Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP Wednesday and A Year of Projects Update...

It's time for another WIP update - how quickly time passes. So much to do, so little time!

I've been busy this week. Term is about to start and everyone is trying to squeeze one last meeting in before teaching starts. Add to that the usual prep work that precedes teaching and there's just not been enough time in the day! 

That said, I have been knitting. Although I've toted my knitting everywhere it's usually been an evening activity, but even so I have managed to make inroads into both Owls and the V-neck. I'm kind of enjoying them both - what one project has in looks (I love the way Owls knits up) the other has in softness (that GGH might not look like much but it's buttery soft - the oatmeal wool I'm using for Owls isn't!). 

Owls is a very quick knit - if you want to finish a project quickly then 6 mm needles really are the way forward. I've managed to damage my needles, though - they weren't very good quality to start with, and the plastic of the cable is cracking where it's joint to the bamboo of the needles. I'll have to buy some new ones - that'll slow me down a bit...

Good thing then that I have the V-Neck Raglan to knit while I'm waiting for my needle replacement. I love the top-down raglan construction, so clever, and you can even try it on as you go along. Good job I did too, because that way I realised that I needed a bit more room under the arms and was able to make three more stitches as I joined the sides to start knitting in the round. It fits much more comfortably now. 

I think I might be a tad short on wool though because I suspect that some of those balls of GGH weren't complete. I'm planning on 2-coloured sleeves to make sure. I'll knit brown until about t-shirt length (from the top), then continue on in an accent colour. To tie it in more I'll add a row of that colour around the neck and possibly also do a couple of thin stripes at the bottom of the jumper... That ways I won't have to worry all the time that I might run out of yarn, and it might also break up the unrelenting brown-ness of this jumper a bit. I'm thinking of either some orange or some muted turquoise from stash... What do you think?

I think I'm at about the same stage with both projects, even though one is from the bottom up and the other from the top down - both are at around waist-height right now. :)

As for reading - not much time for that this week I'm afraid. I'm currently finishing up The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, though, which D and I have been reading together at night. 

This is the blurb from Amazon: 
"It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky. The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament."

It's a strange kind of novel, beautifully written, and observant, with lovely character portrayals and capturing that strange frontier feel of the New Zealand goldfields in a way that brings it alive,  but also at times quite convoluted and ponderous. I have enjoyed it but it's not as gripping as many other books I've read. We have around 50 pages left, so things are now coming to a head and many of the  backstories are revealed, and we are picking up our pace a bit as we become more curious if all those mysteries will be explained or not. 

And last but not least, I thought it was time I consulted my A Year of Projects list once more. This is how things look at the moment:

On the needles:

On the List: 
Shalom cardi (Yarn: Olive wool/cashmere blend)
Liesl (Yarn: orange and yellow handspun)
Dietrich (Yarn: sock-weight feltable yarn from stash)
Sideways Grande Cloche (Yarn: Single skein purple Cascade)

Finished Projects

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  1. You are really doing well with your projects. Love the orange yarn that would really make the jumper pop! Hope you don't have to wait too long for the new needles.

  2. All of your projects look lovely! And the yarn looks soft and fun to work with :-) I haven't heard of your book, but the blurb sounds interesting!

  3. I loved The Luminaries. I hope you enjoy the ending :)

  4. I think I would go orange, just to really make a statement! Wow, you have already got through a lot of knitting! Amazing work. I am looking forward to reading this book too.

  5. Anonymous4:55 pm

    Love both projects and for the V neck raglan I love the orange against the brown I think they will both compliment each other :)

  6. Anonymous5:38 pm

    your projects are looking great... I would have to agree on the orange, they look so good together. It's lovely when you have more than one wip on the go and you are getting differing areas of satisfaction from each. xx

  7. Another vote for the Orange for the sleeves. You are doing so well on your list. A lot of accomplishments for you this year.

  8. Another vote for the Orange for the sleeves. You are doing so well on your list. A lot of accomplishments for you this year.

  9. Lovely knitting. I like raglan, too - so easy and pretty.
    I vote for the orange :-) it will look very vibrant and fun!

  10. I think the orange will pop much more than the green...although I like both colors....I adore the Owls pattern but have yet to try it...

  11. I vote for the orange too! I gasped when I saw it ... :)

  12. I vote orange too. It will be lovely when completed.

  13. I've always wanted to knit the owls, can't wait to see it finished.

  14. Orange. I love that owl design. I like how ppl use different colors which brings out different personalities of the owls.

  15. Owls is fantastic, and so quick. I loved knitting it, although I found sewing on 36 teeny tiny buttons less fun!

  16. Coming along well! Pity about the needles though :-( both those colours will look good with the brown, but the orange will really make it pop!

  17. Beautiful projects and yarns! I love the owl sweater and I like your green and orange yarn you have to go with the brown. I love turquoise but I think I'd stick with the colors you have pretty. The book sounds good but I am trying so hard to read what I have but it is not easy! Like using up yarn stash without buying any new yarn. I can feel a "breakout" coming on both fronts! LOL!