Saturday, December 30, 2006

What would you do, O knitters?

While I was at Webs, I saw this absolutely GORGEOUS shawl. I cannot stop thinking about it! Now, I don't own any shawls (save a fancy dress one from a black tie wedding). I never wear shawls...but something about this yarn and this pattern captured me. The yarn is Berrocco's Boho (and Colors), and the shawl has this amazing lacy pattern. It was GORGEOUS, and I am obsessed. I would have bought the yarn but they didn't have enough in the colors I really liked (you did half of it in a plain Boho and half with Colors, so you need coordinating colors). It looks like the color I like is being discontinued. Ah well. Anyway, would you buy the yarn ($$) and make the pattern (I am sure that Webs would let me buy it), or let it go? You can also do a scarf version, which I would wear, I am sure. If you couldn't get the Colors yarn, would you do it all in one color?

I am also contemplating the Poncho again. I'm pondering one of the top-down ponchos with Artyarn. Again, pricey, but so pretty! I am thinking that if I'm going to be ordering, I might as well get one of the Modular Scarf patterns (triangles? diamonds? squares?) and the Flat top hat pattern too. *sigh* I am going to be so broke, but have SO many things to knit!!!!

I'm about to gear up for another round of baby hat knitting too. I got some Tahki colors that I'll do a simple roll-brimmed hat to start, I think. I just got my yarn all sorted and organized. I think I may try and make some dishcloths to sell also. And oh yeah, that whole professional development thing too! It's going to be a busy year!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Drop Off #2

DS1 and I went over to Children's yesterday morning before we headed out of town, to drop of the next round of hats. Like last time, it was a hard visit. Unlike last time, I didn't spend time thinking about our (brief) stay there, but rather this time, I was struck by the fact that at 9:00 am on the Saturday before Christmas, we had to park on the 5th floor of the Children's lot because it was so full. I am thankful that a place like Children's exists, but it just made me sad, and so, so thankful for my own healthy kids. I don't know about others, but I need (and appreciate) the reminders for gratitude about all my blessings. It's so easy to get caught up in the little hassles of life. It's good to take a moment to remember how FINE everything really is.

Anyway, we're now out in the Berkshires, and I'm about to take off for some ALONE time, to go to Webs!! The website claims they're open on Sundays for the holiday season. I'll have about an hour or so to play there before I have to head back, which I think should be enough. :) I'm needing more Addis in small sizes, and SOCK yarn. I've been utterly converted to short-row, toe up socks. I like counting better than doing increases. I've got DH's on the needles, toes done (finally!!) correctly. I just pulled out the ones I'm doing for me and I'll redo them with a short-row toe.

For all who celebrate, have a merry, merry Christmas, and to all, blessings of the season on you. :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Today's Lesson

Actually, it's a lesson of the past few days as I had NO time to knit today.
Don't try and knit anything that needs counting and attention, when trying to wrangle two wiggly toddlers!

That is all.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Woo hoo!

Next weekend we head off to DH's family's home in the Berkshires for the Christmas holiday. They are about an hour away from Northampton, and I believe I have secured a promise that I can have a morning to go to NoHo, and visit Webs! I am drooling over much yarn, and very excited to go in, knowing I have money spend (from my birthday, my mom gave me a check that said "MUST be used for yarn!!" Go mom!).

There's also a really nice yarn store in his hometown, so I plan to spend a little time there too! I am becoming a definite yarn-aholic. I am not ready for an intervention though! My main issue is that I have nowhere to store it!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Today's Knitting

I now have FOUR projects on needles:

1. A hat for a friend's baby. I have GOT to get this done, as it's a holiday hat, and I need to send it to them to have it by, well, the holidays. As in, I probably need to finish it tomorrow. This is my third attempt (the other two are going to the NICU, and also need to get sent out ASAP), and I'm feeling a little less than inspired with it.

2. Bamboo Dishcloth Variation 1. I'm doing this in a variegated Sugar'n'Cream yarn with white/blue/yellow/purple tones. It's pretty, but sort of a PITA to knit. I like to get a rhythm going when I knit, and the having to pass the YO over every two stitches definitely impedes that. Oh well. It's pretty.

3. Toe-up socks for me! These are using a sock wool, knit on size 1s, and they may take me three years to finish, so let's hope they're worth it! I learned the Figure 8 cast on for these, which is really neat, and NO toe seaming! I don't know if all toe-up socks have this, but it is nice. I don't mind Kitchener Stitch really, but it's nice not to have to do it! I think the yarn I am using is #6674 of this, but I don't have the band so I'm not sure. Looks right though.

4. Another pair of toe-up socks for Nik. I'm using the the Knitting Fiend's Socklator, Socklator V, since it's written for Magic Loop. I did the toe for Sock 1 tonight, learning the cheater's provisional cast-on (or some mangled version of it, anyway!), and how to do doubled wrapped short rows. The toe is really cool! I love that you can choose any yarn you want for these, so I'm doing these in a worsted weight wool, since Nik loves wool socks! I think I'm using size 5s (? I can't remember), which means they'll knit up nice and fast! Tomorrow I'll do toe #2, and then knit them both at the same time.

I wore the socks I knit for myself today and they made me happy! They also made my feet quite warm, as they're a bulky wool, and it was close to 60 degrees (F) today. They're too bulky to wear under my Keens, but they worked with my clogs. I think the tiny sock yarns might make me a tad crazy. It just seems like it'll take so long to get anything done. I'm more of an instant gratification kind of woman, myself. :) The Socks that Rock yarn that I am currently obsessing over thinking about has a midweight and heavier weight option. I'm worried that the heavy weight would be too heavy for regular wearing. I'm going to call them tomorrow and see what they think. I think the lightweight would just make me insane, it's so thin.

