Tuesday, November 28, 2006

After twenty or so preemie hats, I can't stand even the thought of knitting another one. And I'm having concerns about my Central Park Hoodie, a sudden fear that my gauge is wrong or I'm doing the wrong size so that even though everything looks fine disaster lurks just around the next corner. So I'm working on the Lace-Up Shawl/Scarf/Wrap thing from Alterknits. And I'm loving it!

wrap


I fell in love with the pattern a year ago and I've had the yarn in my stash for months, but I never got started because keeping track of a bunch of different stitch patterns at the same time looked hard. It's not hard at all -- at least not with this particular group of stitch patterns. It is big, so I'm hoping my enthusiasm will hold out for 30some more pattern repeats.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yesterday, I started out on the wrong foot and stayed that way. Today looks much better -- the headache is gone, the nausea from the Advil that knocked out the headache is gone, and there's a ten hour marathon of Monk episodes that I haven't seen yet. So I'm going to knit more itty bitty baby hats.

Here's the latest bunch --

hatcolors


I got all inspired by the newest Sally Melville book (which might not count as new anymore, but I just found out that the library has a copy, so it's new to me) and the idea for about making your own varigated yarn by striping different yarns together. I'm pretty sure that just makes stripes (Dawn had a great idea to spit splice different colors of wool from a striped sweater she'd unravelled to make a yarn that really would be varigated, which I'm anxious to try someday when I've got a striped sweater and know how to spit splaice), but it's been lots of fun to play around with.

My favorite is the hat with the wide stripes. I used the varigated yarn and a solid yarn in the same shade of dark blue and worked four rounds of each. The dark blue matches the one in the varigated yarn closely enough that the two stripes blend together and hide the straight lines that make them look like stripes. I want to do a whole sweater this way.

My other favorite thing about this is that if I was knitting hats for my own kids, I could get at least four different color combinations with two skeins of yarn. I have a hard time starting a baby hat with a brand new skein of yarn because I know I'll still have 3/4 of a skein left and it seems wasteful even if the yarn was cheap. I'm not claiming I would knit that many hats, but I like knowing that I could.

Friday, November 24, 2006

It was my turn to wake up the baby this morning, since we had to leave the house by 3:30 to get to Toys R Us before they opened at 5:00. There must've been well over a hundred people in line ahead of us, but we got everything we were after there and almost everything we were after at Target and then the fabric selection at Joann's was so picked over and the cutting line was sooooo long we didn't even borther with that.

I'm definitely going to need a nap soon!

And I've been Knitting Unto Others...

premie hats


These little preemie hats are so quick and fun I could knit bunches and bunches of them. I used a pattern the first one and have been winging it ever since, playing with different colors and stitch patterns and whatever else the yarn tells me it wants to do. It only took three evenings of knitting time to do this batch.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The baby woke up even earlier this morning, but it wasn't that bad. While he played with his springy caterpillar, I made some progress on my sleeve. Then we went back to bed. Does it really count as sleeping late if I was up and dressed and doing stuff at 3am?

sleeve


Did I mention how much I love this color? I keep glancing over my little bit of sleeve and realizing how badly I want this sweater. Hopefully my enthusiasm holds out until I actually get it done!




I'm all set to start Knitting Unto Others once the kids are in bed tonight. Last year, I hoped to knit ten premie hats for the NICU at the hospital where Quinn was born. That didn't work out, so I'm going to give it another shot.

Oh, and because I refuse to miss out on the holiday sales at the craft stores and the good holiday food for a second year in a row, I've decided to suspend the yarn diet until after the first of the year. As long as I can keep myself at my new weight, I figure I'll be doing okay. And I'll resume the weight-loss-as-bribe system after the first of the year.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My morning was all planned out. I was going to get up early with Bill and cast on for my Central Park Hoodie when he left for work. There were four episodes of Six Feet Under coming on that I hadn't seen yet and I thought I'd get to watch at least a couple and get a few inches of sleeve done before the big kids got up. Except someone had to start throwing a fit at three-something and had to be entertained in the front room and I wound up going back to bed as soon as he fell asleep again. I did manage to slip a tape into the VCR first, so if I had the thing set right, the shows are there for me to watch later, along with almost all of Kingdom Hospital which I recorded weeks ago and then forgot about. I need a DVR.

