I was going to call this post 'purple reign' but murasaki (Japanese for purple I believe) is such a lovely word. A new year and I have three purple lace(y) knitting projects on my hands:
Swallowtail shawl - damn that shawl percentage calculator! I truly thought that with the 19 budding lace repeats finished that I was halfway through the shawl. Turns out I was wrong. After having been busy with this baby since late November 2008, I have finally worked out how to read the charts for the lily of the valley border. Frankly, in the download currently available, I think that it is badly laid out. Anyway, after having puzzled over how to approach the border it finally clicked when I sat down to start on it today. And with understanding came the realisation that there are 22 rows in the border which is about double what my initial calculations had allowed for. So there are way more rows. So I'm only 30% of the way through! On the bright side (and there usually is one) the shawl will be larger than I had expected which I am happy about. There will be a separate, long and boring post about nupps.
Baudelaire - a bit neglected, poor things. When I last worked on them it was to remedy a whole lot of frogging that occurred after the discovery of a couple of dropped stitches. All very traumatic. I have now completed the heel on the first sock and it's time to just knit right on up the leg but I've still got a bit of a mental block about it (must have moved there from the swallowtail shawl).
Fern glade - had I mentioned this yet? In my ongoing search for something to keep my head warm that is not a beanie I cast on for this a week or so ago. It's going well, almost all of the eight repeats completed. The lace pattern is great - there are yarn-overs and decreases every row and it certainly does make for a more pronounced and textural knit. You can also get sharper angles when you decrease on every row.
I cast on for the slouchy version (120 stitches) but I am using some recycled purple yarn (100% lambswool from a J Crew sweater) and I expect getting a tighter gauge than called for so it is presently pretty snug. I'm hoping that a good blocking will help to slouch it out. This is one of the challenges/adventures of knitting with recycled yarn for me - I'm never quite sure of the gauge and while you certainly can knit with two strands of the yarn together if you need something thicker, what if you need something in between? Sure, you could knit a gauge swatch but really ... Oh well, I guess that you just make do and improvise and learn along the way.
I'm expecting fern glade to be finished pretty quickly and next on my practical knitting list is the Flip Your Lid Diamond Mittens (Ravelry link) for Tim. Recycled yarn - a nice soft grey J Crew sweater (again - their lambswool sweaters fill the thrift stores). It's currently knitting up at 30 stitches to 10cm on 3.5mm needles and the pattern calls for 36 stitches so I might go down to 3mm and see how that goes. No, no, I haven't cast on for them yet, I've done a gauge swatch. See, I said that I'm learning.