I have been indulging my habits: knitting, papercrafting, eating. And I do mean indulging. My wallet is slimming in inverse proportion to my waistline.
I went to the Bohus knitting exhibit at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis today. The photos in Wendy Keele's book Poems of Color: Knitting in the Bohus Tradition are stunning, so I wasn't prepared for how much more stunning the real items would be. Using gradations of color, and clever positioning of knits and purls to bring some areas forward and push other areas back, the designs positively glow. (One complaint I have about the mounting of the exhibit is that some of the items are not properly lighted, but the sweaters themselves almost give off light.)
Some of the sweaters in the show are knitted to a gauge so fine it boggles the mind. I think the Pink Lace Collar is knit at about 38 stitches over 4 inches. Can you imagine knitting an entire sweater -- mostly stockinette -- at that gauge?
I bought a kit for the Blue Shimmer hat and scarf set. My wallet took a large weight loss on that, so now I am home snacking on Walgreen's Spice Drops. I went looking for Brach's spice-flavored jelly beans today, but no stores have their Easter candy out yet. Come on, folks, Valentine's Day is over! What are you waiting for?
A digression about candy: have you ever encountered a gumdrop, jelly bean, Skittle, or the like that is misshapen or oddly-colored? Do you find these "mutants" too scary to eat, as I do? There was a tiny gumdrop in the bag I'm working on now; I couldn't eat it. It's cruel to eat the baby ones!
Having splurged on the Bohus kit wouldn't have been so bad, but I've been spending a lot on paper-crafting supplies lately. My friend told me about Copic art markers. Not only can you do lots of nice effects with them, but they come in sets. If a thing is good, a set of those things is better to the 10th power. Along with the Rapture of the Tiny (anything miniature is cool), the Rapture of the Set is strong.
I have been playing around making greeting cards. I make cards not so much to send them, but more to play with color, texture, and composition. If I can use the card at some time, great, but as with my knitting, Process is all. My papercrafting friend L. and I are under the thrall of the Scallop right now. Scalloped borders, scalloped ovals, scalloped circles, scalloped rectangles ... I went to Archiver's and bought every scalloped punch, die, and paper shape they had. Oops.
I have finished knitting the Sonoma Mountain Wrap (from Simply Shetland Book 2, design by Carol Lapin). I am just finishing the border. The pattern called for a crocheted border, but I couldn't get it to look good, so I'm doing an applied I-cord border, which is working out well. Abby at Borealis advised me to work it from the wrong side, which I hadn't been doing, so I'm going to rip out the part I've completed and re-do it. Apparently if you work it from the right side, eventually it separates a little and the underlying edge shows through. Who knew. (Well, Abby, obviously).
I knit a whole bunch of scarves, hats, and a couple pairs of mittens over the winter. I made a woven/knitted scarf from Exquisite Little Knits and a double-knit-with-tw0-yarns scarf from the same book. And I knit a number of hat/scarf sets for charity, and some mittens for charity, from Carol Anderson's Projects for Community Knitting.
I made myself a sort of serpentine short-row scarf out of Noro's Transitions yarn, and a chunky garter-stitch scarf from Kochoran. I now have enough scarves to insulate my house. My favorite cashmere scarf tried to jump ship (er, car) by leaping out of the car onto the ground in the parking lot at the St. Anthony Culver's, (maybe it wanted a Butterburger?) but it sent out vibes of remorse and I left the restaurant to look by the car based on an uneasy feeling I had. I rescued it before it got run over and ground into the slush.
I suppose I've started and set aside a bunch of other projects which I've forgotten about for the moment: too bad. I do not apologize for starting new projects whenever the whim hits me.
Speaking of which, I am currently working on Elizabeth Zimmermann / Meg Swansen's Shawl Collared Vest from Knitting With Meg Swansen. I fiddled with the pattern a bit and had several false starts. Lesson re-learned: swatch in the round when you are going to knit in the round. Your gauge can change a lot. (Like ending up with a sweater 7" smaller than intended. Oops.) The vest is knit in the round and steeked. I can't wait for the cutting part!
I promise you some photographs. Some day. Of something.