Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Bouquet of Handwarmers

So, I am neglecting this blog shamefully, but I couldn't not show off my attempt to be like tiennie, who is always whipping up four or five (always gorgeous) versions of something practically overnight. Mine definitely weren't overnight and they aren't really the same -- even the two Fetchings are different because I messed up the first time and put the cables one row too close together.  (On BOTH pairs I forgot to reverse the cables on the second glove.)

I'm pretty happy with all of them anyway.  These are for my daughter's 1st grade teacher:

and these are for my son's cello teacher:


and this (modeled by my daughter): 

are for my 12-year-old niece

and THIS:

is for her 7-year-old sister.

I have become the crazy aunt who gives knitted gifts.  I hope this is not a great disappointment for my nieces.  I have given them knitted gifts before, but not as their main Hannukah or birthday presents.  I'm not at all sure how thrilled I would be about this if I were them! But too late now.

The specs:

Fetching in Noro Silk Garden, colors 201 and 205. These took about one skein each, but I used half of two skeins for each pair to get the colors to match. Otherwise they would have almost unrecognizable as a pair, the color changes so much. Needles: US6.  I added an additional cable repeat (possibly two?) to the fingers, and possibly one to the wrists.

Maine Morning Mitts in Noro Silk Garden, color 39. These are all from one skein. Needles: US7. These are long! I stopped before I even got to the length suggested in the pattern, and they're still very long.

Quickie Noro Silk Garden Hat in Silk Garden, color 205 (different dye lot). Less than one skein. Needles: US6. I didn't like the way the decreases in the pattern looked, so I did the ones from the Vogue Ribbed Cap pattern, which I got as a freebie in the mail once. I added the tail thingie from the Vogue pattern too.  This seems small for an adult; I hope it fits my niece.

Charmed Shrug, from Knitty, in Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4 Ply (doubled), color 421 (Rose Lake.) I thought I got gauge, but I made the size 4 and it fit my very tall 6-year-old just fine, and she usually wears size 6x-7. I used the same yarn single for the crochet edging.  Needles: US7.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I finally finished Auden's cardigan – really it was quite a simple project that I managed to make way too complicated!  I'm happy with the result though.  Blocking made a big difference – especially pinning out the lace border.  There is something slightly funky/linebackerish about the shoulders, which is probably due to my lame job putting in the sleeves.  (And that is partly due to my knitting the body of the sweater in one piece, and then having to insert the sleeve tubes, which was not so much fun. I love the ruffle at the wrists, though, and didn't know how to reverse engineer it to knit the sleeves from the top down.)

I had a hard time finding a buttonhole that looked good in reverse stockinette – I ended up using Maggie Righetti's three-row buttonhole from Knitting in Plain English. I think it's basically a modified double yarnover. I had to reinforce them/tighten them up with thread to keep the buttons from popping out.

Pattern: Angel by Kim Hargreaves, from Pipsqueaks (still my favorite book of kids' patterns)
Yarn: KFI Cashmereno, about 900 yards?
Needles: US4s and 6s (and who knows what else ... there was definitely some needle confusion on this project!) I never could figure out my gauge in ribbing ... I made Size 8, and it is not big!
Modifications: Knit body in one piece, but not sure that was a good idea.  Changed buttonholes.  More details on Ravelry. 

Sorry for the headless pictures, but Auden was not particularly interested in posing for me. I had visions of her wearing this with some sweet English frock, a la the Rowan book, but my daughter has her own ideas about how to dress these days.  (Also, I don't think she owns a sweet English frock!) 

Next up: holiday knitting!  I have grand plans of fingerless gloves for Auden's teacher and Eli's cello teacher,  and a shrug and more fingerless gloves for my nieces.  And then there's my own cardigan to get back to ... 

Monday, September 15, 2008

What I Did on My Summer Vacation, or: Reports of My Demise ...

(had there been any) would not be all that overly exaggerated.  However, here I am! still knitting, still blogging, sort of.  My severe lack of updating here can be attributed to a) summer vacation and b) complete knitting ineptitude since I last wrote.

But I'll start with the good – I have one (woo! count 'em!) finished object. My Moebius scarf, made under the direction of my unendingly patient sister-in-law Kathy, who took it upon herself to teach THREE of us (two sisters, one s-i-l) to make Moebii (?) on the shores of Lake George in beautiful Ticonderoga this summer.  And she did a smashing job, despite our complete ineptitude.  Hopefully Kathy will post a picture of all of us with our scarves sometime.  It was lots of fun, and Kathy is a wonderful teacher.

