Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nothing Like a Little Super Bulky Yarn for Some Instant Gratification!

I managed to start and finish not one, but TWO things today. Okay, both are hats, one for each son, and both are in this, so they knit up quickly, but still. TWO. It's not like I've been finishing much lately, so this was a bit of a thrill.

Back story, both sons are going to be skeletons for Halloween. My oldest decided that's what he wanted to be (because of some Lego, I think), and younger son is in "I have to be just like my brother" mode these days. Okay, fine. I got the costumes a bit big, so we can layer 'em up underneath. One of the joys of growing up in NE is that it could be 70 degrees (F) on Halloween, or it could be literally freezing. I asked them if they wanted me to make them each a hat and scarf...for some reason, I thought that would be really cute - little skeletons with hand-knits. Cute, right? They both said yes, and DS1 picked RED and DS2 picked (OF COURSE) green. Green is his favorite color. And has been since before he could talk.

I was out with DS2 at Target, purchasing said skeleton costume, and we hit the Michael's nearby. We ended up with the Wool-ease, which is mostly acrylic with a bit of wool. It's fairly soft and fulfilled my requirements of being cheap, bulky, and available. I got one skein for each kid. This afternoon, I had some time so I started the first hat. I did my usual wing-it method. Recommended needle size is 13s, and it's 9 sts/4". I decided to do 11s, and figured I'd get closer to 10 sts/inch, based on...well, nothing. I just like the number. I measured DS1's head and figured I was shooting for somewhere in the 20" diameter range (his head is 21.5"). I cast-on 50 sts, and got going. I did a twisted rib to start, for 5 or 6 rows, and then switched to stockinette. I knit it until it seemed long enough (based on trying it on his head-gotta love Magic Loop) and then did one round of 2 decreases to get to 48, and then used a 6-pt decrease. I did 1 round of decreases and one round of knitting even. I decreased down to 6 stitches, and then pulled the yarn through. I tried the hat on DS2 and decided to go down 2 stitches for his hat and make it a bit shorter. His hat had 6 rows to the ribbing, 11 rows in the body of the hat, and then the decreases.

I started the first scarf - I am doing a simple garter stitch scarf with a slipped stitch edge, over 10 stitches. Easy easy, and hopefully it'll go quickly with the bulky yarn.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another quick post.

I did finish one more pattern repeat on my sister's Swallowtail. It's really going to be lovely, and I think it's going to be what she wants - less of a delicate pretty shawl and more of a snuggly "wrap around you and keep warm" shawl. I've been struggling with how many repeats to do of the initial leaf lace pattern and I think I'm going to 12, which should leave me enough yarn to finish the whole thing. I'd like this to be a bigger shawl but I am, of course, limited by how much yarn I actually have. Funny how that works.

This week as been all about settling back into the regular schedule. DS2 started school. He's a kid who doesn't thrive with transitions and has had some separation anxiety issues, so I really wasn't sure how he would do, but he did wonderfully! He had a great time and I'm so glad to get him back with his friends. We also have soccer up and running, both boys are playing. My oldest *loves* it and is actually pretty good, which surprises me a bit given that he had some physical issues. But he has a blast and it's so good for him. Of course, that makes *me* a soccer mom, minivan, purple hair, nose ring and tattoos and all. DS2 had his first practice/game today and was initially resistant but had fun (even if his coach had to hold his hand for a bit out on the field). :) He even scored a goal, which was so cool! DD is just a firecracker, into everything, chattering up a storm. I can't believe how big she's getting. She's so independent! And funny. She and the boys are playing together a lot, especially she and DS2 - I found them rolling a melon at each other the day and laughing hysterically. It was really funny, except for the poor melon.

I've spent the past week looking for a new phone, as my Treo is not doing well. It's three years old (which is what, 60? in people years), and it's hanging in there but since half the time it doesn't answer when someone calls me, well, that's not so good. We're switching carriers which is totally tweaking my loyalty thing, but I'm excited about what's to come. And really, it's a phone, not a marriage. Sometimes I take things too seriously. :)

I swear, I *will* start posting more pictures and knitting content, once I actually have anything to show!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Still Here!

Just swamped in the minutiae of life with three kids - school has started and the oldest is starting Kindergarten! I am so, so thankful that he missed the cut-off as I am sure we would have agonized over whether to hold him or not, probably would have sent him and I don't think it would have been the right choice. Not simply because he is a boy, though from the research I've read, that's important, but just who he is. He's so ready academically, but he's been ready for years, but socially and in some other ways, having this year to solidify has been so important. He's riding the bus, he seems like such a big boy to me. He also just got glasses and is completely adorable. Son #2 is starting back to preschool next week (FINALLY) and I can't wait! Once we're into our routine, I think I'll have bit more time for knitting. I'm sneaking in a few rows here and there but nothing substantial to report.

It got cooler, and I broke out the socks. I need to get some more pairs finished! I love handknit socks. I also have some very pretty malabrigo slated for another Foliage hat, which I'd like to get done. I have shawls in process that I'd like to finish - especially the one for my sister. Her elderly cat, who has been her baby for 17 years, is dying, and I'd like to send her some comfort.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


How did it get to be September??

The rest of the summer has flown by. In part, we've been ridiculously busy the last few weeks. We were away for a week, then the weekend we came back, we rearranged our house and hauled a lot of furniture. Then we had some friends over then another friend came for 3 days with her 10-month-old baby girl. Then we were away over the weekend visiting family (and seeing James Taylor!!) and now we're back. We went down to RI yesterday to hang out with a friend at the beach, and now we're gearing up for DS1's birthday. Friend party tomorrow, family all through the weekend...and then he starts Kindergarten next week! We had the practice bus ride this morning and I will admit I got a bit choked up when the bus pulled out with all those wee folks waving to us. They couldn't see over the seats in front of them! Sometimes he seems to big to me (and he's older for Kindergarten due to the cutoff, which I am so thankful about) but I have to remind myself that he's still just a very little boy and this is a big deal. He's nervous about it, but I'm hopeful it's going to be a great year!

So, while we were in the Berkshires, I knit a sock. :) Just an ankle sock but still a sock! I used the leftovers from my Branching Out (and I'm going to be cutting it verrrrrry fine to squeeze the second one out of what's left!). I cast on in the car on the way out and bound off the day after we got home. So, it's STR, I can't remember if it's light or medium weight (lemme look at the other skeins...lightweight), toe-up, 60 sts and a 1x1 ribbed short ankle. It didn't pool weirdly at all and it's so pretty!! It knit up really nice and quickly and if I didn't live somewhere with serious, serious winter, I'd make all my socks ankle socks because it's really nice to turn the heel and think "wow, I'm going to be binding off in eight rows!"so

Now I just need some new shoes for the fall, to show off my socks! Keen replaced my warped Calistogas with new Calistogas...which warped again!! And the glue that holds the toe to the shoe leather leaked, and I can't get it cleaned up. I think Calistogas are just not in the cards for me...we'll see if they replace these. I love Keens, but this one style just doesn't work. Which is a bummer because they're perfect for showing off handknit socks.

Of course, in order to show off all these alleged socks, I need to actually finish some PAIRS. Yes, socks come in pairs. I know, it's shocking, but it's true. So, this means you have to KNIT TWO OF EACH KIND OF SOCK YOU WANT TO WEAR. Can you believe it? I apparently couldn't because I've now got four or five single socks hanging out, waiting for mates. Need to get on that.