Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I missed Thanksgiving

Actually, I lost an entire week to the nasty bug that made the rest of the family kind of sick but sent me and #4 to the hospital. Twice. My Thanksgiving dinner was two liters of IV fluid and a cup of chicken broth. Bill and the kids got something from a convenience store. The turkey is still in the fridge, hopefully still safe enough to cook. I've got to call the Butterball hotline and see what they think.

And while I was missing that, I missed most of Knit Unto Others. I'd hoped to do a bunch of premie hats, but only managed one before I got sick and two more once the nausea passed enough for me to try knitting again. I'll do a few more when my Christmas knitting is done -- or after Christmas, when I run out of gift knitting time.



My back issues of InKnitters got here the other day, and I'm so glad I ordered the set. I did wind up with one I already have, but the others are new-to-me and even though I've barely glanced through one of them, there are at least three projects besides the baby bunting I ordered it for that I want to try. And I think I've got suitable yarn for all of them!

I can see how I missed the baby bunting when this issue was on the stands. The picture in the table of contents is tiny, and hidden in the fold next to the staples. And it's not nearly as cute in the magazine as the picture on the designer's home page, which triggered the whole pattern hunt. None of the four projects I want to knit are visible on the table of contents page, either not clearly or not at all. Makes me wonder what else I've been missing as I quickly flip through the knitting magazines in the grocery store.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Knit Unto Others

My plan is to knit premie hats for the Special Care Nursery at the local hospital, five before the end of the KAL and another five before baby #4 is born at the end of February. I've been meaning to knit them hats for a little over a year now, so hopefully this will get me motivated!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Working on my WIPs

Despite two spectacular mistakes -- how could I first manage to knit the right side rows on the wrong side and then, only a few hours later, manage to graft the wrong sides together? -- the blue lace scarf is done, except for blocking. I haven't figured out where to spread it out yet. The sewing room or attic, probably, I just need to get up there and get it done while the kids are all occupied.

The Cape Cod socks are still coming along, the Lacy Kerchief Scarf is waiting for me to have some peaceful time to spend with it, and the cardigan is still shoved in a dark corner. I've got thoughts that I should finish it before the end of the year, but not enough motivation to actually pull it out and cast on for the sleeves.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Socks!

This has got to be one of the neatest things I've seen on a knitting blog. FIFTY SEVEN pairs of hand knit socks all laid out together in a gorgeous ring...I obviously need more sock yarn if I'm ever going to have that many wonderful socks. It does not matter that I hardly ever wear socks. If I had socks that pretty, I'd wear them. Even if I didn't wear them, they'd provide me with lots of hours of stress relieving creative time. Which I need.

I can't buy pretty sock yarn, so I'll work on using up what I've already got. That way if the house ever sells, I'll have a good reason to buy more.



This is the first of the Cape Cod (Knitpicks Sock Landscape) socks. Instead of the basketweave pattern I had in mind but kept avoiding, I'm using the Waterfall Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks and thoroughly enjoying myself. This stuff is turning out to be just as nice to knit with as it felt in the skein. Hard to believe that three days ago all that was done was the toe shaping.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I know better

Every time I cut down on my WIP list without starting new projects to take the place of the ones I've finished, I regret it. Especially when I finish all of the easy stuff and leave myself with nothing I can just pick up and knit away on while I watch the baby play. Starting new projects is never as easy as it seems like it should be. I spent a couple of hours swatching to see if I can use my Opal crocodile yarn for a baby sweater (with a pattern that calls for almost identical yarn)...couldn't get the gauge right. Cast on for a lace pattern dishcloth to see if I liked the pattern enough to make a shawl in it....frogged after it was obvious that the thing was going to be huge.

I still don't have a decent baby watching project. Instead I've got the Lacy Kerchief Scarf (Interweave Knits, Summer 2005).



Love the pattern, love the yarn (TLC Cotton Plus I originally bought for a Honeymoon Cami), love the knitting....but I'm not going to be able to play with this one unless the kids are asleep or really occupied with something. I'm actually knitting lace from a chart!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Having the washer and dryer on the porch makes laundry a much bigger project, especially now that it's so darn cold out there. But I braved the elements this afternoon to wash and dry the Euroflax Stole, and it didn't fall apart in the process. No pictures, because the kids move it as fast as I stretch it out to dry and it's going to need more competent blocking later. For now, it's softer and drapier, and I'm a lot happier with it. The color doesn't go with any of my maternity stuff, so it'll be a while before I get to wear it.

I've spent most of the rest of the day knitting and have high hopes for this evening. Quinn's finally got socks that fit --



He won't keep them on his feet, but I guess I can carry them around as proof that my little guy does have something to keep his feet warm, even if he doesn't seem to want them that way.

Sensational Knitted Socks came home from the library with me last night and after a quick glance through it, I'm thinking this may be the sock book I have to own. Lots of neat stitch patterns, adjustable by size and yarn type.... wonder if I can test the stitch patterns out on toddler socks....

Monday, November 07, 2005

I love this little hat!



