Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Finishing Frenzy

I don't usually do titles but I just couldn't resist this one. I finished the hooded sweater for my son on Monday, and he begged to wear it to school on Tuesday. He said there were many comments on it by people ( I hope they were good!) I left the hood the way it was even though it nags at me a bit. My husband thinks it's really cute that way and Avery loves it so that's what really matters.

I finished the mittens yesterday, just in time for the public schools to be closed today (not my job of course, grumble grumble). They will have their inaugural wearing tomorrow. I really like the way the three shades of blue go together. I seemed to have finally gotten a good feel for working with dpns.

So after all the FOs were done, I went nuts planning new projects. I bought some cotton chenille from Numei after seeing it on Bron's Blog. It's half the price of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille and it looks beautiful. I want to make my honorary niece the basketweave towel and washcloth set from Knitting For Baby by Melanie Falick. I've always wanted to make it for someone but it had to be someone special. Nina is my best friend's niece. I've known her since she was born practically, and she's always thought of me as another aunt so she's well worth it. She is also getting married in March. The problem is her family moved to Florida a few years ago so many of the people that she would want to be there will not be able to make it, including me. Therefore I want to make her something really special. I decided that it would be a shawl. I've been dying to make one so I pulled some nice white yarn out of the stash last night and I hope to play with stitch patterns this weekend.

I also swatched for Sonnet. Once the gauge was figured out I cast on but that's all so far. I don't know when I'll be working on it but it's ready and waiting!

My husband has become quite picky about his IPod cozy (in a good way!). He wants a felted cozy. He also wants it to have a drawstring, so I had him pick some wool. He decided on some navy and Burgundy Paton's classic double stranded. I finished up the swatch on the train this morning, so I will felt it tonight to get his final approval on the colors and figure out sizing. I have to say that I really love that he feels I am capable of creating anything he has in mind. He has a great deal of respect for my craft and it makes me feel really good!

Monday, January 26, 2004

I didn't accomplish as much on the weekend as I'd hoped but I didn't do too badly. I am just about finished with the hooded sweater for my eldest. I put on the sleeves and seamed it but I wanted to add a front pocket which wasn't in the pattern. I picked up stitches at the point where the stockinette becomes the band of ribbing and started. As of this morning I am at the point where I am decreasing just a bit to give it a nice shape. I may rethink the collar at the bottom of the hood. The pattern said when the hood was done you should sew it, ends overlapping, onto the neckline. My hood wasn't long enough for this so I picked up stitches to make a rib collar but I ended up making the hood a big circle with the neckline. It's kind of a cute effect, but I had a problem with the neckline on Brisa and I am thinking I should fix this just for the lesson to be learned. We'll see.

I finally started on the second mitten (yay me!). In fact I cast on for it on the subway. While this is not normally a big deal I am doing it on dpns and I have always had problems starting on them. Usually I need to be at home with a table in front of me so I can keep the stitches from twisting and the needles from slipping. This time no problems. I must be getting somewhere.

I visited Knit NY on Saturday. I needed one last ball of the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for the baby blanket. I figured it would be expensive but we got a great deal on the rest of it so I figured it would be worth it. I really like the atmosphere of the place. Knitters everywhere, knitting, casting on, drinking coffee. It is a combination yarn store, coffee bar. Chai Latte and yarn... I was in heaven. The prices were typical Manhattan yarn prices, in other words high, but I've been in retail too long to not understand the cost of business. The yarn was $8.75, which is actually a quarter or so cheaper than some of the other places here in the village. But I would love to go to hang out there for an afternoon with my knitting buddies.

My husband has put in a request for a cozy for his new IPod, he will be shopping th stash tonight. I am going to look at the pattern in the Stitch 'n' Bitch book, and see if that works or maybe modify it to my own needs. Busy, busy, busy...

Friday, January 23, 2004

I decided to start frogging TSFKB during Angel the other night. It actually went quite smoothly.




For now I am putting the yarn away. I am hoping to find another summer sweater or tank better suited to me. I have decided whatever project I pick will be the project for the cruise Tisha and I are taking in April. A friend of ours is turning 40 and has decided to take all her female friends (sans husbands and children) with her on a cruise to the Bahamas. We are really excited because neither one of us ever does anything fun like this without our families.

I still have to finish the hooded sweater. It needs to have the sleeves put on, then seamed and I want to add a pocket, which didn't go so well on Sunday. I am planning on finishing it up this weekend. Cross your fingers.

So does anyone have any suggestions for my newly liberated Sonata...

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

I finished my Booga Bag this weekend. I had some problems with the felting. After 2 cycles through the washer it was still far too loose. So I sent it through again. This time I put a couple of towels in with it. Since it wasn't alone I put the bag itself in a mesh garment bag, ostensibly to protect it from lint coming off the towels. Well it felted beautifully, but it was covered in white lint! I was so upset. I worked on it with a razor for awhile and then by hand. My mother in law also worked on it yesterday (she loves to get lint off of things, she has one of those lint buster devices and everything!). It's not too bad on the outside now but the inside still has quite a bit.

