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A little less than a week ago, I started my Camp Loopy project for July. July’s challenge is to knit a popular pattern that you have never knit before. Since I’ve knit very few popular patterns (I do not pay enough attention to the knitting trends, so I’m usually two or three years behind the bandwagons), I had a lot to choose from.

I decided to knit the Tempest Cardigan by Ann Weaver. I’m using Dream In Color Smooshy yarn in the colors Charged Cherry (a cranberry) and Rosalita (a pink), so I’ll have a nice tonally striped sweater.

Guys, I have never knit anything so fast in my life, I swear.

This was where I was on late Monday evening:

Untitled

Fifteen rows done, not too shabby

This is where I am now:

yarma

That’s a back and one and a half fronts done!

Seriously. This sweater is just flying. As long as I can keep from procrastinating on the sleeves (Ugh, sleeves), it’s definitely going to be done by the end of July. I don’t know if it’s the stripes or the fact that I really love the yarn, or the fact that it’s a pretty easy pattern (Straight stockinette with some increases, some decreases, and shaping that I modified to be shortrows instead of bind offs) so I can take it basically everywhere, but I’ve never had a sweater work up so fast.

It’s like magic. It’s the opposite of the knitting black hole. I feel knitting charmed right now.

(Now let’s hope that my happiness doesn’t totally cause a knitting meltdown where everything is ruined.)

I haven’t forgotten about you all.  Or about the my Liebster nominations that I need to post. It’s just that I’m at Stitches West and I am terribly exhausted. But once I get back there will be nominations and a recap and all sorts of things!

On Sunday, I went on a huge finishing binge. I finished four works in progress. Granted, all three of them needed was ends woven in and blocking, but still, I actually finished four things! I present to you the list of all the things I finished.

I finished my Roosimine socks (finally!). All they required was weaving in ends, so it’s a little sad that I didn’t finish them earlier. In case you haven’t gathered, weaving in ends is not my favorite thing. But they are done and so very cute. I knit them out of Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the colors Cherry Fizz and Chocolatier.

Roosimine Socks

My favorite way to do colorwork

I finished my Echeveria Socks, which I knit out of Knitpicks Stroll Tonal in the color Springtime and in the undyed yarn. This was a mystery knitalong, which meant that I didn’t know what the finished socks would look like. But I really like them. And they were a really fun knit–there was cabling and colorwork, so I definitely did not get bored.

Echeveria Socks

These socks make me think of spring. I love this green.

I finished my Vertebrae Cardigan, which is an adorable frontless sweater. I made it for my adorable nephew. I get to see him when I go up to Stitches West, so I really wanted to finish it so I could give it to him. It’s knit out of Classic Elite Liberty Wool, in the Majestic Mountains colorway. I really like how it looks; it reminds me of those Southwest style mountain paintings.

Vertebrae Cardigen

The front

Vertebrae Cardigan

The back. I love how the colors turned out

And last, but not least, I finished my Celestarium. I know I said that I would finish it on Thursday night, but I miscalculated a little bit. The edging row was actually an applied, five-stitch wide garter stitch border. Meaning that for each stitch around the shawl (576 stitches for those of you keeping count), I had to knit 10 stitches (five on the right side and five on the wrong sides). Meaning that last row was 5760 stitches, the equivalent of ten rows of knitting.

I didn’t finish until very early Saturday morning.

But it’s done and so, so, so pretty. It’s made of Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Volga. The color variations knit up in such a way that it looks like when they take time-lapse photos of the sky and the stars all kind of smear (kind of like this.) I am so happy with it.

Celestarium

The whole shawl

Celestarium

Closeup

So now, the only thing I have on the needles is my ‘Olina socks, which is an odd situation for me. But that’s okay, because I have done literally NONE of my homework for Stitches West. So guess what I’m doing tonight and tomorrow.

I could not write on Thursday. By Thursday night, I had not seen the sun for four days, I had been working at least nine hours every day, and I knew the only thing that would let me get through Friday was if I spent Thursday night curled up on the couch, drinking wine, knitting, and watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind. So I did.

And Friday, in light of what happened, it didn’t seem okay to write about knitting and wine and how lovely it is to finally see the sun. So I didn’t. I was too heartbroken to pretend that nothing was wrong. I came home and hugged my love and we spent a quiet evening seeing our friend’s folk band play at a coffee shop. I got a fair amount of knitting done on the secret project for the person who reads this blog and I wove in the ends of the baby kimono.

Red baby sweater!

That’s right, it’s done, except for the ribbon button backing and the buttons. So there’s no way it won’t be done for Christmas. I’m quite happy with it. I’m always surprised when I’m knitting a garment and I finally seam it up into it’s real shape and it’s so small! This sweater felt huge when I was knitting it and I kept thinking, “That’s okay, he’s a baby. Babies only get bigger and they never get smaller.” But now that it’s done I’m thinking he really won’t have to wait terribly long to wear it. I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out, but next time I think I will do the sleeves in the round. I hate sewing seams and I know that I hate seaming, so I don’t know why I persist in knitting sleeves flat when I could knit them in the round and eliminate that seaming part.

Today, after guild meeting, I went to Concepts in Yarn & Needlepoint, because they were selling some of their cashmere for 50% off. I had never been to this store before. It was a moderately frustrating experience. The store has a lot of inventory, when is great. But it is poorly organized and a lot of stuff did not have prices on it. They do have a price sheet book hanging up by the needles, but I really shouldn’t have to go look up the price every time I find a yarn I think I like.

I did get some of this though:

Pink and Green Cashmere yarn!

Isn’t it pretty? This is the first 100% cashmere yarn I have ever bought for myself. And let me tell you, there is a reason cashmere is the holy grail for knitters. It is so wonderfully soft. I’m going to make it into something lovely, let me tell you.

I also picked up some fingering weight wool (no pictures because it’s really not that exciting) to do Latvian mittens with. I have lately become OBSESSED with colorwork mittens, particularly Latvian ones with the braids and the motifs. I’m 99% certain that I am ordering that book and am going to drive myself either into fits of ecstasy or the depths of craziness knitting them. I’m not sure what I will do with them after I knit them. There is really no need for stranded colorwork wool mittens where I live.

I will admit that lately I’m colder more often than I have been in past years. Either my blood has thinned and I have become weak about the weather or the issues I have keeping my iron levels up have finally caught up with me. Maybe I do need some mittens.