Right now I have 3 active knitting projects: Icarus, Celtic Tote, and the Two Tone Shrug. While Icarus is getting near to the end of the main body repeats, it still looks pretty much how it has since the last time I posted a photo...only worse because there is a whole lot more of it, so the lace blob stage has officially started.
As for the other two, it is time they showed their pretty little faces here. The Celtic Tote I started back in November using yarns I had in my stash. I fell in love with the pattern as soon as I saw it in the Interweave preview and knew it would be a great cable project to warm up my skills for a cable sweater project that I want to start this season, probably Rogue.
Over the last month and a half, I completed all the knitting on the bag. The cart is very clear and the knitting progresses very quickly...when you actually sit down and work on it. I think there was probably two different evenings when I knit most of the back and the front. The rest of the time, I would pick it up and work a row or two in between holiday projects. So, now I have the sides and bottom piece done as well as two pieces that look basically like this:
I instantly thought that the bag would look great in the Lamb's Pride Worsted Oregano that I had and when I noticed the Kiwi also in my stash, I thought that this would serve as a chance to work up the pattern in a little different color scheme...namely, with light cable accent embroidery, rather than dark. Now, I LOVE the original, I think it is a great use of color to bring out the feel of well aged leather and if I had bought the yarn for the project, I probably would have used exactly what the designer did. However, since I was inspired by my stash, I thought what the heck?
Now, I was full anticipating to use the Kiwi while I knit up the body pieces, however, when I actually started the embroidery, the vivid green of the Kiwi, actually got lost.
Now could I continue with the Kiwi? Yes. But it just wasn't popping like I wanted it to. So, I took my colorist, B, to a local LYS and we searched their wool options and came up with a couple alternatives (my pick and B's pick). I will tell you right now that what I've ended up with (B's pick) will probably shock you and represents an entirely different interpretation of the pattern. And as was my initial reaction (as well as everyone who has seen the color choices and the samples), you will probably not like it when you first see it. But as is usually the case, B knows what he's talking about when it comes to color. And sure enough, he was right and his choice has won over everyone who has seen the options. Given this, I've decided to wait and show the new color once the bag is done...so stayed tuned!
As for the Two Tone Shrug, I bought the yarn for this project over the summer and have pulled it out, swatched, petted it and put it back about 3 times since then. But, in my search for a good travel project (it has to be super easy DK/worsted stockinette for me or I get motion sick) for a road trip to Las Vegas after Christmas, I pulled it all back out again.
The body is Manos in "Moss" (112) and the accent is Coffee (or chocolate, as I call it). I worked almost all the body on the way to vegas (or at least until the sun went down) and did the sleeves and contrast sleeve trim on the way back. I then picked up the stitches and started the body ribbing prior to going back to work after New Years.
I haven't been able to work on it since then because of my hands...too much typing at the office and not enough knitting rest over the holiday break have left my hands in sorry shape. Unfortunately, I can't stop typing at the office, but I can stop knitting, so I've just been embroidering since the beginning of January. The good news is that my hands are doing better and with nightly icings and knitting rest, they are *almost* back to normal. It should only take a couple evenings more knitting to finish up this quick project and it should serve as a great accessory once it warms again.