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Saturday, February 21, 2009

The February Lady Sweater & Amy R. Singer

~~~~Note - I started this blog on February 15th but was distracted by exploring The Panopticon - so I saved this to finish later. ~~~~

I'm sighing a bit over the Yarn Harlot starting her version of the February Lady Sweater.
My DH had a minor pause when I showed him the YH's in-progress version, citing admiringly "though she actually spun her yarn".
I think he had a moment whereby he thought another craft was on the horizon - spinning.
(wry grin) No, I assured him, I am not taking up spinning.
(yet...wicked grin)

Whilst sighing over the YH's February Sweater, I had a brief, transitory moment of thinking I could do a quiet Knit-a-long with the Yarn Harlot! (Yeah, I'm a knit-geek to get a kick out of that concept.)
Reality quickly reasserted itself...with an astounding amount of luck, I could probably cast on and possibly get a few rows done before her sweater will be done, blocked, and modeled.
It might already be done, pending blocking, because I think she's traveling just now. It does look lovely thus far.
A lot of blogs I follow are written by knitters that are much more prolific and of greater knitting proficiency than I'm currently capable of - possibly than I will ever be capable of.
Still ok - such is life. The blogs are still fun and inspiring.

The February Lady Sweater will be a serious stretch for my abilities - but I think it's a feasible project for me. And I already have the yarn. Wicked, yummy stuff, that.
Procured from Purls of Tucson. I was good and waited until their New Year's Sale!
(And I can bumble into Purls or Kiwi for knitterly advice if I get too freaked or too stuck.)

2/21/09 - I was prophetic and a bit overly ambitious.
The Yarn Harlot has finished her February Lady Sweater - all done save for the buttons.

How did my quiet knit-a-long go, you ask?
I only got as far as swatching. I really don't think that counts as a knit-a-long. (wry grin)

But the swatching went well.
It's hard to describe the sheen and feel of this yarn. Yummy!

I got a charming bit of confirmation in my choice of yarn.
I'd brought in the February Lady Pattern to show Tracy, teacher (designer?) of the nifty Knit Dr. Bag; to show her my next project. She liked the pattern and immediately suggested it would be gorgeous in Cascade Venezia. I was very tickled to show her that is exactly the yarn I'd already purchased for the project!

Speaking of the Knit Dr. Bag - I have mostly finished the first one (button-clasp and pockets still need to be added):

And my best friend was very appreciative of the colors. So I offered and she agreed she really wouldn't mind having one for her Birthday. So I've cast on another:

So - about Amy R. Singer, author of "No Sheep for You" and editor of the ever-tempting on-line magazine, Knitty.Com...
She came to Tucson! She did a presentation at the Old Pueblo Knitter's Guild; a fun summary of the non-woolly options she researched for her book. (She's allergic to wool, alpaca, etc - so she was investigating non-woolly options - and a rather nice book was the result.)

Um, pictures...well, not so much. I was being a bit bashful, it being my very first time at an Old Pueblo Knitter's Guild meeting and all. I met some extremely nice ladies - and I probably couldn't tell you any their names to save my life. (ack).
Tracy and Nancy were there from Purls so I got to chat with them a bit.
My only comments to another of my teachers, Lynda Sorenson of Kiwi Knitting, were stunned, appreciative noises about her Entrelac shawl (the Lady E pattern?).
Martha, a nice lady and a very proficient knitter I've met at a few classes at Purls, was kind enough to abandon her seat near the front to give me company in the available seating near the back.
(She also nearly finished a gorgeous pair of socks during the meeting! (Me? I was swatching).)

So - pictures. I did actually try, as the meeting was breaking up, to get a picture of Ms. Singer.
I got several astoundingly....blurry and worthless pictures of folks that walked innocently across the room - between Ms. Singer and I - as I skulked around near the middle/back of the room wasting camera time...

And look! Amy R. Singer's back! Really, it's her, trust me!

(on the left)

I know.
It's a bit sad and very knit-geeky.

However, I was surprised to find this one in my camera:

Ta da!
Yep, she looks just like her picture on Knitty.Com.

Ah, but I got to visit more with Ms. Singer at Purls later in the afternoon - I'd signed up to take the Tuscany Shawl class with the designer herself! (Feb. 26,2007 to see her blog on the Shawl.)
(Embarrassed Confession: I've always been SO busy ogling the patterns and articles, I missed that Knitty has a blog. (Sigh)
Well of course - another blog to explore!)

Ms. Singer was gracious, fun, very patient, comfortable to be around, and although I did equal amounts of tinking (sigh/arrgh) and knitting in the class - I really did learn a lot.

And I took a couple of pictures without any skulking involved!

Ms. Singer was fitting a cowl, presumably designed by Ms. Singer, on it's maker.
(No, I'm scum - I didn't get the knitter's name.)
(Yes, there were name-tags. Told you, I'm scum.)

It was a very pretty cowl. Nice color - soft too.

(We're in the "warehouse" at Purls.
All that lovely yarn was a little distracting during class.)

This is probably very similar to how I looked at that moment too.

And having swatched before class to get gauge (going up a needle size), then ripping the shawl tip back at least twice during class - I ripped it back again because I liked it better on the too-small-for-gauge needle size and then ripped rows back a few times because I was being stubborn and sleep-deprived and I wanted to get past row 17, durn it!

This is how far I got (Row 18):

This picture is a little brighter than the actual yarn color.

Although the KnitPicks Shimmer knits up nicely and I'm considering getting a lot more so I can make a sweater out of it (overly-ambitious again), having touched and held the original Tuscany Shawl...I'm wishing I'd not followed the Purls Workshop suggestion of double-stranding lace-weight. They had also offered a nice bamboo substitution, but the colors were very picked over by the time I went shopping.
I'm a'wish'n I'd looked further afield for something closer to the weight, sheen, softness, and texture of the silk of the original Tuscany Shawl.
It just might be worth the frogging...

Over-all, my knit experiences of the last few days were lovely, educational, and very inspiring.
I have to go do some housework now. (grin)

1 comment:

  1. That Venezia IS yummy, isn't it?! And that's just my color. I haven't bought any, but have drooled over it a few times. You lucky dog, to be able to attend the Amy Singer workshop!