And now, I can finally post some pictures of the silk shrug I'm knitting for my old LYS. It's a Blue Sky Alpacas pattern and is knit in their sportweight Alpaca & Silk. Here's a picture of the pattern:
And here's a picture of some skeins of the yarn - the color is Kiwi, a soft green:
And finally, here's a picture of the progress I made on the first day next to some wound balls of Alpaca & Silk. I love the little dumpling-shaped balls ball-winders make!
It was such a rush to look through the several suggestions that the yarn store proprietor made, choose one that appealed to me and leave with a bag of yarn, some Addi Turbos, and a pattern. I can't believe I never thought to ask before whether my LYS needed someone to knit up samples. It's such an ideal situation. I love knitting, but I rarely wear the products. With sample knitting, I get the enjoyment of knitting, feel no guilt when I don't end up using the sweater/scarf/socks/hat I spent hours and hours on, and get store credit. The only downside is the quick turnaround time. She wants the sample in 2-4 weeks and I tend to knit much more slowly than that.
But when I get excited about a new project, I can work on it almost continously. I'm about 2/3 of the way through I think. I have the body and one sleeve done. What remains is the other sleeve and the knitted on ribbed border. I'm already thinking about what I want to knit next for her!
Thoughts on the yarn: I like the look of the yarn in a skein - elegant and very inviting, plus the cute, smiling alpaca on the rustic looking tag is very appealing. However, knitting with it and having the project in my lap has reconfirmed my earlier misgivings towards alpaca. It's very warm (and heavy) and a bit itchy. The times when my knitting brushed up against my skin, the poke of a stray fiber made me wonder how anyone can wear alpaca without the benefit of a protective turtleneck. That said, I do like the colors that the alpaca & silk comes in. They're very understated, but not bland at all and would enhance any wardrobe.
The last photo I'll post for today is a cardigan I think I will finally call done - my Artfibers oodle cardigan. The yarn is oodle from Artfibers - a thin, handdyed cotton ribbon. The gauge is about 28 sts/4 inches and the colors are exquisite. My sweater is in the deep brown, violet, russet colorway.
It's been languishing in my not-yet-finished pile for months because the button bands curled excessively due to a combination of the yarn's natural drapiness and my inexpert button band knitting job. I didn't adhere to the standard practice of knitting the button band (which is knitted separately and then sewn on) at a slighly shorter length than the length of the cardigan. This prevents floppiness and general band ickiness. To compensate, I tried to sew on a grossgrain ribbon facing which only partially worked. I have sewn and undone that damn ribbon 5 times before finally conceding partial defeat. The band still hangs a bit funny, but I am declaring this cardigan finished. Now, I hope I actually wear this. The fit's a bit close, but comfortable. I was trying to knit myself a throw-over-my-shoulders-casually cardigan, a staple cardigan, a favorite cardigan.