It's been an exhausting hectic weekend with plenty of time for knitting. My lovely Middle School mermaid had her first year round swimming meet this weekend and boy is there a difference from summer, which is mostly fun and games with a little swimming and a race or two thrown in for good measure. My girl woke up at 5 am both Sat and Sunday to warm up and swam 6 events, including 100 yds of breast stroke, 200 yds of free style, and,most shocking, 50 yds of butterfly. With out complaining, with a big smile on her face, and her only comment was that the meet was "killer". Who is that child?
No, she didn't win, didn't even drop her times from summer swimming much, but i can't begin to describe how proud i am of that child. A true mermaid, she is. After finishing her races on Sunday, she showered, dressed, and sang in the choir at the 10:30 service.
Luckily, they don't have meets every week, as they are a total family commitment. The rest of us had to be up at 6:30 to get there in time to see her swim at 7:30. It was worth it, though. As there was plenty of time to knit between races and soccer games, i completed the first sleeve of the Sideways Sweater and got knit half of the second one. It is now time to begin thinking about buttons. I'm not good at finding just the right button and this sweater deserves good buttons. Can't figure out if this is the sweater for beautiful moving mud glass buttons, but then, what color? Not to mention, I have no button holes. I plan to sew the sleeves and decide on a collar and then, figure the buttons out. Maybe pewter buttons? I'd make my own if i could just figure out what they need to look like.
The Cotton Fleece raglan cardi is waiting in the wings for me to finish the first sweater. There are decisions to make there as well. Buttons? What sort? Where to put them? And how many? Or do i skip them completely and use hook and eye closures. I'm not a fan of toggles so they're out. And what sort of collar to compliment the scoop neck, which may be the most flatering neck line of all on me.
There are other sweaters waiting in the queu. The beautiful aran sweater for jack. I have processed the fleece from scratch and have made about three pounds of woolen spun worsted weight yarn, thinking I was making a particular pattern from Knitting Nature. I realized halfway through the spinning that the pattern actually called for a sport-weight yarn. Ouch! I love Jack more than i can express but that is a crazy lot of knitting, not to mention spinning. After showing him numerous gansey and aran sweater patterns, I learned that he really wants the j. Crew sweater he already has. Knit all over again. So, aran sweater designing I will go.
Luckily, I have already designed a cable and lace sweater for Deb Stoller's next Stitch and Bitch. So, i know that all i need to do is pick some motifs that i like, swatch em, and cast on for a simple drop shoulder sweater. I'm thinking some lovely celtic cable up the middle, or perhaps a cable diamond, and some rope cables. I like honeycomb stitch as well.
I was just searching the net for pictures of cables i like to show you and was reminded of all sorts of terrific sources, such as Janet Szabo's book on aran sweater design and the lovely Celtic Memory Yarns blog (she lives in rural southern Ireland and the pictures are indescribable, not to mention the knits and yarns. Oh yeah. And she has a dog named Sophy Wackles; how cool is that?).
So as soon as i finsh the two current sweaters, I'll be swatching with my Barbara Walker treasuries in my lap. I have somehow wound up with my mil's copy of Alice Starmore's Fisherman Sweaters, so i will have that with me too. Although i must say, I have become fascinated with St. Enda, thanks to Jo. Also, Elizabeth Zimmerman's Fishtrap Aran from Knitter's Almanac. I actually have this lovely book and, most importantly, he likes it, picky one that he is.