Sunday, April 29, 2007

Peapod Delivered!

The hat made it's way to the big boy today! It fits him exactly - it could stand to be a bit longer, actually, and it's almost too small. *sigh* Sizing is so hard! He may not even get to wear it, but if he ends up with a little brother or sister, that child will definitely be able to wear it! Now I want to knit him the acorn hat once I order some more of the Samoa. Did I mention how much I love this yarn?

I've got an idea for a project for a friend, I just have to go get the yarn for it. You ever just feel *called* to do something for someone? This project is calling me for this friend, so I think I need to move it up in the priority list. /me checks my budget...Okay, I do have my May allowance coming up in 2 days, I should be able to do it!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

FO: Peapod Hat

I finished this hat just in time (the first picture is a better representation of the color, but you can't see the top detail, hence the second picture, where the color is really off) - the birthday party for the boy is tomorrow! We got him a present for him (beach toys!), so this is really more for his mom. I am really pleased with how this turned out!! I don't take pride in design usually, as, well, I'm not typically the designer! I tend to knit from patterns. I'm a concrete thinker and I'm good at following directions. I know it's just a simple roll-brimmed hat, but like the pumpkin hat, it's really exciting for me when I have a vision in my head of how I want something to look, and the FO actually LOOKS like it! :)

Yarn: GGH Samoa in 94 (Dark Green) and 116 (Mint).
Needles: Knit Pick Options in size 5, 40" cord for Magic Loop
Pattern: My own!
New Skills: Probably the peas and leaf. I looked at a bunch of patterns and sort of made it up as I went along. I don't usually do this (and when I do, it doesn't really work out so well for me most of the time), so I'm happy with it.

I did a gague swatch for this, because I did actually want it to fit the kid. The hat fits tightly on my 2 year-old's head, so I am pretty sure it'll fit a 1 year old. I'm *loving* the Samoa. The yarn is so lush, and just feels wonderful - almost a suede-y feel to it. I love the colors too. Now I just have to find a place to order it from since I've never seen it around here! I bought this yarn of the recommendation of the lovely lady at Wildefiber in Santa Monica, and I'm hooked, HOOKED, I tell you! Unfortunately, I'm also broke, so no more yarn for some time.

Yay for getting something done! I've got another NICU hat almost done, I just need to add leaves to that. I also learned to crochet granny squares today, that was fun! I need to figure out how to incorporate crochet into my crafting life. Oh, and I started another baby blanket from Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille in Painted Iris, and it's just gorgeous! Almost makes me want to have another baby! ;) It's a simple eyelet border diagonal knit, so simple I could actually watch a movie while knitting it. I love this yarn so much.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bad Blogger!

I can't believe a week has gone by since I updated! Not, of course, that I have much of anything exciting to blog about. I had an interesting dream about knitting socks last night. I think maybe I should stop taking my Omega 3s right before bed, huh. So, basically, I'm working away on Jaywalker 1, and a NICU hat. I am loving this GGH yarn. I have to do the finishing touches on the peapod hat, and once I do that, I'll post pictures because it's pretty seriously cute. I've got a date with my knitting friend tonight (!!), which we've been postponing for months, literally, so I'm excited about that. We've had a couple of days of gorgeous weather, so I've been outdoors a LOT with the boys, so I've been pretty wiped in the evenings.

Blah blah blah. Like I said, nothing too exciting to talk about. I think I need to start the Magic Waves shawl to get that going.

Oh and I'm learning to crochet too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fetching is DONE!

Both gloves completed!

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Purple (607)
Needles: Knit Pick Options, size 6 with a 40" cord for Magic Loop
New Skills: None

This is an easy pattern that translates well to the magic loop (I put 20 stitches on one needle and 25 on the other). There are a couple of things I still haven't really figured out how to do well. The first is the Picot Bindoff. I can't figure out how to get the last stitch to match the other loops. Practice, maybe? Also, I have had a lot of trouble pickup up the stitches for the thumbs without leaving gaping holes. Well, is it trouble if you can't actually do it? On all four of these that I've made, I've had to sew up the little holes on either side of the thumb. On the second one of these, as well, I miscalculated on yarn, and had to attach another ball during the bindoff row, which I don't recommend.

Other than that, I lovelovelove the fabric this yarn makes on size 6 needles, it's so soft and cushy! I made these for my SIL and just loved them, so figured I needed some for myself! Now I need a hat to go with them.

Have I mentioned that I love the color purple?

I realized also in my other post that I forgot the other yarn that I got: some Koigu KPPM in 407 (though mine looks like it has a lot more yellow and brown in it than this picture shows). Now I just need a great sock pattern for my Santa Monica Memorial Socks!