Pattern:Moebius Scarf by Cat Bordhi
Yarn:Noro Sakura, 1 skein
Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm Knitpicks Options circular

The other positive summer knitting note was that on our trip to the High Sierras (Tuolomne Meadows, about 9,000 feet up), while I did not actually knit except on the plane, it turned out that handknit wool socks were the perfect thing for keeping our feet warm on very chilly mornings, evenings and during the night.  I was so happy to have my socks in use, and to have 3/4 of my family keeping our feet toasty with them. (Because I do not pack for my husband, he did not even BRING his handknit socks. However I can't complain, because he got up every morning and lit the fire in the woodstove. without which we would have been very very un-toasty, even with our socks.

Tuolomne Meadows is close to heaven. It is a place that was special to my parents before they married and had us, and a place that I have warm memories of from my childhood, and now my children have wonderful memories from there too. Having all three generations there was incredible, despite the stress of planning and executing a vacation for 10 sometimes-cantankerous (I include myself!) relatives.

The bad:  I was inspired this year to make a summer tank, my first real summer knit, the Soleil tank out of Hempathy.  It went very well and the Hempathy is lovely and the pattern is lovely ... but ... I don't think it fits.

EVERYONE and their sister said it needed to be longer, and I entirely believed them, until I compared the measurements with my favorite T-shirts (and thought about my short torso) and DIDN'T make it longer.  And it is too short.  I am sure this has something to do with my bust, though I don't quite understand why it's different from my T-shirts.  I need to try it on again and figure out what to do – rip it all out? but given that summer was all-but-over when I tried it on, I lost the will to go on and for now it is sitting.  Sad.  I also don't love the way the single crochet around the edges looks – I couldn't figure out how not to make big holes.

*     *     *

My other knitting screw-up, not as serious:  I finally went back to work on the second sleeve of the cardigan I am knitting for Auden, only to realize that not only the number of stitches I had started the sleeve with, but also the number of stitches I had ended the FIRST sleeve with, matched absolutely nothing in the pattern.  Apparently,  *cough*, mistakes were made. So I have ripped out half of the first sleeve and am plugging away at re-doing that.

I started a pair of socks for the plane trip to California:  Conwy from Knitting on the Road in Fleece Maiden Basic Merino, which I LOVE. Love the colors, love the way it looks and feels.  (I hope they're going to fit – I've switched from 2s to Knitpicks 1.5s, without readjusting my numbers ... I'm livin' on the edge.)  

And for mindless TV knitting (Sarah Connor Chronicles!!!) plain ribbed socks from Trekking XXL.

And now fall is in full swing, with always too much to do and not enough time to do it. I am going to try to stop and breathe more. I'll let you know how that goes. :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

What Hath Spring Sprung?

It has been way too long since I've posted.  I've been knitting a lot, though.  And thinking of lots of things I want to say, here or somewhere, and just not finding the time.  I'll try to catch up a little!

It has been a very busy spring.  We have officially joined the ranks of over-scheduled families.  (Is there a badge?)  It happened SO quickly; I didn't see it coming.  Eli wanted to play Little League, but he was not going to give up cello (nor did we want him to) nor Hebrew/Sunday school (he would give that up, and I would let him, but his father feels strongly that the pain of religious education must be handed down from generation to generation.)  And recitals and science fairs and Auden wanted to play soccer ...  And my parents were here visiting from California this week, and last weekend was a reunion with my college roommates, and this week the children are in a play and next week I have a concert with rehearsals all week ... next year something may have to go!  

Knitting (combined with mindless television) has been a great stress-reducer.  Except all my knitting has been going wrong!

I started this sweater for Auden, Gretel by Penny Straker, but even though I swatched very carefully, my gauge got much tighter when I knit in the round and the sweater was clearly going to be too small.  Now I am bored of so much stockinette and think I will knit her a cardigan from Rowan Pipsqueaks instead, even though I love the Gretel and have heard wonderful things about Penny Straker patterns.

