Thursday, February 24, 2005

Sinuous Short Rows

Look what I made!

His head actually holds that shape, thanks to a strategically placed stitch, and those curves are permanent, thanks to the wonderfulness of short rows. In case you couldn't tell, I'm pretty proud of myself for coming up with this guy all on my own.
I did want him to have fangs, but couldn't get the i-cord skinny enough for them to look right.

I'm anxious to get my hands on Yarns to Dye For - Creating Self-Patterning Yarns for Knitting as soon as it's available. And I broke my yarn diet for this, but only because the baby's getting bigger every day and waiting a month means he'd have less time to wear it (yes, I realize that I have to knit it first) and I'm only on the yarn diet in the first place so I'll have money to buy stuff at the yarn crawl next month. I didn't buy the pattern for this, which I love just as much, and which seems like it would be the answer to all of my baby-carrying, dropped blanket difficulties.

Now I'm going to go back to playing happily with what I've got in my stash. The yarn from Knitpicks came, and I can make booties or dye sock yarn, or start Miss Dashwood, or the baby bunting.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Anaconda Scarf

I'm knitting Heath a snake scarf with the Camoflauge Red Heart Super Saver that I bought who knows when for who knows what, back before I realized how much I hate Super Saver. The yarn was hidden in the very bottom of my stash until I dug it out last night. While I was shifting boxes around to get at the one I thought I needed, I realized how great it is to finally be able to get at what I want instead of waiting to be better, or asking someone else to do it for me.

I'm an able bodied adult again -- hooray!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

My Gauge Swatch Lied

I've made up my mind to get past this irrational fear of socks. I can knit on dpns. I can blindly follow the directions and come out with what looks like a heel. What I can't seem to do is knit a sock that'll fit the foot it was intended for.

Yesterday, I tried to do things right. I swatched, and even stranded the yarn across the back so that it would be accurate. Happy that I was getting five stitches an inch, I cast on and started knitting a cuff. After the first couple of inches, it was looking way too big, so I measured my gauge again and it was four stitches an inch. How?! I'm determined to figure this out. Just not today.

Today, I pulled out CardiOrNot, and finished the front sections. It looks like I got the interlocking thingie right after all, and the shaping went easier than I expected it to. All that's left now is the sleeves, which I know I can do, and the finishing, which I'm not as confident about. But as long as the pieces are all done, I can say I used the yarn.

Oh, and Alex's poncho is done. She's been wearing it ever since.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Looking for Round Things to Knit

I started -- and finished -- something new! Aren't those variegated stripes pretty? And the scallopy edges?

As slow as my knitting progress has been this year, finishing anything at all would thrill me, but I really like this little washcloth and it's set me off on a search for more round things to knit. Online, I found a couple different cloths and a baby blanket...and at the library I found books on lace knitting that were full of pretty round things. So I'm not making any more progress on my WIPs than I was before the round purple washcloth came into my life, but that's not important.

What is important is that I'm feeling creative again. There was a perfect moment this afternoon, while I was knitting on Alex's poncho, Alex was winding wool from an unraveled sweater onto my niddy noddy, and Quinn was lying on my lap happily watching the yarn go by. What more could a mommy want?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Quinn's Fishie Sweater

The Boatneck Baby Sweater from Baby Knits for Beginners has lots of things going for it. It isn't a cardigan, doesn't have a zipper up the front or the back or those annoying little buttons at the side of the neck, or any of the other things that annoyed me about every pattern I looked at in my search for the perfect baby sweater. It's just a plain, easy to knit pullover. And because it is so plain, it needs to be knitted many times in many colors and stitch patterns. The first time, I used Caron Simply Soft and followed the pattern as written.

Here's #2, otherwise known as Quinn's Fishie Sweater:

The time I didn't follow much but the dimensions and sleeve shaping from the original pattern. To keep the fishies (which didn't show up well with the yarn I used) lined up and avoid as many seams as possible, I knitted the bottom half in the round. I replaced the garter stitch rows at the neck and cuffs with wider bands of seed stitch. And to get out of even more seams, I did a three-needle bind off at the shoulders.

I like these little sweaters! They're easy and cuddly and cute. Next time, I want to try to overlap the shoulders a bit so it's more like a regular onsie. I can sort of almost visualize how it might work.

Since Alex claims she saw a bug in our new yarn while she was sorting through it, the whole bag is hibernating safely in the chest freezer. I'm hoping it was just a flea the cat carried in, but just in case it's something that wants to eat my yarn, I guess I'd better freeze it. And my KnitPicks order still isn't here. It was shipping on the 10th, so I'm getting impatient. How am I supposed to knit cute little booties when half my dk wool is getting frozen and the other half is still in the mail?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

See why I'm so excited?

