December 26, 2009

After Glow of Christmas

Well, I thought that I'd be too tired to even have a desire to knit, but that is not the case.  It seems that since the push is over to get things done, the adreneline rush is still on.

Last night I finished the entrelac hat and scarf set:

The scarf was made earlier this year from the Easy Entrelac pattern at the Knitting Daily site, the hat pattern came from a book called Knit or Crochet.   The yarn is Kauni (EJ, I think) which was leftover from my Nana's shawl and there's still plenty left over!  I used US #2 needles and thought that would see the end of the yarn, but no.

Then, I cast on another pair of socks because my mother threatened to confiscate for her very own a pair of socks I made for my sister for Christmas.  The Nutkin socks were a big hit and my sister loves them, unfortunately so does my mother who thought they were for her!  So, to heal my mother's covetous heart I cast on a pair of Knotty or Knice Socks for her:

I'm using some yarn from one of Sock Pixie's collections, this is Jade, I think.  I'm using US #2 needles and the pattern is easy enough if you know how to knit cables.  The whole sock is a little fiddly, I'm not great at toe up socks and there's busy work on almost every row, but the overall effect is worth the effort.  I only have a week to make them before my sister's socks are in danger of disappearing from her sock drawer!

Tomorrow I'm going to work on the sock, go on the great pattern hunt for a shawlette, and hunt for a pattern for socks to make for me since I"m down to 2 pairs of hand made socks, one for Saturday and one for Sunday.  That situation needs to be rectified, really.

Happy day after Christmas to all!

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Happy holiday to everyone!  I wish you all a warm place to be, family to be with, good health and peace.  I'll be at my mom's house where all good food comes from, and all I'll need is a place to nap between plates of food! 

Meanwhile, I managed to finish the Multnomah shawlette:

The colors are so pretty.  This isn't really a shawl, but a scarf which is easier to wrap around your neck under your coat.  Hopefully it will keep the recipient warm and that she gets a lot of use out of it.

This little beauty was made with Cherry Tree Hill supersock, US #3 needles (I wish I had used US #4 needles).  It took one skein of yarn, with a little left over, and if you put your markers in the right place and pay attention to your yarn overs then this is a quick knit.  I'm math challenged, so I had a few false starts where I had to rip it out, but I trust that all of you can count to 10 without getting confused.  I can't.

Now I'll move on to my next thing - whatever that is.  I was going to make a hat with the much maligned Dried Flowers that I spun, but I seem to have misplaced it.  Oh well, it's not the only yarn/fiber that's lost around here. I'll find it.

Here's hoping that all of you managed to keep your handmade pledge and finish your holiday knitting on time.

December 22, 2009

Snowed In With Knitting Needles

Last week I heard there was going to be a snowstorm this past Saturday, and the weatherman said 6-12 inches.  Of course my first thought was that the weatherman didn't know is numbers - and I thought I was bad at math.  I made sure to leave knitting circle early, just in case the forecast was right.

On the way home there were a few flurries, nothing I'd consider a show stopper.  By 4p, there was a little dusting of snow.  By 8p, here's what I saw:

Well, how in the world did that happen?  It wasn't snowing that hard an hour ago.  The next day I went out to shovel and the snow was up to my knees!  Granted, I'm only 5' tall, but up to my knees?  And the snow was up my front steps and against my front door!!  I heard we got 18" of snow.  Now, I'm too old to fall down, and shoveling that much snow could give me a heart attack, so when these two guys offered to shovel, I let them have at it - for a price.  My slacker son was off shoveling other people's sidewalks for Christmas money.

Meanwhile, I finished the Nutkin socks and I'm quite pleased with the results:

I used Smooshy Dream in Color, but I don't know what color this is because the ball band is long gone.  Ill probably find it in a month or two.  I do know that I used US #2 needles and after these socks there was plenty of yarn left over.  The pattern called for a short row heel and toe, but I only used the short rows for the heel and did my usual toe bind off.  Cute socks, nice yarn and another Christmas present under my belt.

Then my friend Sojourn Knitter and I were talking about stash and I mentioned that I had some Misti Alpaca lace in what was sold to me as silver sage.  I had 10 skeins of it, I used 6 of them and to be honest, I was bored with the color:

Mercifully, she had some too, but in a much better color, merlot:

Too bad my camera doesn't do deep, rich purples, but it's absolutely beautiful and I know just what I'm going to do with it - right after the holidays.

And finally, I finished the Multnomah Shawl.  It had it's bath and is comfortably blocking which was no easy feat.  How does one block a scalloped edge?  I pinned the top, then I pinned the line going down the middle to make sure it stayed straight, then I pressed the scallops into shape and pinned.  Not perfect, but good enough:

I used one skein of gifted Cherry Tree Hill supersock yarn  (thanks Sojourn Knitter - again) and US #3 needles.  There was barely any yarn left when I was done.  Honestly, I should have gone up a needle size.  The pattern said that at the start of the 6th and 10th repeats you could add more lace, but I didn't.  I should have.   Anyway, now another holiday present is done in time for Christmas.  Yay!

Now I only have to make six more things, and I've only got time for 3.  Hah!  I laugh in the face of adversity.  I'll get all of my gifts made, even if I have to duck the recipients until a week after Christmas.

December 12, 2009

From Zero to (Almost) 3

I didn't think I'd be able to get any handmade gifts made in time for Christmas this year, but I was wrong.

