So, I finished the first Bayerische Sock! I took some pictures a couple of days ago, but 1) it was dark and they didn't turn out so great and 2) my incredibly messy apartment was hiding my camera cable from me. But finally I found the cable, and given the excessively crappy weather we've been having I'm not going to be able to take any pretty well-lit pictures of it any time soon, so I shall post: And it only took me 3 months! Well, 3 1/2. Sigh. It actually looks even better in person. I'm delighted. I've cast on for the second sock but haven't even finished the ribbing yet.
I've cast on for the next sock, but I've also decided on my next/additional project (also in a fiddly smallish gauge -- what is wrong with me?): this Hanami Stole. I just happen to have some laceweight alpaca, and I just happened to see this stole mentioned in this post. (I feel some trepidation for the original poster, who wants to knit a wedding shawl for a friend, and wants it to be a cobweb-weight kind that you can pull through the wedding ring, but doesn't want it to be too difficult/complicated. Best of luck to her, I say!) I've got maybe 15 rows knitted on that so far; I left off the beads, because I just wasn't crazy about them as a design element and I feared that if I went into the bead store I might come out with more than I had bargained for. But it's shaping up really nicely.
The Hanami Stole is supposed to recall falling cherry blossoms, which I like. I have a fond memory of a lovely spring day out with friends strolling around the cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC. For those who are unfamiliar with this part of DC, the trees are in a park on a sort of peninsula out into the Potomac, and you can get quite a long way from the nearest Metro stop while you're walking. Just as we were getting about as far as you could from the Metro, a storm whipped up out of nowhere. It got dark, and the wind was blowing cherry blossoms everywhere (I kept getting them in the mouth), and everyone started running back off the peninsula -- thousands of people, all trying to beat the storm to shelter in the Metro and the museums and things. Long before we made it, it started pouring rain. People were huddling under bridges (just right out in the street), under/up against little monuments and in statue niches and things... it was pretty hilarious (it was a nice warm day, so hypothermia risk was fairly low). I ended up buying a new t-shirt at the Air and Space Museum because I was so soaked. I considered buying new pants, too, but couldn't find any I liked. Anyway, that was a fun day, I thought (and yes, I do also like piña coladas).
Further evidence of my excessively loose knitting: the pattern calls for size 3 American needles. I started the shawl on size 2s, but it was way big, and I went back and re-started on 0s, which seem to be just about small enough. "Making socks?" the woman at A Good Yarn asked. Yes and no, I said.
But take the socks, for example. I have gone down three needle sizes for those socks, from the recommended 2 to 00. And I feel like I'm knitting incredibly tightly! The twisted stitches and frequent cabling on the sock mean that it feels tighter than plain knitting, to the point where sometimes I can hardly squeeze my needle into the stitch! I don't understand how it would be possible to knit to gauge on the size needles recommended, and yet plenty of people seem to have done so. I am clearly freakish.