Thar Be Dragons!
Yes indeedy, I've finally FINISHED something! (Sniff, sniff - I'm so proud). Not one, but TWO Hai Riyo Dragons:
I made two so I could send one to our fearless leader, Ms. Epstein (evidently hers went missing during a yarn shop gig!) (Update: She received the package, and was telling someone at Vogue Knitting about it, and they told her that her dragon has been in someone's cube there... so now she has two!)
I always enjoy making "critters," as my friend Renay dubs anything knitted that is toy-like and based on a real or mythical creature. You just have to prepare yourself for the fact that the finishing work takes as long or longer than the knitting part.
Hai Riyo's body is knitted flat from the end of the tail upwards, with major increases for his fat belly, and then major decreases at the shoulders, followed by a long and tapering neck, and a fun increase along the head. Then you knit a gold abdomen piece, starting at the base of the tail, and tapering down all the way to under his jaw. The arms and legs are knitted separately, as are the wings, the crown, and the wonderful triangles along the spine. Very, very fun knit, in Berroco Comfort, a wonderful acrylic yarn (who ever thought you could put those three words together like that?) But it is, wonderful. Feels like smooth cotton but is springy like wool.
Fuju Feather Lace Wrap
Also finished! I really enjoyed this knit, and I'm going to remember this fun, wavy lace stitch. It was surprisingly easy to memorize, and I really like the way it looks (well, except maybe I would like this photo better if I had a smaller butt...). It would make a nice wider shawl or even a blanket.
It was also fun to make the separate knitted tassels, which have circular tops stuffed with polyfil, and little velvet ribbon bands stitched around them, matching the long velvet ribbons woven through the column of purl stitches between each band of lace. I folded the ribbon in half to fit, and it worked like a charm. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, a really soft and wonderful wool with an unusual almost moire effect - you can see a sort of fucshia when you look at the knitting from certain angles.
But, to prove you can't win 'em all...
NOT quite finished - the eternal Lisbon Lace Jacket.
Here is the jacket-y bit. I'm still working on stitching the motifs together to make the sleeves. That work got put aside for awhile due to a flurry of work (I billed almost 14 hours over Labor Day weekend, and another 4 this weekend, sigh). These pictures were taken at September's knitting night last week; maybe because it was the first week of school, almost everyone ended up having a conflict. so Renay and I met together at Pardon My French, where she kindly took these photos.
We were pulling stuff out of our knitting bags to show each other, and realized we had the full attention of a group of women at the next table, who were really curious about whatever was going on! We explained that we were the bare bones of a knitting group and having our monthly show and tell! It turns out they really liked the Lisbon Lace Jacket, even in its unfinished state. They also pointed out my plain black dress was the perfect "canvas" to show it off! That sort of cheered me up, and made me more interested in getting those sleeves put together!
Renay was wearing her wonderful Nidden, the Berroco Norah Gaughan sweater that my sister Susan also recently finished:
Renay's is in a wonderful salmon color, and looks just great on her. She is starting a new job, and folks on the staff are starting to remark on her amazing array of hand-knitted sweaters! (HAH! Wait until winter starts - Renay has so many wonderful wool sweaters, her work friends ain't seen NUTHIN' yet!)
Renay also finished her Mongolian Warrior Pullover, which also wowed the ladies at the next table over. She and I are both wondering how to adjust the fronts, so that we don't feel like our boobs are falling out, however.
I'm working on mine right now, and am experimenting with sewing a bit of the woven strips together above the weaving, to see if that might help a bit. Instead of making the fronts and backs separate, to avoid a shoulder seam I just knitted right up and over in two long strips. I'm also knitting the sleeves downwards, so that when I'm done I'll only have to sew the underarm seams and tack the "hips" together. I LOOOOVE this color. I seem to be gravitating away from my traditional blue/green obsession and heading toward a more autumnal palette, hmmm....
Renay and Gerry recently brought home two new family members - Irene and Loretta, two new kittens! (You might have noticed Loretta getting a cuddle, above, while Renay modelled her Nidden).
I could tell by her smiles that Renay is overjoyed to have the pitter patter of tiny paws in the house again, even though the new arrivals sound a bit rascally (there has apparently been a fair amount of climbing up curtains involved). Loretta seems to have become Renay's buddy, and visits her upstairs when she is quilting. As she is all black except for two little white spots, she has great camouflage on the white and black tiled floor; she is still small enough to curl up on one of the black squares and disappear entirely! Loretta is also enjoying playing with the tiny sardines I crocheted a while back.
Eva's cat, Angel, is also getting a kick out of her sardines, evidently; here she is playing up at the cabin in Ely with one:
Eva has been working on a baby blanket from the Wearwithall book; I met her before work a couple of weeks ago to help her figure out how to get the border on, and how to sew the squares up, so that she could finish the project while on vacation. Don't you love the colors? This is for the same baby who will be wearing the little pink Alice outfit I made recently.
And here is Eva's adorable baby relation (not sure what you call the baby of a niece...) from Norway, wearing her beautiful seed stitch cardigan and hat! She certainly is a fashionable little kiddo. I love her direct, intelligent gaze. Doesn't she look like she is about to make a very interesting observation?
I'm facing a big work deadline on October 5 (another darn speech outline), so I might go underground a bit in the next few weeks; MAN, will I be relieved when that date is past, and ESPECIALLY when the speech is behind me on Nov. 8.
I'm still hoping to have the Mongolian Warrior Pullover (and, yes, the Lisbon Lace Jacket!) done by the end of the month. I'm also working on the Fiesta Skirt on the bus these days (lots of plain black stockinette, perfect for the commute!), so that should be close to finished by the end of September as well. Here's the back:
That will leave just 5 (well, maybe 5 1/2) more projects!!! Can I knit 5 projects in 3 months? I guess it depends on how busy work is, but I'm sure going to try!
Here's hoping your back-to-school, back-to-fall days are going well. My favorite season of all; I'm just delighting in the cooler weather, and looking forward to the leaves turning and crunching underfoot.