Friday, December 29, 2006

I'm so behind

in blogging. But what's new?

Had a splendiferous Christmas. All the holiday knitting was done and wrapped BEFORE Christmas Eve Eve! But no pics. Crappy broken camera. But the looks on their faces is seared in my memory. Happy day. Who got what? Let a list suffice:

Dear Sister, Holly, got the Lotus Blossom Tank (pics are floating around here somewhere, when I finished it earlier this summer)

Mom got the second pair of socks, first pair of jaywalkers, and first pair using Schaeffer Yarns. No pics. Not a fan of jaywalkers (but a huge fan of Grumerpina)

which reminds me . . .

Granddad got the sharkif from Grumperina's site, knit in the lovely burnt orange merino wool that made up so many of the first posts on the blog. It only went through five different garments and rips before becoming that scarf, but Granddad seemed to love it.

DH got a funky wool hat. He won my heart today when he said, "I love that hat. Did I tell you I saw one almost exactly like it in Banana Republic?" The design came from my head. Really. Seriously. No friggin hyperbole here. It really did. I'm glowing.

MawMaw got a beautiful scarf made from cashermino in lavendar (DD's choice). It was a short scarf using a lacy design so as to prevent MawMaw from overheating. She loves it and had it prominently displayed on her lounge chair when I showed up unannounced. More glowing to rival Rudolph.

I've had some more FOs but not Christmas gifts: a fun wool hat for DD with a HUMONGOUS pompom on top (my first, also made up from my head).

I've CO for some socks for DH, but using the 2 mm Addis, 16" circs (2) is killing my hands. The Addis are stunning as always, but 2 mm? And I have 1 mm in the stash that I haven't used. I can barely spot them when they're laying on the table in plain view they're so small, much less knit with them.

I got two books: Nancy Bush's knitting vintage socks book (I'm too lazy to get up and get the actual title - it's the one in which she translates patterns from We.... the magazine from the turn of the century. That one. You know.) So far I like it, though she turned a lot of the children's socks into adult socks, and I like them as children's socks. Oh well. I'll knit them for me (You know, I've yet to knit a pair of socks for me.)

The second book is One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant (it's sitting right under my nose, so I can stay lazy but still get the title right). It's good, but it's put me in a funk.

A funk. I hate knitting funks.

Yarn, yarn, and more yarn. Needles in multiple sizes, multiple needles in the same size. Books galore. You'd think a girl would be happy. But am I happy? Do I have a good project on the needles? WEllll.....

I got the one skein book to help empty my stash of, well, one skeins. Leftovers from other projects. I usually buy one extra skein to help me fix all the fuck-ups, but it does leave a lot of yarn leftover. And I can't bring myself to throw it away.

But now I can't seem to match the yarn I have with a pattern I want to knit and that calls for the yarn that I have. Those are three things that are hard to match:

1. My interest in a pattern
2. The yarn I have on hand
3. The pattern that will match the yarn I have

Somehow, in most cases I have two out of three but not all three. And two out of three a project doesn't make. Take the baby sweater I started to knit: with the yarn I had on hand, I swear it looked to fit a refrigerator, so I stopped. I kept flipping through the book, mentally conjuring the yarn in my stash, and just plopping the book down in frustration.

I'm not sure I'm a sock knitter, either. I love socks. I look at them adoringly. Longingly. But I'm not sure I have the mental and physical fortitude to knit them. We shall see if I make it through DH's socks. I've promised him some for months, so I must, I must, I must increase my b... Well, yes, I do need to increase that. But I must finish those socks for DH.

Well, at this point I'm spending more time correcting the mistakes in this blog than I am typing. But I couldn't let the year pass - my first year blogging - without one last post.

Cheers for a New Year! Happy Knitting.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A bit messed up

This is going to sound a bit messed up, but thanks to DD being home sick today*, I now have an FO! I finished her achingly simple knit hat in about 24 hours (about 4-5 hours of knitting - I'm a slow knitter).

Gory (boring) details:
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in dark purple (DD's favorite color)
Needles: 2 circ 4.0 mm
Gauge: 6 st/in
Pattern: my own - a simple 2x2 rib for 2" and then rounds of St st, to the crown, using YH's decreases to create a very pretty spiral top.

It remains to be seen whether DD will actually wear it. She doesn't wear much of what I knit her (admittedly it's not too much). She's worn her poncho about a dozen times total (took me 2-ish weeks of daily train knitting to finish it), a hat (shrunk when I stupidly washed it), a scarf (she wore it last year; we probably just need to dig it out), and a pinafore (she's worn it twice).

Here's a question for you, speaking of the pinafore -

I used Cascade 220 Superwash because, well, it's washable. There's no way I intend to handwash knits for a toddler. The yarn seems to hold up reasonably well (it's a little fuzzy but it hasn't shrunk), but every time I wash it, buttons fall off, the ends of my yarn pop out, etc. I even washed it in a garment bag to prevent too much pulling of it, but it still didn't hold up well. I thought I knew how to weave in the ends (I even have a book of knitting finishing techniques that I follow), but they pop out. Darn it. What gives? Do I have to suck it up and hand wash the thing? Ack!

* OK, actually she really wasn't that sick. She definitely had something, and I don't mind her being home. But she's headed to daycare tomorrow. She complained of a stomach ache, but no fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea. In fact, by the time DH got home, she was bouncing off the walls happy to have a playmate other than knitting momma.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A relief to be back!

Ah, it's a relief to be back in the blogosphere, and to normal life in general. We spent a truly enjoyable 9 days with the ILs over TG, and then we sprinted to Fl for my grandfather's funeral. These things are never expected, never welcome, and never fun, but it was good to see friends and family that I haven't seen in close to 5 years or so.

I didn't get any knitting done during the Fl trip, but I did finish the modified Sharkif over TG. I CO for the second jaywalker (a companion to the first, and a gift for my mom). The jaywalker is slow going as we're settling back in at home, getting back into work, and resuming normalcy. It all takes time to get the big machine of the daily grind up and running.

We're also in our first real cold snap of the season, and DD has NO HAT! I'm So frustrated that I can't find a simple hat pattern for a 2 year old. I tried to design a hat for her - a simple knit hat in the round with stockinette. Not rocket science, I'm telling you. No fancy stitches, no patterning. Just a simple, every day, WARM knit hat.

My gauge is 6 st/in on 4mm using Cascade 220 superwash, and DD's head measures about 18". Simple math, right? That works out to about 108 st. So, I did a simple picot CO to 108 st and started knitting in St st in the round. I didn't like the CO, and when I took the first 3 rows or so off the needles, the thing was HUGE! I don't know if it's because a) my gauge is off, b) the hat didn't have enough rows to make it draw in, or c) I'm an idiot. (PS - or maybe the picot CO makes the hat less stretchy and bigger.) I'm thinking about trying it again with a regular CO, simple rib for the brim, and then straight St st for the head and crown. Using YH's hat decrease method (from a post months ago that I traced back recently), I'll finish it.

The girl needs those ears covered and head warm, so I gotta jump on this one fast. I hope to have it finished by Friday, just in time for weekend fun. We shall see!

In the meantime, if anyone has suggestions, bring 'em on! I could use all the help I can get.