25 May 2007

Argosy Progress & Eye Candy

Argosy Progress

Here's my version of the Argosy Baby Blanket. I've completed 13 pattern repeats, giving me 169 squares (the number of squares is the number of repeats squared). The 14th repeat has 349 stitches per row. Why, yes, I am an engineer and I do math readily, particularly when I'm knitting and trying to figure out how much of the row I've finished.

I think I'm going to do three more pattern repeats and then start the decreases. I'm getting some curling on the edges and I may want to run a single crochet edge around the blanket to see if that'll control some of the curl, so I don't want to use up all my yarn.

This photo is just looking from the corner toward what's going to be the center, to show off the colors and texture.

Bright, isn't it?

Eye Candy

It's my understanding that the purpose of showing eye candy is to display recent acquisitions. This was a really big week in the acquisition department because I suddenly realized that the Weldon reprints from Interweave Press were getting close to being out of print and I only had the first six volumes. I'd put off buying the rest with the "I've got plenty of time" argument and all of a sudden I didn't. In a moment of blind panic, I bought them all, three from Amazon (slightly cheaper) and three from Interweave. That damned Interweave Press did it to me again; I ended up buying two more books I hadn't entirely intended to buy.

Two commenters here are nearly as much to blame as am I for my buying
Vivian Høxbro's Domino Knitting but I have to take the sole responsibility for buying Slip-Stitch Knitting, by Roxana Bartlett. I also bought a book about mittens and some shawl and scarf patterns.

And I bought some yarn on eBay. The yarn on the left is New Zealand wool, which isn't very soft, but the rose colors are so pretty I decided that doesn't matter. The yarn on the right is rayon and has a beautiful drape. The beige yarn in front was a freebie from the seller.

Here's a photo of the rayon, showing that it's blue, aqua, and lavender. The dyer named it "Sea Lavender", which is a really good name, I think.

And here's a close-up to show the texture. The photo can either show all the colors or the texture, but not both at once.

Here's a photo of the New Zealand wool, showing the beautiful pinks, roses, and purples of the "Rose" colors. I wonder why New Zealand doesn't have mostly merino, the way Australia does. I mean, Oz is New Zealand's closest neighbor, just across the Tasman Sea. Maybe the two climates are different enough for it to matter. New Zealand has a climate more dominated by the ocean, since it's so narrow, being three major islands in a row[1], whereas Australia is a big blobby continent with one major island.

Or maybe it does have a lot of merino and the name "New Zealand wool" is used for the wool that isn't merino. They raise a lot of sheep for meat (a lot of lamb sold in the US is New Zealand lamb, for example) and the breeding stock has fleece, too. It's just that they're not merinos or BFLs or other fine-wool breeds, mostly.

This is an interesting skein of yarn, from Louet. It's 50% linen and 50% polyester and the wrapper suggests a 19-mm (US 35) needle. This one skein is enough to make 12-stitch-wide, 60-inch garter stitch scarf.

Here's a close-up to show that it's three strands of linen plied with a polyester chain that has little flowers every half inch or so. The shiny polyester is variegated, so the flowers are different colors. It's hard to see them, but there are pinkish-coral flowers, the same color as the linen but shiny, as well as the lavender blue, yellow, and green ones.

[1] Yes, I know about all the littleNew Zealand islands. I've even been to the Bay Of Islands. And I've seen a fair number of Australia's little islands, too. I'm overlooking them, since everyone else seems to.

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