And then there were the socks for Will, which I went great guns on until it became clear I was going to run out of yarn; I don't know why I thought one skein of Cherry Tree Hill DK was going to be enough, but I did.  So I thought I'd make the toes gray, with leftover Lorna's Laces, and then I ran out of THAT and now the toes are purple and gray. *sigh*  They are not the things of beauty I once envisioned, though I know the toes won't show, and I haven't been able to get motivated to finish them off.

THEN I decided to make the cabled purse from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts for my friend Julie's 40th birthday, using the leftover Koigu from the scarf I made my friend Alison for her 40th birthday.  I didn't check gauge, and halfway through the purse was coming out VERY tiny! About 3" wide instead of the 5.25 called for in the pattern.  I couldn't bear to rip it out – it's not a hard pattern but it's a little bit fussy – so I went ahead and finished it and managed to spray-block it (around a plastic container lid) to about 5".  Hopefully it will stay that way!  It is a fun way to use Koigu; much quicker than socks and a better spring/summer gift than a scarf, I think.  This could be my go-to girlfriend gift.

Still plugging along on my cabled cardigan; no disasters there, thank goodness!

I will try to be back sooner.  Thank you for putting up with me!  And thank you all for your wonderful comments, which I love reading despite my lack of replying.  

Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm Still Here!

I've even been knitting. Finished these red socks for Eli, made progress on my Bridget cardigan and started these socks for Will:

I'm using Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Sport, which is such a pleasure.  Very squooshy and *so* quick to knit.   I'm in love with the colorway (Java).    I broke my no-yarn-buying resolve and ordered it from A Sheep's Tale, which was having a fantastic sale on CTH.  (They still are, but I don't know how many colors are left.)    I really love it, especially after my traumatic experience making the red socks.  The yarn itself -- Lang Jawoll -- was fine, though I think it may be thinner than your average sock yarn -- but my attempts to use the spool of matching reinforcing thread that came with it was a comedy of errors.  I can't bear to recount them all here, but suffice it to say that reinforcing thread, or at least this reinforcing thread, is a TERRIBLE thing to rip out.  Up there with mohair.  I ended up with an enormous snarled mess and having to cut the thread several times.  I also didn't enjoy knitting with the thread and I didn't like how dense it made the fabric.  So I won't do that again!  The socks are nice and cheery, though, and Eli seems to like them.

I finished one front of the Bridget cardigan and have  moved onto the second -- so far so good.  I am such a nimrod, though, that after berating myself for forgetting to write down what needles I used for the ribbing of the first front, I then forgot to write down which needles I used for the ribbing of the second one.   'Cause I wouldn't want the back to match, either, would I.   *sigh*  I think it was 6s, though.  

I apologize for my long absence.  I have been busy, but also thinking a lot about this blog and what/who it's for.  I imagine many people are having the same thoughts since Ravelry came along.  Anyway, I won't bore you with that now.  Plus, my children are demanding a game of LIFE, so I  have to go.

Until next time!  Happy Spring, everyone.  It's coming, I'm sure of  it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Rose's Got Pants

But more importantly, Rose has the cutest little sweater you ever saw ...

Is it not adorable? Does it not make you squee with its adorableness?

I started to knit Rose some pants, I really did. Out of this very yarn, which I must confess, I did end up buying, for $3 (the buttons cost more than the yarn!) in the sale basket at the Village Yarn Shop. (And which I LOVE, 'cause it's 6-ply and it knits up SO much faster than regular sock yarn.)

Anyway, I started the pants, and they were so ugly I could not go on. So ugly I could not even record them for history in a picture. Auden, of course, liked them. And was not interested in a sweater, no matter how adorable, when Rose needed pants. But I found these nice purple pants at an Etsy store and all is well in Auden-land.

Life is too short to knit ugly pants, even for a doll.

Pattern: Miniature Cowichan Cardigan by Veronik Avery. (Is there a non-miniature version? I kind of want one.)
Yarn: Regia 6-ply Crazy Color, 1 skein, plus Cascade 220 Superwash for the collar.
Needles: US3
Modifications: I skipped the colorwork, obviously, and did regular instead of twisted ribbing, mostly because I was too lazy to get up out of my chair and figure out how to do a twisted purl stitch.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How Grownups Waste Time

I had a little bit of yarn left from my mom's socks, and Rose (Auden's American Girl-ish Hannukah present) needed socks ... so I made the world's most boring doll sock. However, since I used smaller needles than the pattern called for (Rose has fine sensibilities) and didn't check gauge, they don't actually fit Rose. They do fit Sasha, my childhood doll that Auden also plays with, but as Auden pointed out to me, "Sasha doesn't really need socks. She doesn't go outside much. And she doesn't have shoes."