Getting Back My Knitting Mojo

We went away this weekend WITHOUT kids - the longest we've been away from them. Our trip involved a lot of sitting in airports, so I got some good knitting done. I got about 2 inches of my first Jaywalker done. I'm doing it in the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn, in Purple Club. I'm not sure I'm loving the pattern as it comes out, but I'm definitely enjoying knitting it! I haven't done a top-down sock in a while, so hopefully the heel flap won't be too confusing. I am doing the leg in Magic Loop, but I may switch to DPKs for the heel, since that is how the pattern is written.

I also got almost all of my second Fetching done. I just have the bind-off and thumb to do, but I'm not quite sure I have enough left of the skein (not sure why I have less this time than the last, oh well). I do have more, so no worries. I'm planning on doing Knitty's Coronet in the same yarn, I think it'll be cute. Yeah, I know, the cables aren't the same, but I'm strangely okay with that! It's odd, as I'm typically a matchy-matchy sort of person.

I made it to Wildfiber in Santa Monica (a mile from our hotel) while we were in So Cal. I really wanted to see some Socks That Rock in person, but they were out. Ah well, I'm just going to have to order some next month (when I have money again). so many questions - what weight? What color? I did got some wool wash that I've been needing (I have a couple of pairs of non-machine-wash, handmade wool socks to do so I can wear them again!). I think I may have to designate one night a week for sock washing! I am feeling very inspired to keep moving on socks.

I also bought some GGH Samoa for a hat as well. I got that started. It's a hat of my own design, in light and dark green. I got some red to do an apple hat as well. I like the yarn so far, it's really nice to work with! It's machine washable, so this would be an option for baby clothes as well. I'm going to make something for my own kids with it, and try drying it to see how well it machine dries.

So, some funny moments on my trip. This was for the wedding of a dear friend from college, and I saw many friends - some that I've stayed close to, others that I hadn't seen in more than 15 years. For these folks, the news that I've become an avid knitter was a tad...surprising. The initial response was not unsupportive, but more baffled (I think they thought I was joking at first when I said I needed to go to a yarn store before the wedding on Saturday). Once they realized that (a) I was serious and (b) this is a past-time that brings me tremendous joy, they were accepting (not that it actually matters much, as I do this because I love it!). One friend (D) asked me what I knit. I told him the various things I've done. Then he said "What are you going to make for me?" I said "What do you need?" He suggested a scarf, since he lives in DC. [Note: I am thinking something like this for him, because it's pretty, or this.] I may actually do it, but it was a funny moment of "You just don't get what you're asking, do you?" I mean, for what other thing would someone request as a joke a handmade item, the materials for which are not necessarily inexpensive, and which requires a significant investment of time from someone?

I think I'm going to go finish that Fetching so I can wear it tomorrow, the weather seems like it'd be perfect (low 40s and rainy!).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not much knitting happening right now.

DH and I head off to CA on Friday. Since we're flying out of Albany, we go to the ILs on Thursday night (as in, tomorrow). DS2 had a small tummy thing yesterday so, in addition to every thing else that has to happen, I had to do 17 million loads of laundry. Poor boo, this was his second round of it. No Fun.

I've got two things on needles right now: Jaywalkers and Fetching. I finished the left glove, now I just need to do the right glove. I'm doing the Jaywalkers on size 1s, so they're going to be slow!

The exciting thing about our trip is that WE'RE NOT BRINGING THE KIDS! So, I'll be able to knit en route! Woo hoo! There's also a yarn store that carries Socks That Rock, about 1 mile from our hotel. The only time their hours and my schedule overlap is right before this wedding that we're going to, so I'll be hitting the shop in all my wedding finery!

I have a lovely friend who is (among other things) my knitting buddy. We like to get together for an evening of chatting and knitting. We've had to postpone for coming up on TWO months, due to illness and travel! I miss her! It's been really cool to make a new friend.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter, for those who celebrate!

Even though I'm no longer a practicing Christian, I still like the Easter season. I like the possibility of redemption and hope after despair. We did baskets with the boys and it was really neat to think about creating traditions for them.

Well, when I started this post it was about my frustrations with doing lace with my much-beloved Addi Turbos. I was doing Wendy's Generic Feather and Fan sock on 0s, and trying to modify the pattern so I could do the lace on the foot as well. I was getting really frustrated and my gague was obviously off by enough that I frogged it. Basically, the Addis aren't pointy enough. I haven't actually done any socks on DPKs yet, since I don't really like using them. I decided I'm going to do a different sock pattern for now, and maybe try a DPK pattern at some point and see how aggravating I find it, before investing in the Lace Addis. I think I'm going to do some Jaywalkers in the Lorna's Laces in the Amethyst Stripe (I think that's what it is, it's purple!!). I've got all this lovely sock yarn, and a strong desire to wear handmade socks, I just need to knit the darn things!!