Odessa's hat and mittens are done:

If I had more of this color yarn, I'd make her a scarf, but no such luck.  That's the problem with having just one skein of a certain yarn or color.  This set is kind of boring, and it needs something which I will think up after I get done with my knitting frenzy.

There was no pattern for the hat, I just cast on 80 stitches and after the basic 2x2 cuff and 5 inches of stockinette, I used the same bind off as for the mittens.  The only modification was when binding off, I knit only 1 row (instead of 3) between bind off rows.

I used Wool-Ease in cranberry, I skein, needles US size 4 and each item was made in one day of knitting.

That done, I cast on Nutkin for my sister:

This sock is incredibly detailed, but so easy they're a pleasure to make.  I thought I'd make them for myself, but it's too close to the holidays for me to be knitting for myself.  Besides, I was gifted some Madelintosh and if I still want a pair after I make these, then I can do it after Christmas.

For this pattern I'm using Smooshy Dream in Color in a color unknown to me because I lost the label.  Let's say it's like a coffee bean color.

As soon as I'm done here, I'm going back downstairs to finish sewing the lining in the Sipalu bag for Mom.  One more present done.

So little time, but so much to do!  But at least I'm able to hang on to my handmade pledge.  That's one less trip to the mall.  Yay!

Oh My Gosh!

These two boxes have been sitting by my front door for more than a week now.  I know what's in them because I ordered them from the Woolery. I was supposed to spend the wheel money on a new back door for the house, but who needs a door when you have enough money for a wheel and not quite enough for a door?

C'mon!  By my way of thinking, if the criminals think my back door is closed, locked and secure then there's no reason why I can't have a wheel.  Besides, I figure the booby trap by the back door (the litter box) is security enough.

So, what's in the boxes?  Well box number one contains this:

My brand new Lendrum DTC!  Right there in the box that was by the door - for a week.  How in the world did I resist this?!  And not 5 minutes later, I had this:

And it came with a whole bunch of other stuff: a lazy kate, a jumbo flyer and a fast flyer.  All that lovliness stuffed in the box by the door.

After everything was together, I went to the used-to-be curio cabinet which now houses so much spinning stuff that I'm embarrassed to invite people over for dinner!

And I found some combed merino top and spun just a little:

The second box contained my carrier and the half pound of cotton I ordered so I can practice on my charkha.

And since I opened the boxes while my son was at the movies, I knew I'd have to pack it up before he got home or else he'd start getting on my nerves about why there's no money for a Wii.  So quick as a wink, I packed up the wheel and put it up.

Since I'm sure my son has absolutely no interest in my blog, I'm going to tell you where the wheel is, just in case I forget. It's in the spare bedroom (one day to be my craft room), under the bed.

Of course, this means I can only spin on the wheel when he is out (likely) or after I buy him a Wii (unlikely).  It's not up for negotiation since I'm the one with a job - and money.  He's broke.

So Happy Thanksgiving/Easter/Birthday/New Years & Merry Christmas to me!

December 06, 2009

Back to Basics

I had my heart set on making Seascape, but the more I knit it, the more out of love I fell.  That happens sometimes.  While I have no regrets about having knit some of it in the first place, I am suffering with angst over what to replace it with.

Since it's going to be gifted, I have to come up with something appropriate for the recipient that I will enjoy making.  That's no easy feat because I have about a gazillion patterns to choose from and so far I got nothing.

So while I was mulling over my options, I whipped up a pair of socks for my son:

Every time I go to look for a skein of yarn I'd bump into this Online Linie Holiday (I think).  Truth be told, I'm sick of bumping into it.  And since my son is down to 3 hand knit socks (all different), I figured what better way to get rid of this yarn than making him a pair of socks.  I cast on Friday evening and they were done on Saturday evening.

Now I'll never run into this skein again.  That's one less thing I'll have to rifle through while I'm looking for the charger for my Kindle.  Does anyone know where I put it?  I've downloaded some books that I'd like to read now and the charger is hiding from me.

Let me get back on track.  Still having no idea about what to make with the Seascape yarn, I decided to cast on for a pair of basic mittens for Odessa.  She's only 4 years old and she can always use extra hats/gloves/mittens since, at her age, keeping track of her stuff is not important.  This morning, I cast on these mittens:

They only took a couple of hours to make with some Wool-Ease in Cranberry and US #4 double points.  If there's enough of this skein left to make a matching hat, I will.  How big is the head of a 4 year old anyway?  Can I make a hat with less than half a skein of yarn?  I'll figure it out.

Well, I'm off to find the charger for the Kindle.  But before I go, I'd like to leave you with this one piece of wisdom from someone who is notoriously misplacing things. 

Like Odessa, I can't keep track of my stuff either.  I call it putting things 'up', but that's just a euphemism.  I'd have better luck finding stuff that was tacked to the ceiling.  And just as 'up' is a misnomer, let me also say that putting things in 'one place' is also a joke in my world.  I put the cord for the Kindle in one place with all the rest of my 'important stuff'.  That means a whole lot of my stuff is missing andI can't blame the cat.  I mean, I can, but it would be a lie.

In future, I'm going to write myself notes and use post-it notes and write things down in a diary or something.  Maybe I'm going to put all of my stuff under my bed just to cut down on the search area.  I have to come up with something.

OK, I'm off.  I've got cooking, dishes and laundry to fold.  And then I'll find the cord for the Kindle which I will tape it to my headboard.