Sunday, April 30, 2006

Feet, Feet, Feet

"In the house, and on the street, how many different feet you meet!"

(With apologies to Dr. Seuss)

Here they are: my very first pair of socks. I am inordinately proud of them. I've described them in previous posts, but I can't say enough about the toe-up pattern. It's easy to understand and makes a nice sock. But I wouldn't have been able to do it without the lovely folks over at Stitch DC.

I'm curious to see how the Paton's Classic Merino wears as a sock. Anyone out there used it before and know?

What is it about socks that are so addictive? I absolutely can't stop staring at Nancy Bush's books (and this one, because it's important to DREAM BIG) and the Sensational Knitted Socks. I've already got another pair on the needles, and I can't wait to start more.

Maybe it will be a Rockin', Sockin' Christmas/Hannukah for the family this year.

Packing My Knit Bag

I'm about to head out to visit family in North Carolina and Indiana, and it has taken me longer to pack my knitting bag than it did to put together a suitcase full of clothes for me and the boy.

1. There's the current sock project, which I hope to take a FO pic of this weekend. It's the Lorna's Laces worsted in rainbow, and it is fantabulous. But the only problem is, I don't know when to quit so that I have enough for two socks. There are only 225 yards in the ball. Anyone?

2. There is a wannabe sock project from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. Ooh. I can't wait.

3. There is a surprise family gift from some organic cotton yarn I won from Carol.

4. There is a cotton tank top project that I'm trying to design from Elsebeth Lavold Cable Cotton that was on sale at Stitch.

5. There is the baby blanket that never ends. (Actually, I'm just over halfway.)

Like I'm really going to finish 5 projects in 2 weeks. But I'm resisting throwing in a couple more balls for socks. Because socks don't really count, right? And, I swear, the nearest yarn stores in Indiana are Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

I'll be trying to blog from the 'rents' computers. Hopefully with the aunties around to amuse the boy, I'll get in some more time on the needles.

P.S. A big HOORAY for me because I made it through April with only one SEX (stash enrichment expedition) at the yarn store, per the multi-month rules. I haven't folded on my Stashalong commitment yet! One month down and six more to go.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Making My Day

You ever have one of those days? Where nothing's really wrong, per se, but you know that you really ought to be paying bills and cleaning, and your husband isn't helping, and the kid is being demanding, and the dog is chewing things she shouldn't, and you just don't feel right?

And then an angel (or a Sugar Bunny as the case may be) comes and makes your day?

It's so fun to have your very own sock pusher!

To start out with, I committed my first act of subway knitting yesterday on the Metro coming home from our cousins' in Greenbelt and was able to finish my first PAIR of socks in the evening. As soon as I get photos of them on the hubby's footsies, I will post them. I used Paton's, this toe-up sock recipe and the Purled Ladder pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks on the legs. I think he likes them (he wore them to bed when he got home from work finally).

Speaking of, his work schedule is a large part of my frustration through the day. He's always been a workaholic, but before we would at least spend some quality time together in the evenings. Since he's working nights, the time he's around during the day is packed with errands and feeding/playing with the baby. And baby is moving from two daily naps to one nap, so he's much more of a handful now.

I don't want to air any more dirty laundry on the blog, so let's just say today was ripe for some good news. Laura felt sorry for my Stashalong commitment, so in addition to the unloved sock yarn she was giving away, she is throwing in a skein of her hand dyed sock yarn from her etsy shop. So go say hi to her and her cute kids, buy something at her shop and tell her thank you from me!

Oh, and my cousin had Baby Samuel, and the blanket is not quite half done! Eek. So, new baby cousin may get a hat or something quick if I can't get cracking on that blanket. Especially since I just wound up the organic cotton I won from Carol for a secret family gift.

What can I say, I'm luckier than I think. I have to remember that on a daily basis.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

P.S. I Need a Ball Winder

And a swift, while we're at it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fair to Middling

This is going to be one photo-ey post 'cause I gots lots to report. So here goes:

A boy, his hat and his dad's handknit sock, in their natural environment: the slide at the park. You would think I could dress him in something fancier than his pajamas and a hoodie, but you'd be wrong at 7:30 a.m. I wanted to get some good light on a few of the FOs I'm most proud of. The boy first, of course. At his 9-month checkup last month he weighed 17 lbs. 13 oz and was 28 1/2 inches long.

The Conehead hat was actually completed a while ago. After the too small top-down one (gifted to my cousin's baby), I started a brim-up one from Kids Knitted Hats by Cabin Fever. I used some Brown Sheep Company Lamb's Pride in worsted weight. It was originally intended for illusion knitting, but that ain't ever happening.

Here was my dilemma: The boy's head. It is big. Big like his momma's. Mine's 23", his is 18", by my measurements. This is the same size as a 2-year-old's, according to knitting patterns, though his pediatrician has never said, "hey, your kid's head is freakishly large for his age." Which come to think of it, is probably a good thing.