Look at some of what came home from the guild meeting with me --

A woman came in at the beginning of the meeting, hoping to sell some of her sister's wool stash for fifty cents a skein, and the chapter president and a couple of other members told her that everyone had closets full of yarn and wouldn't be interested and suggested places she might donate it...while I sat there biting my tongue and hoping that my eight year old would speak up that we don't have a closetful of yarn (even if that's only because there's not a closet available to keep it in) and were very interested in talking to her. luckily she did stay until the end of the meeting.

I was hoping for something remotely appropriate to make diaper soakers and mittens out of. I wound up with thirty-seven skeins of jumper weight wool and sock yarn and I don't know what all else for $18.50. I know I'm on a yarn diet, but that was only so I would be able to do some shopping at the guild's yarn crawl next month. Really incredible yarn bargains that practically fall into my lap while I'm not even looking for them are an exception. Especially when it lets me add a lot of something I didn't already have to my stash.

I don't have my KnitPicks order in my hands yet, so that dk weight wool doesn't count as "in my stash." I'm absolutely sure of it.

Alex and I are still disputing the ownership of this yarn, which I love almost enough to give in and trade her the GoodWill alpaca for. I've decided that it will all live in my stash, and after she's finished one of her projects and has another one in mind, I'll help her come up with the right yarn for it, either from my stash or a shopping trip.

As if that wasn't enough fun for one day, a woman at the meeting showed off the sweaters she'd made. Silk and cashmere in thinner than fingering weight yarn that she'd combined strands of. Seams that were only barely visible because you knew they had to be there. Gorgeous designs that she'd come up with herself. She pulled out this incredible skirt, then told us she hadn't had a blouse to wear with it, so she whipped up a matching sweater. And every last bit of it was unraveled Value Village sweaters she'd bought on Mondays with her senior citizen discount -- I really want to be that woman when I grow up!

And I'm such a good mommy I didn't even yell when Alex put her Snapple in my knitting bag without tightening the lid and it drizzled on both my WIPs -- not to mention some of the wool I'd just bought and a skein of Euroflax. If I'd done it myself, there would've been lots of unrepeatable language.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I've been working on the lace poncho from the current issue of InKnitters. A quick and easy lace pattern seems to be just what I needed right now. It's working up fast -- after only a couple of days, I've got the first rectangle done.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

If all the other knitters jumped off a bridge...

I'd look to see if there was something interesting down there. Because it might be a Booga Bag or a Hallowig or something else I'd like to knit. Or it might not. Either way, it's fun to see what other knitters are getting all excited about.

Personally, I'm excited about Tri-aran-angle and Toddle. And while I was at Walmart getting three skeins of Caron Simply Soft, I found some clearance yarn that should work well for Easy Breezy, which I wanted to try until I found out how much the yarn would cost.

Now I need to free up some needles so I can cast on my new projects!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Nothing Exploded

I finally worked up the nerve to get out the fisherman wool Mom bought me for Christmas, and the Kool-Aid packets that I bought months ago and try to do something with them. I'm not too sure about the results, but nothing caught fire or felted, despite some ominous popping sounds from the microwave. Once I get some different colors, the kids and I are going to try it again.

They're both anxious to try mixing their own colors, so I've promised that we can dye yarn and I'll knit it into mittens or hats or something.

I'm tempted to see what happens if I experiment nasty stuff my husband's been drinking lately. It's so so SO blood red, even when it's diluted into something supposedly drinkable. That can't be good for his insides, but I bet it'd make some gorgeous yarn!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

This Could Become an Addiction

I had to go back to the GoodWill Outlet this morning. The knittingparents list is doing a buttonhole bag knitalong, and Alex has claimed the yarn I spent last night unraveling and planned to use. Actually, I guess she's claimed the sweater she wants me to knit from it. It's the right gauge for a ribbed cardigan I wanted to make her, so who am I to argue?

Besides, digging through bins for baby clothes and sweaters to recycle is fun!

The Salvation Army didn't have any decent yarn, or baby clothes, but they had an unbelievable selection of children's books. Lots of Nancy Drew and brand new non-fiction for thirty-five cents a piece. So I've got happy kids.

I found three good sweaters in the GoodWill bins -- and yarn!

I picked up one of the white skeins, surprised that it was there at all, then saw on the label that it was wool and started digging. That's when we found the alpaca, which I had to fight Alex for. It was in a corner of the grossest smelling bin in the place, but it just smells a little old and smoky. And yarn -- especially sixteen-cents-a-skein-alpaca -- can be washed.

I didn't find any sweaters that wanted to become a buttonhole bag, so I think I'll experiment with the fisherman's wool I got for Christmas and some food coloring and try to make some colorful stripes.


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