Archive for December, 2005
My Christmas knitting adventures, in chronological order:
Just before Christmas, I was all about finishing a red shawl for my mother. Her specifications were “red” and “warm,” and I wanted a pattern that looked easy, so I made the Meadow Flowers shawl from Knitter’s Stash with red Rowan Kid Classic. The main body was indeed easy, but 3 days before Christmas I realized the lacy border was going to take some time. In fact, when I checked out other blogs to see what others had to say about making this shawl, they all said that the border took longer than the shawl itself. So, I said to myself, who needs a lacy border anyway?
Here’s what it looked like just before blocking.
We discovered that, somewhat unfortunately, whoever wears this shawl looks like a little old lady, even Corie. Luckily, my mother qualifies as a little old lady. And it is definitely warm and red.
I also managed to squeeze out yet another pair of handwarmers for Emily, who said that the Lamb’s Pride ones I made earlier made her hands itch. These are made of Mountain Colors yarn, and this picture is too dark to do them justice. They are an autmnal color, though.
On Christmas, I got new slippers! Not a knitting news item, but fun anyway. Mine are the blue feet, Corie’s are the killer rabbits in sleeper mode.
I did, of course, get knitting-related presents. A year later than everyone else I realized that I too wanted a ballwinder and swift. And my in-laws sent me some beautiful green alpaca. And then, fun ensued.
And then more winding, all the day long …
Other projects continue. Since I had some uninterrupted time, I decided to take apart the sweater I made last year and re-sew it. I liked the sweater, but did a terrible job sewing it and as a result it turned out lumpy and I never wore it. As it says in the Knitter’s Handbook, “Seams in knitting have long been unpopular. This is mainly due to the fact that what a knitter loves best is to knit, not sew.” (p. 245). Amen. So, this time I am planning carefully and taking my time.
I also started a tunic for Nigel, the family tunic from Weekend Knitting. Since he is 9 feet tall, that means miles of seed stitch…
And, finally, I was going to make a solid, ribbed, dark scarf for Corie. But, it turns out she wants something pink and lacy. Who would’ve thought?
Well, I finally did it. I got a quick half-hour lesson in spinning from Gran and I was on my way. Of course, I am still producing pretty crappy yarn, but you have to start somewhere. Check it out…
I had to have Nick make me a “niddy noddy” so that I could get the yarn off the bobbin and into a nice, tidy skein. To get it nice and tidy, the yarn needs to be soaked and hung to dry with a weight pulling the strands taught. This sets the twist and gives you a nice straight piece of yarn (if it isn’t horribly overspun, like mine!).
Although these aren’t the best samples, I think I’ll knit them up and see how it comes out. Perhaps a hat. I still have 8oz of wool roving (the nice red one) to spin up. I can’t wait to see what that one looks like!
I’ll be sure to bring these in to show off at our next knitting lunch! Be prepared to be dazzled ;)
It was a quality holiday this year, in yarn terms. All of my knitted hats found homes. The pacman ghosts went to my brothers-in-law, while the Chamonix went to one sister, and a Lamb’s Pride green/brown cap (lacking a picture) went to another. The third sister gets a knitted surprise within the next few days…so I can’t yet disclose the form it will take.
My two-year-old neice (who currently likes the yarn shop doggies better than the yarn) got socks in her favorite color, peerple….
My nephew-miniBatman-RescueHero dyed some yarn for me with Kool-Aid:
Later on Sunday, he wanted a “knitting lesson” so he helped me with a few stitches on my Helen’s Lace pie wedge shawl. The best superheroes can save Gotham AND knit a few stitches, ya know….
I only knitted a couple Christmas gifts this year. And I did them early – good for me. The first is a little shawl I made for my mom. She is always pretty warm so it is hard to find something wearable to knit for her. I got some recycled silk yarn for pretty cheap on eBay (10 balls for ~24.00). Although it wasn’t the best quality, it turned out pretty nice. And best of all – she likes it and it looks nice on her. I used a free pattern from Yarn Market. Here’s what it looks like:
I also knit a couple of hats for my brothers. The first is on Bobby. I knitted it on straight needles with some left-over chunky Lion Brand something-or-other. The second hat is on Brad. It was knitted in the round with Lamb’s Pride Bulky. This pattern is free from Jimmy Beans Wool. I like it a lot!
(don’t tell them I put their pictures up here!)
My sister-in-law said that she is going to try to rig it so that I pull her name for Christmas next year. She wants something nice, too.
I went shopping the two days before Christmas to get a little extra something for my mother-in-law – yarn. I got her some baby alpaca and a pair of rosewood needles. While I was at the store, I decided to spend a little of my birthday money. I got 7 skeins of Magallanes by Araucania Yarns. It is very nice. Now I just need to find a pattern. I’m looking for a fairly simple V-Neck sweater in gauge 20 sts/4″. Here are a couple pictures:
I can’t wait to start knitting with this!!
As Sherry mentioned in her last post, I found a pattern for a hat that we like a lot. The pattern is “Allison’s New York Street Cap.” I’ve made two of them of them recently. This hat is warm, and we’ve successfully tried it out with three different yarns (Sherry’s brown – Cascade 220, my gray – Lamb’s Pride Worsted Superwash, my blue – Mission Falls 1824 Wool). Essentially, you make one hat, then pick up the original number of stitches around the hem, make another hat, and the second hat becomes the lining. With the gray hat, I purled the first row of the lining to make a nicer turning ridge.
After I took some pictures of the hats this afternoon, I was editing the photos, and realized that one image reminded me very strongly of middle school for some reason. Hmmm. A short while later, I figured it out. If I had a dime for every quarter spent at the arcade in 1982…I could buy enough yarn to make another hat! Sweet!
In honor of it being so cold and snowy (snowstorm yesterday and nothing but snow showers forecast for the next 5 days), I got up this morning and arranged a knitted still life on my table. I finished the red fisherman’s scarf I started in September, and wear it around my neck everyday. I also made a jacquard cap from Caps & Hats Two: Vogue Knitting on the Go, but I used colors that are so similar that you really can’t tell it has a pattern. It is warm, though.
The brown hat is a watch cap, the pattern stolen from Kristen, who graciously lets me steal a lot of her patterns. She found it somewhere on the web, and it turns out it was ultimately stolen from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting without Tears, so I don’t feel so bad.
And, the knitted work in progress is yet another pair of handwarmers for Emily, made with Rowan Kid Classic.
The coffee is Starbuck’s French Roast in press pot.
I started this sweater for my little one months ago. It is very loosely based on a pattern found in an older issue of Knitty. I finished the back piece and started on the left half of the front. Silly me, I was thinking that the button band would be added later, but I was supposed to put a seed stitch border as I went. I ripped out that left half and never went back – other, more exciting projects crossed my path.
The yarn is Sensations Angel Hair from JoAnn Etc. It isn’t very fancy yarn, but Ava just loves it so much – as much as a toddler can love yarn, I guess. Anyway, I need to find the motivation needed finish this thing so I can give it to Ava while it will still fit. I guess I can squeeze one more project in before Christmas!
Here is a rather fuzzy photo of the back of the sweater, which is also rather fuzzy.
And here is the mischievous little yarn snatcher in action: