Thursday, March 7, 2013

2nd Annual Dog Sitting Fiber Retreat

My friends, Dick and Jill, are headed to Guatemala again this year. And I’ll be staying at their house, taking care of their dog, Mari. Oh, and my dog, Toby, will be there too.

I did this last year for about 10 days. This time it’ll be for 3 weeks. A perfect time to have my own personal fiber retreat. I’m planning to mostly knit.

One project is a nearly-done vest knitted from energized singles. I had hoped to complete the vest before this “retreat”, but the finishing is very slow going; the characteristics that make this yarn produce unusual knitted fabrics also make seaming and edging rather a headache. Yesterday, I did sew up the side seams, and I even picked up stitches along the neck edge – using the very best light and my strongest reading glasses. I still need to complete the armhole edges and then weave in the ends.

So, that’ll be my first fiber priority.

Next is an afghan. I’m designing this afghan to be knitted out of Briar Rose  “Charity” yarn. Chris Roosien (Briar Rose proprietress) had asked me to design an afghan. This’ll be my second afghan specifically designed for her yarns. The first was “Brick Road Afghan”. For that afghan, I’d used a pleasant slip stitch pattern.

For this afghan, I’m following some inspiration that I got from teaching the Shaping With Stitch Patterns workshop in January: I am making this afghan into a sort of sampler of stitch patterns that combine ribs and welts. The intention is to make a very elastic, very scrunchy, very cozy afghan that folks will find irresistible for wrapping up on a cold winter day.

I’ve been swatching like crazy. First, I need stitch patterns that I personally like to look at and enjoy knitting. Oh, and they need to look good together. Oh, and they need to look good in Chris’s yarns. Second (or is that fifth?), the stitch patterns need more-or-less the same stitch and row gauge. I had to reject some very interesting stitch patterns because the gauge was too far off. I’ll just save these stitches for future projects!

I think I’ve decided upon the stitch patterns for the afghan. (One especially good idea came to me in a dream!) Now I just need to complete the calculations and KNIT KNIT KNIT. This’ll be the best dog sitting fiber retreat ever!