Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year (almost!)

I am still "on vacation" with my in-laws. As most parents of young children know, going away with your small kids isn't actually a vacation really, it's more just a change of location. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but it's not sitting on a beach with a margarita either. :)

I've been doing a ton of knitting! I finished BIL's hat and it fit him, and as far as I can tell, he likes it! SIL seems pleased that he has a hat that actually fits him (he does have a fairly large noggin). I then knit a Stella's Hat for myself in some gorgeous Malabrigo, emerald. It's lovely, but then of course, I promptly went out and bought a new coat (yay for sales!) in an entirely different green. It doesn't match AT ALL. So today I also bought some Malabrigo chunky in an olive green that does coordinate with the new coat very nicely. I'm thinking of a really simple winter hat.

I also got some Noro Silk Garden for the ubiquitous 1x1 rib striped scarf that everyone's going. I've been dying to make this, and I got enough for two scarves. The first is for a friend who's fiance just passed away. It's so sad, and she's such an amazing person, and I just want to wrap her up in warmth, you know? So I'm working on that, and really enjoying it.

I did about 3 rows on my second sock-in-progress, before I got distracted. I've totally got my knitter ADD going on right now.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I haven't disappeared. We've been utterly swamped, what with the ice storm and no power for 4 days, and then we got dumped on with about 2 feet of snow, and there was this small holiday we had some work to do for as well. Life, it sure does get in the way of knitting and blogging. :)

You know, I never appreciated how much work went into Christmas until the last couple of years, when my kids have gotten old enough to get it. I think it was really last year (when my oldest was 4), that I really understood that if we want to have family traditions like a Christmas feast, and presents, and a lovely brunch, and stockings and all that stuff, someone has to DO it. So, we did. I often feel like I'm pretending to be a grown up, and this was one of those occasions. It was all lovely, and the kids had a really great time, but dude, I am tired.

Anyway, I'm off to my in-laws for a week tomorrow, hoping to get some fun knitting in. I've got my BIL's hat to finish (I'm scared it's going to be too small AGAIN), and then some fun things for me to knit for ME. I'll get pictures of all the gift hats up when I return. And maybe some WIP pictures too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back in Business

Thursday afternoon of last week, it was pouring rain. This turned to a bit of snow, then to ice. We were awakened by a sound at around 2:30 am or so Friday morning. "Was that lightening?" I asked my husband, very confused. No, no, it was the transformer exploding. The power went out. We spent the rest of the night listening to the sound of trees and branches falling (did I mention that we now live right next to conservation woods?), as the house got colder and colder. In the morning, the trees were still coated with ice, and every few seconds another branch would go. I went out on the front porch and witnessed a large branch come down in our driveway, which thankfully missed the car. We ended up spending the next 3 nights a wonderful friend's house in a suburb that wasn't hammered by the ice storm, and just got power back last night. I'm feeling very discombobulated and off my schedule.

When we figured out we were getting power back on Friday, it was late enough that the sun was going down and my husband was encouraging me to leave before the wet roads turned to black ice. I threw some things together and headed off. Thankfully, I already had a knitting bag packed, so I tossed some more projects in (because, you know, when you're hanging out with five kids under the age 5.5, including two infants, you have SO much time for knitting). I did end up getting my dad's hat finished.

I pulled out my sister's cable hat, it just wasn't doing it for me and it was too small. I'm now planning on Stella's Hat. I started it once but didn't trust the pattern, so I cast on 88 stitches, which turned out to be HUGE. So I restated with 80 stitches. I started Magic Loop, but even though I didn't twist my stitches in the join, I somehow kerfuffled my cable so the thing got twisted, so I pulled it out. I did two rows on straight needles then switched to round. It's funny, in doing these hats, I've rediscovered my love of my Denise kit. It had fallen into disfavor when my sexy KnitPick Options set showed up, but I've found the love, since KP doesn't have a 16" cable for the Options set. (At least they didn't the last time I looked.) So, I'm working on this hat too, hoping to get it done soon so I can send these off to Vermont.

I'm planning a couple of felted hats for myself, but have no idea how one would block them. Any suggestions?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So, what does this say about me?