The pattern called for worsted weight wool to create a baby-size hat, and larger needles and chunky weight wool to create a larger hat for an older kid, which I thought would better fit. So a couple of awkward calculations later, and I came up with a modified pattern to use worsted weight and still create a larger hat.

I didn't quite get the hat height thing, though. For some reason, I thought I should knit straight for twice the amount of the Fair Isle patterning before decreasing. Thus, the conehead look. And the fact that he'll still be wearing the hat when he starts elementary school, if his father doesn't lose it before then. Oh well, bigger is better than too small, right?

And yes, I did say Fair Isle. This is my first Fair Isle project. And I know knit-iquette demands that I show the stranding. It's a little too tight, and it pulls up the garter stitch brim. Thanks to Ms. Stoller, I figured out how to do the two-handed Fair Isle. So technically, this is also my first "English" work, too. Cool, huh? However, I don't think I got the yarn dominance trick down yet. That'll have to come in my next Fair Isle project.

Daddy's sock was next off the needles, thanks to Karida at Stitch. I tried to follow this pattern, but somehow ended up with an ankle hole that barely fit three fingers. So I signed up for an in-person class, which I cannot recommend enough, particularly at Stitch. Marie, Karida and Brigitta and the whole crew there are so welcoming and sweet. It was great.

I started the sock class with Lorna's Laces worsted in rainbow, which I love, but it was a little too much for hubbo. They will probably end up as a gift to my MawMaw. So I went back to using the Patons Classic Wool in deep olive, thinking that would help him fit in a little more around the campfire. Apparently, though, that was all the thinking I should have done.

The prospect of K2,P2 ribbing sounded incredibly boring to me after the excitement of turning the heel and ending up with an ankle that would fit a normal human foot. So I thought he might like it if I spiced it up a bit with the Purled Ladder pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks (a simply sensational book).

If you ever think a man who isn't gay or otherwise stylish wants something fancier than the basic, ribbed, storebought sock you were basing your very first sock on, you'd be wrong. Oren's not crazy about the Purled Ladder pattern. I think I fantasized about too many Nancy Bush socks, and there was no way a plain ribbed sock would do. So now I'm working on the ribbing of the second, and I hope to have it done by the end of the weekend. I want to make one from this book next with some of this yarn I found at Stitch.

Off the needles next was a long-standing WIP. After I finished the previous top-down hat and sent it to Hadley, I wanted to make one for baby Claire, the next new cousin in line for a handknit. So I started it, but let it sit for awhile as I tackled other projects. I figured if I didn't get to it soon, she'd outgrow it and the season would be too warm to wear it.

I used the same great pattern, which I love for its ease. This time I used TLC Cotton Plus because I thought it would be lighter for summer. I modified the pattern and added an eyelet round just above the stockinette roll brim. I used I-cord to make a ribbon bow. You can see what Malcolm thinks of it, but I like it.

I do hope it fits her.


I have been busy. I haven't even mentioned the reading, the writing, the planning, the visiting.

Woof. I gotta go to bed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Belting One Out

What have I been doing you ask? A righteous question, given that I haven't been blogging. So first let me distract you with a photo of a belt I made for my sister with this pattern and this yarn. I am now trying to quickly produce a second one in fuschia before my sisters arrive on Thursday so I have presents for both of them.

Otherwise, there's been some serious knitting, lots of reading, some writing (!), family visiting and lots of keeping up with baby. Speaking of, he calls. Or cries, as the case may be.

More tonight.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Well, It's Started...

I have been knitting lately. It's just been so busy with Oren's cousin visiting and my parents from North Carolina up, I haven't gotten a chance to write about it.

And maybe I'm a little sad...a little blue. I did it to myself, but it had to be done. I've gone and joined the Stashalong. The little button on the side confirms it. And here is my pledge:

I vow not to purchase yarn from April 1, 2006, to November 1, 2006. *(See Stashalong for rules)

The Stitches East conference starts November 2 in Baltimore, and I've heard that is the place to go nuts for yarn. So if I can make it until then, I figure I can really splurge. We're trying to save up for a house and pay off credit cards, so yarn purchases will have to wait. Boohoo. Yarn gifts on the other hand...does Amazon have a yarn and knitting book wish list?

I think I have about 20 projects that I could work on in my stash between now and then. I'm not taking part in the Flash Your Stash day because my husband reads this blog and, hey, I'm not that crazy. But there's the WIPs and a couple of scarves, a hat or two and some baby sweaters. And the socks. I definitely have to make some socks.

So in other yarn news: Karida's sock class at Stitch was awesome, and I hope to soon have the first sock FO to post on the blog. It's not going to be on the yarn I used in class, but Oren will have his camping socks yet. The yarn we used in class (Lorna's Laces Shepherd, love, love it) will go to some socks for my MawMaw. The problem is that I only have one set of Size 5 dpns for both projects.

Well, let me finish the laundry and straightening up before the bebe wakes from his nap. Will update later tonight after my final "knitting class."