Meanwhile, Rose has socks with puppies on them coming from eBay, and what Auden really wants is for me to make Rose some pants. So I'll rip this out ... but I may have to try again one of these days -- look at those tiny gussets! How cute is that!

Apparently knitting doll socks puts me in the ranks of crazy knitter, if I wasn't there already. My husband seems to think so , anyway -- he refused to join in on any discussion re. what kind of sock Rose might prefer. Just gave me a concerned look.

I did persuade myself that no yarn can be purchased for making doll items. No yarn ought to be purchased for any purposes, actually, it is getting hard to fit guests in the guest room.

I'll just keep burning through my stash, one tiny sock at a time ...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Under the Wire

These are for my mother's birthday, which is Friday. I finished them just before noon and mailed them off, with the post office's assurances that they would be in California in two days. Whew! Kind of silly to spend months on a pair of socks and then rush through the finishing. I didn't have time to wash them – although I'm partly glad because I would be so depressed if they pilled too much right away. The cuffs were already looking discouragingly frayed; I had to trim off the fuzz and
escaping antennae. I liked knitting with the Regia Silk, and it looks very nice, but I don't know if I'll get much feedback on how it wears. (Or even *if* it's worn. We shall not think of that!:)

Not being pure silk, these do not drape in the luxurious manner of the book illustration; however they did insist on posing with pearls, just like in the book.

In the end, the fit was OK. If I made another pair, which I probably won't, I would change the shape of the heel flap. And I'm sure there were some minor errors in the pattern that aren't in the errata. But overall, a very nice pattern.

By a stroke of knitter's luck, a piece of our car began dragging on the ground yesterday and I had to spend the morning at the Honda dealership while it was repaired. Only $20.99 (to replace broken clips on the undercarriage) and more than an hour of uninterrupted, guilt-free daytime knitting! I was very happy.

Pattern: Anniversary Socks, from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks
Yarn: Regia Silk, Color 002
Needles: Knitpicks Options DPN, Size 2.5 mm (The size between a U.S. 1 and 2)
Modifications: Only to fix errors. If you make these, CHECK THE CORRECTIONS!!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Windy Day ...

and some squirrels in our yard are looking for new homes!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Moving Right Along

Well, after working on every small project I could think of instead, I have finally started the Bridget cardigan. So far so good! I am still amazed by the very fact of cabling (and the fact that I can do it) though I think some of that will wear off by the time I get through two fronts and the back ... there are a lot of cables here. And no charts. Charts would help a lot. I may need to do something about that.

One early success: I was able to drop down four rows to add in a cable I'd left out (one of the little ones on the left -- you can see where it's kind of loose) instead of having to rip back. Baby steps! The Options needle points are killing my fingers with all the pushing through cables; I might switch to my Inox and see if they're pointy enough to do the job.

So that should keep me busy for a while. It's not traveling knitting, though. Nor is this, the semi-abandoned Anniversary Sock:

I tried it on again yesterday. Can anyone else see the skewing I'm talking about in the picture above? The diamonds are not symmetrical ... they pull to the right and kind of slant over into the cable on the right, while there's a neat straight division between them and the cable on the left. Did I do something wrong to cause this? Or is it just part of the design? It bothers me less than it did before. Anyway, I wasn't going to rip back because of that, but because I thought it was too short and the heel fit badly:

I love the eye-of-partridge heel but this one is a strange shape -- very short and wide, not a square at all. If I rip out past the heel will I ever re-knit the rest of the sock? and if I don't, will I ever re-knit the second sock??!! I think I should finish these socks; it's very nice yarn and they're very pretty. And they're for my mother, who so far has only one garter stitch scarf to show for her knitting daughter. I think I will make Kathy help decide when she comes here next week. (!!!!) All my knitting decisions rely heavily on Kathy. :)

And finally, I realized I never posted a picture of my Hannukah yarn. My sister-in-law Nancy gave me The Book of Yarn, which I love, and this beautiful sock yarn:

The colors, especially of the one on the right, are not ones I would have chosen myself, which I like, because I tend to buy the same colors over and over. Eli is already clamoring for socks from the "fire" yarn!