I just started a pair of Fetching for myself since I loved the ones I did for SIL so much. (By the way, she told me that she LOVES them, loves the color, loves the style, wears them in the theater all the time, which was what I hoped for, so that made me really happy!)

My friend just asked me to knit her child something for his birthday, so I think I might do a big version of the pumpkin hat I just made. Or maybe an acorn hat. I need the yarn for that though.

I'll be casting on another NICU hat tomorrow as well. I want to get one done per week (at least) so I can get another set dropped off for them.

Lots to do!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Joy of Knitting

Yesterday I ran into two ex-friends of mine. They have obviously remained close, while both rejecting me. This happened some time ago (coming up on a year), and while it's still painful, seeing them was actually helpful to make me remember that the action of friends is NOT to be mean, petty, and nasty in a high school of way. Therefore, these women are no friends of mine anymore. There is obviously much more to the story, but frankly, I'm bored with the emotions and ready to let it go (FINALLY!). It's related to knitting in that when I started knitting again 2.5 years ago, I got the two of them really excited about it as well, and we would talk knitting. One of them (the one I really considered a true friend, not just a mommy friend) actually gave me a "knitting kit" for Christmas one year, which I still use every single time I knit.

After running into them, I felt shaky and unsettled. I'm a very conflict-avoidant person, and even just seeing them (and refusing to be sucked into the "let's make nicey-nice" that they were doing) felt like confrontation. But then the universe, as it is wont to do, gave me a perspective moment: an encounter a small child, dying of cancer. This powerful reminder of what's really important is also helping me set aside the feelings related to my ex-friends. It's not that those feelings aren't real, or don't really matter, but rather, there's a lot more going on than that, and it's good to be reminded of that. It's good to get outside my head.

Today, my older son was at school for his long day, and my younger son (universe be praised) actually took a great nap. As soon as I could tell DS2 was actually going to go to sleep, I cast-on a NICU hat. I needed to do this today. I needed to reconnect to my better self, the part of me that delights in creating and takes solace in giving. The part of me that is healed by my willingness to be connected to others. I always try to knit the NICU hats in a spirit of joy and offering of strength, hope and compassion, but I felt truly...filled by it today. This is what came out of it:

Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic in Orange for the body, Sugar'n'Cream Brown for the stem, and Tahki Cotton Classic in green for the vines (crocheted with a size F hook, I think).
Needles: Addi Turbos, size 3
Pattern: my own creation (with some help on the vines)
New skills: none

I am thrilled with how this came out. I just think it's adorable, and I love the idea that some little baby in the NICU will have this to help in the fight!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

FO and a *brilliant* idea!!

The poncho is DONE!!!!! I got the last pattern repeats knit this afternoon while the boys were actually playing nicely together, and then did the bind-off and weaving in of ends before dinner. Woo hoo!!
So, the specifics:
The Pattern: Artyarns Multidirectional Poncho (P53)
The Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino in 108 (note: the poncho pictured on the patterns page IS in 108, you can see that my 108 is very, very different from those colors - I was expecting a much lighter yarn. This is pretty, but way darker than I was expecting.)
The needles: Knitpicks Options in size 9 with various length cords.
New skills: 3-needle bind-off.

I don't know that I'm cut out to do big projects like this. It took a long time, and I got so bored towards the end. It's not a hard knit at all, but it's not mindless either. There are definite errors in this execution but somehow it all ended up okay. Now I am really excited to get some warmer weather so I can wear it! It may also be my "keep me warm at home" thing too (since for some reason we don't seem to heat our house). I am so thrilled to have this DONE! The one issue I've got is that I measured the initial front diamond on their recommendation, and it's a bit too big, so I think it's going to have a slipping issue. Ah well, live and learn. Honestly, I don't think I'd knit another poncho (crochet, maybe).

And my brilliant idea. I encountered a family today in which the very young son has cancer, and per the grandmom, it doesn't look good. This made me so sad (of course), and so grateful for the health of my own children. I was thinking about what sort of knitting for donation might be appropriate for kids with cancer, and thought about knitting toys for chemo patients that could be handed out. Then I thought "when do you have time to do this?" And I realized exactly what I need: a corporate sponsor! I need a company that wants to do some sort of charitable giving. They'd buy my yarn and pay me something for my time, and I'd commit to some number of items for donation. They'd get credit for it in some way, I'd get paid to knit, and little ones would get cute toys to give them some small measure of comfort. How awesome would that be?? I think it's a great idea.

Now...on to the important questions. Why are we here? What is the meaning in life? What the heck am I going to knit next? NICU hats are high on my list right now, plus another baby blanket and SOCKS SOCKS SOCKS! Let the fun begin!

Don't think I can do it!

I've tried to stay monogamous to the poncho, I really have, but I'm not inspired right now! I'm longing to start something - ANYTHING - new!!! I love starting new projects! Must resist, must resist!