So, the Year of Projects has been underway for just over a week, and hopefully today will see the start of a flood of update posts as everyone involved starts sharing their progress! Head on over to the thread in our Ravelry forum to see the links as they go up for this week's updates.
Somewhat unbelievably, some people (Sue, I'm looking at you here!) have already started posting finished objects! Insanely quick. But, for the most part, these immediate finishes are all relatively small projects.
My first projects on the list are not so small. I always intended to work one knit and one crochet project side by side, but most of this first week has been taken up with my first knit, the Easy Lace Stole.
Ok, I've made more progress than that. But I don't have a more recent photo, as things have been quite hectic here this week. It's about six inches long now.
I've cast on more stitches than specified by the pattern, as it reckoned blocked width would be 10" and I wanted something a bit wider. I am aware that when I block it, it will get narrower as it gets longer, so I've gone for two extra width repeats, which will hopefully give me a couple of extra inches of width when it's blocked.
So far, I'm not having too many troubles. I've got the hang of the simple lace pattern, there are only 4 different stitches to master (knit, purl, yarn over and the most complicated, sl1-k2tog-psso); I am having no difficulties whatsover with the circular needles, in fact I have far more problems with my straights! And after crocheting with crochet thread, the laceweight yarn is causing me no problems at all.
My main worry with this project is that it's going to take for ever. And I'm really excited about starting my other knitting projects, but am meant to be doing them in the correct order, for skills progression.
My first crochet project is under time pressure. The Sweet Pea Shawl is intended to be part of my outfit for a friend's wedding on August 6th. The pattern is in the Happy Hooker book as well as directly downloadable from the pattern website here, for $6.50.
I've chosen to use King Cole Bamboo Cotton, which is a dk weight yarn. As the pattern is written for an aran weight yarn, I've had to make some adjustments, increasing the length of the starting chain to ensure my shawl is wide enough to wrap around me.
I also had some trouble finding the pattern, as I lent my Happy Hooker book to a colleague, and am not sure where it is at present. Either she gave it back to me and I've lost it at home, or she still has it. I couldn't wait any longer to start, so when we popped to Hobbycraft last weekend to pick up some spray paint for Jamie, I went to the craft book section and surrepticiously photographed the relevant sections of the pattern in the copy on the shelf. As I already own the book, I don't think that was particularly naughty of me! I just needed to get started ASAP.
The pattern itself is easy enough to memorise, it's only two rows. My main problems so far are stemming from the fact that it's black, so the stitches are hard to see once the daylight goes, and the yarn is quite splitty, which is rather irritating. It's a shame, because otherwise the yarn is beautifully soft and silky, and I just know when I finish it, the shawl is going to look awesome.
I have special plans to finish this project off; I'm not going to put tassles on it as I have something far more creative in mind. I shall tell you all about it when I've figured out how to do it and got it to work!