Some things that are unseasonal

Summer’s officially gone here, but in practice, not so much. It’s still been topping 30 degrees on many days over the last week, and even our rainy days are still pretty warm. I’m hoping we get some proper autumn weather soon. Melbourne’s shoulder seasons are utterly gorgeous… in the years that we actually have them. Some years you have weeks and weeks of lovely mild weather, but in others the weather changes from volcanic to chilly depressingly quickly. I’m still crossing my fingers for the former, but right now things are still pretty warm (which is still, admittedly, an improvement on searing).

As is always the case by the end of summer, I’ve got a ton of knitted projects to photograph but very little desire to layer up with wool and sweat my way through however many pictures. This wouldn’t be a problem if I picked seasonal projects like a normal person, but every year I make noises about knitting with summer-appropriate yarns through the hotter months, and pretty much every time I sit there in the 40 degree January heat stubbornly knitting away with wool. So a pile of scarves and jumpers it is. Oh well.

Given my backlog, it would probably make sense to just make a morning of it and photograph everything in one session, getting progressively pinker and sweatier in each picture. But I’m a wimp and while I have excellent intentions to blog more regularly, I do draw the line at courting heatstroke. So instead, I’m tackling a few projects at a time.

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This scarf is the Dragon Wing Cowl (knit version) pattern by Jessie Rayot. I have an unabashed love for a) voluminous scarves and b) things that are a bit angular, so I had to have it. Plus I had the perfect buttons lying around, and the pattern was free. Why fight it?

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I have to confess: I didn’t particularly enjoy knitting this all that much. It wasn’t difficult, but it was a little fiddly keeping track of the rows and increases. Or at least more fiddly than I usually prefer my garter stitch, at any rate. That said, the finishing was super fun and if you pay attention to the pattern you are rewarded with a scarf that looks pretty much exactly as promised (always a good thing). I’m pretty taken with the finished product, and can’t wait until it’s cool enough to wear it.

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This pullover – the aforementioned project that I was clutching even through the worst of the summer heat – was born of my need for something mindless to knit while I played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (yes, yes, it’s a million years old, I know) because as per the last post, I go stir-crazy playing story-heavy RPGs unless I have something to do with my hands while the NPC tells me where the ogre/space ogre is hiding out.

The pattern is Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer. This is actually my second Driftwood, and I have to say that I like it a lot better than my first, mainly just because this time around I made better choices re: buttons and sizing. I’m really pleased with how this came out, and I’m really looking forward to wearing it once the weather starts to cool off a little.

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(stubbornly puffy mess of curls brought to you by humid weather… *sigh*)

The only modifications I made to the pattern were to opt 1) for slightly different waist shaping (decreasing under the bust, rather than going full A-line) and 2) working 1×1 ribbing and tubular bind offs at the edges of the sleeves/body. It’s not altogether obvious in the above photo – the effect is subtle even when you’re looking closely – but I also went for alternating blue and green buttons to match the dark green/blue/black of the yarn.

The only problem is, having finished the above pullover, I’m now wading about in a sea of sketches, rough ideas, swatches and false-start projects when what I really want is something simple and repetitive to knit while I finish playing Witcher 3. I could just cast on some sort of garter stitch scarf, of course, but that’s not really in keeping with my resolution to put a little more thought into my projects and focus on knitting things that I’ll actually wear; I already have plenty of garter stitch scarves.

Hopefully I’ll settle on a project soon; heaven knows I have a massive Ravelry queue, a handful of Pinterest boards, and several good old-fashioned to-knit lists to help me decide. And hey, if the ambitious projects I want to try are not suitable gaming knitting, then I’m sure my love of drapey scarves and tiny gauge will come through and save me somehow!

Finished object: Hickory

So much for my attempts to post regularly. Now living in a house with plenty of blank walls against which to take finished object shots (something sorely lacking from my last place of residence) I had the very best of intentions to post more regularly, but between coming down with glandular fever and my camera dying on me, it didn’t quite turn out that way. Still, better late than never.

I have, at least, actually been doing a great deal of knitting over the last few months. Admittedly it’s been mostly to keep my hands occupied while I play endless hours of Dragon Age, but the point is that I’m knitting, right? So, without further ado, the first in what will hopefully be a string of finished object posts.

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Pattern: Hickory by Cecily Glowik MacDonald

Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12ply.

Colour commentary: I started this so long ago that it’s actually embarrassing. Ravelry suggests it was February 2014 but I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have cast on even earlier than this. Don’t let the dates fool you; this was actually an incredibly fast knit. That I promptly finished and tossed in my wardrobe, having tried it on briefly and deemed it to be unflattering. Not entirely sure what I was thinking, in hindsight.

At any rate, this got plucked out again on a sunny morning in May. I was quite wretchedly hung over but was still required to be social, so I grabbed the nearest knit so I would have something to do while I smiled, nodded and wished ever so fervently that I was still asleep. So I sat on the roof of the house, made polite conversation, and weaved in the last few ends of my Hickory. One blocking later and I realised that I actually liked it after all.

So all’s well that ends well. Or something. It’s a shame it took a blinding hangover to get me there, but it’s a good place to be. Now I’m well and truly won over, I actually wear this all of the time. It’s very practical for layering, and I can wear it over most of the long-sleeved shirts I own. The cowl provides me with a lot of extra warmth around my throat and chest, just where I need it most, and the waist shaping keeps things as flattering as a bulky vest can possibly be. (actually, the other day someone asked if I was wearing a corset underneath. Which was, you know, kind of a strange question, but I’ll assume that it at least indicates that the vest is not horribly shapeless!)

I’m also pathetically grateful to have finally found a home for this yarn. It’s been at least three other projects, but I was never 100% happy with how the slight fuzziness of the yarn was playing out in pattern. I think it works here though; the fuzziness softens everything a bit but the patterned stitches still show through. I’m a bit concerned about future pilling, as I’ve had this issue with BWM Rustic in the past, but we’ll see how we go, I suppose. That’s why we have lint shavers, after all.

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And yes, I needed a haircut very badly when these photos were taken. I fact, I feel I should just issue a general apology for these photos, as they were taken on my camera phone and are really not very good even by my standards. Thankfully, my camera-camera is up and running again, so hopefully we won’t have this problem again for a while!