Yesterday was my birthday, and it was a lovely day. Filled with both my ADLs ("activities of daily living", in group home speak), and with what felt like an outpouring of happy energy to me, and some wonderful gifts. I am amused that my parents gave me money specifically to spend on yarn. Yes, they know me well...I am also amused that I am thinking about blowing the whole thing at The Loopy Ewe, in sock yarn. Because, you know, I don't have enough??? I just love sock yarn. Especially hand dyed sock yarn. I don't knit enough socks...but they have some brands I want to try!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Gift of Time and other Thoughts

My darling husband gave me an hour and a half to myself this morning. :) And told me I was absolutely NOT to clean the house (which needs it, especially because we're having 3 families over for dinner tomorrow night!!). I headed off to Starbucks and knit for a while. I did another 2 pattern repeats for Branching Out, and I'm just really liking how it looks. I then did some more work on my sister's cabled hat. I went down a size for needles because she (and I) have small yet long heads. Unfortunately, no gauge was provided with the pattern, so I'm not sure how big it was supposed to be. I'm concerned that it's going to be too small. I'd like to think I should trust my intuition, but honestly, it's not all that good. I almost always have some sort of nagging concerns about my projects, and sometimes they're utterly justified and sometimes they're just completely baseless. I guess it shows me how much I have still to learn about this craft. I'd love to get this thing done soon, but I am not sure how much time I'll have tomorrow to work on it. The color is so pretty and the yarn is SO lovely and soft!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Fickle, Fickle Heart

So, the problem with the way my life works is that I have all these children, and, well, they take up a lot of my time. So I both don't get to knit as much as I'd like, and I only get to really do my blogging in the evening, at which point I'm dead tired. I'd love to post more pictures, I think knitting blogs without pictures aren't actually all that interesting, but to get the energy to take the pictures (at which I sort of suck, anyway), get them from the camera, cropped and scaled down, and up into a blog post is often beyond me these days. And to get them loaded onto Flickr so I can rav them? Apparently that's just not happening.

But, all that aside. I have a new love, and that love is...Malabrigo. My sister requested a hat, so I thought I'd find something soft. I found a cool pattern that I think will look really pretty. I can't find the ball band, but I think it's closest to the Indigo color, it's a lovely rich blue that will look really nice on her. This yarn is so deliciously soft, I'd love to just roll around in it half-clothed. Of course, I'm so tired that I'd probably end up going to sleep pretty quickly, but I'd enjoy it for about 30 to 47 seconds, I'm sure! SHOCKINGLY, some in the Emerald colorway LEPT into my basket to come home with me (I'll be making this scarf and this hat for myself in it). What can I say? I had a giftcard. It is odd, isn't it, how often I get bombarded with yarn and knitting needles and whatnot when I go into a yarn store. Things just throw themselves at me and insist I bring them home! Strange. Anyway, I've started my sister's hat and it's so soft. I have been doing so much work with cotton, I'd sort of gotten used to how hard cotton is on the hands! This is just lovely.

I also got a random skein of light green yarn with which to make my son's stuffed tiger, named Cracker, a hat, mittens, and a scarf. My son has also requested that I make Cracker a sweater, a snow suit and some snow boots, but I think I've convinced him that tigers have fur and the boots, at least, are overkill. I may do the sweater, just because I think it would be really cute! I suggested putting slits for Cracker's ears in the hat, and my son just gave me a look as if I were insane, and said "No, his EAR will get cold! NO SLITS!" *sigh* Okay. So now I have to design the perfect tiger sweater. DS insisted that he wanted the LIGHT green. The woman at the store thought this was hysterical and said "You can tell he's the child of a fiber enthusiast!"

I have major startitis right now...all I want to do is start new projects, but I know that leads to not finishing them. I also owe my BIL a hat from last Christmas (the one I made was too small for his enormous head), so I need to find some yarn for that. Maybe more Malabrigo?!? I should definitely get the Christmas knitting done before anything else.

I'm really liking the Branching Out in the STR Lightweight. I think the colors work, I don't think it obscures the lace pattern too badly. I don't know how warm it'll be but it sure is pretty!

So, that's about it! Oh, one small frustration...I've attempted several times now to post comments of the Yarn Harlot's blog, and for some reason her blog doesn't like me. My comments get "held for the moderator" and never show up. It doesn't seem like others have that problem, so I should probably take it personally, right? Ah well, I guess I won't be able to tell her how much her work inspires me!