You're probably aware I've had a bit of mental blockage about starting new projects, particularly larger items, since the Princess arrived (Ok, ok, long before that). I've spent the last few weeks trying to actively play down the angst and get myself a bit organised - lots of Ravelry-ing, updating and prioritising my queue, a good Toss of the Stash (you are so not seeing the photos of that little exercise), researching patterns and yarns. And polishing off a few lingering WIPs.
While I still have a few of those pesky WIPs hanging about, Ive made some good progress and finally my head is in the right place to make a start on some new projects.
My German god-daughter, Little Miss M, turns 4 at the end of October - the end of autumn start of winter in Europe - and I have (for better or worse) started a tradition of knitting her a jumper for each birthday. So I've ordered the yarn from Bendy for that, but in the meantime I thought while I had the desire to cast on, I'd run with it. I've paired off patterns and yarn in the stash, so had a few options.
What's a procrastinator to do when faced with choice?
Why, swatch of course! So I picked two - one big (gotta get back on the big-things horse, its been way too long) and one small.
The "big" project is a Goldilocks project: not too big to be intimidating, not so small as to be avoiding the issue, but j-u-s-t right.
Stephanie Japel's Back to School U-Neck Vest from Fitted Knits. An adult-sized garment, but not the whole catastrophe of front, back and two sleeves. Easy does it, don't want to get spooked.
When Lincraft had their Balmoral Tweed out for $2 a ball a few weeks back, both Bells and I snapped up 10 balls with exactly this pattern in mind. The yarn is listed in Rav as DK/8ply, even though the ball band says worsted, and others have told me I'd have trouble making the 18 sts / 10 cm gague required. And the yarn did feel a leetle thin as I was knitting it.
Well ner-ner-ne-ner-ner, because I got 17 sts on the 4.5 mm needles recommended! The fabric is only slightly more open than I would like, and so I'll go down to 4 mm (I typically gain or lose a stitch per needle size) and just keep an eye on the length and reckon I'll rock it in.
I'm loving the waffle stitch that makes up the bodice too.
My "little" project is of course something for the Princess. (Btw - I've shelved the Wollmeise for now. Too much pressure. Thanks for all your suggestions, but as Beloved is fond of saying "it needs a little bit more thinking").
Given that spring has sprung, I figured I'd better get cracking on some lighter-weight garments for her. I'm hoping the berry baby hat has broken the hoo-doo on knitting for her. So first cab off the rank is Blossom, a sweet little sleeveless (hmm, pattern developing here!) wrap around dress.
Big W had a $2 yarn sale last week (what is it with me and $2 yarn???) and I got 4 balls of Cleckheaton Cocoon, a yarn whose colours I love and have been dying to try but was put off by its 4-ply-ness.
So after all the chores were done, I retired to the deck with a cuppa and the latest Yarn to swatch.
I'm still waiting for it to dry (yes, people, I even wet-blocked my swatches!), but it looks like I'll come in a stitch under the 24 sts required. The fabric is quite open, but is lovely and soft and drapey even before a bath, so I think it will be lovely for this garment.
The Princess seemed quite pleased with this outcome when I told her.
Now I've just got to decide which one to start first...like right now.....arrggghhh, the indecision is killing me!! Maybe I'll swatch for something else.....