Thursday, February 22, 2007

Burst of Knitting Energy

They say that right before you give birth, you get a burst of energy and an urge to clean house (so to speak, not literally, in my case) to get ready for the babe to be born.

In my case, I do need to clean the house before the Cap'n's return from Iraq tomorrow evening. He's safely in Amman, Jordan, now enjoying the Four Seasons Hotel spa. But my burst of energy has so far been directed to my knitting and stash.

First, a longstanding WIP is off the needles! Let me introduce you to my Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. Here at the stats:

The Pattern: Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern
The Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock
Colorway: Brick (extremely like the color of the sample socks in the book)
Needles: Addi Natura US2 (3.0mm)
Time: Started in November? December? Yeesh. Finished February 21
Modifications: Only 6 pattern repeats in the leg and slightly larger gauge for my size 10 feet

I really can't gush enough about Nancy Bush's patterns. I mean, even Grumperina feels the same. Grumperina! This pattern was clearly written and easily memorized. The socks turned out just perfect. They make my feet feel pretty.

BUT...these socks are now my deal with the universe. The deal is: If my midwife delivers me (the same midwife who this week commented that she has not been able to get warm this record cold February), these socks will be my thank you gift to her. She's a knitter, so she'll get it.

See, I knew from the beginning that my two midwives were only on call 50 percent of the time. The other times, the doctors in their practice take the call. But they catch 80 percent of their patients' babies. So I felt like I had pretty good odds. And because I've had an easy pregnancy, I never saw any of the 5 doctors.

But last week, with the ridiculous (ha!) amount of snow and ice we had (more like people's utter stupidity in clearing it, but anyway...) one of my midwives broke her arm. So it's down to one to deliver. I'm a little anxious about it...but she's supposed to be on the weekend I'm due, so we're going to do our best to hit the nail on the head.

So if Marsha catches Baby Dos, the most beautiful pair of socks I've made so far will be hers. She's seen me knitting them at visits and I think she will like them. But if some random doctor catches Baby, those are the socks I'm wearing home from the hospital.

Anyway, to randomly change the subject, I wanted to share my new DPN holders that I discovered while KnittinSis and I were at the Michaels in NC. I had never seen these before, and I think they are supposed to be used to keep DPN sets together when they are not in use, but they work great to keep the sock from sliding off the needles while it's in my nifty little pouch. I highly recommend them.

I managed to resist stash enhancement, though I did see two yarns that I had not before: Lion Brand Wool and Patons SWS soy yarn. The Lion Brand Wool looks like it will give Patons Classic Merino a run for its money, and the SWS had some great color combos. I will probably try them at some point.

However, I neglected to fill you in on my SEX at the LYS while Indy Grampy was in town watching Slim. This picture does no justice to the deep jewel tones of the purples in this yummy, yummy yarn cake. It's "Purple Earth" by Claudia's Handpainted. I'm thinking about trying to just whip this up in some plain stockinette socks, and try to get done by D-Day. I could use some grounding to the earth while laboring.

Although...I totally want to try Cookie's Monkey socks in this yarn. I think it would be fabulous. And have you seen the other sock designs on her blog? Oh. My. God. Wow. It makes me sorry to miss Stitches West. There was nothing so amazing here in Baltimore back in the fall.

I'm really proud of myself that this yarn is my first stash enhancement in 3 months. The last yarn I purchased was December 1 for the Cap'n's felted mittens. If I can keep up this kind of restraint (which probably won't be that difficult considering I'll have 2 under 2 to deal with), I will be proud of myself.

And I think I will earn these two books: More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch and Favorite Socks - 25 Timeless Designs. I reeeeeaaaallly want these.

They will come in mucho handy, even with the sock books I already own, considering what I just did to the stash. I mentioned a while back that I was inspired by Brenda's big reorganization that she talked about on Cast On. So taking advantage of the Cap'n being halfway around the world and not being able to find out how much is really in the stash, I unloaded everything out onto the couch.

Umm. Wow.

No. Really.


I have pictures. I sent one to KnittinSis, and while I realize it is blackmail material, I will also gain access to her stash and start photographing if I have to. I know she's working hard on accumulating too.

So I organized everything by project type and put the wool yarns in my cedar lined bags to protect them. I have a list of number and type of projects doable with my stash now, and I thought about posting it on here. But then again...I think that would give the Cap'n a good idea about the size of the stash. If there is general clamouring for full admission, or if I feel guilty enough to be held publicly accountable, I may change my mind and post the list.

Let's just say for now that I have plenty to keep me busy...for example, there are 6 possible baby sweaters, and I will be lucky to finish those before the kids grow out of the amount of yarn I have. I'm just not that fast a knitter.

The other productive part of the stash reorg was creating a spreadsheet to keep track of my needles. I don't have "that" many, but I did just get the KnitPicks Options set at Christmas, and I don't like having repeats. It keeps me from casting on more projects than I'll likely finish.

It felt so refreshing to have the stash organized and tallied. It made me excited to play Home Yarn Store and rediscover project ideas that I originally was so enthusiastic about. It made me giddy anticipating casting on...

Perhaps a little too giddy. I'll have more to post about tomorrow...


Rie said...


Those socks are fully cute and oh so lovely. I love socks!

Don't hate the stash, hate the game...or something like that ;)

Love you!

yarnmaniac said...

I want to knit Monkey socks also. She is amazing, isn't she?

Rock on with your pregnant self.