Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hats?

How did I wind up knitting twelve hats this year? I guess it makes sense, since most are for the baby, but that's still a lot of hats. Especially since I've got at least a dozen more hat patterns printed out and for Christmas I got yarn to make the Cross Country Chullo from the new issue of Knitty. That one shouldn't count, though, because it's more of an excuse to play with color and learn something new than a hat I expect to wear. And most of the rest are baby hats. Some for Quinn, and some for the special care nursery.

I also knitted four scarves, a sweater and two jackets for the baby, a cute little dress that will wind up on Alex's favorite baby doll, a baby blanket, a couple of pairs of booties, five scarves, a little red summer top for me, three bags, four sweaters for the big kids...about 35 finished knitting projects at all.

I'm going to attempt some bigger, more complex projects in 2005. And socks. I've turned a heel by blindly following the pattern, and grown comfortable with my dpns. The next step should be making something that actually fits the foot it's intended for.

Yarn and patterns for quite a few exciting projects are ready and waiting for me to cast on, and I'm coveting the yarn for a couple more.

Can't wait to get started!

Michelle

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

When I read a post last year from a knitter who planned to rip out ever project that she hadn't finished by the end of the year, I was horrified. How could anyone knit happily with that kind of deadline looming ahead? My memory's not that great - maybe she planned to leave a project or two on the needles. But reading her scary plan conjured up images of dismal Novembers and Decembers, where you couldn't start anything new because it might not be finished by the time the clock struck midnight.

Now I'm thinking it might not be such a bad idea to make some of my WIPs disappear. Like the cabled baby hat I was fighting with last night. It's almost done. What's left to do isn't difficult, just annoying. But in just a couple of minutes I could make it all disappear back into a neat ball of yarn. I wouldn't have to sew the seams, or worry about whether or not it's actually going to look cute on Quinn's little head. It could just go away. So could the cardigan and shawl I started while I was on bedrest and in the hospital. I don't feel like working on them at all lately.

If I did frog the shawl and cardigan, I'd still have the yarn and I'd still have invested the money in them, so I'd have lingering guilt. Guess I'll hang onto them both until I either feel like finishing, or find something more exciting to do with the yarn.

Michelle

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Today, I'm mourning a Christmas present that could have been. I wasn't going to knit anything for my sister this year. Well, I was going to try the ear muff thingies from Knitty, but made the mistake of showing my mom the pattern first and letting her convince me they were dumb and then I just went out and bought a decorative thing and promised myself I'd have time to do something really good next year. Last year, I made her a Booga Bag, which she liked.

So I went over to Mom's yesterday, and she had the scarf I knitted last year lying on the counter. Stacey saw her wearing it when they went out the day before and asked if I'd knitted it. She's apparently expecting a knitted present -- and excited about it. ACK! How many days do I have left?!

I cast on a scarf for her this morning, using the same pattern I used for Mom's, but if I would've known even a couple of days sooner, I could've done something better -- like an Irish Hiking Scarf with matching wrist warmers. I'm actually fighting the urge to go buy some yarn and try to pull it off in the 2 1/2 days I've got left.

THIS is what happens when you pay attention to stupid posts from people who say giving knitted gifts is selfish. And ask other family members if they think a particular project is a good idea. I'm really glad Stace wants something knitted. I'm going to do the best I can with the yarn I've got and the little time I have left and, next year, I won't let other people convince me not to follow my instincts.

Michelle


Friday, December 10, 2004

I'm not done!

I've been reading the year end inventory posts on the knitlist, and all I can think is that the year isn't over yet -- I've got time to finish lots more! I've still got Christmas presents to knit, and Quinn's little head is getting bigger so he needs more hats, and I really desperately want a pair of wrist warmers like these or the long fingerless gloves here. I could finish at least two or three more things, I'm sure of it!

Mom's Christmas Scarf is done. The ends are woven in and it's washed and blocked and looks a lot better than I thought it would. Quinn's Baby Born jacket is done, and not nearly as cute as I'd hoped. The yarn is way too bulky for something that tiny. But it was a learning experience. Now I know that I can manage real, shaped sleeves and armholes, and that 2 stitches to the inch is not a good choice for a newborn. No matter how cute the jacket looked in the pattern photo.