So, that's today's work!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Go me!

I am have successfully started knitting two socks on one needle, and now that I'm doing it, I can see how easy it is! I'm doing a toe up sock pattern, but I can now see how to do this for a top-down pattern too!

Time sure flies!

I've been meaning to post an update all week, but just haven't had a chance to gather my thoughts. It was my birthday last week (30-mumble) and I received, from my lovely husband, the gift of these which I am LOVING. They are really great, MUCH better than my Denise kit for the kind of knitting I'm doing these days! The join with the tips and the cable is super-smooth, and feels much more secure than the Denise needles. These are nice, solid needles, and the cord is narrow and has very little memory, so it makes the Magic Loop technique much easier. I just with they came in the small sizes, or that Knit Picks regular needles came in a longer cord, but ah well, I guess I can manage with Addis! Since I also received a gift from my parents that "has" to be spent on yarn and yarn-accessories, I think I can get my needle library complete.

Let's see. I talked to the NICU folks, and it turns out they had a slightly different vision of the hat project than I did. I was assuming that each hat would be given to a specific baby, and sent home with that baby, while they seem to be thinking of these as the NICU's. She explained to me that "sometimes the patients take them home" which is what I wanted! Oh well, they can do whatever they think is best. She said they were very appreciative and would take anything else I had to offer. I'm going to try and send a batch off on Monday. The sizes were all great, and I think they really like the whimsical hats. I was just glad to (finally) have someone call me back and give me some feedback on what worked!

I'm having great fun with my dishcloths/washcloths as well! I love the cotton, and I'm really enjoying all the different patterns. I don't quite have the energy to take and post pictures right now, but soon.

My new obsession is knitting socks! I'm not sure why this is, as knitting with fine yarn doesn't appeal to me all that much, but a friend turned me on to this yarn and I must, MUST I TELL YOU, must have some. I actually have some sock yarn, so I pulled it out and taught myself the figure 8 cast on today, in anticipation of figuring out how to knit two socks (toe up) on one needle at the same time. I think this will be a good thing for me, so I don't end up with one sock for many months, which is what happened with the last socks I did. If this works, I'll take pictures! I think the sock thing is generated by the fact that all my socks are old and getting worn out, and I can't find anything I like at any of my usual stores (err, Target mainly 'cuz I'm classy like that) in colors that I wear. Come to think of it, I couldn't find any shirts in colors that I like this year, so I guess the colors I like are just out. I am crushed, as being a fashion icon is really, really important to me. :)

In non-knitting news, I've completed all the reading for Module 1 of the CBE program, and now just need to complete the written work and experiential pieces for it. That shouldn't be too hard. The reading was really interesting, and I can feel the rusty cogs of my brain slowly starting to reengage and perhaps even turn. I am excited about this. One of the books is called "Birth as An American Rite of Passage", and it's a feminist, anthropological analysis of birth rituals in the US. Some of it seems a bit out of date to me, but much of it is spot-on, and *really* interesting and thought-provoking. She's more radical than I am, but has an interesting way of framing different belief systems. It was very interesting to see where I agreed with her, and then where I disagreed - which showed me some of my own blind spots, which is always a useful thing. I'll need to go back and reread this, as it's fairly academic. I really enjoyed it!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This yarn is unknittable.

At least, by me. I don't know what my problem is. First I tried a little hat. It clumped up in a way that I found ugly, so I scrapped it. Then I tried a DW Dishcloth. It was going okay, though I believe I did have to cast on about 4 times. Then DS1 pulled the needle out, and I'm not very good at recovering from things like that. So I started a different dishcloth - one with an actual pattern that required a bit of thought (yo's and such). It was actually looking okay, but then I messed up the pattern, and in my attempt to pull out the row to go back and fix it, I dropped a stitch. I believe I shouted something a tad obscene, and frogged it. I am done. DONE with this yarn, I tell you! I need to get back to my little hat for my friend's baby, as I need to get it to them next week. I have a knitting'n'coffee date tonight, so I'll bring that along.

I did finish a moss stitch dishcloth that is quite pretty. I think I just have no brain cells left because I had to pull out so many rows and redo them. This is not typical, but now that I'm moving into doing patterns, I think it may become more normal. Ah well, growth hurts, right?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Switching gears a bit.

It has occurred to me that the holiday season is almost upon us. How did this happen? Where did this year go?? Though, actually, December 2005 is pretty blurry to me, though that may be the serious sleep deprivation under which I am currently laboring, who knows.

Anyway, so I'm knitting dishcloths for gifts, and having so much fun surfing the web to find wonderful patterns. I love these, they're small and easy to knit, and I just really happy to like Sugar'n'Cream yarn. I am so not a yarn snob. :) I finished a couple over the last day or so.
This one is okay. I have had really bad beginnings lately, and I had to start this one four times. I don't know what my problem is (oh yeah, sleep deprivation). I didn't want to make it as wide as the pattern called for, so I did the math to cut it down (not hard), but I just could not make the openwork yarn-overs come out right! I was making a stupid error, I just did it a few times. It's also shorter than I'd like it to be, but I ran out of yarn. Since I don't love this color palette, that's not too bad.

This one, I'm actually pretty happy with. There are a couple of things I wish I had done better. I did an extra row at the end for the bind off, and I wish that I hadn't. The slip stitch border is a bit looser on the side where I was carrying the yarn up and switching colors. I had the worst time with this pattern, too, I just COULD NOT get it, until I sat down, cast on and did it. I couldn't figure out the colors until then. I am definitely a hands-on learner; it's harder for me to learn from reading.
I like the size of this one better too.