July 22, 2013

Holy Grail Projects

I hope I'm not the only knitter who sometimes sees a project that both completely amazes and intimidates me all at once.  A project that, were I to complete it, would make me feel like I'd reached the height of my knitting abilities.  It might even be a project that's not particularly difficult, that I could very realistically complete, were it not for my own fears, lack of time, or even motivation.  I call these projects, "Holy Grail" projects.

There are several of these in my queue and favorites on Ravelry.  The top of these (the one I'd most like to complete), is the Celestarium shawl, by Audry Nicklin.  The nerd in me cannot help but adore this.  It's been well talked about on various podcasts, but in case you haven't heard of it, the Celestarium is, "...an accurate view of the night sky from the North Pole in the form of a pi shawl."  I cannot fully express how much I adore this.  However, there are several reasons this is on my Holy Grail project list, and I'm afraid to knit it.  First, there are beads (to represent stars) and I haven't ever dealt with beads before.  They seem like they could potentially be a nuisance.  Second, this thing is huge.

Starburst Cluster Shows Celestial Fireworks
Other Holy Grail projects of mine are several patterns from the book Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color, by Anna Dalvi (shawls, of course.  I'm on a shawl kick lately).  I heard about this book on a podcast, and knew it was for me.  I'm an archaeologist here in the western United States, but that doesn't mean I don't secretly still have dreams of being an Egyptologist, gallivanting amongst the pyramids.  Right now my favorites from this book are Ra and Apep, Seth, and Memphis.  Remember last year when I wrote about how I didn't really care for lace?  Apparently my tastes have changed.  The most intimidating thing about these are mainly their complicated lace patterns, and again, their size.

Source: Kingtutone.com, a resource center for Ancient Egypt

What are your Holy Grail projects?  What about them is keeping you from knitting them?  Feel free to leave your thoughts in my comments.  I would love to add to my queue/favorites!

July 20, 2013

Throwing Caution to the Wind

I've decided to laugh in the face of gauge recommendations, and just knit my Trillian with the US3 needle I had originally started with.  I like the look of it with the 3s the best.  Hopefully it will turn out well.

I'm hoping to get some quality knitting time in this weekend so that I can "catch up"--I started two weeks after the KAL was supposed to start because of my indecisiveness.  Curse you, brain!  Other people are finishing their first projects already, and I only have a small corner of a shawl.  Must. Power. Through!

July 14, 2013

An FO and more knitting-curses

A couple weekends ago I had an action movie marathon and finished my Truckee Shawlette.

It was seriously a marathon--I watched/listened to four different action flicks and knit my brains out.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and Malabrigo remains my favorite thing ever.  It's so lovely and soft!

Poor Sam hasn't been able to finish (and I shouldn't have, but I was on a roll).  Luckily she's a better friend than I am, and is okay with my having finished because she knows I have other KALs to start.

Speaking of, the Mean Girls Yarn Club KAL started July 1st (and goes until August 31st), and I had all kinds of plans.  None of them have come to fruition yet.

I really wanted to use the colorway called "Hoar's Your Buddy?" which is based on Syndrome from the Incredibles.  My original plan was to make a knitted monster, but the more I looked at the yarn, the more I wanted it to be something else.  I decided I liked the pattern Baana, because the linen stitch would mix up the colors nicely and prevent a lot of pooling.  I started it, and even liked how it looked:

...but then I realized that despite all the blue (I love blue), I would probably never wear it because I am not a fan of orange.  So...I frogged my progress and decided to make it a monster again...except I don't have the proper needle size.  My birthday is in a couple of weeks, and I asked for an interchangeable needle set, which would include the needle I need, so the monster is on hold.

So, with a different MGYC colorway, I decided to try my hand at Trillian.  It was looking pretty good, but the pattern calls for a gauge of 21 stitches/27 ridges over 4 inches, and I'm getting 30 stitches over 4 inches.  SIGH.

I'm not really sure how far up in needle size I should go (and how much it matters, since its a scarf/shawl).  I did pull back and try on a US 8 for giggles, and that's WAY too loose for my liking.  I actually liked how it was knitting up on the needles I was originally using, but I'm worried about the gauge, especially because I have less yardage than called for (which others have done, just making a smaller kerchief).  I WILL NEVER WIN.

ETA:  I just realized that the gauge thing may be less of an issue than I thought, because its not blocked.  Crisis averted?