It’s March Break this week – that special time of year when my kids have no school and I ship them off to my amazing inlaws. That generally means I do some sort of big project that requires focus or time or is just a whole lot easier when the kids aren’t underfoot. This year, that project is actually multiple projects that I’m trying to finish up so I can try something new (more on that later).
So, since I’m pulling out projects I thought I’d share what I’ve got on the go.
On the loom right now I’ve got a short, narrow warp destined to be some lunch napkins. I did a set of these for myself a couple of years ago, and I need to expand my stash (either that or do laundry more often, weaving more napkins seemed like the better idea).
I love these little napkins. The warp is 16/2 cotton with an 8/2 cotton weft. I’ve been using browns for these just because I had it on hand from other projects but don’t tend to use it often, plus it will help hide any stains. These aren’t full sized cloth napkins – the finished measurements are roughly 6.5″x 8″ – just big enough to wipe your face and fingers, or tuck into a lunch box. Litter free lunches are something I strive for with the kids, so having cloth napkins to send with them is great (and so far, they’ve always come back).
These went on the loom February 15th, but they’ve been sort of neglected since then. I need to get moving on them because I’ve got another project I want to get woven in the next few weeks.
First off, some mittens for my husband that I started a few weeks ago when it was very snowy and he couldn’t find his other pair. Obviously they weren’t going to be much use to him during the storm, but I figured having an extra pair never hurts. All they need now is the tops to be grafted and the thumbs knit, so they should be pretty quick to finish up.
The thing I love about these is the cuffs – the tubular cast on makes them very stretchy and comfortable, and the bulky yarn is soft and warm. I keep thinking these are going to be way too big, but I have tiny childsized hands so it’s not always easy for me to judge this sort of thing.
These are socks for my daughter, started a couple of years ago, I think. It’s been long enough that I don’t remember when it was. I needed something quick and simple to work on, and I had just finished a pair for myself out of the same yarn. Unfortunately just after I finished to toe increases I lost them, and only found them (in a rarely used knitting bag) a week ago. Thankfully the girl tried them on and they’ll still fit, so long as I don’t take too much longer to finish them.
Next, I have a shawl I just cast on yesterday. I needed something delicate and intricate and pretty. I’ve loved the Salt Spray pattern since the first time I saw it hanging in London Wul. This is not my first go at this pattern – I had a couple repeats done last fall and then set it aside to work on something else. Then I had to rip it out because I needed the needles (and cable, not just the tips) out of it, so I frogged and set the yarn aside until I could get back to it. I used this chart for a long scarf that I made last fall, because I think it’s just so beautiful.
The only major adjustment I’m making to this pattern is in the middle spine section – I’m using a double decrease in the middle just because I’m a little finicky about symmetry and as it’s written it’s not symmetrical. It really doesn’t matter – my way makes for a bigger/more noticeable set of eyelets down the middle and double yarnovers are a bit of a pain to do.
The other little change I’m making is adding beads. I bought these beads almost a year ago with this shawl in mind, and I’m so excited to be able to do them. I did a bit of beading on a shawlette/scarf a few months ago, but before that it had been years since I had done beaded lace. Like I said, I wanted something challenging and complicated. I haven’t figured out exactly where I’m putting the beads yet, but you can keep an eye on my project page if you’re curious.
My wheel is empty. I’m taking it to a retreat in a month, and I haven’t decided if I want to start something new before I go, or bring it bare and figure out what I want to work on when I get there
I have three spindle projects on the go though. One is a long term project that I generally only work on when I’m away. The other two are supported spindle projects that are also getting very little attention.
The bigger, light coloured spindle is my newest – I bought it from Gil at the last Maritime Spinner’s Retreat. The retreat is the only time he sells his spindles himself, the rest of the year you can find them at various shops around the Maritimes. I have, I think, 4 of his spindles now. They’re beautiful and spin really nicely. I had it in my head at once point that I’d do 10 minutes of spinning every day. I started with this lovely merino silk that I had leftover from another project, but after a couple of days I got distracted and it got shoved back into the drawer. I may need to take up that challenge again though.
My other spindle project is some 100% silk that, again, doesn’t get nearly enough attention. I love the colours in this silk, I love how fine it’s spinning, but it takes a lot of time and I’m not always good at being patient. Some day this will be a silk shawl for me, and that’s what keeps me motivated to spin it. I think I need to keep my spindles out more and not have them tucked away in my fiber drawer where they’re so easily forgotten.
I also have a small project that’s just waiting to be stuffed and sewn up – it’s the example project for a kids knitting class I’ll be teaching next week. It’s basically just two squares – one garter stitch and the other stockinette – but sewn up you get a little creature. I’m hoping it will be a fun, easy project for them.