I'm caught up on sleep now, but the late start threw my day off. Not that anything had to be done at any specific time -- I just thought I'd have a lot more day than I wound up with.

I did get a chance to swatch and cast on for the hoodie. There were at least three false starts before I got it right. Not the gauge, the actual cast on. How can casting on 46 stitches take that many tries? It's not like I haven't done this plenty of times before.

The green toddler cardi has turned into my evening TV knitting, although I expect it to be finished by bedtime tonight. There's only half a sleeve left and then a few ends to weave in. If there's enough yarn. It looks like there should be, but I won't believe it for sure until I've got eight inches of sleeve.

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's here!

halloween 004


I picked up my Central Park Hoodie yarn yesterday and it's absolutely exactly the color I've been wishing Lion Brand would come out with. I would've started swatching last night, but I'm happily distracted by this --

halloween 005


If I don't get that second sleeve done soon, I have a feeling it's going to sit unfinished until Quinn is on the verge of outgrowing it. I'd hate for that to happen because it's been a fun project and I'm really proud of the textured stitches and the way they work together and the whole increasing-in-pattern-so-it-looks-decent thing. As far as I can tell with part of it still on the needles, it fits with just enough extra room. The body and first sleeve didn't take anywhere near as long as I expected them to.

But if I don't get started on Central Park, I'm going to get distracted by something else. Like the itty bitty Christmas stockings I saw suggested on one of the lists, or the Cable Embrace scarf or a cascading leaf throw...

I don't like the yarn the pattern calls for. There's no way I'd ever manage 48 identical squares of something that complex -- but wow it's pretty. Wonder how many squares a baby blanket would take?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

and now there are two

The second mitten worked up even quicker than the first one. I got the whole pair done in under seven hours, which is good because I'd really like to do three more sets.

halloween 006


I did a Google search and found lots of bloggers working on this pattern. There's a toddler sized pair, a felted pair, and a pair knitted in the round. That's how I want to do mine, but I'll need to research that jogless jog technique first.

My yarn for the Central Park Hoodie is at the post office waiting for me and I'm anxious to go pick it up and cast on before I get too distracted by the gorgeous cabled cardigans in the new IK. I love the Nantucket Jacket. And the Cardigan for Arwen.

I will not panic that my hard-earned copy of Knitscene isn't where I left it. I must've moved it to a safer place. One that I have absolutely no memory of.

Yikes.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Late night knitting has got to be one of my favorite indulgences. I cast on just after chasing the kids off to bed and by 12:30, I had a mitten!

mitten


There's a lot I like about this project. It was easier than I expected and worked up quickly. It almost fits my hand, even though the pattern only goes up to a large child size. I can see where to add a couple of rows to make my pair fit just right and I've got the perfect color combination of wool to do it with. Alex wants this pair, so it'll work out just fine. Heath wants a pair, too. Think my enthusiasm will hold out through three pairs?

The yarn -- Red Heart Soft -- has me hoping that it's really as good as it seems. It's nice to work with, comes in a lot of pretty colors, has great yardage, and was absolutely dirt cheap. If it holds up in the wash, I'll be even more thrilled.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A couple of days back, I wrote an enthusiastic post about how incredibly well the yarn diet is going and how I'm down about ten pounds from where I started. And then a leaf fell on the power lines and the computer rebooted. After the third leaf, I just gave up and headed up to town early. The power is usually only out for a few seconds at a time, but it's still a hassle.

Anyway, the yarn diet is going great! I did not expect visible results this quickly, but some of the bulges that were really starting to depress me are gone. I can pull my old jeans up over my hips and zip them. And, so far at least, I've only cheated and bought one little thing which I'm not even sure counts as a cheat. (It was the 2007 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar and they only had a couple of copies at Costco and I'd tried to buy it pre-yarn diet so I would have already paid full price if it had been there...and even if that is cheating, I wanted it badly and I don't care.)

Thank you to everyone who's left encouraging comments. It helps keep me on track when I know that if I do break the yarn diet I'll have to admit it.