It's Julia's Hat from the 2006 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar (September 6), and I knit it up with the Knitpicks Dancing left over from those weirdly striped socks. I like this stuff much better as a garter stitch baby hat. It's cushy and stretchy and when I can, I plan to order enough of the yarn for a whole little baby sweater. Hopefully that will be while #4 is still tiny!

And just as much as I love the yarn, I love the pattern. It's worked in short row wedges with bobbles and fringe (which don't show up well in my picture, but trust me, they're cute!) formed by casting on and binding of stitches. I can see myself using up a lot of leftover sock yarn on these. There's also a toddler size, so I'll have to make one for Quinn.

I don't hate this as much as I did last week...



After knitting and knitting and knitting and making absolutely no progress at all, I flew through the final skein and it's almost done. I just have to weave in the last few ends and wash and block it. The ends I'll do if Quinn naps long enough. The blocking will wait until I find out why there isn't any heat in our house today. Right now, it's too cold to want to mess with anything wet.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

When she was good she was very good, but when she was bad she was horrid....

Why isn't it possible to cheat on my yarn diets just a tiny bit? For me, it's all or nothing. After posting to the knitlist to see if anyone could tell me what yarn and needles I'd need for the baby bunting and finding out that all I really need is the pattern, I'd pretty much convinced myself it would be perfectly reasonable to order the magazine. It's for the baby, after all, and #4 deserves something special and wonderful that was made just for him or her. As opposed to the things I've been making for Quinn that keep turning out too small because I get so caught up in the whole "making things for my babies" mood and don't bother to read the size information until I'm halfway through the project.

Then we went to Walmart to do the grocery shopping and I had to walk through the yarn aisle just to see if the brands they carried came in good baby bunting colors, just in case I didn't have 800 yards of something good already. Not because I was going to buy anything. The yarn is next to the fabric. And the Halloween prints -- and the wonderful autumny stuff -- was fifty cents a yard. Baby will need a little car seat quilt with ghosts and brightly colored moons and stars. I needed the prints with pumpkins and candy corn and leaves. And it was one of those "now or never" things.

I guess I'm going to have to feel guilty about the magazine and work really hard to keep myself in line for a while. Or haul something else to grandma's antique mall. She just sold the absolute ugliest painting on the planet -- the one that I was ready to haul to the dump because it was too bad even for Goodwill -- for eighteen bucks. The thing didn't even have a frame. She tells me she can get quite a bit for the bench by the front porch (which has friends just like it in the barn and garage, so it wouldn't be a loss) and the lamp in my sewing room. Converting the junk the sellers left behind into yarn is fun -- probably the next best thing to finding an old spinning wheel hiding in a dark corner.

The library books I reserved are starting to trickle in. Last trip, I came home with Knitting Over the Edge (lots of neat possibilities in there!), That Dorky Homemade Look - Quilting Lessons From a Parallel Universe, and Alterknits. When Interweave Knits ran the pattern for the Laptop Cases, I thought it was cruel that the model was wearing a really cute knit scarf and of course they wouldn't have the pattern for that. The pattern's in the book, and the scarf attatches to a matching shawl to make a wrap that I've absolutely got to have. Of course it's knit in two strands of yarn and the gauge is over Fish-Scale Lace. That should be easy to figure out a replacement for, right? The yarn the pattern calls for would make it a $316.00 project -- yikes! Somewhere in my future there's got to be a yarn that will make something like this.

For now I've got the Euroflax. It's starting to look like something now that I'm into the third and final skein.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

After finishing the magic stripe socks (is something finished if the ends aren't woven in but you've worn it twice? ), I tried swatching for the Truly Tasha shawl, decided I didn't like what the yarn was doing, thought about using the yarn (salvaged from a thrift store sweater) to follow the witch's hat recipe that was posted to one of the lists last week, was feeling too lazy to go up to the sewing room to get the right size dpns, and wound up working on the Euroflax Stole instead... I've been plodding away on the feather and fan stuff ever since.

Have I mentioned how disappointed I am with this yarn? Yarn that costs that much should be really really nice to knit with, not stiff and scratchy and slippery and mean. I've seen how nice it's supposed to get after it's been washed a few times, but I don't trust it.

What I'd like to be plodding away on is that Heartstrings baby blanket I bought the Denim Style for, but I'm trying to make myself finish the stole before I cast on something else that uses exactly the same pattern.

And I --really-- want these! I want to buy a skein of Shimmer to make Frozen Lake, and the Andean Treasure (or something else nice and green) to make The Woods Are Lovely, Dark and Deep... stupid yarn diet...stupid house that no one wants to buy... stupid website that won't let you print a 12 page pattern without cutting off half the written directions and charts... I'm running out of ink and can't find the box with all of my extra computer stuff, which might or might not have an extra ink cartridge in it.

I did copy the text and pictures into my email program and get them to fit on a page that way, and I'm sure I have SOMETHING in my stash that'll make pretty triangular shawls, but Frozen Lake is going to have to wait until I can buy the Shimmer because it's so neat looking the way it's designed.

The wish list just gets longer and longer...
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