Friday, July 28, 2006

Knitting as therapy

I took my circular swatch for the Child's First Socks in KnitPick's Redwood Forest with me to the hospital. My son was having minor surgery and I needed something to do besides bite my fingernails (which doesn't happen to be among my bad habits).

It worked relatively well. I also struck up a conversation with the gardener, who was trimming and watering the plants around me. Turns out she lives in the same town as I and was wanting to start knitting--"a hat would be ideal." I explained what I was doing (no, this isn't a sock, but yes, these are two circular needles) and we talked about the various ways to knit circularly. (Sure, one can knit a hat flat and then seam it, but that brings up the worst of my anti-finishing ire, for whatever reason.)

I told her about my favorite LYS's and gave opinions on the two others in the area. Then went back to my swatch, as I waited and waited for the call that meant my kid was done.

The knitting didn't entirely distract me from the situation at hand, but it sure helped.

(But, rats, the size 3 Addi Turbos are just too big for gauge. I'm back to my Susan Bates size 1's and they are so tiny and sharp and not smooth enough. Yuck.)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Trellis is done

I knit one last row while boiling in the 103°F/39°C heat, and then took the time to count my stitches while my son rode on yet another little-kid ride at a southerly amusement park.

124 stitches. I was supposed to stop at 115 or something. Oh, well. I looked at the ball and it seemed to have enough to bind off but not a lot more. So I decided it was time.

Back at home and in more reasonable temps, I picked up my size 35 needle (as I always seem to bind off too tightly, I went up a needle size, which for me was from 19 to 35) and bound the sucker off. Ended up with 10 yards of remaining ladder yarn, which I guiltlessly threw away. Why save it when you know you won't use it?

During this whole project, I wondered and worried whether I'd like the end product. I knew I loved the colors but knitting on size 19 needles made me feel... well, cheap.

Ha! I love this thing. I'm wearing a brown dress and it looks WONDERFUL with it. It feels great and drapes terrifically. It ended up being a very shallow triangle. The directions said the point of the triangle would be 13" deep. It's longer (reaches my butt, which is what I wanted) and also wider (71" became... reaching my feet practically on both sides). The colors look great, the stitch looks complex (love garter stitch in ladder yarn!), it stays on... wonderful. I am so pleased.

And it doesn't hurt to be able to mark something finished.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I knew there was one I was forgetting.

I started a sample of a pattern for a stole for a minister-friend. It's out of Elsebeth Lavold "Hempathy" in a green that I had hoped would be sage but is more minty. I do like the pattern, although it is quite different from the one in the book! The holes are not in the book photo. I had to find a yarn that was not warm, as my friend has, as she puts it, personal summer. Hemp, cotton, and linen were what I came up with.

Elann or KnitPicks just sent me a catalog with a 100% hemp yarn in a nice sage called "grass" that I may try next if my friend doesn't like this green. (Then I'll be selling it on eBay because it doesn't look like a great green for me, either.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Just an update

ETA: Now with photos!

No more FOs to report. Some updates:

Rainbow childHood
I'm partway up the hood on G's childHood. I had started it at the cabin and only had dpn's with me, so I've now converted to a circular needle; way easier. Got a few rows done but it's, well, a little dull.

Blue ribbed cotton sweater
Speaking of dull, I'm still plugging away on the blue Tahki cotton sweater. I thought it would be mind-numbing, but the k2p2 ribbing keeps me interested enough, thank God. I'll start the shaping at about 8.5". I have misplaced the magazine. Wish me luck, eh?

Trellis shawl
Nearly finished with the first ball of Li*n Brand Trellis on my shawl. Dharma figured out that the third ball is really only used for the fringe so I'll probably eBay it. It'll be nice to be done with this one; it's mind-numbing enough and not nearly fast enough, even on size 19 needles!

While at the cabin, I cast on for Birch. Something about this one fills me with trepidation. That I won't get it finished within 6 mos and won't be able to return the extra $15 ball of Cracksilk Haze? That it calls for a lace cast-on and I, not knowing what that was, went ahead with a regular cast-on? That I'll get lost and have to rip back Cracksilk Haze, which is reputed to be a b!tch to rip back? I've done part of one row. sigh

Child's first socks
Something about having no socks on the needles was driving me crazy, so last night, I balled and started swatching for Child's First Socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I chose the RedwoodForest sock yarn from KnitPicks. It might work on size 3 needles, so I'm starting out with my Addi Turbos that I used for my Knitting Olympics socks. ETA: I'll be doing two at once on two circulars. No more one-sock-at-a-time for me!

Gosh, could that be it? Hard to believe. It feels like I started another project besides these. I'm certainly feeling like I have startitis.

Oh! I did forget to mention what Mummy brought back from Convergence in Grand Rapids, MI: my very own swift! She is too good to me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Final chapter on the Shrapnel Socks

I left the socks on my mom's bed in the cabin we occupied last weekend, for her birthday weekend (one of the decades...!). She didn't say anything when she arrived, so I brought them up. She said she thought the tops were unfinished. I had bound off using much larger needles because I was worried that the tops would be tight, so they ended up looking picot-ish.

After I assured her that they were done, she tried them on. She was really pleased. She proceeded to wear them the rest of the weekend, at least in the morning and night, until it got too hot in the daytime to wear wool socks. And she ranted to anyone who would listen about how incredibly well they fit her feet, better than any other socks she'd ever worn!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

C'est fini.

The Shrapnel Socks are finished, a mere 2 days before we leave to visit my mom at a cabin in the woods. I won't be wrapping them, as they aren't her birthday present; they are for (last) Christmas!

Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief. And then I'll start another pair of socks!

What is so intriguing

about taking this

and making it into this

that I must stay up till 2:30AM on a Sunday morning? And yet, it is. (80% silk 20% cotton ugly as hell sweater to become sweet short-sleeved top.)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I'm ribbing

I am up to the beginning of the 1.5" ribbing of the Shrapnel Sock. Of course, true to form, instead of the K2P1 ribbing specified in the pattern and already done for the first sock, I did a few rows of the lesser-known and strangely not stretchy at all K1P2 ribbing, merely because I am a complete idiot.

Think I'll be happy when these socks are done? Do ya?