basically, I'm in transition from a spring schedule to a summer one, and in the same way that, once one has taken everything out of the trunk on a road trip, it doesn't all seem to want to fit back in the same way, I am trying to get everything to fit.

The travelling not only included the language revitalization work that always makes me happy, but took me to parts of the state that I love.  The rolling hills north of the Bay Area just seem to tug at my heart.
No wonder the cows look so content (see them there?).
The grass was just starting to turn from a lovely spring green into what will become a tawny lion brown.
And the oaks...
I have a tendency to take a rather inordinately large number of pictures of oaks.
But I really do love their shapes.

All of the meeting time meant that I needed something that required very little concentration.  Luckily, I had just the thing.  A few weeks ago, I cast on for the Indigo Ripples Skirt, which I've been wanting to knit since I first saw it in IK ages ago.  You may remember that I bought some Rowan denim on sale when I was in Sacramento over the holidays, so as part of my plan to knit down some of the stash, I paired the two up, and off I went.


(Not the best picture, but I figure I'd better post while I'm willing to sit at the computer.)

I knitted this very much as the pattern said, except that I made the stockinette portion longer, and knitted fewer repeats of the lace at the bottom, to make this more into something that I might actually wear to work.  I'd been wondering how well the yarn would wash, and whether it would tighten up into something un-see-through enough for public wear; the swatch seemed to suggest that it would.  And I think it did. 
It's very comfortable.  It's a bit darker than it appears in these photos, but much lighter than the yarn was in the ball.  (In fact, the yarn released dye on my hands every time I knit, so that my fingers and palms were blue, and it was possible to see the way I wind the yarn around the fingers of my right hand by following the blue lines it left.  However, it hasn't left any dye on my skin since I washed it.)  When I was done, I threw it into the washer and the dryer, which seems to have taken care of the extra dye and faded it out some.  It also shrank by several inches lengthwise, which was exactly what the swatch predicted, so I'd planned for it.

All in all, this turned out well.  I knitted a skirt a few years back, which did not (it's so huge on me that I only wear it to the beach as a cover-up - it's knitted from Elsbeth Lavold Hempathy - and it didn't wash up as un-see-through as this one did), so I'd kind of worried.  It's not something that is necessarily fun to knit, either, although it was very easy.  I find cotton to be hard on the hands, although to be fair, the Rowan Denim isn't nearly as bad as some others I've worked with.  I would use it again, but I think it'll be good to give my hands a break.

Especially since the other big project that I'm currently working on (momentarily unbloggable) is knitted from a linen yarn that's a real bear to work with.  It's stiff, so it feels like it's constantly springing away from me.  It takes a lot of work, and my hands can't deal with it for too long. 

So in the meantime, I'm on the hunt for something that'll be a good antidote for that one.  I've been carrying around the pattern for the Color Affection Shawl for months; maybe the time has come to find some yarn for that one?

15 comments:

AlisonH said...

You went past here? (!) I thought those hills looked local-ish. I'm glad you got to go!

And that skirt looks great on you.

Willow said...

Yes, I totally get the transition from spring to summer issues. It should be easier than it is in reality. Perhaps our expectations are off a bit (like a few weeks) as it seems to take me a couple of weeks to settle in to the new summer routine.

We shall be doing a trip south this week--I'll wave as I pass your spot. :)

Thanks for the details on the skirt. I've been toying (casually) with the idea of knitting a skit pattern. The not-see-through-able quality of the yarn is one of the problems that has been holding me back. Yours is lovely.

twinsetellen said...

The skirt is very cute, and very cute on you. Well done! The lace reminds me of the edging of Erica's spiral shawl.

Erica said...

You know, I find that I am never so busy as I am when I have dared to think that I have "free time" coming up soon. And transitions really are tough. Just as you've found the most efficient way to cram it all in, it explodes out again and goes crazy. Hope you get it sorted soon!

The skirt is beautiful. I've never knit with linen before, and not much with cotton, either. I'm a wool girl through and through! Still, I bet that the cotton in that skirt will soften into something amazingly comfortable with a few washes. So glad it worked out the way you wanted it to!

Miss 376 said...

It looks really good, the lace adds that extra bit of interest, and I like the edging

Brandi Schoch said...

I like the skirt. I've only done one skirt to date and it took forever because it was ankle length so I've been a bit leery of doing another one.

Anne said...

The skirt looks great, and I'm envious of you transitioning to summer! We're not-quite-done here, and I have several of those 'wait 'til summer' projects looming. I do have Color Affection and Wingspan OTN for the rare moments when I actually have my hands free and recommend them for such moments! Love those oaks ...

Mary Lou said...

The skirt looks cute, and I'm impressed you would tackle another. After a grand failure, I would be reluctant. What linen are you using? I'm eyeing that new shibui linen, the colors are gorgeous.

Wool Enough said...

The skirt is lovely. What a difficult project -- to plan for shrinkage but not be entirely sure how much will happen. Hmmmm, I suppose that sounds a bit like life in general.

jan@twinset.us said...

One of my favorite things about your blog is all of the pictures of your surroundings. Click away!!

And very nice skirt!!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Love the skirt - I so want a knitted skirts, but I'm trying to lose a little weight first.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Love the skirt - I so want a knitted skirts, but I'm trying to lose a little weight first.

fiberjoy said...

We used to travel through hill country similar to those pictured when Ed's folks lived in Diamond Springs. I always dreamed of riding through them on a horse, climbing the oak trees and rolling in the grass.

The skirt is lovely! Well done. I too have dreamed of knitting a skirt but don't think I have the shape for one.

KnitNana said...

pretty skirt, pretty color, pretty oaks, pretty Joce.
:)
(((hugs)))

Lynne said...

Loo, I really love the bottom edge of that skirt. Well done you!