Here is the pre-felted bag:

and after felting (and de-linting):

If you look really closely you might be able to see flecks of white. That is what is still left of the lint. I've made felted bags before and never had this problem, but I never put it in with towels before. I don't think I will again.

I do love the bag though. It's very little and cute. The striping on the Kureyon is really beautiful. I am definitely a Kureyon fan, even with my initial problems with it. It was really a breeze to work with. None of the other balls seemed as rough as the first either.

I'm already trying to figure what else to make with it. I'm just dying for an excuse to buy more.

I've had some people e-mail me saying that they couldn't use the link to leave comments. If you've had a problem do me a favor and drop me an e-mail so I can figure out if I should change my comment provider. My e-mail link is on the side.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Guess what I did this weekend... I joined Alison's .

With much encouragement from my husband I frogged a wedding afghan that was supposed to be a gift for a couple who had their first anniversary in August! I was more than halfway done but I hadn't touched it in about a year. How silly is that? Here is the before shot:

and after

I am very excited. Mind you I had been cannibalizing some of the extra skeins for Christmas knitting. There were 2 hats and a scarf made from yarn that was meant to finish this, but I have decided it really wants to be the Lap Blanket in Weekend Knitting. I have fallen in love with the pattern and I've always loved this yarn. It's LB's Homespun in Americana, it is so beautiful with the purple and gold tones. Really one of the best colors in the line.

I've decided it is also time to frog The Sweater Formerly Known as Brisa as well. This was hard. It was my first adult sweater ever, and it taught me great deal about sweater construction. But the yarn is too beautiful to waste on such an imperfect product. It is Sonata from Elann. I haven't decided what to make it into yet, but something will come to me. I hope to rip it out later this week.

Friday, January 16, 2004

It's been so damn cold and I've been so busy at work I haven't actually done that much knitting the past few days. I tried to finish the hood on the hooded sweater but I actually ran out of yarn! I should know better but I think it's because of the larger needle size. Thankfully Tisha had six balls of the stuff so I stole one from her and then promptly won an ebay auction to replace it. Of course now I have way more than I needed but I'm thinking of going back to the size 11 needles or even a 10 1/2 and making it into a bath mat. It will actually be perfect for that.

I am chugging away on the Kureyon bag but I am usually too cold to knit when I get on the subway, so I end up reading or talking to my husband! I am hoping to get it done this weekend. We'll see. I still have a second mitten to do, and my mother in law asked for a hood, which I am going to do for her in some LB Jiffy that's been sitting in my stash. I figure it will be pretty quick, maybe even a 1 day project.

I am hoping to finish the hoodie tonight. I just have to pick up the stiches around the front of the hood, do the pocket and seam it up. I'd love to have it done so I can start my next sweater. I think it will be Sonnet for my mother in law. Hey she takes care of my kids everyday, she deserves lots of goodies!

I have to say right now I want to drop everything and make some fingerless gloves, because it's freezing in my office! According to my thermometer it's below 68 degress (I don't know how much lower that's as far as it goes) and my hands are like ice....

Monday, January 12, 2004

I am happy to report that I finished the front of the hooded sweater, as well as the two sleeves. I was a knitting fool this weekend. I also got some housework done, not a lot, but some. I was quite impressed. I therefore allowed myself to cast on for my Kureyon Felted Bag. At the risk of ticking off Jessica over at Rose Kim Knits I have to say I am not crazy about this yarn. I find it very rough and although I don't mind the variety of thick and thin, I do find the thin parts a little too thin. Having said that I will say that I may change my mind after felting because I love the way it stripes. The effect is way cool! I also like their colorways, I am using #80 for my bag. So I will reserve my final opinion until I have the finished product.

I picked up the stitches for the hood on the sweater this morning before I left for work, but I decided to take my bag with me. You may notice that I have not mentioned beginning the second mitten. I will later this week, really...really...

Friday, January 09, 2004

I finished my ball of the Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran and I only got 10 squares out of it. So we are definitely going to need an extra ball. The blanket calls for 5 balls of differing colors, if you do the math on the pattern itself the squares should be about 3.10" x 2.5". Since the 4 knitters doing this here at work are all of varying levels of expertise I made it easy and told everyone to make the squares 3" x 3". This way they could easily play with gauge by casting on different numbers of stitches or changing needle size without too much trauma. I guess that the extra bit took too much of the yarn and so threw off the amount needed. Oh well thankfully it's not that big a deal as it's readily available and we had already played around with the color scheme a bit anyway.

I finished the first mitten but it took longer than I expected, about 2 days. I think it's because of my inexperience with dps. I really only use them to finish hats, but I really want to make socks so I am trying to get used to starting a project on them. It came out nicely except for the holes around the thumb but I can fix that while I weave in ends. In the meantime I had to give him an old pair of my gloves anyway since it is so damn cold all of a sudden, so the urgency has worn off a bit. I hope I don't end up suffering from second mitten syndrome!

I want to finish the front of the hooded sweater tonight I have about 4" left. I worked on it a bit last night during ER (after I finished the last 2 of my squares, I tend to be very productive during ER) but I finished the skein I was using and the other one was in the bedroom where the baby was asleep. I didn't really feel like rooting around in the dark for it so I didn't bother. I brought the yarn with me today for the second mitten but I decided to read this week's Time instead since I've had it since Monday.

