Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ravelympic Jellyfish

I, too, have joined the Ravelympics. (If you know what Ravelry is, then you know what the Ravelympics are. Everybody's joined up.) I gave myself two projects: a felted purse of my own design out of Brown Sheep Top o' the Lamb, and a pair of Albuquerque Gloves, a pattern which has gotten almost no attention as far as I can see but deserves more. They aren't my style, per se, but they will be loved by the person who gets them, and the colors are gorgeous, and the yarn was affordable.

Here's the first one, almost half done as of this morning (courtesy of a borrowed digital camera that, unlike mine, works):

Is it just me, or do the dangly bits of loose ends look like the stinging tentacles of a jellyfish?

Fortunately, these don't sting. In theory, I won't even have to sew all of them in when I'm done, because the pattern recommends weaving each end in with the floats of the colors currently in play, as you go.

I hope I'm glad about that when I'm done, because it's irritating as all get-out to fiddle with them now.

Stranded colorwork, by the way, is not for beginners. If you were wondering. After a lot of experimenting and gnashing of teeth and massaging of knuckles and some help from a video at Sticks and String, I think I've figured out my own ideosyncratic way of carrying two colors in my right hand. That made a big difference. If you're considering trying stranded colorwork for the first time, however, I strongly recommend the Fake Isle Hat as a starter project.

If you've done some stranded colorwork yourself, care to share with me in the comments section how you prefer to start/stop new colors? Is there a better way to go?

My second project, that felted purse I mentioned up above, has not yet reached the needles. "It's all locked safe up here," as Will said in Shakespeare in Love. Ravelympics aside, I have a late-September deadline for both projects, because we're having another silent auction for the New Mexico volunteer trip I took part in last year.

Therein lies the connection: the gloves are Navajo- and Pueblo-themed. The Brown Sheep yarn for the purse I purchased (for wicked cheap!) at a trading post on the Reservation last year, and I'm imagining a design that uses this traditional Navajo motif. Which will require more stranded colorwork and possibly even intarsia, but a girl's gotta have a challenge, right? I don't have the proper colors for a true version of that pattern, but the ladies and gents of Austin, Texas are not likely to mind.

That's it for me! How are your Ravelympic projects coming?


meg said...

I usually tie the floater bits in lightly to the color beneath it, and let them dangle. When I'm finished knitting the whole thing, then I untie the knots and weave in the ends with the floating strands. I find that's easier than juggling multiple colors and trying to work in the ends at the same time.

Sally Comes Unraveled said...

I'm doing Center Square from Knitty as a first stranded knitting project. (I don't think it's technically fair isle. It's sort of like the whole Champagne vs Sparkling Wine thing.) It's another good first stranding project.

I had considered trying to do both yarns in one hand. Right now I'm trying to do it the traditional way, one color in my right and one color in my left.