Finished my Minimalist Cardigan and am overall pretty pleased with it. It fits really well except in the shoulder area where the arm seams fall too far over my actual shoulder and make it look a bit schlumpy. This has been a chronic issue for me with sweaters as to get the bust measurement I need, the shoulder area is usually far too big. At least with a top-down I know how to remedy the issue, but I have to learn how to alter armholes for other sweater types. One of these days, I need to buy a good book on sweater construction and learn how to do more aggressive altering. As I said though, I am happy with it and can't wait for it to be a bit cooler so I can wear my sweater around more.
After finishing my Minimalist, I decided to finally use the skein of Jade Sapphire Maju Silk I purchased on one of my last two trips back home at MIL's shop of choice, The Knitting Tree. As I had only 85 yards, I made a modified version of Elizabeth Miller's "Little Green Clutch" from Interweave's Holiday issue this past year. I was pretty happy until I got to the actual finishing part. If I make the pattern again, I'm altering the finishing directions so that the ucky looking seams are on the inside where they belong and my bag has a more neat appearance. Also, I think the order given to sew in the zipper and lining should be done differently to make it easier to make it all nice and neat, rather then after the knitting was seamed to make the actual bag. As a small bag to hold knitting accessories, it works just fine. Not sure I'd buy the yarn ever again as it was shedding quite a bit as I knit and wasn't the easiest to work with. Very pretty though and I love to admire the sheen. Hey, I even found a use for a fat quarter of my quilting fabric stash that had a shade of teal that matched the yarn perfectly. Look Mom, I used fabric! Right before midmonth and our trip, I started the pattern for the first TOFUtsies yarn I purchased from Yarnmarket over a year ago. This is the yarn that started my obsession and love affair with TOFUtsies limited edition colors. It is all the more lovely in person, especially the stockinette sections of the socks. The first sock, I erred on the side of making it a bit too short again, but on the second one, I think I finally figured out where to start the toe decreases. As the yarn stretches with wear, I'm not worried and the two fit just fine. After they're on, no one is any the wiser. Working this pattern cemented an aesthetic philosophy for me: intricate patterns need plain yarn to highlight their beauty and beautiful varigated yarn deserves a more simple pattern to show off its colorway. Try to mix the two and you end up with a sock that you can't see the pattern for nor truly appreciate the yarn. Just my humble lil' opinion, but I think I'm going to stick to it in the future. I'd like to use this pattern again in the future, but in a plain yarn so you can really see the intricate pattern and the way the ribbing branches and the shapes it makes.
And finally, it's the yarn from the last post. Last night, I took the plunge and gathered all my courage to start my Wicked cardigan. Today, I had to fight with myself for almost a half hour to actually cut the yarn and start the second ball. I had some serious anxiety about it, as silly as that sounds. So far, so good and I'm already almost twice as far as the picture shows. Would have been further along, but I realized 4 rows after the ribbing that I had completely spaced bringing the three twisty ribs down the fronts where the button bands will be. Being the genius I am at times, I thought it surely could not take longer to drop all the stitches down four rows and pick them back up then it would take to rip everything out and reknit. Note to self: ripping would have gone much faster and had neater results. Lesson learned.