I found out yesterday that the baby has anemia. I never noticed any lethargy or anything so I was very surprised. My older son and I both had iron deficiencies when we were his age but his levels are quite low. Of course up until a few weeks ago he was a milkaholic. He would drink milk all day, that also runs in the family, but we felt it was cutting his appetite so we decided to cut his bottles down to 3 a day. It was time anyway he's just turned 2. He won't touch juice but he loves water and will drink it from a cup. Since we did that he has been eating like a mad man so I am hoping that when they retested his blood yesterday that his levels will have improved. In the meantime he has to take iron supplements. I think all my knitting last night was to block out the feelings of maternal guilt for not noticing there was anything wrong. I really feel like dirt, I'm glad I have a comforting hobby.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

I decided that I wanted to do the mittens in 3 colors. Avery loves blue and I have 3 shades of it in the Paton's Classic Wool that I wanted to use. I think it's looking pretty good. Here it is before the thumb was finished:

This meant I had to carry around 2 skeins of yarn, I had finished the cuff at home. I also needed to take the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns with me since that was the pattern I was using. I was concerned. Would the knitter's purse be up to it or would I have to carry an extra bag?

Voila! Not a problem:

It actually looks a bit more cramped than it really is. I can find everything easily and nothing is squished. The side view gives a better feel for the fact that it wasn't over stuffed:

I am still very happy with my bag.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I've hit a bit of glitch in my schedule for the week. My eldest son, Avery, lost his second glove in 4 months. For some odd reason I decided that I should make him mittens because he will take care of them better if he knows I made them. I must have left my common sense at work or something. Let's be honest I have been dying to try to knit mittens in the round. I have the wool. I have a child with a nice medium sized hand, not so small as to make it too challenging but not so big that it will take me more time than I want to give. So there you go...

I'm up to about 9 squares on the baby blanket but I am not looking forward to putting this together, 56 3" x 3" squares, so not fun. We also seem to be running into some trouble in that nobody is getting more than 9 squares out of a ball. We should be getting 11 and 1 ball should have 12. I figure we'll just get another ball to make up the difference.

We are started to getting really crazy at work. Classes start in a week and a half, so now we have all the faculty calling saying , " Wow I need 100 books shipped in from Czechoslovakia for my class that starts in 5 minutes". I love my job but at this time of year I really question why...

Monday, January 05, 2004

I must make a confession. I gave up on the DNA scarf. I think I want to work on my cabling skills a bit more before tackling the intricacies of this pattern. If I had 2 days to just sit down and do nothing else but knit then I would be fine, but that does not happen in real life. I would be completely lost everytime I picked it up after not working on it for a few days and it took me a long time to get my bearings again. Life is a bit stressful at the moment so I decided, maybe next year. Instead I cast on 230 stitches with the yarn and did a long skinny scarf instead, worked out great!

I also spent the last week putting this together:

and a bit of a close-up:

Sorry the pictures are a bit dark but it was 10:00 at night.

This was made by 4 of us at my job, 2 of whom are my knitting proteges. We each did 3 squares. We made it with Red Heart Baby Sport double stranded and it came out beautifully. This is a gift for one of the three women at my job who is pregnant. Now we are working on a similiar blanket from the Debbie Bliss Baby Knits book. It is comprised of 56 squares this time! In Cashmerino Aran, which is quite frankly, heaven to work with.

I am also making progress on my eldest son Avery's hooded sweater:

It's coming out much better on the larger sized needles. The drape of it is much more comfortable. It seemed a bit stiff on the 11s that the pattern called for. I have the back completely done and the front is almost finished as you can see.

If I can finish the squares by this weekend and have the front of the sweater as well as at least 1 sleeve done I will allow myself to cast on for the Kureyon bag. I figure a little motivation goes a long way.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

I decided for the new year I will attempt to list all the projects I have completed this past year. So here it goes:

5 pairs of mittens
10 hats
6 scarves
1 Constant Companion felted bag
1 smaller felted bag (adapted from Constant Companion pattern)
1 Special Companion (for my business cards)
1 muff
1 headband
1 baby sweater
1 baby hat
2 pairs of baby booties
1 pillow
1 Nightwing doll
1 teddy bear
1 backpack
1 felted fish (didn't felt - long story)
1 sock from Icelandic wool - came out horribly didn't bother making a 2nd
1 summer sweater
Yu-Gi-Oh Gauntlet
4 washcloths
3 dish towels

That's all I seem to have records for or that I remember. Not too bad.

As for last year's resolutions as I recall they were to knit sweaters and to learn to knit socks. I made a sweater and I am well on my way to completing a second so that's cool. Socks, well that didn't go as well. The Icelandic wool that my cousin brought me was rough and stiff and it came out horribly. So I didn't make another. I have some Regia jaquard that I want to try as well as some of Bernat's Hot Sox for the boys. I figure I will try the ones for the boys first since they will be small. As soon as I finish the sweaters!

Happy New Year Everyone!