Michelle

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I was so close to having a wonderful new project to start.

There are lots of things in the new issue of Knitty that I'm drooling over. Especially Tempting. It's got ribs, it's knit in the round, I understand how to join the pieces together, and it's absolutely darling.

I found some inexpensive yarn online in a color I love, not that I should really order any new stuff after that splurge a few days ago. Then I realized that there might be enough of that black kid mohair mom found, the other day. There is -- almost to the yard -- and I can get the right gauge. It's soft and luscious, but a little stiff...Maybe it'll soften up after washing. There isn't enough black to wash a swatch, but I could try one of the other colors and see what it does. At this point, I'm ignoring that little inner voice that warms me I may be trying to make the impossible work. If there isn't quite enough black, I can add a narrow band of teal to the top. Or I can check my measurements and probably subtract a little from the length, since I'm short...

That was when I looked at the picture and the bare shoulders finally registered. I'd have to buy a strapless bra because I hate the one I have. I'm pretty sure they don't make strapless nursing bras. If this do, I don't want one.

This project is going to have to wait at least a year. Darn!

Michelle

Friday, December 03, 2004

I've been in one of those "I want new yarn to play with" moods. It's not that I need the yarn...having new goodies is just so fun! Mom and the kids and I have been planning a trip up to Fabric Depot for their monthly 30% off sale for months, but things kept happening to make us cancel. Today was our last chance until at least April, and I've been on pins and needles waiting for something to mess up this trip.

We had a near miss when dh totally destroyed a tire on his way to work and I wound up standing by the side of the road at 5:45am with a screaming baby, waiting for him to put on the spare so I could drive it home and he could take the Durango to work.

But the day got better. :-) Mom showed up with thrift store treasure -- 1100 yards of kid mohair (mostly black along with gold and teal and some other yummy colors) that were part of a vest kit. The ten year old invoice for $76 was still in the box, which she paid $2.50 for. And she had 960 yards of wine colored wool, a skein of nice red acrylic/wool blend, and a ton of old acrylic -- some of it too icky even for me, but it was in the $2 bag with the wool. Heath can cut it up.

And I think Fabric Depot has just about every Lion Brand yarn there is -- including the black Wool-ease for the Knit One tank which I can't get here in town. I found couple of yarns I hadn't tried before (Red Heart Hokey Pokey and TLC Wiggles) to make baby sweaters and some really nice looking cotton to make a shawl for Mom. (I can't do it by Christmas, but maybe for Mother's day!) It was so hard to be good and remind myself that they do this every month.

Then we stopped at the Pendleton Mill End store, where they've got Encore and Canadiana in a zillion different colors.

I'm overwhelmed with yarn today, and thoroughly enjoying it. :-)

Michelle

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I need a knitted clock.

I finally got my hands on a copy of Knit 1, and now I want a knitted clock to hang here in my little alcove. It's got to be red, but not the same red as the sock yarn I already have -- that'd be far too easy!

I also want to knit the black k1 tank and one of those huge hoodies -- but not with Homespun, because that wouldn't be nice to knit or to wear. Alex's hooded sweater had a purpose after all! I was able to learn that I don't like knitting with Homespun and don't like the way it looks after it's been worn a few times without investing in a big project for myself. There has to be some other wonderful fluffy stuff out there that I can substitute. And hopefully afford.

When I was in the hospital, I got the idea of knitting a ribbed baby gown. I've got a very clear picture of it in my mind, and think I've figured out how the construction would work.

I pulled out the pieces of baby sweater I finished knitting a couple of months ago, then couldn't assemble because the leftover yarn is in a safe but forgotten place. I was just going to hold it up to Quinn and guess at how it would fit, but the pieces had really long yarn tails. Long enough to manage all of the seams! And it fits great, so I've got the measurements for my baby gown. What I don't have is enough skeins of the same color.

This morning my little guy is wearing his cute little sweater that fits better than most of his store bought stuff. I feel like a very good mommy.

Michelle
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