New needles; and the gears are whirring

My KnitPicks Harmony dpns (double-pointed needles) arrived the other day!  I am SO pleased with them!  Of course, I love the fact that they come six to a package… I prefer wood or bamboo dpns to metal, and they just don’t survive some of the accidental treatment I’ve given them.  Like being shut in a car door.  So even though these laminated wood ones are much stronger than birch, the extra one is good insurance.

An interesting bonus is that they  happen to match my current socks!  How funny is that!

Harmony needles

They have just the right slick (but not too slick) feel, and have excellent points.  I haven’t paid much attention to the points on my needles before this, but was surprised to find that they are just that little bit pointier and make the work seem to flow a little better.

The gears referred to in the title are in my head, busily whirring on a project that I had back-burnered about 3 years ago.  I now have more colors to work with, and am forging ahead with the design process.  Fair warning – it’s going to be a long haul.  This is for a fine-gauge stranded sweater/jacket, and will require lots and lots of design swatches before I’m happy with it and ready to start the real thing.  Here are the colors:

Ithilien colors

The background will shade from the heathery green at the lower left, through the blues to purple and back.  Over this background, I’ll be working a leafy brocade pattern in bronzy heather.  I think I’m going to call this Ithilien – those of you who are familiar with Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy will understand when I say that I think this is something Eowyn might have liked to wear, after the war was over and beautiful, leafy, shadowy Ithilien began to grow again.

The solid yarns are Brown Sheep NatureSpun, and the heathers are KnitPicks Palette.  The suggested gauge is 7 sts/inch.  (I still have to stop and do mental division with the x sts/4 inches thing.)

Here’s one more picture, with a first draft of the brocade chart.  Also, you can see the bronze pin on top of the Brindle Heather yarn – I would have liked the yarn to be just a bit lighter in color, but think this will look fine.

Ithilien chart

So, in spite of the nasty weather outside (spring WILL come, won’t it?) and me recovering from the nasty cough, I am happy with lots of Works In Progress!

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