The yarn for my Central Park Hoodie (my reward for hitting 180) should be here any day now. I'm anxious to get started and hoping that my enthusiasm holds until the yarn is in my hands and I can start swatching. While I'm waiting, I've started a little textured cardigan for Quinn...

greencardi


It's sort of inspired by a baby sweater I saw at the LYS while I was there to pick up Knitscene. That one had a plain stockinette top and switched to a lace pattern for the sleeves and bottom. I didn't even look at the name of the pattern because I would have had to substitute a less girly stitch pattern anyway and I figured I could do something like it with the Knitting Pure and Simple baby cardigan pattern. Then I got playing with the Vogue Stitionary I just brought home from the library and realized I could use two stitch patterns instead of leaving the top part plain.

I'm even managing to increase in pattern here! Not bad for a project I'm working on while the kids tear through the house. And not a bad way to use up some leftovers from a sweater I made Heath two years ago.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

After I got Cleo sewn together last night, I stayed up until 2am working on a lace sock I'd frogged because it was too big. The only reason I went to bed then was because I knew the baby would be up early. He got up at 3am, before I managed to fall asleep, so I could've knit more repeats without losing any sleep at all. This morning, I dug my neglected Honeymoon Cami out of my knitting bag and worked on the bust shaping while I watched the babies play. And now I'm counting the hours until I can send the littlest ones off to bed and work on something more complex.

cleo2


Cleo is felted and I can't decide how I feel about her. The size and shape are perfect, but the cables blurred away into nothingness. They show up a lot better on the scanner than in front of my face -- how's that work? I'd planned to give it to my mother for Christmas with some quilting notions tucked inside, but it doesn't seem exciting enough. I may give it to her "just because" and work on something else.

Oh, and after seeing this melted bead interpretation of Starry Night I've decided that the stash diet also applies to plastic pony beads!
Now I understand why I didn't buy that issue of Knitscene when I had it in my hands a couple of months ago. The few projects I can actually see myself knitting are very well hidden. I'm not sure if I even noticed the Central Park Hoodie while I was flipping through the pages and trying to quickly decide if it was worth spending eight bucks on while watching the four kids to make sure no one touched anything but the toys in the corner.

It doesn't matter, because I've got it now and I really do love that cardigan enough to have spent eight dollars on a pattern for it. I've just got to ignore the other 20some patterns I don't like. Because for some dumb reason a magazine doesn't seem worth buying for only one good pattern, even if I'd spend the same money on an individual pattern for the same thing.

Now I've got to decide on yarn. I'm just about positive that I want Wool-Ease, but not sure about the color. I think I know the answer, but I've only seen Paprika on my computer screen and it would kill me if I bought enough skeins for a whole sweater and then hated it when it got here. I buy yarn blindly online all the time and have never been really disappointed, but this sweater is special. I lost five pounds for it!

The local stores don't have the new Wool-Ease colors, and don't seem likely to get them, so I guess I'm going to have to order a single skein and make sure I love it. Or order then 10 skeins I need and cross my fingers. It's kind of a fun dilemma to have. I'm not at all worried about whether or not I should buy the yarn for this project because I worked so hard to earn it.

This is by far my most successful attempt at a yarn diet. I haven't decided what to splurge on after the next five pounds. Hopefully I'll be halfway there before I figure out what I really want.

cleo


Cleo is all knitted up and ready to felt. I'll get to that tomorrow.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'm happy!

greencables


I have green cables meandering their way from here to there and back again. They're fiddlier than any cables I've played with before, probably because the gauge is soooo loose and the cable needle keep slipping out and then I have to ladder up the dropped stitches and can't get the tension right, but they're pretty and I have faith that they'll be prettier once they're felted. I got three of the nine pattern repeats done yesterday, so it looks like Cleo will be a quick project.

My scale read 180 this morning, so I get to stop by the LYS and pick up the fall 2006 issue of Knitscene on our way to karate. I called, and they're holding it for me. I'm honestly not sure if I'm more excited about getting the pattern or shedding the pounds.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ooooh!

I followed a link from the Fall Cables KAL to find the Penny Sock pattern and found a whole set of tutorials about designing socks -- lace socks, cable socks, plain old sock socks... I'm printing the Penny Sock Pattern now, wishing I had pretty golden sock yarn to knit them up in. Not that I've ever followed a sock pattern as written, but LOOK AT HOW SHE DID THOSE TOES!

I'd really rather read the rest of her blog than finish dinner, but I suppose the rest of the family would object...
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